Indo-Pak Sikhs mark birth anniversary of fourth Guru

LAHORE: About 500 Sikh pilgrims from neighbouring India and hundreds others from across Pakistan, gathered in the eastern city of Lahore on Friday to mark the 475th birth anniversary of Guru Ram Das, the fourth great Guru (spiritual leader) of Sikhs.

Guru Ramdas Sahib (also addressed as Jetha ji) was born in 1534 at Chuna Mandi which is presently in Lahore city in Pakistan.

A batch of Sikh pilgrims had crossed into Pakistan on Thursday, the officials of Pakistan Sikh Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) said.

The Sikh devotees offered prayers at the Guru Ram Das temple on the birth anniversary of their Guru.

“We have come here to mark the birthday of guru Ram Das. We are here to also visit the other gurudwaras. Pakistan government has made very good arrangements. We are delighted to be here as we have been given a warm welcome,” said Harbinder Singh, a Sikh pilgrim from Indian city of Patyala.

Another Sikh pilgrim said he felt protected despite security fears in Pakistan.

“There was lot of fear and there were speculations regarding the Taliban in our Punjab. We don’t find here anything like that. The security arrangements are excellent and we feel protected. We are grateful to Pakistani people who have welcomed us with great love,” said Gurdeep Singh Jassi.

The Great Guru Ran Das wrote 638 hymns in 30 Ragas (tunes) and these include 246 Padei (spiritual stanzas) 138 Shlokas (prayer hymns), 31 Ashtpadis (eight lined prayers) and 8 Vars which happen to be a part of Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs.

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