Illustration credits: Tejasv Mohan
“There is but one God. True is His Name, creative His personality and immortal His form. He is without fear, sans enmity, unborn and self-illumined. By the Guru's grace, He is obtained.”
‘To be human, is to be pious’, has been the profound belief of Guru Nanak, who, during his lifetime, travelled across the entire subcontinent illuminating all minds by overlooking differences of castes, beliefs, and ethnicity. Such was the influence of the Guru, that he has been immortalized as Baba Nanak in Hindu texts, Nanak Shah in Islam and Nanak Lama in Buddhism.
At a time when India was held hostage by tyrant empires and inter-religious conflicts were common, the birth of Guru Nanak came as a guiding ray of the morning sun after a cold and foggy night. Though unconventional at that time, he vehemently condemned superstitions, caste-biases, and other malpractices that were fuelled by greed disguised as culture. Throughout the course of time, his principles have instructed the society to put humanity above everything, and that humanity is the greatest offering one can present to God. His values reiterate that before being a Hindu, a Muslim or even an Indian, one should become a ‘human’ first, by neglecting the boundaries of differences, ego, and greed, and by engaging in selfless service, striving for social justice and prosperity of all.
Perhaps, there is no better way to pay obeisance to Guru Nanak Dev ji on this holy occasion, than to remind ourselves his first utterance- “Na Koi Hindu, Na Koi Musalman.”