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Patrons:

Lord Karan Bilimoria
Lord Mohamed Sheikh

Lord Bhikhu Parekh
Mr G. P. Hinduja
Mr J. S. Sangar
Mrs. Jasbir Vohra

 

Advisors:

Dr. Daljit .K Maudgil

Resham.S. Sandhu MBE,DL,FRSA

 

Chairman:

Lord Rami Ranger CBE

Vice Chairmen:
Hardyal S Luther
Joginder S. Vig

President:

Amarjit S. Dassan

 

Vice Presidents:

Surinder S. Aujla

Surjit S. Pandher
Jasbir S. Johal

 

General Secretary:

Dr. Sukhbir S.Kapoor, OBE

Joint Secretary:
Dr. Peter S. Chadha

Finance Secretary:

Hardip Singh

 

PRO:

Satbir S. Bakshi

Social Secretary:
Parshotam S. Dhillon

Interfait & Charities Secretary:
Ravel S. Ahuja

Education Secretary:

Mr.Pritpal Singh

Fund raising Secretaries:
John Athwal
Anant Sra
Harbhajan Dhillon


30/11/2020

Happy 551st Birthday to Guru Nanak Dev Ji

We are privileged to be celebrating the historic 551st Prakash Utsav (Birthday) of Shri Guru Nanak Dev JI this year. It is a matter of pride for every Sikh that Guru Nanak’s birth is being celebrated across the world not only by Sikhs but also by the Govt. of India on an unparalleled scale to demonstrate that His teachings are universal and benefit the entire of humanity. Guru Nanak’s teachings have become even more relevant than ever before in our fractured world where religious intolerance and disharmony is on the increase.

Pakistan is now the land where Guru Nanak Ji was born on 15th April in 1469 in Nankana Sahib and is also where He left for his heavenly abode on 22nd September 1539 in Kartarpur, Pakistan. The Govt of Pakistan under Imran Khan has given the ultimate respect to its son of the soil by opening the Kartarpur corridor to pilgrims so that His devotees can have visa free access to the shrine where Guru Ji took his last breath. The stature of Guru Nanak Dev Ji is such that even the arch-rivals, nuclear adversaries, are ready to open their border to show their respect to Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

What is religion?

It is a philosophy which is designed to guide us through life. If one follows an enlightened and progressive philosophy, then one becomes an enlightened and progressive person. It is as simple as that! In other words, the way we are taught from the beginning is the way that we are conditioned to lead our lives. No one is born intolerant, but the doctrine one follows will prepare their attitude accordingly.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji was curious from his young age to find out about the true meaning of life. He was puzzled to see the disparity in society. He could not understand the difference in the status of people based on religion, caste or gender. He found it hard to believe that to find God; people had to divorce themselves from their everyday family life and endure extreme hardships in isolation for an extended period in jungles and mountains. He felt that if God was our creator, then surely He must reside within us and indeed, we must all be equals as his children.

Guru Nanak travelled the length and breadth of India and beyond, in search of truth and to discover the true meaning of life. He even travelled to Mecca, the holy place for Muslims, in his quest to find answers. During his travels, he met many holy and wise men which led him to the conclusion that no one religion or person could have a monopoly over truth or wisdom. He said that whatever was fundamental and right, must be the language of God and should be adopted without hesitation to realise its benefits. As a result, He brought teachings of Saints and Holy men and helped compile the most appropriate and relevant book on the truth, the Guru Granth Sahib Ji. It includes the teachings of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslim Saints as well as that of ordinary learned men regardless of their caste or social status, making it a genuinely inclusive holy book based on interfaith teachings.

The result is that the Sikh holy book enables its followers to lead fuller lives, thereby making them the most progressive and prosperous human beings in the world. Guru Ji was ahead of his time to realise over 500 years ago that religions must unite and not divide humanity if we are to live in harmony. Let’s see how progressive the founder of the Sikh faith was.

Firstly, He was against gender inequality and gave equality to women over 500 years ago. He said, “So Kyon Manda Aakhiye Jin Janme Rajan” which means “Why should we consider someone inferior who bears Prophets and Kings”.

He was the first against religious conversion. Guru Nanak said that God is not interested in our religious labels; instead, he is interested in our actions and deeds.

Bala, a Hindu accompanied him, and Mardana, a Muslim, throughout his life and yet he never once asked them to become Sikhs. Instead, he said, “If you are a Muslim, then be a good Muslim and if you are a Hindu, then be a good Hindu”.

He was also the first against the caste system. He said, “God is the creator of us all, and as a result, He has created us equal regardless”. He was the first against religious intolerance and to incorporate teachings of every faith in the Granth Sahib as a mark of respect for every religion.

He was the first against ritual and outdated practices. He said that obsession with God would make us focus far too much on the creator and lesser on our worldly duties and responsibilities towards His creations like family, work and helping others who are less fortunate in society.

He was the first to seek the welfare of the whole of humanity which he included in the Sikh prayer. “Tere Bhane Sarbat Ka Bhala” meaning “O Lord, please bless the whole of humanity regardless”.

He was the first to provide food and shelter to anyone who walked through the doors of a Sikh Gurdwara regardless of race or religion. It is also on record that Guru Nanak dedicated his life to social reforms, the uplift of humanity and above all, to human freedom. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

We will always find followers of Guru Nanak Dev Ji serving humanity regardless. During the Covid -19 pandemic, the Sikh community has emerged as the one serving free food to those affected by this dreadful pandemic. Sikh volunteers are even delivering free food door to door to those who are too frail to look after themselves. The Sikh community has received worldwide recognition and commendations for their care and concern for humanity. Those who work hard can support the weak and vulnerable in society. The teachings of Guru Nanak uplifts the soul, making us realise the real meaning of life. One only has to visit a Gurdwara to see the effect of our Guru’s teachings upon people regardless.

Lord Rami Ranger CBE
Chairman