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Born Apr. 15, 1469, in the village of Rai Bhoi di Talvandi, district of Shekhupura, Punjab; died Sept. 22, 1539, in Kartarpur. Indian poet, preacher, and ideologist of Sikhism. Wrote in Punjabi.

Nanak was the son of a merchant. His teachings were based on the doctrine of bhakti. He preached religious unity, social and caste equality, and spiritual self-improvement. He rejected the rituals of existing religions and advocated the active participation of his Sikh disciples in secular life. He founded a community in which unquestioning obedience to the authority of the guru (teacher) was required. The members of the Sikh community included members of the upper castes, untouchables, and Muslims; for the most part, they were from the trading and artisan strata of society. There were also members of the Jat peasantry, whose antifeudal views were reflected in Nanak’s teachings. In his verse, Nanak used Indian and Persian measures. The Granth, the holy book of the Sikhs, contains 974 works by Nanak, of which the most important are his “Prayer,” “Hymn to Hope,” and “Twelve Moons.”


In English translation:
Selections From the Sacred Writings of the Sikhs. London, 1960.


Reisner, I.M. Narodnye dvizheniia ν Indii ν XVI1-XVIII vv. Moscow, 1958.
Serebriakov, I. Pendzhabskaia literatura. Moscow, 1963.
Guru Nanak: K 500-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia poeta i gumanista Indii. Moscow, 1972.
Mahankavi guru Nanak. Patiala, 1956.
References in periodicals archive ?
Sonia Gandhi also stated that Guru Nanak taught people that life's learning is about sacrifice, spirit of giving and sharing with an innate faith in almighty.
Responding to another query, he said Guru Nanak University would be set for the Sikh community and the Punjabi community while the Gandhara University would promote Buddhism, adding that China, South Korea, Thailand and Japan had offered financial assistance for the creation of Ghnadara university.
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However in the galaxy of spiritual luminaries Guru Nanak Devji shines in a unique light: Unity of all religions and equality of all human beings.
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If successful, the school, which would be called the Guru Nanak Academy, could open its doors to pupils in September next year and will be the first school in Sandwell to cater for four to 19 year olds.
This was an emphasis that was representative of the blind formalism and severe orthodoxy confronted by the Indo-Islamic period sants, a group of spiritually sensitive devotees (Hindu and Muslim) all of whom spoke of a formless Lord whom they would approach in humility, with perhaps their most famous ambassador being Guru Nanak (d.