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What were the major teachings of Guru Nanak? Explain their relevance in the contemporary world. (Answer in 150 words)10

 

Introduction

Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism and a prominent social reformer of the 16th century has left behind a rich legacy of spiritual teachings.

 

Body

 His way of life and profound teachings still continue to hold strong relevance in today’s modern world. Some of them include –

  • Oneness in God– Emphasised belief in formless, monotheism (Ik Onkar or one creator) and universality of the divine.

Relevance -Promotes religious pluralism, tolerance and fosters harmony

  • Equality – He vehemently opposed the caste system and advocated equality for all humans.

Relevance –  As per the Indian Human Development Survey (IHDS) one in four Indians admit to practising untouchability in some form even in today’s age. Guru Nanak’s teachings adopted in practice can help address this.

  • Selfless Service(Seva) – Fostered spirit of volunteerism and philanthropy.

Relevance-More initiatives like the “Langar on Wheels” initiative by Gurudwara to provide meals during the Covid-19 lockdown to be promoted.

  • Living an honest life(Kirat Karo)- Using God-given skills and abilities and doing hard labour to lead a truthful life.

Relevance- With the rise of corruption, dishonesty and the lure of an easy life, his teaching promotes the importance of leading an ethical life.

5)  Vaand Chhako ( sharing whatever god has given to you with the needy) –

This principle of distributive justice is more relevant in a world marked by stark inequalities of wealth and income.
For instance, the Richest 1% bagged nearly twice as much wealth as the rest of the world put together over the past two years, as per the OXFAM report released in 2023.

  • Societal Harmony through interfaith dialogues – promoted by Guru Nanak engaged to promote peace and harmony among all.

Relevance- offers timeless solutions to contemporary issues of religious intolerance and conflicts arising mostly out of ignorance and scant respect for others’ faith and belief.

 

Conclusion

Guru Nanak’s teachings offer timeless and universal guidance and solutions to contemporary challenges of the modern world. It can help foster a more just, inclusive and compassionate world.