In a stirring display of faith and reverence, thousands of devotees gathered to mark the first Parkash Gurpurb (enshrinement day) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The sacred precincts of Sachkhand Sri Harmandir Sahib and Gurdwara Sri Ramsar Sahib resonated with devotion as the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) orchestrated a series of captivating events to commemorate this historic day.
While the city of Sri Amritsar had been immersed in a series of religious observances over the past several days, the crescendo of the celebration was reached with a grand Nagar Kirtan (religious procession) that unfurled its splendor from Gurdwara Sri Ramsar Sahib to the hallowed grounds of Sachkhand Sri Harmandir Sahib.
Under the benevolent gaze of Guru Granth Sahib, this Nagar Kirtan, led by the Panj Piaras (five beloved ones), and graced by the presence of Head Granthi of Sri Harimandar Sahib, Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib Giani Raghbir Singh, and SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami, commenced with the honoring of Nishanchi (flag bearers) and Nagarchi (drum beaters) with the sacred siropao (robe of honor). The vibrant atmosphere was further enriched by the presence of numerous Panthic luminaries and the devout Sangat at Gurdwara Ramsar Sahib.
Before the Nagar Kirtan embarked on its spiritual journey, the concluding ceremony of Sri Akhand Path Sahib (uninterrupted recitation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib) was performed, accompanied by the soul-stirring Gurbani Kirtan by hazuri ragi jathas. Giani Raghbir Singh, in his address, extended heartfelt congratulations to the devotees on the occasion of the first Parkash Gurpurb and emphasized the paramount role of Sri Guru Granth Sahib as the guiding light for Sikhs. He recounted the historical significance of Sri Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru, personally compiling Sri Guru Granth Sahib in 1604 and initiating the tradition of Granthis with the honorable service offered to Baba Budha Ji.
Jathedar Giani Raghbir Singh underscored the enduring tradition of devotees gathering on the occasion of the first Parkash Gurpurb to pay their profound respects to the holy Guru Granth Sahib. He encouraged the Sangat to embrace the teachings of Sikh Gurus encapsulated in the holy Gurbani and to lead lives in accordance with Gurmat.
Amidst the Nagar Kirtan, the fervor of Sikh youth shone through captivating Gatka performances and impassioned renditions of Gurbani. The spiritual journey was punctuated with langar (community kitchen food) offerings, a testament to the spirit of communal harmony and generosity that defines Sikh traditions.
The procession boasted a distinguished presence including SGPC General Secretary Bhai Gurcharan Singh Grewal, Executive Member Surjit Singh Tughalwal, Bibi Gurinder Kaur Bholuwala, and other esteemed personalities. DCP Praminder Singh Bhandal, Federation Leader Amarbir Singh Dhot, and several other dignitaries graced the event with their presence, a testament to the reverence and significance of this auspicious day.
The grandeur extended beyond the Nagar Kirtan as Sri Harmandir Sahib, Sri Akal Takht Sahib, and Gurdwara Baba Atal Rai Sahib shimmered with resplendent decorations. A kaleidoscope of colorful flowers adorned the precincts, capturing the attention of all who beheld them. A staggering 50 to 70 tons of flowers, offerings from devoted souls, were meticulously arranged to create this visual masterpiece. As dusk descended, the shimmering lights illuminated the facades of Sri Harmandir Sahib and Gurdwara Ramsar Sahib, adding a magical aura to the evening’s festivities.
Within the sacred congregation at Gurdwara Sri Manji Sahib, raagis, dhadis, and kavishars masterfully intertwined their talents to connect the Sangat with the divine praise of the Guru.
In the midst of these joyous celebrations, SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami delivered an impassioned address, offering his felicitations to the Sangat on this sacred day. He reminded the faithful that Gurbani holds the solutions to all human dilemmas and that it serves as a guiding light for a contented life. His call to safeguard the precious values of Gurbani resonated deeply with the assembled devotees.
The first Parkash Gurpurb of Sri Guru Granth Sahib had not only been commemorated but had also been celebrated with a fervor that transcended time and tradition. It was a day when faith illuminated hearts and flowers adorned the path to enlightenment, a day that etched its memory in the annals of devotion.