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AWARD WINNING

April 23,2016 Volume 26 Number 18 Phone: 604-502-6100 Fax: 604-501-6111

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Indo-Canadian Voice Vaisakhi | Saturday April 23, 2016

Vaisakhi and the importance of the agricultural new year The Vaisakhi festival is basically a festival of agriculture. In the northern region of India specially in Punjab, when crops grow all green, and swing in breeze, and Rabi crop is ready, then in order to thank nature, farmers perform dance and sing songs. The beat of drums and songs on Baisakhi compel young men women as well as nature to dance along. India is rich in crop cultivation. Today also, people are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. And, talking about Punjab, agriculture has influenced their lives, their folk songs, their traditions in a big way. But why is Baisakhi

Celebrated? Vaisakhi is celebrated in joy of the preparation of Rabi crop. Wheat pulses, oilseed and sugar cane's crop are received by farmer as Rabi crop. In Punjab, at this time, wheat crop can be seen growing and swinging every where. Looking at the crop, the farmers get an excitement and rejoice. A part of grown crop is given to God, the other is distributed among everyone as Prashad (offering from God as oblation). On this occasion, everyone performs folk dance, Bhangra and Gidda. After all hard work and efforts, this Earth gives crop. All tiredness

is removed and energy and happiness is filled for the coming season, when the crop is harvested. Baisakhi, basically is a festival of crop harvesting. That also, festival of Rabi harvest. Together with Rabi many other eatables are sown. Gram, pears, mustard, lentils, linseed, safflower, Arandi also grow in this season. Baisakhi: A Festival of Crop Harvesting When crop is ready in farm, then the framers start swinging happily, this joy is celebrated as Vaishaki. Praying for country’s happiness, greenery and prosperity, people express their happiness by doing charity

and lightning of Deepak(small lamps). The logic behind the Bhangra dance is that nature has bestowed them with good crops after whole year of hard work. It is welcomed by people of this place with celebration. Actually, this festival is crop harvesting festival. On one side this festival is related to agriculture and farmers, on the other, it is a day of establishment of Khalsa Panth which increases its importance. This day bring many happiness together. Baishaki is an advent of new year’s day. Being the foundation day for Sikh Panth, this day has a glorious history.

Vancouver Police officers, including Chief Adam Palmer and Deputy Chief Steve Rai, joined in Vancouver’s Vaisakhi Parade festivities organized by Khalsa Diwan Society of Ross Street gurdwara last Saturday. Photo by Chandra Bodalia

Beginning of New Year on Vaisakhi On the day of 14 April, sun enters the Aries sign. It is also celebrated as a new year. In Bengal, 15 April is celebrated as new year on Vaisakhi. With a new birth the new generation brings up many cultural works. With colorful functions, this day is celebrated as welcoming of new year. Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva is worshiped while welcoming the new year. Dance and songs are performed at public places. Resolution for country’s growth and living in unity. On this day , new clothes are wore, new business, booking account is carried out. This day, sweets and delicious dishes are made at home. Historical Importance of Baisakhi Not being a festival of month, Vaisakhi is actually a group of festivals. The second Guru of Sikh, Sri Aangad Dev was born in this month. According to the mythological narration, it is said that Lord Bhramai created the universe this day. Sri Vikrami era was started today by king Vikramaaditya. Sri Ram had his coronation today. Important events like beginning of Navratra, birth of Sant Jhulelal of Sind Prant, foundation of Arya samaj by Maharishi Dayanand, RajTilak of Dharmraj Yuddhistir, Mahavir Jayanti etc. are linked to this month.

