This year marks the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj, the 10th guru of the Sikhs. Born in Patna, Guru Gobind Singh inspired people of his generation and beyond, with his philosophy, principles, and bravery. He was known for his valiance as much as for his spiritual teachings. He stood with grit and courage against social disparities, injustice and tyrannical establishments. Guru Gobind Singh’s Jayanti falls in December or January every year, or even both months according to the Gregorian calendar. However, the annual celebrations of the Guru’s birth anniversary take place based on the Nanakshahi calendar.
Devotees commemorate the day through religious celebrations, prayers and offerings. People pray to the Guru for blessings and prosperity on this day and organise large processions. Along with singing devotional songs, people share sweets and cold drinks (mostly sherbet) among the adults and children, during the procession. They gather in gurudwaras, their places of worship, and offer special prayers. Food is known to be the uniting factor of religious festivals in India. Likewise, Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti is also incomplete without an elaborate delicious spread of food, that families and friends get together to gorge on.
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The spiritual teachers and elders share the Guru’s life lessons and poems on this day. His tales of bravery and courage on the battlefields, especially those against the Mughals, are commemorated.
The 10th Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh was born as Gobind Rai in Patna on December 22, 1666. He was born to popular religious leader Guru Tegh Bahadur, who had dedicated his life to the protection of religious freedom. Guru Gobind Singh succeeded his father as the 10th guru at mere nine years of age. His teachings influenced the thoughts and lives of many. He is known to have introduced the five ‘K’s that the Sikhs abide by:
Kesh: uncut hair
Kangha: a wooden comb
Kara: an iron or steel bracelet worn on the wrist
Kirpan: a sword
Kacchera: short breeches
In 1699, the Guru is known to have baptised five men from the ‘lower caste’ as his ‘Five Beloveds’ and imbibed in them his teachings and great courage. He dedicated his life to avenging social injustices meted out to people, and strove to eradicate the oppression of people. His works led him to establish and baptise the Khalsa, an army of Sikh saint-soldiers. The army followed an austere moral code of conduct and spiritual discipline. The courage and determination he infused in others led them to rise against oppression, especially those meted out by the Mughals.
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In addition to being a military and spiritual leader, Guru Gobind Singh was also a gifted poet and writer. He declared the Holy Scriptures of Guru Granth Sahib as the permanent guru of the Sikhs before he died in 1708.
January 5, 2017, marks the 350th Prakash Parv or birth anniversary of the Guru. The celebrations will be held at Patna, in Bihar, the birthplace of the Guru. The events will see Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among other leaders, being a part of the celebrations.
Here are some messages and greetings you could exchange with your loved ones and friends on this Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti.
* May happiness and blessings surround you as we join together to remember the beloved Guru Gobind Singh Ji and the beginnings of Sikhism. Happy Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti.
* May happiness and blessings surround you as we join together to remember the beloved Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the Khalsa and Sikhism.
* Nanak Naam Jahaaz Hai
Jo Chadhe So Uttre Paar!
Happy Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti!