Guru Angad Dev began life with the name of Lehna. Born to Hindu parents, in Harike, the present day Amritsar of Panjab, India, he grew to be an ardent devotee of Goddess Durga. Lehna married Khivi and started a family. They had a son Dasu and daughter Amro.
Conversion and Succession:
One day Lehna overheard the hymn of Japji sung. He learned that the words were composed by Guru Nanak Dev and made arrangements to see Nanak while on a pilgrimage to worship Durga. Upon meeting Guru Nanak, Lehna experienced an immediate conversion. He became the devoted disciple of the Guru and an eager follower of Sikhism. Guru Nanak tested Lehna’s dedication and faith, and ultimately appointed Lehna as his successor. Bestowing upon him the title of Second Guru, Nanak gave Lehna the name Angad, meaning “Part of the Original.”
Poet, Philosopher and Family Man:
Guru Angad Dev established a daily worship routine which included bathing, early morning meditation, and the study and singing of devotional hymns such as Asa di Var. Angad Dev and Khivi had another daughter Anokhi, and son Datu. As the father of four, Angad Dev placed great emphasis on education. He perfected the phonetic Gurmukhi script with the addition of vowels, so that the script could be easily read by anyone. After morning services he gave lessons to both children and adults. Guru Angad Dev penned 236 lines of inspirational poetic verse which would later be included in the scripture of the Guru Granth Sahib.
Other Contributions to Sikhsim:
Guru Angad exemplified the ethics of honest work and selfless service, contributing all of his earnings to langar, a free communal kitchen tended by his wife, Khivi. Renowned as a compassionate healer, the Guru helped to ease the suffering of lepers. He also encouraged physical fitness and taught the art of wrestling. Guru Angad Dev and Khivi settled in Khadur and humbly served the Sikhs for the duration of their lives. Guru Angad appointed his disciple Amar Das as his successor.
Important Dates and Corresponding Events:
Dates marked A.D. correspond to theNanakshahi calendar unless otherwise indicated.
- Birth: Harike – April 18, 1504 A.D. (Vaisakh 1 Vadi, or first day of waning moon, SV, 1561 – Julian calendar, March 31 1504) . Lehna is born to mother, Ramo (Daya Kaur), and father, Pheru Mal (third son of Gehnu Mal).
- Marriage: Matte di Sarai – January 1520 (Magh, SV 1576). Lehna, (16) marries Khivi (13), daughter of Karan Devi and her husband Devi Chand. Lehna and Khivi have a son, Dasu (1524), daughters Amro (1532), Anokhi (1535), and son, Datu (1537).
- Meets Guru Nanak: Kartar Pur – About 1532. After hearing Japji, Lehna meets Guru Nanak while on pilgrimage to worship goddess Durga. He follows Sikhism devotedly thereafter.
- Inauguration as Guru: Kartarpur – September 18, 1539 A.D. (Har, 13 Vadi or 13th day of waning moon SV 1596 – Julian calendar, September 7, 1539). Nanak appoints Lehna his successor, and names him Angad Dev.
- Death: Khadur – April 16, 1552 A.D (Chet, 4 Sudi, 4th day of waxing moon, SV1609 – Julian calendar, March 29, 1552). Guru Angad Dev appoints Amar Das his successor.