“There is but One God. His name is Truth; He is the Creator. He fears none; he is without hate. He never dies. He is beyond the cycle of births and death. He is self-illuminated. He is realized by the kindness of the True Guru. He was true in the beginning; He was True when the ages commenced and have ever been true. He is also true now.”
-Guru Nanak Ji
Guru Nanak Jayanti is one of the most auspicious festivals of Sikhs. As the Guru Nanak Dev Ji brought enlightenment to the world, the festival is also called Parv Utsav, meaning ‘birth of light’. It is also called Guru Nanak Dev Ji Guru Purab. Though in some Sikh calendar the day should be celebrated on Vaisakhi, traditionally it is celebrated on the full moon day of the Kartik month. Every year the Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated on the same day as Kartik Purnima.
When is Guru Purnima/ Guru Purab in 2020?
30th November 2020, Monday
Legends associated with Guru Nanak Jayanti
The day celebrates the birth of the great Guru Nanak Dev. It is believed on 15 April 1469 the Guru or the founder of Sikhism was born at Rai Bhoi ki Talwandi, near Lahore which is now called Sekhpura and is located in Pakistan. A Gurudwara was built on the birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev, which is now located in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is also believed that he started writing hymns for the Guru Granth Sahib and has written over 974 hymns in it.
These festivals of Guruparv celebrated by Sikhs revolves around the birth anniversaries of their 10 Gurus.
Significance Of Prakash Utsav
The day is considered sacred among the Sikh community. Since the main verse of the Guru Granth Sahib explains the formation of the universe it is believed that the Lord blesses them with prosperity and happiness. The concepts of Sikhs forbids the ideologies of reincarnation and some of the hymns in the Guru Granth is also based on social justice and humanity. It is also believed that social and spiritual master is the base of Sikhism.
The festival is also considered important since the devotees also believe that the Lord shall bless them with knowledge, truth, morals, understanding, devotion, and humanity.
Rituals associated with Guru Nanak Jayanti
The day is celebrated over three days as the celebration starts two days before the actual festival. The devotees celebrate the day by –
- The celebration done by all Sikhs is similar yet the hymns may vary.
- The day usually starts with the morning rituals, called the Pheris. It beings at the gurudwara by chanting hymns around the localities.
- A 48 hour continuous reading of the Guru Granth Sahib, called Akhand Path is commenced 2 days before the Jayanti.
- In the afternoon Langars are organized and free food is distributed to all, irrespective of their caste, creed, or religion. The food is offered as a service and dedication to the lord.
- A day before the Jayanti a procession called Nagarkritan is organized. It is lead by a group of five beloved devotees, holding a triangular Sikh flag, Nishan Sahib, and also is decorated with flowers.
- The holy Guru Granth is also placed in a palanquin and people singing hymns, playing several instruments, and performing martial arts follow the procession.
- The Gurudwaras as well as homes of several devotees are also decorated with flowers and flags.
- People also visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar to show their devotion towards the Guru Dev.
This was all about Guru Nanak Jayanti.
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