Guru Nanak Gurpurab or Guru Nanak Jayanti marks the birth of the first Sikh Guru who laid the foundation of Sikhism, Guru Nanak. It is the most sacred day in Sikhism and will be celebrated across India and the world on November 4, Saturday. The word Gurpurab is made from two words Gur, which means the Guru or the master, and Purab, that comes from the Hindi word parv meaning day, so it is 'the day associated with the guru'.
In Sikhism, the festivities during Guru Nanak Jayanti are centred around the birth anniversaries of the 10 gurus. Guru Gobind Singh was the tenth and the last Sikh Guru. After him, Adi Granth or Guru Granth Sahib which has the writings of the gurus is considered the guru.
Guru Nanak was born on April 15, 1469 in Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi in the present Pakistan, and the place is now called the Nankana Sahib. The date of the festival varies from year to year, according to the Indian lunar calendar. This year will mark the 548th birthday of Guru Nanak and is thus Guru Nanak Jayanti.
A look at the life of first Sikh Guru - Guru Nanak
Born to Kalayan Das Mehta and Matta Tripat, Guru Nanak, from an early age, had a spiritual quest. When he was asked to wear the sacred thread, usually worn by the upper caste Hindus, he refused. He did not believe in superficial aspects of religion and said that he would rather wear the God's name in heart that would never get impure or get broken.
He worked as a storekeeper in the granary of Daulat Khan Lodi in Sultanpur, where he came into contact with Mardana, a Muslim servant. Together they organised gatherings for Hindus and Muslims where they sang hymns to praise the creator.
Guru Nanak was married at the age of 18 and also had two sons. The turning point in his life came at the age of 28, when he disappeared for three days and upon returning revealed that there is no Hindu and no Muslim, there is only one God who is formless and could be worshipped by any name. The constant remembrance of God, also refereed as naamsimran is the only way to liberation, he preached.
Before his death at the age of 70, he appointed Guru Angad as his successor.
Guru Nanak Gurpurab is celebrated as the day to remember the holy guru and is a reminder for the devotees to follow his teachings and overcome the five vices - lust, greed, attachment, anger and pride and devote one's life in the selfless service of God.