sources of information concerning Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s life
are varied, one obvious place is Aadh Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Guru
Granth Sahib Ji contains numerous compositions by Guru Nanak Dev
Ji however they provide little information about the Guru himself.
Only the Babur Bani written by Guru Nanak Dev Ji indicates
that Guru Ji was witness to the devastation caused by Babur. There
upon indicating that Guru Ji was in the Punjab at the time of Baburs
sacking of Saidpur. In the same manner we can deduce that Guru Ji
had frequent contact and discourse with Nath Yogis as there are
frequent instances in which a yogi appears to be addressed. The
Var in Raag Ramakali by the Bhatts Rai Balvand and Satta proclaim
in the first four stanzas that Guru Nanak Dev Ji appointed (Guru)
Angad Dev Ji as his successor.
For the actual events in Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s life we must refer to the Janam Sakhis. Janam Sakhis are accounts on the life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, each consisting of a series of separate incidents or chapters normally in chronological order, entitled sakhis or gosts. The script for the janam-sakhis is Gurmukhi, but the language is either punjabi or the composite dialect called Sant Bhasa.
References of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s life can be found in other works but non of these give us an insight beyond the janam-sakhis. The Dabistan written by Mohsin Fani is one such work which contains references to Guru Ji in the chapter entitled Nanak-panthis. It appears that Mohsin Fani was personally acquainted with the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, and he explicitly claims close acquaintance with Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji, the seventh Guru. Later works like Mahipati’s Bhaktalilamrit, written in 1774, testifies to both the nature and extent of Guru Ji’s immense reputation.
For Mahipati Guru Nanak Dev Ji was one of the greatest bhagats and his chapter ‘The Story of Nanak’ is a collection of sakhis of Guru Ji’s life. He writes :