The Prophet of Peace
This article is based on the Urdu talk by Kirpal Singh on Guru Nanak and His message, broadcast on All-India Radio on the occasion of the last birth anniversary of the Guru.
We are today celebrating the birth anniversary of that Great Prophet of peace. the Messiah of His age, the Fountainhead of Spirituality and the Great Godman Whose life radiated rays of Spirituality towards the end of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century. The social and political conditions in the country had then reached the lowest ebb. The exalted Soul, Who showed the Path of peace and righteousness to the misguided people, was the Great Guru Nanak.
This Great Sun of Spirituality rose on the horizon in the year 1469. He was born in Talwandi village, now known as Nankana Sahib in West Pakistan. Chaotic conditions prevailed in the country at that time. In the name of religion, all kinds of atrocities were being perpetrated by those in authority, swayed as they were by lust greed and immorality. Mistrust and hatred were the order of the day. Both the rulers and the ruled had forgotten their respective duties and obligations. Casteism and untouchability were rampant. People were losing faith in religion.
Moved by the piteous cries of the people in agony, Guru Nanak prayed:
The whole world is being consumed in the invisible flames of fire, save it, oh Lord, as best as You may in Thy merciful compassion.
Nanak was a great reformer. He was the torch bearer of peace, truthfulness and Universal Love. He did not see man from the physical level, but as a Spiritual Being.
God is One, the creator of the universe. All are His children and belong to one family of man.
He laid emphasis on the idea of Universal Brotherhood. Why then all this strife? God is Love personified and abides in the human heart. There is one Light that lighteth the entire creation. We should love all, the entire creation:
Castes and creeds matter not in His realm, he who worships Him is dear unto Him.
Guru Nanak’s teachings are not for any particular sect or community but are for the entire mankind. This saviour of mankind travelled far and wide, not only in India, but also to distant lands like Ceylon, Burma, Mecca, Madina and Mesopotamia. He delivered His Divine Message to all, irrespective of different religious and political ideologies. He believed in the Religion of Man and taught that the Lord’s Gospel was for all.
When asked about His religion, He remarked:
Neither I am a Hindu nor a Muslim, but only have a body made up of five elements; in whom pulsates the Power of God, and called by the name of Nanak.
He exhorted people to earn their living through fair and legitimate means.
He went to the length of saying:
Bow not unto him who claiming to be a Godman, lives on the charity of others, he who earns his living with the sweat of his brow and shares it with all, can know the Path of God.
He forbade people from encroaching upon the rights of their fellow men. Those who thrive on others can never have a pure heart.
Time and again, He enjoined upon all to have a pure heart and do good deeds:
Take the name of the Lord with a pure heart and a clean tongue. For without this what thou doeth will not bear any fruit.
It is only the deeds that count, and not the religious hallmarks one bears.
Whatever one soweth, that alone one harvesteth.
The deeds alone are weighed in the Divine Scale, this will determine whether you are near or away from God.
Guru Nanak cleansed the hearts of all who came in contact with Him. With the alchemy of God’s Love, He transformed dacoits like Kauda and Sajjan into men of piety
Guru Nanak was a True Mystic, always in communion with God and everywhere perceiving His munificent Grace.
Nanak sees the Lord in all His Glory.
Intoxicated with the Love of the Lord, He always remained in a state of ecstasy. Once Babar, the great Mughal emperor, offered Him a cup of hemp.
The Guru politely declined and said:
Oh emperor, the intoxication of your pernicious liquor is weak and ephemeral, but I have drunk the wine of the Divine Naam which never subsides.
He preached that the essence of religion was humility, compassion and respect for the prophets of all the religions. Service of His creation and Love for God is all that one can take with him on his last journey.
According to Him, the essence of religion is that followers of all faiths should get together, control their minds and seek communion with the Almighty. It is only by disciplining your senses that you can reach, the Ultimate Goal of life.
All human beings formed but one class, and the battle of life can only be won by conquering the mind.
He did not advocate renunciation as a means of God-Realisation. He believed that salvation is possible for a house-holder through proper discharge of his duties and obligations with full faith in God.
He was a beloved of all. Hindus and Muslims alike owned Him. When He gave up His mortal frame, the Hindus were keen to cremate Him, while the Muslims wanted to bury the body. It is said that when the shroud was uncovered they found nothing but a heap of fragrant flowers. He came like fragrant flowers and radiated perfume all around. The sheet of cloth and the flowers were accordingly shared by the two communities and disposed of according to their own rites.
Guru Nanak always prayed for the welfare of mankind:
Oh Lord! Great is the Power of Thy Naam, may all live in peace under Thy will.
Today men have lost sight of all human values in spite of epoch-making achievements in the field of science and technology. The devil in man is in the ascendancy. Human goodness has given way to lust, greed and mistrust. We are all living in a state of horror and mistrust of each other. Mankind is heading towards its own doom. Today, as never before, we need the teachings of the Great Guru. These are true for all times and for all the peoples the world over.
We all pray for peace on earth. Nanak was the Prophet of Peace, Unity and Love. If we follow the Path shown by the Great Teacher and work wholeheartedly for the right understanding of the moral and Spiritual Values, Peace, Love and Happiness will reign supreme. It is only by self-knowledge and God-Knowledge that we can establish the Kingdom of God on earth.
Source: Sat Sandesh / March 1968