Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh religion, was the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus. His birthday is celebrated as Guru Nanak Dev Jayanti or Gurpurab which falls on the full moon month of Katak. Born on 15 April 1469 at a village called Talwandi, all his life he worked to promote the universal religion of brotherhood and compassion. His birthplace is now known as Nankana Sahib and is located 40 miles from Lahore, Pakistan. This year Guru Nanak Dev Jayanti is on November 4, 2017.
As a young boy of five, he voiced interest in divine subjects. Later at the age of seven, he is believed to have astonished his teachers by describing the first letter of alphabet, ‘A’ and the mathematical version ‘1’, as denoting the unity and oneness of God.
Nanak Dev believed that there is one almighty who dwells in every one of his creations and constitutes the eternal truth. He set up various spiritual social and political platforms based on equality, fraternal love, goodness and virtue. By the time he was fifteen, he had mastered many languages like Hindi, Persian, Punjabi and Sanskrit. In his first prophetic communion, Nanak Dev said, “There is no Hindu, nor any Mussalman.”
He was married at the age of 19 and had two sons. But he soon drifted towards the spiritual world due to lack of interest in worldly affairs. The teachings of the saint are registered in the form of 974 hymns in the holy texts of the Guru Granth Sahib.
Throughout his life, Nanak Dev undertook five long tours all over the country and even outside it. He visited several religious places and centres of worship. Nanak Dev, through his teachings also tried to end the discrimination that was faced by the people of lower castes.