Sikhs, Hindus Celebrate Birth Anniversary of 3rd Sikh Guru Amar Das

For Representation Purpose only

Considered as the fount of spirituality, Uttarakhand has been beckoning the spiritually inclined from time immemorial and the Sikh Gurus were no exception. In tune with the tradition, the third of the ten Gurus of Sikhism, Amar Das came to Haridwar 21 times before he was endowed with the venerable post.

However, as the Guru of the sect, he came once and that too with a purpose more reformist in nature than spiritualistic. Aware of the fact that the ‘Sati Pratha’, the tradition of the wife upon the death of her husband getting burnt on the same funeral pyre, was prevalent in the in Kankhal region of Haridwar, he came to Kankhal with his large band of disciples from Goindwal to wage a war against the barbaric practice. Down the centuries, the birth anniversary of the Guru is being celebrated here with religious fervour by both Sikhs and Hindus.Tuesday marking his 538th birth anniversary, the devotees paid obeisance to the Guru at the place hallowed with his last stay in the holy city where is now standing the Gurudwara known as ‘Dera Baba Dargah Singh ji Tapasthan Guru Amar Dasji’ located on the banks of the holy Ganga. He is known to have practised austerities near Sati Ghat in Kankhal.

Guru Amar Das is remembered for another of his service to the Hindus. He had played an instrumental role in convincing the Mughul rulers to lift the notorious Jizya Tax the Hindu pilgrims had to pay while coming to Haridwar and other centres of pilgrimage located in the Mughul-ruled territories under the Islamic Law. Besides, Guru Amar Das started the tradition of Langar (community kitchen) by way of his crusade against the practice of caste division, a euphemism for touch- me- not-ism.

Speaking to The Pioneer, a member of the management committee of the Gurudwara, Beebi Bininder Kaur Sodhi said, “At the behest of tenth Sikh Guru Govind Singh, his disciple Dargah Singh discovered this place.

This is why the Gurudwara is christened as Dera Baba Dargah Singh Tapasthan Guru Amar Dasji. The Gurudwara is located at the place where the Guru practised rituals near the Ganga. Tapasthan is adorned with 22 ‘kalashas’ made of brass which are symbolic of the 22nd visit of the Guru to this holy place.”

The legend goes that a discerning priest had found the symbol of ‘Padam’ (lotus) on his feet during his maiden trip to Haridwar and prophesied that he would become either a mighty emperor or a great saint in the coming years. “The place deified with the Guru’s presence provides spiritual power to the devotees,” added Sodhi.

Source: Daily Pioneer