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Guru Nanak Dev Ji: Biography, Compositions & Udasis

Guru Nanak Dev Ji

India is a great land of sages, prophets, and saints. In the past, great men were born. They spread the message of peace, happiness, and communal harmony and were above caste, color, and religion. They were a constant source of inspiration to the dead humanity. There was a time when the darkness of sin and ignorance was prevalent all around. At that time, Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji took the incarnation as the voice of truth and spread the message of love, unity, and peace. He criticized superstitions, witchcraft, and misbelief. 

Guru Nanak Dev Ji led the people from darkness to light. He spread spiritual enlightenment in the common man’s language. His sayings became very popular. He was the preacher of  Sikhism and his followers are known as the Sikhs. Guru Nanak Dev Ji is the first guru of Sikhism.

Birth and Childhood of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

Early life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

Guru Nanak Dev was born on Kartik Purnima in 1469 in a village called Talwandi in district Lahore. This village later became famous as ‘Nankana Sahib’. His father’s name was Kaluram and his mother’s name was Mata Tripta. His father was a very simple and God-fearing man. He was an accountant for crop revenue in the village of Talwandi. His parents were both Hindu Khatris and worked as merchants.

He had one sister, Bebe Nanaki, who was five years older than him. Guru Nanak was very attached to his sister and went to visit her in Sultanpur to live with her and her husband, Jai Ram.

Guru Nanak was promising since childhood. His attitude was different from that of ordinary children. His interest was in devotion to God since childhood. He used to be more absorbed in remembrance of God than reading. 

The birth and early years of Guru Nanak’s life were marked by many events that demonstrated that Guru Nanak had been blessed with divine grace. He learned many languages like Sanskrit, Arabic, and Farsi very quickly. He understood everything immediately and had a sharp grasp of things.

At the age of five, Nanak has a keen interest in divine subjects. At age seven, his father enrolled him at the village school because of the custom. Notable lore recounts that as a child Nanak surprised his teacher by describing the implicit symbolism of the first letter of the alphabet, resembling the mathematical version of one, as denoting the unity or oneness of God.

A story from his Childhood

Cattle grazing story of guru nanak

One day, he was sent to graze his cattle. But in the wilderness, he sat in meditation. He left the cattle to their plight. His father tried his best to settle him in life.

Once his father sent him with 20 rupees to Lahore to do true business. Guru Nanak Dev took money from his father and left for Lahore to do business. On the way, he saw some sages and saints, who had been hungry for many days. Guru Nanak Dev thought that what could be a more true and beautiful business than his service?

He considered it appropriate to spend his money on the same work. Then, he brought flour, pulses, and other food items of all rupees from a village and fed all those saints. When he returned home and narrated this story to his father, he was very angry with him. In those days 20 rupees was considered a very big amount.

Then at the age of 16, Nanak Dev entered the Modikhana of a Nawab. Here also he used all his salary to distribute among saints and the poor. He was made of some other mettle and could not be persuaded to adopt the common man’s career.

Guru Nanak- A true ascetic

Guru Nanak Dev Ji loved the company of the sadhus very much. He was worried about the condition of people at that time. He was a true ascetic. From 1499 to 1521, he traveled to places far and wide teaching people the message of one god who dwells in every one of god’s creations. He taught that people of all religions are the children of God and spent their life in search of divine light.

Guru Nanak believed in truthful dealing. In the religious company, they spent days together. He had no count of time there and was truly devoted to God. He had no mind in this materialistic world. Seeing this trend, even the priests and maulvi who taught him were stunned. The activities of the world seemed pointless to him. In his heart, from the very beginning, there was a detachment from worldly illusions and compassion and has sympathy for the poor, orphans, and handicapped.

Enlightenment

Much against his wishes, at the age of 18, he was married to Sulakshana Devi. He had two sons, whose names were named Srichand and Lakshmichand. In 1475, Nanak’s sister got married to Jai Ram and moved to Sultanpur. Nanak wanted to stay with his sister for a few days and hence went to Sultanpur and started working under the employer of his brother-in-law.

