Guru Nanak needs no introduction, especially, in India. A great religious innovator of all times, Guru Nanak was born on the 14th of April, 1469 AD as per the Nanakshahi calendar, but Gurpurab, his birth, is celebrated worldwide on the full moon day of ‘Katak’ month, which coincides with October and November of the modern calendar. He was the founder of Sikhism in India. The religious ideas of Guru Nanak Ji draw not only on Hindu but also Islamic thoughts. However, they go far beyond only a synthesis.
Guru Nanak was a spiritual thinker whose thoughts were beautifully expressed in his poems, which turned out to be Sikh scriptures. There are many stories on Guru Nanak called the “Janam Sakhis,” which narrate incidents from Guru Ji’s life and his preaching. Here are a few facts about Guru Nanak.
His birth – Guru Nanak was born at a location, Talwandi about 30 miles from the city of Lahore (which is now in Pakistan). According to the Sikh tradition, Guru Ji’s birth and his early life were marked with events, which demonstrated that the Almighty had created him for something special.
Sikhism – Popularly known as the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak was the first of the ten prominent Sikh Gurus. Sikhism follows one basic belief, which is to spread peace and kindness instead of harboring hatred for anyone. Sikhs around the world follow Guru Grant Sahib through His holy book, which consists of the various teachings of all the ten Sikh gurus. Guru Grant Sahib is the supreme authority of the Sikh community. Guru Nanak, the first guru, contributed around 975 hymns in the book.
Marriage – He got married to a woman called Mata Sulakhni, who was the offspring of Mul Chand and Chando Rani. A simple and low key affair, the marriage was held in the town of Batala. They gave birth to two sons named Sri Chand and Lakhmi Chand.
Teachings – The teachings of Guru Nanak can be found in Guru Grant Sahib, a holy book consisting of verses from the Gurumukhi. His main teachings include helping the needy and sharing with them what they are deprived of, earning an honest living without being fraudulent and meditating daily to be able to control the various human weaknesses.
Travel – Although traveling in his days was not as easy as it is now; he conducted tours all over the world. He had only one purpose behind this – to spread his teachings. He made spiritual voyages to Tibet and Arabia.
Undying Form – The popularity of Guru Nanak also owed much to his undying form of God. He took this to be incomprehensible.
Bhai Mardana – Most of the journeys Guru Nanak made were on foot, and he had a constant travel companion called Bhai Mardana, who accompanied him everywhere. They traveled around 30,000 km on foot together.
Successor – Guru Nanak chose Bhai Lehna as the next Guru and renamed him as Guru Angad, which means ‘ones very own.’ Not long after he chose the successor did he expire at the age of 70 on September 22 in Kartarpur.
Even today, Guru Nanak remains a prime figure in Indian worship, and countless people lead their lives according to his teachings.