Arjan Dev

Guru Arjan (; 15 April 1563 – 30 May 1606) was the first Sikh martyr and the fifth of the eleven Sikh Gurus, who compiled writings to create the eleventh, the living Guru, Guru Granth Sahib. He was born in Goindval, Punjab the youngest son of Guru Ram Das and Bibi Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das. He was the first Sikh Guru put on trial and executed by the Mughal Empire. Guru Arjan lived as the Guru of Sikhism for a quarter of a century. Guru Arjan completed the construction of Amritsar and founded other cities, such as Taran Taran and Kartarpur. The greatest contribution he made to the Sikh faith was to compile all of the past Gurus’ writings, along with selected writings of other saints from different backgrounds which he considered consistent with the teachings of Sikhism into one book, now the holy scripture: the Guru Granth Sahib. It is, perhaps, the only script which still exists in the form first published (a hand-written manuscript) by the Guru. Guru Arjan organised the Masand system, a group of representatives who taught and spread the teachings of the Gurus and also received the Dasvand, partial offering of a Sikh’s income (in money, goods or service) that Sikhs paid to support the building of Gurdwara Sahib, Langar (shared communal kitchens) originally intended to share with sense of love, respect and equality, still an important element today in any Gurdwara. The Langars were open to any visitors and were designed from the start to stress the idea of equality and a casteless society.