Why in news: The 27th November is celebrated as Guru Nanak Jayanti, who is a pioneer of Sikhism

 The Ten Sikh Gurus

There were a total of ten Sikh Gurus. Guru Nanak was followed by nine successive Gurus who not only continued his precepts and ideals but made significant contributions in evolving different institutions for the Sikh community.



Guru Nanak (1469-1539) ·         1st Sikh guru

·         Founder of Sikhism

Guru Angad Dev (1504-1552) ·         2nd Sikh guru

·         Guru Angad compiled the compositions of Guru Nanak, to which he added his own in a new script known as Gurmukhi

• Gurmukhi became the sole medium for the sacred writings of the Sikhs.

• Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs, is written in Gurmukhi script

Guru Amar Dass (1479 – 1574) He is the third Sikh Guru.

• He strengthened the Sikh movement by starting the institutions of Manjis and Piris.

Guru Ram Dass (1534 – 1581) • He is the fourth Sikh Guru. 

• He laid the foundation of the holy city of Amritsar, which later developed as the spiritual capital of the Sikh faith.

Guru Arjun Dev (1563 – 1606) • He is the fifth Sikh Guru. 

• He was the son and successor of Guru Ram Dass. 

He built the Harmandar, which is popularly known as the Golden Temple, and compiled and installed the Holy Book, the Guru Granth, therein.

Guru Hargobind (1595 – 1644) • He is the sixth Sikh Guru. 

• He built Akal Takhat, the Throne of the Immortal, and declared it as the centre of Sikh temporal authority.

Guru Har Rai (1630 – 1661)    • He is the seventh Sikh Guru. 

• He continued the mission of his predecessors.

Guru Har Kishan (1656 – 1664) • He is the eighth Sikh Guru. 

 • He cured the victims of smallpox in Delhi and is remembered in the daily Sikh prayer as the one whose very sight dispels all miseries.

Guru Teg Bahadur (1621 – 1675) • He is the ninth Sikh Guru.
Guru Govind Singh (1666 – 1708) • He is the tenth and last Sikh Guru. 

• The last Guru organised the Sikhs into a disciplined, military order of Sikh-saints called Khalsa(the pure). 

• He established the five symbols • of Sikhism: 

 ◦ Kangha (comb), 

 ◦ Kesh (long hair), 

 ◦ Kada (iron bracelet), 

 ◦ Kachcha (underwear) and 

Kirpan (sword or dagger).

11th Sikh Guru

  • Nine gurus followed Guru Nanak and there is no living human successor, but the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book, is considered the 11th Sikh Guru and eternal.
  • Apart from the hymns of the Sikh Gurus, the Guru Granth Sahib also contains the composition of the Muslim and Hindu saints, some of them belonging to the so-called lower caste of the Hindu society.
  • Therefore, the Sikh Holy Book can be considered as a unique example of the ecumenical spirit of the Sikh faith.