Washington, Nov 7, The 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, the founder of Sikhism, was celebrated here with an evening of divine classical music. Guru Nanak Jayanti also known as Gurpurab and Prakash Utsav marks the birthday of the first Sikh Guru Guru Nanak. It is one of the most sacred festivals in Sikhism and is celebrated by Hindus also with equal fervour. This year November 4 was marked as Guru Nanak Jayanti. (350th birth anniversary Guru Gobind Singh).“It’s a universal message and a message of global importance,” said Navtej Singh Sarna, Indian Ambassador to the US, during a panel discussion ahead of the music performance by The Raj Academy Conservatoire. The Indian-American Congressman from Illinois, Ro Khanna, was among those who attended the escalating musical concert along with the Singaporean Ambassador to the US.Organised by the Indian Embassy in association with the Asian Cultural History Programme of the prestigious Smithsonian Institution, a large number of Sikhs from in and around Washington and several from across the country gathered here yesterday to celebrate the 350th years of the legacy of Guru Gobind Singh. Sarna, who is considered as an authority on Sikhism, said the 10th Guru was a person as “accomplished” and “multi- talented” whose preaching has universal relevance and acceptance.“His message, his story, his work is far too important to be contained so to speak to one community, or one state or one country. It’s a universal message and a message of global importance,” Sarna said. Eminent Sikh scholars also participated in panel discussions on “Guru Gobind Singh and his legacy” with presentations by Paul Michael Taylor, Nikky-Gurinder Kaur Singh, Jasvir Kaur Rababan, Sonia Dhami, Cristin McNight Sethi and Surinder Singh.
Prof Nikky-Guninder K Singh, Crawford Family Professor at Colby College in Maine, said Sikhs have come a long way indeed in the US. “Centuries earlier, the 10th Sikh Guru, born in 1666 in Patna had kindled the fire of freedom in our hearts and minds,” she said as she shared with the audience the “four freedom fires” he ignited. The message of the 10th Guru, she asserted, is very much relevant to the present times. “Indeed, it is universal,” Kaur Singh said. (350th birth anniversary Guru Gobind Singh) PTI
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