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Mystic Mantra: Guru Nanak and truthful living

Kulbir Kaur teaches sociology at Shyama Prasad Mukherji College, Delhi University
Published : Nov 23, 2018, 12:10 am IST
Updated : Nov 23, 2018, 12:10 am IST

Guru Nanak, the first Guru of the Sikhs, was born in 1469 AD in Talwandi who emphasised on the oneness of God.

Guru Nanak
 Guru Nanak

Once Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith, went to a village along with his lifelong Muslim companion, Mardana. The people of the village were very rude and did not offer them food or shelter. The next morning while leaving the village, the Guru blessed them, “May you always remain in this village”.

Guru Nanak and Mardana went to another village where people were very affectionate and welcomed them with open arms. They offered them food and requested them to stay in the village. While leaving the village, the Guru blessed them, “May the people of this village scatter and leave this village”.

Mardana was surprised by Guru’s words. He asked the Guru that why did he bless those who did not offer any food and cursed those who served him well. Why did he wish them to leave their village? Guru Nanak replied that the inhabitants of the first village were not good. Wherever they go they will spread only bad and negative values so it is better they remain confined to their own village. On the other hand the people of the second village were kind and helpful. Wherever they go they will propagate only good deeds. Hence, it is very much desirable that they should scatter and make others adapt these good values.

Guru Nanak always laid tremendous stress on the character of a person. He strongly believed that it did not matter to which religion one belonged, but what really mattered was truthful living. Ethical conduct is regarded as the only true foundation of human life. “A man of religion is ever characterised by ethical deeds, honest living, sincerity of heart and fearless passion for truth,” says Guru Nanak.

Guru Nanak, the first Guru of the Sikhs, was born in 1469 AD in Talwandi who emphasised on the oneness of God. There is but one almighty — Ik Onkar. He is the creator as well as the creation, hence where does the question of differentiation arise? The supreme being is present in the highest as well as the lowest. The Guru says, “What can humble Nanak say when all men have been made equal? He is the light that lights everything.”

Guru Nanak never gave sermons and never asked the people to believe anything blindly. He would question, he would analyse and set an example through a practical approach. Once the Guru went to Haridwar and saw people standing in the river and throwing water towards the east. When questioned, they replied they were offering water to their dead ancestors. Guru Nanak started throwing water towards the west direction and said he was watering his fields at Kartarpur in Punjab. “How can this water reach your fields?” people asked him. “If it can’t reach my village, how can this water reach your dead ancestors,” questioned the Guru. “Use your intelligence in serving God and in gaining merit. Use your brain to read and digest what you read and how to give in charity,” says the Guru.

Guru Nanak’s faith is based on love and simplicity. Hence he emphasised on nam simran, sharing (vand-chhakna) and honest labour (kirat-karni) along with seva or service. A Sikh must work to earn his living, share with others and always remember Waheguru. As says Guru Nanak, “Who besides him could be the guide, who the instructor? Who would apprise the worth? O my beloved, I know not thy end.”

Tags: guru nanak, mystic mantra