How could God’s lover’s mind get rubbed in these materialistic and household things?

So, he spent his entire time remembering God. One day he left his job and home. He made the goal of his life the path of devotion. 

By all accounts, 1496 was the year of his enlightenment when he started on his mission. During his stay in Sultanpur, he went to take a bath at the holy Kalibai river and went into the forest. One of the teachings says that he heard God and received instructions to spread the message of love. When he returned, he looked like a man possessed and did not utter a word. When he finally spoke, he said,

There is no Hindu and no Musalman.”

These words were at the beginning of his teachings. 

Since then, he turned into a saint and under the command of the Almighty, he started preaching the message of unity. He used to give up caste, creed, and, discrimination and believe in one god who would culminate in forming a new religion.

Guru Nanak Jayanti

guru-nanak-jayanti

Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s birth is celebrated worldwide as Guru Nanak’s birthday or Gurupurab on Kartik pooranmashi, the full moon day in the month of Katak. Initially, Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated for three days. It starts from the non-stop reading of Guru Granth Sahib in Gurudwaras. This process is called the Akhand path and started two days before the birthday of Guru Nanak Ji. 

On the birthday of Guruji, the early morning starts around 4 to 5 a.m, carrying the holy book and the flag in a decorated palanquin. A team of holy singers sings hymns in the praise of Guru Nanak dev Ji. The holy possession moves through the localities and reaches the gurudwaras. A free communal lunch called Langar is offered afterward. 

The entire festival teaches about the universal god and equality. The lunch is also offered to eliminate the social discrimination and suffering of the starving poor.

Founder of three pillars of Sikhism

Three pillars of Sikhism

The three foundations of Sikhism were established by Guru Nanak Dev and made official:

Nam Japna 

The practice of Simran and Naam Japna, which involves meditating of God through repetition, chanting, singing, and constant remembering. It was introduced to the Sikhs by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. This was followed by a thorough analysis and understanding of God’s Name and values. To follow and walk the path of Dharam (righteousness), the Sikh’s inner mind is continually filled with love and gratitude for the Creator and the ONE ETERNAL GOD Waheguru.

Kirat Karni 

He wanted the Sikhs to practice Kirat Karni, which means to honestly earn money via physical and mental labor while accepting both pleasures and sufferings as God’s gifts and blessings. One should always be genuine and only have fear for the Eternal Super Soul. Live a decent life surrounded by Dharam, a life guided by lofty spiritual, moral, and social ideals.

Vand Chakna

The Sikhs were encouraged to practice Vand Chakna, which means “Share and Consume together,” and to distribute their wealth among the community. Sikhism places a lot of importance on the community or Sadh Sangat. Every Sikh is required to make whatever contribution they can to the common community fund to be a part of a community that maintains the consistently objective principles established by the Sikh Gurus. An important lesson from Guru Nanak Dev Ji is the spirit of giving and sharing.

Contributions of Guru Nanak Dev Ji to Society

Contributions of Guru Nanak Dev Ji to Society

Both Hindus and Muslims admired Guru Nanak Dev Ji throughout his lifetime on Earth, and even today, many people outside of the Sikh faith do. It is said that at the time of his funeral, some of his followers who had been Muslims before becoming Hindus and others who had been Muslims before becoming Hindus debated whether his body should be buried in Islamic tradition or Hindu tradition. It is stated that when they took the sheet off the Guru, all they discovered were lovely flowers. Muslims buried the flowers while Hindus burned the flowers.

The following are some of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s most notable contributions:

Equality between humans

Guru Nanak Dev Ji preached against biases and discrimination based on race, caste, status, and other factors during a time when slavery, racial and class discrimination, and respect between the various classes and castes, were all at their height in the middle east, the west, and the rest of Asia. He advised:

Conquer your mind and conquer the universe; see the brotherhood of all people as the highest position of Yogis.

