Burngreave Messenger

Issue 27 December 2002





Guru Nanak Dev
by Surinder Singh Dhillion, Spokesperson for the Sikh Gurundwara

In November, the local Sikh community celebrated the birthdate of Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak was the founder of the Sikh religion and the first of Sikh Gurus. Guru means spiritual enlightener (teacher). Sikh means a learner (pupil).

Guru Nanak was born in 1469 in Talwandi in Northern India, now part of Pakistan. From childhood he sought the company of religious/spiritually inclined people. He was married and had two sons. At the age of 30 he had a spiritual experience. He went to have a bath in the river as usual, he did not return, people thought he had drowned. The river was searched for his body but none was found. He reappeared after three days.

To explain his absence he said he was taken to the presence of God. He was called by God to set up the Sikh faith and preach. He traveled 20,000 miles over 22 years going as far as Sri Lanka, Burma, Tibet, Mecca and Baghdad to explain his mission.

His message was, God created the whole universe for His own purpose. God created all species. As the same God creates all human beings, none can be superior or inferior irrespective to their colour, race or ethnic origin. Men and women are equal in the eyes of God. Sikhs believe in reincarnation, to get out of the life cycle and merge with God (the source of all life), good actions and respecting God’s creation eg, other human beings, is important. One must also love the Creator.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji was highly respected by both Hindus and Muslims. His writings are included in the Sikh holy book of scriptures, the Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Nanak Dev Ji lived to the age of 70 years and nominated his successor, the second Guru.


Guru Nanak Dev