(Last Updated on : 10-09-2009)
The third Indian Sikh Guru, Amar Das was much revered for his wisdom and piety. He bcame guru at the age of 73 and was noted for his missionary efforts to spread Sikhism and for the division of the Punjab into 22 dioceses. To strengthen the faith, he ordered three great Sikh festivals each year, and he made the city of Goindwal a centre of Sikh learning. He extended the casteless langar (community kitchen) and required that anyone wanting to see him must first eat there. Advocating a middle way between the extremes of asceticism and sensuous pleasure, he purified Sikhism of Hindu practices encouraged intercaste marriages allowed widows to remarry and prohibit suttee.
The fifth guru of the Sikhs and its first martyr Arjan compiled the volume of Sikh scripture on whih the Adi Granth is based and he completed the Golden Temple at Amritsar, India. The first Guru to serve as both temporal and spiritual head of Sikhism, he built up Amritsar as a commercial centre and enlarged missionary efforts. He was also a prolific poet and writer of hymns.
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