Nanak Jayanti and Guru Parab
For Sikhs, there is
no greater occasion of joy than the full moon day around
October-November when Guru Nanak was born, and Guru Parab, the birthday
of Guru Gobind Singh. It is a day when they rededicate themselves to
unity, brotherhood and equality among all human beings. To symbolize these principles, the festival highlights a community kitchen called the
Guru ka Langhar. From this free kitchen, food is served to devotees of
all castes and creeds provided they sit together and eat the same food.
The meal is simple and compact. After the singing of hymns and the
veneration of the Guru Granth Sahib, Karah Parshad is served.
The birth anniversary of Guru
Nanak Dev - the first or the founder guru of the
Sikhs, is celebrated with great fervour on the full moon day of
Kartika. Guru Parab, also known as Jyototsava is one of the most
sacred festivals of the Sikhs.
At Nankana Sahib (the birth
place of Guru Nanak now in Lahore), there is a beautiful Gurudwara,
and a holy tank or sarovar. On Guru Parab, a grand fair and festival
is held here, and Sikhs in thousand congregate here from India and
Guru Granth Sahib, the Holy Scripture, is
continuously read and recited in the Gurudwaras ('Akhand path') all
over the country, lamps are lighted, processions are taken out, free
langars (meals) are arranged and prasad (holy food) is distributed.
Pandals are set up in various places and 'prasad' is distributed.
Guru Purab celebrations at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab is
Also known as ' Guru Nanak Jayanti ', it is the birth anniversary of
Guru Nanak who founded the Sikh faith. For two days and nights
preceding the festival, the 'Granth Sahib' (Holy Book) is read and
on the day of the festival, taken out in a grand procession. Guru
Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith, was born in the month of
Kartik (October / November) and his birthday is known as Guru Nanak
Jayanti. He was born in 1469 A.D. at Tolevandi some 30 miles from
Lahore. The anniversaries of Sikh Guru's are known as Gurpurabs and
are celebrated with devotion and dedication.
Teachings Of Guru Nanak
He stressed, "Do not ask someone's caste; those whose devotion
is accepted by God are good people. God appreciates those who have
conquered the 'I' and 'greed'. Nanak washes the feet of those who
concentrate their minds on God, the source of truth".
was not only the founder of the Sikh religion, he was a
great poet, philosopher, humanist and a powerful social
reformer, a teacher of mankind. Nanak said that one need
not become a sanyasi sacrificing one's family, to please
God. Those who practice devotion, whose mind is pure and
who have sympathy, patience and honesty, are in no way
inferior to a sanyasi. He considered that all human beings
were highborn; no one was low.
The akhand path or the continuous reading of Granth Saheb, the
sacred book of the Sikhs, begins three days before Guru Nanak
Jayanti. The sacred scripture is read non-stop from beginning to
end. The Akhand Path culminates on the day of the Guru Purab and the
holy book is then taken out in a procession. It is beautifully
decorated with flowers and carried on a float. Children participate
in the procession and march to the tune of local band playing
religious hymns. Five armed guards who are called the panj pyare
lead the procession. At the head of the procession is the Nishan
Saheb or the Sikh flag.
A few days before Guru Purab, people take out Prabhat Pheris or the
early morning processions from the Gurdwaras. They go around their
locality singing shabd or the religious hymns.
Later in the day, special kirtans are arranged in the Gurdwaras. The
devotees attend langar or the common meals where everyone eats the
same food irrespective of caste, class, or creed. Devotees offer
their services for cooking food, cleaning the Gurdwara or carrying
out other chores. This is called the Kar Seva.
In the evening, the Gurdwaras are illuminated and people visit them
in large numbers. People also illuminate their homes with candles
and earthen lamps.
Heat ghee and add the rava
or the flour. Fry, stirring constantly, till golden brown. Add sugar a
little at a time and continue cooking till ghee separates and the
sugar is blended. Serve warm
- 5 cups rava or coarsely
ground wheat flour or mixture of both
- 5 cups ghee
- 5 cups sugar
LANGHAR KI DAL
Put all the ingredients
(with 5 cups water) except ghee in a pressure cooker and cook till
soft and blended. Pour hot ghee and serve with hot Tandoori rotis or
- 2 cups whole black gram (urad)
soaked in water for 6 hours
- 2 tsps. Cumin seeds
- 2 tsps. turmeric powder
- 2 tsps. garam masala
- 4 onions, chopped fine
- 2 tbsps. ginger-garlic paste
- 1 cup ghee
- salt to taste
ALU GOBI KI SABZI
Heat oil and fry cumin seeds
and onion till golden. Add ginger, garlic, tomatoes and cook till
blended. Add cauliflower, peas and a little water. Add turmeric, garam
masala, salt and cook covered on a slow fire till vegetables are done.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.
- 1 cup Cauliflower, cut into
- 6 potatoes, peeled and
- 1 tbsp. grated ginger
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 3 onions, chopped fine
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tbsp. garam masala powder
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder ½
tsp. cummin seeds
- 2 tbsps. Coriander leaves,
- ¾ cup oil
- Salt to taste