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  ‼  Aum, Asato maa sadgamaya, Tamaso maa jyotirgamaya  ‼  
     

 

Guru Nanak
(1469-1539)

Guru Nanak was not born in a very rich family.

Guru Nanak Sahib’s birthday falls on the 30th of November.

Guru Nanak's father's name was Mehta Kalian Das.

At the age of 6, young Nanak was sent to school. Guru Nanak was clever in Hindi, Mathematics, Muslim Literature, Persian and Arabic. Young Nanak learned quickly.

One day Guru Nanak wrote a hymn for the Village school teacher which scolded man for having forgotten God who was the true Giver and the One who had created the world. Guru Nanak told his Muslim teacher to be good, honest and truthful

At the age of 16 young Nanak was married to Sulakhani and was happy. He loved his wife and eventually had two sons Sri Chand in 1494 and Lakshmi Chand three years later.

Guru Nanak, loved to meditate. Once a cobra shielded him from the scorching heat as he was absorbed in the name of the Lord.

Another time, the cattle that he was tending crossed over and destroyed a farmer's field. The farmer complained to young Nanak's father but when they went to inspect the field, they were astonished to note that the crops were intact. The farmer insisted that it was a miracle.

Young Nanak's father wanted him to lead a normal life and to earn a decent living. So he gave him some money to make a profit. Guru Nanak spent that money feeding sages and mendicants. He claimed that that was a good bargain.

At Sultanpur where Guru Nanak worked as a shop-keeper, he met Mardana, who was to become his constant companion. Mardana was a musician. Guru Nanak started to sing hymns accompanied by Mardana on the rabab ( a string instrument). These sessions attracted a lot of people.

Guru Nanak proclaimed that there was no Hindu and no Mussalmaan. He explained that since both were the children of God, they were brothers and sisters.

At the age of 30, Guru Nanak, started his extensive travels to spread the word of God. He conveyed his message in the form of musical hymns.

Children, do you know what is a cannibal?

A cannibal is a man who eats people for a meal.

Guru Nanak once went up boldly and unafraid in front of a dreaded cannibal chief named Kauda. Kauda was thrilled as he saw his 'meal' coming to him. He started to heat the oil in anticipation. When Guru Nanak came close to him, Kauda tested the oil. He found it cold! Not to give up so easily, Kauda caught Guru Nanak in his muscular arms and flung him into the fire! As Kauda watched Guru Nanak step out of the fire unharmed, Kauda trembled, repented and stood reverently with folded hands. Kauda took a vow not to harm anyone. Thus from a killer Kauda was transformed into a servant and teacher of men.

The last part of his worldly life, Guru Nanak spent in Kartarpur. The Great Guru would wake at dawn and recite his daily prayers. At daybreak, he would address his followers. He worked in his free kitchen, which even today is popularly known as 'langar'.

Have you seen a picture of Guru Nanak? Ask mummy to show you and to take you to a Gurdwaara. And then write to me and tell me about it.

 
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