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Sangrand: 16-12-2015
Gurpurb:14-12-2015   Gur Gadhi Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji


A way of life and philosophy well ahead of its time when it was founded over 500 years ago, The Sikh religion today has a following of over 20 million people worldwide. Sikhism preaches a message of devotion and remembrance of God at all times, truthful living, equality of mankind, social justice and denounces superstitions and blind rituals. Sikhism is open to all through the teachings of its 10 Gurus enshrined in the Sikh Holy Book and Living Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Who and What is a Sikh? The word 'Sikh' in the Punjabi language means 'disciple', Sikhs are the disciples of God who follow the writings and teachings of the Ten Sikh Gurus. The wisdom of these teachings in Sri Guru Granth Sahib are practical and universal in their appeal to all mankind. Philosophy and Beliefs 1.          There is only One God. He is the same God for all people of all religions. 2.         The soul goes through cycles of births and deaths before it reaches the human form. The goal of our life is to lead an exemplary existence so that one may merge with God. Sikhs should remember God at all times and practice living a virtuous and truthful life while maintaining a balance between their spiritual obligations and temporal obligations 3.         The true path to achieving salvation and merging with God does not require renunciation of the world or celibacy, but living the life of a householder, earning a honest living and avoiding worldly temptations and sins. 4.       Sikhism condemns blind rituals such as fasting, visiting places of pilgrimage, superstitions, worship of the dead, idol worship etc. 5.         Sikhism preaches that people of different races, religions, or sex are all equal in the eyes of God. It teaches the full equality of men and women. Women can participate in any religious function or perform any Sikh ceremony or lead the congregation in prayer.


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All religions have temples where people can gather together to contemplate on God and pray. The Sikh temple is called a Gurdwara. The word 'Gurdwara' means 'Gateway to the Guru'. In Sikhism ones personal dedication to living a good life is important but another important aspect of Sikhism is the Sangat (congregation). Not only should one meditate on God on their individual level but also on a corporate level. There are thousands of Gurdwaras throughout Punjab and the rest of the world. They serve as community centers for the Sikh's. There are no restrictions on who may enter a Gurdwara for prayer. People of all religions are welcome to attend. Another common feature of all Gurdwaras around the world is Langer, the free community kitchen. Here food is served to all people who sit together to enjoy a communal meal. It is a symbol of the Sikh belief in a non-sexist, non-racist society where all people of all casts, religions are equal and can share a common meal in the true spirit of unity.

Many of the Gurdwaras in Punjab have a pool (sarovar) for bathing in. In Sikhism one can bathe in these pools if they wish, but they should be pure inside in order to accomplish anything. For the water may clean you on the outside, but it cannot clean you on the inside if your heart is not pure. Unlike some religions, pilgrimages is not a part of Sikhism. Sikhs may visit any Gurdwara as they are all considered equal because in all the living Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh Holy Scriptures), is installed as the spiritual head of the Sikh religion.

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Holy Takhats

Takht (Punjabi: ਤਖ਼ਤ) which literally means a throne or seat of authority is a result of historical growth of Sikhism. There are five Takhts and these Takhts are the five gurudwaras which have a very special significance for the Sikh community. The first and the most important one was established by Guru Hargobind in 1609. It is called 'Akal Takht' (the Throne of the Timeless God) and is situated just opposite the gate of Harmandir Sahib – The Golden Temple, Amritsar. The Guru established it, because he thought that secular political matters should not be considered in the Golden Temple, which is meant purely for worship of God. Here the Guru held his court and decided matters of military strategy and political policy. Later on, the Sikh commonwealth (Sarbat Khalsa) took decisions here on matters of peace and war and settled disputes between the various Sikh groups. The Sarangi singers sung the ballads of the Sikh Gurus and warriors at this place and robes of honour (saropas) were awarded to persons who rendered distinguished services of the community of men in general.

Akal takhat

Gurudwara Sahib

Akal Takht is the throne of Sikh religious authority. Many decisions of great importance concerning religious and social life of the Sikh community have been taken here. Guru Hargobind constructed Akal Takht in 1609. Some called it Akal Bunga: the house of the Lord. The Takht was used for a special purpose which considerably changed the Sikh character and organisation. Akal Takht is the throne of Sikh religious authority. Many decisions of great importance concerning religious and social life of the Sikh community have been taken here. Guru Hargobind constructed Akal Takht in 1609. Some called it Akal Bunga: the house of the Lord. The Takht was used for a special purpose which considerably changed the Sikh character and organisation. The Guru himself sat here and held a court of justice. Many Sikhs used to gather here for the redress of their grievances and offerings were made to the Guru. At the place where Akal Takht is situated was a mound. The

