Sikh Missionary Society
Sikh Missionary Society U.K. (Regd.)
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Short Stories about Guru Nanak Dev
Sikh Missionary Society: Articles: Guru Nanak Sakhis
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak Dev
Founder of the Revolution, Sikhism

In 1469 at village Rai Bhoi di, Talwandi, District Sheikhupura, Pakistan (then Punjab, India), a new light came to the world.  This light later was called Guru Nanak Dev.  The Guru would bring a social and religious revolution.  After the name of the Guru, the village later became known as Nankana Sahib. 

Guru Nanak felt deep anguish when he observed the followers of one faith hating the followers of other faiths.  Among the Hindus, a large section of society was considered low caste or untouchables. 

Women were treated as inferior human beings.  The Guru described the practice of this inequality among the people as a sin and strongly protested against it.  Guru Nanak gave new directions to the divided society to destroy it's caste, creed, and other barriers.  His preaching united all people under one category -- as equal human beings.  He emphatically told them that being the children of the same Father, God, they were all equals.

To implement his teachings Guru Nanak founded the institutions of sangat and pangat where people would sit together, pray together, and eat together without any discrimination of caste, color, creed, or faith.  Nobody was considered inferior or  superior regardless of his birth or wealth.

His teachings included the following major directions to the people:

  1. Sincere Love For God, Nam Japna.  The very idea of one common Father for all humanity teaches us that whatever name, Allah, Ram, Gobind, Guru, etc., we may use for the Almighty, we all are His creation and therefore must love each other as brothers and sisters.
  2. Honest Earnings, Dharam Di Kirt.  It is only hard earned money which is sweet like honey.  Wealth collected through corruption and unfair means makes the mind dirty and evil.  Those who become dependent upon other people's earnings usually become their mental slaves.  Such economic dependence limits their independent thinking and speaking.
  3. Sharing Earnings, Wand Ke Chhakna.  Because we are children of the same Father, we should feel pleasure in sharing our earnings with the needy.  People who share with the needy do not oblige them or do any favor to them, but are just doing their duty which is expected of them.  Sikhs do not give charity or donations to anyone.  They share their earnings with them.  The only Giver in the world is God.  How can we give anything as a donation when we are mere custodians of the gifts given to us by Him?
  4. Accepting The Will Of God, Bhana Mannana.  God knows what is right or wrong for the overall welfare of people.  We should accept His decisions without any grudge or question.
  5. Goodwill For All, Sarbat Ka Bhala.  A Sikh is required to pray to God at least twice a day for His blessings.  In his prayer, he requests God for the welfare of the whole humanity, not just of his community or his family alone.
Thus, Guru Nanak brought a social and religious revolution by providing a platform, sangat and pangat, where all people could pray, meet and eat together as equals without any kind of discrimination.  He was, therefore, remembered as a great holy man in the following folk lore:

Nanak Shah Fakir, Hindu ka Guru, Musalman ka Pir.
Guru Nanak is a selfless saintly sage,
Respected by every religion and every age.

God is the creator of this Universe.  We all, whatever our caste, color, creed, country, or faith, have been begotten by Him as His children.  Accordingly do not consider any human being as low or inferior.  Treat and respect all persons as equals and wish well for everyone. 

 


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