Guru Nanak Dev Ji, also called as Baba Nanak- was the founder of Sikhism. He is the first Guru among the ten Sikh Gurus. His lessons are about the concept of Ik Onkar (one God). He traveled all around Asia to prevail Sikhism and the message of peace, brotherhood, love, equality, virtue, and goodness.
Who is Guru Nanak Dev Ji?
Guru Nanak Dev Ji- the founder of Sikhism and one of the greatest religious visionaries of all time. He studied both Isalm and Hinduism but his religious ideas comprise of both the religions. He expressed his ideas of Sikhism through extraordinary mystical poetry. He was a spiritual thinker and his teachings form the basic scripture of Sikhism.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji History
Although, very little information is present about the life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji yet still many stories of his life or the Janam Sakhis are a part of Sikh literature.
He was born on 15th April 1469, at Nankana Sahib Punjab, Pakistan (previously known as Rāi Bhoi Kī Talvaṇḍī village). Nanak’s family was Hindu, but because of his highly intellectual and innovative mind, he studied many religions and gave rise to Sikhism.
The Sikhs believe that Baba Nanak was especially blessed by the divine grace. Many stories and prophecies speak of this divine grace. These include his extraordinary academical achievement when he described a symbolism of the first letter of the alphabet, denoting the trueness of one God. Moreover, the miracles like a shade over his head from the sunlight while sleeping either from a tree or by a venomous snake.
Baba Nanak’s journeys were solely to pursuit spiritual wisdom and to prevail the ideology of Sikhism. According to one of his verses, he visited “Nau Khand” or the nine regions of earth.
In his last days, he settled in Kartarpur and died on 22 September of 1539. He appointed Bhai Lehna as his successor Guru and named him as Guru Angad. Just like Nanak’s whole life his death was not less than a miracle. To everybody’s amazement, Nanak’s body was never found, instead people found just a heap of flowers. His shrine is at Kartarpur Sahib that is around 180km away from Nanakana Sahib.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji Shabad
The concept of Shabad Guru in Sikhism means “the sound that is a teacher”. According to Sikh literature, this sound is universally balanced to remove all kinds of egoistic emotions and distortions.
Guru Nanak Shabad is the sound of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s teachings and verses. It helps guide his followers towards the right part. It removes all kinds of worries, contractions, and ego from an individual’s heart. It helps understand what the Shabad means and how to implement it in life.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji Teachings
Guru Nanak’s words and teachings- scribbled in the form of 974 poetic hymns or shabda are the major pillars of Sikhism. Found as a collection of Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib. And the collection of verses as Gurmukhi.
Theories on Nanak’s Teachings:
There are two theories on Nanaks’ teachings.
- Revelations from God: First, based on hagiographical Janamsakhis that state Nanka’s teachings as revelations from God.
- Nanak a Guru: Second, according to Singha that states Nanak as a Guru and not a prophet.
Teachings on the concept of Rituals and Priests:
- Changing the Nature of Human Mind: Guru Nanak and his successors believed that Sikhism is not about hearing voices from the God. It is about the nature of the human mind that can achieve spiritual perfection anytime it wants.
- Rituals and Priests: Nanka’s teachings are about the denial of rituals and the need for priests. He says that anyone can directly connect with God without forming an indirect connection.
Teachings on Vand Shahako:
There are two parts of Vand Shahako. One that preaches sharing and the other that teaches brotherhood.
- Share and Help: The concept of sharing and helping the ones in need is one of the basic teachings of Guru Nanak.
- Consume: The other part says that sharing and helping motivate you to eat together and promotes brotherhood.
Teachings on Kirat Karo:
Kirat Karo means working honestly.
- Effort and Honesty: Nanak’s teaches about working with honesty without any sort of frauds and deceits.
Teachings on Naam Japo:
Naam Japo means to pray and recite God’s name.
- Worship one true God: Nanak teaches his followers to worship and recite the name of one true God and feel His presence.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji Quotes
Following are some quotes from Guru Nanak Dev Ji:
- “Before becoming a Muslim, a Sikh, a Hindu, or a Christian, let’s become a human first.”
- “He who has no faith in himself can never have faith in God.”
- “The world is a drama staged in a dream.”
- “Conquer the mind, conquer the world.”
- “Death would not be called bad, O people, if one knew how to truly die.”
Guru Nanak Dev Ji 550 Birthday
The Sikh community observes the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji as Guru Nanak Jayanti or Guru Parv. This year it falls on 12th November, and it is the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Nanak.
It is a three-days festival that begins two days prior with the organization of Akhand Paths in Gurudwaras. On the main day, people woke up in the morning to recite various hymns and verses from Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Lunch and Gatka (a special type of sword dance) are specifically arranged on the very day.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji holds a very prestigious and scholarly position in Sikhism. His teachings promote simplicity, spirituality, and humanity.