In this article, we have listed the ten Sikh Gurus in order. The Punjabi word sikh (“learner”) is related to the Sanskrit shishya (“disciple”), and all Sikhs are disciples of the Guru.
1. Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469 – 1539)
Guru Nanak Dev Ji is the founder of Sikhism and the first of the human Sikh gurus. He was born in 1469 in Nankana Sahib in Pakistan.
SHis father’s name was Mehta Kalyan Chand, known as Kalu Ji. His mother’s name was Mata Tripta Ji. His wife’s name was Mata Sulakhni Ji. He had two sons Baba Sri Chand Ji and Baba Lakshmi Das Ji.
He did not claim to be Hindu or Muslim, but as someone who believed in God and truth. He recorded his vision in a song – known as Japji Sahib – the Song of the Soul. Japji Sahib became the foundation of this new spiritual tradition. After his enlightenment, Guru Nanak Dev Ji spent 15 years traveling through India, Asia and Persia.
2. Guru Angad Ji ( 1504 – 1552)
Guru Angad is the second of the Sikh gurus and was born in 1504. His father’s name was Pheru Mall Ji and his mother was Daya Kaur Ji. He married Mata Khivi. They had two sons Dassu Ji and Dattu Ji and two daughters Bibi Amro Ji and Bibi Anokhi Ji.
Guru Angad continued sharing the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev ji.
He created the Gurmukhi (from the mouth of the Guru), which is the written form of the Punjabi language.
3. Guru Amar Das Ji (1479-1574)
The Sikh Guru, Guru Amar Das was born in 1479. His father’s name was Tej Bhan Ji and his mother was Mata Lakhmi Ji. His wife was Mata Mansa Devi Ji. He had two sons Mohan Ji and Mohri Ji and his daughters were Bibi Dani Ji and Bibi Bhani Ji.
He wanted everyone in society to be equal and did not think it mattered if someone was rich or poor and was quite successful at this and managed to create equality among people.
He introduced Anand Karaj which is a special kind of marriage ceremony.
4. Guru Ram Das Ji (1534-1581)
Guru Ram Das is the fourth among the ten Sikh Gurus. He was born in Lahore, Pakistan. His father’s name was Hardas Ji Sodhi and his mother was Mata Daya Kaur Ji. He married Bibi Bhani Ji , daughter of Guru Amar Das Ji.
Guru Ram Das Ji founded the city of Amritsar and began the process of building the Shri Harimandir Sahib. He undertook the excavation of the tank of water which surrounds the Temple. Guru Ji also encouraged people to start small businesses.
5. Guru Arjan Dev Ji (1563-1606)
Guru Arjan is the fifth Sikh Guru born in 1563. He compiled the scriptures of the Sikhs, known as the Adi Granth. He was the youngest son of Guru Ram Das Ji and was born in Goindwal, India. His mother was Mata Bhani Ji. His wife was Mata Ganga Ji. They had only one child, Hargobind, who became Guru Hargobind Ji.
He finished the construction of the Shri Harimandir Sahib in Amritsar that Guru Ram Das has started. They constructed it with four doors facing in four opposite directions, to show that all people can visit here from anywhere and from any background.
Guru Arjan Ji and his people were challenged by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. To protect the independence of the community, Guru Ji allowed himself to be tortured for five days and five nights.
After five days and nights, Guru Ji was permitted to bathe in a nearby river. He dove into the water and dissolved into Light. His physical body was never seen again.
6. Guru Hargobind Ji (1595-1644)
Guru Hargobind is the sixth Sikh Guru , also known as soldier saint. He was born in 1595 in Wadali, India. His father was Guru Arjan Dev Ji and his mother was Mata Ganga Ji. His wives were Mata Damodri Ji, Mata Nanaki Ji, and Mata Mahan Devi Ji. He had five sons and one daughter.
After the sacrifice of his father, however, Guru Hargobind Ji recognized the need for the community to be able to defend itself. So he became a powerful warrior and trained the Sikhs to fight.
Guru Hargobind Ji created the martial art of the Sikhs – called Gatka. He also built the Akal Takht (Throne of the Undying One). The throne was a statement that the Sikh community was sovereign in its spiritual identity, and self-governing identity. This statement came to be known as Miri Piri.
Guru Ji fought many battles in his life to protect the fundamental human rights of the people.
7. Guru Har Rai Ji (1630-1661)
Guru Har Rai is the seventh Sikh Guru born in 1630 in Kiratpur. His father was Guruditta Ji (son of Guru Hargobind Ji) and his mother was Mata Nihal Kaur Ji. His wife was Mata Sulakhni Ji.
Guru Har Rai was an amazing herbalist. He was famous for his use of natural medicine, and kept a beautiful herbal garden from which he made his remedies. He was also quite good at hunting, but never killed any animals.
8. Guru Har Krishan Ji (1656-1664)
Guru Har Krishan is the eighth Sikh Guru born in 1656. He became Guru at the age of five and he was the youngest of all the Sikh gurus.
His main aims were to help people. Throughout his short life, he helped heal people in Delhi who were suffering from a smallpox epidemic. He soon contracted smallpox himself and died before he turned eight years.
9. Guru Teg Bahadur Ji (1621-1675)
Guru Teg Bahadur is the ninth Sikh Guru. He was born in Amritsar in 1621. He father was Guru Hargobind Ji and his mother was Mata Nanki Ji. His wife was Mata Gujri Ji. His son was Gobind Rai who later became Guru Gobind Singh (tenth Sikh Guru).
From the young age , Guru Teg Bahadur had a deeply meditative nature. He spent many years in meditation before becoming the Guru.
The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb had begun a vicious campaign of conversion – where the Hindu leaders were asked to accept Islam or suffer inhumane torture and death. A group of Hindu leaders came to Guru Teg Bahadur and asked them to intercede on their behalf with Aurangzeb. Knowing it meant his own death, Guru Teg Bahadur agreed.
He made an offer to the Emperor – that if the Emperor could convert him to Islam, all of the Hindu leaders would accept Islam. But if the Emperor failed to convert him, then the Hindus would be left in peace. Guru Ji, along with three of his Sikhs – Bhai Matti Das, Bhai Sati Das and Bhai Dayala, willingly allowed themselves to be locked in Aurangzeb’s prison and subjected to truly horrific torture.
The three Sikhs died. Guru Teg Bahadur’s torture, however, continued. The Emperor realized that he can’t convert him. Rather than freeing Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, he ordered his head to be chopped off.
10. Guru Gobind Singh Ji (1666-1708)
Guru Gobind Rai, who later became Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth Sikh Guru was born in 1666 Patna Sahib. He was the last of the human Sikh gurus. He breathed his last in Nanded, India, where the Gurdwara of Hazoor Sahib is established. His father was Guru Teg Bahadur and his mother was Mata Gujri Ji. His wives were Mata Jeeto, Mata Sundari and Mata Sahib Kaur. He had four sons, Ajit Singh, Jujhar Singh, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh.
He was only 9 years old at the time of his father’s confinement, torture and death. He realized that In the coming years, the Sikhs would be called on again and again to fight Aurangzeb’s forces and protect the people from religious persecution.
In the battles that followed, Guru Gobind Singh’s two eldest sons died in the fight. The two younger sons were captured by Aurangzeb and were bricked alive inside a wall and died.
Guru ji started Hola Mahalla festival to strenthen common people. He introduced the Khalsa, or ‘pure ones’ in 1699. Just before he died in 1708, he proclaimed Guru Granth Sahib – the Sikh scripture. Guru Granth Sahib is often classed as the 11th Sikh Guru.