Guru Nanak Jayanti is a Sikh festival that marks the birth anniversary of the first guru, Guru Nanak Dev. It is also known as Gurupurab, Guru Nanak’s Prakash Utsav and Guru Nanak Dev Ji Jayanti. This year, Guru Nanak Jayanti is on the 27th of November (Monday).
In Sikhism, the festivities revolve around the anniversaries of 10 Gurus of Sikhs and are considered sacred festivals as these gurus were responsible for shaping the beliefs of the Sikhs. The day of Guru Nanak Jayanti is marked with prayer processions, free sweets, hymns, martial arts and different services to the community.
History of Guru Nanak Jayanti
Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born on April 15, 1469, at Rai Bhoi Ki Talwandi, near Lahore (Present day Sekhpura district of Pakistan). The city is now known as Nankana Sahib. A Gurudwara was also built on his birthplace.
He founded Sikhism in the 15th century. Nine other Sikh Gurus followed Guru Nanak and developed the Sikh faith and community over the coming centuries.
The mool mantra given by Sri Guru Nanak Dev is: “Ik Onkar, Satnam, Karta Purakh, Nirbhau, Nirvair, Akal Murat, Ajuni Sae Bham, Guru Prasad.”
It means that there’s only one god. his name is the only truth, he is the only creator, he is fearless, he is without hate, he is immortal, he is beyond birth and death, and by only his grace one can chant his name.
5 Teachings By Guru Nanak Dev Ji
1. Vaand Chhako:
To share whatever the lord has given us with others and help those who are in need.
2. Kirat Karo:
To earn an honest, pure and dedicated living without exploiting others.
3. Naam Japo:
Chant God’s name to gain control over five evils- krodh (anger), moh (attachment), kama (lust), lobh (greed), and ahankar (ego).
4. Sarbat daa bhalaa:
Ask Lord for everyone’s happiness. May everyone be blessed.
5. Speak the truth without any fear:
Always speak the truth as falsehood is temporary but the truth is permanent.
Facts About Guru Nanak Dev
- Guru Nanak Dev was a brilliant child. He started going to school when he was seven years old. At this small age, he explained to his teacher the symbolism of the first letter of the alphabet, which is a straight stroke in Persian or Arabic. It resembled the mathematical version of ‘one’ as symbolised God being one and united.
- Guru Nanak Dev was 18 years old when he got married to Mata Sulakkhani. He had two sons – Sri Chand and Lakshmi Chand.
- Guru Nanak Dev followed a different path. He used to say, ”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.”
- To spread the holy message, he travelled to different places like Mecca, Tibet, Kashmir, Bengal, Manipur, Rome, and many more with his Muslim companion and friend Bhai Mardana.
Significance of Guru Nanak Jayanti
Guru Nanak Jayanti falls in the month of October or November and is celebrated on the day of Kartik Poornima, the fifteenth lunar day in the month of Kartik as per the Hindu calendar.
The celebration starts with Prabhat Pheris i.e. early morning prayers and processions that begin at the Gurudwaras and proceed around the localities singing hymns. Two days before the birth anniversary, Akhand Path (a 48-hour non-stop reading of the Guru Granth Sahib) is held in Gurudwaras.
Nagarkirtan is also organized a day before his birthday. The procession is led by the Panj Pyaras. They carry the Sikh Flag, Nishan Sahib and the Palki of Guru Granth Sahib. It is followed by different singers and devotees chanting hymns.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why is Guru Nanak Jayanti celebrated?
People celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanti to celebrate the birth anniversary of the Sikhism Founder, Guru Nanak Dev. This year marks his 554th birth anniversary.
Is Guru Nanak Dev Jayanti a national holiday?
Guru Nanak Jayanti is a national holiday. Schools, institutions, government offices, and several businesses remain closed on this day.
When is Guru Nanak Jayanti 2023?
Guru Nanak Jayanti is on 27th November (Monday).