Thou Art Here, Nanak!
Outlook|December 02, 2019
Iconoclast and pacifist, the first of the Sikh Gurus belongs to all humanity
Amandeep Sandhu

IN 2015, when I started work on my recent book on Punjab, I was not aware that we would soon be celebrating the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak. Early enough in my journeys, I visited Sultanpur Lodhi where Guru Nanak had meditated for 14 years, nine months and 13 days. Then he disappeared in the Kali Bein rivulet for three days and nights. When he emerged, he uttered “Na koi Hindu, na Musalman (Neither is one Hindu, nor Muslim).” His emphasis was on our essential humanity beyond the identity markers we inherit at birth: religion, caste and even gender.

I chose Sultanpur Lodhi because I thought if I want to travel, I must pay obeisance to the greatest travel­ler I know. Post his meditation phase, Guru Nanak travelled around 25,000 kilometres on foot, in all four directions, with his trusted accomplice Mardana, the rubab player. On his long hikes, Guru Nanak met many people of various religious persua­sions and had elaborate discussions with them on matters of faith and spirituality. After the journeys, Guru Nanak settled in Kartarpur, now in Pakistan, three kilometres from the Indian border town of Dera Baba Nanak. He farmed at Kartarpur Sahib for 17 years and composed hymns that are now part of the Guru Granth Sahib. His journeys had showed him the fallacy of idolatry and empty rituals. That is why his teachings propose the need for a fresh, form­ less—nirgun—approach to God and the universe.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM OUTLOOKView All

Towering Inferno

The draft Environment Impact Assesment has triggered outrage for watering down earlier provisions to protect the fragile ecology

7 mins read
Outlook
August 31, 2020

Turncoats: An Open Season

As Trinamool embarks on an aggressive rehabilitation and induction drive, BJP keeps looking for poaching opportunities

6 mins read
Outlook
August 31, 2020

‘I am happy about the new phase in my life'

Bobby Deol made a grand entry into Bollywood with Barsaat way back in 1995 and followed it up with major hits like Gupt (1997) and Soldier (1998). The youngest son of Dharmendra, however, failed to hold onto his early successes and had to sit at home without any work for three years in the new millennium. The 51-year-old, who makes his digital debut with Class of ’83, a Shah Rukh Khan-Netflix production on August 21, speaks to Giridhar Jha about his latest film, his 25 years in movies and how he handled his failure. Excepts:

6 mins read
Outlook
August 31, 2020

Styled Yours, Mahi

Seen from the perch of his great brand appeal, Dhoni is in the sublime present, and as grounded and undemonstrative as ever .

3 mins read
Outlook
August 31, 2020

Bharat Cadre

The IAS isn’t a preserve of the elite any longer. Candidates from the hinterland, often with disadvantaged backgrounds, are laying claim to its hallowed ranks.

10+ mins read
Outlook
August 31, 2020

Language of politics

More voices from the state demand learning of Hindi

3 mins read
Outlook
August 31, 2020

A Rotor Blade

MSD impressed as rookie, champ, skipper in the quest to excel for India

4 mins read
Outlook
August 31, 2020

Kamala, Here She Comes

First Indian-American to run for US vice president

3 mins read
Outlook
August 31, 2020

Mewat In The Mirror

Jasraj was one of the early popularisers of Hindustani classical, his voice timbrally pleasing and rich, but ductile enough to be drawn into thin filigree

6 mins read
Outlook
August 31, 2020

A Covid-Era How-To For The Money-Wise

Lessons on investor behaviour during the unprecedented pandemic

10+ mins read
Outlook
August 31, 2020
RELATED STORIES

Teacher Of Humanity

And his son found out later.

10+ mins read
Woman's Era
January 2021

Co-WIN Cowers Under Weight Of Vaccination Mission

App Glitches Across Several States Hit Vaccination Drive

2 mins read
The Times of India Hyderabad
January 19, 2021

राहुल गांधी और कैप्टन अमरिंदर में फिर टकराव

किसान आंदोलन से मुसीबत तो केंद्र की मोदी सरकार की बढ़ी हुई है, लेकिन उससे भी कहीं ज्यादा परेशान पंजाब के मुख्यमंत्री कैप्टन अमरिंदर सिंह हैं.

1 min read
Gambhir Samachar
Jnauary 16, 2021

SOMETHING DIFFERENT

INDERJEET SINGH BANGA ON BEING HIS OWN ‘THIRD SPACE’ AND THE ART OF HOSPITALITY

2 mins read
The Morning Standard
January 17, 2021

LAW AND DISORDER

The courts step in to end the impasse between farmers and the government, but the farmers want nothing less than a repeal of the farm laws

9 mins read
India Today
January 25, 2021

Will not appear before any committee that SC may appoint, declare farmers

Farm unions opposed to the new central farm Acts on Monday welcomed the Supreme Court's suggestion to stay implementation of the laws, but said the “laws must be repealed forthwith” and made it clear that they will not participate either collectively or individually in any proceedings before a committee that may be appointed by the apex court.

2 mins read
The Times of India Mumbai
January 12, 2021

हर्ष, उमंग एवं सद्भावना का त्योहार- लोहड़ी

लोहड़ी की बात करते ही आंखों के सामने छा जाती है आग, मूंगफली और रेवड़ी की तस्वीर और साथ ही उभर आता है ढोल और भंगडे का शोर, क्यों? आइये जानते हैं।

1 min read
Sadhana Path
January 2021

INKED IN PUNJAB

New York author Manreet Sodhi Someshwar on the Punjab factor in her writing, the recent farmer protests, and #MeToo element in her new book

4 mins read
eShe
January 2021

Farmers vow to continue stir till demands are met

Protests Against Farm Laws Enter 100th Day

1 min read
The Times of India Hyderabad
January 09, 2021

Cold wave conditions prevail in north India

Cold wave conditions continued unabated in several parts of north India on Friday with a MeT official predicting severe winter for Rajasthan in the coming days.

1 min read
Millennium Post Delhi
January 09 2021