5 Unique Teachings of Guru Nanak

The eternal knowledge and teachings of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji are infinite. A true celebration of Parkash Utsav of Baba Nanak would be to share and follow the teachings of Guru Sahib.

Known for his social and spiritual beliefs, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469-1539), the founder of Sikh Religion, had spread the message of ‘one God’. The pious religious ideas of Guru Nanak are heartwarming.

He is considered the epitome of virtue, equality, love and fraternity. Today, I share with you all how Baba Nanak has contributed to the world with his spiritual teachings –

  1. The Significance of a Guru in Life
    According to Guru Nanak, Guru is the real incarnation of God. A Guru provides us
    with true knowledge. Their enlightening guidance eliminates the darkness from our lives and leads us to salvation.

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2. Soul is Divine
Guru Nanak believed in the presence of soul in the body of every individual. That
soul according to him is the divine power within a human being.

3. Diminish 5 Evils from Life: Ego, greed, anger, lust, and attachment are the 5 evils of life. Guru Nanak laid emphasis on purity of heart, love, and devotion for the almighty God, which is omnipresent. So, worship him with a pure soul and leave behind these 5 evils.

4. Equality for Women
The teaching includes that women are equal to men and there should be no
discrimination on the basis of gender. He permitted women to attend religious
gatherings and publicly sing hymns for God.gn2
5. Selfless Service
Guru Nanak believed to offer selfless services to others as the sacred duty of a
mankind. The holiest pilgrimage site of Sikhism in India is the Golden Temple,
located in Amritsar. They serve food as ‘langar’ to 100,000 people of diverse
religions every day for free.

Therefore, the eternal knowledge and teachings of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji are infinite. So, the true celebration of Parkash Utsav of Baba Nanak would be to share and follow the teachings of Guru Sahib.

I want to slap Yashpal once more…

I have seen the struggle of Santokh Singh and his family ever since DSGMC chose to extend legal and financial help to them to depose before the SIT. I could feel their wounds and pains of 1984 carnage in which they lost not only their brothers but their children also suffered major injuries. Their pain weighed on my heart.

“The dead cannot cry out for justice. It is the duty of the living to do so for them.”

On November 1, 1984, a mob led by then Congress leader JP Singh in which Yashpal Singh and Naresh Sehrawat were at the forefront torched Sikh shops in Mahipalpur. These two men killed  Hardev Singh (24) and Avtar Singh (26) by beating them and throwing them off first floor. The humanity stood shamed that day because both Yashpal Singh and Naresh Sehrawat knew Singh brothers and often bought groceries from their shop!

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When the verdict in this case was announced on November 20, 2018, Santokh Singh, the eldest brother who had lost three members of his family, had tears of joy because he had won this battle after 34 years and even when the Police had closed the case as untraced despite witness testimonies of the deceased’s four brothers, who came to Delhi for justice travelling all the way from Jalandhar where they had settled after 1984 genocide.

I have seen the struggle of Santokh Singh and his family ever since DSGMC chose to extend legal and financial help to them to depose before the SIT. I could feel their wounds and pains of 1984 carnage in which they lost not only their brothers but their children also suffered major injuries. Their pain weighed on my heart.

And when on November 15, 2018 the final hearing of this case had happened; I slapped Yashpal outside the court. I slapped him twice; hard and without any guilt.

Why? Because he wasn’t ashamed of killing innocent people; rather he  carried his actions as a trophy and even provoked me saying ‘bhool gaye ’84, yaad dilaun kya (have you forgotten 1984… should I make you remember)’…Then I couldn’t control myself.

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Sikhs have suffered a lot; physically as well as emotionally during 1984 Sikh genocide. Thousands of families were ruined; they lost their loved ones and even source of livelihood. And post the massacre; Sikhs were labelled terrorists and humiliated.

YET… we have chosen to follow the legal way with patience and waited for justice for 34 YEARS which is not a small achievement! So if anyone still has harsh words for the community, I wouldn’t mind slapping him right in front of public.

Today, I thank the community for fighting this battle of justice staying united and I also thank Narendra Modi Ji because it was NDA govt which constituted the SIT and 60 cases related to the massacre are being investigated.

I want to tell Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler that they will also meet their fate soon for their crimes were the worst! And till that day comes, someone from the community would surely slap them as well.

Hola Mohalla – Shining Swords reflect the brilliance of Sikhism

Let me tell you about Hola Mohalla – a festival of Courage, Hope, And Faith played amid Colours in Punjab.

