Guru Nanak’s basic philosophy can be summed up by the Three Golden Rules:
1. Naam Japna – Remember God’s Name in every single endeavour you undertake
Guru ji led the Sikhs directly to practise Simran and Naam Japna – meditation on God through reciting, chanting, singing and constant remembrance followed by deep study & comprehension of God’s Name and virtues. In real life to practice and tread on the path of Dharam (righteousness) – The inner thought of the Sikh thus stays constantly immersed in praises and appreciation of the Creator and the ONE ETERNAL GOD Waheguru.
2. Kirat Karni – Earn your livelihood through hard work and by honest means
He expected the Sikhs to live as honourable householders and practise Kirat Karni – To honestly earn by ones physical and mental effort while accepting both pains and pleasures as GOD’s gifts and blessings. One is to stay truthful at all times and, fear none but the Eternal Super Soul. Live a life founded on decency immersed in Dharam – life controlled by high spiritual, moral and social values.
3. Vand Chakna – To selflessly serve and share with others especially with those less fortunate than yourself.
The Sikhs were asked to share their wealth within the community by practising Vand Chakna – “Share and Consume together”. The community or Sadh Sangat is an important part of Sikhism. One must be part of a community that is living the flawless objective values set out by the Sikh Gurus and every Sikh has to contribute in whatever way possible to the common community pool. This spirit of Sharing and Giving is an important message from Guru Nanak.
As is evident from these core tenets it is one’s deeds and conduct that Guru Nanak places on a pedestal above all else. Guru Nanak says, Truth is the highest virtue but higher still is truthful living (AG 62). As such he advocated active participation in the daily affairs of one’s community. Guru Ji himself was a householder and denounced the ascetic lifestyle. He knew that true morality could only be gauged in terms of one’s interaction with one’s neighbours and that those who sought to run away from the world’s problems were not immoral but, rather, amoral.