|Date of death||September 22, 1539|
|Place of death||Kartarpur, Mughal Empire (present-day Punjab, Pakistan)|
|Cause of death||Natural causes|
|Successor||Guru Angad Dev|
|Disposal of body||Disappeared mysteriously; only flowers remained|
|Memorials||Two shrines, one by Sikhs and Hindus and one by Muslims, on both sides of the river Ravi|
How Guru Nanak Dev Death Changed the World
Guru Nanak Dev was the founder of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. He was born in 1469 in a village called Rai Bhoi di Talwandi, now known as Nankana Sahib, in Pakistan. He grew up in a Hindu family, but he was not satisfied with the rituals and practices of his religion. He was curious about the truth of life and the nature of God. He started to question everything and seek answers from different sources.
At the age of 30, he had a mystical experience that transformed him completely. He disappeared into a river for three days and emerged with a message of one God, who dwells in every one of his creations and constitutes the eternal Truth. He declared: “There is no Hindu, there is no Muslim”. He started to travel across Asia to spread his teachings and establish a unique spiritual, social, and political platform based on equality, fraternal love, goodness, and virtue.
He travelled for more than 20 years and visited places like Tibet, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mecca, Baghdad, and many others. He met people from different religions, cultures, and backgrounds and shared his message of universal brotherhood and peace. He composed hymns and poems in various languages to express his vision of God and humanity. He also collected the writings of other saints and mystics who shared his views.
He settled down in Kartarpur, a town on the banks of the river Ravi, now in Pakistan. He established a community of followers who lived according to his teachings. He also built a place of worship called Gurdwara, where people from all faiths were welcome to join in singing praises of God.
He passed away on September 22, 1539 at the age of 70. His death was a momentous event that changed the world in many ways. Here are some of the impacts of his death:
- His death sparked a debate among his followers about how to perform his last rites. Some wanted to cremate him according to Hindu tradition, while others wanted to bury him according to Muslim tradition. They decided to place flowers on his body and wait for them to wither. The next morning, they found that his body had disappeared and only the flowers remained. They took this as a sign of his divine will and divided the flowers among themselves. They built a shrine on both sides of the river Ravi to commemorate him.
- His death marked the beginning of the succession of the Sikh Gurus. He had appointed one of his disciples, Bhai Lehna, as his successor and renamed him as Guru Angad Dev. Guru Angad Dev continued the work of Guru Nanak Dev and compiled his writings into a book called Pothi Sahib. He also introduced the Gurmukhi script to write the Sikh scriptures. The line of succession continued until the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, who declared the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs, as the eternal Guru.
- His death inspired millions of people around the world to follow his path and embrace Sikhism as their way of life. Today, there are more than 25 million Sikhs in the world, making it the fifth largest religion in the world. Sikhs are known for their courage, generosity, service, and devotion. They have contributed significantly to various fields such as science, arts, sports, politics, and social justice.
Guru Nanak Dev’s death was not an end but a new beginning. His legacy lives on through his teachings, his followers, and his spirit. He showed us how to live in harmony with God, nature, and each other. He taught us how to be compassionate, humble, and truthful. He gave us a vision of a world where everyone is equal, free, and happy. He was a guru, a teacher, a friend, and a guide. He was a light that shone in the darkness and a voice that echoed in the silence. He was Guru Nanak Dev. 🙏