Among all created beings there is one, in the end, People who understand that there is only one Lord among all beings do not discuss ego.

He urged everyone on Earth to “conquer” their minds to these evil behaviors. Only by controlling one’s pride and ego could one see this light in all others, who were all similar and carried the Lord’s light.

Equality for Women

Around 1499, when women had little to no status or respect in the world, Guru Nanak Dev Ji tried to change that by spreading the following idea:

Man is created inside of woman; he is born from woman, and he becomes engaged to and marries a woman. Woman becomes his companion, and via woman, future generations arrive. He searches for another woman when his wife passes away since he feels shackled to her. Why then do you label her bad? Kings are produced from her. Woman gives birth to woman; without woman, there would be no one at all. O Nanak, only the True Lord is devoid of a woman.

By doing this, he advocated for women’s equality and rights—a first for the 15th century!

Message for everyone’s equality

At the time, it had been customary for religious leaders to speak only to their community and to keep the other religions apart. However, Guru Nanak Dev Ji broke this custom and interacted with everyone. The Muslim heard him say: “And only then, O Nanak, would he be referred to as a Muslim if he is kind to all creatures. He addressed the Hindu “O Nanak, without the True Name, what purpose do the Hindus’ frontal mark and sacred thread serve? And he said to everyone who heard him preach: “To take what rightfully belongs to another is like a Muslim eating pork or a Hindu eating cattle.”

Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Teachings

Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Teachings

You can find Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s teachings in the sacred scriptures Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. These teachings will give you the strength to move forward while maintaining harmony and respect for each other in our relationships. Be it with our family, colleagues, or society as a whole. Here we will mention the ten important teachings of that we country to apply in our day-to-day lives.

God is one – Ik Onkar

God is one (Ik Onkar). Today, as we see, religion separates people into categories. Guru Nanak dev Ji said,

I am neither Hindu nor Muslim, I am a follower of god

which means that God is one. He also explained one thing very clearly there is only One who gives to everyone and we should never forget him. Sikhism believes that God is Omnipresent,  Shapeless, Timeless, and Sightless (Nirankar, Akar, Alakh). God’s name is the eternal truth.

Selfless Service

He believed that the sacred duty of mankind is to offer selfless service to others. We are in an era where no one wants to work without getting anything in return i.e., without profit. Guru Nanak Dev Ji said that Seva is of utmost importance. Spiritual satisfaction and mental peace can come only with selfless work for others without expecting a reward for it. He also believed that help the needy and God will help you in your times of crisis.

Keep away from five evils

Guru Nanak Dev Ji stated five evils that are a deterrent in the journey of spiritual progress are Ego(Ahankar), Anger(Krodh), Greed(Lobh), Attachment(Moh), and Lust(Kaam). With these forces dominating our lives, we cannot be one with God and will be trapped in Maya(Illusion).

Face the challenges instead of running away from them

We can keep running away in search of peace or to find the answers to our questions but that’s not going to help. Guru Nanak Dev Ji said running away to a forest won’t give you enlightenment. He doesn’t even want us to do that. Guruji wants us to lead the life in a way where we face the challenges thrown at us and we don’t shy away from them. In the world we live in today, we have a life laden with challenges. Running away through an easier option is not ideal. One must face those difficulties and achieve the goal.

Do not oppress by someone

Yes, we face such situations in our day-to-day lives. But one must always remember that courage is the key to overcoming this.

All humans are equal

He preached that there are no caste, creed, color, or religious differences in humans. All human beings are the same in the eyes of God Almighty. The same is also reflected in his words and deed. He organized the practice of Langar. Gurudwaras around the world welcome people from all walks of life to come, sit together, and eat Guru ka Langar.

