Guiding Light: Sarbat da bhala — may everyone prosper

Ritesh AswaneyUpdated: Friday, November 04, 2022, 05:22 PM IST
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Guru Nanak Ji | File

As we approach the full moon in the holy month of Kartik on Tuesday, the world prepares to venerate Guru Nanak, one of the foremost spiritual leaders that have tread planet earth. Born in Nankana Sahib, in present-day Pakistan, he gave the world the message of Ik Onkar, which translates that there is only one God, one Creator. Let’s take this opportunity to focus on some of his most salient teachings.

Sarbat da Bhala

Guru Nanak preached the message of equality and universal brotherhood. He taught that this was not limited to just words in religious texts, but also how one conducted themselves in daily life. So much so that towards the end of the Ardas, or the daily prayer, we pray that everyone in the world prosper and be in peace. This helps us expand our horizon beyond the individual, family and even country, praying for the happiness of humanity as a whole. This is a key tenet, which can help reduce so much strife that has come to marr the world today.

Sewa and Simran

Sewa, or Service is a key cornerstone of Guru Nanak’s teachings. You can see his principle of Vand Chako (share with those less fortunate) in action to this day in your neighbourhood Gurudwara, where langar is cooked in the community kitchen and people are fed a nutritious meal. Kirat Karo, or making an honest living is another key principle and keeps temptations like greed and lust at bay. Remembering God through chanting his holy name, or Naam Japna, keeps one in the mode of goodness, and carrying out his will, without letting ego or selfishness come in the way of righteous living.

Sach Sunaisi Sach ki Bela

Guru Nanak emphasised the importance of speaking the truth without any fear. Truth isn’t dependent on anything else, but shines forth and a person’s true inner strength is revealed by standing by the truth, irrespective of the situation or consequence. We see this teaching exemplified in the lives of other Guru’s like Guru Teg Bahadur and even the young and innocent Chaar Sahibzade (or the four children of Guru Gobind Singh), who fearlessly spoke the truth in front of tyrannical rulers, despite staring death in the face.

On this Guru Purab, as we celebrate Guru Nanak, let us take a moment to reflect on his teachings and how true they ring even today, and attempt to bring them into practice in everyday life. Waheguru Ji ki Fateh!

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