On September 7,1539, the Guru assembled the Sikhs, seated Angad on his throne, placed a coconut and five paise before him and made him his successor. The Guru then ordered his people to obey, and serve Angad with the same devotion with which they had served him, since he was a living image of the Guru himself. He had displayed the three cardinal principles of complete and unshakable devotion and obedience to the Guru; dignity of labour; and love for humanity.
The Guru said, “Guruship is a position which depends on self-sacrifice, and Angad has exhibited this virtue in the highest degree. His sincere devotion, and extreme humility have won him this honour.”
Despite hearing the Guru’s reasons, his sons were displeased at being superseded by Angad. However, after appointing him his successor the Guru directed Angad to return to Khadur. A short time after this, Guru Nanak departed from this life.
Guru Angad was aware that Guru Nanak had asked him to shift to Kartarpur because he wanted to avert a conflict between him and his two sons, Lakshmi Chand and Sri Chand.
After the Guru had appointed Angad as his successor, there had been some dissent in the Guru’s family. Although he moved to Kartarpur as per Guru Nanak’s instructions, Guru Angad still felt lost without him and missed him a lot. But he knew that he had a huge responsibility and so he immersed himself in the service of the Sikhs.
The Guru-ka-langar was soon started, and his wife helped him in cooking food for the people. Gradually, the small group of Sikhs in Khadur began helping in the langar and so it was well-maintained. Guru Angad also helped the poor and the needy in every way he could. In no time, the Sikh community began to grow under the spiritual guidance of Guru Angad. The people lived in harmony and brotherhood.
Guru Angad religiously passed on the teachings of Guru Nanak and spread his light far and wide. More and more people came to hear him and to become his
followers. However involved he was in his work, Guru Angad always found time for his meditation.
One day, as he was walking about
restlessly, thinking of Guru Nanak, he met a Jat girl. She immediately recognised the Guru and ran to touch his feet and seek his blessings. She told the Guru that her name was Nihali and that she used to make cowdung cakes for fuel. She begged Guru Angad to let her do just anything for him, to show her respect for him. So touched was he by her devotion that he asked her to lend him a room if it was possible. He wanted a small, unknown place where he could hide from the world for a few days. Nihali was more than honoured to be of any service to the Guru, and she immediately vacated her room for him.
And at the Guru’s request, she made it a point to give him milk twice a day, while he shut himself in the room and reflected on Guru Nanak’s teachings.
Meanwhile, the Sikh community was
really worried and restless. At first they thought that the Guru must have gone somewhere on some urgent work, but as months passed without any news of him or from him, they feared that something was wrong. They looked everywhere for him, but he was nowhere to be seen. They decided to go to Bhai Budha and seek his help in finding the whereabouts of the Guru. A group of Sikhs left Khadur immediately for Bhai Budha’s house. Bhai Budha who had been gifted with the power of insight, immediately saw where the Guru was. He led the Sikhs to Nihali’s small hut in Khadur where they found Guru Angad deep in mediation. All the Sikhs were amazed when they saw that Guru Angad who stood before them was the mirror image of Guru Nanak.
When the Sikhs fell on his feet and begged him to come back with him, Guru Angad was hesitant. He turned to Bhai Budha who had been very close to Guru Nanak, and told him that be could not bear the separation from his Guru whom he loved so much. He also said that he would rather be burnt alive than be separated from Guru Nanak. But Bhai Budha explained that Guru Nanak had never really left them. In fact, he reminded Guru Angad that he was a part of Guru Nanak, as said by the Guru himself. He then told Guru Angad that the Sikhs needed him and it would not be proper to leave them uncared for since Guru Nanak had entrusted them all to his care.
Hearing all this, Guru Angad realised his reponsibility and agreed to come back with them.
Within no timfc, he had established a daily routine for himself and made all the Sikhs follow the same. He would wake up at dawn everyday and meditate for sometime. He would then recite the Japji with all his Sikhs gathered together. These were followed by devotional hymns in which every Sikh participated. He would then supervise the free kitchen and looked into the other matters of the Sikh community. He also had great healing powers because of which crowds of people from all over thronged outside his house.
People would also come to Guru Angad for personal and professional guidance, irrespective of their caste, creed or religion.
One such person was Malu Shah, who was an orderly in the Mughal army. He was a religious and moral man. He found it very difficult to work with other soldiers in the Mughal army as they were amoral. Malu Shah wanted Guru Angad’s advice on
whether he should stay on with them despite their bad habits, or quit the army on moral grounds. Guru Angad realised the
predicament of this man. He told him that as long as he remained faithful to his values and morals, he need not worry about others. The Guru also adviced him to stay on since he believed that one should always serve the master faithfully, irrespective of all other considerations, especially in adversity. Malu Shah’s moral conflict was resolved and his mind was put to rest, thanks to the Guru.