Simplicity & Humility

Guru Nanak Dev Ji had several followers. Even then, he consistently presented himself as a follower of God. His simplicity and humbleness made people admire him. For us today, it is this important value that we should have in our minds. Getting carried away by the limelight of success is very easy. What matters is to stay grounded because simplicity is beautiful.

Fight superstitions

I will share an incident with you from the life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji to explain this point. When Guru Nanak Dev Ji was 9 years old, guruji’s father organized a Janeu ceremony. So, the Janeu ceremony is a holy process wherein guruji was supposed to accept and wear a sacred Hindu thread that the priest would offer. When offered, Guru Nanak Dev Ji refused to wear it and started questioning its significance.

His idea behind refusing to accept it was not because of its significance that the priest claimed but Nanak Dev Ji believed that Janeu was a way to create a divide in society. People wearing this were considered as upper class and people who were not wearing it were considered as the lower class. He also believed that this is just a medium to divide people and it didn’t help anyone to achieve the ultimate goal. 

Guru Nanak Dev Ji also asked the priests why it is that women don’t wear one. No one had answers to any of the questions posed by young Nanak Ji. This incident depicts that rather than blindly following, one must question the underlying ideologies or reasoning behind a certain belief. Guru Nanak Dev Ji always looked for a rationale behind every ritual and discouraged blind faith in superstitions.

Equality for men and women

Guru Nanak Dev Ji always believed men and women are equal. He said

we are born of woman, we are conceived in the womb of woman, we are engaged and married to a woman. We make friends with women and the lineage continued because of women. When one woman dies, we take another one, we are bound with the world through woman. Why should we talk ill of her, who gives birth to kings? The woman is born from a woman; there is none without her. Only the One true lord is without a woman.

Therefore, respect a woman. At a time when women were expected to be quiet, Guru Nanak Dev Ji not only had them join religious greetings but also openly sing their praises of God.

Prosper Together, Not Alone

Guru Nanak Dev Ji believed in Universal brotherhood. Sikhs end their prayer Ardas with the lines

Nanak Naam Chardi Kala, Tere Bhane Sarbat da Bhala

This means, that with Naam (the name of God) comes Chardi Kala, and with your blessings, peace, well-being, happiness, and welfare for everyone. 

Guru Nanak Dev ji’s Compositions

Guru Nanak dev Ji composed many songs and musical poetry in the praise of god in the Gurumukhi language. All his songs were later collected and mentioned by the guru Granth sahib.

1. Japji Sahib

The Guru Granth Sahib, the primary Sikh holy text, contains the first sacred composition as Japji Sahib. It is a well-known and short summary of the Sikh religion that Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism and the first spiritual leader of the Sikhs, wrote.  The word “Jap” implies “to recite,” “to chant,” or “to stay focused.” The use of words like “Ji” and “Sahib” is to express respect.

The piece consists of the Mool Mantar, an introductory Salok or verse, a collection of 38 Pauris, and a final concluding Salok. This Bani, known as Japji Sahib, first occurs on Page 1 of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikhs’ holy book and the book of humanity, and continues through Page 8. All Sikhs joyfully recite it every morning because it is the most important Bani, or collection of verses.

The Japji, and especially the Mool Mantar, is a collection that has rescued humanity from the thousands of years old superstition that had trapped the minds of many ordinary people. It serves as humanity’s statement of independence from long-held traditions, yogis, priests, and other figures whose truth had never called into question. Japji is a direct line of communication between the human and the guru. It opened and established the channel for this intimate connection between spirituality and humanity. The Sikhs consider it to be a beautiful collection that is unmatchable.

Message from Japji Sahib

The stanzas of the Japji attacked every religious lie that had already been recognizable as “fundamental truths.” All rituals, practices, pointless repetitions of mantras, etc., have been clearly and accurately rejected as being useless. The Japji prioritize Waheguru/God over the most powerful gods from other ancient universes. The author himself confesses that he cannot properly define the indescribable Waheguru, but the text goes on to convey the endless characters of Waheguru and Nanak.

