Guru Nanak


Guru Nanak

Guru Nanak

It's one thing to follow a tradition, and quite a different proposition to create and become a tradition. Surprisingly enough, the Guru of the Sikhs followed not one but many traditions but created one Omkar; he began a new tradition of amalgamation, synthesis and purification. He was the real master and true teacher. Guru Nanak, the first Guru of the Sikhs and undoubtedly a rishi in India's glowing traditions of rishis, ruled and still rules over the hearts, minds and lives of millions.

Guru Nanak claimed: "The man who earns his bread by the sweat of his brow and gives some of his gains in charity knows the true way of life."

"Kar se kam karo, Hari se dhyan dharo," said Sant Kabir. (Work with your hands and keep your thoughts on God.)

The tradition of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, which reiterates that having created the ruler, to control him the Supreme Being created dharma, was accepted and depicted by Guru Nanak:

Man set in authority!

Let devotion be thy service,

Let thy toil be faith in the Name,

Check thy mind from wandering after temptation.

Stand on guard against all evil,

So from all men thou shalt earn the praise

And the Lord, thy King,

Will delight in thee

With a fourfold increase in His love.

Guru Nanak did not conduct his mission in isolation or wholly in passive meditation or holy exercises in retirement. He took a leading, active and decisive part in public and political affairs, in personal and social life, in individual and collective religion.


Guru Nanak draws his strength from the inexhaustible depths of one's self and contemplation, introspection and prayer, for all such introspection and prayer can help find Nivriti in Pravriti and Pravriti in Nivriti in keeping with the Karma Yoga taught by the Gita. This Karma Yoga is the core of Guru Nanak's thought and l-ani. It is the root that gives sap and strength to the great, growing, green tree of Sikhism. 

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