2. Apprenticeship

The first meeting of Amardas - aged 62 - with Guru Angad, now 37, was a sort of love and devotion at first sight He heard Guru Angad's instructions attentively and regarded him as his spiritual guide. He took up the Sadhana (spiritual effort) very seriously. First, he engaged himself in Sewa - voluntary service.Rising early in the morning, he brought water for Guru Angad's  bath; then he joined the congregation and later did manual work in the Free Kitchen - Langar - for most of the day. He studied Punjabi and Gurbani (hymns) and followed the Sikh way of life. Macauliffe mentions Amardas' routine as under: "He rose at Goindwal a watch before day and proceeded to the river Beas to take water to Khadur for the Guru to bathe. Meanwhile, he repeated the Japji and generally finished it half-way between Goindwal and Khadur. After hearing the Asa-Ki-Var in Khadur, he fetched water for the Guru's kitchen, scrubbed the cooking utensils and brought firewood from the forest. Every evening he listened to the Sodar and the daily vespers and then shampooed the Guru. After putting him to rest, he returned to Goindwal, walking backwards in his supreme reverence for his spiritual master. The half-way spot where he used every morning to finish the Japji is called the Dandama or breathing place. Meanwhile, Bhai Jetha - who later succeeded Guru Amardas - being then an orphan, moved with his grand-mother from Lahore to Basarkay in 1541. He came in contact with Bhai Amardas who lived in the same village. The later took him to Khadur from time to time for meetings with Guru Angad. When the Guru ordered Bhai Amardas to shift to Goindwal in order to repopulate and develop the village, his close associate - Bhai Jetha - too moved to Goindwal in 1546. One stormy, wintry night in January 1552, when Bhai Amardas was carrying water for Guru Angad, he stumbled on a weaver's hole in the ground and got injured. Even so, he mustered courage and brought the pail of water safe but late for the Guru's bath. It is said that the weaver' s wife, who had used disrespectful words for both Guru Angad and Bhai Amardas, lost her wits, but recovered later with the Guru's blessing. Realising the intense devotion of Bhai Amardas, Guru Angad decided to confer the succession on Amardas. During the twelve years of devoted service, in a spirit of humility and dedication, Amardas had proved himself worthy of being an ideal Sikh. Guru Angad blessed Amardas and nominated him as the Third Guru of the Sikhs in 1552. He affirmed: "Amardas is neither poor nor homeless. He shall be the home of the homeless, the shelter for the shelterless, and the protector of the weak and the down-trodden. Thus Guru Amardas gained a permanent home in the hearts of the Sikhs. As Guru Angad Dev merged into the Divine Essence, the throne of Guruship was occupied by Guru Amardas." The sons of Guru Angad were annoyed at their supersession. Datu was pacified by his mother and decided to keep quiet, but Datu declared himself as Guru. He kicked Guru Amardas in the congregation and told him to leave Goindwal. Guru Amardas in all humility kissed Datu's foot, saying: "My bones are hard. They may have injured your foot" Quietly at night, Guru Amardas left for Basarkay, his native village. In the morning, the Sikhs did not find him at Goindwal and they searched the countryside. Meanwhile at Goindwal, no one came to Datu to pay respects as the Guru. In despair, Datu returned to Khadur. Meanwhile Baba Budha traced Guru Amardas who was hiding in a small house in Basarkay. On the persistent request of his followers, he agreed to return to Goindwal and guide them as their Guru. First, he engaged himself in Sewa - voluntary service. Rising early in the morning, he brought water for Guru Angad's.