Guru Nanak Jayanti is a sacred festival of Sikhs. People celebrate the birthday of Guru Nanak on this day. Guru Nanak was the founder of Sikhism. His teachings are based on equality and one God.
Sikh community is the ninth largest population of the world. Therefore, Guru Nanak Jayanti is widely celebrated around the world. Guru Nanak Jayanti is also known as Gurpurab. The Sikhism was established by 10 Gurus. Guru Nanak was the first Guru and his birthday is celebrated as Guru Nanak Jayanti. This festival symbolizes loving and serving everyone without any discrimination.
Who is Guru Nanak?
Guru Nanak was born on April 15,1469. He was born in Talwanda, a village in Sheikhpura district near Lahore ,Pakistan. Guru Nanak was born to Hindu parents though he believed that he was neither Hindu nor Muslim .He started going to school at the age of seven. It was believed that he amazed his teacher by explaining the representation of the first letter of the alphabet, which is a straight stroke in Persian or Arabic. It resembled the mathematical one and it symbolised as God being one and united. At the age of 18, Guru Nanak married Mata Sulakkhani on September 24, 1487. He had two sons. One of his son’s became the founder of Udasi religion.
Guru Nanak’s vision of one God
One day Guru Nanak failed to return from his bath and his clothes were found on the bank of the stream. The locals thought that he died. After three days he returned back and he stayed silent. Afterwards he said that he had been taken to God’s court and there he was offered a cup full of amrit and he was sacred. Guru Nanak said that God is neither Hindu nor Muslim and he followed God’s path. Guru Nanak founded the Sikh sacred scripture, Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Nanak travelled the World with an objective to spread the holy message. He travelled to Mecca, Tibet, Kashmir, Bengal, Manipur, Rome etc. He died at the age of 70. He appointed Bhai Lena as his successor and renamed him as Guru Angad(second Guru).
Teachings of Guru Nanak
His teaching majorly involved three things; ‘Vand Chakko’, ‘Kirat Karo’ and ‘Naam Japna’.
Vand Chakko – sharing and helping
Kirat Karo – living honestly
Naam Japna – meditating on the name of God
1.Submission to the Will of God : Guru Nanak says that everything happens by God’s Grace. God knows better what is right or wrong for us. We should therefore, accept his decisions.
2. There is One God: Guru Nanak said, ” I am neither Hindu Nor Muslim, I am a follower of god”, which actually spine about his belief in one god. In Sikhism, the god is omnipresent, shapeless, timeless, and sightless.
3. Goodwill for all : Guru Nanak passed the message of Universal brotherhood. He said that religion is not simple consistence of words but actually looks all men and women equally. Universal brotherhood is a strong theme in Gurbani written by Guru Nanak Dev ji.
4. No Discrimination: He believed that there is only one God and he spread the same message wherever he travelled. All his preaching’s were filed in the holy book of Sikhs, Guru Granth Sahib.
It is celebrated for three days. The celebrations starts two days prior to the birthday of Guru. This starts by reading the holy granth i.e., Guru Granth Sahib in gurudwaras. This process is called Akhand path. On the third day, the early morning possession starts around 4-5 a.m the head of the processions carries the Sikh flag known as Nishan Sahib and the Palki or Palanquin of Guru Nanak Dev ji followed by the hymns. This holy possession moves through the localities and reach the gurudwaras. They offer free communal lunch called langar to eliminate discrimination and starvation of the poor.
Rehars (evening prayers) are also held in some Gurudwaras followed by late kirtans.Gurbani is sung by the congregation at 1.20 a.m at midnight which is the actual birth time of Guru Nanak Jayanti. People in Punjab,Chandigarh,Delhi celebrate this festival on a grand scale. The Gurudwaras are lit up and decorated like bride on this sacred occasion in a Sikh culture. Generally, it falls between October and November. This year it will be celebrated on 4th November.
Wishing you love and happiness on this auspicious occasion .Happy Guru Nanak Jayanti !!!