Guru Nanak was a spiritual leader and founder of the religion Sikhism. Born from Khatri Hindu parents in what is known as Punjab, Pakistan, today, Nanak displayed a fascination for God, religion, and spirituality at a young age; commentaries record that he declared an interest in studying divine matters at the age of 5.
Nanak would eventually not partake in any religious traditions or rituals, but opted to meditate alone and to explore outside his home in order to seek the answers to the mystery of life and truth. When Nanak was in his young teenage years, local landlord and Muslim noble Rai Bular Bhatti, as well as Nanak’s sister Bibi Nanki noticed Nanak’s intellectual and divine prowess, prompting them to encourage Nanak to continue to travel and study religious truth.
When Nanak was about the age of 30, he was reported missing, presumed to have drowned after a morning bath in a local stream. However, three days later, he was reported as reappearing in his local village, declaring, “There is neither Hindu nor Mussulman [Muslim] so whose path shall I follow? I shall follow God’s path. God is neither Hindu nor Mussulman and the path which I follow is God’s.” It was at this point when Nanak would begin to travel with the purpose of sharing his teachings, thus beginning the spread of the religion Sikhism.
Name: Guru Nanak
Who: Spiritual Leader, founder of Sikhism
Date of birth: April 15, 1469 in modern Nankana Sahib, Punjab, Pakistan
Date of death: September 22, 1539 in Kartarpur, Mughal India
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London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978. Print.
• Macauliffe, Max Arthur. The Sikh Religion — Its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors.
India: Low Price Publications, 2004 . Print.