Hola Mohalla is Punjab’s biggest annual fair which is celebrated every year at Anandpur Sahib immediately after Holi. A festival which epitomizes the spirit and valour of Punjab, Hola Mohalla has earned the stature of a National Festival as well in the year 1996. The festival gives pilgrims and visitors a chance to bask in the glory of Punjabi spirit, Sikh religion and Punjabi courage. It is one of those unforgettable Punjabi festivals which reflect the dedication & heroism of Punjabi community and Punjabi way of life.

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History – Hola Mohalla gets celebrated in Anandpur Sahib on the day following the festival of Holi. The practice of Hola Mohalla was started by Sh Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Sikh guru. The festival is celebrated for three consecutive days; each day the participants can witness rare display of physical strength by Sikh warriors. It has been beleievd that Guru Gobind Singh rechristened the Holi festival as Hola Mohalla and used the festive occasion to indulge his forces in martial arts and the art of warfare. In those days, Guru Sahib made his Sikh warriors, Nihangs, to form two groups and engage in mock battle which was like a practice of war for them.

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What all make Hola Mohalla so very special –

Three days of energy & enthusiasm; there is so much excitement you would want to be a part of.

  • Shining swords and long spears in the hands of warrior Sikhs.
  • Conical turbans and twirled-up moustaches of Nihangs
  • Daredevil acts by Guru di laadli Fauj; acts like bareback horse-riding, standing erect on two speeding horses, Gatka (mock encounters), tent pegging etc
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  • Music and Poetry competitions
  • Kirtans and Langars
  • The last day procession which is led by Panj Pyaras. This processions starts from Takht Keshgarh Sahib, one of the five Sikh religious seats, and passes through various important gurdwaras like Qila Anandgarh, Lohgarh Sahib, Mata Jitoji and terminates at the Takht

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So next time, make sure to visit Sri Anandpur Sahib to cherish Hola Mohalla!

 

Rabindranath Tagore paid tribute to Sikh heroism through his poems

Not many people know that Nobel laureate and revered poet Rabindranath Tagore Ji was inspired by Sikhism and the valour of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji so much that he wrote three beautiful poems titled ”Gobind Guru”, ”Veer Guru” and ”The Last Lesson” on Guru Sahib.
He has also written a composition titled ”Bandi Veer” about Baba Banda Singh Bahadur and an essay on Guru Nanak”s Sacha Sauda at the age of 21 years for a Bengali children”s magazine called ”Balak”. Isn’t it amazing – Banda Bahadur never set foot in Bengal, but Tagore’s work enshrined his name in Bengali literature.

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I read in a book that Rabindranath Tagore had studied the Sikh Religion deeply and was very impressed by the splendid philosophy of Sikhism and the Sikh way of life. The fact that he returned his Knighthood back to Britishers hen the ‘Jallianwala Bagh Massacre’ took place shows how much respect he had for Sikhs and how deeply he was pained at the way Sikhs were treated.

I feel that Tagore must have bonded with Sikhism from his childhood days when he visited Amritsar with his father. Marinating in the peaceful ambiance of Sri Harmandir Sahib must have cemented his bond with the Sikh legacy. One can even see the impact of Gurbani in Tagore’s own poetry like –

“Jodi e amaro hridaya –

duaro bandha rahe go

Kabhu dwar bhenge

Tumi asho, more prané,

Phiria jao na, Prabhu!”

I want to tell people that the  inspirational poem on Banda Singh Bahadur written by Rabindranath Tagore is taught in Bengali schools. Ironically, it has never been translated into Hindi or English or even Punjabi and is not a part of school curriculum in North India!

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As I get ready to visit West Bengal, I pay tribute to the great poet and social reformer of India. His legendary work and beautiful compositions are timeless treasures of our nation.

Why I am demanding separate religious identity for Sikhs

Even when we all are one; for all legal purposes and to do away with confusion as well as discrimination; there is a need to amend Article 25 to give Sikhs a separate religious identity.

Even when we all are one; for all legal purposes and to do away with confusion as well as discrimination; there is a need to amend Article 25 to give Sikhs a separate religious identity.

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I have urged members  in Delhi Assembly to pass a resolution  to support demand of separate Sikh identity in the nation for which a minor constitutional amendment is required.
During my address in Vidhan Sabha, I reiterated that it needs to be recommended to Govt. of India to amend the article 25 clause (2) sub clause (b) read with explanation II of the Constitution of India in order to equate the Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs with Hindus as these are separate religions. The obvious object of Article 25 is to remove a patent cause of inequality. Article 25 is an article of faith in constitution, incorporated in recognition of the principle that the real test of true democracy is the ability of even an insignificant minority to find its identity under the country’s constitution. Under Article 25 clause 2 sub clause (b) read with explanation II, “the reference to HINDUS shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jains or Buddhist religion, and the reference to HINDU RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS shall be construed accordingly.

