Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti 2021: History, significance and celebration
Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti is celebrated across India with great fervour and enthusiasm as it holds special significance for the Sikhs and is considered one of their most auspicious festivals. This celebration marks the birth anniversary of their tenth Sikh leader, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The day is observed in honour and remembrance of the great warrior, poet, philosopher and spiritual master. Guru Gobind Singh Ji was born on December 22, 1666 according to the Georgian calendar, but his birth anniversary is calculated in accordance with the lunar calendar, and this year, it dictates that Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti will be observed on January 20. This year marks the 354th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji was the only son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh guru and Mata Gujri. His birth name was Gobind Rai and he was born in Patna, Bihar to a Sodhi Khatri family. When he was merely nine years of age, his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur was killed by Aurangzeb for refusing to convert to Islam. Following his father’s death, Guru Gobind Ji took over as the leader and protector of the Sikhs and continued to fight against the injustices done against his community at the hands of the Mughals.
Guru Gobind Ji led the Sikhs through his own example; his teachings and philosophy soon gained historical importance in the Sikh way of life. He was responsible for institutionalising the Khalsa, who played a significant role in the protection of the Sikhs after his death and the nine invasions of Punjab. In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh Ji initiated the Five K’s tradition of the Khalsa, Kesh – uncut hair; Kangha – a wooden comb; Kara – an iron or steel bracelet worn on the wrist; Kripan – a sword or dagger; and Kacchera – short breeches.
In 1708, before his death, Guru Gobind Singh Ji declared Sikhism’s holy scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib as the final Sikh guru.
Significance And Celebration
Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s teaching and warrior spirit holds great importance to the Sikhs even today. During his time, he refused to answer to the Mughal invaders and fought alongside the Khalsa for the protection of his people. Under his guidance, the Khalsa followed a very strict code, in accordance with which they lived their lives. His example inspires people to this day and his writings and poetry still encourage people around the world.
On this day, Sikhs around the world go to Gurudwaras where prayer meetings are organised in honour of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Many families participate in processions organised by the Gurudwaras, hold kirtans and do seva, which is a significant part of the Sikh religion. Food is also distributed among the needy and poor on this day.
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