ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Nanak’s Sindhi Followers

Seeking Access to Kartarpur Sahib

The opening of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor to Sindhis as well as all Indian citizens would be a recognition of Guru Nanak’s myriad devotees.

Early childhood memories last a lifetime. One of these recurring memories I have is of my mother reading the Sukhmani Sahib (song of peace) early every morning. The blend of the expression of devotion, submission, and eternal hope on her face has remained with me till today. I grew up in a Sindhi, not a Sikh family. And, as I grew up, I discovered that all Sindhi families followed the practice of reciting the Sukhmani from the Guru Granth Sahib (holy book of the Sikhs). Asa di Var (ballad of hope) is recited and sung in the morning and Rehras Sahib (Rehras meaning correct path) in the evening. Pothi, a book of hymns, is a constant companion of the older generations. There would invariably be a portrait of Guru Nanak prominently displayed in their homes. The two big annual celebrations for Sindhis are Guru Nanaks birth anniversary and Diwali. On these days, a bath at dawn is followed by recital of the Guru Granth Sahib. Devotion to Guru Nanak was and is almost universal in Sindhi families. Converting their firstborn son to a Sikh used to be family tradition among the Sindhis. My uncle, following this tradition, was a Sikh.

Growing up in Sindh, Sadhu Vaswani, the well-known educationist, intellectual, and preacher, recalls women reciting the arati (prayer) of Guru Nanak in a sweet melodious voice on the banks of the Sindhu river (the Indus), the lifeline of Sindh. He was devoted to Guru Nanak and his discourses were based on the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib. Like nearly all Sindhis, he made a habit of reciting Tum Thakur, tum pe ardaas (prelude to prayer). Today as in the past, seeking blessings and guidance (vachan) on important events from the pages of the Guru Granth Sahib is practised by Sindhis. Sindhis celebrate Guru Nanaks teachings, as well as many Hindu concepts such as karma, dharma, mukti, maya, and the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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