Incredible India ! Golden Temple and Gurus, a set on Flickr.
A visit to Golden Temple or any gurudwara gives you the essence of the values and philosophy of Sikhism as envisaged by Guru Nanak Devji and nine other Sikh gurus that followed.
Where and when you are born has a bearing on who you are and what you become. Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born in 1469, around that time – invasions, terror and blood-bath were leading to a large scale unrest in the pious land of five rivers.
Guru Sahib’s inherent nature of not accepting what was told and taught at its face value led him to evolve as an original spiritual thinker. He believed in listening, understanding and having first hand knowledge before expressing or forming his own opinion.
He listened to people of all faith and cultures.
He read extensively about the religion he was born in – Hinduism, and the dominant religion of the region Islam. He also studied Buddhism in depth.
He traveled widely to famed and acclaimed seats of learning of those times. Traveling towards the east he stayed at Haridwar, Varanasi, Kamrup in Assam and Jagananth Puri in Orissa and visited/ camped at many other important towns and schools of thought. His journey towards south of Punjab took him to temples and places of worship spread across the four states in the southern part of India and Sri Lanka. In his travels to north, north east and west of Punjab he covered the holy lands of Tibet, mainland China, Mecca (Saudi Arabia) and Baghdad (Iraq).
The beliefs & philosophies of Guru Nanak Dev, the first Guru of Sikhs, were not very popular in the beginning. But, today, it is the teachings of Guru Nanak that are guiding principles of Sikhs. The three teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji are known as Nam Simran, Kirt Karo and Wand Chako. The term ‘Nam Simran’ means think about God. ‘Kirt Kaara’ preaches people to lead a normal life by earning their living through hard work and honesty. ‘Wand Chhako’ means to share whatever spare things you have with poor and needy people.
Guru Sahib desired a Sikh to- (Sikh – origin the Sanskrit word Shishya – Student)
- believe in one God
- do selfless worship at all times (not only in the time of need)
- do service to humanity without any self interest
- share and care, especially with those who are in need
- earn an honest living by ensuring that no action leads to cheating or exploitation
- shed all inequalities, rich – poor, men – women, higher caste – lower caste
- be compassionate
- be open to the view of others on all matters
- practice brotherhood and not be self-centered
- be not scared of death
Guru Nanak Dev Ji is also refered to as Baba Nanak or Nanak Shah. The currency of Empire of The Sikhs established by Maharaja Ranjit Singh was Nanakshahi
Guru Sahib passed away peacefully in 1539 at Kartarpur, his teachings are a way of life to millions of people all over the world.
There is but One God
Unfearful, Without Hate and Enmity,
By His Grace, shalt thou worship
The One Who was True before the creation,
The One Who was True in the beginning of the creation,
The One Who is True now, and O Nanak,
The One Who shall be True for ever.
Let us pledge for ourselves to live by the teachings and philosophy espoused by Guru Nanak Devji, to create a world of peace for posterity.
Thanks to –