New Delhi, Jan 5: Sikhs across the country thronged shrines on Saturday morning to pay respects to Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru, on his 342nd birth anniversary. The devotees participated in special prayer meetings. Free langars (meals) are also arranged and prasad (holy food) is distributed to mark the occasion.
A large procession called 'Nagarkirtan' was organised here on Friday. Thousands of Sikhs participated in the procession that included a decorated Palki Sahib, horses, gadhka parties, shahidi jathas, school children and bands. Guru Govind Singh, a warrior-martyr, a poet and a social reformer, all rolled into one, was born at Patna Sahib in 1666.
The Guru's birth anniversary commemorates the brave deeds of the Guru Gobind Singh, who organised the Sikhs into a fighting unit to counter Mughal attempts to quash their religious beliefs.
Guru Gobind Singh moulded the Sikh religion into its present form with the formation of the Khalsa. All members of the "Khalsa" sect have to possess the five K's - "Kes" (long hair), "Kangha" (comb), "Kirpan" (dagger), "Kachha" (shorts) and "Kara" (steel bracelet).