The son of a prosperous Hindu trader, Bhai Pheru, Guru Angad was an ardent devotee of the Hindu goddess Durga. Lehna, as he was known before becoming Guru was born on March 31, 1504 in the village of Matte-di-Sari but eventually his family moved to Khadur. He was married to Khivi and had two sons, Datu and Dasu, and one daughter Amro. Lehna would annually lead groups of pilgrims to visit the temple of Durga at Jwalamukhi for preying and dancing. Here the flames emitted by the volcano are worshipped by devout Hindus. One day Lehna heard a Sikh named Bhai Jodha reciting the Japji, the early morning prayer composed by Guru Nanak. Finding out about Guru Nanak from Bhai Joda, Lehna decided to visit the Guru and pay his respects. Upon meeting Guru Nanak at the age of 27, Lehna became a devout disciple of Guru Nanak and renounced his former practices.
Guru Nanak instructed Lehna to return to Khadur to instruct people in the ways of Sikhism. Here Lehna spent his time in prayer and serving the people. He distributed food to the poor daily. Longing to be with Guru Nanak he eventually returned to Karthapur where he became totally devoted to the service of Guru Nanak. After undergoing countless tests, Guru Nanak eventually appointed Guru Angad as his successor on July 14, 1539 as described previously. Upon the death of Guru Nanak, Guru Angad returned to Khadur where he went into seclusion and meditation for six months. Eventually a delegation of Sikhs led by Baba Buddha convinced the Guru that they needed him. Guru Angad longed for Guru Nanak, when he said to Baba Buddha;
"He whom you love, die for him. Accursed is the life without the beloved. The head should be sliced that does not bow before the Master. O Nanak! the body should be burnt that suffers not the agony of separation." (Sri Rag) "He who has been blessed by Guru Nanak is lost in the praises of the Lord. What could one teach those, Who have Divine Nanak as their Guru?" (Majh)
Guru Angad was the embodiment of humility as Guru Nanak had been before him. The renowned yogi Daya Nath visited Guru Angad to try to convert him. Daya Nath believed that mental purity could only be obtained through renunciation of the world, observance of rituals, introspection, and yoga. Guru Angad engaged him in discussion saying that only through living a simple truthful life as Guru Nanak had lived can God be realized, by remaining pure amidst impurity. The yogi was eventually won over by the purity and innocence of Guru Angad and asked the Guru if there was anything that he could do for him. The humble Guru Angad replied that he only seeked the learned yogis blessings.
Guru Angad followed the daily routine that Guru Nanak had. He would wake up early at dawn to recite Guru Nanak's Japji (morning prayer) as well as sing Asa di var with his congregation, work during the daytime and then have evening prayers. Guru Angad also maintained langar where people of all religions and casts could gather for a free meal. Guru Angad also took a keen interest in physical fitness, and encouraged his devotees to be involved in sports after their morning prayers.
After the Mughal emperor Babur's death he was succeeded by his son Humayun. He was soon defeated by Sher Shah and on his retreat out of India he stopped at Khadur to seek the Guru's blessings. When Humayan arrived, Guru Angad and the congregation were absorbed in singing religious hymns. After a while Humayan became impatient and angry at being ignored and put his hand on the hilt of his sword to attack the Guru. Guru Angad was unmoved by this and said "When you should have used the sword you did not, rather you ran away from the battlefield like a coward. Here you show off, threatening to attack unarmed devotees engaged in prayer." Humayan was humbled by this and asked the Guru's forgiveness and blessings. Guru Angad blessed him, and as history was to have it he eventually regained his throne.
Guru Angad was very fond of children and took a great interest in their education. He advocated that they should be taught to read and write in their mother tongue, Punjabi. Although the origins of the Gurmukhi script are unclear, it is clear that Guru Angad popularized the use of this simplified script among the Sikhs starting around 1541. Being the successor of Guru Nanak he also got the first authorized biography of Guru Nanak written in 1544, as well as having a number of copies of Guru Nanak's hymns written out in the new Gurmukhi script. Guru Angad further expanded the number of Sikh religious centers.
There lived a very devout Vaishanavite Hindu named Amar Das. He had regularly made pilgrimages to the Ganges river for ritual baths for over 20 years. While returning from his twelfth such pilgrimage he was asked by a monk "Who is your Guru?" Amar Das felt frustrated as he could not answer this question having searched his whole life, but still not achieving the peace of mind that he longed for. One day he heard Bibi Amro the daughter of Guru Angad, who was recently married to his nephew singing the hymns of Guru Nanak. Amar Das started to listen to them every day until he was enchanted by them. Bibi Amro told Amar Das about the mission of Guru Nanak and promised to introduce him to her father Guru Angad.