Damdama Sahib

Gurudwara Sahib

Guru Gobind Singh stayed sometime at Muktsar. Then he proceed farther and visited several villages, spreading love and distributing Namdan, emanipating peoples's hearts from fear and hatred and instilling patriotic fervor among them. He roamed about in Lakhi jungle. The devotees flocked to him in thousands and were fascinated by his spiritual gift. The Master shed light in the dark countryside of Malwa. Many poets and bards, who had left Anandpur when the town was besieged, again gathered round the Guru here. The poets sang inspiring songs full of love from their aching hearts, and showered praises on the Guru. Tt was a great reunion. The poems full of pathetic themes went deep into the people's hearts. In due course of time, the Guru reached Sabo-ki-Talwandi now known as Damdama Sahib. It is so called because ity was here that the Guru had halted after some tiresome battles which he had fought for the sake of saving darma. Complete peace prevailed and the

Keshgarh Sahib

Gurudwara Sahib

When Guru Tegh Bahadur was residing at Kiratpur, he thought of building a new township for himself and his devotees which would form the nucleus of a religious centre. The Guru imagined it to be a city with a difference-place for the people coming from outside, a big hall for the relgious congregations and a beautiful place for the Guru's residence. The Guru thought the place should be near Kiratpur in the foothills with excellent surroundings. He, therefore, purchased a piece of land in villages Makhowal, just 8 km from Kiratpur. The land was purchased from the Raja of Kahlur for five hundred rupees. Soon a new township came into existence; it was named Nanki Chak. When Guru Gobind Singh came from Patna, the town was further extended. The town was later named Anandpur-the abode of bliss. When the work to build this township started, construction of three building was taken up-the Guru's residence, a place for worship and a rest house. It was

Patna Sahib

Gurudwara Sahib

Patna is situated at a distance of about 500 km. from Calcutta on the main line of Eastern Railway, connecting Calcutta with Varanasi and delhi. It is also on the air route between Delhi and Calcutta and is connected with Kathmandu by air. The city has been recently renamed Patna Sahib, keeping in view its sancity. During one of his missionary tours, Guru Tegh Bahadur stayed at Patna. Guru Nanak had earlier visited this place. Guru Tegh Bahadhur was accompanied by his mother Nanki and wife Gujari. In early 1666, when Guru Tegh Bahadur arrived in Allahabad, house hold and the members of his darbar. It was here that the spirit and light of Guru Gobind Singh had descended and manifested itself by will of God in his mother's womb. Mata Gujari had conceived this great son of God, Gobind. Thereafter, leaving his family at Patna, Guru Tegh Bahadur proceed towards Bengal and Assam. Guru Gobind Singh was born on Paus Sudi 7 Samvat 1723,

Hazur Sahib

Gurudwara Sahib

Guru Gobind Singh left Delhi for the south to meet Bahadur Shah and aprise him of the situaton. He was keen that the persons responsible for hte cold-blooded murder of his sons should be punished. Afer the third day of hs departure from delhi, he reached Mathura and halted at Suraj Kund, on the banks of the Yamuna. Then, he reached Agra. He was given a robe of honour along with a jeweled scraf worth sixty thousand rupees. The Emperor requested the Guru to stay with him for some time. The Guru had been harbouring a desire for a long time time that Wazir Khan, The Governor of Sirhind, be punished for his misdeeds. And, when the Guru expressed his wish the Emperor was taken aback and was upset but did not give any reply to the Guru. When the Guru insisted, he told him that he would decide the matter after discussing it with his ministers. He also requested the Guru to accompany him on his march towards Rajasthan. But he declined the

