A permanent exhibition of images of sacred trees of Sikhism, documented by retired Indian IAS officer DS Jaspal in his book ‘Tryst with Trees-Punjab’s Sacred Heritage’, was inaugurated on Sunday in Nankana Sahib gurdwara, Pakistan.
It is for the first time ever that a permanent exhibition has been put up in the main parikrama of the sacred Nankana Sahib gurdwara, the birthplace of Guru Nanak, founder of the Sikh religion.
The exhibition comprises 21 panels. Each panel has an image of the sacred tree from Jaspal’s book Tryst with Trees, along with a brief description of its botanical features and the background of the shrine.
Prominent Sikhs including members of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) attended the function.
On the occasion, Khalid Ali, additional secretary, Evacuee Property Trust Board, said, “the exhibition sends a strong message not only for peace and religious harmony but also of the relevance of religion in promoting conservation efforts.”
In his book, Jaspal documented 58 sacred Sikh shrines in India and Pakistan which are named after 19 species of trees, like Gurdwara Babe-di-Ber, Sialkot, Pakistan; Gurdwara Nim Sahib, Patiala; Gurdwara Tahli Sahib; Gurdwara Ritha Sahib; Gurdwara Amb Sahib; Gurdwara Imli Sahib; Gurdwara Pipli Sahib; Gurdwara Jand Sahib; Gurdwara Phalahi Sahib.
According to Jaspal, although love and respect for nature and environment are common to every religion, the naming of sacred shrines after trees is unique to the Sikh religion.