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Nanak Dev: A Guru Since Childhood

Tomorrow Sikhs all over the world will celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanti. On the eve of this occasion, let us know the legend and his life and try grasping at least a small element of his lifestyle and its hidden message, for it will bring us ever lasting peace and contentment.

GURU Nanak Dev, the first guru of Sikhs, was born in 1469 in a village named Talwandi, which later came to be known as Nankana Sahib, now in Pakistan. His father’s name was Kalyaan Daas Ji (Mehta Kalu) and his mother’s name was Tripta. His sister, Nanki, was five years his senior. He got married to Sulakhani Ji and was blessed with two children i.e. Baba Shri Chand Ji and Baba Lakhmi Daas Ji.

ek-onkarEven as a child, Guru Nanak seemed different from the other children of his age. While the others indulged in sports, fun and frolic, Nanak spent most of his time in isolation and meditation. He exhibited some extraordinary traits. He slept only for a few hours, ate small quantities of food and spoke little only when necessary. No fakir or sadhu ever left his home empty handed. He gave them alms and shared his food and clothing with them.

Despite being a precocious child, Nanak had a large number of friends, with whom he played kabaddi and hide and seek and asked his mother to serve them sweets.

He often gathered his friends under a Peepul tree’s shade and sang in praise of God Almighty. His friends would sing after him. He was gifted with a melodious voice. Many a passer-by would stop to listen to his enchanting songs and, more often than not, start singing with him and his friends.

When Nanak was six years old, his father Mehta Kalu decided to send him to the village school. Nanak was very sharp and quickly learnt everything that the teacher could possibly teach him.

One day Nanak wrote down a hymn for the benefit of his teacher which can be loosely rendered as follows: The one Lord who created the world is the Lord of all. Fortunate is their advent into the world, whose hearts remain attached to God’s service. O foolish man, why hast thou forgotten him? When thou adjust thine account, my friend, thou shall be deemed educated. The Primal Being is the Giver; He alone is True. No account shall be due by the pious man who understands by these means of letters, praise Him whose limit cannot be found. They who practise truth and perform service shall perform their reward. He who knows divine knowledge is the learned pandit…

On reading the hymn, Guru Nanak’s teacher stood awestruck. He bowed before his new student with folded hands and proclaimed him his Guru.

guru-nanak-devThe child Guru then gave up going to the village school. After some time his father engaged a Muslim teacher for him. He taught Persian to Guru Nanak. Being a bright pupil, he proved to be a quick learner. He soon took leave of his teacher but before saying good-bye to him, he taught him to be good, honest and truthful. He said to him, “Always remember God is the father of us all. We are all His children. We should love one another. We should live together like one family.”

At the point when Guru Nanak Dev Ji appeared on the Indian panorama, Hindu society was divided into castes. Hindu religion, in spite of its splendid heritage and rich philosophical content, had in practice, degenerated into more ritualism. He witnessed the inhuman treatment meted out to the Indians by the ruling Mughal Invaders, who looked upon them with sheer contempt.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji was shocked to see the condition of his fellow countrymen at Aminabad, and protested strongly against it. Guru Nanak did not have an army with which he could fight the injustice of his oppressors, but he decided to sow the seeds of self-respect and love for humanity amongst the people.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji believed and preached in the oneness of God,Ek Onkar (One manifest in diversity) and the brotherhood of mankind. He described God as Sargun as well as Nirgun i.e. with or without attributes.

Tomorrow we are celebrating Guru Nanak Jayanti in whole World and in our town Udaipur, we have five gurudwaras namely Gurudwara Sachkhand Darbaar (Sikh Colony), Gurudwara Singh Sabha (Shastri Circle), Gurudawara Arjun Darbaar (Sect. 11), Gurudwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib (Sect. 14) and Gurudwara Nanak Darbaar (Pratap Nagar).

A proper and systematic guru ka langar will be offered to all irrespective of the caste, colour or creed. Around 2500 Sikhs residing in Udaipur will celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanti tomorrow.

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