Kovind, along with his wife Savita, arrived in the morning in the holy town of Punjab's Kapurthala district to attend the celebrations on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
Saying that Guru Nanak Dev lives in “our hearts”, President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday called upon the people to follow the path shown by the Sikhism founder and work towards eliminating social disparities. Kovind, along with his wife Savita, arrived in the morning in the holy town of Punjab’s Kapurthala district to attend the celebrations on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. He was received by Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his wife Preneet Kaur. Later, Kovind drove straight to historic Gurdwara Ber Sahib, where he and his wife paid obeisance.
He then went to the stage set up by the Punjab government for the celebrations, where he was honoured with a memento and a ceremonial sword.
Greeting the gathering with “Sat Sri Akal” (call of victory), the President said, “Guru Nanak Dev lives in our hearts. He is our common legacy. He is the guiding light for the entire humanity.”
“It is the responsibility of all of us to follow his ideals and work towards eliminating social disparities,” Kovind added. Kovind said Guru Nanak spread the light of wisdom with his teachings and preached ‘Sarbat Da Bhala’ (welfare of all) asking people to rise above considerations of inequalities, caste and creed.
“Guru Nanak Dev ji’s life and teachings give a message of affection, compassion and brotherhood for the entire humanity,” he said. “I extend my heartiest congratulations to countrymen and the Indians all over the world on the occasion,” the President said. The life of Guru Nanak Dev inspires people to build a society based on his teachings of equality, compassion and social amity, he said.
Kovind shed light on how Guru Nanak through his teachings enlightened the Indian society, which during the 15th century was plagued with social ills, including casteism, as darkness of ignorance prevailed. The President said Guru Nanak made efforts to build a society where everyone was equal.
“He gave maha mantra to the mankind– Naam Japo, Kirat Karo and Wand Chhako — chanting the name of God, hard and honest labour, and sharing the fruits of one’s earnings with the others,” Kovind said.
The President thanked the chief minister for inviting him to the function. Devotees in large numbers thronged Sultanpur Lodhi, the town in Kapurthala district associated with the early life of Guru Nanak Dev, whose 550th birth anniversary falls on Tuesday. Guru Nanak had spent 14 years of his early life at Sultanpur Lodhi and used to take daily bath in the holy Kali Bein. The Sultanpur Lodhi city is decked up with flowers, hoardings and several colourful gates to welcome the pilgrims.