From the scientific point of view also, The Japji Sahib is accurate.

Jo kich payee so ekaa vaar

This is another way of saying that matter cannot be formed or destroyed. Whatever was stored was put once and for all, enough forever.

The Japji claims that there are other worlds and planets out there, which was a theory that was unknown in the world at the time it was written.

When someone accepts the message of Japji, they can experience heaven (oneness with Waheguru) while they are still on earth. This is the miracle of Japji.

2. Sidh Gosht

Sidh Gosht

The holy Bani known as The Sidh Gohst describes a meeting between Guru Nanak Dev Ji and a group of Hindu ascetics (Siddhas) who had given up the world and were living in caves in the Himalayas. They believed that to develop magic powers (also known as siddhis), which would enable one to achieve liberation, one needed to engage in both mental and physical activities.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji disagreed with such ascetics who thought that to achieve liberation, a person must leave society and their family and live as a truth-oriented “householder,” supporting themselves through honest work.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji believes that real yoga combines meditation and word memory with Seva (selfless service) to those in need in the community.

The Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji contains the narratives of these encounters that Guru Arjun Dev Ji acquired from Guru Nanak Dev Ji and placed in musical measure (pages 938-946). The conversation between Guru Nanak Dev Ji and the Nath Yogis Bhangarnath, Chaqrpatnath, and Luhairipa is described in the Sidh Gosht. During his Udasis, Guru Nanak discussed various Yogis at locations like Achal Batala, Nanakmata, and Nanded.

3. Kirtan Sohila

Kirtan Sohila

All Sikhs recite this prayer at night before going to bed. The bani is about the pain of separation and the joy of oneness with the Almighty. It included five shabads written by three Sikh Gurus in total: Guru Nanak, Guru Ram Das, and Guru Arjan.

Guru Nanak said the first three shabads, Guru Ram Das the fourth, and Guru Arjan Dev the fifth. The most beautiful Naad ever spoken. It increases the aura’s sensitivity of protection to the point where it can fight off negativity for a very long range.

Recite Kirtan Sohila when you are in danger from any direct or indirect cause. When you want to shield yourself from harm with the entire earth’s magnetic field. Hypertension can be treated with it!

Hyms Meaning and Significance

These hymns have outstanding aesthetic and theological worth.

  • The first Shabad depicts the joining of the individual self and the Supreme Reality.
  • The second Shabad illustrates how the Ultimate is one despite the infinite variety of scriptures, instructors, and ideologies.
  • The third Shabad bans all forms of ceremony and outward piety and depicts the globe as one harmonious worshipping unit. The skies become one integrated platter, the sun and moon become the lights, the stars become the beads, and all vegetation becomes an offering of flowers instead of trays with lamps placed upon them along with incense and other offerings. The inner unplayed tune takes the place of the loud chanting.
  • The significance of the divine Name, which ends all pain and reincarnation, discussed in the fourth Shabad.
  • The fifth Shabad celebrates life in this world, and it advises us to make use of this great chance to help others and gain god grace. The enlightened individual discovers the Unknown Mystery and afterward experiences the joy and freedom of immortality.
  • After a death, it is also chanted before cremation. The Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the holy writings of the Sikhs, has this Bani on pages 12 to 13.

4. Dakhni Oankar

Dakhni Oankar

Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism, composed a collection of 54 stanzas known as Dakhani Oankar or simply Oankar. This composition is in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s Raag Ramkali metre. Ramkali Mahala 1 Dakhani Oankaru is the bani’s complete name. Pages 929 to 938 of the holy Granth contain the composition. Different academics offer different explanations for the title. South is denoted by the word “Dakhan,” and “Onkar” refers to “The Creator.”

