English Hindi


Politics & War

Society & Philosophy

Guru Nanak Dev

Guru Nanak Dev
  • Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1539) – He was the founder of Sikh Religion.
  • Guru Angad (1539-1552) – He started Gurumukhi language that is the writing script Sikh Religion.
  • Guru Amardas (1552-1574) – He demolished many social evils like stoppage of child marriage, widow re-marriage etc.
  • Guru Ramdas (1574-1581) – He discovered the Amritsar city by contributing 500 villages. Akbar had gifted him these villages.
  • Guru Arjan Dev (1581-1606) – He built Golden Temple and also wrote Aadigranth. At last, he was executed by Emperor Jahangir.
  • Guru Hargobind (1606-1645) – He placed Akal Takht in the Golden Temple.
  • Guru Har Rai (1645-1661)
  • Guru Harikishan (1661-1664) – Many schools were built across the country by the names of Hari Kishan.
  • Guru Tegbahadur (1664-1675) – Emperor Aurangzeb sentenced his death.
  • Guru Gobind Singh (1675-1708) – He started Khalsa Panth.
  • Guru Nanak was born on 29 November 1469 at Talvaṇḍī (present day Nankana Sahib, Punjab, Pakistan) near Lahore. His parents were Kalyan Chand Das Bedi, popularly shortened to Mehta Kalu, and Mata Tripta.
  •  His father was the local patwari (accountant) for crop revenue in the village of Talwandi. His parents were both Hindu Khatris and employed as merchants.
  • He had one sister, Bebe Nanaki, who was five years older than he was.  Guru Nanak was attached to his sister and followed her to Sultanpur to live with her and her husband, Jai Ram.
  • According to Sikh traditions, the birth and early years of Guru Nanak’s life were marked with many events that demonstrated that Nanak had been marked by divine grace.
  • At the age of five, Nanak is said to have voiced interest in divine subjects. At age 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.
  • On 24 September 1487 Nanak married Mata Sulakkhani, daughter of Mūl Chand and Chando Rāṇī, in the town of Batala.
  • In 1475, Nanak’s sister got married to Jai Ram and moved to Sultanpur. Nanak wanted to stay with his sister for a few days and hence went to Sultanpur and started working under the employer of his brother-in-law.
  • By all accounts, 1496 was the year of his enlightenment when he started on his mission. During his stay in Sultanpur, Nanak would go to a nearby river every morning in order to bathe and meditate. One fine day, he went to the river as usual but did not return for three days.
  • It is believed that Nanak went deep inside the forest and stayed there for three 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 a new religion.
  • Guru Nanak traveled extensively during his lifetime. Some modern accounts state that he visited Tibet, most of South Asia and Arabia starting in 1496, at age 27, when he left his family for a thirty-year period.
  • Guru Nanak was determined to spread the message of the God. He was saddened by the plight of mankind as the world was fast falling prey to the wickedness of Kaliyug. Hence, Guru Nanak decided to travel across the subcontinent to educate the people. It is said that he undertook five journeys (udasis) in his lifetime.
  • During his first journey, Guru Nanak covered most parts of present day India and Pakistan. This journey lasted for seven years and is believed to have taken place between 1500 and 1507 AD. In his second journey, Guru Nanak visited most parts of present day Sri Lanka. This journey too, lasted for about seven years.
  • In his third journey, Guru Nanak travelled through the difficult terrains of the Himalayas and covered places like Kashmir, Nepal, Tashkand, Tibet and Sikkim. This journey lasted for about five years and took place between 1514 and 1519 AD.
  • He then travelled to places like Mecca and most parts of Middle East in his fourth journey. This lasted for about three years.
  • In his fifth and final journey, which lasted two years, Guru Nanak focused on spreading the message within the region of Punjab. He was accompanied by Bhai Mardana in most of his journeys. Though the authenticity of these journeys is challenged by scholars, it is believed that Guru Nanak spent 24 years of his life in his journeys, covering a staggering distance of 28,000 kilometers by foot.
  • Through popular tradition, Nanak’s teaching is understood to be practised in three ways:
  • Vaṇḍ Chakkō: Sharing with others, helping those with less who are in need
  • Kirat Karō: Earning/making a living honestly, without exploitation or fraud
  • Naam Japna: Meditating on God’s name to control the five weaknesses(kama (lust), krodh (rage), lobh (greed), moh (attachment) and ahankar(conceit) .of the human personality.
  • 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.
  • In his teachings, Guru Nanak emphasized that God has created many worlds and also created life. In order to feel the presence of God, Guru Nanak asked his followers to repeat the name of the God (Nam Japna).
  • He also urged them to lead a spiritual life by serving others and by leading an honest life without indulging in exploitation or fraud.
  • Through his teachings, Guru Nanak had become extremely popular among both the Hindus and the Muslims. His ideals were such that both communities found it ideal.
  • They both claimed Guru Nanak to be one of their own and needless to say, Guru Nanak’s ardent followers who called themselves the Sikhs (disciples) were also in the race along with the Hindus and the Muslims.
  • Guru Nanak appointed Bhai Lehna as the successor Guru, renaming him as Guru Angad, meaning “one’s very own” or “part of you”. Shortly after proclaiming Bhai Lehna as his successor, Guru Nanak went to heaven on 22 September 1539 in Kartarpur, at the age of 70.