Guru Nanak (1469-1539)
He worked for a Muslim as he grew up so he learned about the Muslim religion too. Eventually he became a religious teacher, teaching about a new faith using ideas from both Hinduism and Islam. This new religion, called Sikhism, was based on one God and on the equality of all human beings. Nanak travelled far and wide to teach about the new religion, he wrote hymns about it. He became known as a guru. His most famous hymn is the Japji, which Sikhs say at dawn each day.
The Sikh faith started as Guru Nanak realised that people were losing sight of God in their lives because of greed and superstition. He set out a list of new rules to bring people closer to God. These were based on the fact that there is only one God, responsible for all and that all people are equal and should have equal opportunities.
Three of the most important teachings of Nanak are known as nam simran, kirt karo, and wand chako. (These are quoted on the family page as well.)
- Think about God. ("Listening to the name gives truth, holy wisdom, contentment... by listening to the Name, sorrow and sin are destroyed." Guru Nanak)
- Live a normal life.
- Earn a living through honest means and hard work.
- Share with the needy whatever you can spare. Treat all men and women as equals regardless of nationalities, religions or creed.
Before he died, Nanak told his most trusted follower, Lehna, that he must be
the next guru. Lehna was given the name Guru Angad.
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