Guru Nanak

Guru Nanak (15 April 1469-22 September 1539), also known as Baba Nanak, was the founder of Sikhism and is the first of the ten Sikh Gurus.

Guru Nanak

Guru Nanak was born in Nankana Sahib, in Punjab. Nankana Sahib is now a part of Pakistan.

Guru Nanak's father, Mehta Kalu ji, was a village accountant. His mother, Mata Tripta ji, was described as a simple and very religious woman. He also had an elder sister named Bebe Nanki ji, who cherished her younger brother.

Guru Nanak

In the year 1487, Guru Nanak Dev was married to Mata Sulakhni ji; they had two sons - Sri Chand and Lakhmi Das. The family, accompanied by Bhai Mardana, a Muslim childhood friend of Guru Nanak Dev, then moved to the town of Sultanpur Lodhi, where the Guru took the job of an accountant in charge of the stores of the local Governor.

During one of those early mornings while bathing in Bein river (a small seasonal river that exists today also), Guru Nanak decided to dedicate himself completely to the service of humanity.

For the next 30 years, accompanied by Bhai Mardana, Guru Nanak undertook four major spiritual journeys, running across India, South Asia, Tibet and Arabia, covering about 30,000 kilometers. These were taken by foot. He visited various religious shrines, and met a number of religious saints and personalities during his travels. Guru Nanak's personal impact was so much that his followers could be found at places as far as Persia, Iran, Sri Lanka, etc.,

Guru Nanak promoted the equality of all mankind, upheld the cause of the downtrodden, poor, and laid a special emphasis on the equality of women. His views were far ahead of his times.

Later years

In the later years of his life, the Guru founded and settled down at the township of Kartarpur, on the banks of the river Ravi in Punjab, which is now a part of Pakistan and a majestic Gurudwara stands there. Here, he donned the robes of a peasant, earning his own honest living by cultivating the lands. Followers came from near and far to listen to the Master. He introduced the institution of Langar (free community kitchen) at Kartarpur, establishing the basic equality of all people regardless of their social and economic status.

In the year 1539 he installed Bhai Lehna ji (Guru Angad Dev) as the Second Nanak, and passed away after a few days.

Historical Gurdwaras

Gurdwara Nankana Sahib (birth)

Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib (passed away)

Last Reviewed: 18-Jun-2024
Contact: Click for Feedback