According to one theory, the adjective dakhani refers to the bani’s proper noun, Oankaru. The reason it was addressed to the priest of the Oankar temple in the dakhan (South), on an island in the Narmada River, in Madhya Pradesh, is why it is known as a dakhani letter.

Another version names the bani Oankaru and links the term “dakhani” with Ramkali raga since the Dakhani raga is a form of Ramkali raga.

The focus of this is on teaching moral principles.

Men whose careers allow their deeds to fall short have been referred to as “moving corpses, or corpses that merely breathe

They are spiritually dead. But even those who are so lowly have a chance to recover if they would just completely submit to the “will of God”. Hukam. Such a person’s mind would be free of wants and temptations from the outside world if he dedicated himself to Naam.

This process of spiritual rebirth will be strongly influenced by the Guru’s Grace. The root of both suffering and sin is temptation. Only those who follow the Guru’s wisdom can do so. Both rituals and intellectual or scholarly achievements are useless. Ascetic practices and worldly detachment are ineffective. A wise man walks in the footsteps of the Guru and maintains his connection to God while carrying out his duties in this world.

5. Bara Maha

Bara Maha

A type of folk poetry called Barah Maha or Barah Masa (in Hindi) expresses human feelings and longings through the varying moods of nature throughout a year. In this type of poetry, the mood of nature in each specific month (of the Indian calendar) represents the inner suffering of the human heart. And also represents a lady who is divorced from or separated from her partner or lover.

In other words, the woman who is separated finds that the effects of Nature reflect her suffering. Barah Maha’s poetry has a history that dates back to the classical era. The most well-known example of the Barah Maha’s shad Ritu varnan, or description of the six seasons in Sanskrit, is Kalidasa’s Ritu Sanhar.  The poetic form, which became popular in medieval Indian poetry, was frequently used to express the emotions of the devastated widow in separation.

The Barah Maha in the measure Tukhari by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. It was written in Punjabi and is not only the genre’s earliest composition but also the first in which the subject of love poetry has been raised to one of spiritual significance. He turned the human soul which suffers in the depths of rebirth as a result of its separation from the Supreme Soul into the main character.

Journey of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

Guru Nanak Dev Ji travelled extensively during his lifetime. Some modern accounts state that he visited Tibet, most of South Asia, and Arabia starting in 1496, at the age of 27, when he left his family for thirty years. 

He was determined to spread the message of God. He was saddened by the plight of mankind as the world was fast falling prey to the wickedness of Kalyug. Hence, Guru Nanak decided to travel across the subcontinent to educate the people. It is said that he undertook five journeys (Udasis) in his lifetime.

First Udasi

First Udasi

Inspired by the hardship of the global population, Guru Nanak wanted to inform them of the “true word of God.” The contradicting message delivered by priests, pundits, qazis, mullahs, etc. confused the people of the world. He decided to start on his spiritual mission to promote the divine message of peace and compassion to all people in 1499. Because he had the determination to reach the masses with his message. The duration of the first udasi was around 7 years.

Guru Nanak is popular as the second most travelled person in history. He had completed the majority of his trips on foot with his travelling companion Bhai Mardana. The four directions he travelled in were North, East, West, and South. According to an estimate, between 1500 and 1524, the founder Sikh Guru travelled more than 28,000 kilometers, during five major global tours.

Guru Nanak observed the pain caused by racism, intolerance, dishonesty, and hypocrisy in the world. The world has become increasingly evil and sinful. As a result, he made the decision that he needed to spread the word about the Almighty Lord and travel to teach others. So, in 1500, he started on his journey to restore humanity to this planet. He brought the light of goodness, divine love, peace, and joy. He spoke to others in and around his home for a year, sharing his message of love, compassion, and truth.

