Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism was born in the year 1469 in the village Talwandi, which is located in the Punjab region( the village now known as Nankana Sahib).His father Mehta Kalu was the local Patwari in the village. His mother name was Mata Tripta. He had one sister, Bebe Nanaki to whom he was closely attached.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji was blessed with a thoughtful mind and rational thinking. At the age of five, Nanak is said to have voiced interest in divine subjects. At the age of seven ,his father enrolled him at the village school as was the custom. Notable lore recounts that as a child Nanak astonished his teacher by describing the implicit symbolism of the first letter of the alphabet resembling the mathematical version of one as denoting the unity or oneness of God.
He spoke out against Caste System, idolatry etc. He married Mata Sulakhani daughter of Mul Chand and Chando Rani and had two sons Sri Chand and Lakshmi Das.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji mastered Sanskrit, Hindi, Persian and several religious texts. He believed in equality of women.
Enlightenment story of Guru Nanak Dev Ji
When Nanak sister got married he decided to stay with her and moved to Sultanpur in 1475. He started working under the employer of his brother in law.
” Guru Nanak Dev Enlightenment story ” is an interesting story of how Guru Nanak dev Ji achieved enlightenment. It is believed that in the year of 1496 he achieved enlightenment. During his stay in Sulatanpur, Nanak would go to a nearby river every morning in order to bathe and meditate.
One day, he went to the river as usual but did not return for 3 days. It is believed that Nanak went deep inside the forest and stayed there for 3 days.
When he returned he looked like a man possessed and did not utter a word. When he finally spoke he said “there is no Hindu and no Musalman”. These words were the beginning of his teachings which would culminate in the formation of Sikhism.
Journey across the world and start of Sikhism
Guru Nanak Dev Ji travelled acorss India, Tibet, south-Asia, Arabia, and Sri lanka. He preached a new concept of God as “ Supreme, All Powerful, and Truthful, Formless(Nirankar), Fearless( Nirbhau), Without hate(Nirvair), the Sole, the Self-Existent( Saibhang), the Incomprehensible and Everlasting creator of all the things( Karta Purakh), and the Eternal and Absolute Truth( Satnam) ”.
Guru Nanak taught that every human being is capable of attaining spiritual perfection which will ultimately lead them to God. He also said that rituals and priests are not required in order to have direct access to God.
During the first journey Guru Nanak covered most parts of present day India and Pakistan, this journey lasted for 7 years. In his second journey he visited Sri lanka and lasted for 7 years.Guru Nanak then travelled to Nepal, Sikkim, Tibet etc, this journery lasted for 5 years. He then travelled to Mecca and most parts of Middle east.
At last he visited Punjab and started to spread his teaching there. Guru Nanak spent 24 years in his journeys covering a distance of 28000 kilometers by foot.
He founded and formalized 3 pillars of Sikhism
- Naam Japna – Guru Nanak emphasized that God has created many worlds and also created life. In order to feel his presence of god, Guru nanak asked his followers to repeat the name of the God through reciting, chanting, singing.
- Kirat Karni – To honestly earn by ones physical and mental efforts while accepting both pain and pleasures as God’s gifts and blessings.
- Vand Chakna – Share and consume together.
Through his teachings , Guru Nanak JI became extremely popular among both Hindus and Muslims and both community started following him.
Later Nanak appointed Bhai Lehna as the successor Guru renaming his as Guru Angad meaning “one’s very own” or “part of you”. The Impact that Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s life has had on the world is unparalleled to anyone who has lived in the last 500 hundred years. Today,there are more than 25 million followers of Sikhism in the world and even those who don’t follow Sikhism,hold the people and beliefs of Sikhism in high regards.
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