Today is Gurpurab (Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Ji). Guru Nanak Dev Ji is the 1st Sikh Guru. Gurpurab is one of the big festival of Sikhs. Guru Nanak Gurpurab also known as Guru Nanak’s Prakash Utsav and Guru Nanak Jayanti.
It was 546 years ago, a saint was born. From childhood Guru Nanak showed a great interest in God and he also spoke of celestial things. He was Nanak, later he became a Guru, a dispeller of darkness, one who ushered in infinite wisdom and light, condemning the practices and beliefs of the society. Today, we celebrate his birthday with pomp, show, langars, prabhat feris, and visits to the Gurudwara, paying our respect.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born on this day in Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi now known as “Nanakana Sahib”. Generally two days before the birthday, Akhand Path (a forty-eight-hour non-stop reading of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book ) is held in the Gurdwaras. Kar seva and langars are organized in almost all gurudwaras.
On this day, mostly Gurudwaras are well decorated. The day starts with Prabhat Pheris, which are early morning processions that begin from Gurudwaras. Before the actual Guru Nanak Jayanti, there is a procession known as the ‘Nagarkirtan’ and further led by Panj Pyaras (Five Beloved Ones). The ‘Guru Granth Sahib’ is read for 48 hours.
People carry Sikh flags known as the Nishan Sahib and organise a Palki of Guru Granth Sahib, singing devotional songs. An amazing display of swordsmanship and martial arts takes place which is a beautiful and unique sight to watch.
Once the procession is over, the ‘Langar’ also called Parsaada is served (a special lunch organised by the community at the Gurudwaras). People massively take part in offering food and also doing Seva of God. Langar is served with respect and love. After Langar there is a prayer session around sunset. It is said that Guru Nanak was born at 1:20 am and hence the followers gather and celebrate post midnight. Night prayer starts with starts singing Gurbani at about 1:20 am at night and The celebrations culminate at around 2 am.
On the day of Guru Nanak Jayanti, Karah Parasaad/Parsaada is prepared and served amongst everyone once the Puja is over. Karah Parasaad is a sweet dish which has the utmost blessings of the great saint.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji also gave us three very important teachings to practice:
1 • Vaṇḍ Chakkō: Sharing with others, helping those with less who are in need.
2 • Kirat Karō: Earning/making a living honestly, without exploitation or fraud.
3 • Naam Japna: Chanting the Holy Name and thus remembering God at all times.
I wish you all a very Happy Gurpurab…. May Guru ji’s Divine love & blessings be with you Always! 🙂