The birthday of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji holds special significance for all the Indians especially in view of the nation’s multi-religious composition and moreover every festival in India finding participation of people belonging to all communities.
This is indeed the hallmark of Indian Civilization and Culture which the people of the world’s largest democracy have been upholding as the ages old secular ethos of this region. While celebrating the birth anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji every sane nationalist feels the dire need to emulate and follow the teachings towards transforming into pure human beings by cleansing our minds and purifying the hearts to make this world a peaceful place to live.
Today when the whole world is witnessing bloodshed and mayhem in the name of religion perpetrated by hate mongers and self styled religious bigots to fulfil their vested interests, it is high time for every Indian to realize and understand that every religion teaches the people to lead an extremely pure and simple life devoid of rigidities. Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the sav- iour of his time propagated ‘the real message of the God’. He travelled far and wide to spread his divine messages and teachings which were instrumental in making people’s lives better when their plight was in a turmoil world troubled him. Guru Ji was a farsight- ed person who was far ahead of his time and prac- tised and propagated the ideals for a humanistic life.
His teachings resonate in the same manner today as they did back then. These teachings made him eter- nal in everyone’s hearts. He was ready to make sac- rifices for the sake of others. According to him, SEWA (selfless help) and SIMRAN (remembrance) guide one in journey to the shore. This idea of self- less help which he practised all through his life is symbolised by the distribution of ‘Langar’ (food) today. Lakhs of people are fed on a daily basis in the Golden Temple and several other Gurudwaras even in contemporary times. Guru Nanak Dev Ji always believed that worshipping God leads one to a better life. It is pertinent to mention here that Universal brotherhood is a strong theme in the ‘Gurbaani’ com- posed by him. Abandoning all barriers of caste, reli- gion, etc., he propagated the message of ‘Ik Onkar’, the one eternal God. For him, ‘there was neither a Hindu nor a Muslim’. All these are human-made beliefs and to alleviate from it, only one true God can guide us. This God is selfless, loving and it is with his will that everything happens. The greatest contribu- tion of Guru Nanak Dev Ji is that he cultivated even the seeds of a truly Socialist society. He proved at a gathering that blood flowed from the Roti (bread) of the rich and the dishonest men who thrived on the work of poor and milk flowed from the Roti of the poor and honest who had worked hard to earn it. In fact, he was quite active in promoting gender equal- ity It was to the conviction of Guru Nanak Dev Ji to bring women at par with men when he permitted them to join the gatherings. It was at a time when the other religions shunned the participation of the women in most activities. He proclaimed, ‘So Kyon Mnada Akhiye, Jit Jame Rajaan’ i.e. how can women be inferior to men when they give birth to the great men and kings of the universe. Guru Nanak Dev Ji was someone who propagated what he practiced in reality. Today, even after five and a half centuries, his teachings play a covert role in making this world a better place for everyone. His teachings are a treas- ure which we have inherited from him and it is upon us to carry forward the legacy of this wonderful treas- ure. As such on this auspicious day the best tribute to Guru Nanak Dev Ji would be to emulate and implement his precious teachings and messages in true letter and spirit by one and all.