Guru Nanak Dev

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Feb 23, 2023, 10:35

Guru Nanak Dev was considered the founder of the Sikhism religion. He was a great Indian spiritual leader and always believed in harmony and meditation in the name of the divine soul. He spread the message of humanity and humankind when spreading religion was the main focus of others.

He also expressed about women and their rights and equality. His teachings were passed on to further generations through his successor. His teachings are now included in the holy book of Sikhs, i.e. Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, which contains all the teachings of Sikh Gurus and other spiritual leaders.

Life of Shri Guru Nanak Dev

On 15th April 1469, Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born in the village of Rai Bhoi di Talwandi. Then this place was part of India, but now it is known as Nankana Sahib, located in the territories of today's Pakistan. On full moon day in the month of October - November every year the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji is celebrated. This day is widely celebrated by all the Sikhs worldwide.

Guru Nanak Dev - Important Incidents

His father once gave him twenty rupees and sent him to do some business transactions with his friend Mardana so that he could do something profitable. However, on the way, Guru Nanak Dev saw some hungry and needy people and spent the entire amount of twenty rupees on his food and said could there be anything more profitable than helping the needy. This incident is well-known as "Sacha Sauda", i.e. "True Bargain".

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After the marriage of her beloved sister, Guru Nanak Dev Ji went with her sister and brother-in-law to Sultanpur for some days and started working there under his brother-in-law and later got married in the year 1487. In Sultanpur, he would visit a nearby river to bathe and meditate. One day he returned looking like a possessed man after being missing for 3 days and said, "There is no Hindu or Muslim", and these words were considered the commencement of his teachings.

Guru Nanak Dev - Key Teachings

Guru Nanak Dev's 5 key teachings that will change the way you look at life

Vaand Chhako: This means sharing whatever you have been given by God with others and helping those in need.

Kirat Karo: Means, make an honest living. One should not exploit others for self-happiness.

Naam Japo: Means, Chant the name of 'True God'. Guru Nanak Dev emphasized meditation of God's name to gain control over the five evils- kama, krodh, lobh, moh, ahankar means lust, anger, greed, attachment, and ego.

Sarbat daa bhalaa: Wish God for everyone's happiness. He emphasized the concept of universal brotherhood. He said that despite religion, gender, and caste, everyone should wish well for others, and only then one can have goodness back in return.

Speak the truth without fear: Guru Nanak Dev said always to speak the truth without fear. Getting victory by suppressing lies is temporary and standing firmly by the truth is permanent. Stand by the truth is one of the 'hukums' i.e. orders of the Guru.

His words are spelt out in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Holy Scripture.

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FAQ on Guru Nanak Dev

Q1. What is Guru Nanak Dev's caste?

Ans. The Father of Guru Nanak Dev was a member of a subcaste of the mercantile Khatri caste.

Q2. What religion was Guru Nanak Dev born into?

Ans. Guru Nanak Dev was born into a Hindu family in 1469.

Q3. What language did Guru Nanak Dev speak?

Ans. Rejecting Sanskrit (which was called the language of the gods), Guru Nanak Dev used Punjabi (Lok bhasha, people's language) to communicate his egalitarian teachings.

Q4. What are the key teachings of Guru Nanak Dev?

Ans. Gurupurab; Guru Nanak Dev's five teachings are Vaand Chhako, Kirat Karo, Naam Japo, Sarbat daa bhalaa, and Speak the truth without fear.

Q5. Why did the message of Guru Nanak spread so fast?

Ans. Guru Nanak Dev was determined to spread the message of God. He travelled across the subcontinent to educate the people.