Guru Nanak Dev

In 2021, Guru Nanak Dev Jayanti marked the 552nd birth anniversary of the Sikh religion founder. It falls on 19 November 2021. Hence, this festival is one of the most important occasions for the Sikh people.

Guru Nanak Jayanti marks the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, founder of the Sikh religion. He is the first of 10 Sikh gurus, whom the Sikh people believe brought enlightenment to this world.

Read below to know more about Guru Nanak Dev, his history and Gurpurab 2021 in light of the IAS Exam.

The candidates can go through the relevant topics useful for their upcoming exams from the links provided below:

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When was Guru Nanak Dev Born?

The date of Gurpurab or the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji changes from year to year. Followers mark the day according to a Lunar calendar. Since Diwali falls on the fifteenth day of this Karthik month, Guru Nanak Jayanti falls fifteen days after Diwali on the occasion of Karthik Purnima. On 2021, Guru Nanak Dev’s birthday will fall on 19 November.

There are other Important days and dates of national and international importance, integral from the UPSC prelims and other government exams.

History of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

  • Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born at Nankana Sahib in 1469. This village exists near Lahore, Pakistan. His birth was an auspicious occasion and viewed as a mark of divinity. He shares his birthday with another auspicious occasion of Karthik Purnima.
  • Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born to Hindu parents and started school at 7. Guru Nanak travelled around the world with his companion Bhai Mardana. They travelled on foot to Manipur, Rome, Bengal, Kashmir, Mecca and Tibet.
  • His son Sri Chand was the founder of the Udasi religion. Guru Nanak Dev Ji died when he was 70 at Kartarpur on 22 September 1539.

Aspirants should begin their preparation by solving UPSC Previous Year Question Papers now!!

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Teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

Guru Nanak Dev Ji believed that a person could genuinely connect with God only through prayer and not sacrifice. Therefore, he did not like religions that practised sacrifice. All Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s teachings are collected in the form of a book known as the Guru Granth Sahib. His disciples have gathered all his teachings in that book.

They regard the book as the source of all their knowledge and the final authority on the Sikh religion. There is no other book that has achieved such status. Some of the teachings are:

  • The creator of the universe was one also known as Ik Onkar.
  • There are further teachings on selfless service, humanity, social justice, and prosperity for all.
  • One can only chant the name of God by his grace.
  • Sharing with others what God has given you.
  • Making an honest living.
  • Speak the truth without any fear.
  • The Love of God is supreme.

To read about Sikhism and the History of Sikh Gurus, check the linked article.

Guru Nanak Jayanti Celebrations

  • The celebrations for this festival begin 2 days before the occasion in the Gurudwaras. A recitation of the Guru Granth Sahib takes place for 2 days non-stop. It is called Akhand Path.
  • A day before this celebration, communities organise a procession known as Nagar Kirtan.
  • 5 men lead this procession, carrying a triangular flag known as Nishan Sahib. This procession also carries the Guru Granth Sahib along with songs, playing musical instruments and displaying martial arts skills.

From the perspective of the UPSC aspirant, this topic is of utmost importance as it represents a minority community of India.

Frequently Asked Questions about Guru Nanak Dev


Who was Guru Nanak Ji’s wife?

Sulakhni was Guru Nanak Ji’s wife’s name. She was the daughter of Mool Chand, who hailed from the Gurdaspur region of Punjab.


Who was Guru Nanak Ji’s successor?

Bhai Lehna was Guru Nanak Ji’s successor.


What is another name for Guru Nanak Jayanti?

Another name for Guru Nanak Jayanti is Prakash Utsav.

Furthermore, candidates can learn more about the detailed UPSC Syllabus and exam pattern for the preliminary and mains phase of the examination at the linked article. Analysing the syllabus will help candidates accordingly schedule a study plan.

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