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Religion Library: Sikhism


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The ten Gurus, whom Sikhs revere as the founders of their community, lived in succession from 1469 until 1708 C.E. For Sikhs, no other humans outside of this lineage of ten hold comparable authority. Guru Nanak's authority is attributed to his experiences with the Shabad (divine word) and his life of piety. He did not claim to be a divine being. Guru Nanak's social position was probably one of some influence. His father and his wife's father were both part of the revenue collection apparatus of the state. One of Guru Nanak's most important associates at Sultanpur, and subsequent disciple, Daulat Khan Lodhi, became an influential figure in setting up Mughal rule in India. Guru Nanak himself spoke out against the status quo, including the power of the Mughals. At his community in Kartarpur, Guru Nanak himself worked the fields, and his successor, Guru Angad was selected in part because of his work ethic and selfless service.

The Ten GurusBirth year (CE)Guru Period (CE)
Guru Nanak1469until 1539
Guru Angad15041539-1552
Guru Amardas15031552-1574
Guru Ramdas15341574-1581
Guru Arjan15631581-1606
Guru Hargobind15951606-1644
Guru Harrai16301644-1661
Guru Harkrishan16561661-1664
Guru Teg Bahadur16211664-1675
Guru Gobind Singh16611675-1708