Guru Nanak Dev Birth Anniversary (Jayanti) : Founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev was far ahead of his time, more particularly in dealing with the matters of social aspects.
It was because of his progressive thinking that the evils like untouchability, parda pratha [practice of keeping women under the veil] and dogmatic restrictions over the consumption of food find no place in the Sikh-philosophy. Guru Nanak held idol-worship as an aberration from the true Dharma. However, he believed in the existence of God, and esteemed ‘Harinama’ as a basic mantra [hymn]– Guru Grantha Sahib P-1040.
Significance of physical labor
He strongly opposed to the begging, that’s too whatever be the circumstances . Not only he but all the other later Sikh Gurus laid great emphasis on the significance of physical- labor, and held it on high esteem. It is because of this no Sikh is found to be a beggar. Nanakdev preached- ‘Know the light within the man, not his caste.
At the time of death when your destiny would finally be determined, nobody would ask your caste then.’[janhu jyoti, na puchhahu jaati, aage jaati na hai]. Going ahead, according to what he preached, he initiated the tradition of sangat [religious mass-congregation] and pangat [religious mass-feast] in order to eliminate the distinction made on the basis of rich and poor; and, high and low cast.
God is one
Guru Nanak was predominantly a singer adopting Samvedic [a branch of Veda consists of religious teaching in verse form] ways of composition. Guru-Vani is more notably based only on Samved genre, which later gained the form of holy book , Shri Guru Granth Sahib. Shri Guru Granth Sahib begins with ‘Om’ preceded by ‘One’ [१\] , preaching that God is one.
When he entered the last phase of his life he felt the need for his successor. In quest of which he took the tests of his disciples and sons several times. Among the disciples was Lahinaji who always emerged successful in the tests. Therefore, giving precedence to him over his own eldest son Shri Chandji, he decided to consecrate him as the next Guru of Sikhism.
Twenty days before his death, after having elevated him [Lahinaji] to his seat, he ritually placed 5 paisa coin and coconut before him and, after taking a round of him, lay bodily on the ground to pay salutation to him. Then, he took the rosary out of his neck and garlanded new Guru with it. Bhai Buddaji, an associate of Nanak Dev, marked a tilak [sacred-mark] on his forehead. Lastly, fulfilling the last rite of the ceremony, Nanakji uttered to Lahinaji- “You are Angad born of my body.” The ceremony so adopted for the consecration of the Gurupad [seat of master] was in accordance to that one followed in Hindu practice. Not only this but all the later Gurus elevated to the seat of Guru by following the same ritual of consecration.
Shri Guru Nanak Dev, thus, proved that the criterion of achieving Gurupad is not one to be a Guruputra [master’s son] but one to be possessing required ability. Unmarried and detached, shri Chandji was free from worldly bondage, yet Guru Nanak offered the Gurupad to Angadji [Lahinaji], who was married but possessed all the virtues required to be the Guru.