Guru Nanak

Guru Nanak (1469-1539) was one of the greatest religious innovators of all time and the founder of the Sikh religion. Guru Nanak's birthday is celebrated by Sikhs on April 14th by the Nanakshahi calendar (the date according to the lunar calendar changes annually but is usually in November).

Guru Nanak's religious ideas draw on both Hindu and Islamic thought, but are far more than just a synthesis. Nanak was an original spiritual thinker and expressed his thoughts in extraordinary poetry that forms the basis of Sikh scripture.

Guru Nanak was born about 40 miles from Lahore (now in Pakistan) in 1469. Sikh traditions teach that his birth and early years were marked with many events that demonstrated that God had marked him out for something special.

The most famous teachings attributed to Guru Nanak are that there is only one God, and that all human beings can have direct access to God with no need of rituals or priests. His most radical social teachings denounced the caste system and taught that everyone is equal, regardless of caste or gender.

Primarily Guru Nanak’s teaching is practised in three ways:

Vand Chakko: Sharing with others, helping those with less who are in need

Kirat Karo: Earning/making a living honestly, without exploitation or fraud

Naam Japna: Meditating on God's name to control the five weaknesses of the human personality.

Guru Nanak emphasised Nam Japna (or Naam Simran), that is repetition of God's name and attributes, as a means to feel God's presence.







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