Sikh Temple, Garland Celebrates Guru Nanak’s 544th Birth Anniversary

Foundation stone for extension of building laid

GARLAND, TX (TIP): Gurdwara (the Sikh shrine) Sikh Temple, Garland celebrated with zeal and enthusiasm the 544th birth anniversary of their First Master, Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Sunday, November 17. Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji is believed to have come in to this world on April 15, 1469. A great saint, philosopher and a social reformer, Guru Nanak Dev Ji revolutionized the way of life of a whole people. He came to have a large following and his followers came to be known as Sikhs whom the Tenth Master, Shri Guru Gobind Singh, gave a definite form and prescribed a way of life.

There are nearly 25 million Sikhs across the world, of whom about half a million are in the USA. The 48 hour non stop recitation of the Sikh Holy Scripture Shri Guru Granth Sahib is mandatory for all special occasions. Thus, after the recitation of Shri Guru Granth sahib over a period of two full days, a kirtan darbar (hymn singing session) was held at which a large number of the sangat (congregation) was present. The Raagis (bards or singers of hymns) gave a recital of Gurbani.

They included Bhai Malkit Singh, Bhai Fateh Singh and Bhai Bhuchar Singh. It was a humbling experience to watch the Sikhs following their Living Master, Shri Guru Granth Sahib in to the sanctum sanctorum where He was seated on a raised seat called Palaki Sahib. The usual practice of changing Nishan Sahib (the Sikh Flag) was conducted amidst prayers and slogans of glory to God and to the Sect (panth). The management of the Gurdwara has been planning to add to the existing building, more rooms for the existing school for children and the langar hall (community kitchen).

On this auspicious day, the ceremony of breaking the ground for extension of the building was performed by the Panj Piaras (Five Beloved Sikhs of Guru Gobind Singh, the Creator of the Khalsa panth). Speaking n the occasion, the Secretary of the Gurdwara Bhai Manmohan Singh said the need for the bigger school building for children and a more spacious langar hall was felt for quite some time. He expressed his gratitude to God for having initiated construction work of the extension of the building on the auspicious day of the birth anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

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He added that besides God’s grace, it is the charity of the Sikh congregation who have donated generously for the project. He thanked and blessed each one of the donors, whatever the amount of donation. The Mukh Sevadar (President) of the Gurdwara Bhai Manjit Singh Sahota, in an interview with The Indian Panorama, underscored the importance of a school for children. He said our younger generation needs to be informed and educated about Sikh history and philosophy. They need to be told about the rich cultural heritage of the Sikhs.

It is important to have a school to educate our children if we wish to preserve our culture and heritage. He said he would take the opportunity to thank, on behalf of the managing committee of the Gurdwara, the Sikh congregation of the Gurdwara for all their cooperation and conveyed his greetings to the Sikhs all across the world on the auspicious occasion of the 544th birth anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

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