Today the Sikhs commemorate the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth Guru and the first Sikh Martyr. On 16 June 1606, the Mughal Emperor Jahangir ordered that the Guru be tortured and sentenced to death after the Guru refused to stop preaching his message of God as started by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The tyrants made the Guru sit on a hot iron plate, poured hot sand on him, kept him bereft of food and water, and immersed him in boiling hot water. But Guru Arjan Dev Ji bore the torture calmly, meditating, “tera kiya meetha laage…”( whatever you do Lord, tastes sweet). On the fifth day of torture, The Guru went to bathe in the river and became one with the water, his body was nowhere to be found.
Traditionally every year his sacrifice is remembered and various samaagam are organized worldwide in which prayers are made to Guru Arjan Dev Ji and his message of peace and courage is meditated on by the followers.
In Guru Arjan Dev Ji’s memory, today along with parshaad, the Sikh Gurudwara Committee in Ranchi, distributed saplings to all those who gathered in the samaagam. It is a thoughtful move as awareness about environment protection is the need of the hour.
These saplings will in the future become trees that will help in water retention, evade soil erosion and provide fresh non polluted air. Another brilliant initiative of blood donation was set up where anyone between the age of 16-60 was physically fit could help save a life. Volunteers who donated their blood remembered the Guru’s preaching and his message to help make the world a better place.
Guru Arjan Dev Ji’s contribution to the world has been immeasurable. He laid the foundation of the Golden Temple in Amritsar and designed the four doors in the Gurudwara, stating that,” My faith is for the people of all castes and all creeds from whichever direction they come and to whichever direction they bow.” Therefore, in times when religion has just become a tool to create rifts in our diverse nation, when hatred and desperateness is spread like a wild fire, we all need to remember the sacrifice of a great Martyr and imbibe his teachings in our lives.