Martyrdom Day of Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji – May 23, 2023

Guru Arjun Dev Ji Martyrdom Day or the ‘Shaheedi Diwas’ is on May 23 this year. It holds every year on Day 24 of Jeth — the third month in the Sikh calendar. This day is of great religious value to Sikhs worldwide. Guru Arjun Dev Ji was the first martyr of the Sikh religion and is known for his great work. People organize religious events on this day and read the “Sri Guru Granth Sahib.” They also distribute food in the ‘langars’ of the ‘gurudwara’ — a community eating practice whereby all visitors receive free food.

History of Martyrdom Day of Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji

Guru Arjun Dev Ji was born in April 1563 in Goindwal, India. His father was Guru Ramdas and his mother was Mata Bhani. His maternal grandfather and great-grandfather were Guru Amardas and Guru Ramdas, respectively. After his father’s death, he became the fifth of ten Sikh gurus in 1581 at 18 years.

After his untimely death by the Mughals, his son became the sixth Guru in 1606. His son’s succession caused much controversy. The choice of Arjan, his youngest son, as a successor led to many disputes and divisions among the Sikhs. Prithi Chand vehemently opposed Guru Arjan and created a factional sect. Guru Arjan’s followers formed Minas — an alliance with the breakaway faction.

He is known for his initiative to build the Golden Temple or the Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar in 1604. He also designed the four doors in a gurdwara and proclaimed that his faith was for people of all castes. In August 1604, he compiled the “Guru Granth Sahib,” which comprises the writings of all past Gurus in one book. He followed the Masands system initiated by Guru Ram Das, which suggested that Sikhs donate at least one-tenth of their income to the Sikh organization ‘dasvand,’ which financed the building of gurudwaras and langars. In 1606, he was imprisoned in Lahore Fort and tortured and executed by the Mughal emperor, Jahangir, who had imposed a fine and erased some hymns he found offensive.

Martyrdom Day of Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji timeline

1563
Birth of a Guru

Guru Arjun Dev Ji is born to Guru Ramdas and Mata Bhani in Goindwal, India in April.

1581
The Fifth Guru

He becomes the fifth of ten Sikh gurus at 18 years old.

1604
Golden Temple and “Guru Granth Sahib”

He takes the initiative to build the Golden Temple in Amritsar and compile the “Guru Granth Sahib” — a single book containing the writings of all past Gurus.

1606
Imprisonment and Death

He is imprisoned in Lahore Fort, tortured, and executed by Jahangir.

Martyrdom Day of Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji FAQs

When was Guru Arjun Dev Ji martyred?

Guru Arjun Dev Ji was the first Sikh martyred in 1606. Guru Tegh Bahadur is another Sikh martyr.

Why was Guru Arjun Dev Ji martyred?

Because of his increasing popularity as a spiritual leader, Jahangir killed Guru Arjun Dev Ji.

Who built the Golden Temple?

Guru Ram Das started building the Golden Temple. Guru Arjun Dev Ji later supervised the construction of the temple.

How to Observe Martyrdom Day of Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji

  1. Read the “Guru Granth Sahib”

    Read the “Guru Granth Sahib” to commemorate the memory of Guru Arjun Dev Ji. Learn more about the gurus and their work toward humanity.

  2. Visit the Golden Temple

    See the Golden Temple in all its glory. Dip in the holy water surrounding the temple for a pious experience.

  3. Set up langar

    Follow the Guru Arjun Dev Ji’s teaching of donating and setting up langars. Feed everyone with love and open arms.

5 Facts About Guru Arjun Dev Ji

  1. He was highly educated

    Arjun Dev Ji was under the supervision of Guru Amar Das and Guru Baba Budh Ji, and also received education in Gurumukhi, Sanskrit, Devanagari, Maths, and meditation.

  2. He got married in 1589

    He was married to Mata Ganga, the daughter of Bhai Krishna Chand, who birthed Hargobind Singh — the sixth guru of the Sikhs.

  3. He wrote “Sukhmani Sahib Bani”

    While compiling the “Guru Granth Sahib,” Guru Arjun Dev Ji added 2,000 hymns himself and wrote the “Sukhmani Sahib Bani.”

  4. Festival of Sri Guru Granth Sahib

    A light festival was held in 1604 after he finished compiling the “Sri Guru Granth Sahib.”

  5. Guru Arjun Dev Ji was very popular

    He was a popular spiritual leader; people of different faiths and religions met him for blessings.

Why Martyrdom Day of Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji is Important

  1. It celebrates humanity

    This day is a celebration of life for all religions and acceptance of everyone. It celebrates peace and harmony.

  2. It commemorates Shri Guru Arjun Dev Ji

    It commemorates Shri Guru Arjun Dev Ji and his work. It also celebrates his noble life and dedication to a cause.

  3. It is very historic

    This day has a great history. It’s associated with the Gurus in Sikhism.

Martyrdom Day of Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji dates

YearDateDay
2022June 3Friday
2023May 23Tuesday
2024June 10Monday
2025May 30Friday
2026June 18Thursday

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