Sikhism originated with Guru Nanak Dev ji five centuries ago. Guru Nanak Dev ji came from a hindu family. He grew up surrounded by Muslim neighbors. From early age he showed a deep spiritual character. He broke away from his family’s traditions and belief systems, refusing to participate in empty rituals. Guru Nanak Dev ji married and entered his father’s business but remained focused on God and meditation. Eventually Nanak became a wandering minstrel. Guru Nanak Dev ji composed poetry in the praise of God, and set it to music. He rejected idolatry and the worship of demigods. He spoke out against the caste system, instead taught on the equality of all humanity. Would share few interesting stories of our first Guru.
The Birth of Guru Nanak Dev ji
Early one morning before the light of dawn, Tripta the wife of Kalu Bedi, gave birth to a baby boy. The baby charmed the midwife who attended his delivery. The parents called the astrologer to predict his fortune. They named his son Nanak, after his older sister Nanaki. The family lived in the town of Nankana, which is now the part of Pakistan.
Nanak, the Herdboy
When Nanak became old enough, his father gave him the job of watching cattle. Nanak would slip into deep meditative trances while the cattle grazed. He got into lot of trouble couple of times when cattle wandered into the neighbours fields and ate up their crops. Nanak’s father often became very upset with him, and scolded him for his laziness. Some villagers noticed very unusual things happening when Nanak meditated. They became convinced that Nanak must be mystic or saint.
Nanak. the Scholar
One of the villagers, named Rai Bullar, noticed that Nanak tended to meditate at every opportunity. He became convinced that Nanak had devout disposition. He persuaded Nanak’s father to put him in a class where he would receive an education in religious studies. Nanak learned very quickly astounding his teacher with the spiritual nature of his school work. The teacher believed that Nanak wrote divinely inspired compositions.
Nanak, the Merchant
As Nanak matured, his family arranged a marriage for him with a girl named Sulakhani. She bore him two sons. Nanak’s father attempted to set him up in business as a merchant, so he could support his family. He gave Nanak money and sent him to make purchases. Nanak spent all the money feeding homeless and hungry, holy men that he met on his way. When he returned empty-handed, his father became very angry and scolded him severely. Nanak insisted that doing good deeds for others had earned an excellent profit.
Nanak, the Householder
Nanak’s father became increasingly frustrated with him. His sister, Nanaki, lived with her husband in a town called Sultanpur. They found a job working in a granary. Nanak left his wife and sons with his parents promising to send for them as soon as he could support them. Nanak did well in his new position. He treated everyone generously, and dealt with them fairly. Before long his family joined him, and they moved into the house of their own. Nanak became acquainted with a Muslim minstrel, named Mardana. They met every morning at a local river, where they meditated every morning before going to work. The entire community expressed astonishment that men of different faiths could worship together.
Nanak, the Enlightened one
One morning, Nanak went to meditate and bath beside the Kali Bein, or black river with Mardana. Nanak walked into the river and disappereared beneath the river. When he did not showed up for work, his employer discovered that he had never come back out from under the water. Everyone assumed that he had drowned except for his sister Nanaki. Three days passed and then, astounding everyone, Nanak emerged from the river alive saying, ” Na koe Hindu, na koe Musalman – there is no hindu nor Muslim.” The amazed town’s people agreed that Nanak must be completely enlightened being and began to call him ”Guru”.
P.S : My purpose to share on this topic is to enlighten the readers with positive thoughts. The information shared is with the help of internet. Once the series on Guru Nanak Dev ji is completed would like to know the response from my readers so that I can continue sharing the preachings about all the Gurus at regular intervals.