guru


guru
guruship, n.
/goor"ooh, goo rooh"/, n.
1. Hinduism. a preceptor giving personal religious instruction.
2. an intellectual or spiritual guide or leader.
3. any person who counsels or advises; mentor: The elder senator was her political guru.
4. a leader in a particular field: the city's cultural gurus.
[1820-30; < Hindi guru < Skt guru venerable, weighty]

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Title of the first 10 leaders of Sikhism.

The first was Nanak, who before his death (1539) began the tradition that allowed the Guru to name his successor. He was followed by Angad (1539–1552), Amar Das, Ramdas (1574–1581), Arjan, Hargobind, Hari Rai, Hari Krishen (1661–1664), Tegh Bahadur (1664–1675), and Gobind Singh. In time the Guru became as much a military as a spiritual leader. Gobind Singh discontinued the office in 1708 and vested its authority in the Sikh sacred scripture, the Adi Granth. See also guru.

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      in Sikhism, any of the first 10 leaders of the Sikh religion of northern India. The word Sikh is derived from the Sanskrit śiṣya (“disciple”), and all Sikhs are disciples of the Gurū (spiritual guide, or teacher). The first Sikh Gurū, Nānak, established the practice of naming his successor before his death (1539), and from the time of Rām Dās, the fourth to reign, the Gurūs all came from one family. Gurū Nānak also emphasized the mystical transference of the personality of the Gurū from one individual to another “as one lamp lights another,” and many of his successors used as a pseudonym the name Nānak.

      As the Sikhs developed from a pacifist to a militant sect, the role of the Gurū took on some of the features of a military leader in addition to the traditional ones of a spiritual guide. Two Sikh leaders, Gurū Arjun and Gurū Tegh Bahādur, were executed by order of the reigning Mughal emperor on grounds of political opposition.

      The 10th and last Gurū, Gobind Singh, before his death (1708) declared the end of the succession of personal Gurūs. From that time on, the religious authority of the Gurū was considered to be vested in the sacred scripture, the Ādi Granth, while the secular authority rested with the elected representatives of the Sikh community, the panth. The 10 Sikh Gurūs and the dates of their reigns were:

      1. Nānak (d. 1539), the son of a Hindu revenue official, who attempted in the new religion founded by him to bring together the best features of both Hinduism and Islām.

      2. Aṅgad (Angad) (1539–52), a disciple of Nānak, traditionally given credit for developing Gurmukhi, the script used to write down the Sikh scriptures.

      3. Amar Dās (Amar Das) (1552–74), a disciple of Aṅgad.

      4. Rām Dās (1574–81), the son-in-law of Amar Dās, and the founder of the city of Amritsar.

      5. Arjun (Arjan) (1581–1606), the son of Rām Dās, and the builder of the Harimandir (Golden Temple), the most famous place of pilgrimage for the Sikhs.

      6. Hargobind (1606–44), the son of Arjun.

      7. Har Rāī (Har Rai) (1644–61), the grandson of Hargobind.

      8. Hari Krishen (1661–64), the son of Har Rāī; he died of smallpox at the age of eight.

      9. Tegh Bahādur (1664–75), the son of Hargobind.

      10. Gobind Rāī (1675–1708), who assumed the name Gobind Singh after founding the fraternity known as the Khālsā.

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Universalium. 2010.

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