Embracing Divine Radiance: Guru Nanak Sahib's Illumination Celebration

November 27, 2023
Hindus (seek) Ganga and Banaras, Muslims (seek) Mecca-Kaba.
But the populace (similarly) sang of the Baba (Nanak) with mridang(drum) and rabab (stringed instrument) resounding.
The Divine wonder arrived as an epitome of love and devotion to uplift the fallen.
Four divisions of varan made way for the one (unity) in the Sangat, to liberate (all).
Like sandalwood makes the surrounding vegetation fragrant (everyone was uplifted to) one status/stature (in the Sangat), eliminating second and third.
Everyone is within the (Divine) Will, who in Nature can deny (this development).
The all-wise Guru of the entire humankind has become evident now.
     Bhai Gurdas Var 24, Pauri 4


Today marks the Prakash Purab (illumination celebration) of Guru Nanak Sahib's arrival in the physical world nearly five and a half centuries ago. As the fountainhead of the Divine lineage of the Gurus, Guru Nanak Sahib is revered as the origin of all wisdom (jot) and its practice (jugat). This is why Guru Nanak Sahib is hailed as the greatest embodiment of the Divine and the Guru for all humanity, both within the Guru Granth Sahib and in the broader Sikh tradition.

Upon his arrival, the Guru transformed every heart and household into a dharamsal, a dwelling of righteousness or Divine Principle. Kindled by love for the Guru, Sikhs would gather to sing praises of the Divine through the Bani (utterances) of the Guru.

This laid the foundation of the broader Sangat (Guru-Wisdom oriented gatherings), which later evolved into the Guru Khalsa-Panth (the Sikh collective). This collective became the physical manifestation of the Guru, practicing (jugat) and embodying the wisdom (jot) contained in the Guru Granth Sahib.

Since then, the Sangat has remained the cornerstone of Sikhi and Sikh life. According to Bhai Gurdas, when the Sidhs asked Guru Nanak Sahib about the miracles he had performed to influence everyone, Guru Nanak Sahib replied that there is no miracle except for the Wisdom (Sabad) and the gathering of the Guru-Wisdom-oriented virtuous beings:

ਗੁਰੁ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਬਾਣੀ ਬਿਨਾ ਦੂਜੀ ਓਟ ਨਹੀ ਹੈ ਰਾਈ।
     Bhai Gurdas Var 1 Pauri 42


Just as we light candles to commemorate this occasion, may the Sabad radiate within us, and may the Sangat be at the heart of this celebration.

May the glory of Divine love echo continuously within us and among the Sangats around us, much like the mridang and rabab did five-plus centuries ago.

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