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Indo-Canadian Voice Vaisakhi | Saturday April 23, 2016

Wishing you a very

Happy Vaisakhi

Minister Harjit Sajjan

Minister i Carla C l Qualtrough Q l

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Delta 778.591.0549

Sukh Dhaliwal, MP

John J h Ald Aldag, MP

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Hon. Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada Randeep Sarai, MP

Jatii Sidhu, J Sidh MP

Surrey Centre 604.589.2441

Mission–Matsqui–Fraser Canyon 604.814.5710

Ken Hardie, MP Fleetwood-Port Kells 604.501.5900


Indo-Canadian Voice Vaisakhi | Saturday April 23, 2016

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Indo-Canadian Voice Vaisakhi | Saturday April 23, 2016


Indo-Canadian Voice Vaisakhi | Saturday April 23, 2016

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Surrey RCMP celebrates with the community at Vaisakhi Day Parade

ON Saturday (April 23), the Surrey RCMP will once again participate in the Surrey Vaisakhi Day Parade, one of the largest Vaisakhi celebrations in the world outside of India. Last year, over 300,000 people participated in this fun and safe family event. “Surrey RCMP is involved with the Vaisakhi parade not only for traffic control and public safety, but to take part in all the festivities the event has to offer,” says Cpl. Scotty Schumann. “There will be an RCMP information booth with resources about programs and initiatives and many RCMP officers in attendance will be wearing their traditional red serge. Every year our officers take advantage of this opportunity to

engage interactively with citizens of all ages.” A number of road closures will be taking place in the City of Surrey this weekend due to the parade. Police ask that members of the public make arrangements to use alternate routes. Road closures will be in place from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the day of the parade. Increased delays may be expected for travel through and within the area between 72nd Avenue and 88th Avenue and Scott Road to King George Boulevard. For a full list of road closures and route details, check out the map on the City of Surrey’s website. The Surrey RCMP typically responds to dozens of incidents of missing chil-

dren or elderly persons who have become separated from their parents or group at this large event. Fortunately, all missing people are eventually reunited with their families. “The Surrey RCMP reminds parade participants that it is important to have a plan in place with your family prior to the event to reduce your risk of separation,” says Cpl. Schumann. A plan may include these simple tips: * Familiarize your family members with their surroundings and have a preplanned meeting place * Equip your family members with some form of identification and your contact information * Make sure everyone in your party is aware of the location of the Surrey RCMP missing person’s tent and the location of emergency personnel * Keep a current photo of your child on you in case you need to describe them to police * Keep your children within eyesight at all times The Surrey RCMP wishes everyone a very safe Vaisakhi Day!

Surrey City Council wishes you and your family a very

Happy Vaisakhi


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s r I t I c r s v l oN E ` p j I n UM i v s ` K I d I E ~ h ` r i d k S uB k ` m n ` v ~

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Indo-Canadian Voice Vaisakhi | Saturday April 23, 2016

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Vaisakhi signifies love, multi-faith harmony and equality More efforts should be made to spread the universal message of Vaisakhi BY GIAN SINGH KOTLI

mankind and dying for righteousness. And it is due to this spirit that the Sikhs has always been in the fore front to make sacrifices for righteousness and any humanitarian cause.

Baisakhi or Vaisakhi: Vaisakhi got its name from the month of Vaisakh of the Bikrami year in India. It is celebrated in Punjab and several other northern states on 1st day of Vaisakh which usually coincides with 13th day of April. Harvesting Festival: Vaisakhi is the time when the most important and major wheat crop is harvested providing hope for lot of money coming home for a joyful future for all. People are in joyous mood and express their happiness by eating, dancing, arranging get together, and exchanging good-wishes and also enjoy community fairs and Nagar Kirtans (Sikh Parades) at several places. It has been the tradition since ages. Vaisakhi is also celebrated in other parts of India having different significance. In Bengal it is celebrated as the New Year day or Naba Varsha. It has great significance in Buddhist faith as its founder Lord Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment on this very day. Vaisakhi of Sikhs: For the Sikhs, Vaisakhi has for more meaningful and revolutionary significance. It was on this day in 1699 that Guru Gobind Singh created Khalsa through a spe-

cially arranged huge gathering at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab. From among the huge gathering the Guru most dramatically selected Five-Piaras (Beloved Ones) one by one, who were willing to sacrifice their life for the Guru. These Five-beloved ones belonged to low and high castes. They were baptized through a special ceremony and made to drink the specially prepared Amrit (nectar) from the same vessel turn by turn. Universal Brotherhood: By creating Khalsa brotherhood Guru Gobind Singh gave a practical demonstration of equality of the mankind where there is nobody high or low on the basis of religion or caste and there by ushered in an era of equality, universal brotherhood and dauntless sacrifice for righteousness. As the Khalsa has already given his life to the Guru so he is never afraid of rendering service to the

