Guru Nanak Dev
- November 1, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Guru Nanak Dev
Subject – History
Context – Punjab Police want Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary to be declared ‘World Pedestrian Day’
- Guru Nanak Dev is considered the world’s most notable and revered pedestrian.
- To spread the message of oneness and to break barriers across faiths by engaging in spiritual dialogues, the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev, travelled far and wide during the 15th and 16th centuries.
- From Mecca to Haridwar, from Sylhet to Mount Kailash, Guru Nanak visited hundreds of interfaith sites related to Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Jainism throughout his journeys (also called udaasis).
- At some sites, gurdwaras were constructed to commemorate his visit.
- Later his travels were documented in texts called ‘janamsakhis’.
- These sites are now spread across nine nations as per current geographical divisions — India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, China (Tibet), Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan.
- It is believed that during those times, when early modes of transport were limited and were mostly restricted to boats, animals (horses, mules, camels, bullock carts), Guru Nanak Dev, along with his companion Bhai Mardana, undertook most part of his journeys on foot.
- The founder of Sikhism, made walking an integral part of the “Sikh culture”. Each gurdwara now has “parikrama”.
- The proposal to designate Gurpurab as ‘World Pedestrian Day’ was conceptualized in 2019 ahead of Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary celebrations.
More about Guru Nanak –
- He was born in 1459 at Talwandi Rai Bhoe village near Lahore, which was later renamed as Nankana Sahib.
- He was the founder of Sikhism and is the first of the ten Sikh Gurus.
- His birth is celebrated worldwide as Guru Nanak Gurpurab on Katak Pooranmashi (‘full-moon of Kattak’), i.e. October–November.
- Nanak is said to have travelled far and wide across Asia teaching people the message of ik onkar (‘one God’), who dwells in every one of his creations and constitutes the eternal Truth.
- Nanak’s words are registered in the form of 974 poetic hymns, or shabda, in the holy text of Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahib, with some of the major prayers being the Japji Sahib (jap, ‘to recite’; ji and sahib are suffixes signifying respect); the Asa di Var (‘ballad of hope’); and the Sidh Gosht (‘discussion with the Siddhas’).
- Wrote compositions which were included in the Adi Granth, compiled by Guru Arjan (1563-1606), the fifth Sikh guru.
- This came to be known as Guru Granth Sahib after the additions made by the 10th sikh guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708).
- Advocated the ‘Nirguna’ (devotion to and worship of formless divine) form of bhakti.
- Rejected sacrifices, ritual baths, image worship, austerities.
- Set up rules for congregational worship (Sangat) involving collective recitation.
- He placed the motto of “kirat karo, naam japo and vand chhako” (work, worship and share) before his disciples.
- He advocated the concept of “dasvandh” or donating one-tenth of one’s earning among needy persons.
- Death: In 1539 at Kartarpur, Punjab.