Last Updated: 11th November, 2019

About Guru Nanak Dev ji

About Guru Nanak Dev ji

Guru Nanak Dev ji (1469 - 1539)

  • Guru Nanak was the founder of the Sikh religion. He was the first of the ten Sikh religious gurus. Guru Nanak was born on 15th April 1469 at Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi in Shekhupura district (Pakistan) now known as Nanakana Sahib. The Gurdwara representing the home of Baba Kalu (Guru Nanak's Father) and Mata Tripta (Guru Nanak's Mother) is called Gurdwara Janam Asthan. It is situated at Rai-Bhoi-di-Talwandi in district of Shekhupura, now Nanakana Sahib in Pakistan.


  • Gurpurabs are very auspicious and important celebrations for Sikhs, which marks the birth or death anniversaries of the Sikh Gurus. Sikhs on the day of Gurpurab gather especially at Gurdwaras to remember and pay homage to their gurus. All across the world, where Sikhs are living, the Gurpurabs are celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor. Martyrdom day Gurpurabs are marked with humbleness and respect.
    It is during the time of gurus, that the word "Gurpurab" came into existence. Gur in this means "Guru" and Purab came from the Sanskrit word parva, which means festival or celebration.

  • History indicates that the Sikh gurus, after Guru Nanak Dev ji had celebrated his birthday. Even the writings of Bhai Gurdas (1551-1636) have the mentioning of Gurpurab. It was written at the time of Guru Arjan Dev ji.
  • The celebrations of Gurpurab last for three days. On the first day, before birthday-date, to celebrate Gurpurab, Akhand Path is observed at Gurdwaras. Some people even conduct this at their residents. The path is done by reading the holy book of Sikh, "Guru Granth Sahib" for uninterrupted 48 hrs.

  • On the second day, processions or Nagarkirtan in the towns and cities is conducted in which the Sikhs chant the holy hymns. On the third day, at Gurdwaras kirtan and special assemblies are conducted to throw light on the lives and teachings of the gurus followed by Guru Ka Langar for all.

  • At the early age of five years, Guru Nanak became interested in spirituality. He was an astonishing child with coherent thinking from his early days. He was married in the year 1487 and was blessed with two sons but he could not connect himself to domestic life and left home in search of the truth.

  • After attaining enlightenment, Guru Nanak traveled extensively accompanied by Mardana and preached the Sikh faith and spent the rest of his life teaching, writing and traveling around the world to spread Sikhism. His first statement after his prophetic communion with God was "There is no Hindu, nor any Mussalman."

  • Guru Nanak composed poetic verses in honor of Ik, Onkar, one creator. He was a great preacher and saint. He always preached liberal social practices. Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs contains the teachings of Guru Nanak. His preaching laid emphasis on oneness of God. He was against caste differences, idol worship, pseudo-religious beliefs and ritualism. He refers to God as his Enlightener and Teacher. His gospel was meant for all men. He proclaimed their equality in all respects.
  • Guru Nanak's birthday is also known as Guru Nanak Jayanti. Birthdays of all the ten religious gurus of Sikhs are called Gurpurabs. The birth anniversary of Guru Nanak falls in the month of Kartik on Kartik Poornima (the day of full moon). According to Gregorian calendar, usually this festival is celebrated every year in the month of November. This year Guru Nanak's birthday will be celebrated on 21st November.

 

Guru Nanak Birthday Celebration (Prakash Utsav)

  • On Guru Nanak's birthday Sikhs visit Gurudwara in Shekhupura, Pakistan from various parts of the world. This Gurudwara in Shekhupura is now renowned as Nankana Sahib. A grand fair is held at Nankana Sahib. A huge number of Sikhs come to this shrine from all over the planet to celebrate the birthday of Guru Nanak.

  • People light lamps in homes and Gurudwaras are adorned with flowers, flags and lights on Guru Nanak Jayanti. All the visitors and devotees enjoy free langars. The foundation of the Langar or free kitchen was started by Guru Nanak. It was intended to encourage the principle of equality among all people irrespective of religion, caste, creed, color, age, gender or social status. The tradition of Langar also conveys the morals of sharing, community and oneness of mankind.

  • Three weeks before Guru Nanak Jayanti, the ritual of Prabhat Pheri (morning procession) is followed. People participate in processions and chant shabads (hymns) and sing prayers. Two days prior to the festival Akhand Path (ceaseless recitation of the Guru Granth Sahib from beginning to end) begins. A team of Sikh men and women is involved in reading the Guru Granth Sahib. Each member of the team reads this Holy Scripture for 2-3 hours in two days. The path culminates on the Guru Nanak Jayanti. Then, Guru Granth Sahib is taken out in a procession on a float, beautifully adorned with flowers. Five people representing the original Panj Pyare (Five Beloved Ones) lead the processions carrying the Nishan Sahib (Sikh flag). Processions are followed by musicians, singers and martial arts demonstrating teams (especially Nihangs, the Sikh warriors). The main day gets a start early morning around 4 or 5 am with hymns followed by recitation of poems in Guru's praise and lectures on Sikhism. When praise and worship is completed, Karah Prasad (a sweet-tasting food made from semolina or wheat flour, sugar and ghee) is blessed and served. Fireworks may also be a part of the celebrations.

