The 547th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev ji is being celebrated across India with great pomp and joy. Guru Nanak was born at Rai Boi di Talwandi, also known as Nankana Sahib, which is currently in Sheikhpura district of Pakistan. Several religious events are being held by the followers to celebrate the festive occasion.
On this occasion, President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also extended their greetings.
“Warm greetings & best wishes to all my fellow citizens in India & abroad on the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji #PresidentMukherjee,” the President tweeted.
Warm greetings & best wishes to all my fellow citizens in India & abroad on the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji #PresidentMukherjee
— President of India (@RashtrapatiBhvn) November 14, 2016
“Gurupurab wishes to everyone. The inspiring teachings of the venerable Guru Nanak guide us in creating a prosperous & harmonious society,” PM Modi posted on Twitter.
Gurupurab wishes to everyone. The inspiring teachings of the venerable Guru Nanak guide us in creating a prosperous & harmonious society.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 14, 2016
Here’s a sneak peek into Guru Nanak Jayanti, which is celebrated with great fervour in memory of the first Sikh guru.
Who was Guru Nanak Dev ji?
Guru Nanak, the first of the ten Sikh gurus, was born on April 15, 1469 in Rao Boi di Talwandi in Sheikhpura district which now lies in Pakistan. His birthday is celebrated on Kartik Poornima, or full moon day of Kartik. His teachings are found in Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs, written in Gurumukhi script.
How is it celebrated?
The celebrations usually commence with morning processions, also known as Prabhat Pheris. They begin at gurudwaras and proceed to various places. Two days before the birthday, the gurudwaras conduct 48-hour-long readings of Guru Granth Sahib, also known as Akhand Path.
The day before the birthday marks Nagarkirtan, led by Panj Pyaaras (Beloved ones). They lead the procession carrying the religious flags known as Nishan Sahib, and also the palanquin of Guru Granth Sahib. A team of singers chant hymns while the devotees sing the chorus. Several martial arts experts also perform on this occasion.
On the birthday of the guru, celebrations begin at the dawn. The time known as Amrit Vela is marked with the singing of hymns and prayers in the memory of Guru Nanak. A langar, or community lunch, is also organised at the gurudwaras for the devotees.
Guru Purab or Guru Nanak is celebrated by the Sikhs all over the world.