One Word About Nanded
Before placing 300 Saal Guru de Naal - the sacred Tercentenary Celebrations at Nanded, Maharashtra into its real perspective, we may need to say a word about Nanded itself. For, destiny brought the Tenth Sikh lord, guru Gobind Singhji, to spend not more than a month of his worldly journey here. Even during that short period of time, the Guru, as a volcano of creativity, so fine tuned the KHALSA in his last few days that it became the first & only corporate religion of the world, & complete in all aspects.
The great events that mark his last days are: One, exalting Sri Guru Granth Sahib, to the status of the Word Guru that places each Sikh into immanent protection of the Guru himself, making him deathless in defense of truth & justice, & two, putting an end to his own worldly journey, yes of his own volition.
This explains why the exalting of Sri Guru granth Sahib is called as "GURTA GADDI" in the Sikh tradition & the 2nd event is called "Parlokgaman" or heavenly journey of the Guru. These two events took place on October 5 & October 7-8, 1708, respectively.
Additionally, it was from Nanded that Gurujisent Banda Singh Bahadur as the first Jathedar of the Sikh Panth to Punjab to fight the Moghuls. It is he who shook the Moghul empire to its very foundations.
Another great importance of Nanded is that the sacred Godavari alias the Ganga of the South flows through this town & hence it was a great centre of spiritual quest even in earlier times.
For Sikhs,300 Saal Guru de Naal - the Tercentenary Celebrations of these 2 great events in 2008, will mean rededicating themselves to the Guru.
The Tercentenary Celebrations – 300 Saal Guru de Naal
The Sikhs have, in life and history, done everything they do in style. These tercentenary celebrations are no exception. These shall, therefore, reflect the same spirit & scale. Of the 20 million Sikhs all the world over, at least 2.5 million are expected to pay their homage to the sacred memory of Guru Gobind Singhji or the Tenth Nanak, on this occasion.
What it means is that one in every eight Sikhs shall visit Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded during these festivities. It will mean that an important new tourist attraction in India shall emerge on the tourism map of the world. It will no longer remain a small & sleepy place that it has so far remained.
Several projects of great proportions are therefore being undertaken to make these celebrations a signal success in keeping with the noble Sikh traditions. Not just that, it shall hopefully change the very face of this town. But mind you, it shall not just be a brick-and-mortar affair. That Nanded should pulsate with a new life ever afterwards is the endeavor underlying these celebrations. And besides it has to be a planned & coordinated effort to harmonize the spirit of Sikhism.
Obviously, it shall entail huge expenditure. While the Central & State governments are expected to contribute their mite, it shall mainly devolve upon the Takhat Sri Hazur Sahib Management to galvanize the world Sikhism to make maximum contributions to it, both in cash & kind, so as to live up to their high traditions. It will be like recreating another Amritsar or another Anandpur Sahib.
Let it also be recorded that Takhat Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib is one of the five takhats or centres of religious & spiritual power of the Sikh Panth. Of these 5 Takhats, 4 are related to the life & work of the Tenth Guru alone. It is therefore natural that Nanded should find a pride of place among them, for obvious reasons. Our total endeavor will be that it will really be so.
Jagriti Yatra Begins
On November 15TH 2007, began a unique yatra – Jagriti Yatra. Whilst spreading the teachings of the venerated Sikh Gurus, for the first time ever in history, the weapons of Sri Gobind Singhji will be showcased for ‘darshan’. The Jagriti Yatra will also carry ‘Teesri Shatabdi Samarpan Pustika’ a book that will compile ‘the worded faith’ of millions of devotees. Thereby immortalizing in ink, their feelings for the beloved guru.
The Yatra, in year’s span, will reach several places in India & the world. True to its name, the Jagriti Yatra will create an awakening imparting the message of One God and the welfare of the entire mankind, irrespective of religion, caste or creed.