The Sikh Advisory Board (SAB) would like to wish all Sikhs a Happy Gurpurab on the occasion of the 551st birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Sikh Guru, today.
2020 has been a challenging year for many of us, on various fronts: Some economic, some health-related and some disruptive to other aspects of our lives due to the pandemic and its related mitigating measures. Similarly, we have not been able to sit in Sadh Sangat (holy congregation), listen to live Kirtan (religious verses being sung), have langgar in the langgar hall (partake in the free kitchen) and mark, in large ways, Gurpurabs and other religious festivals this year.
As a community we have shown great resilience, sacrifice and cooperation to adhere to the safe distancing and socially responsible behaviour expected of us. The SAB commends the community for its positive attitude in putting societal considerations above self-interests. This is line with Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s teaching:
“Nanak Naam Chardikala, Tere Bhane Sarbat Da Bhalla”
[Nanak asks for ‘Naam’ (name of God) with which comes well-being, happiness and positive spirit and with your blessings, Lord may we have the betterment of all mankind]
As we mark Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s birth anniversary today, let us also remember that among Guruji’s treasure of teachings was the importance of tolerance and respect, equality, inclusiveness and social justice. As the world gets mired by the ill-effects of the pandemic, these virtues are likely to be tested within society, deepening the fault lines of race, religion and class among others. The unfortunate incident earlier this month, of a young Sikh boy being physically abused by two of his schoolmates in Telford, UK, is one such example.
While the SAB rejects such actions, we are also mindful that this is yet another reminder of how we must be proactive to educate others of our faith and practices, build bridges where they may not exist and mend those that have been broken. Within Singapore, the SAB shall continue to work with partners, schools, agencies and other community groups to improve the understanding of Sikhs and Sikhism among the wider society.
We take such an approach with the aim that it also allows us to inculcate in our lives the values embodied by Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s life and teachings.
Stay in Chardi Kala and May Guruji shine His Divine Light on all of us this Gurpurab.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
[The above statement was emailed to Asia Samachar]
Guru Nanak’s 10 teachings we can practice daily (Asia Samachar, 29 Nov 2020)