Sikh and Khalsa: Any person who believes in Sikh tenants is a Sikh. When a Sikh is baptized he becomes a Khalsa. Technically a Sikh is not a Khalsa but a Khalsa is a Sikh. But generally the term Sikh or Khalsa is used for the Sikhs as a whole. Anybody may become a Khalsa if he agrees to go through the Amrit-ceremony and follow the code of conduct which includes keeping of Five Articles of faith: Kes-unshorn hair, Kirpan-sword, Kachhehraunderwear, Kanga-wooden comb and Kara-steel bracelet and also not to dishonor hair, engage in adultery and use tobacco and intoxicants. Universal teaching: The essence of celebrating Vaisakhi lies in grasping the teachings of Guru Gobind Singh seeking the well being of entire mankind and not in merely performing some rituals. The Guru says, "Treat the entire human race as one”. Stressing upon loving and serving the people he says, “It is only through love that you can obtain God. Never be afraid of doing good deeds.” Emphatically rejecting meaning-

less rituals, outward show and hypocrisy, the Guru says, “I like a Sikh who lives by code of conduct, I don’t like a hypocrite.” Therefore the true message of Vaisakhi celebration is to spread the message of love, equality, oneness of God, oneness of human rare, service to mankind, to forget differences of caste creed and color, hatred, hypocrisy, business in the name of religion and exploitation of ignorant masses by showering on them false religious blessings, etc. United Nations: It is wonderful that the United Nations Organization too resolved on October 20, 2010, to celebrate the first week of February every year as the “World Interfaith Harmony Week” to seek peace and harmony all over the world. Moreover our sweet country Canada is having a policy to preserve and enhance the multicul-

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tural heritage of all people, while working to achieve the equality of all Canadians in economic, cultural and political life of Canada. Universal Peace: In this context it may nicely be said that Guru Gobind Singh’s message of “Mannas ki jaat sabhe eko pehchanbo- Treat the entire human race as one,” may prove very effective in promoting all the more peace, equality and interfaith harmony in Canada. Therefore all the Sikh organizations must make more exerted efforts to spread the universal message of Vaisakhi and let the world know that even in our daily prayer we always pray for universal peace and well-being of the entire human race. (Gian Singh Kotli is a wellknown poet, writer and multifaith activist.)

Ç


Indo-Canadian Voice Vaisakhi | Saturday April 23, 2016

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Kwlsy dy swjnw idvs dw sunyhw

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VOICE photographer CHANDRA BODALIA was at Saturday’s Vaisakhi Parade organized by Khalsa Diwan Society of Ross Street Gurdwara to bring these photos to you.

Happy Vaisakhi

John Horgan, Leader





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Saturday, Apr. 23, 2016 | Indo-Canadian Voice

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Saturday, Apr. 23, 2016 | Indo-Canadian Voice

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Dr. H.Dhanju & Dr. J.Dhanju

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Dedicated to providing access to Oral Health Care in Fraser Valley of British Columbia.

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The Meaning of Vaisakhi, the Biggest Sikh Celebration Ever y April, communities across the world come together to celebrate Vaisakhi. For centuries, Vaisakhi has marked the spring harvest, and Punjabi farmers have celebrated this occasion with community gatherings and festivals. Vaisakhi took on special significance for the Sikh community in 1699, when the tenth of the Sikh GuruProphets—Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708 CE)—invited his disciples to join him in the city of Anandpur Sahib. At this gathering, Guru Gobind Singh formally established the Khalsa Panth (the community of committed Sikhs) and publicly entrusted it with leadership. Every year on Vaisakhi, Sikhs come together to commemorate and reflect on this significant historical event. While the community holds a special place in its collective heart for this occasion, Vaisakhi is not a “holiday” in that the Sikh tradition does not regard any one time or day to be uniquely “holy.” Rather, it is an occasion for celebrating the community’s growth and for recalling a set of shared values and collective memories. In both its culturall and religious context, Vaisakhi is fundamentally about community, progress, and celebra-

