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Walnut Gurdwara Celebrates Nanakshahi New Year on March 14, 2008


Los Angeles, March 15, 2008
Raj Grewal

Management Committee and Board Of Directors of Shri Guru Singh Sabha-Walnut has celebrated 540th Nanakshai year (1st Chetar ) on Friday, 14th March 2008.

President Sahib Singh Bhullar (left),Surinder Singh Bhogal (3rd)-President "FIA-SC", management team and other sewadars

The program was so amazing and well organized. Families from all communities came with friends to enjoy Melodious Kirtan, Fire Works, Varities of Indian Foods and Snacks in different Stalls.

Swaran Singh Dabgotra-ex Chairman and Gurbax Singh Bhasin- entrepreneur and well known Businessman with their families

Families and Friends Wished Happy New Year after Ardas Sikh Kaum Di Chardi Kala Lai and Guru Ka Langer was served from 7:30 onwards.

Nanakshahi calendar is a solar calendar that was adopted by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee to determine the dates for important Sikh events. It was designed by Pal Singh Purewal to replace the Hindu calendar and has been in use since 1998. The epoch of this calendar is the birth of the first Sikh Guru, Nanak Dev in 1469. New Year's Day falls annually on what is March 14 in the Gregorian Western calendar.

Rationale of Nanakshahi Calendar

The Sikhs have been celebrating the important days of the Gurus, as Bhai Gurdas - 17th century exponent of the Sikhism - has stated "Balhar tina Gursikhan bhav bhagat Gurpurb Karande" (I am sacrifice to those Sikhs who celebrate the days of Guru with devotion). The Sikhs have therefore, been in constant quest to find the actual date relating to birth, succession and death of the Gurus. The literature of Gurparnalis is the result of this quest. Bhai Randhir Singh has compiled these Gurparnalis which were published by the S.G.P.C., and had tried to find out correct dates with the help of newly discovered Bhatt Vahis. But more scientific work was of Karam Singh who first wrote "Katak Ke Vaisakh" to find out the correct date of birth of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. Later on, he wrote "Gurpurb Nirnay" in which he has discussed and worked out the birth dates, succession dates and death dates, of the Gurus. His findings are mostly considered correct. He has correlated these dates to the common calendar.

Some people allege say that following his whims one N.R.I. has converted Guru’s dates to solar reckoning. This is not correct. The late Karam Singh, who has done pioneering work in Sikh history research, wrote in his monograph Gurpurb Nirnay (published by Patiala state in 1912 A.D.) that the dates fixed by lunar calculation are variable every year. They cannot be fixed once for all. Moreover, if we celebrate Guru’s dates by lunar calculation we shall be celebrating the day before or after the actual date. We can find the exact date by solar calculation only. Similarly, late Prof. Sahib Singh, the great theologian wrote in 1948: "Having lunar calculation the Sikhs had started believing in tithis, which is against the Sikhs way of life (Gurmat). We should delink Gurus from lunar calendar".

Recently, laud able attempt has been made in preparing the new Sikh Almanac, popularly known as Nanakshahi Jantri, by making two fold reforms. The Bikarmi dates relating to the Gurus has been converted to the common calculator Christian calendar prevalent in all the countries. Secondly, uniformity in the length of months has been brought. Though Amavas and Puranmashis have been shown in the Nanakshahi Jantri but the Gurpurb dates have been linked with the solar calculation, and delinked from lunar calculation.

It may be noted here that calendar reform is not in violation of any religious principles. The Christians have twice reformed their calendar: once on 5th October 1582 and, for second time, on 2nd September 1752. Pope Gregory reformed the calendar. It is unfortunate that the Sikhs who have been spearheading reform in every field are now bogged down with needless controversy over the calendar reforms which have been overdue for long.




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