Guru Ram Das was the fourth of Sikhism’s ten Gurus. He carried on the traditions of the first three Sikh gurus and made significant contributions to Sikhism’s development. He is particularly admired for planning and constructing Ramdaspur, which eventually became Amritsar, the Sikhs’ holiest city. Jetha was nurtured by religious and diligent Hindu parents in a Sodhi Khatri family in Lahore. From a young age, he was spiritually inclined and sought the company of religious persons. He met a group of Sikhs on their way to Goindwal to pay respect to Guru Amar Das when he was a young man and decided to join them. He became the guru’s follower after meeting him and being strongly touched by his holiness. He put in long hours under the guru’s guidance and gave his all to him. Guru Amar Das was so taken with the young man’s dedication that he married him to his daughter. Guru Amar Das chose Jetha as his successor because he remained a loyal Sikh who was completely dedicated to the service of God and humanity. Following the death of his predecessor, Jetha assumed the Guru Gaddi as Guru Ram Das.
Childhood and Adolescence
Guru Ram Das was born on October 9, 1534, as Bhai Jetha into a Sodhi Khatri family in Chuna Mandi, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. Har Das and Daya Vati (also known as Anup Devi) were his parents, an industrious and religious couple.
Jetha was a pleasant and tranquil child who had always had a spiritual bent. He enjoyed spending time with pious folks and having meaningful conversations with them.
He once came across a group of Sikhs on their way to Goindwal to pay their respects to Guru Amar Das. He made the decision to accompany them. Guru Amar Das quickly recognized the pious young man’s dedication as he received the visitors. The guru had a strong influence on Jetha as well.
Jetha decided to stay behind and become a disciple of the guru when the group he was traveling with left for Lahore.
A Later Years
Jetha was a powerful young guy who believed in the value of hard work. He toiled away at the several construction projects in Goindwal that were being overseen by the guru.
With time, he earned the respect of Guru Amar Das, who was impressed by his dedication and hard work. In 1554, the guru decided to marry him to his daughter, and the wedding took place.
Following their marriage, the pair stayed in Goindwal and worked together to develop the area as a future Sikh town. They assisted in the construction of the Baoli Sahib (holy well) and continued to serve the guru as volunteers (Sewa).
In the late 1560s, some enraged Hindus reported to Mughal Emperor Akbar that Guru Amar Das’ Sikhism teachings mocked both Hindu and Muslim beliefs. The Emperor sent a special messenger to Goindwal after receiving the complaint, asking Guru Amar Das to visit him.
Because Guru Amar Das was unable to travel due to his advanced age, he sent Bhai Jetha to represent Sikhism. Jetha effectively represented the guru in front of Akbar and answered all of the Mughal emperor’s questions. Akbar was so taken aback by Jetha’s response that he dismissed all allegations against the guru.
In 1564, Jetha began construction on Santokhsar Sarovar near Sultanwind and later founded Ramdaspur, which became the Sikh holy city of Amritsar. He created the Harmandir Sahib, commonly known as the Darbaar Sahib or Golden Temple, in Amritsar.
Bhai Jetha was chosen as Guru Amar Das’ successor. On August 30, 1574, he called him Guru Ram Das and bestowed the title of Sikh Guru upon him. Guru Amar Das died on September 1, 1574, leaving Guru Ram Das to continue the Sikh Gurus’ legacy.
For seven years, Guru Ram Das was the Sikh leader. He wrote a large number of hymns, 688 of which are included in the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh highest Granth. His compositions are also incorporated in Sikhs’ daily prayers, Rehras Sahib and Kirtan Sohila.
His Major Projects
Guru Ram Das is well known for founding Amritsar, which was previously known as Ramdaspur. In 1574, he founded it on land purchased for 700 rupees from the owners of Tung village. The guru then created the gurdwara Harmandir Sahib, which means “God’s House.” The gurdwara, also known as the Golden Temple, is one of India’s most well-known tourist sites.
‘Laavan,’ a four-stanza song about the significance of marriage, was one of his many hymns. The pair circumscribes the Guru Granth Sahib as each stanza of the Laavan is read during the traditional Sikh marriage rite known as the Anand Karaj.
Personal History and Legacy
Guru Amar Das’ younger daughter, Bibi Bhani, was his wife. Prithi Chand, Mahadev, and Arjan were their three sons. As his successor, he chose his son Arjan.
Guru Ram Das died in the Punjabi city of Amritsar on September 1, 1581.
Estimated Net worth
Ram Dass was a spiritual teacher and author from the United States with a net worth of $100,000 at the time of his death. Ram died far “poorer” than he could have been due to decades of tremendous kindness. Every year, Ram Dass gave up all of his book royalties to charity.