Also read: Gurdwara Shri Pehli Patshahi

Places visited during the First udasi

His first Udasi was within the time when India is not divided into Hindustan and Pakistan. He visited Sultanpur, Bhatinda, Tulamba (present-day Makhdumpur) in Multan district of Pakistan, Sialkot in Pakistan, Saidpur (present-day Eminabad) in Pakistan, Pasrur in Pakistan, Delhi, Panipat (Haryana), Nanakmata – Nainital district (Uttarakhand), Tanda Vanjara – Rampur District (U.P), Kamrup (Assam), and Asa Desh (Assam).

Guru Nanak spent about six years travelling during his first Udasi (journey), covering the eastern part of India before returning home. In 1500, he left Sultanpur and travelled to his hometown of Talwandi to greet his parents and let them know about his long trip. The elderly parents preferred that their young son stay home since they sought comfort and security from him as they are getting old. Guru Ji convinced them.  The Guru, therefore, told his parents, “There is a call from Heaven, and I must go. I ask for your blessing.” At last, they agreed, and Guru Ji began the first of his four journeys.

Guru Nanak spent about six years travelling during his first Udasi (journey), covering the eastern part of India before returning home. In 1500, he left Sultanpur and travelled to his hometown of Talwandi to greet his parents and let them know about his long trip. The elderly parents preferred that their young son stay home since they sought comfort and security from him as they are getting old. Guru Ji convinced them.  The Guru, therefore, told his parents, “There is a call from Heaven, and I must go. I ask for your blessing.” At last, they agreed, and Guru Ji began the first of his four journeys.

Second Udasi

Second Udasi

The Second Udasi, known as the Dooji Udasi, refers to Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s journey south in search of his divine. With the mission to bring peace and compassion to all people. The term “udasi” takes its meaning from the word “udas” (meaning to take leave, go away or depart). Additionally, you can use this term to describe grief or despair as well as an order of saintly individuals who have rejected worldly ways. This udasi’s timeline was from 1506 to 1513.

The duration of the second udasi was around 7 years.

It appeared in his second Udasi that Guru Nanak Dev Ji had followed the path that Hindu men had traditionally followed in adulthood after marriage. Follows by having a son who would allow their father to go to the forests in search of a connection with God after marriage and become the head of the household. But as he adopted the clothing of an Udasi, Guru Nanak simply seemed to follow the traditional path of rejecting worldly ways (the world of Maya or illusion).

However, Guru Nanak chose not to change the way that religion had long been practiced in India. His teachings had the intention to change the course of the world by revealing the faults in ritualistic behavior. And educating people about the true nature of God, who is far greater than the worship of idols.

Places visited during the second udasi

Within India, he visited Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala.

He also visited Sri Lanka Batticaloa, Sita Eliya, Matiakalam, and Kataragama.

In this Udasi Guru Ji met many well-known people, travelled to many well-known locations, and preached against the well-known pointless rituals. Guru Ji interacted with Muslims, Jains, Hindus, Shaivites, Vaishnav, and Shaivites. During this journey, Guru Ji recorded the hymns of Bhagat Namdev and Bhagat Pipa. Guru Ji visited Sri Lanka and met Kauda Bheel and Raja Shivnabh in Vijaywada. During this journey, Guru Ji also preached Dakhni Oankar, a well-known bani.

At that time, Shiv idol worship was highly popular in southern India. You can find six of the twelve Shivling temples, out of a total of twelve in the south. The caste system was also powerful in southern India. To teach the people the way of Eternal Truth of worshiping the All-Powerful, the Formless, Guru Nanak had to travel to all of these locations.

Third Udasi

Third-Udasi

When Guru Nanak Dev Ji started out on his famous Udasis (journeys) for the third time in 1514, he travelled in the direction of the north. His loyal friend Mardana Ji was also with him.