tion. Some people mistake Vaisakhi of 1699 as the initial moment of Sikh community formation, so it is particularly important to recognize that Guru Nanak (1469-1539 CE) started the process of forming the Sikh community nearly two centuries earlier. Among other things, he gathered disciples, created community centers, and established shared traditions. The community grew substantially under the leadership of his successors over the next 200 years, and the expectations and responsibilities of the community also increased during this period. This development culminated on Vaisakhi of 1699 when Guru Gobind Singh established a formal order of committed Sikhs—the Khalsa Panth—and bowed before its

representatives as a way of indicating the transmission of corporeal authority. The Sikh theology urges cultivation of the individual self while also serving and nurturing the communities around us, an integration of the spiritual and temporal domains. The 1699 inauguration of the Khalsa Panth also demonstrates an integration of the spiritual and political. The political aspects of this occasion are more apparent. Guru Gobind Singh’s decision to pass on political authority to the Khalsa Panth took place during a period of intense political tensions between the reigning Mughal Empire and the Sikh community. On this occasion, Guru Gobind Singh standardized a core of discipline, practice, and identity around which the Sikh

community continues to be centered. While playing a role in demarcating a community and enhancing group cohesion, these shared practices also play a significant role in enriching one’s spiritual development. One way in which this occurs is through ethical cultivation— a constant practice of discipline facilitates the cultivation of moral faculties.Aristotle referred to this moral training as habitus, the formation of habits through regular practice that informs our decisionmaking in diverse situations. Engaging with these bodily and ritual practices serves to enrich the human spirit within. Similarly, the Sikh tradition posits that the role and signifi-

cance of community is not limited to the political domain. Sikh doctrine emphasizes the central roles that communities play in shaping our spiritual journeys and encourages practitioners to seek out intentional communities that share the same ethical values and spiritual commitments. In the Sikh spirit, Vaisakhi celebrates the integration of the spiritual and temporal worlds, and it provides practical avenues for bringing these to bear through shared values and practices. Vaisakhi is fundamentally about community, celebration, and progress, and these values are at the forefront of the collective consciousness as Sikhs gather together to mark the occasion.


Indo-Canadian Voice Vaisakhi | Saturday April 23, 2016

24

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Guru Gobind Singh’s gift to every Sikh The Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb, installed himself as the Emperor of India in 1657. To achieve his aim he had annihilated almost all his family opposition. Immediately after consolidating his power he embarked on a policy of religious persecution and set upon the process of Islamization of India. The Brahmins were his primary target. He levied unethical religious taxes against Hindus, and shut their temples and places of learning. He had been convinced by his clerics that once the Brahmins accepted Islam the others would follow. The Brahmins, particularly the inhabitants of Kashmir, looked for some dynamic leadership to fight this subversion. The Brahmins of Kashmir approached Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-1675), the ninth in the line of Sikh Gurus, who was on the throne of the Sikh religion. They asked him for guidance on combatting the atrocities committed by the Mughal E mperor. At the time of their meeting, Guru Tegh Bahadur’s nine year old son, Gobind Rai, was sitting beside him. As Guru Tegh Bahadur went into a deep state of contemplation, his young son asked the reason of his repose. Guru Tegh Bahadur said that the matter was of vital importance; the world is aggrieved by oppression; and no brave man had yet come forward who was willing to sacrifice his life to free the earth from the burden of ’ Aurangzeb’s persecution of Hindus. Young Gobind Rai replied: “For that purpose who is more worthy than thou who art at once generous and brave.” So after entrusting the Guruship to Gobind Rai, Guru

