The birth anniversary of Guru Nanak is celebrated with zeal across the nation but the mood in the holy city is always exceptional.
It was 545 years ago that Guru Nanak was born to show the path of love, equality, humanity and selfless service to mankind.
His three basic guidelines were to believe in one god and take his name through meditation, to live as honourable people through honest effort (Kirat Karni) and to share and consume together (Vand Chakna).
These guidelines were preached not only for Sikhs but for other religions also.
Even today, the guru is revered by all communities and this was visible at the Golden Temple where the HT team spotted devotees of different religions celebrating the occasion.
Irshad Khan, a youngster from Uttar Pradesh, specially planned his travel to Golden Temple on the day.
“I respect the teachings of Guruji and have been brought up listening to his stories. I am well aware of the Mecca tale where he preached that god was everywhere. Not only this, even the holy Quran mentions Guru Nanak in a prayer by Prophet Muhammad.”
He added, “My friends and I purposely planned our visit to the Golden temple on Gurpurb to witness the beauty of the temple and the fireworks at night.”
Observing the grandeur of the temple, Rajesh, a tourist from Mumbai, said, “I won’t deny I was unaware of the festival but I know about Guru Nanak and his teachings. I feel lucky to have reached the temple on such a pious day.”
Tourist Chris White said, “I came to India on a month-long tour and thought of visiting the Golden Temple on Gurpurb. Before coming here, I researched about Guru Nanak and learnt how he spoke out against empty rituals and the caste system. In India, people still follow blind faith and fight on the basis of casteism and religion. On his birthday, Indians and humanity as a whole, should promise to live with peace and equality.”
As the sun set, the number of devotees in the temple increased. People lit candles and diyas and youngsters waited eagerly for fireworks.
Gurpurb in Amritsar is not restricted to gurdwaras but celebrated with fervour throughout the city. The celebration starts a day before as a massive procession is carried out by students. The celebration continues with kirtan darbars organised in local gurdwaras and Gurbani streams from almost every house in the city.
Savita Vohra, a localite said, “We do not remove the lights we put up for Diwali every year till Gurpurb. We celebrate the festival with the same enthusiasm and take our children to gurdwaras where they can light up diyas and candles.”