India is a place of saints and prophets. One of the great saints and prophets, Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born in this country and spread the message of love, unity, and peace. He was the preacher of Sikhism and followers of him are known as the Sikhs. Guru Nanak Dev Ji is also called as the First Guru of the Sikhism.
Birth and Childhood
He was born on 15th April 1469, near Talwandi Village close to Lahore (then undivided India and presently in Pakistan). The place is now known as the Nankana Sahib and even now a fair is celebrated on his birth anniversary. The birth anniversary is celebrated on the first full moon night of the Kartika Month and is known as Guru Parba. He was born to a poor Khatri family. His parents were Mehta Kalu and Mata Tripta. The little boy named Nanak was impressive since a young age. He joined the village school and outsmarted others. His compassion and passion for learning and love for the mankind always made him different. He used to hymn musical poetry and songs since childhood. All these hymns are part of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhism.
Guru Nanak as a young man was dedicated and passionate about work apart from his philanthropist work. He was employed in Sultanpur as a store keeper. He spent little money for himself and used to donate everything to the poor. He used to talk about Unity and harmony between the Hindus and Muslims then. His messages were spreading like wildfire in Punjab and adjoining areas since his early days.
Birth of Guru Nanak Dev
One fine day, he went to take a bath at the holy Kalibai River and went into the forest. The teachings say that he heard the God and received instructions to spread the message of love. Since then, he turned into a Saint and under the command of the Almighty, he started preaching the message of unity. He used to give up caste, creed, and discrimination and believe in one God. He insisted that none is Hindu or Muslim and instead everyone is children of the God. He visited many places and taught people the lessons of life and spirituality.
His disciples and followers grew day by day and a new religion was born, Sikhism. Majority of the people of Sikhism were from Punjab region. Punjab was the today’s Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh in India and entire Punjab Province of Pakistan at that time. He even went to the Mecca and taught people about his lessons.
Guru Nanak DevJi composed many songs and musical poetry in the praise of the God. All his songs were collected and mentioned in the Guru Granth Sahib later. The scripts are written in the Gurmukhi language. He named his successor Bhai Lehna and renamed him Guru Angad. He stayed the last part of his life in Kartarpur, beside the River Tapti. He died at the age of 70 in Kartarpur on 22nd September 1539.