Guru Nanak 550th Anniversary
This year Sikhs all over the World celebrate 550 years of the Birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, The founder of Sikhism. The year 2019 in Palmerston North, on the occasion of 550 years of Guru Nanak Dev’s birth, is a good time to remind ourselves of the revered master’s teachings. He spoke of one God, universal brotherhood, love, humility, simplicity, equality and tolerance. He did not restrict himself to one religion; he chose to embrace the good teachings of all faiths, that have universal applicability and validity for all times to come.
Guru Nanak did not believe in division between people on the basis of caste, colour, religion and race. He saw only two kinds of people: Gurmukh, the God-oriented and Manmukh, those who are self-oriented. A Gurmukh devotes himself to God. He practises truth and works for the welfare of humankind. Whereas a Manmukh follows his own thinking and practises falsehood and selfishness.
Guru Nanak demonstrated that neither caste, class, affluence, poverty nor religion were the criteria to follow Sikhism. All men are equal. The only prerequisite was to have faith in one God, purification of soul and dedication to God. He also promulgated the Equality of Women.
Guru Nanak gave us the following three pillars of Sikhism: Naam japna,(Recite the name of God. Kirat karni (Honest Living)and Vand chakhna. (Share your earnings)
Naam japna is to recite and repeat the name of God. When somebody recites the name of God, he is in communion with the Lord. In Sikhism, everything is connected with the name of God. One can take the Name while being in sangat – congregation of holy saints – or in private meditation. In both cases, one should not follow any ritual but with deep concentration recite the name of God. Contemplation in solitude is as important as being in sangat. Sikhs do not worship idols.
Kirat karni is earning one’s livelihood with honest labour. Kirat is central to the Sikh concept of seva, service. Kirat states that the Guru preferred a coarse meal earned through hard labour than a sumptuous meal at a wealthy Landowner’s place.
Vand chakhna is best explained as ‘sharing is caring’community kitchen, and dasvandh, sharing one-tenth of one’s earnings with the community. It means to share what you have and to consume it together as a community. This could be wealth and or food. etc. The term is also used to mean to share ones wealth with others in the community, to give to charity, to distribute free Food and to generally help the less fortunate others in the community. A Sikh is expected to contribute a portion of their wealth or income to people in need or to a worthy cause. It also means to share the fruits of one’s labour with others before considering oneself, thus living as an inspiration and a support to the entire community.
When a person follows these three principles, he is well on his way to realizing the potential and purpose of his life.
In Palmerston North We will celebrate Guru Nanak’s Birthday by sharing free food and Drinks. We will also have demonstrations and games to show the equality and love amongst men without discrimination. We will also demonstrate the Equality of women. We will try to demonstrate the concepts of brotherhood, love, humility, simplicity, equality and tolerance.
Please find the poster for the event attached where we will celebrate the Birthday of our Founder via a Festival that will demonstrate his teachings through Fun and Interactive activity.