Guru Nanak (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ) is the founder of Sikhism and is the first of the ten Sikh Gurus, the eleventh guru being the living Guru, Guru Granth Sahib.
Guru Nanak travelled to places far and wide teaching people the message of one God who dwells in every one of God's creations. The earliest biographical sources on Nanak's life, recognised today, are the Janamsākhīs (life accounts) and the vārs (expounding verses) of the scribe Bhai Gurdas.
Before reading the Sakhis of Guru Nanak, it is important to understand the life and times of 1450's Punjab.
Benevolent Guru Nanak while sitting in the Lord's palace looking at the earth. What did he see?
Guru Nanak was born in 1469 in a small village named Talwandi. The village is now called Nanakana Sahib after the Guru and is now in Pakistan. Nanakana means Nanak's village.
Guru Nanak was not an ordinary child. Children of his age liked him very much and everyone wanted to play with him.
At the age of five, Guru Nanak was sent to school, which was run by teacher, Pandit Gopal Das, at his village.
Guru Nanak appears to have continued to attend school for some time. One day he was observed to remain silent, and not apply himself to his books. The village tutor asked him why he wasn't reading.
Deeply impressed by the profound and convincing thoughts of Guru Nanak, Gopal met Mehta Kalu and advised him to send his son to a learned scholar.
When Guru Nanak was nine years old, his father was determined to make him wear a janeu (sacrificial thread of the hindus). The Guru said, "Please wait. Let me first try to understand why you want to put this thread around my neck."
Guru Nanak's parents were worried and called a doctor to see if he was sick.
Guru Nanak's father let him graze cattle but they went into a farmers field and ate the crops that were there.
The king cobra is the world's longest venomous snake. Rai Bullar spotted the head of a large cobra showing above the tall grass with its hood spread wide open near Guru Nanak.
Guru Nanak refused to follow the marriage rituals dictated by the brahmins of the day. He stated that any time would be an auspicious time for the wedding. There was no need to cast horoscopes as he was not superstitious.
At the age of eighteen, Guru Nanak, was sent by his father Mehta Kalu to the city to do business.
Guru Nanak's brother-in-law positioned the Guru in the post of a store-keeper in the Nawab's state granary.
Every morning, Guru Nanak got up early and went to take a bath in the river. One day, he disappeared in the water.
When Guru Nanak reappeared after his disappearance in the river Bein, Guru Sahib declared, "There is no hindu and no musalmaan".
On Guru Nanak's arrival at the Khadoor, he met a woman called Mai Bharai.
The first time Harmandir Sahib's Amrit Sarovar was discovered.
Bhai Lalo earned his living by honest work. He was born in 1452 at the village of Saidpur (now in Pakistan).
One day Malik Bhago, a high government official of the city, invited Guru Nanak to a feast.
Another story during Guru Nanak's stay in Eminabad, where Guru Ji teaches the correct path of God to both Malik Bhago and the Khan.
A Sajjan by name, a Thug by profession, Guru Nanak met Sajjan Thug.
When Guru Nanak Dev Ji was at Kurukshetra it was the day of solar eclipse.
When Bhai Mardana's shadow fell over a vaishno sadhu, the sadhu went beserk.
Led by so-called holy men, people would throw water towards the morning sun. Guru Nanak guided them to the truth.
Duni Chand was a wealthy man whose mind was awakened.
After Gorakhmata, the Guru took southerly route and passing through Gola, Ayudhya and Prayag (Allahabad), reached Banaras, also called Varanasi.
Where simple minded people made huge offerings and the priests fed their ancestors by offering rice balls and lighted up little lamps to illuminate their paths in the high heavens.
Each individual places a value on things according to their judgement.
The Pir asked 3 questions of Guru Nanak and became an admirer.
Kauda belonged to the Bheel (a non Aryan, Dravidian tribe) who were known to eat human flesh. He threw Guru Nanak into fire.
How Guru Nanak founded the city of Kartarpur.
Ceylon is now known as Sri Lanka. This is the story of how the King of Ceylon became a disciple of Guru Nanak.
Hamza Gaus cursed a city for having been cheated. Mula Karar became a disciple of Guru Nanak but then fell from grace.
Wali Qanhari pushed a giant bolder towards Guru Nanak hoping to crush him.
Guru Nanak with a pandit who claimed he could see the impossible. This human life is not meant to be wasted in such spurious and fake acts.
The Guru visited the temple not to adore stone idols but to teach the people that the worship of God was superior to the worship of the deity.
Two villages with two different types of people and two different responses.
The leper's mind was under an illusion that his disease was incurable.
Mian Mitha was like a man who sets out from his home intent on drinking at the ocean of nectar, but who, reaching near the shore, begins to play with pebbles lying there, and forgets the object of his journey.
The power of faith is Guru Ji's bachan (words).
The yogis around Gorakhmata denied Mardana food. This story is not in Janamsakhis.
The Guru's teaching became so effective that Gorakhmata became Nanakmata.
The city of Kamrup was ruled by a woman of black magic. She had assumed the name of Nurshah, the name of one from whom she had learnt this art.
Guru Nanak called on the habitat of nine Naths and eighty-four Sidhas, besides six Jatis (celebrated ascetics) and offered his greetings with due courtesy, and invited them to a meeting.
Guru Sahib in the guise of a child, sat on a pile of stones by himself. An evil man by the name of Ruhela Pathaan caught Guru Sahib (child) and took him home.
At the time, the Dhela river used to cause havoc in the city by flooding each year.
Guru Nanak than lifted a rock and a hot spring (hot water) appeared.
The story of how Guru Nanak met Sheikh Farid.
At Mecca, Nanak was found sleeping with his feet towards the Kaaba.
Two shopkeepers had their shops next to one another. One Gurmukh and one Manmukh.
Guru Nanak Ji visited Shikarpur while coming from Turkistan (a region in Central Asia, which today is largely inhabited by people of Turkic decent) on his way back to Kartarpur.
On their travels, Guru Nanak and Mardana met a Muhammadan notable called Shaikh Wajid.
'By gathering things offered in charity one becomes greedy. A greedy man entangled by this urge can never do any good to mankind.'
There lived a landlord in a village near Dacca, and though he was a rich farmer, he led a gang of thieves, who robbed the people of the surrounding villages as well as the travellers on the roads.
Guru Nanak and Mardana, also among the captives, were ordered to be taken to prison as slaves.
The Guru also went to Achal Batala to teach people.
The Sidh Gosht (Dialogue With The Sages) is a pious Bani that recounts a meeting of Guru Nanak with a group of hindu ascetics (siddhs) who had renounced the world, living in the caves of the Himalayas.
During Guru Nanak's stay in Delhi, he came across some people that were mourning the death of their elephant. Guru Nanak asked them what the cause of their suffering was. The people said that they were sad because their elephant had died. Guru Nanak told them that they were mistaken.
Once Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana were on their travels, when they came across a humble servant of the lord who had nothing but a little mud hut to live in.
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