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Guru Nanak Dev Ji the First Sikh Guru ( 1469- 1539 A.D)
This coloring page of Guru Nanak is based on the painting of the Guru done by artist Jodh Singh done over 150 years ago.
Guru Nanak was born in the year 1469 A.D which is over 300 years ago and therefore cannot be an exact likeness of the Guru, but only a vision of the artist.
When doing such paintings where we don't have enough reference material, artists usually take their clues by reading the written histories and also by the current style of painting and societal practices.
Here Guru Nanak is shown sitting crosslegged under a tree with a background of mountains. He has a long flowing beard and wears a turban. In his hand he holds a rosary. He is also wearing a necklace, around his neck and on his turban, made of seeds called "rudraksh". Many of these items e.g the rosary beads, long beard, the pose and location are associated with saints of those times, who meditated in the mountains.
Learn more about Guru Nanak and his times by reading the book "Journey with the Guru" by Inni Kaur
Guru Arjan Dev the Fifth Sikh Guru (1563–1606 A.D.)
The artist, Kirpal Singh has depicted the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev in this painting. This day is commemorated on 16th June every year.
Did you know that Guru Arjan Dev was the first “Sikh Martyr”?
Guru Arjan Dev included the compositions of both Hindu and Muslim saints which he considered consistent with the teachings of Sikhism. On 16th June 1606, the mughul Emperor Jahangir ordered that he be tortured and sentenced to death after he refused to remove all Islamic and Hindu references from the Holy book. He was made to sit on a burning hot sheet while boiling hot sand was poured over his body. After enduring five days of unrelenting torture Guru Arjan was taken for a bath in the river. As thousands watched he entered the river never to be seen again.
Sikhs commemorate this tragic event by offering cool sherbats (sweetened drinks) to all in the searing heat in India.
Guru Hargobind the Sixth Sikh Guru (1595 – 1644 A.D.)
Guru Hargobind was born in Wadali, India and breathed his last at Kiratpur, India. His father was Guru Arjan and his mother was Mata Ganga Ji. His wives were Mata Damodri Ji, Mata Nanaki Ji, and Mata Mahan Devi Ji. He had five sons and a daughter.
After the death of Guru Arjan, the Sikh community went through a profound change. For 100 years, they had developed a deep meditative tradition founded in peace and tolerance. After the sacrifice of his father, however, Guru Hargobind recognized the need for the community to be able to defend itself. This started the martial practice of the Sikhs. Guru Hargobind became a powerful warrior and trained the Sikhs to fight.
Guru Har Rai, the Seventh Sikh Guru (1595-1644 A.D.)
Amrit bani har har teri, sun sun hove param gat meri
Guru Hargobind’s fourteen year old grandson Har Rai, born on 30th January, 1630 A.D. at Kiratpur, succeeded his grandfather Guru Hargobind to the Gurugaddi after he passed away in 1644. Neither of his two sons, Surajmal and Tegh Bahadur, was willing to take up the responsibility of leading and guiding the community of Sikhs. Tegh Bahadur, though a recluse when his father Guru Hargobind died, later was nominated the Sikhs’ Ninth Guru.
Guru Har Rai continued the practice of Miri and Piri and maintained a splendid court and a company of 200 mounted soldiers as his personal guard, yet he felt the proportion of Miri in Sikhism was gradually mounting with a result that in the life of an average Sikh the ‘spiritual’ was seen usually sub serving the ‘material’. He did not, hence, have much preference for warfare and chose rather the solitude of hills where, while meditating within, he was able to explore and collect his energies for applying them to consolidate the spiritual part of Sikhism. He believed that in the Sikh tradition warfare was an eventuality and spiritualism its essence.
Guru Tegh Bahadur, the Ninth Sikh Guru (1621–1675 A.D.)
Guru Tegh Bahadur whose name literally means “brave swordsman”, spent his early life in his birthplace Ramdaspur (built 1577; modern Amritsar), considered a divine town in the Sikh belief system, which even today remains an important center of Sikh faith and pilgrimage. Guru Tegh Bahadur was an accomplished poet whose compositions were added to the existing body of sacred texts. He was also the most widely traveled leader after Guru Nanak, which enabled him to strengthen ties between Sikh congregations in distant places. In 1675, the Guru was arrested and publicly executed in Delhi.
Guru Tegh Bahadur is here depicted in the conventions of portraiture developed under the Mughal rulers of north India (1526–1857) and which continued at royal courts elsewhere. He is shown standing in profile, dressed simply yet elegantly, against a plain background. The halo around his head indicates his position as a spiritual leader; it is a device used also for indicating a ruler’s status. With the hunting falcon in his hand, Guru Tegh Bahadur is presented in this painting more as a cultured and cosmopolitan ruler than as the ninth Sikh guru.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the Tenth Sikh Guru (1666 – 1708 A.D.)
Guru Gobind Singh Ji was the 10th and the last human Guru of the Sikhs. He was the son of Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, the 9th Guru and took the guruship in 1675, aged 9. Guru Gobind Singh Ji held the guruship for 33 years, until he left for heavenly abode in 1708.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji was a great scholar studying Persian, Sanskrit, Brig Bhasha and Arabic but also a great military genius. Guru Gobind Singh Ji accepted the use of power and the sword to fight tyranny in defence of religious freedom when other approaches failed. He fought twelve battles and the Guru’s four sons (Char Sahib Zaday) were killed in campaigns against tyranny.