More than 30 million Sikhs around the world will observe the Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of their religion with piety and social service.
Guru Nanak Jayanti, as the Observance is called, will be held on November 17, marking the 544th Birthday of the Great Saint.
The Jayanti is one of the most significant days in the Sikh calendar.
Sikhs will pay tribute to the great teacher, who believed in oneness of mankind and in the inherent goodness of the individual.
His teachings have relevance in the daily lives of people in the space age; teachings that have transcended time, space and vicissitudes of mankind.
To tens of thousands of people who even question the existence of God, Guru Nanak Dev is a teacher par excellence and a leader who led by example.
Such is the greatness of the spiritual leader that Guru Nanak Dev is mentioned and followed with respect even by people who have embraced Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and other faiths.
We will join about 20,000 or more Sikhs in New Zealand in marking the Jayanti of a great saint whose teachings have touched the heart and mind of almost everyone who has had an opportunity to listen to them or read them.
It is often said that the wisdom to lead people on the righteous path comes to those who have gone through the various stages of life, including marriage.
Gautama, who attained enlightenment to give the world the great religion of Buddhism and Guru Nanak Dev who established Sikhism as a way of life, were just two brilliant examples of that dictum.
Guru Nanak gave humanity some of the most precious values that are essential to promote harmony, peace, goodwill and understanding.
Sikhs and others, including lawmakers, law enforcers, community leaders and ordinary New Zealanders will visit Gurdwaras around the country to pay their obeisance to Guru Granth Sahib, the Holy Book of Sikhism, sing Kirtans and listen to the teachings of Guru Nanak.
The Gurdwaras that they have built around the country bear testimony to their penchant for keeping alive the teachings of their Gurus.
It is therefore fitting that the Sikh community marks the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji every year with enthusiasm and religious fervour.
Jayanti at Gurdwaras
Thousands of members and volunteers of the Supreme Sikh Society of New Zealand (which owns the Sri Guru Nanak Dev Sikh Sangat Gurdwara in Otahuhu and the Sri Kalgidhar Sahib in Takanini) will participate in Guru Nanak Jayanti on November 14.
More than 5000 men, women and children will attend the event at the Gurdwaras, which will wear a festive look with the members of the community and others displaying solemnity that the occasion deserves.
There would be popular games played at the Gurdwara grounds in Takanini on the day of Guru Nanak Jayanti. The festival will be open to all.
Similar festivities will be held at Sri Dasmesh Darbar Gurdwara (166 Kolmar Road) Papatoetoe, Sri Nanaskar Thath Isher Darbar (read separate story in this Special Report) in Manurewa and other Centres, including Hamilton, Palmerston North, Tauranga, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, Wellington and Christchurch.
Sikhs are among the most active participants in the country’s progress and prosperity.
As the first settlers representing the Indian community, dating back to more than 115 years, Sikhs have been epitomes of hard work, dedication, devotion.
Over the years, they have established themselves as farmers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, businesspersons, government officials and in other vocations.
Among our most celebrated personalities are members of the Sikh community.
As well as being successful in any venture that they undertake, Sikhs are known to preserve and promote their traditional and religious values.
Photo : Sikhs at Sri Kalgidhar Sahib in Takanini, Auckland