Tegh Bahadur proceeded towards Delhi, the seat of the Mughal Empire. Upon reaching Delhi, the Guru and his loyal attendants were immediately imprisoned by Aurangzeb. While in prison, Guru Tegh Bahadur foresaw the beginning of his ecclesiastic journey. To test his son’s courage and capability to carry on the Guru’s mission, he wrote him saying, “My strength is exhausted, I am in chains and I can make not any efforts. Says Nanak, God alone is now my refuge. He will help me as He did his Saints.” In reply young Guru Gobind Rai wrote: “I have regained my Power, my bonds are broken and all options are open unto me. Nanak, everything is in Thine hands. It is only Thou who can assist Thyself.” Guru Teg Bahadur offered his life for the freedom of conscience and conviction of anyone belonging to a faith other than his own. His spirit of sacrifice and courage was kindled into the heart of Gobind Rai. Hundreds of people gathered around the place where Guru Tegh Bahadur

was martyred in Delhi. The executioner abandoned the Guru’s body in the open. No one came forward openly to claim the body to perform religious rites. Even ardent disciples withdrew unrecognized. Taking advantage of the stormy weather that followed the execution, two persons covertly took the body of Guru Tegh Bahadur for cremation. This cowardice fomented in Gobind Rai an urge to endow his Sikhs with a distinct identity. With the criteria of courage and strength to sacrifice, Gobind Rai became the tenth Sikh Guru. He wanted to instill these principles in his downtrodden followers. He wanted to uplift their morale to combat the evil forces of injustice, tyranny, and oppression. He was 33 years old when he had Divine inspiration to actuate his designs. Every year at the time of Baisakhi (springtime), thousands of devotees would come to Anandpur to pay their obeisance and seek the Guru’s blessings. In early 1699, months before Baisakhi Day, Guru Gobind Rai sent special edicts to congregants far and wide that that year the Baisakhi was going to be a unique affair. He asked them not to cut any of their hair — to come with unshorn hair under their turbans and chunis, and for the men to come with full beards. On Baisakhi Day, March 30, 1699, hundreds of thousands of people gathered around his divine temporal seat at Anandpur Sahib. The Guru addressed the congregants with a most stirring oration on his divine mission of restoring their faith and preserving the Sikh religion. After his inspirational discourse, he

flashed his unsheathed sword and said that every great deed was preceded by equally great sacrifice: He demanded one head for oblation.After some trepidation one person offered himself. The Guru took him inside a tent. A little later he reappeared with his sword dripping with blood, and asked for another head. One by one four more earnest devotees offered their heads. Every time the Guru took a person inside the tent, he came out with a bloodied sword in his hand. Then the Guru emerged with all five men dressed piously in white. He baptized the five in a new and unique ceremony called pahul, what Sikhs today know as the baptism ceremony called Amrit. Then the Guru asked those five baptized Sikhs to baptize him as well. He then proclaimed that the Panj Pyare — the Five Beloved Ones — would be the embodiment of the Guru himself: “Where there are Panj Pyare, there am I. When the Five meet, they are the holiest of the holy.” He said whenever and wherever five baptized (Amritdhari) Sikhs come together, the Guru would be present. All those who receive Amrit from five baptized Sikhs will be infused with the spirit of courage and strength to sacrifice. Thus with these principles he established Panth Khalsa, the Order of the Pure Ones. At the same time the Guru gave his new Khalsa a unique, indisputable, and distinct identity. The Guru gave the gift of bana, the distinctive Sikh clothing and headwear. He also offered five emblems of purity and courage. These sym-

bols, worn by all baptized Sikhs of both sexes, are popularly known today as Five Ks: Kesh, unshorn hair; Kangha, the wooden comb; Karra, the iron (or steel) bracelet; Kirpan, the sword; and Kachera, the underwear. By being identifiable, no Sikh could never hide behind cowardice again. Political tyranny was not the only circumstance that was lowering peoples’ morale. Discriminatory class distinctions (—the Indian “caste” system—) promoted by Brahmins and Mullahs were also responsible for the peoples’ sense of degradation. The Guru wanted to eliminate the anomalies caused by the caste system. The constitution of the Panj Pyare was the living example of his dream: both the high and low castes were amalgamated into one. Among the original Panj Pyare, there was one Khatri, shopkeeper; one Jat, farmer; one Chhimba, washer-man; one Ghumar, water-carrier; and one Nai, a barber. The Guru gave the surname of Singh (Lion) to every Sikh and also took the name for himself. From Guru Gobind Rai he became Guru Gobind Singh. He also pronounced that all Sikh women embody royalty, and gave them the surname Kaur (Princess). With the distinct Khalsa identity and consciousness of purity Guru Gobind Singh gave all Sikhs the opporunity to live lives of courage, sacrifice, and equality. The birth of the Khalsa is celebrated by Sikhs every Baisakhi Day on April 13. Baisakhi 1999 marks the 300th anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh’s gift of P a n t h Khalsa to all Sikhs everywhere.

