The Youth of Guru Nanak

By the age of ten, Nanak began to emerge as a bridge-builder between various religious traditions. Sometimes he would visit mosques and pray with the faithful Muslims. At other times, he would visit the Hindu Temples and chant bhajans with the Hindus. Nanak’s family felt that he was old enough to receive the sacred thread (janeu), which is the Hindu rite of spiritual manhood. Therefore, an appropriate and auspicious time was set for the ceremony. Initially, it was arranged that only the higher class friends and relatives would be invited to attend the ceremony. But Nanak insisted that Muslim fakirs, sadhus and many common poor people of a lower caste should also be invited to the ceremony. His father was persuaded by his son’s arguments and invited his guests, even though some of the upper caste people were not pleased with the decision.

When all of the guests were assembled and preliminary rites had been performed, the family priest, pundit Hardyal, sat Nanak down for the ceremony of receiving the sacred thread. The pundit said: “From today I am your guru and you are my disciple. You must first bow your head and pray to the Shaligram (Lord Vishnu worshipped in an abstract form — a sacred stone).” Without hesitation the youth replied: “Why should I bow down to this stone?” The pundit responded: “Because this is a qualified (manifested) form of Lord Vishnu.” The young Nanak picked up the Shaligram and said: “How could this stone be the qualified form of the infinite God? If this small stone can become a deity such as Vishnu and Brahma, then should we as well consider the large mountain as the qualified form of the Infinite God? Isn’t it true that the entire universe itself is the visible and manifest form of God? And isn’t it also the case that the light of that Infinite Divine Form and His energy are ever shining in each human being? Instead of praying to this stone wouldn’t it be better to recognize God in each human being and serve them?” When the pundit heard this he was speechless. Nanak’s father became apprehensive and asked the pundit: “Why are you arguing with this naive boy? I have no idea where has he acquired such knowledge that he makes everyone speechless with his astute arguments.”

— Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj, the Scholar-Sant, in, Harmony Of All Religions (Sarvadharma Samanvy), the Sikh Chapter:

Guru Nanak’s Morning Prayer (Jap Ji) @ Youtube — Line By Line, Chant with English Translation:

Music Video/Hymn Dedicated to Guru Nanak: Guru Nanak Came to Redeem This Dark Age:

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