Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Guru Nanak: The First Sikh Guru by Rina Singh

guruHave you ever heard of a baby coming into this world laughing? Nanak was born in a small village in India in 1469. After he drew his first breath, there was no crying, but only a gentle laughing coming from the baby. His parents knew then that Nanak was a special child. When Nanak was seven years old, he was sent to the village school, run by a Hindu priest. In no time at all, Nanak learned the alphabet and started writing poems praising God. His teacher was amazed. His mother and sister were proud of him. His father was upset because he wanted his son to learn math and accounting. No matter how much Nanak’s father tried to get him interested in business and making money, Nanak remained a day dreamer. He followed Muslim and Hindu holy men around and engaged them in conversations. Nanak never became the businessman his father had hoped for. Instead, he travelled thousands of miles across India, from the snowy Himalayas in the north to the tropical island of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) in the south. Wherever he went, Nanak took his message with him, “Worship one God, treat everyone equally, work honestly, share with the less fortunate, and serve the community.” On this basic belief system Nanak laid the foundation for the Sikh faith. In Guru Nanak we meet an extraordinary, powerful person who follows his dream, performs miracles, and draws crowds of people wherever he goes. Nanak is one of the great spiritual teachers of our times. This biography gives us insight into his active, influential life. Review by Trudy Walsh

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