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Guru Angad

Guru Angad moved to Khadur to continue the mission. Emulating his mentor, he preached the virtues of selfless service, piety and brotherhood. Personally, he led an austere life and a busy one. The routine he followed rising well before dawn and after a cold bath, meditating until daybreak. Thereafter, kirtan was recited in his presence. He then attended to the sick that had come to him for succor and assistance. Later in the mornings, he held well-attended discourses where he preached and expounded on Guru Nanak’s shabads. The langar (free of cost food) functioned daily, offering food to whoever came without any distinction or barrier. Frequently, he served the food while his wife looked after the cooking. His personal meals were simple; earned by making munj (the skin of a reed twisted to make string, widely used in rural Panjab for weaving the base of cots and stools).

 

Kartarpur, which had been the centre for Sikhs, gave place to Khadur. Perhaps it was a conscious decision to move away from Kartarpur. The sons of the first guru lived there and might have created problems.

 

One of those attracted to Khadur was Amar Das. He became a disciple in 1540 at the age of sixty-one. Over the subsequent twelve years, his devotion and service never faltered. Several instances of his dedication are recorded. When on a stormy night, Amar Das, as was his routine, was carrying for his guru a container of water taken from the river Beas. He stumbled in the dark but saved the water from spilling. The noise disturbed a woman sleeping in a nearby hut. She rudely remarked that it must be Amrunithavan (homeless). When the incident was reported to the guru, he remarked that rather than homeless his follower would be home for the homeless.

 

In the course of time Guru Angad, in a manner reminiscent of his own case, chose Amar Das as his successor and asked Bhai Buddha to anoint him as the next guru. Guru Angad passed away on 29 March 1552.