Guru Nanak Jayanti 2023: A Celebration of Spirituality and Unity
This celebrated festival honours the birth anniversary of Sikhism’s founder and spiritual master, Guru Nanak Dev. We shall explore the life and teachings of Guru Nanak Dev, the significance of Guru Nanak Jayanti, and the exquisite traditions that make this celebration a force for human unity in this blog.
The Life Journey of Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak Dev was born on April 15, 1469, in the hamlet of Talwandi. He grew up in a multicultural environment where Islam and Hinduism were both prevalent. He started working for Daulat Khan Lodi when he was sixteen years old. He subsequently wed Mata Sulakkani, with whom he had two sons, Sri Chand and Lakhmi Chand.
But when Guru Nanak Dev committed himself to promoting social justice and everyone’s well-being, his life took an enormous turn. As the religion’s creator, he upheld values like humanity, faith, integrity, and spirituality. In Kartarpur, Pakistan, on September 22, 1539, Guru Nanak Dev departed from this life, leaving behind a deep legacy of teachings.
Guru Nanak Dev – The Great Spiritual Healer:
As a spiritual healer and religious leader, leader Nanak Dev is highly esteemed. His collection of 974 hymns served as the model for the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikhs’ sacred text that includes scriptures in poetry and melody. His teachings placed a strong emphasis on social justice, prosperity for everyone, and selfless devotion to mankind.
Guru Nanak Dev’s influence extended beyond the Sikh community, as people from various backgrounds have faith in his miraculous powers. His teachings emphasize the oneness of God and universal worship, transcending religious boundaries.
Guru Nanak Jayanti – Meaning:
Guruparb, derived from “Guru” (teacher) and “Parb” (day), signifies the day when Sikh and Sindhi communities worldwide honor Guru Nanak Dev as their spiritual guide and teacher. This day, also known as Prakash Utsav, falls on the full moon day of the Kartik month, typically in October or November. It is a three-day festival, with preparations commencing two days before the festival. In 2023, Guru Nanak Jayanti will be celebrated on November 27th.
Importance Of Guru Nanak Jayanti:
Guru Nanak Jayanti holds immense significance as it reminds his disciples and devotees of his teachings, emphasizing righteous and ethical living. On this day, Guru Granth Sahib is read with deep devotion, with priests reading it non-stop for about 48 hours before the festival begins. This tradition reaffirms the values and principles advocated by Guru Nanak Dev.
The Teachings Of Guru Nanak Dev:
Guru Nanak Dev’s timeless teachings continue to inspire and guide people in their pursuit of a meaningful life. His teachings include:
1. Dedicate yourself to hard work and worship the omnipresent Lord.
2. Cultivate contentment instead of complaining about life’s shortcomings.
3. Share a portion of your earnings with those in need.
4. Value food as a necessity for a healthy life but avoid selfishness.
5. Recognize the presence of God in all living beings.
Rituals for Celebrating Guru Nanak Jayanti:
- Guru Nanak Jayanti is marked by several meaningful rituals:
- Begin the day with a holy bath and chant “Nit Nam” Panch Vani.
- Visit the Gurdwara and participate in Gurbani or Kirtan.
- Listen to the Ardaas with a devoted and pure heart.
- Contribute to the Langar, a communal meal.
- Attend a religious program (Jagran).
Offerings are made to the Guru and distributed among the public, spreading the joy of Guru Nanak Jayanti.
Rituals At Gurudwaras:
At Gurudwaras, the central ritual involves reading Guru Granth Sahib in front of devotees. A day before Guru Nanak Jayanti, Nagar Kirtan, a procession, is conducted with the holy book carried in a palanquin. The celebrations commence at Amrit Vela, the auspicious early morning hours, in accordance with Guru Nanak’s teachings.
Guru Ka Langar – The Heart of the Festival:
The Langar, or communal meal, is a vital part of Guru Nanak Jayanti. It features nutritious, vegetarian dishes prepared under hygienic conditions by Sikh devotees. One of the highlights is Kada-Prasad, a sweet dish. Guru Ka Langar symbolizes inclusivity, where people of all backgrounds can share a meal under one roof, promoting unity and equality.
Offerings and Dishes on Guruparb:
Devotees prepare a variety of dishes and drinks for Guru Nanak Jayanti, including sweets like Halwa, Kada-Prasad, Rabri Kheer, and Badam Halwa. Beverages like Jaswant Sherbat, Lassi, and Chaach are served, along with snacks like Paneer Tikka and Amritsari Chhole. Hearty meals like Sarson Ka Saag and Makke Ki Roti, Chhole Bhature, Daal Makhani, Punjabi Kadhai Pakodi, and Hariyali Paneer Tikka are also part of the celebration.
The principles and rituals introduced by Guru Nanak Dev continue to resonate with people of various faiths and backgrounds. By embracing his life lessons, we can find success, positivity, and happiness. Guru Nanak Jayanti serves as a reminder of the enduring impact of Guru Nanak Dev’s teachings and the unity it fosters among humanity. Happy Guru Nanak Jayanti!