Chandigarh: Braving early morning chill, devotees made a beeline at the Gurudwaras across Punjab and Haryana to celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanti on Wednesday amid tight security arrangements.
Chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana have greeted people on the occasion. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has urged people to celebrate this sacred occasion by rising above the parochial considerations of caste, creed and religion.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that Guru Nanak's teachings are still relevant today in the 'present complex and materialistic society'.
Gurdwaras have been decorated and illuminated with colourful electric lights on the 547th birthday of the first Guru. After Diwali had remained a low-key affair for Sikhs with no lighting and fireworks at their houses and in Gurdwaras, including the Golden Temple, due to repeated desecration incidents of their holy book Guru Granth Sahib, the Avtar Purb of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, was being celebrated on Wednesday with traditional zeal and fervour.
The devotees thronged Golden Temple in Amritsar, besides Talwandi Sabo, Anandpur Sahib and other Gurdwaras in Punjab, including those in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Pathankot, Mohali and Ropar.
At Harmandar Sahib in Amritsar, popularly known as the Golden Temple, devotees started pouring in since early on Wednesday.
In Chandigarh, people paid obeisance at the Gurdwaras. There was heavy rush of devotees at the Sector 34 Gurdwara. Gurpurab was being celebrated across Haryana as well, including in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Sirsa, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Fatehabad.
Community kitchens or 'langars' were organised at the gurdwaras across the two states and Chandigarh. Tight security arrangements were made at the famous Gurdwaras in the region, officials said. SGPC member Sarwan Singh Kullar said that 'deepmala' will be done in Gurdwaras and at the housetops of devotees later in the night along with the fireworks.
On the occasion of Gurpurab, many Sikh and other leaders have underlined the need of following in letter and spirit Guru Nanak Dev's philosophy of 'Sarbat da bhala' (well-being of all), universal brotherhood, egalitarian social order, equality-based casteless system and respect to womenkind to end gender bias.
Greeting the people on the occasion, Chief Minister Badal has appealed them to imbibe the spirit of service and humility as preached by the great Guru and strive hard for carving out a peaceful, prosperous and healthy society by following the precious legacy of the Sikhism founder.
Extending his greetings, Khattar said that Guru Nanak showed the people the path of salvation by spreading the message of love, compassion and spirituality among mankind and said his teachings are still relevant today in the present complex and materialistic society.
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