Guru Nanak was the first of the Sikhs. He was born on 15 April 1469 at the village Talvadi, near Lahore. This place now called Nanakna Sahib. Nanak’s father Mehta Kalu, was a farmer, his mother’s name was Tripta. His sister, Nanak, was five years older than him.
Even as a child Nanak was different from other children. He did not want to play with the other boys of his age, nor did he want to work in his father’s field. He kept dreaming all the time. He was always thinking about god.
When Nanak was only 14, his father found a wife for him. He thought it would bring a change in the boy. ``now he will start working’’, said Kalu to his wife.
For some time Nanak took interest in his work as a cattle grazer. But soon he grew tired of it. He would spend most of his in the woods. There he sat dreaming for hours. He thought and thought about God. His mind was full of many questions, but nobody could give him the answers.
Mehta Kalu was much worried about his son. ``Nanak is not interested in farming or cattle grazing’’, he thought. ``Maybe he will do well in trading’’.
So he gave Nanak some money and said, ``Take this money and buy some goods from the town. Then, like a peddler, go from village to village and sell your goods at a profit’’.
Nanak set out from home with the money. He had gone only a short distance when he met some sadhus. They looked very weak and thin. They said that they had not eaten anything for many days. Nanak at once gave them all the money he had. The sadhus blessed Nanak that he would be a great man in his life.
Nanak came back home. He told his father what he had done with the money. He said that he had done a true bargain, a sacha sauda, as he called it.
The father was very angry. He was fed up with the strange actions of his son. He sent him away to Nanak who was living at Sultanpur with her husband.
Nanaki’s husband found a job for Nanak. Now Nanak did his job well. Everyone was pleased with him.
Mardana was a Muslim. He was a good singer. Nanak used to write songs in praise of God. Every morning he and Mardana sang these Hymns together. Bala, a Hindu peasant, became Nanak’s follower. He, too, joined them in singing hymns. Many men and women came to listen to them.
Nanak saw that the Hindus hated the Muslims, and the Muslims hated the Hindus. ``this is not good’’, he would say. God is one and he is our father. Thus we are all brothers and sisters. We should love each other.
Nanak put all his ideas in poetry. Soon his songs of God became very popular. People sang them at their daily prayers.
Nanak travelled far and wide to speech his message of love. He visited many holy places.
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