Today I am going to share with you, a being whose legacy is alive even after 400 years of his physical existence on earth: Guru Nanak.
In this blog, we will read about –
Table of contents
What are Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Teachings?
Guru Nanak Ji taught that the Purpose of Human Life is Evolution
Guru Nanak gave meaning to Human Life. His teachings give a direction to the attainment of the ultimate goal of human birth: Evolution.
Guru Nanak impressed upon His contemporaries that Human Life is not aimless like that of animals that take birth, that grows older, and then die. Guru Nanak, whose consciousness was highly expanded, taught that
there are 8.4 million species of living beings in this world. All these species are continuously going around in the never-ending cycle of birth & death.
He gave an analogy: “The whole creation could be considered a huge mansion with 8.4 million different compartments. None of these compartments has an outlet except One. That One outlet is the Human form.”
One of the greatest Saints that India has seen, Saint Kabir, also said: “Even the gods & the Goddesses pine for the human body for within the body resides the Lord himself”. He further stated that it is only in the human body that a man can exit the cycle of birth & death and attain salvation.
Old Testament says: “God created man in His own Image.”
Quran puts man at the top of the creation.
Adi Granth, the Holy Book of Sikhs says, “The temple of God is this body which manifesteth the rarest gems of knowledge. But the worldly man knows not at all that man can be the temple of God. Likewise, the human body is a beautiful town in which you attain the divine nectar.”
From the teachings of Guru Nanak:
Seeing without eyes,
hearing without ears,
walking without feet
working without hands,
speaking without tongue,
thus, dying while living.
O Nanak, know this as the way unto the Lord, to be attained through His cosmic Law.
From SHABAD (i.e. the Word of God), cometh the Earth.
From SHABAD, cometh the sky.
From SHABAD/WORD, emanateth all light.
The whole creation resteth on SHABAD
and this SHABAD, O NANAK resideth within man
Without the Perfect Living Master, no one ever found God
Without the Perfect Living Master, no one ever shall.
Guru Nanak Ji removed Superstitions
Guru Nanak also removed a lot of superstitions such as Surya Arghya (offering water to the Sun). Many people who are superstitious believe that they have to do Surya Arghya for sending water to the Sun. Guru Nanak applied logic to the argument and taught that the Sun does not need your water. [I will write about superstitions in much detail in my other blog.]
Guru Nanak Ji Advocated Women Equality 400 Years Ago
400 years ago, Guru Nanak Dev JI talked about women’s rights. He said that woman is the creator of life. She must get her due respect and love from all. He talked about equal rights for women in the world.
Guru Nanak ji treated every person equally. He served Langar (free food) to all irrespective of their religion, color, caste, gender etc. Guru Nanak Ji taught the religion of Humanity. He never differentiated anybody based on any differences that may arise. He even took care of those with severe skin disease without considering where they came from.
Today, the Langar system created by Guru Nanak Ji is so successful that the Gurudwaras across the world serve free meals to all. Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jains, and people from all backgrounds and classes sit together in the langar and eat together. Guru Nanak’s legacy is alive in the world even today.
We do not know what would have happened if Guru Nanak Ji would have not taken care of the problem of hunger in India. Millions of people might have died of hunger.
What is Gurpurab?
Gurpurab or Guru Nanak Jayanti is the most significant festival of the Sikh Community and is celebrated across the globe. The day marks the birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Guru Nanak Dev Ji walked on Earth between 15 April 1469 – 22 September 1539. Guru Nanak Jayanti falls on the full moon day in the month of Kartik [between October and November every year], according to the Hindu Lunar Calendar.
How is Gurpurab Celebrated?
Guru Granth Sahib Ji (the holy book of Sikhs) is read continuously for 48 hours (2 days) prior to the actual date of Gurpurab. The Sikhs perform ‘Nagar Kirtan’ in their respective cities. Nagar Kirtan refers to the procession of Sikh Sangat (Congregation) through the town singing holy hymns in remembrance of God. The Nagar Kirtan also starts a day before Gurupurab and covers most areas in the periphery of the main Gurudwara in a district.
After the periphery gets over on the day of the Gurupurab, everybody comes together in the Gurudwara and prays together to Guru Nanak. It is important to note here that Guru Nanak talked about God in terms of consciousness.
Guru Nanak did not teach the worship of any human body. Instead, he taught that human beings should raise their consciousness and lead themselves to evolution.
Further, he taught that this is also the way to realize God or Creator.