Kicking of celebrations to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the Embassy of India here, in association with various US-based Sikh organisations and Gurdwaras, organised a Sikh devotional music programme (Gurbani Sangeet) on Saturday (local time).
A press statement released by the Indian Embassy on Sunday informed that the ceremony was attended by over 200 members of the Indian community, media, think tanks and local government officials, and was held at AMP auditorium in Maryland.
While addressing the gathering on the occasion, Ambassador of India to the United States Harsh Vardhan Shringla highlighted several key decisions taken by the Government of India to honour Guru Nanak Dev's 550th Birth Anniversary, such as development of Kartarpur in Gurdaspur district of Punjab, development of Sultanpuri Lodhi as a Heritage town, establishment of a centre for interfaith studies at Guru Nanak Dev University, among others.
"Guru Nanak Dev ji was also a great organiser, setting up a network of congregations wherever he travelled. Planning ahead, he purchased land to establish Kartarpur, and it was to Kartarpur that he returned after the travels - here he set up the daily routine of the Sikh congregation - kirtan (daily prayers), katha (exposition of ideas) and langar (community meal)," Shringla said.
"Through his life, travels and teachings Guru Nanak Dev called for an egalitarian social order, equality for all human beings, compassion, questioning of rituals and dogma through reasoning and sincerity towards an eventual realisation of the eternal universal truth. It is truly a philosophy and legacy that we must celebrate and recount to our younger and future generations," the Ambassador added.
Highlighting the role of five lakh strong influential Sikh communities in the US, Ambassador Shringla stated, "Embassy and our Consulates in the U.S. have chalked out a calendar of activities including musical concerts, seminars, and interfaith events through the year."
Musicians including Bhai Baldeep Singh accompanied by an ensemble of talented instrumentalists held the audience captive through mystical hymns of Guru Nanak Dev, the Indian Embassy said.
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