Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Guru Nanak Dev – A Humble Tribute

Guru Nanak Dev  – A Humble Tribute 

Today, November 12, is the 550thPrakash Parv (birth anniversary) of the great Guru, Baba Nanak, a harbinger of love, peace, equality and harmony while living a simple and egalitarian life. The followers of Baba Nanak and the society, both in India and abroad, are celebrating the Day with all solemnity and joy and rightly so. It is a matter of great satisfaction that, on November 9, the Ardas
(Prayer) of the faithfuls for Khulle Darshan Didar of Guru Dhams, came true with the opening of the ‘Kartarpur Corridor’ connecting Dera Baba Nanak on the Indian side and Darbar Sahib Gurudwara in Kartarpur on the Pakistan side. Let us pray the Corridor turns out to be a ‘Corridor of Peace and Harmony’ of which the great Guru was one of the leading proponents. It will be a befitting tribute to Baba Nanak on his 550th Prakash Parv.

During the course of celebrations, much and rightly so, has been written by the scholars and intellectuals on the life, philosophy and mission of Baba Nanak conforming to the words of Bhai Gurdassji – Satguru Nanak Pargatiya; Miti Dhund Jag Chaanan Hoya. I attempt this humble tribute as a layman confining myself to one or two aspects of Guru Nanak Devji’s simple and pragmatic approach to lead a simple but contented life with peace of mind and dignity. These canons of day to day life, Humanistic, Democratic, Socialism, taught by the great Guru, appeal to me the most as a simple human being. As a diplomat and a scholar, Navtej Singh Sarna has written in an article that appeared in the Hindustan Times of November 9 in, “But Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary should not be an occasion for celebration alone. It is also a moment for reflection, for rediscovery and reiteration of his essential message”.

The first lofty ideal of the teachings of Baba Nanak is – Kirat Karo; Naam Japo; Vand Chhako that is Do your Work to earn your livelihood; Meditate in the name of Almighty Waheguru; Share your earnings in charity. The beauty of all this lies in the fact that Guru Nanak practiced these lofty principles of day to day life while living in Kartarpur as a family man with worldly responsibilities.
The second important message was enshrined in the concept of – Dharamsal; Sangat; Pangat and Langar that is Identify or make a place of worship (Gurudwara); Community living Sangat or congregation to sing and listen to the hymns in the praise of Waheguru (Kirtan); Sit in an orderly fashion in the Sangat and eat at the community kitchen (Langar) by sitting in a line with others. These principles were denoted to community living with harmony and brotherhood without any distinction of rich and poor and low or high caste. This lofty philosophy reminded humanity of the Trisharan (triple gems) of Gautama Buddha – Buddham; Dhamam; Sangham. The concept of Langar (Community kitchen) is a unique concept given by Guru Nanak which intended to establish a casteless and egalitarian society without any consideration of social status. That is why I said that Guru Nanak was the harbinger of humanistic and democratic socialism, the order which is the need of the present times to ward of the evils of hate, enmity, divisiveness, and caste distinctions among others. Let us pray that the teachings of Baba Nanak keep guiding us in the years to come. I conclude my humble tribute to the great Guru Nanak Devji by quoting Allama Iqbal who rightly said:-

Phir Uthi Akhir Sada Touheed  Ki Punjab Se
Hind  Ko Ek Mard-e-Kamil Ne Jagaya Khawab Se
(Again from the Punjab the call of monotheism arose:
A perfect man roused India from slumber)

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