Guru Nanak Dev was the founder of Sikhism is considered to be the first Sikh guru. Guru Nanak Dev was born on 20th October, 1469 in a place called Nankana located in the present day Pakistan. Guru Nanak is revered by both Hindus and Muslims alike and his teachings are practical and emphasize on peaceful co-existence rather than conducting rituals and performing religious rites. The life history of Guru Nanak Dev Ji is very inspiring and interesting. Read this biography of Sri Guru Nanak Dev to know more.
Guru Nanak showed extra ordinary talent since a very young age. When he
was born, an astrologer prophesized that he would achieve fame as a
great man and spiritual leader. When Guru Nanak Dev was just 5 years
old, he surprised everyone by talking about God and high level spiritual
knowledge. He was a brilliant student and was well versed in languages
like Hindi, Persian, Punjabi and Sanskrit. Even though he was brilliant
in studies, he preferred to seek spiritual knowledge and meditate.
He had no interest in business or working to earn a living and collect
money. Once his father gave him some amount to start a business of his
own, but he spent the money on some hungry ascetics whom he met on the
way. He married at the age of 16 and had a happy married life. Despite
having a domestic life, he never left meditating and pursuing higher
knowledge and level of realization. But very soon, he left home to seek
out the higher truth.
Guru Nanak never differentiated between men and ate with the poor with
as much pleasure as he ate with the rich. He believed that the poor
man's bread was much more rich and pure than the rich man's bread. He
once squeezed the bread of a poor man and a rich man. The poor man's
bread oozed milk and the rich man's bread oozed blood. This way he
taught that people should make a living honestly and not through unfair
Guru Nanak never differentiated between different religions and
considered all Gods to be the same. He condemned the elaborate rituals
that were performed in the name of religion. Once, Guru Nanak visited
Haridwar where he saw that people were offering water to the Sun in the
belief that the water would reach his forefathers. Guru Nanak started to
throw water in the opposite directing saying that if water could reach
dead people in heaven, the water that he offers can certainly reach
crops in his field. This way he proved the ineffectiveness of these
Guru Nanak did not believe in these mindless superstitions and rituals.
He always believed and taught that there was only one God who was
omnipresent. He taught that chanting God's name and living life purely
would free a person from the cycle of birth and death. To make it easier
for people to take God's name, he prepared the Japji, which was
essentially a morning prayer. He also composed a set of poems that
constitute the first chapter of Guru Granth Sahib which is the holy book
of the Sikhs. His teachings and philosophies continue to inspire many
around the world. Guru Nanak breathed his last in 1538 when he was 70
years old. He appointed one of his disciples as the second Guru and
named him Angad.