The benefactor God listened to the crises of the human beings and sent Guru Nanak into this world. With the emergence of the true guru, the mist cleared and light scattered all around. As if at the rise of the sun the stars disappear and the darkness dispels.
Guru Nanak was born on October 20,1469 A.D at Talwandi Raepoe di district in Shekhupura,Lahore which later came to be known as Nankaana Sahib. The name of his father was Mehta Kalyan Das which was affectionately abridged by the people as Mehta Kaalu , the name of hismother was Tripta Devi and his sister Nanki was five years older to him.
In our country the birth of a male child is considered to be very fortunate. When the midwife came out and announced that a male child was born, Mehta Kaalu felt very happy. The midwife daultan also told him, light flashed across the room and strange and sweet voices were heard as welcoming the child. The child was not an ordinary child, instead of weeping he smiled. While making horoscope, the Pandit said,” he would be a great divine king. Both Hindus and Muslims will revere him. He will be the king of kings. He will believe and worship only one formless, omnipotent and graceful god. He will consider every creature as the creation of the god. He will lead a unique sect which will be eternal.
When the Guru was of six years, his father Mehta Kaalu got him admitted in the village school, whose incharge was Pandit Gopal Das. The Guru showed keen interest in studies and quickly learnt everything that the Pandit could teach him. The Pandit was wonder struck to see the extraordinary brain of Guru. His genius in poetry was acknowledged by the Pandit. Guru was proficient in Punjabi, Hindi, Sanskrit and even in Persian.
Nanak travelled far and wide, teaching people the message of one God who dwells in every one of his creations and constitutes the eternal truth. He set up a unique spiritual, social and political platform based on equality, fraternity love, goodness and virtue. His life was full of messages and teachings which he delivered to the society during his lifetime.
When Guru entered the ninth year it was decided to celebrate the Janeoo sacrament. A day was fixed to perform the ceremony and the message was sent to all relatives and friends. After doing all necessary rites Pandit leaned forward to place the cord across the shoulder of the Nanak. All were congratulating Mehta Kaalu but after sometime everyone was astonished when they saw Nanak pushing back the thread towards the Pandit. He denied to wear the thread saying that, “he only believes in one god, who is present everywhere and thus he does not believe in these all rituals which promote any one religion. God is one and omnipresent.”
Nanak believed in the existence of the soul and his views on the soul were simple. He stated that man is bonded to the cycle of life and death because of his sins and deeds. Evil deeds increase the burden of sin. Bearing this in his soulone cannot rise to higher planes. Only the name of god can pierce the darkness with divine light and could help the soul in its upward journey.
Although Nanak was a critic of caste system. He emphasised on the equality of men and said no one was born high or low. Nanak also vehemently opposedall evil rituals and practices which were being perpetuated in the name of the religion. The Guru’s way of preaching was dramatic. He always visited the holy places on the occasion of big fairs. Once Guru visited Kurukshetra, on that day fair was held due to solar eclipse. A large number of people had gathered there. Many Brahmans and holy saints had come there to attend the fair. Some were bathing in Saraswati and others were sitting on the bank of the river. Guru Nanak asked Sikhs to fill a pot with some water. Then he asked them to light the fire and put that pot on it. When panditssaw it they ran towards it and ordered to extinguish the fire and told guru that he is an evil and god will punish him. On this Guru told them that there belief was false and there is nothing like Rahu and Ketu. It is an imaginary. Similarly Guru taught many lessons to others like he discussed about the creation of the universe. Nanak asserts that the universe is god’s kingdom he has created the world.
Thus, Guru’s life was full of messages which he give to the society and preached them from his real life experiences like liberation of soul, complete surrender to god, purification of heart and development of character, respect for women, equality for all men, abolition of evil practices and monotheism.
The main messages given by Guru Nanak dev Ji in his biography known as three pillars of Sikhism. These pillars are:
- NAAM JAPO: Meditation to god and reciting hymns and chanting of the god
- KIRAT KARO: T work hard and earning livelihood honestly
- VAND CHAKO: To share food with everyone and to distribute the food amongst poor and needy.
He started the institution of langar which is an important and significant ritual of silhism. Guru Nanak also gave messages to shun 5 evils which are:
Ego, anger, greed, attachment and lust.
Guru Nanak also explained the five stages of a man’s spiritual progress which are:
- DHARAM KHAND: Performance of duty.
- GYAN KHAND: Gaining true awareness of the greatness of god
- SARAM KHAND: Attainment of purity
- KARAM KHAND: Gaining the fruits of one’s good actions and acquiring true spiritual power.
- SACH KHAND: Entering the realm of god, which is beyond all the human activities
Guru Nanak preached strict monotheism and described the creator as one, without any second. His philosophy of god is described in the ‘ Japji Sahib’, the primal creed of the Sikh faith. There was no room in his teachings for the worship of any deity or human teacher other than the formless one. He believes that the world is the gift of god and is worth living fully.