“He who has no faith in himself can never have faith in God”, the valuable words said by the first Sikh Guru and founder of Sikh religion- Guru Nanak Sahab. He introduced the concept of self-confidence/self-reliance and the most popular “God is one”. He said that “if you believe in God then first believe in yourself”. Guru Nanak Dev was born on April 15, 1469 but people celebrate his birth anniversary as Gurparab in “Kartik maas” which usually falls in the month of October and November or fifteen days after Diwali. There is a controversy between various scholars and religious community about this celebration. Few people believe that it should be celebrated on 15th April as per Nanakshi Calender provided by Akal Takht. But the childhood friend and devotee of Gurunanak believe that Gurunanak was born on the full moon night of Kartik month so the celebration should be in the month of kartik. Hindu rituals says, Kartik is the purest month of the year and science says that Purnima (full moon night) is the night when our entire earth gets the whole pleasant light of moon. This was the day when Sikhism took birth.
The world celebrates Guruparab to admire this adorable soul and to remember his lessons with pure heart. On this pious occassion Devotees visit Gurudwaras for Ardas and to seek blessings. Golden Temple of Amritsar in India and Kartarpur of Pakistan is the most favoured place for Sikh devotees. It is quite interesting that the Amritsar in India and Kartarpur in Pakistan, both the places lies in the state of Punjab in different countries. During this special festival, lakhs of devotees from different countries come to India to visit the Golden Temple. During celebration, Government of India is on high alert for the safety and comfortability of devotees. Indian Railways also started special trains from specific routes. During the season, IRCTC and its catering partners work tirelessly to serve pure veg food in train to the devotees on demand. Passengers can prefer them to order online via RailRestro app and get it delivered right to the berth.
With the title of Gurpurb or Prakash Yatra, Guru Nanak Jayanti is devoted to all the ten gurus of Sikhism. But not only Sikhs, people from other community also follow the lessons of Guru Nanak Sahab and celebrate Gurpurb with immense fervour. It’s a special occasion dedicated to show veneration to the Guru Sahab who contributed to shape the Sikh religion and taught the entire world his lessons like “all religions are equal” and “there is one God”. All Gurus of Sikhism taught us unique lessons that help to bind all human being with each other. Some of the guidelines/works of them are listed below:
- Guru Nanak Sahib Ji: Guru Nanak ji taught us that “There is only one God and we can directly reach to him without following any rituals.
- Guru Angad Sahib Ji: He is famous for his great devotion towards Guru Nanak dev. He served many years of his life in taking care of Guru Nanak Sahib Ji.
- Guru Amar Das: He brought the concept of Langar system. He believes in equality. According to him no one should sleep without having meal.
- Guru Ram Das: He served his whole life as the leader of Sikh religion. He was the founder of the holy city Amritsar and established the Golden Temple also known as Gurudwara Harmandir Sahib. He composed many Hymns which are called as Laavan used to read during marriage in Sikh religions.
- Guru Arjan Sahib Ji: He compiled the first official edition of Sikh scripture known as Adi Granth, later known as Guru Granth Sahib.
- Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji: He introduced the first Sikh Martyr, developed the Sikh Military and gives the Sikhs a military character.
- Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji: He started singing tradition in this religion, known as Katha and maintained the Sikh Military.
- Guru Har Krishna Sahib Ji: He is the youngest guru of Sikhs. He proves that ages are just a number. He died before his eightieth birthday, due to chicken pox.
- Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji:He fought for the rights of all religions freedom.
- Guru Gobind Sahib Ji: He created the Khalsa (pure) for social justice with nationalism and patriotism. He had introduced the 5K concept to the Sikhs, 5k stands for Kesh, Kara, Kanga, Kachha, Kripan.
How Prakash Parv is celebrated in the Golden Temple, Amritsar:
This year, Kartik Purnima will fall on 11th November and ends on 12th November. It’s the auspicious time when Gurpurab is celebrated. A 48 hours Akhand path – non-stop reading of the Sikh’s holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, will begin on 11th November. On this day, drummers make the show for alerting people about the Rath of Guru Nanak Sahib. Devotees clean the road for Palki procession and distribute free food and drinks to everyone. They offer flowers on the roads from where the procession has to be taken forward.
The participants in the procession perform adventurous activities like Talwar bazi. Just before the Palki, one can see the group of five people wearing same dress, known as Panj Piyare, carrying the flag of Guru Sahib followed by a lavishly decorated palki. It contains a photo of Guru Sahib where devotees go near it and pray for their bright future. A devotee seated on the Palki, distributes Prasad among the people.
Except this Rath yatra, Golden Temple and all Gurudwaras are decorated like a new bride. People decorate their house with flowers, lights and diyas as like they celebrate Diwali. They visit Gurudwara for blessings and to have the divine meal called Langar. A mouth-watering Karha Prasad is served among the devotees. It is believed that the amount of food cooked for langar is the same amount would be referred to feed half U.S.A for a day.
