Sikhs trace their religion back to their founder Guru Nanak. They also look to the homeland of their faith which is the Punjab region in northern India. Guru Nanak was born in a small village called Talwindi in 1469ce. It now lies in Pakistan. He was born into a Hindu family but his father worked for a Muslim. At this time the Muslims were in power in India but the majority of people were Hindu's. Nanak was an unusual child. He spent much of his time in prayer and meditation. His father had high hopes for him but he spent more time talking to religious teachers than pursuing a career. He was concerned that they were not helping people get closer to God but made rules which stood in the way of true worship.
Guru Nanak went to live and work in Sultanpur. Everyday he went to bathe in the river and then he would spend time in prayer and meditation. One morning however Nanak failed to reappear after bathing. He was missing for three days. When he did turn up Nanak said that he had been in the presence of God. He had learnt that there was only one truth and that was God. Guru Nanak proclaimed that there was no such thing as a Hindu or Muslim. The truth was that there was only one God and everyone was equal in the sight of God.
Guru Nanak spent the next 22 years of his
life travelling telling people about God and his message. He was accompanied
by two friends one a musician called Mardana, who was a Muslim by birth
and Bala who was a Hindu. After the years of travelling Nanak returned
to the Punjab. He set up a community of followers at Kartapur. Their way
of life was based on devotion to God and the equality of all men and women.
Useful Website Addresses