As we celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev on November 4, let’s revisit the history remind not only ourselves but also the new generation about our proud history and culture.

Guru Nanak Dev, the first Sikh Guru, was born on April 15, 1469 in a village called Talwandi Sabo, now known as Nankana Sahib near Lahore in Pakistan.

His father's name was Kalyan Chand Das Bedi, popularly known as Mehta Kalu and mother’s name was Mata Tripta. His sister Bebe Nanaki was five years older than him.

At the age of seven Guru Nanak Dev was enrolled in a village school. It is said that from an early age, his views were very different, his outlook towards life were much larger and broader than many others.

His sister Bebe Nanaki got married in 1479 to Jairam and moved to Sultanpur. Since he was very close to his sister, he also shifted to Sultanpur with her and took up a job as an accountant under Daulat Khan Lodi who was also the employer of Jairam.

The job as an accountant failed to interest him, and soon he gave up his accounting career and started preaching. He soon earned the reputation of being a great poet and a philosopher. He believed in one God and did not believe in discrimination over caste or dogma of untouchability. Soon he became very popular, and thousands of people became his followers and were called Sikhs.

He was thus the first Guru of the ten Sikh Gurus, who founded Sikh religion in the fifteenth century.

Guru Nanak Dev got married to Mata Sulakhani on September 24, 1487, who was the daughter of Mul Chand and Chando Rani, of Batala town. Guru Nanak and Mata Sulakhani were blessed with two sons Sri Chand and Lakshmi Das.

Guru Nanak’s popularity increased massively, and his teachings were followed by many people. His devotees were reciting his poems in every city. His preaching was based on the basic tenets of

vand chakko: share with others

kirat karo: earn honestly

naam japo: meditate God’s name

Guru Nanak’s disciples Bala and Mardana accompanied him from one city to the other preaching his doctrine of love, equality and inclusiveness.

Now all of Guru Nanak teachings and poems including Japji Sahib and Asa Di Var are registered in the form of poetic hymns in the Holy Guru Granth Sahib which is now termed as the living Guru of the Sikhs.

Guru Nanak left for his heavenly abode on September 22, 1539

This year his birthday (known as Gurupurab) is being celebrated as on November 4, which is 19 katak on the day of puranmashi (full moon night) and numerous celebrations are planned even in faraway lands like New Zealand.

Events in Auckland:

The celebrations for Guru Nanak gurupurab have already begun at Gurudwara Sri Kalgidhar Sahib, Takanini is observing gurupurab with week-long kirtani darbar. Famous kirtani jatha of Bhai Gurpreet Singh Shimla waley and dhadhi jatha of Sukhpreet Singh Sabhrawan waley and kirtani jatha of Bhai Taminder Singh Paonta Sahib waley have been performing kirtan and dhadhi every day from October 29 in the evening from 6:30-8:30 pm. On Saturday, November 4, the gurupurab celebration will start at 9:30 am and will continue till 8:30 pm.

Special prayers and kirtan will be held at Gurudwara Sri Dashmesh Darbar, Papatoetoe, Gurudwara Sri Guru Harkishan Sahib, New Lynn and Sikh Temple in Otahuhu.