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GURPURAB – GURU NANAK DEV JI BIRTHDAY

GURPURAB – GURU NANAK DEV JI BIRTHDAY

Gurpurbs are part and parcel of Sikhism. In history we Gurpurabs are very auspicious and important celebrations for Sikhs, which marks the birth or death anniversaries of the Sikh Gurus. Sikhs on the day of Gurpurab gather especially at Gurdwaras to remember and pay homage to their gurus. All across the world, where Sikhs are living, the Gurpurabs are celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor. Martyrdom day Gurpurabs are marked with humbleness and respect.

It is during the time of gurus, that the word “Gurpurab” came into existence. Gur in this means “Guru” and Purab came from the Sanskrit word parva, which means festival or celebration.

The celebrations of Gurpurab last for three days. On the first day, before birthday-date, to celebrate Gurpurab, Akhand Path is observed at Gurdwaras. Some people even conduct this at their residents. The path is done by reading the holy book of Sikh, “Guru Granth Sahib” for uninterrupted 48 hrs. The birth-day celebrations & Gurpurbs of Guru Sahibs usually last for three days. Generally before the birthday-date Akhand Path is held in the Gurdwara. A large procession (Nagarkirtan) is organised one day before the birthday. This is led by the Panj Piyaras (Five beloved ones) and the Palki (Palanquin) of Shri Guru Granth Sahib and followed by groups of kirtani Jatha, Various School bands and students, emenent Citizans, Gatka Parties (displaying mock-battle with the traditional weapons), and devotees singing hymns from Guru Granth Sahib in chorus. The passage of the nagarkirtan is decorated with flags, flowers; religious posters decorated gates and banners depicting various aspects of Sikhism. On the Gurpurab day, the Divan begins early in morning at about 4 or 5 a.m. with the singing of Asa-di-var and hymns from Guru Granth Sahib. Sometimes it is followed by katha (discourse), religious and Sikh Historical lectures and recitation of poems in praise of the Guru. Kirtan-Darbars and Amrit Sanchar ceremonies are also held in the Gurdwara hall. After Ardas and distribution of Karah Parshad (sweet pudding) the Langar (food) is served to one and all and there is kirtan till late in the night, the distribution of langar continues to the end of the program.

An acient records indicate GuruNanakDevJi’s birth took place the 3rd day of the waxing moon, or Sudi 3, month of Vaisakh, Vikram Samvat (SV) year 1526 of the Indian calendar or March 14, 1469 of the Julian calendar. When converted to the modern day Gregorian calendar, Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s birth prakash occurred April 14, 1469 A.D. and this is the historic date attributed to his birth on the Nanakshahi Sikh calendar. However due to a number of circumstances involving  Legendary fanciful tales,  Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s birthday is celebrated officially at pooran mashi.In year 544 of the Nanakshahi Sikhism calendar, Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s birthday prakash gurpurab is observed on pooran mashi,on November 28, 2012.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of the Sikh religion, was born in 1469 A.D. in the village of Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi (now called Nankana Sahib, named after the Guru), in the Sheikhupura district,  west of Lahore (in Pakistan). Guru Nanak Sahib’s birthday according to the tradition is celebrated on Kartik Puranmashi i.e. full moon day of the month Kartik. His father, Mehta Kalyan Das, more popularly known as Mehta Kalu, was an official in the town’s local revenue administration. His mother was Mata Tripta Ji, an elder sister called Bebe Nanki, who always cherished her younger brother

At the age of 12, he had done a “True business” by feeding the hungry holy men. Today, at the place where Guru Nanak Dev Ji had fed the poor, stands a Gurdwara names, Sacha Sauda. At the age of seven, He learnt Hindi and Sanskrit. He surprised his teachers with the sublimity of his extra-ordinary knowledge about divine things and at the age of 16. He was the most learned man in the region. In November 1504, Guru Nanak’s elder sister Nanaki ji took him to Sultanpurlodhi where her husband Jai Ram ji got him the Job of storekeeper in the Modikhana of the local Nawab, Daulat Khan Lodhi. At the age of 38, in August 1507, Guru Nanak Sahib heard God’s call to dedicate himself to the serviceof humanity after bathing in”Vain Nadi” (a small river) near Sultanpur Lodhi. The very first sentence which he uttered then was, “There is no Hindu, no of humanity after bathing in “Vain Nadi” (a small river) near Sultanpur Lodhi. The very first sentence which he uttered then was, “There is no Hindu, no Musalman”. He now undertook long travels to preach his unique and divine doctrine (Sikhism). After visiting different places in Punjab, he decided to proceed on four long tours covering different religious places in India and abroad. These tours are called Char Udasis of Guru Nanak Sahib.

