BY: Surjit Singh Flora
City of Brampton Council member along with Members of Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Ahmadiyya community have gathered to celebrate the 550th birthday of their religion’s founder. Over 500 people were at the City Hall November 17th to sing, eat and honour the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
The Event Started with Oh Canada by Khalsa community School Children’s’ and Kirtan. Then Mayor Brown welcome everyone and said in his speech while wishing the Sikh Community for Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s 550th Gurpurb.
Guru Nanak’s message about living a simple way of life, through Kirt Karni, Naam Japna and Vand Shakna to live truthfully, to meditate and to live generously – is universal in nature and transcends religious lines.
Over the last few days, I’ve visited Gurdwaras throughout Brampton as the community marks this occasion and I have had the privilege to speak with residents and be inspired by the devotion I have seen first-hand.
His message of equality reminds us that whether one is a man or woman, a king or commoner, rich or poor, we all come into this world with nothing and we leave with nothing and as human beings, we are all equal.
His message to be compassionate and accept one another regardless of caste, colour or creed reminds us to be kind and to respect one another and most importantly, it gives us hope.
Last week, the monumental unveiling of the Kartarpur (Kartaarpour) Corridor alone was an example of how Guru Nanak’s message is universal and goes beyond religion. Dignitaries, communities and residents alike referred to his teachings as they shared their thoughts about the corridor.
We have witnessed communities come together to mark this occasion and reflect on the simple way of life that Guru Nanak encouraged us to live. He had revolutionary thoughts and was a man ahead of his time.
In recent months, the dialogue around the environment has gotten stronger and the City of Brampton declared a climate emergency. We are working to make changes that would reverse the effects we have had on our climate, so we planted 550 trees. He also said Guru Nanak was ahead of his time, I say it because in a daily prayer that Guru Nanak passed on to Sikhs, it ends with reminding us that Air is our teacher, Water our father, And the Great Earth our mother …
“Pavan guru paani pita, maata dhart mahat”
As I said, Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s teachings are universal and transcend religious lines. He reminds us to living simple lives filled with love, kindness and respect for one another and the world around us. I am honoured to stand here today with residents, council members and other dignitaries and commemorate Guru Nanak’s 550th birthday. To mark this occasion, we would like to present a proclamation.
From Gurdwara Jot Parkash Head Granthi Bahi Jaswant Singh former Chief Priest of Damdama Sahib Talwandi Sabo said in his speech that the Guru emphasised the need for inter-faith harmony and sustained dialogue among religions and religious communities. He travelled the world to promote the culture of dialogue among various religious groups, His message is that all religions have merit and it is necessary to learn from each other to ensure harmonious living. This message of Guru Nanak is as relevant today as it was when he lived. “If you go by the sayings of Guru Nanak Dev ji, he has stressed a lot on keeping the environment safe. We tell people in the community, don’t cut trees, “Guru Nanak Dev ji says ‘Air is our Guru, water is our father, the earth is our mother. They give us life, we sleep in their laps night and day, so we should not spoil them.”
Later Mayor brown honored him with plaque for his great services to Sikh community
After Brown Peel regional police deputy Chief Ingrid Berkeley wishes the Sikh Community and said Inspector Raj Birring that he’s great and hard-working officer, and they honored him with plaque.
While Counselor General Smt. Apoorva Srivastava from the Indian Embassy Canada also extended greeting on the occasion, saying Guru Nanak’s teachings of mutual love, truthfulness, brotherhood and righteousness are of eternal relevance having universal and timeless appeal that cut across the sectarian, communal and regional divides.
Also Deputy Consul General of Pakistant Mr. Muhammad Junaid, Urz Heer, Pastor Jamie Holtom, Pandit Rishi Acharya , Afshak Ahmed Secretary of Public Relation Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Brampton West, Moulana Omar Subedar, Congulate the Sikh community while saying Guru Nanak’s message was the same for every one it was peace, unity and love.
From the federal government Brampton North MP Ruby Sahota, Brampton East MP Maninder Sidhu, Brampton South MP Sonia Sidhu, Brampton Centre MP Ramesh Sangha and Brampton West MP Kamal Khera, and from provincial Amarjot Sandhu, Sara Singh also congulated the Sikh community on the events of 550 Guru Nanak Dev ji’s gurpurb.