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Bandi Chor Divas

November 12, 2023
ਦਸਤਗੀਰ ਹੁਇ ਪੰਜ ਪੀਰ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਹਰਿ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਅਤੋਲਾ ॥
ਦੀਨ ਦੁਨੀ ਦਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੁ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹਾਂ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੁ ਅਡੋਲਾ ॥
The earlier five Gurus championed the cause of the people, and the Divine-like Guru Harigobind is no different in his immeasurable qualities as a savior.
He is the defender of righteousness in this world, an undisputed and unflinching king of the kings.
     Bhai Gurdas, Var 39, Pauri 3  

Today, the SikhRI team and the global sangat celebrate Bandi Chor Divas – the Emancipation Day!

In 1619, Guru Harigobind Sahib liberated fifty-two political prisoners, including kings and princes, from the Gwalior Fort prison, where they were held captive by Emperor Jahangir.

In honor of this event, Akal Takht (timeless throne) stands majestically tall, adorned with lights, overlooking Sri Harimandar Sahib (dwelling place of the Divine) across the Amritsar sarovar (the pool), ensuring an ever-ascending spirit and protection under the wisdom of the Sabad. This wisdom frees human consciousness from all forms of bondage, elevating life to a point where any subjugation becomes unacceptable. At its core lies self-sovereignty, as the Guru liberated Sikhs from all life's bondages, beginning from within.

ਹਉ ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਬੰਧਨ ਕਾਟੇ ਸਗਲੇ ਮੇਰੇ ॥
ਹਿਰਦੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਦੇ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਕੀਏ ਨਾਨਕ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਸਾਲਾ ਜੀਉ ॥੪॥
I adore the complete and eternal Guru-Wisdom, who has cut all my bondages.
Nanak! Those whom the Guru has bestowed Nam in the heart and freed from all flaws have become the epitome of bliss in the love of the Divine.
     Guru Granth Sahib, 99

As we celebrate Bandi Chor Divas, the values of human dignity and liberty continue to resonate deeply within Sikhs, guiding them globally in the pursuit of justice.

While commemorating this event, let us move beyond ritualistic celebrations and contemplate the Guru-gifted values of dignity, liberty, and justice for all.

However, let this journey commence from within ourselves first!

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