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In all the Janamsakhis, Guru Nanak stresses the importance of living truthfully as the path to liberation. 

 

Sikhs lay a lot of importance to reading and absorbing the stories of the Guru's birth, known as Janamsakhis. It's like living a meaningful life just by hearing the tales, especially those of Guru Nanak. He didn't just preach liberation; he lived it, setting an example for all Sikhs to follow practically. The Janamsakhis don't force anything on the listener; they simply captivate them with their stories.

For Sikhs, Janamsakhis aren't just stories; they're a way to connect deeply with their faith. By learning about Guru Nanak's life, they feel inspired to live by his teachings every day. These stories aren't just about the past; they teach Sikhs important values and beliefs that guide them in their lives today. Through Janamsakhis, Sikhs strengthen their connection to their spiritual roots and commit to living in the Guru's footsteps.

 

The Essence of Truthful Living: Sakhi of Guru Nanak Ji

In all the Janamsakhis, Guru Nanak stresses the importance of living truthfully as the path to liberation. He advises, "Listen to my advice, O my mind! Only good deeds shall endure, and there may not be another chance." One such Sakhi  illustrates the path to enlightenment. There once lived a thug named Sheikh Sajjan. Despite his outward appearance of nobility, he deceitfully robbed people. He feigned kindness, piety, and hospitality, offering food and shelter to visitors, only to kill them in the darkness of night and steal their valuables.

 

Transformative Encounters: Guru Nanak's Encounter with Sheikh Sajjan

Once, Guru Nanak and his Muslim companion Mardana stayed at Sajjan's rest-house. It was nearly midnight, and despite waiting for his guests to sleep, Sajjan kept hearing the soothing sounds of bani played on the rabab. Guru Nanak recited a hymn: "Bronze is bright to look at, but if you keep it, your hands get blackened with it. Similarly, some people seem good but are like a house whitened on the outside, empty within. A person should be good both inside and out." Overwhelmed, Sajjan fell at the Guru's feet and confessed his crimes. He distributed all his possessions and converted his house into a dharamsala. According to the Puratan Janamsakhi, it was the first such center established in the early history of Sikhism.

 

Learnings from the Sakhi

Each person reflects the Almighty's creation, aiming to embody the best qualities of divinity. Waheguru embodies numerous attributes such as being the Eternal Truth, Supreme Creator, and Fearless Being, among others. As mortal beings, we strive to emulate these qualities while recognizing our place in the grand scheme of Creation.This understanding fosters humility and guides us towards spiritual enlightenment, facilitated by Guru’s Grace. 

 

Celebrating Guru Nanak's Legacy

Surrendering ego, Sikhs meditate on God's name, earn through honest means, share with the needy, and perform selfless service. Following Baba Nanak's teachings of Kirat Karna, Vand Chhakna, te Nam Japna, Sikhs celebrate life through rituals like Guru Nanak Jayanti, organizing kirtan-durbars, processions, prabhat-pheris, and langars, singing with profound devotion.
 

 “As Guru Nanak made his appearance in the world, /There was light everywhere. /As when the sun rises, /The stars vanish and darkness retreats… /Wherever the Guru set foot, /The spot became sanctified… /By manifesting the Eternal Name, /The Guru redeemed all the four corners and all the nine realms of the earth.”

 

*Based on an article published in The Sikh Foundation on 7th December 2012

 

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