Guru Nanak Sahib (1469-1539):
Religious, Social and Political Revolutionary
ਸੁਣੀ ਪੁਕਾਰਿ ਦਾਤਾਰ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਗੁਰੁ
ਨਾਨਕ ਜਗ ਮਾਹਿ ਪਠਾਇਆ।
Sunee pukaar Dataar Prabh Gur Nanak Jagg maahi patthaaiaa.
The Benefactor Lord listened to
the cries (of humanity) and sent Guru Nanak to
(Bhai Gurdaas, Vaar 1.23)
ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਿਆ ਮਿਟੀ ਧੁੰਧੁ
ਜਗਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਹੋਆ।
Satgur Nanak pargateya miti dhund jag chaanan hoa
With manifestation (birth ) of
True Guru Nanak, the mist [of ignorance and
falsehood] disappeared and there was the light
[of knowledge and righteousness conduct.]
(Bhai Gurdaas, Vaar 1.27)
(Note: u pronounced oo as
in root )
Any Sikh festival connected with a Guru is
referred to as a Gurpurab. So, on 27th
of November, 2023, the Sikhs worldwide
celebrate the 554rd Prakaash Utsav Gurpurab of
Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh theo-political
system and the Sikh way of living called Sikhi
Traditionally, the Prakaash Utsav
(birthday) of Guru Nanak is celebrated on the full
moon day (pooranmaasi) in the Indian month
of Katik, which usually falls in the month
of November each year. However, historians have
confirmed that Guru ji was born on 15 April, 1469.
He revolutionized religio-social and political
thought of the day and introduced a way of life
for those who would follow the path of truthful
conduct. These were his Sikhs, meaning students
who sought the Ultimate Reality by following the
path of righteous conduct. The Sangat (holy
congregation) became the main medium for
collective guidance in the presence of the Guru
- the Guiding Light of Guru Nanak which after
Ten Guru-persons, today resides in the Sikh holy
Scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Shabd
or Word Guru.
Guru Nanak's message was egalitarian and
revolutionary in his day. Love (prem) for
the Creator Being called by many Names in his Baani
(Guru's Word or teaching), is central to his
message. That love is expressed by following the
path of truthful conduct and by seeing God in all
and treating and serving all without distinction.
He condemned inequality in any form, under any
excuse or on any basis e.g. gender, colour, caste
or creed. He condemned superstition, ritualism and
despotic use of authority. Such a revolutionary
ideology was bound to clash with both, the king
and the priest.
He was well aware of the sacrifices and
socio-political challenges which lay ahead for the
Sikhs. He forewarned those who would follow this
path of God-centric selfless love and service:
"If you wish to play
this game of love, then place your head on the
palm of your hand and come my way."
In his meditation,
Baba [Guru Nanak] found the whole world
burning (with the fire of lust and anger).
(Bhai Gurdas, Vaar 1.24)
And so, Guru Nanak set out to take his message to
the world and travelled thousands of miles during
long tours lasting over many years.
Publications and articles on this Website give
information about Guru ji's life, mission and
vision for a just society.
Further reading -