The Advent of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji
Hail, hail, hail, a man hath come,
By whose favour the whole World shall be saved.
The object of his coming was
That through him The ONE might be remembered.
He was saved himself, and he saved the world:
To Him, Nanak, I ever make obeisance.
Guru Granth Sahib, pp.238
In 1469AD was born Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji; the spectator of all time and all existence, the logos eternus and logos primus of God, the founder of Sikhism - the New World Order.
Guru Nanak proclaimed the world to be the creation of God, reflecting the divine being and the divine purpose. By placing a positive value on natural order, he brought worldly structures - the family, the social, and the political and economic systems - within the orbit of religious concern. Human life was considered an opportunity for an individual to develop personally by practicing piety and by devoting himself to the service of his fellowmen thereby improving man’s condition as a whole. “The body, is the palace, the temple, the house of God: into it He has put His eternal light”. The life of faith was not to lead men away from this world.
The true man of faith
Did not retreat from the world,
But battled in open field,
With his mind perfectly in control
And with his heart poised in love,
All the time. Guru Granth Sahib, pp.931
Guru Nanak openly spoke against high-handedness, injustice, inequalities, and moral decay under governments. He showed how cant, hypocrisy and superstition passed under the name of religion. He challenged the corrupt priestly classes who preached empty customs and ritualism, and abhorred institutions like the caste system, and the degradation of women. Guru Nanak declared the whole human race as one social brotherhood.
The times are like a drawn knife,
The kings like butchers,
And righteousness hath fled on wings.
The dark night of falsehood prevaileth,
The moon of truth is nowhere visible. Guru Granth Sahib, pp.1460
Guru Nanak repeated these expressions in reference to cruel and unjust monarchs, fawning, corrupt ministers and officials, pharisaical priests. He protested against oppression of every kind, and incompetent governors:
“They, who confer authority on those who deserve not, are fools,And they, who accept it, are shameless.”
All persons regardless of birth, class, education, wealth, occupation have been instructed to speak the truth: “Truth is higher than everything else, but higher than truth is true living”.
Sikhs believe in an equilibrate society, recognising no caste-system, and teaching the equality of all men and women. Sikhs sing praises of and meditate on God, to acquire similar virtues of truth and humbleness, peace and justice, righteousness and benevolence, spirit and self-sacrifice. Guru Nanak preached the 3 basic tenets of his vision:
1. Practise the yogic discipline of Name; Waheguru.
2. Engage in honest non-exploitive labour,
3. Share your earnings, out of love and compassion with others.
The genesis of Guru Nanak’s teachings of God emanate from his Mool Manter, which is:
Whose Name is Truth, The Creator, The Fearless, The Envyless,
The Immortal Being, Free from Birth and Death, The Self-Existent.
Realised by the Grace of the Guru.
True Anterior to Time, True Through Time,
True at the Present Moment, O Nanak; True in all Future.
Having installed the most deserving of his disciples; Bhai Lehna, whom he renamed Angad, his successor to Guruship and put His Light into him, Guru Nanak cast off his mortal frame on 7th September 1539, and His Soul onto the Guru Granth on 6th October 1708.
For further information please contact the SikhPolice Office.
For further reading: Guru Nanak’s Life and Thought. Sirdar Kapur Singh
Guru Nanak and his Teachings. Madanjit Kaur
Perspectives on Guru Nanak. Harbans Singh