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Guru Nanak Jayanti 2019: Selfless service - one of the core beliefs of Sikhism

By Vishal S
|

New Delhi, Nov 11: Gurpurab or Guru Nanak Jayanti is one of the holiest festivals for Sikhism. This year's Guru Nanak Jayanti would be special for many reasons. Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, was born in 1469, so this year's Gurpurab would be 550th birth anniversary of the revered saint. 2019's Guru Nanak Jayanti is tomorrow on November 12 and from tomorrow the followers of Sikhism would be able to visit Darbar Sahib in Pakistan without a visa, thanks to the Kartarpur Corridor.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji

Guru Nanak is said to have spent last years of his life at Darbar Sahib. India and Pakistan signed a historic pact last year to construct a direct corridor from Gurdaspur, Punjab, to Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur in Pakistan.

[Manmohan Singh appeals to take forward Guru Nanak's message]

Guru Nanak is revered across India. Tenets of Sikhism are truthfulness, honesty, purity and selfless service for the society. Guru Granth Sahib is the holy book of Sikhs and consists of 1,430 angs (pages) and 6,000 śabads (line compositions) which are poetically rendered.

How Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated?

Two days before Guru Nanak Jayanti, a 48 hours non-stop recitation of Guru Granth Sahib is held at the Gurudwaras. Prayers are followed by a communal free lunch called langar. People from different sections of the society i.e. poor and rich, young and aged, irrespective of religion, caste or gender; sit together side by side in a queue, to eat the food.

The day prior to the birthday, a procession, referred to as Nagarkirtan, is organised. This procession is led by the Panj Pyaras (Five Beloved Ones). They head the procession carrying the Sikh flag, known as the Nishan Sahib and the Palki (Palanquin) of Guru Granth Sahib. They are followed by teams of singers singing hymns and devotees sing the chorus. There are brass bands playing different tunes and 'Gatka' teams display their swordsmanship through various martial arts and as mock battles using traditional weapons, according to Wikipedia.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji's life:

Guru Nanak was born on 15th April 1469 at Rai Bhoi Ki Talwandi, near Lahore in present-day Sekhpura district of Pakistan. But his birth anniversary is not celebrated according to the gregorian calendar. Guru Nanak was born on the Full Moon (Pooranmashi) of the Lunar Month Kartik. Therefore, people prefer to continue the tradition of celebrating it on the Full Moon Day (Pooranmashi or Purnima) of the Karthik month. Some scholars and organizations, however, do believe that the birthday of Guru Nanak should be celebrated on Vaisakhi, which falls on April 14, according to the original Nanakshahi Calendar. But, for hundreds of years, it is being celebrated on Pooranmashi or Purnima of the Karthik month.

[Kartarpur Corridor online booking: How to apply, check status, and registration]

He set up various spiritual, social and political platforms, which were constituted on the principles of quality, goodness, and virtue. His teachings are preserved in the holy texts of the Guru Granth Sahib.

    Why is Kartarpur Sahib important for Sikhs

    Guru Nanak stressed upon the fact that both spiritual and social lives are an integral part of each other. He preached leading a socially active life with truthfulness, honesty, purity and selfless service for the society, especially the poor and needy. Guru Nanak died in Kartarpur Pakistan on 22nd September 1539.

    Three most important principles of Sikhism:

    • Naam Japna - Remembering God through meditation all times of day and night during each and every activity.
    • Kirat Karo - Earning a livelihood by means of earnest, honest efforts and endeavours.
    • Vand Chakko - Selflessly serving others, sharing income and resources including foodstuffs or other goods.

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