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It is one of the most sacred festivals of Sikhs. Guru Nanak’s birthday is celebrated by lighting lamps. Hence it is also called Prakashotsava. The festivity of Guru Parab falls on the full moon day of Kartika (October-November) and is celebrated to commemorate Guru Nanak, the founder Sikhism.
Guru Nanak was born in 1469 at Talwandi about 45 km’s. away from Lahore and is now known as Nankana Sahib. At Nankana Sahib there is a beautiful Gurudwara, and a holy sarovar. On Guru Purab, a grand fair and festival is held here, and Sikhs in thousands congregate here from India and abroad. Guru Nanak was a great reformer, preacher and a saint.
In Sikhism, he tried to harmonize both Hinduism and Islam. He never believed in caste-distinctions and liberalized social practices. He preached the name of God as a potent means of spiritual realization. His name and its repetition helps us to develop the best in us. A true Sikh strives not for salvation or paradise but always loves to see God. Many of Guru Nanak’s hymns, which form part of the Guru Granth Sahib, reflect clearly how the sight of God and his love itself is supreme.
God is both nirgun and sagun, God lived absolutely in himself but then he became sagun and manifested himself and became what is called the name; and in order to realize Himself He made nature, wherein He has His seat and is diffused everywhere and in all directions in the form of love. Guru Nanak travelled widely in India and abroad and his life and teachings have been a great source of inspiration.
He was followed by nine other Gurus, in succession, under whom Sikhism gradually developed. On Guru Purab, Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture, is continuously read and recited in the Gurudwaras, processions are taken out, free langars (meals) are arranged and prasad is distributed. The festival is observed with great enthusiasm all over India. Similarly other Gurus are also commemorated on other Guru Purabs. For example, the second Guru Purab commemorating Guru Gobind Singh is celebrated in the month of Pausha (December-January).

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