Guru Nanak was one of the most radiant stars in the firmament of India’s spiritual leaders. His personality was so luminous that people saw him, and they bowed down to him of their own accord. On this dark planet, he appeared as a heavenly light. And this light continues to shine even today in millions of hearts. It is the light of love and faith; it is the light of strong and unshakeable devotion to the One God who is Absolute Truth.
Guru Nanak gave His love to all – Hindus, Muslims, Indians, Arabs, Persians and Afghans. In them all, he saw the One glory of Divine Humanity. Guru Nanak was a farmer who planted seeds of faith and devotion in many aspiring hearts – the seeds of a new faith, a new vision, a new life. It was not his intention to found a sect, for he revered all religions. In all, he beheld the Light of God.
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In his daily sangat or congregation of the devout, he introduced the practice of kirtan – singing the name of God, uttering God’s praise, along with music, as a means of linking the soul of man with his Creator. Guru Nanak taught that the road to the abode of God is long and arduous. There are no shortcuts for the rich and powerful.
Therefore, he prescribed a common discipline for one and all. Clean living, good thinking, uttering the divine name and offering selfless service were the highlights of his way of life. To this day, Sikhs follow his prescription, summed up in these simple imperatives: naam japo, kirat karo, vand chhako. (Meditate on the Name, sing God’s praise and serve others).
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Guru Nanak attached great importance to prayer. His advice to us is: “Approach God with perfect humility. Throw yourself on His mercy. Give up pride, show and egoism. Beg for His kindness and favour. Do not think of your own merits, abilities, faculties and capacities. Be prepared to die in the pursuit of His love and union with Him.”
(Dada J.P. Vaswani is a humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader.)
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