The word "Nanak" means fire in Persian and significantly, Guru Nanak brought heavenly fire to kindle the lamp of divine light in the heart of humanity.
It was the light of divine love from which sprang his doctrine of holy deed above bookish creed, spiritual illumination above illusive ego and saintly life above external indications. Hence he proclaimed, "Truth is higher than everything, but higher still is true living, which consists of continuous meditation, sincere work and sharing the proceeds. Therefore continuously focus on essential divinity, work sincerely and give something generously away to others."
The ephemeral world owes its existence to cosmic will and it reveals the omnipresent. He is also revealed through “shabad” or cosmic vibration, the “Ek Onkar”.
Hence chanting forms an important part of his teachings as it is divine expression through which truth is revealed. We find in him a perfect synthesis of dualism of bhakti with absolute non-dualism reflecting essential singularity of the ultimate being.
From this depth of realization sprang his non-sectarian creed, "No one is Hindu; no one is Muslim." He stood for the essential divinity expressed through humanity. Sectarian beliefs and rituals create manmade barriers and unending hypocrisy, he pointed out. He spread divine humanism with all-embracing love.
The time of his advent witnessed quarrels over religious trifles and deviation from the true spirit of religion. He advised all to dwell at the feet of the Lord in love. As non-sectarian he said, "God is neither Hindu nor Muslim." His mystic communion with God was through the language of heart. When priests at Haridwar asked him about his caste he gave a poignant reply, "My caste is the caste of wood and fire." And he advised the Muslims also to make mercy their mosque, sincerity their prayer-carpet and justice their Holy Quran.
Nanak said that the human mind follows either of the two directions,” manmukh” or “gurumukh.”
Manmukhi, or following, dictates the mind, cultivates self-pride or egoism associated with lust, anger, craving, jealousy and delusive materialism. While gurumukhi, or follower of the teachings of the guru, lives life with deep, divine anchorage, protected from delusive reality. Hence he stressed the need for awareness to overcome the ocean of delusion.
Innate simplicity characterizes the keynote of his teachings. He advised to take the name of Akal Purukha, the Eternal One, repeatedly with utmost devotion and live a life of service and sacrifice with sincere humility. For him the soul is the bride and God is the bridegroom and our brief life is intended to make a union of the two. He wanted his disciples to grow in meditation with “jaap” and “saadhsangh” (the holy congregation) and living the mantra in daily life.
Nanak said, "I belong to no sect and adore but one God, I see Him in earth below and heavens above and in all directions and all are my brethren in One Beloved."
A continuation rendition of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh scripture) will be held at the Sikh Gurudwara of Spokane from Friday morning (Dec. 28) to Sunday morning (Dec. 30).
Vegetarian meals will be served throughout the three days. Guests are welcome.