The Gurus devoted their life in social work. Since they taught us valuable lessons related to humanity, so people consider them as the messenger of God. To respect the devotee’s emotion and their spirituality, the Indian Railways has started many special trains from New Delhi, the capital city of our country to the spiritual city of Sikhs – Amritsar. Many of these special trains do not have their own pantry car. For getting hygienic food in train, you can order your food from RailRestro – an official e-catering partner of IRCTC. There are total 26 trains running with the gap of few hours and fortunately many of them start its journey from New Delhi (NDLS) railways station. So if you are Indian or a foreign tourist, land to New Delhi station or Hazarat Nazzamudhin, then you can check these trains to travel for Amritsar.
Trains from New Delhi to Amritsar
15707 – KIR-ASR Express – It arrives at Delhi station at 2:55 am and reaches at Amritsar at 12:45 on next day.
11057 – Amritsar Express – It reaches at New Delhi railway station on 4:15 and departs for Amritsar at 4:30. After completing 502 km of railway journey it reaches at Amritsar 16:30 pm.
18237 – Chhatisgarh Express – After reaching Gaziabad at 21:28 it starts running after 2 minutes of arrival and reaches at Amritsar Railway station at the morning of next day at 8:10 am.
18101 – TATA MURI –HTE-JAT Express –Board from New Delhi in the night at 21:35 and it reaches at Amritsar on next day at 7:50 AM.
12497 – Shane Punjab Express – Its source station is New Delhi so it starts its journey at 6:40 and completes its journey after reaching at Amritsar railway station at 14:25 PM. While traveling via superfast express trains you can order food in train via RailRestro.
12925 – Paschim Express – It starts its journey from Bandra Terminus at 12:00 AM, reaches New Delhi on second day at 10:40 am.
12715 – NED-ASR Sachkhand Express – Either you want to start your journey from Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station or New Delhi Railway station, avail the discount offers on your meal by food for train journey after your boarding at 11:46/12:10 to 20:25, before reaching Amritasar.
12459 – ASR-NDLS Express – This superfast express train starts its journey from New Delhi at 13:40 and reaches Amritsar at 21:45.
12903 – Goldentemple ML – After reaching Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station at 18:45, it starts its journey at 19:00 and reaches Amritsar on next day morning at 5:30.
12013 – NDLS-ASR Shatabdi Express – It’s the only Shatabdi trains that run daily from New Delhi to Amritsar. Starting journey at 16:30 from New Delhi railway station it reached at the holy city of Sikh – Amritsar at 22:30.
18215 – DURG JAT Express (Arrival at New Delhi – 7:50; Reaches at Amritsar – 15:35; runs on Thursday)
14649 – Saryu-Yamuna Express (Arrival at Delhi- 10:50; Reaches at Amritsar – 23:55; runs on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday)
14673 – Shaheed Express (Arrival at Delhi – 10:50; Reaches at Amritsar – 23:55; runs on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday)
19325 – IND Amritsar Express (Arrival at Hazrat Nizamuddin- 11:25; Reaches at Amritsar – 21:05; runs on Wednesday and Saturday)
18507 – VSKP-ASR Hirakund Express (Arrival at New Delhi – 15:00; Reaches at Amritsar – 23:30; runs on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday)
22429 – DLI-PTK Express (Arrival at Delhi– 8:25; Reaches at Amritsar – 15:35; runs on all days except Thursday and Sunday)
12483 – KCVL Express (Arrival at New Delhi – 11:50; Reaches at Amritsar -19:45; runs on Friday)
12379 – Jaliawalabagh Express (Arrival at Delhi- 12:05; Reaches at Amritsar – 19:45; runs on Saturday)
12421 – NED-ASR Superfast Express (Arrival at New Delhi- 13:00; Reaches at Amritsar – 22:05; runs on Wednesday)
22125 – NGP-ASR AC Express (Arrival at New Delhi- 13:35; Reaches at Amritsar – 21:05; runs on Saturday)
12029 – Swarna Shatabdi Express (Arrival at New Delhi– 7:20; Reaches at Amritsar – 13:45; runs on – all days except Thursday and Sunday)
12031 – NDLS ASR Shatabdi Express (Arrival at New Delhi- 7:20; Reaches at Amritsar – 13:45; runs on Thursday)
12203 – Garibrath Express (Arrival at New Delhi- 13:55; Reaches at Amritsar – 21:05; runs on Sunday, Monday and Thursday)
08427 – PURI-ASR EXP SPL (Arrival at New Delhi- 14:40; Reaches at Amritsar – 23:30; runs on Monday)
01707 – JBP-ATT Weekly Special (Arrival at New Delhi – 23:00; Reaches at Amritsar – 10:45; runs on Tuesday)
01709 – JBP-ATT Weekly Special (Arrival at New Delhi – 23:10; Reaches at Amritsar – 10:45; runs on Saturday)
Known by different names either Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurpurab, or Guru Nanak’s Prakash Utsav or Guru Nanak Dev Ji Jayanti, the festival signifies the celebration of “Birth of Guru” and his teachings followed all over the world. It empowers the inner strength and also focuses on the word “Guru” as no one in the world can be successful without blessings of a Guru. He beautifully quotes:
“Let no man in the world live in delusion. Without a Guru none can cross over to the other shore-Guru NanaK.