Guru Nanak Jayanti
“Of all the religions, the most exalted is to worship the Lord and do good deeds.” – Guru Nanak Dev Ji
Nanak Sahib founded Sikhism in the 15th century and was the first Guru of the Sikhs. He was born to Mehta Kalu and Mata Tripta on 15th April in 1469 at Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi which is presently in Pakistan (known as Nankana Sahib). To commemorate his valuable teachings, Guru Nanak Jayanti is observed on the full-moon day (Purnamashi) of the month of Kartik, each year and is also known as Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurpurab or Guru Nanak’s Prakash Utsav. This year Guru Nanak Jayanti falls on 14th November, 2016 (Monday).
Nanak Dev Ji was always very considerate for the poor and the underprivileged. Once, at the age of 12 his father gave him twenty rupees to do some business. But instead of doing business, Nanak Ji spent all his money to buy food and fed it to the poor and the needy. He travelled to several places in India and abroad, which were of great religious significance and propagated his preachings and philosophies.
He opposed the Hindu caste system and other biases. He preached the idea of ‘One’ God who is formless but almighty and discouraged the bifurcations of Hindus and Muslims. As a social reformer, Guru Nanak Dev Ji always stood up for the rights of women, needy and poor people. He believed that all individuals are equal irrespective of their gender, wealth, caste and skin colour.
Celebrations of Guru Nanak Jayanti in the country
A day prior to Guru Nanak Ji’s birthday, a procession called Nagarkirtan headed by the Panja Pyaras (the five beloved ones) carries the Sikh flag and the Palki of Guru Granth Sahib across the localities in the city, singing hymns and prayers. On the day of Jayanti, the Gurudwaras are beautifully decorated. After early morning prayers, community lunch (Langar) is served to everyone by volunteers at these Gurudwaras. Near midnight, the time when Guru Nanak Dev Ji was actually born, Gurubani and other religious songs and hymns are sung at the Gurudwaras.
By following the given tips, you can celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanti at home:
- Read books and research about the reforms brought in by Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
- Narrate the stories about Guru Nanak Ji’s journeys and preachings.
- Teach some simple hymns and devotional songs about Nanakji to the children and encourage them to join locals in the Prabhat Feris (morning processions).
- Visit Gurudwaras and become a part of community meals called Langars.
- Volunteer for the Sewa (Service) at the Gurudwaras and promote the value of basic principles of Sikhism as taught by Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
So, follow the path of helping the needy and the deprived and treat everyone as equal as preached by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Have a happy Guru Nanak Jayanti!