Address by Governor on the occasion of the Kirtan Darbar organized by the 350th Birth Anniversary Celebrations Committee on the occasion of the 350th Prakash Purab of Guru Gobind Singh
Address by Shri Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra on the occasion of the Kirtan Darbar organized by the 350th Birth Anniversary Celebrations Committee on the occasion of the 350th Prakash Purab of Guru Gobind Singh at Banquet Hall, Raj Bhavan, Mumbai at 6 pm on Saturday 28th January 2017
Shri Avinash Jayaswal Ji, Dr Avatar Shastri, Shri Daljit Singh Bal, President, Maharashtra Sikh Association, Padmashree Vikramjit Singh Sahney, Shri S S Hanspal, Shri Rajan Khanna, Shri S Bal Malkit Singh, Coordinator of today’s programme, Shri Iqbal Singh Matharu, office bearers of the 350th Prakash Parv Celebrations Committee, all eminent personalities coming from different parts of Maharashtra, Guru Pyari Sadh Sangat, sisters and brothers,
Vahi Guru ji ka Khalsa
Vahi Guru ji ki Fateh
Good evening and greetings to you.
I am truly blessed that the Holiest Sikh Guru – Guru Granth Sahib Ji is present amidst us today.
I am extremely happy to associate myself with the 350th Prakash Parva of Saheb Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj.
I extend my warm welcome to the entire Guru Sadh Sangat to Raj Bhavan on this day.
This is a day of great significance for Raj Bhavan.
According to the old records of Raj Bhavan, the Banquet Hall, where all of us have assembled today, was built by the British Governors between the years 1869 and 1875. It was built in commemoration of the visit of the Prince of Wales who later became King Edward VII.
This Hall has witnessed Royal visits, Darbars, Balls and Banquets. After Independence, it has witnessed State visits and Banquets in honour of Presidents and Prime Ministers of several countries.
Today, Raj Bhavan is honoured to be hosting the Kirtan Darbar and Gurbani Recitation.
At the personal level, I am feeling blessed and deeply honoured.
During my graduating years, I had spent four years of my life in Nanded. I had the good fortune of partaking the langer at the Holy Sachkhand Gurudwara on many occasions.
मै हमेशा कहता हू कि, मैने गुरु के घर का नमक खाया है !! मेरा सौभाग्य है कि आज गुरु साहिबान यहा पधारे है !
I congratulate each one of you to be a part of this historic event in Mumbai.
Sisters and Brothers,
It is only appropriate that we are celebrating the 350th birth anniversary of Saheb Guru Gobind Singh Ji in Maharashtra.
Guru Gobind Singh ji was born in Patna Sahib. However he came to Nanded – in those days it was part of the old Hyderabad State – and spent the last few years of his life in Nanded.
It was in Nanded that Guru Saheb laid down his mortal body and left for the heavenly abode.
Maharashtra is central to Sikhism for one more reason.
It was in Nanded that Guru Gobind Singh Ji declared Adi Granth as the Guru of Sikhism. He thus bestowed upon humanity the Mother of all Scriptures, the Guru Granth Sahib.
After today’s function, I am going to ask the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadnavis Ji to organize a grand function in Maharashtra to commemorate this historic occasion in a befitting manner.
Sisters and Brothers,
The entire sequence of the arrival of Guru Nanak Ji, the establishment of Sikhism by His Noble Self, the incarnation of the other Guru Sahibans in the Sikh tradition and finally, the establishment of Khalsa Panth by Guru Gobind Singh Ji was truly a divine phenomenon.
The nation and the Dharma was passing through extremely turbulent phase when the Guru Sahibans incarnated.
People were steeped in the darkness of ignorance, poverty, superstition and blind faith. The Mughals were running amok with their agenda of hatred, religious persecution and forcible conversion.
The arrival of the Guru Sahibans reminds me of the assurance of Lord Krishna given in the Bhagwad Gita:
परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् ।
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ॥४-८॥
By the time, Guru Gobind Singh Ji incarnated, the foul smell of atrocities perpetrated by the Mughal rulers had touched the heavens. Despite losing his father Guru Teg Bahadur Ji and his four brave sons, Guru Gobind Singh did not lose faith in the power of unity of the people. He embarked on the Dharam Yudh to save the Sanatan Dharma and humanity. He was thus a savior of the Sanatana Dharma and Sikhism.
The life of Guru Gobind Singh ji is thus a saga of bravery, supreme sacrifice, exemplary courage, divine vision and love for true religion.
It can be said that the beautiful sapling of Sikhism planted by Guru Nanak Dev Ji was nurtured into a magnificent tree by Sant Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
The greatest contribution of Guru Gobind Singh Ji was creating the pure Khalsa Panth as a class of individually realized souls, who are socially responsible and who are ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of truth and righteousness.
Inspired by the teachings of Guru Gobind Singh ji, the Sikhs went on to play a leading role in India’s freedom movement. In fact modern history of India would be incomplete without a reference to the glorious contributions of Sikhs in every agitation for the liberation of Motherland.
This tradition of serving the Nation has been continued by the Sikhs even after Independence and the Sikhs have contributed among the largest number of Jawans and officers to the Armed Forces of India.
The credit for this lofty tradition entirely goes to Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Today, the Sikhs have spread all over the world. There is hardly any field which the Sikhs have not conquered. Maharashtra is proud of the Sikhs. India is proud of the Sikhs and the world is proud of the Sikhs.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Maharashtra and Punjab are lands of saints and social reformers. The two States may be separated geographically by a distance of 1500 kilomters, but Maharashtra and Punjab are spiritually closest to one another.
Sant Namdev, also known as Bhagat Namdeo took the message of Bhakti tradition to Punjab way back in the 13th Century. It is a matter of immense pride for the people of Maharashtra that 61 hymns of Sant Namdeo have been incorporated in the Holy Guru Granth Sahib.
Guru Gobind Singh ji further strengthened these bonds of spiritual exchange between Maharashtra and Punjab through his preaching.
Time has come to renew, rejuvenate and further strengthen these bonds of brotherhood.
In this 350th year of Prakash Parva, we must take up a project to translate Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s works such as Dasam Granth in Marathi and in other languages. We must undertake the work of translation of all other Sikh scriptures and literature in various Indian languages.
As Chancellor of Universities in Maharashtra, I wish to see close cooperation between universities in Maharashtra and Universities in Punjab.
I quite feel that thought must be given to creating a Global University of Sikhism to conduct research and promote the study of Sikh religion and scriptures.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji had the vision for abolition of castes. He stood for empowerment of women. He also had the vision for national integration.
The Panj Pyares he chose, belonged to different castes and came from different regions of India. He initiated men and women from different castes into Khalsa and set an example of equality of man before God.
On this occasion of the 350th Prakash Parv of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, I pay my pranaams to Saheb Guru Gobind Singh Ji and to all Guru Sahibans.
Let us strive to create a society of the dreams of Guru Gobind Singh Saheb.
Vahi Guru ji ka Khalsa
Vahi Guru ji ki Fateh