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Indo-Canadian Voice Vaisakhi | Saturday April 23, 2016

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Ç

K`ls` s`jn` idvs Eqy ivs`KI dIE~ sB nUM l@K l@K vD`eIE~

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Vaisakhi-A celebration of life, culture and religion

In Indian culture, people of different places, different religion, languages, customs live together. Different cultures living together, give a new recognition to us in this World. In addition, it gives our unity a beauty, like a bouquet gets magnificent by the different color flowers it contains. The festival of Baisakhi helps to hold people together in a bond. Because, this festival is celebrated in

every part of country in some or the other form. Different religions celebrate it in different manners, which increases its relevance. The Festival of Baisakhi don’t just have religious significance but, also spiritual importance. This festival gives us a lesson that in the fight of good and evil, it is always good and kindness which wins. This day Guru Govinda Singh gave his disciples the lesson of following a

path of goodness and kindness as well as staying away from evil and bad works. Here is a guide to the significance of Vaisakhi in India The Orissa community celebrates Baisakhi that is 14 April as Pona Sankranti. On this day, Lord Shiva is worshipped by ladies, and offered Pona made of yogurt and Jaggery. In the temple food and clothes are donated. Out of all the recipes made today, Kheer

made of rice is one of the most important items. Dalma is made of brinjal, banana, potato and pumpkin. And, the family God is worshipped with a wish to have rain for whole year together with happiness and wealth. In Bengal, the new year begins on the first day of Vaishakh month that is 14 April. This day here is known by the name of Shubho Nabo Barso. In Bengal from this day only crop harvesting is started. People of Bengal start up with new work on 14 April. Women make dishes from the

new crop coming home. The southern state of India, in Kerla, on this day sowing of paddy is being done. This day, here in Malayalam is called New Year Vishu. Today, the cart and bulls are decorated with Rangoli, and are worshiped. Also, children are given gifts. On 13 April, people of Assam, celebrate new year as “Bihu”. On the occasion of Bihu, folk dance is performed and happiness is celebrated publicly. Vaishaki is not a regional festival, rather, it is celebrated all over India in some or

the other form. On Day, 14 April is celebrated as Navreh that is new year, according to the mentioning of Saptrishiyo in scriptures. On this day people wish each other, and go to everyone's house with happiness and joy. This day is utilized specially for starting up with any new work. Vaishaki is not the festival of only Sikh society. But, in Kerala, Assam, Orissa, it is celebrated as the coming of new year. With the happiness of new year’s arrival, many new resolution and new works are done today.

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K`ls` s`jn` idvs Eqy ivs`KI dy SuB idh`Vy ’qy smUh B`eIc`ry nUM l@K-l@K vD`eI hovy

