Guru Nanak Dev Ji, also known as Baba Nanak is the first Guru of the Sikh religion. He was born on 15<sup>th</sup> April at Rai Bhoi ki Talwandi (known as Nankana Sahib today) at Lahore to parents Mehta Kalu and Mata Tripta who were Hindu Khatris. Mehta Kalu was a merchant, to be precise he was a Patwari (accountant) of crop revenue at Talwandi. Baba Nanak had an elder sister, Bebe Nanki who was 5 years older than him. Baba Nanak was believed to be bestowed with the divine grace by birth. With age, Baba Nanak started to spread his believes and teachings through journeys known as Udaasiya. He visited different places and regions to raise awareness and spread the message of Ik OnkKar, that is, God is One. There are numerous stories about his teachings and how he started the Sikh religion. His teachings were basically based on the hard times faced by people, the answers to the questions asked in despair. He presented a new vision of life – a one filled with love and grace and purity, a vision that would help humanity in hard times.
Following are a few teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji:
1. Never forget the poor – people today, in the modern world, have almost forgotten the meaning of humanity. Back in the 1500s, when Guru Nanak was 12, his father gave him 20 rupees and asked him to do some business and bring home some profit. He went in search of a perfect business where he found some people hungry. He bought food worth those 20 rupees and gave it to them. Later he described this as “sachcha Sauda” (true business) – to serve humanity, to feed the hungry.
2. There is one God –
Even today people fight over religion, caste and creed, while Nanak had created a faith that there’s just one God. We are his children, he wanted to abolish the wrong doings in the name of religion and caste. He believed that “there is neither Hindu nor Muslim and that everyone was equal”
3. Women are equal to men –
Guru Nanak considered women equal to men. He abolished female infanticide and the unwanted rituals a female has to suffer. He considered everyone equal and thus permitted women to attend gatherings and enter temples. He believed that no one should suffer in the name of gender.
4. The five evils – he tried to spread the message of the 5 evils that have been ruining our lives. They are – kaam (lust), krodh (anger), lobh (greed), moh (attachment), ahenkaar (ego)
5. Be selfless – service to others is a service to God and hence Guru Nanak taught that serving humanity is the greatest accomplishment.
6. Superstitions – he abolished the superstitious believes of those times. Superstitions are still being practiced. He abolished every wrong doing that hampered the life of an innocent in the name of God.
These were a few teachings of Guru Nanak. I hope this helps.