Early Life: Guru Angad Dev Ji

Bhai Lehna, who was to become Guru Angad Dev later, was born on March 31,1504, to a trader named Pheru Mai and his wife Daya Kaur, in the village of Harike, Punjab. His mother was a devotee of Goddess Durga, and it was under her influence that he too started worshipping this Goddess.

When he came of age, he was married to a lady named Khivi, a native of Matte di Sarai, which was incidentally his father’s ancestral town. It was to this same town that Angad’s father moved back after some time. Here, Khivi gave birth to three children — a daughter, Amro, and two sons named Dasu and Datu.

When their village was sacked by the Mughals and Baloches, Angad and his family had to move to Khadur, a small town near Tarn Taran in Amritsar district. However, soon after this, his father expired and the responsibility of the entire family came on his shoulders.

As he was a pious devotee of Goddess Durga, he used to conduct pilgrimage tours to Jwalamukhi, a holy place from where a volcanic flame is supposed to represent Goddess Durga.

One day, early in the morning when

Lehna was meditating deeply, he happened to hear a very beautiful hymn. It was so captivating that he was unable to concentrate on his meditation. He strained his ears to hear it clearly. As he listened to those beautiful words, he felt a strange emotion unlike any he had experienced before. The devotional hymn had moved him so deeply, that he began to feel restless. The verse he heard, sounded like this:

“There is but one God/His name is Truth/ He is the creator/He hears none/Nor does He nurse ill-will for anyone/He is immortal/ neither is He born nor does He die/He is selfexistent/He is reached by the Guru’s favour.”

When Lehna could not stay still any longer, he got up and went to see who was singing this verse. He was surprised to see that it was his neighbour, Bhai Jodha. He immediately went over to his house to ask whose hymns it was that he was singing. Bhai Jodha told him about Guru Nanak who lived in Kartarpur, and when Lehna wanted to know more, he even told him about some of his teachings. The more Lehna learnt about Guru Nanak, the more he wanted to meet him. There was something about the Guru’s teachings which touched him deeply. He even told his family and a few of his friends about his desire to meet the Guru, but they were completely against it. They told him that their whole family worshipped Goddess Durga and it would not be right to worship anyone else, especially since, they were heading towards Jwalamukhi to pay their respects to Goddess Durga.

Lehna felt really distressed at not being able to visit Guru Nanak, since he was the leader of the group visiting Goddess Durga’s temple. He was so restless that he could not sleep at night. He longed to see the Guru and hear his golden words, but he knew he would be doing wrong to abandon the group midway.

He tried to console himself by saying that he would go and see the Guru the day after their return to Khadur.

Though the thought comforted him a little, he was still very depressed. So spellbound was he by the divine words of Guru Nanak’ s hymns that he could not think of anything else. He would often pray to Guru Nanak hoping that the Guru would hear his prayers.

He went around with the other pilgrims, but his heart was somewhere else. One night, he made his decision. He decided to leave the party quietly since he knew that they would do their best to dissuade him. And so, that very night, he mounted his horse and left for Kartarpur.

So great was his joy when he finally reached the outskirts of Kartarpur, that he felt as though he had been born again. He was elated at finally being so close to his Guru. He felt rejuvenated by just entering the city where Guru Nanak lived. He looked forward to meeting his Guru eagerly.

While he was proceeding to Kartarpur he met a tall, strong and cheerful old man. When Bhai Lehna asked him the way to Guru Nanak’s place, the old man gently

replied,”You can come with me, as I am going that way myself.”

Bhai Lehna readily agreed, and followed the old man on his horse. On reaching the place the old man told him to go inside, and meet the Guru. When Lehna entered the house he was surprised to see the same person seated on the Guru’s throne. He felt very ashamed as he had ridden his horse while the Guru had walked the entire distance. He asked Guru Nanak to forgive him, and only when the Guru told him that he had done nothing wrong, and that it was the host’s duty to serve his guests, was Lehna pacified.

On hearing Guru Nanak’s discourse, Bhai Lehna threw away the bells which he had procured to dance before the flame Goddess Jwalamukhi. After this, he was a changed man. He started living at Kartarpur and decided to henceforth, dedicate himself to the service of Guru Nanak.