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Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now celebrated as Guru Nanak Gurpurab.
21. Universal message for all people
It had been a custom at the time for religious leaders to address only their own congregation and for segregation of the different religions but Guru Nanak broke with tradition and spoke to all of humanity. To the Muslim he said And when, O Nanak, he is merciful to all beings, only then shall he be called a Muslim. to the Hindu, he said O Nanak, without the True Name, of what use is the frontal mark of the Hindus, or their sacred thread and to all he preached To take what rightfully belongs to another is like a Muslim eating pork, or a Hindu eating beef.
22. Gurus schooling
At the age of seven, Guru Nanak was sent to school, which was run by teacher, Pandit Gopal Das, at his village. As usual the teacher started the lesson with an alphabet but the teacher was wonder stuck when the Guru asked him to explain the meanings of the letters of the alphabet. However at the helplessness of his teacher, the Guru wrote the meanings of each and every letter of the alphabet. This was the first Divine Message delivered by Guru Nanak. This was an explanation of deeper truth about human beings and God and the way to realize God in terms of the alphabet. The teacher stood abashed before the Divine Master and bowed to him. He then took him back to his father and said, Mehtaji, your son is an Avtar (prophet) and has come to redeem the victims of Kalyug (the age of Falsehood). He is destined to be a world Teacher, there is nothing that I can teach him.
Many writers believe that Guru Nanak was first sent to different schools belonging to the Hindus and Muslims to learn about Vedas (Hindu Scriptures) and Quran (Muslim Scripture), and only after obtaining the knowledge from those scriptures, he started his religion. According to Malcolm, Guru Nanak is said to have learnt all earthly scenes from Khizr the Prophet Elias. There is a reason to believe, writes Cunningham, that in his youth he made himself familiar with the popular creeds both of Mohammadans and the Hindus and that he gained a general knowledge of the Quran and Brahmanical Shastras.
It seems that all these scholars of history have not grasped the basic fundamental fact about the divinity of Guru Nanak. He was born with divine status, thus, his teachings were heavenly. These writers seem to be very much ignorant of the fact that Guru Nanak was an Embodiment of Divine Light. He was a celestial being and his divine attributes put him above mankind and its schools. Historians have failed to visualize the splendor in Gurus Jot. Heavenly Spirit does not learn from man made institutions. He was a heavenly messenger and a born world teacher who taught the mankind the path of righteousness and truth. Guru Nanaks divinity is above all earthly institutions and their teachings. The Message that Guru Nanak gave to this world, came to him direct from God as he confirms himself.
23. Ceremony of sacred thread
Guru Nanak was nine years old and according to the custom among the higher castes of Hindus, he was required to invest himself with the sacred thread called Janaeu. Great preparations were made by his father for this ceremony. The family priest named Hardyal, started chanting Mantras (Hindu hymns) and was ready to put the thread around Gurus neck when he refused to wear it. The whole assembly was astonished. They tried to persuade him every way to wear the Janaeu but in vain. Then the Guru uttered the following Sabad.
24. Cobra serves the divine master
As usually is the case in villages, the father sent his son to graze the buffaloes in the pastures. One day while the Guru was grazing the buffaloes, he fell asleep under a tree and the herd destroyed the crops in the neighboring fields. When the owner saw his crops damaged, he became furious and lodged a complaint with Rai Bular, an officer in charge of that area. Rai Bular sent for the son and his father to adjust the quarrel. The Guru told them that no damage was done to the crops; rather it was blessed by God. Rai Bular sent his messengers to inspect the fields. But to everybodys surprise the investigators could not find any damage in the fields rather the crops were doubly blossoming. The field where this miracle happened is now known as Kiara Sahib.
On another day the Guru was sent to graze the buffaloes in the pastures and he fell asleep under the shade of a tree. As the sun rose higher, the shadow moved away. A big cobra came out of its den and provided shadow with its hood over the face of the Divine Master. Rai Bular happened to pass by that side with his attendants. When he saw this strange scene, he was convinced that the boy was a man of God. Upon seeing the people, the cobra retreated to its den and Rai Bular touched Gurus feet in great reverence and thus became Gurus disciple.
25. Guru sits in seclusion
As he grew a little older, he avoided company and sought seclusion. For days he would sit silent in solitude and spent his time in meditation. Parents became anxious about his health and to them his unworldliness appeared insane. One day they sent for their physician Hari Das. The physician came and began to feel Gurus pulse. He withdrew his arm and asked, O physician, what art thou doing? The physician replied that he was diagnosing his disease. Upon this the Guru laughed and then uttered the following Sabad.
26. Early life
Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now celebrated as Guru Nanak Gurpurab, at Rai Bhoi Ki Talva??i, now called Nankana Sahib, near Lahore, in present day Pakistan. Today, his birthplace is marked by Gurdwara Janam Asthan. His parents were Kalyan Chand Das Bedi, popularly shortened to Mehta Kalu, and Mata Tripta. His father was a patwari (accountant) for crop revenue in the village of Talwandi, employed by a Muslim landlord of that area, Rai Bular Bhatti.
He had one sister, Bibi Nanaki, who was five years older than him and became a spiritual figure in her own right. In 1475 she married Jai Ram and went to his town of Sultanpur, where he was the steward (modi) to Daulat Khan Lodi, the eventual governor of Lahore during the Afghan Lodhi dynasty. Nanak was attached to his older sister, and, in traditional Indian fashion, he followed her to Sultanpur to live with her and her husband. Nanak also found work with Daulat Khan, when he was around 16 years old. This was a formative time for Nanak, as the Puratan (traditional) Janam Sakhi suggests, and in his numerous allusions to governmental structure in his hymns, most likely gained at this time.
Commentaries on his life give details of his blossoming awareness from a young age. 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, which is an almost straight stroke in Persian or Arabic, resembling the mathematical version of one, as denoting the unity or oneness of God.Other childhood accounts refer to strange and miraculous events about Nanak, such as one witnessed by Rai Bular, in which the sleeping childs head was shaded from the harsh sunlight, in one account, by the stationary shadow of a tree or, in another, by a poisonous cobra.
Guru Nanaks teachings can be found in the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib, as a vast collection of revelatory verses recorded in Gurmukhi.From these some common principles seem discernible. Firstly a supreme Godhead who although incomprehensible, manifests in all major religions, the Singular Doer and formless. It is described as the indestructible (undying) form.Nanak describes the dangers of egotism (haumai I am) and calls upon devotees to engage in worship through the word of God. Naam, implies God, the Reality, mystical word or formula to recite or meditate upon (shabad in Gurbani), divine order (hukam) and at places divine teacher (guru) and gurus instructions) and singing of Gods qualities, discarding doubt in the process. However, such worship must be selfless (sewa). The word of God, cleanses the individual to make such worship possible. This is related to the revelation that God is the Doer and without God there is no other. Nanak warned against hypocrisy and falsehood saying that these are pervasive in humanity and that religious actions can also be in vain. It may also be said that ascetic practices are disfavoured by Nanak, who suggests remaining inwardly detached whilst living as a householder.
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