reasons why does Sikh celebrate Diwali?: – Diwali or Deepavali is an important religious festival mainly in the religion of Hinduism, but it is also celebrated in Sikhism and Jainism. It is also popularly known as the “Festival of Lights” and is an event based on the lunar calendar that takes place between mid-October and mid-November.
How do Sikh refer to the Festival of Lights? What do Sikhs celebrate on Diwali? What do Sikhs commonly call Diwali? Do Sikhs observe Diwali? Do you know? Know the reasons here in this post.
People of various religious norms celebrate this festival. Similarly Sikh people also celebrate diwali as their own special norms and values. Let’s come to know how Sikh people celebrate diwali
Diwali is also considered as one of the major festivals in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji.
For Jains, Diwali marks the achievement of moksha or nirvana by Mahavira in 527 BC. For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals on their religious calendar and is celebrated in families by doing traditional activities together in their homes. This involves illuminating small clay lamps filled with oil to indicate the triumph of good over evil.
These lamps are lit during the night and the house is cleaned, both made in such a way that the goddess Lakshmi feels welcome. Firecrackers are broken to scare away evil spirits. During Diwali, all celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family and friends.
Importance of diwali in Sikhism – Why Does Sikh Celebrate Diwali
Bandi Chhorh Divas
Sikhs celebrate Diwali after Bandi Chhorh celebration Divas. The Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas on the occasion of the return of the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, who was released from prison and also managed to organize the release of 52 Hindu kings (political prisoners) at the same time from the famous Gwalior fort by making clever use by the orders of Emperor Jahangir.
Jahagir had ordered this to allow anyone able to cling to the gurus’ tails to leave the fort with the Guru (October 1619). And so, the kings/rajahs were released and the Guru became popularly known as the “Bandi Chhor” (Liberator of the prison). Diwali came to Amritsar and the Harmandar (also known as the “Golden Temple”) was illuminated with hundreds of lamps to celebrate his return.
See Also: Why do Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas?
Martyrdom of the Golden Temple Bhai Mani Singh Ji
Bhai Mani Singh (from Wikipedia) An important Sikh event associated with Diwali is the martyrdom of the Sikh scholar and strategist Bhai Mani Singh in 1737. Bhai Mani Singh was the Granthi (guardian/reader of the Sikh scriptures) of Harmandir Sahib (popularly known as the Golden Temple). He transcribed the final version of Guru Granth Sahib, dictated by Guru Gobind Singh in 1704. Bhai Mani Singh was responsible for directing Harmandir Sahib in 1708.
In 1737, he received permission from Zakariya Khan, the then Mughal governor of Punjab, to hold a meeting religious of the Khalsa to celebrate Bandi Chhorh Diwas on the auspicious day of Diwali .
He hoped to collect the amount requested for the contribution given by the Sikhs who would meet that day. But upon discovering Zakariya Khan’s plan to kill the Sikhs during the meeting, he sent messages warning them not to come to the meeting. Consequently, the fee could not be paid and Zakariya Khan ordered the execution of Bhai Mani Singh in Lahore.
Since the Bandi Chhor Diwas was celebrated during Diwali, the martyrdom of Bhai Mani Singh is also commemorated. It is also believed that this event, along with other Sikh martyrdoms, gave new impetus to Khalsa’s struggle for freedom and the eventual success in establishing the Khalsa government in northern Delhi.
Revolt against the Mughal Empire
The Diwali festival became the second most important day after the Baisakhi, when Khalsa was formally founded by the tenth Guru Gobind Singh in 1699.
The Sikh struggle against the atrocities of the Mughal Empire against non-Muslims, particularly against the Sikhs, which intensified in the eighteenth century, focused on this day. After the execution of the Bahadur band in 1716, which had led the agrarian uprising in Punjab, the Sikhs began the tradition of deciding community issues at the biennial meetings held in Amritsar the first in Baisakh and Diwali.
See Also: Why do Jains celebrate Diwali?
These assemblies were known as Sarbat Khalsa and an approved resolution became a Gurmat (decree of the Guru). Sikh celebrates Diwali because Guru Hargobind had actually returned to Amritsar ( a place named in the state Punjab) after his imprisonment in Gwalior, where he also won the freedom of 52 innocent princes who had actually been imprisoned in Gwakior for different political reasons and causes.
Bhai Gurdas told the whole storytelling us what happened: Guru Hargobind, the sixth Guru, had been arrested for political reasons. The Mughal emperor now decided that the religious fundamentalists behind the martyrdom of the fifth Guru, Guru Arjun, constituted a serious threat to his throne. The Mughal emperor, therefore, offered to release Guru Hargobind, but Guru Hargobind refused to free himself. until 52 princes were also released for political reasons.
The emperor offered that all those who could hold the Guru’s cloak could be free. 52 tassels were tied to the Guru’s cloak and kept all 52 principles free. In addition to Nagar Keertan (a street procession) and an Akhand path (a continuous reading of the Guru Granth Sahib), Diwali is celebrated with an impressive display of fireworks. The Golden Temple, as well as the entire complex, is adorned with thousands of bright lights, creating a unique jewelry box effect.
Meaning of Bandi Chorh Divas today
When Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji was released from prison, he refused to leave until 52 Hindu political prisoners were released by Emperor Jahangir. Jahangir agreed to release as many as they could retain under the guise of Guru Ji. For this reason, Guru Ji had a special tunic made with 52 tails, allowing the 52 political prisoners with him.
This is still available to see in a Gurdwara in Amritsar, Punjab. Today, many political prisoners, including hundreds of Sikhs, still languish in Indian prisons. Many of these prisoners have served life imprisonment and remain in prison, without explanation as to why.
By Abhishek Jha