Guru Nanak Jayanti Gudi Padvo
Sikh Guru Nanak
Reformer and protector against formalism and ritualism, messenger of peace and love, remover of the superstitions, preacher of purity, justice, goodness and love of God; Guru Nanak was born on the full moon day in the month of Kartik in 1469 A.D. at Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi, some 30 miles from Lahore in the present Pakistan. He preached the universal brotherhood of man and fatherhood of God to all people. The celebration of his birthday marks the culmination of the Prabhat Pheris, the early morning processions that starts from the Gurudwarws and proceeds around the localities singing ‘Shabads’(hymns).
Mata Tripta was Guru Nanak’s mother. She deserves to be celebrated for bringing to the world a soul who offered much spiritual and moral guidance for a new world religion. She and her husband Mehta Kalu lived in Talwandi; which is now part of Pakistan.
Guru Nanak Jayanti Celebrations
The celebration-rejoicing day of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak is known as Guru Nanak Jayanti. This is a celebration day of dedication and devotion; love and brotherhood. Irrespective of caste, gender, age and even religion people participate in Karseva as service to the community by cooking food and distributing it in the ‘Guru ka Langar’ with the traditional ‘Karah Prasad’.
Traditionally the festive celebration begins with holy recitation of the book ‘the Guru Granth Sahib’ nonstop for 48 hours in the Gurudwara. The holy recitation is known as Akhand Path. It starts a day prior to Guru Nanak Jayanti.A religious procession or Prabhat Pheri is carried out in the early morning that is lead by the Panj Pyares, the five armed guards, carrying the Sikh flag known as the Nishan Sahib. Even Guru Granth Sahib is well set and carried in a Palki ornamented with flowers.
The procession starts from the gurudwaras and proceeds towards the localities. The guards are followed by local bands playing brass bands and a team of singers singing shabads (religious hymns). While the procession passes the local homes, the devotees sing the chorus and offer sweets and tea to the people in the procession. ‘Gatka’ teams (martial arts) display mock-battles with the traditional weapons. The route of the procession is decorated with flags, flowers and religious posters. Banners are also posted depicting various aspects of Sikhism.
The Granth Sahib /Adi Granth
The holy Granth of the Sikhs is the simplification of the Sankrit characters into the Gurumukhi characters. It contains the hymns of the first five Gurus. The holy hymns were collected, arranged and formed into the volume called Guru Granth Sahib by the fifth Guru.
The Granth Sahib begins with the declaration,”There is but one God whose name is true-the Creator”. It is an embodiment of morals-mercy, charity, temperance, justice, straightforwardness, truthfulness, sacrifice and service. It condemns lust, anger, pride, hatred, egoism, greed, selfishness, cruelty, backbiting and falsehood.
Japji,the mystic poems by Nank is sung by every Sikh at daybreak.It is the first sacred composition found in the main Sikh holy scripture called the Guru Granth Sahib. It is a famous and concise summary of Sikh philosophy which was compiled by the founder of Sikhism and the first spiritual guide of the Sikhs known worldwide as Guru Nanak.
The compilation consists of the Mool Mantar, an opening Salok or verse, a set of 38 Pauris or hymns and a final closing Salok. This Bani called Japji Sahib, appears at the very beginning of the Guru Granth Sahib from Page 1 to Page 8 in the Holy Book of the Sikhs Nay! of Humanity. It, the most important Bani or 'set of verses', and is lovingly recited by all Sikhs every morning. The word ‘Jap’ means to ‘recite’/‘to ‘chant’/'to stay focused onto'. ‘Ji’ is a word that is used to show respect as is the word ‘Sahib’.
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