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I feel that the inclusionary definition relating to Sikh, Jains and Buddhist religions as included in the Hindu religion, though recognizing the distinctiveness of these religions on the face of it, has led to unavoidable confusion about the independent identity of these religions, thus defeating the object of Article 25.

I have appealed to  all the Members of the House that it is must to pass this resolution  so that the discrimination done to Buddhist, Jain and Sikhs should be removed and the Parliament of India should duly amend the Article 25 of the constitution of India because welfare of the people is the ultimate goal of all laws and state action and above all the constitution.

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This discrimination is on since decades and Sikhs and other minority communities were struggling to get justice on this issue. It is an appropriate time that when Delhi Assembly and other state assemblies pass such resolution to support the demand of these minorities.
I have appealed to the Speaker to adopt his resolution for passing in the assembly and gave notice for the same.

The story behind Maghi Jod Mela at Muktsar

Do you know the story how the famous city of Punjab, Muktsar, got its name? Let me tell you this beautiful story of valour and sacrifice that not only resulted in naming Khidrana as Muktsar but also is the reason why Maghi Jod Mela is commemorated every year at Mukstar.

Do you know the story how the famous city of Punjab, Muktsar, got its name? Let me tell you this beautiful story of valour and sacrifice that not only resulted in naming Khidrana as Muktsar but also is the reason why Maghi Jod Mela is commemorated every year at Mukstar.

Maghi Jod Mela is celebrated in the memory of forty Sikh martyrs who are also called Chalis Mukte. These forty brave men had once deserted Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji under pressure from Mughals at Anandpur Sahib. They had done so by giving a Bedahwa, the letter disclaiming them being a Sikh of the Guru. But then they ended up meeting with Mai Bhago Ji who made them realize their mistake and helped them take the corrective action.

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The forty brave men rejoined Guru Sahib and stood firm in their battle against Mughals which was led by Wazir Khan in 1705 December.

This battle was fought near the dhab or lake of Khidrana, also called Isharsar, on 29 December 1705 against a Mughal force who was desperately chasing Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. These brave 40 men stood like a wall and gave time to Guru Sahib to escape the army.

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History narrates that when Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji was collecting the dead bodies for cremation, He found one of them named Mahan Singh still clinging to life. Guru Sahib took him in his embrace, and sat down with him. Mahan Singh tearful and exhausted, requested Guru Sahib to forgive them and destroy the Bedahwa.

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Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji blessed the martyr and owing to Guru Sahib’s blessings, these martyrs were known as Chali Mukte, the Forty Immortals.

So because of this story, Khidrana came to known as Muktsar which means ‘the Pool of Liberation.’

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Every year, pilgrims visit Muktsar on Maghi and take a dip in the sacred water tanks of Muktsar. Maghi mela is held at Muktsar Sahib every year to pay obeisance to the forty Sikh martyrs.

Paying tribute to Diwan Todar Mal

Todar Mal did not shun his responsibility and proved his love for Guru Sahib and his family by happily giving away his wealth.

Paying tribute to the supreme sacrifice of Chaar Sahibzaade would be incomplete if I do not remember the selfless deeds of Diwan Todar Mal.

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Diwan Todar Mall was a wealthy Hindu merchant of Sirhind who devoted his life to Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib by heart and in spirit. It was he who performed the cremation of the three martyred bodies of the two younger sons Sahibzaada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh along with their grandmother, Mata Gujri Ji.

It so happened that when Sahibzade were bricked alive by the Mughal authorities on the 12 December 1705 for not renouncing their faith, Mata Gujri Ji also left for holy abode owing to the grief and shock of losing her beloved grandsons. Mughal authorities refused to hand over their bodies saying that these could not be cremated on government land.

The greedy Mughals asked for covering the required ground for cremation with gold coins to get the release of the three bodies.

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In those times landowners around the Sirhind Fort were scared of Mughals so they would not permit him to hold the cremation in their fields, until one Chaudhari Atta agreed to sell him a plot. Diwan Todar Mal Ji then produced the gold coins and bought the piece of land he needed for the cremation. Historians estimate that Diwan Sahab gave nearly 7,800 gold coins to buy the required land.

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Sikh community is indebted to Diwan Todal Mal who performed the last rites for the three. Todar Mal did not shun his responsibility and proved his love for Guru Sahib and his family by happily giving away his wealth.

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