He visited Una, Mandi, Rawalsar, Kullu, and Manikaran,  Mount Kaag Bhasund, the Garhwal, and Haridwar, Nanak Mata, Tanda, Chungthang, and Kathmandu, Nepal (Sikkim),   Mount Sumeru and Lhasa (Tibet),  Leh, Anantnag, Matton, Bramaulla, and Berwa (Budgam)

Fourth Udasi

Fourth Udasi

The fourth Udasi was conducted in a westward direction. He visited  Karachi, Lakhpat, and Multan,  Al Mecca, Medina, Jeddah, Addan,  Karbala, Baghdad, and Basra,  Bushehr and Khorram Shah,  Samarkand, Tehran, Ashgabat, Urench, and Tehran,  Hassan Abdal, Jalalabad, Kandhar, and Kabul, Inscriptions in Rome, Africa, Turkey, and Azerbaijan.

Beginning in Punjab, Guru Nanak went on a visit to Sheikh Braham, the eleventh successor to Muslim holy teacher Baba Sheikh Farid, who lived in Pakpattan, across the Sutlej from Lahore. Guru Sahib obtained inspired holy canonical compositions of Sheikh Farid whose spiritual message was congruent with his own from Sheikh Braham. He also stopped in Vadodara, Junagarh, and Lakhpat. Lakhpat is around 20 kilometers from the Korini hamlet, where there is a large Sarovar honoring Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s visit.

From Lakhpat Guru travelled across to Pakpattan/Somiani port in Sindh, where he boarded a boat carrying pilgrims heading west to the Red Sea and Jeddah. From there, he travelled south-east on foot to Mecca, also spelled Makkah. And then he began his journey back by travelling east to Medina (lit. the city), the location of the Prophet of Islam’s grave. In order to go to Basra and then Baghdad, he passed through what is now Kuwait. He then crossed the border into Iran to reach Kabul in Afghanistan before returning through Peshawar to Punjab.

Fifth Udasi

Fifth Udasi

The fifth Udasi was taken in the province of Punjab. Although the Guru had established in Kartarpur, he continued to make short trips within a 200-mile radius of the city. He travelled much and spread the Naam message. Many of these locations saw the rise of disciples of the Guru who built Gurdwaras in his honor.

Later years of Guru Nanak’s life

Guru Nanak Dev Ji toured India and abroad, awakening the public’s interest in God. He wandered throughout the length and breadth of India. He even went to Mecca, Medina, Lanka, and Tibet. His travels are comprised of Shri Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs. The Muslims there were also very impressed with him.

He used to talk about unity and harmony between the Hindus and Muslims then. His messages were spreading like wildfire in Punjab and adjoining areas since his early days. The followers of Guru Nanak Dev are considered to be Sikh followers today. Guru Nanak Dev Ji was a great reformer. He showed the public a true path of religion and devoted his whole life to human service.

Guru Nanak gave the message of unity, goodwill, and human love to mankind. He also established as the first Sikh Guru in the galaxy of ten Gurus. About God he said.

He lives in our hearts and not outside.

Nanak was a true era-maker.

He chose Guru Angad dev Ji as his successor to the Guruship rather than one of his sons and was a great teacher. Guru Nanak was born to teach the lesson of humanity to the world. He taught the people to lead the path of truth. His teachings had the desired effect and had a great following. 

The essence of Guru Nanak’s teachings is this: Worship God with a sincere heart, live a life of self-control, and get all the true earnings of life with your hard work. Don’t lie. Do not criticize, or disown anger. If you consider lying, abuse, anger, etc., it will pollute the mind. Guru Nanak considered the worship of the formless God to be true and was a great saint in the true sense. 

He stayed the last part of his life in Krtarpur, beside the river Tapti. Guru Nanak Dev Ji died on 22nd September 1539 at the age of 70. His teachings as a guru, a writer, and a social reformer will continue to guide and enlighten mankind in choosing the right path.

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Priyanshi Arora

Priyanshi Arora

Priyanshi Arora is a content editor for Healthy life human covering the topics related to health and lifestyle. She believes in having a positive attitude toward life reflects a healthy lifestyle. She has helped many people by providing valuable content related to their daily basic needs. To know more, connect with her on Linkdln.

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