Guru Amar Das Ji is the third Guru of the Sikhs. He was born at Basarke in Amritsar on May 5th, 1479. Gurgaddi was bestowed upon him at the age of 73 at Khadur Sahib on March 29, 1552. He was married to Bibi Ramo Ji. He had two sons Mohan and Mohri, and two daughters, Bibi Daani Ji and Bibi Bhaani Ji. After meeting with Guru Angad Dev Ji, Guru Amar Das Ji started living at Khadur. His routine at Khadur was to get up early in the morning and fetch water from the river Beas for the Guru’s bath. After discharging other duties, he would listen to religious hymns (Gurbani).
The third Sikh Guru reinforced the teachings of the previous Gurus by organizing the construction of twenty-two centuries of religious learning for the Sikhs. Like his predecessors, he sharply criticised the practice of sati, where widows immolated themselves on the funeral pyres of their dead husbands. The Guru also required that anyone wishing to meet him would have to first partake in the common kitchen, called Langar, as a sign of equality. The Emperor Akbar, Muslim ruler of India, himself followed this tradition before meeting with the Guru.
Once, it was a dark and rainy night. It was cold outside during January, 1552. As usual, Guru Amar Das Ji went to bring water for the Guru to bathe. He filled the brass pitcher with water from the river and started his way back. Due to heavy rain, the way was filled with knee deep water. While groping through the dark, his foot stumbled against a peg of Karir tree (Capparis aphylla). He fell into the pit of a weaver’s loom. Guru Amar Das Ji held fast on to the pitcher. On hearing the crashing sound, the weaver and his wife woke up to see who it was. The weaver asked his wife, “who has fallen at our door.” Weaver’s wife grumbled and said to her husband sarcastically, “who else could he be, but the Amru Nithawan ( homeless Amru) who neither sleeps nor rests”.
Guru Amar Das Ji is known for his humility and selfless service. He preached the good values of Simran, Sewa and Humility to realise self and Akal Purakh. Guru Amar Das Ji established a missionary system to spread Sikhism. He constructed wells and water reservoirs. He compiled Bani of his successors in the shape of Mohan Pothis. He made Langar, an essential part of the Sikh congregation. Bani of Guru Amar Das Ji in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is clear and in simple words. Anand Sahib Ji (Hymn of Bliss) is a spiritual masterpiece of Guru Amar Das Ji.
He impressed upon the Emperor to abolish Jazia (Discriminatory Tax) imposed on non-Muslims. He encouraged the Sikhs to get together in the shape of Sangat. He developed the spirit of Sewa (selfless service) among the Sikhs irrespective of caste, colour and creed. He was a great reformer and rejected the caste system disagreeing with the evil custom of Sati. He took active steps in organising the Sikhs as a community.
Guru Amar Das Ji selected Bhai Jetha Ji (Ram Das), his son-in-law to be the fourth Guru of the Sikhs. The Guru left for eternal abode on September 1st, 1574 at Goindwal Sahib Ji.