Guru Nanak Dev
Founder of The Sikh Religion
A Messenger of Love And Universal Peace
Guru Nanak Dev is founder of the Sikh religion. He was born on April 15, 1469 AD at Talwandi (Nankana Sahib). His father was Mehta Kaloo and mother Tripta. He was married to Mata Sulakhni.
"With manifestation (birth ) of True Guru Nanak, the mist of ignorance and falsehood disappeared and there was the light of righteousness."
Satgur Nanak pargatya miti dhundh jagg chanan hoa
ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਿਆ ਮਿਟੀ ਧੁੰਧ ਜਗ ਚਾਨਣ ਹੋਆ ॥
ਜਿਉਂ ਕਰ ਸੂਰਜ ਨਿਕਲਿਆ ਤਾਰੇ ਛਪੇ ਅੰਧੇਰ ਪਲੋਆ ॥
(Bhai Gurdas Var 1.27)
Guru Nanak Dev was a different kind of child. He was sent to a Pundit for schooling but the teacher failed to answer diligent questions of Nanak.
Mehta Kalu required his son Nanak to wear Janeu, a customary thread of the Hindus in his childhood. Nanak refused to undergo this ritualism.
Once child Nanak was grazing buffalos. There is story of a cobra who shaded the face of Guru Nanak Dev with its hood in the scorching heat. Rai Bular, head of the village, was a witness to the scene. This story has been narrated by Bhai Bala, said to be an associate of Guru Nanak Dev.
These stories appear in so many books but it may not be derived that Guru Nanak was doing miracles. He was a divine person.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji preached Divine message of love through Mul Mantra and his Bani enshrined in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. He said,
"God is One. He is Truth. He is the Creator of this universe".
Guru Nanak Dev preached that there are no Hindus or Muslims, no man made castes. All human beings are children of One and the same God.
ਸਤਿਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
Ik oankar satnam karta purakh nirbhau nirvair akal murat ajuni saibhang gur parsad.
The first word of this formula starts with IK OANKAR. It means there is but One God. It is the essence of whole Mul Mantar.
Guru Nanak Dev says;
There is but one God.
His name is truth.
He is Creator and lives in the Creation.
He is fearless.
He is without enmity.
Akal means beyond the limits of time and space. God is not limited in the man made time scales. He does not grow old. Murat means form or existence. He is deathless and beyond the limits of time and place. He is Eternal, yet in form. His existence is beyond beginning and end.
He is Akal Purkh. He is Adi Purkh.
God is Non-born. He does not take birth. He is deathless. He does not come in the cycle of 84 Lakh births and rebirths.
He is Self existent. He is Selfborn. He has no father or mother. He is Self made while every thing else derives its being from the One Being.
He can be realized by the Grace of the Guru.
Guru Nanak Dev undertook Udasis (Fours journeys) to different countries of the world to preach his mission of love for humanity and God. Most of the time, Guru Nanak Dev was accompanied by Bhai Mardana.
Guru Nanak challenged the atrocities of Babur who put him into jail.
Guru Nanak Dev mastered Punjabi, Sanskrit and Persian at an early age. In childhood, he revolted against ritualism, caste system, prejudices, hypocrisy and rejected idol worship. He gave three golden principles to the people for truthful living:
Guru Nanak Dev challenged various inequalities within the society. He preached against caste system. He regarded Hindus and Muslims as equals and referred to himself as neither a Hindu nor a Muslim but as a brother to all those who believed in God and truth.
Woman in those days was considered inferior. Being down trodden, she was not imparted education. She was kept within the four walls of the house. She was kept in Purdah (Veil). Guru Nanak Dev preached equality and liberty for woman.
Guru Nanak Dev led a married life and had two sons, Sri Chand and Lakhmi Chand. He traveled extensively and settled at Kartarpur in latter part of his life.
Guru Nanak Dev was a great poet, philosopher, social reformer and a great saint who gave new thought to the world. He preached the concept of love, humility, compassion, selfless Sewa, social welfare, moral, social and spiritual values. He preached the sermon of human liberty, equality and fraternity.
Guru Nanak Dev emphasised,
"truth is higher but higher still is truthful living."
The Guru founded the institutions of Gurdwara, Sangat and Pangat. He introduced the concept of suitability for Guruship by ignoring his sons and anointing Lehna as the second Sikh Guru to continue spreading his teachings. He departed for heavenly abode on September 7, 1539.
Guru Nanak Dev composed 974 hymns in 19 Ragas:
Japji Sahib, Sidh Gosti, Sohila, Dakhni Onkar, Asa Di Var, Patti, Bara Mah and more.
Contemporary Rulers of India
|Behlol Lodhi||1451 to 1489 A.D.|
|Sikandar Lodhi||1489 to 1517|
|Ibrahim Lodhi||1517 to 1526|
|Babur (Mughal)||1526 to 1530|
|Hamayun||1530 to 1540|
Guru Nanak Dev founded the city of Kartarpur in 1504 A.D on the banks of river Ravi, now in Pakistan.
Some important years in Sikh history
|1499||Guru Nanak Dev proclaimed his universal mission|
|1599||Guru Arjan Dev started compiling Adi Granth|
|1699||Guru Gobind Singh inaugurated Khalsa at Kesgarh, Anandpur Sahib|
|1799||Maharaja Ranjit Singh captured Lahore to lay foundation of Sikh Raj|
|1899||Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha wrote his work "Ham Hindu Nahin"|
|1999||Completion of 500 years of Guru Nanak's proclaiming mission -Tercentenary of inauguration of the Khalsa|
On return from Mecca, Guru Nanak Dev undertook journey in Punjab. He visited Saidpur (Emnabad) at the time when Babur had invaded India. It was from Emnabad that Guru Nanak Dev was taken as a prisoner by Babur. Gurdwara with name Rori Sahib (Guru Nanak was sitting on a heap of pebbles-Rori when he was imprisoned) was constructed at that place. (An estate of rupees 5000 per annum and 9 squares of agricultural land is endowed to the Gurdwara from the times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh)
Story of Sacha Sauda
Guru Nanak Dev seemed to be little interested in worldly affairs. His father was concerned about him. Mehta Kalu gave rupees 20 to Nanak Dev for doing some business. It is said that Guru Nanak Dev set out to do business as required by his father. On the way outside Mandi Chuhrkana, Nanak Dev met with some starving Sadhus. Their starvation became a matter of concern to compassionate Nanak. He felt that it was more important to feed a starving person than doing any other materialistic business. He purchased food with 20 rupees and distributed it among the Sadhus. When Mehta Kalu, father of Nanak Dev came to know about this incidence, he got annoyed with his son. Guru Nanak Dev asked his father not to get angry with him. He tried to convince his father by telling that he had not done anything wrong with the money but has done a Sacha Sauda in the court of Almighty Lord. Thereafter Guru Guru Nanak Dev augmented free Langar for every body.
A Gurdwara with name "Gurdwara Sacha Sauda Chuhrkana" was built at the site in memory of the "True deal" done by Guru Nanak Dev. Maharaja Ranjit Singh made enormous gifts of land and money for building the memorial. There are 250 bighas of land attached to the Gurdwara.
During the last decade of 20th century, the Gurdwara building was repaired by the Sangat especially from England. A new water tank and new Langar Hall have been constructed for facility of the people. This memorial shows compassion of Guru Nanak Dev for poor and needy.
For more reading,