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BBC Radio 4:Jasvir Singh - 02/04/2017

Good morning. Whilst the printing presses of Europe were busy making copies of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, one of his contemporaries was travelling across Asia and the Middle East on foot, preaching a new way of living. That person was Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith, and his birthday is being marked today by Sikhs around the world. At first glance, Guru Nanak and Luther seem quite similar. Both were people with a divine sense of purpose. Both believed that religious sCRIptures should be accessible and written in the languages that people spoke. Both wanted to move religion away from elitism and towards egalitarianism. However, there are very clear differences. Whilst Luther’s work resulted in a new expression of Christianity, Guru Nanak founded an entirely distinct religious path, one free from rituals, without a priesthood system and a focus on gender equality. One approach was Abrahamic, and the other was very much rooted in the spiritual traditions of the subcontinent. Just a few weeks ago, I visited the Indian town where the Guru had spent his early adult life. Seeing the streets where he had lived over five centuries ago and going to the secluded spot where he had gained enlightenment was a truly wondrous experience. Guru Nanak had worked as an accountant and a store-keeper at the state granary before he left his employment to spread his teachings across the continent. This young professional had effectively given up his career to go travelling, but rather than being on a journey to ‘find himself’, his mission was to give the people he met a fresh perspective on life through his theology. His three core teachings were to meditate upon the Almighty’s name, to make an honest living, and to share the fruits of one’s labours with others. Simple enough perhaps, but that simplicity is deceptive and the impact has been far-reaching. For example, the concept of sharing is why Gurdwaras globally prepare and serve over a million meals each day as part of the langar kitchens. His influence transcended the Sikh faith. In a region of Tibet, he is revered as a Lama. In parts of Pakistan, he is known as Baba or Father. During his lifetime, he was considered a saint and holy man by Hindus and Muslims alike, and Guru Nanak’s reformation of spiritual identity in the subcontinent had a profound and lasting effect. In his earliest composition, the Japji Sahib, Guru Nanak says: So many ways of life, so many languages. So many dynasties of rulers So many intuitive people, so many selfless servants. O Nanak, the Almighty's limit has no limit! Guru Nanak’s life could never be desCRIbed as boring, and that reflection upon the diverse nature of the world is an idea that has appeal to people way beyond the Sikh community. First broadcast 4 November 2017来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/17/11/BBC-Radio-4-Jasvir-Singh-02-04-2017.html