Guru Nanak ji: The Guru who inhabited in the Heart & Soul!

Vishal Chauhan, 22/11/2018

From its brilliancy everything is illuminated.

23rd November marks the birthday anniversary of the Shri Guru Nanak Devji (1469 – 1539 CE) and is known as his GURPURAB. This day is one of the most auspicious days to those who follow his teachings. On this day the words (baani) and the life of the first Guru of Sikhs is contemplated upon.

Here’s a look at the essential teachings of Guru Nanak Devji found in the famous Mool Mantar ~‘Ik-Onkar’ from his composition the “Japji Sahib”.

Guru Nanak Devji was born to Mehta Kalyan Das Bedi and Tripta Devi in 1469, in the village of Talwandi also known as Nankana Sahib. This village is near Lahore in present day Pakistan.

The life of a Guru or a Prophet is a blessing to the disciple and becomes a message in itself. As the word (baani) of a Prophet becomes a scripture for the followers, so did the words of Guru Nanak Devji, the Adi Guru of the Sikh panth, got immortalized in the Shri Guru Granth Sahib – the scripture of the Guru’s followers.

Writing about Guru Nanak Devji, Swami Vivekananda wrote: “Guru Nanak was born in the sacred land of India.

He gave a message of love and peace to the whole world and preached the same through his teachings. He was full of affection for everyone and his arms were always open as if to embrace the whole world.”

On an auspicious day like Guru Nanak Dev ji’s birth anniversary, the Guru’s teachings need sincere listening and contemplation upon it, in order to commemorate the blessing of his birth - because a Guru is ultimately known for his teachings, not as a personality. A spiritual opportunity would be missed if the Guru’s words are not fully understood and just ritualistically chanted. 

Guru Nanak ji: The Guru who inhabited in the Heart & Soul!

The Disciplines of Guru Nanak ji!

The origins of the Sikh tradition lie in the spiritual and social teachings of Guru Nanak Devji who taught that the union with God is through Guru’s grace and direct personal experience and he emphasized meditation on the God’s name (Naam), to live with an inner awakening of God and an outer service by righteous means.

The Shri Guru Granth Sahib the scripture of the Guru’s followers has 5894 hymns of which 976 hymns (17%) are composed by Guru Nanak Devji. Of the many teachings through his hymns, the “Japji” revered as the ‘Japji Sahib’ appears at the very beginning of the Shri Guru Granth Sahib.

The “Japji Sahib” is recited every morning by the Sikh devotees and is considered as a concise summary of his teachings. The compilation of Japji Sahib consists of the famous Mool mantra - The symbol of ‘Ik-Onkar’ is also an emblem for Sikhs and is found on Gurdwaras. The Mool mantra ‘Ik-Onkar’ is the first series of truth-affirmations and is considered the essence and basis of Sikh panth.


The translation of the Mool Mantra ~ Ik-Onkar with the command ‘Jaap’ which means ‘chant and meditate’ is:


Ik Onkar        -          All is one

Sat Naam      -          This is our True Identity

Kartaa Purakh   -       Doer of everything

Nirbhau      -             Beyond fear

Nirvair         -            Beyond anger

Akaal Moorat   -         Beyond death

Ajuni         -              Unborn

Saibangh       -          Full of Light

Gurparsaad       -      This experience comes by Guru's grace.

Jaap         -              Chant

Aad Saach     -         Primal Truth

Jugaad Saach   -      True for all time

Haybee Sach    -      True at this instant

Nanak            -        O, Nanak

Hosee bee Saach -   True forever

Let no man in the world live in delusion. Without a Guru none can cross over to the other shore!


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