Guru Nanak: The Founder of a New Social Order

The Sikh Review 68 (4):19-27 (2020)
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Nearly 550 years ago, Guru Nanak put forward a new spiritual path. He called upon his followers to conform to a more practical way of life, reflecting a new social order. Guru Nanak wanted to empower the common man to seek and realize God, while living an honest family life, free from rituals, renunciations, and pilgrimages. His teachings were designed to promote equality among all humans. Nanakian Philosophy's governing belief in virtuous conduct is the guide to reach the ultimate reality. Pride, infatuation, greed, maliciousness, and other temptations are contingent; one should not cling to them, but embrace an altruistic life. Moral rejuvenation and regeneration was the aim of Guru Nanak. He stated that life is a trust and it is to be spent in the love and service of humanity. Service to humanity is service to God. Truthful living is the essence of God-consciousness and in achieving this, one's company and association play an important role. One achieves and grows into the supreme position by joining the congregation of holy persons, but one who is in the bad company stands to face trial in the court of God. In this article, various aspects of the new social order, as envisaged by Guru Nanak will be brought to light. Emphasis shall be laid on, his three fundamental precepts - "Kirat Karo, Naam Japo and Vand Chhako". A practical approach to applying these ideas in everyday life is suggested.
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