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10 Guru Nanak Lessons That Make Sense Even Today

Five centuries after the passing of Guru Nanak, his words still resonate with his followers. Let’s take a look at 10 of his teachings that make sense to this day.

1. Never forget the poor.

This mantra was relevant in 1500 when there was no concept of poverty alleviation, and is just as relevant now, when poverty hasn’t left the world. When Nanak was 12, his father gave him 20 bucks to set up a business. Nanak bought food worth 20 bucks and gave it away. When his father asked him about this investment, Nanak told him it was a "true business".

2. There is one God.

Using religion to segregate people into categories is awful. In the Guru’s own words, "There is neither Hindu nor Muslim."

3. Women are equal to men.

At a time when other Indian religions wanted quiet, demure women in the temple and no women in the mosque, he permitted women to join religious gatherings and openly sing their praises of God.

4. Running away from Life’s problems won’t give you enlightenment.

“…Remember the essence of religion/ Is meekness and sympathy/ But a life of goodness and purity/ Amid the world’s temptations…” (Guru Nanak)

Nanak himself was a farmer even after achieving enlightenment.

5. These five evils are probably ruining your life.

a. Ego b. Anger c. Greed d. Attachment and e. Lust.

6. Find your own guru.

You need a mentor to guide you on how to live right. In Guru Nanak’s words, living right is much superior to visiting pilgrimage destinations.

7. Be selfless.

The Punjab Golden Temple feeds over a 100,000 people of all religions every single day. Not because there is some divine gain, but because it is a sacred duty. For Nanak, the concept of selfless service was a way of life.

8. Fight superstition of any kind.

Nanak devoted his life to attacking formal rituals, caste, and practices that didn’t make any sense. This is the simplest way you can find meaning and purpose in your own life – cutting out the clutter of what society dictates you should do.

9. Simplicity is beautiful.

10 Guru Nanak Lessons That Make Sense Even Today

It is not hard to practice the tenets of Sikhism. There are only 3!

Vand Chako: Sharing with others

Kirat Karo: Making an honest living

Naam Japna: Remembering God at all times  

10. Travel!

There is much to be gained from your journeys.

Author: TxNaturalPediatrics

By training, I am a American Board Certified Pediatrician. But in my younger years I grew up with natural alternatives. As a mom I have tried to incorporate both for my kids and it has worked wonders. And finally, as I am studying natural & alternative medicines, I realize the beauty and wisdom of living closer to earth. Hence in my practice I integrate both...for acute ailments I follow American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation but for simple and/or chronic conditions I prefer natural alternatives. In western training we were raised to think that "health is the absence of symptoms and problems". But eastern sensibilities has educated me that "Health is state that allows one to use the full capabilities of their body, mind and intellect. Therefore, healthy living is a balanced state of well being: physically, mentally, socially and spiritually." This implies that healing is not a "one-pill-fits-all", but a personalized experience.

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