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The Guru Granth Sahib contains the scriptures of the Sikhs. It is an anthology of prayers and hymns which contain the actual words and verses as uttered by the Sikh Gurus. Sikhs regard the Guru Granth Sahib as the living Guru. The Guru Granth Sahib, also known as the Adi Granth, consists of 1430 pages and has 5864 verses. Its contents are referred to as bani or gurbani. An individual hymn is a shabad. Dictation of Granth The Granth was compiled by the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev ji. He undertook the enormous task of collecting, compiling, and scrutinizing the hymns and compositions of Guru Nanak and his predecessors. He decided to include not only the hymns of the Gurus but also that of other saints. At the invitation of the Guru, followers of different sects, both Hindu and Muslim, came to the Guru and recited the hymns of their teachers. Guru Arjan chose only those hymns which echoed sentiments he wanted to inculcate in his own community. After the selections were made, the Guru dictated the hymns to Bhai Gurdas ji, who wrote the Granth Sahib. Carrying the Granth Having compiled the Granth, the Guru placed it in the newly- built Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) in Amritsar. The first parkash (opening ceremony) was performed in the Golden Temple by Guru Arjan on August 30, 1604. The Guru nominated Bhai Buddha as the custodian of the Granth Sahib. At this time, the Guru bowed before the collection, acknowledging the higher authority of the bani to that personal importance and significance which he possessed as Guru. After this time, he no longer sat at a level above the Granth Sahib, but

Sri Guru Granth Sahib

below it. The Guru also instituted daily public worship at the temple where the Granth was recited all day long to the accompaniment of stringed musical instruments (kirtan). With the passage of time, the original Granth Sahib passed on from Guru Arjan to Guru Hargobind and then to his grandson, Dhir Mal, who took permanent possession of it. To restore the Granth compiled by Guru Arjan to the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh ji sent some Sikhs to Dhir Mal's descendants, who possessed the original Granth Sahib, and requested for its return. But they refused to part with it and asked the Guru to write his own Granth if he was a real Guru. Therefore, the second version of Guru Granth Sahib was prepared by Guru Gobind Singh in 1706. At Damdama Sahib, Guru Gobind Singh dictated the entire Granth Sahib from his memory to Bhai Mani Singh ji; the Granth Sahib was dictated word by

word as it originally was. At this time, Guru Gobind Singh re-edited the Adi Granth to the form in which we find it today. The Guru removed some unauthenticated writings in the Granth and added four hymns in the beginning for evening prayers. Guru Gobind Singh also added several hymns from his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur. Otherwise, the Granth was left as it was before in the days of Guru Arjan. Several copies of this Granth were transcribed by hand by Baba Deep Singh ji at Damdama Sahib. It is believed that four copies of the Granth Sahib were prepared; the first one was sent to the Harimandir Sahib at Amritsar, the second to Anandpur, the third to Patna and the fourth was kept by Guru Gobind Singh at Nander. Guru Granth Sahib Guru Gobind Singh ended the line of living Sikh Gurus by raising the Adi Granth to the status of a permanent

Guru. Guru Gobind Singh ji transmitted Guru Nanak's divine light into the divine Word and declared that after him, the next Guru would be Guru Granth Sahib. He commanded the Sikhs that it was to be revered as the body and spirit of the ten Gurus: Agya bhai Akal ki tabhi chalayo Panth. Sabh Sikhan ko hukam hai Guru manyo Granth. Guru Granth Ji manyo pargat Guran ki deh. Jo Prabhu ko milbo chahe khoj shabad mein le. Raj karega Khalsa aqi rahei na koe, Khwar hoe sabh milange bache sharan jo hoe. Under orders of the Immortal Being, the Panth was created. All Sikhs are enjoined to accept the Granth as their Guru. Consider the Guru Granth as an embodiment of the Gurus. Those who want to meet God, can find Him in its hymns. The pure shall rule, and the impure will be no more, Those separated will unite and all the devotees of the Guru shall be saved. (Ardas)

When the Guruship was passed on, Guru Granth Sahib like the Gurus became the embodiment of Divine Light. It should, therefore, be remembered very clearly that bowing before Guru Granth Sahib as Sikhs, is not bowing before a book, but it is a bowing before the Divine Light or Jot (Guru) which was passed on when the Guruship was conferred upon it. Respect and veneration for Guru Granth does not imply idol worship, but rather respect for a divine message, the ideas and ideals contained in the Sikh scripture. It is the source or a means to the worship of God through His Word, and not an object of worship in itself. Both the Gurus and the Book deserve the respect which they are accorded because of the bani which they express, the word of divine truth. Bhai Gurdas ji states that "the picture of the Guru is the gurbani" (Bhai Gurdas, Var 24, pauri 11).


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