  • Golden Temple in Amritsar is the main attraction on this day. It is among the renowned holy places of Sikhs on the earth. People who reside in such areas where there is no Gurudwara in the proximity; organize Kirtans, Paths, Ardas and Langars at their homes. Guru Nanak's birthday is celebrated by the Sikh community throughout the world with gaiety and gusto. It is amongst the most significant festivals of the Sikhs. For the followers of Guru Nanak, his birthday is a time to dedicate themselves once again for humanitarian pursuit.

  • As a kid, he loved to play war games with the other kids where he used to lead mock battles. He had many followers and admirers, and this list also included a Brahmin named Pandit Shiv Dutt. One of the interesting incidents of his childhood says that once, Patna's Raja Fateh Chand and his Rani, who were a childless couple went o Pandit Shiv Dutt and asked for his blessings so that they can have a child. The Pandit suggested them that if an innocent kid like Govind Singh prayed to God, their wish would get fulfilled. So, the couple visited their palace and asked the kid to pray to God to bless a son just like him. Govind Singh smiled and said that there can be no other child like him so if she wished she could call him as her son. So, from that day onwards the Rani called him "Child God" (Bala Pritam). This name is also used today to refer this divine Guru.

Different Names of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in World

He is known by different names across the countries, as following:

GURU NANAK SAHIB JI Known As

  • "NANAKACHARYA" In Sri Lanka !
  • "NANAK LAMA" In Tibet!
  • "GURU RIMPOCHEA" In Sikkim & Bhutan !
  • "NANAK RISHI" In Nepal !
  • "NANAK PEER" In Bagdad !
  • "VALI HIND" in Makka !
  • "NANAK VALI" in Egypt!
  • "NANAK KADAMDAR" in Russia.
  • "BABA NANAK" in Iraq !
  • "BABA FOOSA" in China !


Guru Nanak Jayanti Messages

  • On this auspicious occasion of the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Ji,
    I wish to convey you all my heartiest congratulations..!!
    Happy GURPURAB
  • May Guru Nanak Ji shower you with his choicest blessings.
  • Wish a very happy Gurpurab to all the Sikhs.
    Let us all celebrate the Prakash utsav divas of Guru Nanak Jayanti!
    Happy Gurpurab 2019!
  • सतगुरु सब दे काज संवारे
    आप सब को प्रथम सिख गुरु
    नानक देव जी के जनम दिवस की हार्दिक बधाइयां
  • नानक नाम चर्दी कला,
    तेरे भने सरबत दा भला,
    धन धन साहिब श्री गुरु नानक देव जी दे आगन,
    गुरु पूरब दी आप सुब नु लाख लाख बधाई!!
  • गुरु नानक जयंती की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं
  • Nanak naam jahaaz hai, jo chadhe so uttre paar, Jehda thalle reh gaya, Nanak nahi jimme vaar! Happy Guru Nanak Jayanti!!
  • Nanak Nit kahe vichaar, Waria na jaava ek waar, Jo tu bhave sai bhali kaar, Tu sada salamat nirankaar.. Gurpurab Di Lakh Lakh Wadai..!!
  • Nanak Naam chardi Kalaa, Tere Bhane Sarbat Da Bhala' Dhan Dhan sahib sri guru nanak dev ji de aagan, Purab di aap sub nu lakh lakh vadhaai !!
  • Satguru nanak pargateya miti dhund jag chaanan hova guru nanak dev ji de prakash utsav di lakh lakh vadhayee sabhnu.
  • Nanak Nich kahe vichaar, Waria na jaava ek waar, Jo tud bhave sai bhali kaar, Tu sada salamat nirankaar.Gurpurb Dee Lakh Lakh Wadai !!
  • Satgur Nanak Pargataya Mitti Dhund Jag Channan Hoia, Aap ji nu Sri Guru Nanak Dev, Ji De aagman purab dian Lakh-Lakh Vadayian. HAPPY GURPURAB
  • Jyo kar suraj nikleya, Tare chupe haner ploa, Miti dhund jag chanan hoa, Kaal taarn guru nanak aiya..
  • Guru Nanak Dev ji De Prakash Utsav Di Lakh-Lakh Wadaiya.
  • Man Mein Sincho Har Har Naam, Andar Kirtan, Hor Guun Gaan, Aisi Preet Karo Man Mere, Aath Pehar Prab Jano Nehre, Kaho Nanak Ja Ka Nirmal Bhaag, Har Charnee Ta Ka Man Laag. Happy Gurpurab !