Guru Nanak Jayanti 2021: Guru Nanak Jayanti is commemorated as the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism and the first of the ten gurus holy to Sikhism.
This is one of the most sacred festivals for Sikhs all over the world and is celebrated with utmost love and reverence.
When is Guru Nanak Jayanti 2021?
In 2021, Guru Nanak Jayanti shall be observed on 19 November, 2021 which marks 552nd jayanti this year. It is also known as Guru Nanak’s Prakash Utsab and Guru Nanak Gurupurab.
About Guru Nanak Dev:
Guru Nanak Dev was an extremely learned man known for his political, social, and spiritual beliefs. He was born in 1469 in a village now situated in present day Pakistan. The place of his birth, Nankana Sahib is one of the most holy sites for Sikhs and Sikhs wish to visit the Nankana Sahib at least once in their lifetime.
The best quality about Guru Nanak ji was that he preached that god was one and you can reach him simply through remembering him in your heart. Consequently, his teachings based on purity, service and goodness are captured in the sacred Sikh scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib which is a collection of verses written in Gurmukhi and open to be read by all.
Guru Nanak Jayanti History and Significance:
Although there are no official reports about the origin of this festival, it is believed that the custom of celebrating Guru Nanak Jayanti is as old as Sikhism. Said to be one of the youngest religions of the world, Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak, who is believed to have been born on 14th April which is Vaisakhi as per the Nanakshahi calendar.
However, there are a few Sikh communities who believe that Guru Nanak was born on the Full Moon day of the lunar month of Kartik, which coincides with the month of October-November of Gregorian calendar.
Therefore, different communities of Sikhs observe Guru Nanak Jayanti on either Vaisakhi or the Full Moon day of the lunar month of Kartik.
How to observe Guru Nanak Jayanti:
Decorate your home
Guru Nanak Jayanti is an auspicious and holy ceremony celebrated by those of the Sikh faith. Involve your family and friends in the celebration by decorating and brightening your home with lights, earthen lamps, and candles. This will make the remembrance even more special!
Read verses and hymns
The celebrations for Guru Nanak Jayanti start three days in advance with the continuous reading of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs, at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. You can also bring this to the home by reading the verses and hymns from the holy Sri Guru Granth Sahib with family and loved ones as a reminder of the message of Sikhism.
Gift food to the community
Involve your children, friends, and family in preparing special delicacies, especially the Karah Parshad. This delicacy is a type of whole wheat flour halva made with equal portions of whole-wheat flour, clarified butter, and sugar which is distributed among neighbors and the pool in your locality. Make sure you join in this charitable and beautiful event.
5 Facts about Guru Nanak:
A gifted student
Guru Nanak started going to school at the age of seven and it is believed that he surprised his teacher by explaining to him the symbolism of the first letter of the alphabet, which is a straight stroke in Persian or Arabic. It resembled the mathematical one as it symbolized God being one and united.
A family man
At the age of 18, Guru Nanak married Mata Sulakkhani and had two sons, Sri Chand and Lakshmi Chand. Guru Nanak’s son Sri Chand became the founder of the Udasi religion.
A man with a vision
At the age of 30, Guru Nanak had a vision. One day Guru Nanak failed to return from his bath and his clothes were found on the bank of the stream. The locals thought that he died. After three days he returned back and he stayed silent. Later he said that he had been taken to God’s court where he was offered a cup full of amrit and was blessed.
On a different path
Guru Nanak said, ”There is neither Hindu nor Muslim so whose path shall I follow? I shall follow God’s path. God is neither Hindu nor Muslim and the path which I follow is God’s.”
Spreading the message
Guru Nanak traveled the world with the objective to spread the holy message. He traveled to Mecca, Tibet, Kashmir, Bengal, Manipur, Rome, etc. on foot with his Muslim companion and friend Bhai Mardana.
Why celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanti:
It reminds of love
Guru Nanak was known for his political, social, and spiritual beliefs which were based on love, equality, fraternity, and virtue. He traveled to far-off places and spread the message of ‘one God’, that God constitutes the eternal truth and resides in his creations. This is a wonderful message to appreciate, regardless of your beliefs, on the day of Guru Nanak Jayanti.
Martial arts skills are amazing
Did you know that all Sikhs must carry a kirpan or a dagger, as a mandatory article of faith? This makes it a duty for Sikhs to be able to defend the needy, suppressed ones, to defend righteousness and the freedom of expression. During Guru Nanak Jayanti, the ‘Gatka’ teams also display their swordsmanship through various martial arts and mock battles using traditional weapons.
Sikhism is a beautiful religion
Guru Narak Jayanti is a celebration of the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak, who formed mostly what the religion is today. The holy festival reminds us to appreciate all our Sikh friends and family members and to learn about and respect their faith. If you look into what Sikhism is all about, the most important thing is the internal religious state of the individual, and that the way to lead a good life is to keep God in heart and mind at all times. These beautiful notions are the foundation of most of the world’s religions, so it’s a great way to connect one another with shared values. At the end of the day, we are all not so different from each other as human beings.