Today is the 540th Birth Anniversary of the First Sikh Guru – Guru Nanak Dev. He stands as one of the most towering figure in the spiritual landscape in India and the world. To me He, along with Buddha and Jesus hold a special significance in the spiritual realm. All three followed very similar paths of enlightenment – in how it was achieved. Starting from Jnana and ending in Bhakti.
All three were born in faiths different from the one that their followers now espouse (and even shun the original), and that is where really lies the key to the “road” to spiritual freedom. It is not about organized faith – but thinking through the truth on your own rather than being affected by what others have said.
First of all, no one can really and completely follow anyone. Even if one could do that, that you would end up in the same place as the last guy did is pretty impossible for your going in “karmic baggage” was very different!!
And that is why I feel the lives of all three give clues on how to go on this life. They never renounced their original faiths because for them “faiths” or religions were not important – the core thinking of those who came before them and independence from the “life as usual” was. It is interesting that somehow all three ended up being installed as “leaders” of another set of faiths!
Whatever they were fighting “against” was exactly what they ended up starting afresh but in different names.
Is that the curse of human existence? Is that the curse of preaching? Is that the curse of organizing even the highest of profound idead and thoughts? I cannot say. But to me there is a lesson in it all.
Spiritual freedom is only yours and only you can make an effort. If you let it to be led by anyone else, you will not get there. SImilarly, it may be virtually impossible to take anyone else on the path that you just tread.. for it was your own.
Spiritual freedom by all these three Giant souls was not a Planned one. None of them started by saying that if I do “so and so” I will get to be “enlightened”. They followed their urge for more awakening and questioned themselves relentlessly without satisfaction. THAT led them to experience the ultimate Truth. There was no initial “going in” statement from any one of them to say – X years later I will be “there”.
Deliberate enlightenment as an ideal is thus flawed. Completely flawed.
That to me is the significance of Gurpurab.