Teachings of Guru Nanak

There are many stories of Guru Nanak from his childhood, his travels and his last days....

HAPPY GURPURAB to the beautiful soul reading this article!

In the year 1469, Rai Bhoi di Talwandi, Mehta Kalu and his wife Tripta gave birth to an extraordinary child who grew into one of the greatest spiritual leaders giving birth to a new religion "SIKHISM" with the purpose of spreading the message of God to the world. The great messenger of humanity and truth, Guru Nanak started amazing the villagers at the age of five only. He spent his early years in meditation and then the next 23 years in travelling the world in four different directions called Udasis. 

There are many stories of Guru Nanak from his childhood, his travels and his last days. Let's recall some of his stories and the life lessons we learn from them.


1. Ceremony Of The Sacred Thread

At the age of eleven, when his family arranged a ceremony for him in which Janeu, a sacred thread was to be put under his shoulders and arms, Guru Nanak refused to wear it. He saw no holiness in the thread. According to him, the thread would one day wear our and break. Rather, if one ties a thread of contentment and compassion, he would be blessed.

Lesson: Wearing sacred threads, ornaments or any material thing would not nourish our soul. Our soul can only be nourished by wearing the thread of love, compassion and truth.

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2. Best Bargain

Once, Mehta Kalu asked Guru Nanak to invest twenty silver coins in a way that would profit him. So Guru Nanak used this amazing opportunity by buying wheat, sugar and ghee for a group of sadhus who had not eaten food for several days. According to Guru Nanak, this was the best bargain he could do.

Lesson: Serve Serve

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3. Guru Nanak And The Qazi

According to Guru Nanak, there is no Hindu and no Musalman. This thought disappointed one Qazi. So the Qazi asked Guru Nanak to join him in his prayer in the Mosque. Guru Nanak refused to join. The angry Qazi asked him that if he believes that there is no Hindu and no Musalman, then why don't he kneel down with him in a Muslim prayer. Guru Nanak's reply was mind- blowing. He said the Qazi is only repeating empty words whereas his mind is somewhere else. So what's the purpose of such an empty prayer.

Lesson: Repetition of words without understanding their deep meanings would do no good to the person. Repeating empty words makes no sense and is a useless act.


4. Throwing Water With Pilgrims

When Guru Nanak went to Haridwar, the centre of Hindu Pilgrimage, he saw some pilgrims cupping water from the river Ganga and throwing it towards the rising Sun in the east so that their ancestors receive the water. So Guru Nanak joined them but in a different way. He threw water towards west direction. Being asked on his different behaviour, he answered that he is giving water to the farmer's crops in the west. Surprised by the answer, the pilgrims asked him that how would the crops receive his water. Guru Nanak replied that just like your water would reach your ancestors in the east, mine would reach the crops in the west. 

Lesson: Goodness lies in the true love of God; empty rituals are useless.

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5. Duni Chand Got A Great Message

During Guru Nanak's second Udasi, he went to Lahore, there lived a wealthy merchant Duni Chand. It was his father's death ceremony on which he served food to the Brahmins so that the food may reach his father. Also, on his door stood seven flags each signifying one Lakh rupees together signifying the fortune his father collected in his entire life. Guru Nanak on knowing the logic behind seven flags gave Duni Chand a needle saying that he would take it from him in the next world. When Duni Chand told his wife about the needle, his wife said that no one takes anything from this world when he dies. Duni Chand got the message that neither the food he was serving the brahmins would reach his father nor the wealth would go with him.

Lesson: No possession goes with us when we die but our good deeds and kindness during our life time definitely goes with us. So be kind.


6. Mecca Turned Around

Once, Guru Nanak went to Mecca. There he laid down pointing his feet towards the Ka'aba. When the Qazi, Rukn-ud-din saw him, he angrily asked Guru Nanak that how dared he point his feet towards Ka'aba where God lived. Guru Nanak asked the Qazi to point his feet towards the direction where there is no God. When Qazi turned Guru Nanak's feet around, he saw the Ka'aba turning around too.

Lesson: God is Omnipresent.

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7. Gurbani and Langar in Kartarpur

After spending 23 years in travelling, Guru Nanak started living in Kartarpur, Punjab (now in Pakistan). There he and his companion Mardana used to sing hymns and play Rabab in the name of God. This gave birth to a new Sikh tradition "Kirtan". Also, the Kartarpur community who was a great believer of Guru Nanak started serving free food to all the people irrespective of their caste and religion giving birth to another great tradition in Sikhism, "Langar". 

Lessons: a) Remember the Almighty

b) Serve the needy and non- needy

c) All beings are equal.

Guru Nanak's life and experiences give us great lessons to apply in our life. My hearty wishes of Gurpurab to the person reading this. Thank You for reading all the stories. I hope they make a great impact on you. Waheguru Ji.

Reference: The article has been extracted from THE BOOK OF NANAK by Navtej Sarna.
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