Guru Angad was the second of the ten Sikh Gurus. He was born in the village of Sarae Naga in Muktsar District in Punjab on 31 March 1504. The name Lehna was given shortly after his birth as was the custom of his Hindu parents. He was the son of a small but successful trader named Pheru Mal. His mother's name was Mata Ramo (also known as Mata Sabhirai, Mansa Devi and Daya Kaur). Baba Narayan Das Trehan was the Guru's Grandfather, whose ancestral house was at Matte-di-Sarai near Mukatsar.
In 1538, Guru Nanak chose Lehna—his disciple—to be his successor as Sikhism's Guru, rather than one of his sons. Lehna was then given the name Angad and designated as Guru Angad, becoming the second guru of the Sikhs. He continued on the work started by the first Sikh Guru. Guru Angad married Mata Khivi in January 1520 and had two sons (Dasu and Datu) and two daughters (Amro and Anokhi). The entire family of his father had left their ancestral village in fear of the invasion of Babar's armies. After this the family settled at Khadur Sahib, a village by the River Beas near what is now Tarn Taran a small town about 25 km from the city of Amritsar, the holiest of Sikh cities. One day, Bhai Lehna heard the recitation of a hymn of Guru Nanak from Bhai Jodha a neighbour who was a follower of the Guru. His mind was captured by the tune and while on his annual pilgrimage to Jawalamukhi Temple he asked his group if they would mind going to see the Guru. Everyone thought this most inappropriate and refused.
Bhai Lehna displayed deep and loyal service to Guru Nanak. Several stories display how Bhai Lehna was chosen over the Guru's sons as his successor. One of these stories is about a jug which fell into mud. Guru Nanak had touched him and renamed him Angad (part of the body) or the second Nanak on 7 September 1539. Before becoming the new Guru he had spent six or seven years in the service of Guru Nanak at Kartarpur. After the death of Guru Nanak on 22 September 1539, Guru Angad left Kartarpur for the village of Khadur Sahib (near Goindwal Sahib). He carried forward the principles of Guru Nanak both in letter and spirit. Yogis and Saints of different sects visited him and held detailed discussions about Sikhi with him.
Guru Angad popularized the present form of the Gurmukhi script. It became the medium of writing the Punjabi language in which the hymns of the Gurus are expressed. This step had a far-reaching purpose and impact. First, it gave the people who spoke this language an identity of their own, enabling them to express their thought directly and without any difficulty or transliteration. The measure had the effect of establishing the independence of the mission and the followers of the Guru. Secondly, it helped the community to dissociate itself from the Sanskrit religious tradition so that the growth and development of the Sikhs could take place unhampered and unprejudiced by the backlog of the earlier religious and social philosophies and practices. This measure, as shown by the subsequent growth of Sikhism, was essential in order to secure its unhindered development and progress as it required an entirely different approach to life. The institution of the langar was maintained and developed. The Guru's wife personally worked in the kitchen. She also served food to the members of the community and the visitors. Her devotion to this institution finds mention in the Guru Granth Sahib.
The Guru earned his own living by twisting coarse grass into strings used for cots. All offerings went to the common fund. This demonstrates that it is necessary and honorable to do even the meanest productive work. It also emphasizes that parasitical living is not in consonance with the mystic and moral path. In line with Guru Nanak's teaching, the Guru also declared that there was no place for passive recluses in the community. Like Guru Nanak, Guru Angad and the subsequent Gurus selected and appointed their successors by completely satisfying themselves about their mystic fitness and capacity to discharge the responsibilities of the mission.