-By Upjit Singh Sachdeva (Jeety), Honorary Consul General of India in Liberia
Guru Nanak DevJi, is the founder of Sikhism in India and 1st Guru (Teacher) of the religion.
Born 550 years ago today, 12 November in a small village now in Pakistan called RaiBhoi Ki Talwandi, young Nanak was a very unusual child; he never cried, not even when he was hungry. He always had a radiant smile on his face, and did not grow up like other children of his age.
His father's name was Mehta Kalu and his mother's name was Mata Tripta with an elder sister, BebeNanki, five years older than him. His father worked as a 'Patwari' (Accountant) responsible for the administration of agriculture and crop revenue in the village of Talwandi. His parents were both Hindu Khatris. But as a young child, Nanak astounded many with his intelligence and his inclinations towards divine and philosophical topics.
As a ritual among Hindus, his father Mehta Kalu sent for his family priest (Pandit) Hardial and asked him to draw up the child's 'Janampatri' or horoscope, but before proceeding to draw up the 'Janampatri', the father wanted to have a close look at the child. Mata Tripta had some hesitation; however, his request was granted. On seeing young Nanak DevJi, the priest bowed before him and touched his feet after which he congratulated Mr. Mehta Kalu and told him he was so a very fortunate Dad to have such a son.
"This child will be a great person. He will be loved and respected, worshiped by Hindus and Muslims alike. His name and fame will spread over many lands", said Priest Hardial. Both parents felt elated upon hearing this. Read full story on pages 6 & 7.