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Indian History

Guru Nanak Dev’s 481st Death Anniversary

  • 23 Sep 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Jyoti Jot (death anniversary) of Guru Nanak Dev (Founder of Sikhism) was observed at his final resting place Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur in Pakistan.

  • On the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak the Kartarpur Corridor which connects India and Pakistan was opened to the public.

Key Points

  • Guru Nanak:
    • Guru Nanak, first of the ten Sikh Gurus in Sikhism, is believed to have died at Kartarpur on 22nd September 1539.
    • Guru Nanak was born in Talwandi Rai Bhoe, near Lahore, Pakistan which was renamed later as Nankana Sahib.
    • He was a greatest thinker, philosopher, poet, traveller, political rebel, social leveller, mass communicator and spiritual master.
    • His political, social and spiritual beliefs were based on love, equality, fraternity and virtue. He is also viewed as a symbol of peace and servicing.
    • His followers came to be known as Sikhs, which means a learner or a disciple.
    • He used the medium of music, poetry, song and speech to preach the love of God and to attack the socially oppressive practices of casteism of the orthodox Brahmanical Hindu religion.
      • He also spoke in favour of an equitable social status for women.
    • Guru Nanak was also a great traveller. He went on long journeys (called Uddasian) to far off places along with his two companions Bhai Bala, a Hindu, and Bhai Mardana, a Muslim, to hold dialogues with many saints and Sufis.
  • Teaching of Guru Nanak:
    • Guru Nanak declared that God is one — formless (Nirgun) and without birth and death. The whole world is God’s creation i.e. Ik Onkar Satnam.
    • According to him all are born equal. He also stood for karma as the basis of dharma.
    • Valued a simpler notion of truth that was the basis of honest living.
      • He declared that truth has the highest value in life, but truthful living is higher still in value.
    • Created awareness related to the conservation of water, and the importance of a clean environment.
    • Emphasised on three things:
      • Kirat Karni: It means to work hard, and earn good karma and an honest livelihood.
      • Vand Chakna: It means to not be selfish, and share with others.
      • Naam Japa: It means to meditate and remember the name of god.
    • Provided a practical demonstration of building a community based on strong egalitarian values of:
      • Cooperative agricultural work
      • Langar (collective cooking and sharing of food)
      • Pangat (partaking food without distinctions of high and low)
      • Sangat (collective decision making)
    • His teachings are mentioned in the Adi Granth compiled by Guru Arjan Dev (1563-1606), the fifth sikh guru.

Source: IE

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