Guru Arjun Dev (1563-1606): Period of Gurudum (1581-1606):
Guru Arjun Dev, the fifth Guru of the Sikhs was a contemporary of emperor Akbar and Jahangir.
The emperor Jahangir got him murdered at Lahore on May 30, 1606 and the Sikhs remember this sacrifice of the Guru as a ‘martyrdom’ in the cause of Sikh religion.
Chief events of the life of Guru Arjun Dev:
1. Establishment of the Hari Mandir/Holy Mandir/Golden Temple:
The temple is considered to be one of the most important pilgrimage centres of the Sikhs.
2. Completion of the construction of the city of Amritsar:
On account of the efforts of the Guru, the construction of city was completed.
3. Compilation of the Adi Granth:
The Adi Granth considered to be the perpetual Guru of the Sikhs, (Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th and the last Guru declared that after him there would be no human being as Guru of the Sikhs) was compiled in 1604 with the help of Bhai Mohan and Bhai Guru Das.
4. Construction of several cities and ponds:
Under the inspiration of Guru Arjun Dev, many cities like Taran Taran, Kartarpur and Gobindpur were built. Later on all the cities and ponds built during the period became sacred places of pilgrimage of the Sikh faith.
5. Encouragement of the ‘Mansad’ system:
Under this system, started by the 4th Guru, Ram Das, devoted workers went to various places for the collection of money to be spent for the development of the Sikh faith. Guru Arjun Dev made it compulsory for every Sikh to devote 1/10 of his income as a sort of subscription for the promotion of the religion.
6. Stress on a disciplined way of life:
He instructed all his followers to follow the teachings of the Guru very strictly.
7. Martyrdom of Guru Arjun Dev:
Relations of the Guru Arjun Dev remained very cordial with emperor Akbar but during Jahangir’s time, the relations turned an ugly and sad turn. Historians have greatly differed on the reasons of the conflict.
(i) Religious bigotry of Jahangir.
(ii) Help or blessings given by the Guru to prince Khusru who rose in revolt against Jahangir.
(iii) Compilation of ‘Adi Granth’ and Jahangir’s charge that it contained many things against Islam and his insistence upon including the message of Prophet Muhammad in it.
(iv) Conspiracies of nobles and others.
The imprisonment, torture and execution of Guru Aijun Dev by emperor Jahangir led to a great bitterness between the Sikhs and the Mughal rulers.