Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Guru Nanak was the first of the 10 Sikh gurus as well as the founder of the Sikhism religion. The day falls on the full moon day in the month of Kartik in the Hindu calendar. While in the Gregorian calendar, the date varies from year to year, it mostly falls in the month of October or November. The festival is celebrated on a large scale with high spirits, enthusiasm and magnificence. The Sikhs all across the world mark this day by taking out processions, reciting hymns and reading the Guru Granth Sahib. This day revolves around the preaching and teachings of Guru Nanak. To know more about this great legend, go through the following lines.
Guru Nanak Jayanti Legend
Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born on 14th April, 1469 A.D. in Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi in the Shekhupura District, around 30 miles from Lahore, of present Pakistan, better known as Nankana Sahib today. He was born into a Kshatriya (warrior) family to Mehta Kalu Chand and Tripti Devi. Mehta Kalyan Das Bedi, better known as Mehta Kalu, was the accountant of the village and an agriculturist as well. Since childhood, Nanak had a mystic disposition and used to talk to Sadhus about God. He had a pious nature and a contemplative mind. He spent most of his time in meditation and spiritual practices.
Nanak got married to Sulakhani, daughter of Mula, resident of Batala in the district of Gurdaspur. He even had two sons, Srichand and Lakshmichand. Jai Ram, Nanak’s brother-in-law, took him to Rai Bular, the Zamindar of Talwandi, who put Nanak in charge of his storehouse. Nanak received provisions as his salary for discharging his duties very satisfactorily. However, Nanak gave up his duty and distributed the goods among the poor. Disguised as a Fakir, he lived in the jungles singing inspiring songs. Mardana, a minstrel from Talwandi became Nanak’s servant and faithful devotee.
By the age of 34, Nanak became a public preacher. He preached “There is no Hindu, there is no Mussulman”. His preachings highly impressed the public. He toured Northern India along with Mardana. He traveled throughout India from Sayyidpur to Kurukshetra, Haridwar, Brindavan, Varanasi, Agra, Kanpur, Prayag, Patna, Rajgir, Gaya and Puri. He even made extensive tours to Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mecca, Medina, Turkey, Baghdad, Kabul, Kandahar and Siam.
Two great miracles are associated with Guru Nanak’s life. One is connected with Nanak’s visit to Mecca. One time, the Mohammedans found Nanak sleeping with his feet towards the Kaaba, the direction towards which the Muslims prostrate while performing their prayers. Kazi Rukan-ud-din observed this and got angry. On remarking why he turned his feet towards God, Nanak asked him to turn his feet where God is not present. Kazi angrily turned his feet to the opposite direction. To his surprise, even the mosque started moving. Kazi was shocked but recognized the glory of Guru Nanak.
The second incident mentions about the visit of Nanak to Hassan Abdal in the Attock district in the North Western Frontier in 1520 A.D. Nanak sat under a peepal tree at the foot of a hillock. Mardana used to get water from a spring of water at the hilltop. A Mohammedan saint named Vali Quandhari lived on the hill and did not like this. He refused to give any water to Mardana. On informing about this to Nanak, he only said that God will help them. Soon, the spring on the hilltop dried and a spring rose at the foot of the hilltop. The saint got enraged and hurled a big rock from the hilltop down to the place where Nanak sat. Nanak stopped the rock with his open hand. This surprised the saint and he immediately prostrated at the feet of Nanak for pardon.
Nanak preached purity, justice, goodness and love of God. He composed beautiful mystic poems, which are contained in ‘Japji’. Today, every Sikh sings this at daybreak. Through ‘Japji’, Nanak has given a vivid and concise description of the stages that a man must pass through to reach the final resting place or abode of eternal bliss. Nanak spent the last days of his life in Khartarpur where his entire family resided together for the first time. His devotee, Mardana also lived with him. Guru Nanak died in 1538 A.D. at the age of 69. He was succeeded by Guru Angad.