President Kovind urges people to follow Guru Nanak’s teaching of universal brotherhood
More than 30 lakh devotees have already attended the celebrations at Sultanpur Lodhi since the beginning of this month. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also paid obeisance at Gurdwara Ber Sahib on November 9 before heading for Dera Baba Nanak to inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor.Updated: Nov 13, 2019 05:40 IST
SULTANPUR LODHI: Sporting a turban, President Ram Nath Kovind congratulated all citizens and non-resident Indians (NRIs) on the occasion of Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th parkash purab (birth anniversary) here on Tuesday.
Starting his brief speech in Punjabi and later shifting to Hindi, Kovind recalled the Guru’s inspiring thoughts, “Satguru Nanak pargateya mitti dhund jag chanan hoya (With the divine light of Guru Nanak, the mist has been cleared).” He said that the first Sikh master was committed to eradicating injustice and inequality from society.
“Guru Nanak was born on this auspicious Kartik Poornima and people of all faiths respect him,” he said at the function organised by the Punjab government to commemorate the occasion.
The President urged people to follow the Guru’s teachings of living in peace and universal brotherhood. “The Guru preached the three principles of naam japo, kirat karo and vand chakho (Meditate on God through reciting and chanting prayers, work hard and share your resources with the community).”
He wound up the speech with, “Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, waheguru ji ki fateh.”
Amarinder raised the issue of pollution due to paddy stubble burning and appealed to farmers to follow the Guru’s teaching of “pavan guru, pani pita, maata dharat (Air is our teacher, water our father, and earth our mother).”
He also thanked Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Imran Khan for opening the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9 and urged people to avail of the opportunity of visa-free access to the gurdwara that commemorates the last resting place of Guru Nanak Dev.
Earlier, Kovind and his wife Savita spent 15 minutes in the historic Gurdwara Ber Sahib where the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) honoured him with a siropa (robe of honour). The President also saw the beri (tree) under which Guru Nanak is said to have meditated. He waved at devotees amid slogans of ‘Bole so nihal Sat Sri Akal.”
Kovind was accompanied by Shiromani Akali Dal leaders, including Prem Singh Chandumajra and Balwinder Singh Bhunder, and former SGPC president Jagir Kaur, besides cabinet minister Sunder Sham Arora.
Capt Singh and his wife and Patiala MP Preneet Kaur also paid obeisance at the gurdwara before the President arrived. Former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal also offered prayers.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) function started on November 1, while the state government event began on November 5.
30 LAKH VISIT SHRINE THIS MONTH
More than 30 lakh devotees have attended the celebrations that conclude on Tuesday.
Hundreds of devotees queued up for a darshan at Gurdwara Ber Sahib, where Guru Nanak Dev spent 14 years of his early life. After Nankana Sahib (now in Pakistan), Sultanpur Lodhi is the most related to the life of the first Sikh Guru.
In 1475, his elder sister, Bebe Nanaki, was married to Jai Ram of Sultanpur Lodhi. In 1483, Guru Nanak was sent to the custody of Jai Ram and five years later, he married Sulakhni and they had two sons in 1494 and 1497.
In 1497, Guru Nanak Dev disappeared in the Holy Bein flowing along Sultanpur Lodhi and reappeared three days later with the teaching of “na koi Hindu, na koi Musalman (no one is Hindu, no one is Muslim)” which led to the birth of Sikhism. Thereafter, the Guru left his job and the city to start with the first Udasi (sacramental journey).