Guru Ramdas Sahib (Jetha ji) was born at
Chuna Mandi, Lahore (in Pakistan), on Kartik Vadi 2nd, (25th Assu)
Samvat 1591 (September 24, 1534). Son of Mata Daya Kaur ji (Anup Kaur
ji) and Baba Hari Das ji Sodhi Khatri was very handsome and promising
child. His parents were too poor to meet even the daily needs and he
had to earn his bread by selling boiled grams. His parents died when
he was just 7 year old. His grandmother (mother's, mother) took him to
her native village Basarke. He spent five years at village Basarke
earning his bread by selling boiled grams. According to some
chronicles, once Guru Amardas Sahib came village Basarke to condole
with the grandmother of (Guru) Ramdas Sahib at the death of her
son-in-law and developed deep affection for (Guru) Ramdas Sahib. Along
with grandmother he left for Goidwal Sahib to settle there. There he
resumed his profession of selling boiled grams and also began to take
part in the religious congregation held by Guru Amardas Sahib. He also
made active participation in the development of Goindwal Sahib.
(Guru) Ramdas Sahib was married to Bibi Bhani Ji (daughter of Guru
Amardas Sahib). She bore him three sons: Prithi Chand Ji, Mahadev Ji
and Arjan Sahib (Guru) Ji. After the marriage he stayed with his
father-in-law and deeply associated himself with the Guru Ghar
activities (Sikhism). He commanded full confidence of Guru Amardas
Sahib and often accompanied him when the latter went on long
missionary tours to different parts of India.
(Guru) Ramdas Sahib was a man of considerable merit. He became famous
for his piety, devotion, energy and eloquence. Guru Amardas Sahib
found him capable in every respect and worthy of the office of
Guruship and installed him as Fourth Nanak on september 1, 1574. Guru
Ramdas Sahib laid the foundation stone of Chak Ramdas or Ramdas Pur,
which is now called Amritsar. For this purpose he purchased land from
the zamindars of the villages: Tung, Gilwali and Gumtala, and began
digging of Santokhsar Sarover. Later on he suspended the work on
Santokhsar and concentrated his attention on digging Amritsar Sarovar.
Bhai Sahlo Ji and Baba Budha Ji, the two devoted Sikhs were assigned
the supervising work.
The new city (Chak Ramdas Pur) flourished soon as it was situated at
the centre of international trade routes. It grew into an important
center of trade in Punjab after Lahore. Guru Ramdas Sahib himself
invited many merchants and artisans from the different walks of life
and trades. Later on, it proved to be step of far-reaching importance.
It provided a common place of worship to the Sikhs and paved the way
for the future guidelines for the Sikhism as a different religion.
Guru Ramdas Sahib introduced Masand system in place of Manji system
and this step played a great role in the consolidation of Sikhism.
Guru Ramdas Sahib strengthened the Sikhism a step further by
composing Four Lawans and advised the Sikhs to recite them in order to
solemnize the marriages of their children. Thus he introduced a new
matrimonial system based upon Sikhism instead of Hindu's Vedi system.
Thus this distinct marriage code for the Sikhs separated them from the
orthodox and traditional Hindu system. also made rapprochement with
different sects of Udasis through Baba Shri Chand Ji. He, like his
predecessors carried forward the tradition of Guru ka Langer.
Superstitions, caste system and pilgrimages were strongly decried.
He wrote 638 hymns in 30 ragas, these include 246 Padei 138 Saloks,
31 Ashtpadis and 8 Vars and are a part of Guru Granth Sahib. He
nominated his youngest son (Guru) Arjan Sahib as Fifth Nanak. After
this he left Amritsar and retired to Goindwal Sahib. There, after a
few days he passed away for heaven on Bhadon Sudi 3rd (2nd Assu)
Samvat 1638 (September 1, 1581).