Gurdwara Ramsar Sahib Amritsar


Gurdwara Ramsar Sahib Amritsar stands alongside the Ramsar sarovar, the smallest of Amritsar‘s five holy sarovars. Located near Chativind Gate, on the south-eastern side of the walled city of Amritsar, the present Gurdwara Ramsar is a small marble-lined hall topped by a gilded, fluted lotus dome.

It was built in 1855 at the site of the original shrine, where long before the present Gurdwara was constructed, Guru Arjun Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru who was looking for a quiet spot away from the growing city of Amritsar, chose this site as the spot where the Guru Granth Sahib would take form.

Among the other famous historical shrines located in the city of Amritsar is the Ramsar Gurudwara situated on the bank of the pool of the same name. Located north-east from the Golden Temple, this place is, where Guru Arjun Dev for a year or more went into seclusion along with his scribe, the great savant Bhai Gurdas to compile the holy Adi Granth. The sacred volume was completed in 1604 and installed with due honor and ceremonies in the Harmandir Sahib In this holy book, Guru Arjun Dev collected the hymns of first four Gurus, namely Guru Nanak, Guru Angad, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das and adding his own compositions as well as selections from the writings of the Hindu and Muslim mystic saints.

The selection for the holy scripture was based on the principle of the unity of God and the brotherhood of mankind. In this unique holy book is preserved the purity (‘f the scriptures, embodying, the philosophy of the Gurus for the perpetual guidance of the Sikhism and other faiths.

Location where Adi Granth was complied

It was the year 1603, after the completion of the Harimandir Sahib in 1601, that the beloved Guru choose this once secluded, shady spot, about 1km away from the bustle of the town growing around the Harmandar Sahib, that the Guru set about collecting the hymns of the first four Gurus, Guru Nanak, Guru Angad, Guru Amar Das and Guru Ram Das.

Although there was plenty of cooling shade trees around and the spot provided the quiet that the Guru needed, the cooling breezes of the Amrit Sarovar were far away. To make the surroundings more agreeable, Guru ji had a small tank dug, which he named Ramsar after his father Guru Ram Das. He and his scribe, Bhai Gurdas spent over a year at the site in semi-seclusion. To the teachings of the earlier Gurus, Guruji added his own compositions, as well as selections from the writings of several Hindu Sants and Muslim Pirs that shared the principles of Sikhism.

Completion of the Granth

After the completion of the Adi Granth (lit. First Book) in 1604 the Adi Granth was installed, with due honor and ceremony, in the Harimandir Sahib. Today the Adi Granth is known as the Guru Granth Sahib; the sacred Sikh scripture. The Guru Granth Sahib, which now spans 1430 pages, was installed by Guru Gobind Singh as the Eternal Guru of the Sikhs, shortly before his death. This unique holy book preserves the purity of the scriptures, embodying, the philosophy of the Gurus for the perpetual guidance of Sikhism, as well as other faiths.

This holy Adi Granth was arranged according to the musical measures or notes in which they were intended to be sung. The holy book was given the status of the Guru by Guru Gobind Singh. Just before he left for his abode in heaven on October 7, 1708, in his wisdom he proclaimed, “Accept Guru Granth Sahib as the visible image of the Guru. Those whose hearts are pure can find the truth in the shabad”. This was the last injunction to the Sikhs of the Tenth Guru. He put an end to apostolic succession and enjoined upon the Sikhs to look upon the Granth Sahib as their only Guru in future. There lies the importance of the place where this sacred volume was compiled by Guru Arjun Dev. Gurudwara Ramsar is held in great reverence by the Sikhs.

The “Psalm of Peace”

This spot was also where Guru Arjan composed his famous Sukhmani (the “Psalm of Peace”). As this site marks the exact location of the Guru’s labours and the formal beginning of the Sikh scripture, it is only natural that this place where the current, perpetual and honoured Sikh Guru, the Guru Granth Sahib was first created, is a site of special significance for all Sikhs.

Gurudwara Ramsar stands on the bank of the Ramsar sarovar, near Chativind Gate, on the southeastern side of the walled city. After the completion of the Harimandar, Guru Arjan undertook the compilation of Adi Granth, the Holy Book, now revered as Guru Granth Sahib. For this task, he chose a se-cluded site. The spot selected was then a shady nook, one km away from the bustle of the town. To make the surroundings more agreeable, he had a tank dug which was named Ramsar after Guru Ram Das. Here, Guru Arjan composed his famous Sukhmani, the Psalm of Peace, and with Bhai Gurdas as his scribe compiled the Adi Granth during 1603-04. The present Gurdwara Ramsar, a small marble-lined hall topped by a gilded, fluted lotus dome built in 1855, marks the site of the Guru’s labours.

The five sacred pools of Amritsar

Many sacred Sikh shrines can be found in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar. Of particular importance are the five sacred pools in this city. These are called sarovars and it is the practice of some Sikhs to have a dip in all five of these holy pools. The ritual, apart from being good exercise, acquaints one with the importance of these five sites. These five holy Sarovars are: Amritsar (1586) sarovar, Santokhsar , Ramsar, Kaulsar, Bibeksar . Among these famous five historical shrines is the famous Gurdwara, Ramsar. This is located south to south-east of the most important landmark for the Sikhs, Harimandir Sahib.


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