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Guru Nanak Jayanthi is the birthday of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev and is celebrated by the Sikh community throughout the world. The festival falls in the months of October or November every year. On this day the entire holy book of the Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib, is recited in one go.
Processions are also taken out where the devotees go singing hymns and carry the holy book on a palanquin which is decorated with flowers. The day starts with the recitation of hymns from the scriptures. This year Gurpurab or Guru Nanak Jayanthi will be celebrated on November 23 2018. Let us discuss a little more about it.
Sikhs Across The World Celebrate The Day
The significance of Guru Nanak Jayanthi lies in the fact that it is the birthday of the great Guru Nanak Dev, who was the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus. He took birth in 1469 A.D. in a Kshatriya family. The birthplace of Guru Nanak, Rai Bhoi di Talwandi, is located is Lahore, Pakistan. From childhood, he was inclined towards spirituality, goodness and devotion. Though he got married and had two sons, he realised the call of truth and left his family life to devote his time to the almighty.
The significance of Guru Nanak Jayanthi is that it reminds people about the pious life of Guru Dev and inspires many to follow the path he followed. Every Sikh at any corner of the world celebrates this festival with a devoted heart. Sometimes, the occasion is extended till evening. Sikhs, who are unable to attend Gurdwaras, organise a similar ceremony at home.
1. A Sense Of Unity
On the pious occasion of Guru Nanak's birthday, the congregation arranges a special langar (meal) free of cost. People join this without any sense of class divisions. Thus, this festival creates a sense of unity in diversity.
2. Teaches The Value Of Charity
The significance of Guru Nanak Jayanthi also lies in the lessons of his life. According to a story, Nanak used to give all his money to the destitute whom he saw in a market place. His birthday reminds people of the value of sharing.
3. Teaches Secularism
Today, the Guru Nanak Jayanthi is more relevant as there is biasness in the name of religion. He was inspired by views of both the Hindus and the Muslims. His teachings were always for the benefit of human kind irrespective of religion.
4. A Day Of Love And Peace
Nanak was a great saint who always taught mankind the significance of love and peace. He was a preacher of brotherhood. On his birthday, everyone should take an oath to follow his path.
5. Teaches To Be Logical
Nanak's teachings never supported any superstitions. He always urged us to believe everything that is logical. His preachings conveyed the message to love mankind, the fellow beings in order to attain God's love. This is obviously the vital significance of Guru Nanak Jayanthi.
On the great day of Guru Nanak Jayanthi, after the Puja, Karah Prasad (a sweet dish) is distributed. People dress up in new clothes and rejoice. They often celebrate the day with lights and crackers. The underlying message of this day is to follow his path and spread love throughout the world.