In news– Recently, Punjab Police has proposed that the birth anniversary (Gurpurab) of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev be declared as ‘World Pedestrian Day’.
Guru Nanak Dev as the world’s most notable and revered pedestrian
- In a period of 24 years (1500-1524), Guru Nanak traveled in all directions to show the path of love, equality, humanity, and selfless service to mankind.
- Most of his journeys were made on foot with his companion Bhai Mardana.
- He also wanted to spread the message of oneness and to break barriers across faiths by engaging in spiritual dialogues.
- From Mecca to Haridwar, from Sylhet to Mount Kailash, Guru Nanak visited hundreds of interfaith sites related to Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Jainism throughout his journeys (also called udaasis).
- At some sites, gurdwaras were constructed to commemorate his visit.
- Later his travels were documented in texts called ‘janamsakhis’.
- These sites are now spread across nine nations as per current geographical divisions — India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, China (Tibet), Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan.
The recent proposal says that while beginning can be made by declaring ‘National Pedestrian Day’ within the country by the Union ministry, the Government of India can later take up the matter with the United Nations to get Gurpurab declared as ‘World Pedestrian Day’ to spread awareness on road safety.
About Guru Nanak-
- Guru Nanak ji, the founder and first Guru of Sikhism, was born in 1469, at the village Talwandi which is located in the Punjab (present Pakistan).
- This village is known as Nanaka Sahib.
- He had mastered multiple religious texts(at the age of 16) and languages including Sanskrit, Persian, and Hindi, and was writing what many believed were divinely inspired compositions.
- Accompanied by Bhai Mardana, he undertook four major spiritual journeys, running across India, South Asia, Tibet and Arabia.
- In these journeys, he preached the new concept of God as “Supreme, All powerful and Truthful, Formless (Nirankar), Fearless (Nirbhau), Without hate (Nirvair), the Sole (Ik), the Self-Existent (Saibhang), the Incomprehensible and Everlasting creator of all things (Karta Purakh), and the Eternal and Absolute Truth (Satnam)”.
- He taught people that the ‘One’ God dwells in every one of his creations, and that all human beings can have direct access to God without the need of any rituals or priests.
- His writings, in the form of 974 spiritual hymns comprising the Japji Sahib, Asa di Var, Bara Mah, Sidh Gosht and Dakhni Onkar were incorporated in the scripture Guru Granth Sahib by the fifth Guru Arjan Dev ji.