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Guru Nanak Jayanti 2022 - Date, History, Significance and Teachings

Posted By ServDharm

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Posted on November 02 2022

GURU PURAB: GURUNANAK'S PRAKASH UTSAV

Guru Nanak Dev Ji Guru Purab, also known as Guru Nanak's Prakash Utsav or Guru Nanak Jayanti commemorates the birth of the founder and the first guru of Sikhi Or Sikhism. Sikhism is the world's youngest and the fifth largest religion.

What were the early origins of Guru Nanak Dev Ji?

Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born at Rai Bhoi di Talwandi, now known as Nankana Sahib. From early childhood itself, Nanak Dev Ji was an extraordinary child exhibiting a deep contemplative mind, rational thinking and divine grace.

He often spoke against several prevalent social evils such as the Caste System, Gender Inequality etc. He rejected austerities, sacrifices and ritual bath while advocating the ‘Nirguna’ that is devotion to and worship of formless divine. He gave the basic mantra of ‘Ek Onkar’ to his followers which means that ‘there is only one creator’ and insisted on treating all human beings as equals, without discriminating on the basis of caste, creed and gender.

When is Guru Nanak Jayanti celebrated?

Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated on the full moon night of the Kartik month of Hindu Lunar Calendar. This year, it will be celebrated on Tuesday - November 8, 2022.

Why and How is Guru Nanak Jayanti celebrated? 

The celebration of Guru Purab is a unique blend of reverence, devotion and pride. It is celebrated not just by Sikhs, but also by Hindus all over the world. The celebration of the festival begins two days prior to the Guru Purab. On this day, devotees across the world visit Gurudwaras to offer prayers and read the holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib which is considered as the 11th Guru in Sikhi. It is a forty-eight hours non-stop reading of the Granth Sahib and is known as the ‘Akhand Paath’. The holy book is read from the beginning to the end without any break throughout the day and night. Devotees take turns in doing this. 

Prabhat Feris are held on all three days during the Amrit Vela, that is early in the morning around 4 A.M. These are the processions that begin at the Gurudwaras and proceed around the nearby localities. A group of devotees go around the neighbourhood singing sacred Shabads (religious hymns).

After the Akhand Paath is done, a day before the festival, a procession called the Nagar Kirtan is organised. This procession is led by five men known as the Panj Pyare (five loved ones) who carry the Sikh triangular flag, the Nishan Sahib. During the procession, the holy Guru Granth Sahib is placed in a palanquin. Devotees sing hymns in groups and play traditional instruments along with a splendid display of martial art forms. The colourful and vibrant  procession passes through the pre-decided street routes which are decorated with flags and flowers. People gather along the route of the procession to show their respect and reverence to the Holy Scripture. The Nagar Kirtan concludes at the Gurudwara with Ardas, a prayer to appeal to Waheguru for his protection and care.

What happens in Gurudwaras on Guru Nanak Jayanti?

On the anniversary day, the Gurudwaras are beautifully decorated. The celebrations start early in the morning at Amrit Vela with the singing of  Asa-di-var (the morning hymns) and other hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib. Many events are organised including lectures and recitation of poems in the praise of the Guru. People often wear traditional attires and offer their prayers with a pure and clear heart. The celebrations continue till about 2 P.M.

What is the special food enjoyed on Guru Nanak Jayanti? 

The kitchens of Gurudwaras make special food to celebrate Gurupurab. In Langar, which is a collective cooking and sharing of food, dishes like Kadha prasad, Kheer, Sheera, Jalebis, Chana daal and more are served.

What are the lessons taught through Guru Nanak Jayanti?

The celebrations culminate with a night prayer session at the Gurudwaras. Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated with great devotion and fervour. It focuses on the lessons taught by Guru Nanak Dev Ji which are “Kirat karo, naam japo and vans chhako” literally meaning “work, worship and share.”

He stood for karma before dharma, and believed in social responsibility and social change. His teachings promote kindness, patience, forgiveness, equality and forbearance which are all the more relevant in today’s time.

 

Written by Puja Paul  

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