Guru Nanak Dev: A poet, a philosopher, a saint…!!
“So kyon Manda Aakhiye Jit Jamme Rajan” (On female gender equality: “why call ‘her’ inferior? From her, the Kings are born”) ~ Guru Nanak dev
November 10, 2011 marks the birthday anniversary of the Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469 – 1539 CE) and is commonly known as GURPURAB. This is one of the most auspicious days for the Sikh religion.
Guru Nanak Dev lived an exemplary life. He was a poet, a philosopher and a saint – all combined into a human being that was above and beyond any religion. His writings came long before the Sikh religion was born. His contributions go beyond Sikhism and beyond Punjabi culture.
Guru Nanak Dev lived his life to the fullest. He traveled all over the places, meeting saints and sufis from all casts and creeds along the way. Some of his journeys lasted many years. On one of his journeys to the west, he went all the way to Mecca, Madina and Baghdad. His another journey to the south touched Sri Lanka. His extensive travels were not only to spread the message of God, but to learn from the wisdom of those he encountered along the way.
Guru Nanak Dev was a natural poet, his poetry is often quoted as a philosophical guideline for human behavior. He wrote 974 hyms comprising Japji Sahib, Asa-Di-Var, Bara-Mah, Sidh-Gosht, Onkar (Dakhani). He meditated ‘religiously’ to connect with his spiritual side. His thoughts, the experiences from his journeys and his philosophy are the corner-stones of his writings, which are the key components of the holy book Shri Guru Garanth Sahib Ji.
Although Guru Nanak Dev traveled far and wide, he went full circle and ultimately retired to his home in Punjab, taking up farming as his last occupation. His writings are the foundation of the modern day Sikh preachings. The 3 main objectives of any human being, according to Guru Nanak, should be:
1. Kirat kar (work with your own hands or earn your own livelihood)
2. Vand Ckakk (Share your blessings/wealth/earnings)
3. Naam Japp ( Remember/worship/meditate )
These are also called the Three Pillars of Sikhism. Continue reading