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Guru Nanak Dev Ji

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Abha, 10+2 (Med), Wisdom World School, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India - 136118

Nationality: Medieval India

Known to be: Bhakti Saint and Social Reformer, founder of 'Sikhism'

Born: April 1469 AD, Talwandi in Sheikhupura district of Punjab (Now in Pakistan)

Died: 1539 AD

Guru Nanak Dev Ji was one of the greatest Bhakti siants and social reformers of the medieval India. He was founder of the spiritual tradition known at present as 'Sikhism'. Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born in April 1469 in a reputed Khatri family at Talwandi in Sheikhupura district of Punjab (Now in Pakistan). His father's name was Kalu Mehta. He from his early childhood had a spiritual and philosophical mind. He took immense interest in the company of sadhus, saints and religious persons. He attained knowledge of Persian and Hindi from a local school. At the age of thirty, he devoted himself to religion and spiritualism. Guru Nanak Dev Ji undertook several journeys in and outside the Indian subcontinent accompanied by Bhai Bhola and Mardana. One of his verses referes to his visits in the 'nine regions of the earth (nau-khand)'. During his visits, he earned vast knowledge of Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism and shared his ideas on numerous religions and beliefs with people. He finally settled at Kartarpur on the right bank of the Ravi River and started preaching his spiritual ideas and teachings. Guru Nanak Dev Ji laid emphasis on the oneness or purity of God. His concept of God was Nirguna (attributeless) and Nirankar (Formless). He condemned the social evils and religious bigotry prevalent in the Indian society. He advocated a middle path between extreme asceticism and free satisfaction of senses. He did not approve caste system, idolworship, selfptoture etc. He believed that only complete surrender and devotion to God can help the soul merge in God. He also denounced the supremacy of Brahamans and Mullas, rituals etc. He composed many poems and hymns full of spiritual and devotional fervour. These songs were included in the Adi Grantha, the holy book. He left this mortal world in 1539 at the age of 70.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji was the first out of the 10 Sikh Gurus. He was contemporary of Chaitanya, Mirabhai and Kabir. Talwandi is now popularly known as Nanakana Sahib. After Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru Angad Dev became the second Sikh Guru. Guru Angad's actual name was 'Lahna'.

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