Remembering Guru Nanak Dev Ji on his 550th Birthday

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“With the emergence of Satguru Nanak the mist cleared and the light scattered all around.”

On this day, 550 years ago, a saviour was born who propagated ‘the real message of the God’. This saviour was Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He travelled far and wide to spread his divine messages and teachings which were instrumental in making people’s lives better.

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Guru Nanak Dev Ji was a farsighted person who was far ahead of his time. He practised and propagated the ideals for a humanistic life. His teachings resonate in the same manner today as they did back then. These teachings made him eternal in everyone’s hearts.

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The plight of the people in a turmoiled world troubled him. He was ready to make sacrifices for the sake of others.According to him, SEWA (selfless help) and SIMRAN (remembrance) guide one to the shore. This idea of selfless help which he practised all through his life is symbolised by the distribution of ‘Langar’ (food) today. Lakhs of people are fed on a daily basis in the Golden Temple and several other Gurudwaras. He always believed that worshipping God leads one to a better life.

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Universal brotherhood is a strong theme in the ‘Gurbaani’ composed by him. Abandoning all barriers of caste, religion, etc., which forcefully bind people, he propagated the message of ‘Ik Onkar’, the one eternal God. For him, ‘there was neither a Hindu nor a Muslim’. All these are human-made beliefs and to alleviate from it, only one true God can guide us.This God is selfless, loving and it is with his will that everything happens.

He even cultivated the seeds of a truly Socialist society. He proved at a gathering that blood flowed from the roti (bread) of the rich and the dishonest men who thrived on the work of poor and milk flowed from the roti of the poor and honest who had worked hard to earn it.

In fact, he was quite active in promoting gender equality It was to the conviction of Guru Nanak Dev Ji to bring women at par with men when he permitted them to join the gatherings. It was at a time when the other religions shunned the participation of the women in most activities. He proclaimed, ‘So Kyon Mnada Akhiye, Jit Jame Rajaan’ i.e. how can women be inferior to men when they give birth to the great men and kings of the universe.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji was someone who propagated what he practised. Today, even after five and a half centuries, his teachings play a covert role in making this world a better place for everyone. His teachings are a treasure which we have inherited from him and it is upon us to carry forward the legacy of this wonderful treasure.

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