Sikhism is one of the most prominent monotheistic religions of India, built on the values of equality, altruism, universal brotherhood and abstinence from vices. The goodness of the religion is deeply imbibed by every Sikh who practices its virtues in their everyday lives. They are known for their love and largesse towards society. Little wonder why Sikhs are among the most adored communities in India. The gift of Sikhism was bestowed upon the world by Guru Nanak, the founder of the religion and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. His birthday, which falls on Kartik Puranmashi in the month Kartik, is of great significance to the Sikh community. In 2018, Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurpurab will be observed on November 23.
Guru Nanak was born in November 1469 at Rāi Bhoi Kī Talvaṇḍī, which falls in Lahore, Pakistan. He was born in a Hindu Khatri family to Kalian Das Bedi and Mata Tripta. He had an elder sister Bebe Nanki, after whom Nanak was also named. Here are some lesser known facts about the guru on his birthday.
Destined For Greatness From Infancy
Even at a young age, people around him were convinced that Nanak was destined for greater things. An astrologer who was brought in to write young Nanak’s janampatri or horoscope was overwhelmed when he caught the first sight of the infant. According to legends, he bowed down in front of the child and told his parents he’s destined for great things. True to his words, Nanak’s early years were filled with instances that boded of divinity. Inspiring Quotes from the First Sikh Guru on the Occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti.
An Exemplary Child
Right from his infancy, Nanak was a model child, according to some accounts. He was the most unusual child who never cried, even when he was hungry. Instead, he had the most radiant smile on his face, to which people were inexplicably drawn to. Unlike other children of his age, he didn’t waste time in childish pursuits. He was known to be austere, with a preference for simple food and clean clothes. Nanak was selfless in his service towards everyone from a very young age. Wish Guru Nanak Jayanti 2018 With Beautiful GIF Greetings & Messages.
Tales from Guru Nanak’s early years speak of a time when he joined school under Pandit Gopal. It took the teacher no time to understand that Nanak was wise beyond his years. One day, the Pandit found him scribbling something on his wooden board. It was a poem written in full stanzas, with every line beginning with successive letters of the alphabet. It gave the Pandit goosebumps to know that a child of only seven had written a poem with so much profundity, about the universe, God and his creations. Ek Onkar Satnam Karta Purakh' Lyrics of Mool Mantra to Chant on Gurpurab, Watch Video.
Worked as an Accountant
Although he was a precocious child who didn’t take long to learn the toughest of subjects and languages, Guru Nanak never had an inclination towards pursuing them. His father, however, was concerned about his son’s tinkering with the spiritual. He wanted him to succeed in worldly life and become an accountant like him. Guru Nanak did succumb briefly to his father’s demands and worked as an accountant for a short while. But the spiritual pull was too strong for him to ignore.
While his cattle were grazing, Guru Nanak, who was tending after them, went into a meditative trance. During that time, the cows entered the neighbour’s field and destroyed all the crops. The enraged neighbour demanded that he be compensated. But with just a loving glance of Nanak, the destroyed field turned verdant as if the cows never grazed on the crops. Later, a gurudwara was built on the field called Kiara Sahib.
Refused To Wear The Sacred Thread
The sacred thread called janju or janehu is a mark of an upper-caste Hindu male in India. Hindu boys belonging to the Brahmin caste are made to wear the thread in an upanayana ceremony. At the age of eleven, when Nanak refused to wear the thread, rebelling against the priest who tried convincing him. He said, “What advantage will this cotton thread give me?” He argued that the thread is not a symbol of spiritual superiority, and that if it truly was a symbol, it would be indestructible like the soul.
Travelled Through Countries
Guru Nanak set out on a spiritual journey, spreading his teachings across Tibet and Arabia. Circa 1496, at the age of 27, he travelled across countries on a spiritual journey that lasted almost three decades. He met a lot of learned men along the way, sharing ideas and learning new things. There were claims that he visited Mecca, Baghdad, Achal Batala and Multan where he debated with other scholars about religious ideas.
After his marriage to Mata Sulakkhani, Guru Nanak fathered two sons, Sri Chand and Lakhmi Chand. The former followed in his father’s footsteps of spirituality after he was enlightened by Nanak’s teachings. He went on to found Udasi sect, an order of ascetics in North India. The Udasis worked as interpreters of Sikhism, helping bring more people into the fold.
Since Guru Nanak was someone who had disciples from Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam, his funeral rites caused a bit of contention among them. As his death neared, the disciples squabbled among themselves, to have Nanak's body cremated as per their religious rituals. He sensed the unrest brewing among his followers and asked to place flowers on his either side -- Hindus and Sikhs to the right and Muslims to the left. The decision will be taken based on the freshness of the flowers on each side. He then instructed them to cover him with a shroud and leave him to his fate. When the disciples returned the next day, to their surprise, there was nothing under the shroud and the flowers were still as fresh like the way they left them.