SRINAGAR, APR 13: Expressing joy and happiness over the festival of Baisakhi that is being celebrated on April 14, All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) has expressed hope that the festival of Baisakhi would be harbinger of peace and prosperity in the state.
In his Baisakhi greetings message, APSCC Chairman, Jagmohan Singh Raina said that festivals like Baisakhi bring about happiness and joy among the people. Raina said such festive occasions provide a chance to the people of different communities to come close to each other while exchanging pleasantries.
For Sikhs, Baisakhi is celebrated as the day of the creation of the Khalsa.
Culturally, much of India celebrates Baisakhi as a harvest festival. Baisakhi is often also referred to as the Sikh New Year. In 1699, in Punjab, the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, asked a crowd of thousands if anyone would be willing to give their heads to their Guru. In response, five men all of different castes and backgrounds stepped up to offer their heads to their Guru. Anxious moments followed where Guru Gobind Singh Ji took the men into a tent, only to emerge with a bloody sword. However, the men emerged dressed in what is now recognised as traditional Sikh garbs.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji then publicly initiated the men, before asking them to do the same for him. These men, later known as the Panj Pyare (five beloved ones), were the very first members of the Khalsa.
The Khalsa is the eternal living embodiment of the Sikh Guru. Any initiated Sikh is a member of the Khalsa and will thus represent this outwardly by wearing the five K’s and in their everyday actions by living as a sant-sipahi (saint-soldier).
For Sikhs, Baisakhi is a time for reflection, when people are more inclined to become initiated into the Khalsa. People from any background are welcome to join in and take part in all Baisakhi celebrations.
“I wish and pray that this Baisakhi brings peace and prosperity for the people of state. Hope this Baisakhi brings about joy and happiness thus bringing smiles on the faces of people of Kashmir,” said Raina.