During the four journeys, Guru Nanak Sahib visited different religious places Guru Nanak Sahib also paid visit to Muslim holy places. In this regard he went to Mecca, Medina, Baghdad via Multan, Peshawar Sakhar, Son Miani, Hinglaj etc. In the year 1520, Babar attacked India. Guru Nanak Sahib challenged this act of barbarity in strong words. He was arrested and released, shortly after making Babar realizing his blunder. All the prisoners were also released. During these tours he studied other religious systems like Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Islam. At the same time, he preached the doctrines of his new religion and mission at the places and centres he visited. Since his mystic system almost completely reversed the trends, principles and practices of the then prevailing religions, he criticized and rejected virtually all the old beliefs, rituals and harmful practices existing in the country.

Guru Nanak Sahib settled down at Kartarpur city (now in Pakistan) which was founded by him in 1522 and spent the rest of his life there (1522-1539). There was daily Kirtan and the institution of Langar (free kitchen) was introduced. As a social reformer Guru Nanak Sahib upheld the cause of women, downtrodden and the poor. He attacked the citadel of caste system of Hindus and theocracy of Muslim rulers. He was a born poet. He wrote 947 hymns comprising Japji Sahib, Asa-Di-Var, Bara-Mah, Sidh-Gosht, Onkar (Dakhani) and these were included in Guru Granth Sahib by Guru Arjan Sahib. He was also a perfect musician. He, with the company of Bhai Mardana, composed such tunes in various Indian classical Ragas Knowing that the end was drawing near, Guru Nanak Sahib, after testing his two sons and some followers, installed Bhai Lehna ji (Guru Angad Sahib) as the Second Nanak in 1539 and after a few days passed into Sachkhand in September, 1539

Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s death is believed to have occurred at Kartarpur, (located in modern day Pakistan). the 10th day of the waxing moon in the month of Assu, 1595 SV of the Hindu Calendar, or September 7, 1539 Julian Calendar which is September 22, of the Sikhism Nanakshahi Calendar. Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s death is believed to have occurred at Kartarpur, (located in modern day Pakistan). the 10th day of the waxing moon in the month of Assu, 1595 SV of the Hindu Calendar, or September 7, 1539 Julian Calendar which is September 22, of the Sikhism Nanakshahi Calendar. Guru Nanak is considered by Sikhs only to have departed his body. His illuminated spirit is believed to be immortal and to have passed on through each of the succeeding gurus, and reside forever with Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikhism as the eternal guide to enlightenment.

Legend has it that when his end was apparent that Muslims and Hindus both claimed Guru Nanak as one of their prophets and wanted to bury him according to their beliefs. Guru Nanak Dev was consulted and requested that both parties bring flowers and that Hindus place them to his right and Muslims place them to his left and after the night had passed whose ever flowers were found to remain fresh should have the honor of disposing of his remains. Guru Nanak requested the prayers of Sohila and Japji Sahib be uttered and then arranged a sheet over his body and infused his spiritual light into his successor Guru Angad Dev. In the morning when the sheet was lifted, no sign of the Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s remains could be found. The flowers left by both Hindus and Muslims remained fresh. Two shrines were erected side by side in Kartarpur on the banks of the River Ravi, one built by Sikhs and the other by Muslims. Both been washed away twice by flooding over the centuries. As a social reformer Guru Nanak Sahib upheld the cause of women, downtrodden and the poor. He attacked the citadel of caste system of Hindus and theocracy of Muslim rulers. He was a born poet. He wrote 947 hymns comprising Japji Sahib, Asa-Di-Var, Bara-Mah, Sidh-Gosht, Onkar (Dakhani) and these were included in Guru Granth Sahib by Guru Arjan Sahib. He was also a perfect musician. He, with the company of Bhai Mardana, composed such tunes in various Indian classical Ragas.

GURU NANAK JI DECLARED GOD THE ALMIGHTY AS ONE, FORMLESS, INVISIBLE AND CREATOR…GURU NANAK JI NEVER BELIEVED IN THE CONCEPT ON RELIGION AND CASTE..GURU NANAK JI TAUGHT US THAT ALL HUMAN. HUMAN BEINGS REGARDLESS OF SKIN, COLOR, WEALTH AND GENDER ARE CREATED EQUAL.   “EK ONKAR “— There is one and only God Almighty, the Creator. All men are equal before him whether they are Hindus or Muslims. Only good and noble actions count, not showing piety or visits to holy places, if these are not performed with sincere devotion.

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