550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji

By: Surinder Jain, Hindu Council of Australia.

550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji is being celebrated throughout the world.

The Indian civilization has been a civilization of knowledge, both worldly knowledge and contemplative knowledge. While Abrahamic religions have three main prophets founding the three Abrahamic religions, Indians had a myriad of luminaries who have experienced and explained Creator, creation and our role in it.

Six thousand years ago such knowledge was documented in Veda and Upanishad. Some explained Creater as unmanifest Brahman and creation as HIS manifestation. Others simply described him visually like a simile used by Oppenheimer to describe the first ever nuclear explosion : Like a thousand suns rising simultaneously each brighter than a thousand suns.

The knowledge was again presented for the benefit of mankind by Buddha, Mahavira and Shankaracharya. This flow of knowledge was disrupted after 8th century when invaders from West and north west of India attracted by the wealth of India tried to conquer it.

By fourteenth century the knowledge became limited to a few scholars of Sanskrit. It was during this time that new saints arose to bring the true spirituality back to the masses. Some in the bhakti movement like Rahim used simple poetry to explain, while others like Kabir used sarcasm to decipher the knowledge.

It is during that era that Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji gave us the knowledge in day to day language and made it available to common man. Guru Nanak Dev Ji used explanations as well as direct language. He explained the ultimate reality as mool mantra:

Ik­oaʼnkār saṯ nām karṯā purakẖ nirbẖa­o nirvair akāl mūraṯ ajūnī saibẖaʼn gur parsāḏ.

One Universal Creator God. The Name Is Truth. Creative Being Personified. No Fear. No Hatred. Image Of The Undying, Beyond Birth, Self-Existent. By Guru’s Grace

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