Oct 31, 2008

India - Rousing welcome to Guru Granth Sahib

S.Harpal Singh

NANDED (MAHARASHTRA): The Guru Granth Sahib was given a rousing welcome at the Takhat Sachkhand Shri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Gurdwara here on Thursday as it arrived for consecration in connection with 300 years of its elevation as the eternal Guru of Sikhs.

This Gurdwara is central to the ‘Gurta Gaddi’ celebrations, for which pilgrims from across the world have been registering since October 27 when the festivities actually began. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was among the devotees who paid their obeisance at the Gurdwara on Thursday.

Music and colours that are typical of Sikhs characterised the Gurta Gaddi ‘nagar keertan’ procession, which started in the morning from the Nagina Ghat Sahib Gurdwara on the banks of Godavari. The Guru Granth Sahib was carried in a ‘palki’ (palanquin) placed in a specially designed vehicle.

The Gurta Gaddi diwas was one of the two most important days, the other being the observance of Guru Gobind Singh’s ‘parlok gaman’ (departure for the heavenly abode) on November 3.

The straight road between the two Gurdwaras was choked with an estimated 3 lakh pilgrims. The bright saffron and blue of the Nihangs and Akalis and the white clothes worn by other devotees lent colour to the procession. Devotees danced ‘bhangda’ to the robust beats of the dhol and the band and sang devotional songs. Some marched to Sikh martial tunes. The bhangda dance provided for the folk component, while the keertans gave a touch of devotion. The martial slogan Bole so nihal ... Sat Sri Akal and the tune Deh Shiva bar mohe ehe shubh karman te kabhon na taraun ... ” complemented the other kinds of music.

The sacred Guru Granth Sahib was received at the main gate amid the ‘shastra salami’ of swords. The process of enthroning it included its ‘prakash’ and application of sandalwood tilak and aarti. The Guru Granth Sahib was opened at random for the ‘hukamnama’ or the edict for the day.

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