offer as he felt that the acceptance of the offer would mean the forgoing of his cherished ideal of bringing about an era of liberty and that he would be reduced to the position of a mere chieftain. When the Emperor was about to leave , he again requested the Guru to accompany him. The Guru was sore at the Emperor for not punishing Wazir Khan. The Emperor marched to Rajasthan and the Guru stayed behind at Agra. Later, he overlook the Emperor and in due course reached Burhanpur. When they reachd Nanded they parted company. Guru Gobind Singh was now fully convinced that Bahadur Shah did not have the courage to take action against the wrongdoers. He, therefore, decided to stay at Nanded and the Emperor proceeded further. The Guru had reached there in September 1708. Nanded formerly in Hyderabad State abd ow in Maharashtra, is situated on the bank of river Godavari. The Guru selected a serene and beautiful spot on the river bank and pitched his tent. Thousands of people from all part of the country flocked to him, seeking spiritual light and guidance from him. The Guru gave sermons to the people and conferred them with Namdan. While staying at Nanded, Guru Gobind Singh spent, most of his time in meditation and gave sermons to the people. He spent his day as ususal, getting up early in the morning, taking his bath and reciting Japji and other hymns from Sri Guru Granth Sahib. It seems the Guru kenw that his end was fast approaching. On September 18,1708, a young and well built Pathan, Jasmaid Khan, sent by the Viceroy of Sirhind, Wazir Khan, came to the Guru as he was about to deliver sermon to a big congregation. When the Guru started his sermon the Pathan gave a piece of paper to the Guru, which it is understood, was a letter of introduction from some Muslim friend of the Guru. It is also said that the parents of the Pathan were intimately known to the Guru. The Guru showed him due courtesy and gave him a place of honour in his darbar. The Pathan was delighted at this treatment at this treatment and bowed his head before the Guru. The Guru gave him five gold coins and some money ot meeyt his day-to-day expenditure during his stay at Nanded. Nobody, not even the Guru had any suspicion about the real intentions of the Pathan. As the Guru gave him special treatment , others Sikhs also began to show repect to him and he was allowed to move freely wherever he liked. Next day again, the Pathan came to the Guru's darbar and was allowed to go near the Guru. Parshad was given to him which the Pathan took gladly and ate at once without any hesitation. He thus tried to esatablish his bona fides with the Guru and his followers. He sat in the Guru's darbar for quite some time and listened function. He looked for an opportunity to stab the Guru but could not get a chance. He bowed before the Guru, got his blessings and went away. No suspicion was aroused and the Guru retired to his tent as usual. On September 20,1708 , the Pathan once again visited the Guru's darbar and remained there for a much longer time than before. He pretended that he was great devotee of the Guru and had come all the way from Punjab to Nended to seek Namdan. After the congregatoion was over, the Guru went to his tent as usual for relaxation. Devoted disciples of the Guru also retired to their tents. The attendant of the Guru was feeling sleepy. The Guru went to bed and within minutes, the Pathan followed him; he reverently nowed before the Guru and behaved extremely courteously. The Guru raised his head to bless him. The Pathan then took out his dagger and struck the Guru. The Guru had no other weapon with him except the Kirpan. By the time he unsheathed it, the Pathan gave him another bow. The Guru thrust his kirpan into the abdomen of the Pathan and killed him on the spot. On hearing the noise, the bodyguards of the Guru chased the companion of the Pathan who was waiting outside with a horse, caught him and killed him.
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Amrit Ceremony

Every year in April, the whole of Punjab in northern India had been celebrating the New year on Vaisakhi day with great fanfare and wild fairs and festivities. This was the main Sikh festivals and traditionally it was the end of the wheat harvest. But in 1699, this festival became extra special because it was chosen by Guru Gobind Singh as the day to start the Khalsa fellowship. On April 13th in most Sikh Gurdwaras a special ceremony takes place as a reminder of this special first Amrit Ceremony.

This first Amrit Ceremony took place in India on April 13, 1699 when Guru Gobind Singh asked a gathering of Sikhs who was prepared to die for God. At first there was a hesitation then one man stepped forward...The Guru and he went together into the tent. Then, Guru Gobind Singh reappeared on his own with blood dripping from his sword. He asked again, and again, again and again. Four brave Sikhs answered the Guru's call for a head. The Guru took the fifth man into the tent and then there was a delay.

Then as everyone was getting very concerned, the Guru reappeared with all five men, alive, well and dressed like him. These five men became known as Panj Pyares or "Beloved Five". They were initiated into the "Khalsa" or community of Sikhs by receiving Amrit...a mixture of sugar and water. Sikh men were then given the added name "Singh" meaning "lion" and ladies received the extra name "Kaur" meaning "princess".

These days on the morning of the ceremony everyone take a bath, wears the five Ks and attends a ceremony of promises when the members of the community renew their promises to God. The five Sikhs that are performing the ceremony prepare the amrit. When the water and sugar has been mixed all of the five Sikhs stir it with a double edged sword while sacred Shabads or hymns from the Sikh holy books are being sung.

New members who wish to become initiated come before the five Sikhs or Panj Pyares that are performing the ceremony. Amrit is sprinkled on their eyes and hair, and they are asked to say "Waheguru" several times. Finally they drink the Amrit mixture. Everyone recites the Mool Mantra and the new members must then wear the five Ks and follow the rules written in the Guru Granth Sahib. Prayers are said, speeches made, reading listened to and finally the whole community will share a meal, the Langar, with everyone present Sikh and non-Sikh.

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