Guru Nanak Dev was the first and greatest Guru of the Sikhs. The Religious Belief is that Guru Nanak Dev founded the Sikh Panth. His followers call him by many names like Nanak, Nanak Dev Ji, Baba Nanak and Nanakshah etc. Guru Nanak was a man of great personality. He had the qualities of a philosopher, a yogi, a householder, a religious reformer, a social reformer, a poet, a patriot, and a Vishwabandhu. It is not easy to describe him in words, but let us try to know about his brief life story today.
Guru Nanak Dev
Nanak was born on 15 April 1459 in the village of Talwandi on the banks of the Ravi river, about 60 km from Lahore. Nanak’s father’s name was Kalu Mehta. He was the patwari of Raibular, the Zamindar of the village. His mother’s name was Tripta Devi. And his sister’s name was Nanaki. Due to Nanak’s fame, Talwandi later got the name Nankana.
Nanak was cheerful, sharp-witted, and of a different nature since childhood. He found great pleasure in living with the sages. He respected the saints and used to get good knowledge from them. Devotion to God started getting him from childhood. However, Nanak was not an ordinary child.
The proof of this is heard through a story. It is said that once when the child Nanak was sleeping, a snake came there. But the surprising thing was that the snake stood in front of Nanak’s mouth instead of bitting. And then, after some time, that snake quietly left from there. Impressed by this incident, the Zamindar Raibular also started respecting Nanak.
Huge respect for saints
When Nanak turned 16, his father gave him money and asked him to take up business for a living. So Nanak went out to do business with some of his friends. I have already mentioned that Nanak had great respect for the saints. So when he was going for business, he saw hungry sadhus on the way for many days. So Nanak spent the business money given by his father on the sadhus’ food, clothes, etc. But after this, Nanak became afraid of his father and did not go home. One of his companions told all these things to his father. Nanak’s father was very angry with him due to this incident and wanted to beat him. But at that time, Nanak’s sister Nanaki clung to her brother and saved him from beating.
Nanak was married at the age of 19. He was married to a girl named Sulakshana. Srichand and Lakshmichand Nanak had two sons. (The elder son Srichand became a famous Mahatma and the younger son Lakshmichand became a householder). So Nanak had to do some work to make a living for his family. Then Nanaki took Nanak to Sultanpur. There Nanak got a job in the Modi Khana of the Nawab. His only job was to distribute grains.
Love for people
When Nanak was weighing grain, he was stuck on the 13th weight. While doing thirteen, he did not know how much grain he weighed from him. Such incidents started happening every day. The people working with Nanak complained about Nanak to the Nawab. He told the Nawab that all the grains were being wasted in wrong weighing by Nanak. After hearing the complaint, the Nawab got the grains checked. But the surprise was that the grains were complete. Nanak left his job after this incident. Seeing this, the complainants, as well as the Nawab, were very embarrassed.
Nanak continued to tour across India for 25 years, giving Satsang to the saints of many religions. In Punjab, he met Hindus, Muslims, Pirs, Fakirs.
Apart from India, he had made many trips around the world. His four trips to India and the world are very famous.
- Nanak Dev Ji reached Jagannathpuri while preaching religion at places like Amanabad, Haridwar, Delhi, Kashi, Gaya, etc., in his first traveling.
- In the second journey, Nanak went south to places like Arbudagiri, Rameswaram, Singhaldweep, etc.
- His third visit was to Garhwal, Hemkut, Gorakhpur, Sikkim, Bhutan, and Tibet.
- He traveled westwards to Mecca in Arabia via Balochistan in his fourth voyage. While returning, he came back to India, getting used to Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, etc.
At all places, he propagated religion according to his ideas. At the same time, he also gave the message to the people to become true devotees of God. He was very gentle and understood the sentiments of other people very well. That’s why he wanted to end the people’s conservatism and did not want to break their hearts.
Spread Knowlegde: Guru Nanak Dev
Once upon a time, the ruler of Delhi was very tyrannical. When Guru Nanak Dev reached Delhi to spread his religion, that tyrannical king got him jailed like other sadhus. Nanak was happy and ran a mill in the jail there. All the sages started living happily in the jail with Nanak. At the behest of other Muslim mystics, the king agreed to release Nanak. But Nanak said that first the other sadhus should be released only then he would leave from there. So under compulsion, the king had to leave Nanak and all the sadhus.
Nanak went to Kashmir, Tibet, and Mansarovar. There he interacted with Yogis and Siddhas. A great saint, Bhartriji, came with him to Kartarpur. He established a town named Kartarpur on the banks of Ravi and called his daughter, children, and parents. Nanak also went to Lanka. The kings there used to fight and fight among themselves. Nanak made them befriend. Nanak’s last journey was to Mecca. There was also an incident that happened. There he fell asleep with his feet towards Sharif. When a Muslim saw him, he told him not to sleep with his feet towards the house of God. Nanak said lovingly, “Brother, where God’s house is not there, put my feet in that direction.”
After listening to him, the Muslim man understood that this is not an ordinary person. From there, Nanak reached Kabul, and he met Babur there. Babur was planning to invade India. When Nanak returned to Kartarpur, he heard that Babur had come to India doing atrocities. Nanak scolded Babur a lot. Finally, Babur released all the prisoners and also repented for those killed.
Guru Granth Sahib
In 1568, Guru Nanak placed Lahana Ji on the throne by giving the name of Angad to one of his true disciples. Guru Nanak died in the same year. The Hindus built his samadhi, and the Muslims made his grave. But the waves of the river Ravi carried away both of them. The verses composed by Guru Nanak Dev were compiled in the Guru Granth Sahib by the fifth Sikh Guru, Sri Arjun Dev. It shows his devotion to God and greatness. He Was A Great Saint.