August 2019: Guru Ki Sawari is on its way’ — was the talk heard all over the Sadhu Vaswani Mission, Pune ahead of the day of the historic arrival. Preparations were in full-swing.
On 16th August, 2019 morning, the 550 Year Guru Nanak Prakash Yatra arrived at the Mission amidst sounds of the conch, beatings of drums and chants of ‘Jo bole so nihaal Sat Sri Akal’. The specially designed ‘palki’ vehicle, carrying the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, parked in front of the sacred Samadhis of Sadhu Vaswani & Dada JP Vaswani. “It’s the confluence of the three great Masters and a symbol of the brotherhood of all saints of humanity,” said an official of the Mission.
Devotees thronged the palki to receive blessings from the Guru amidst showers of petals and reverberations of kirtan. Sri Guru Granth Sahib was showered with flowers and garlands as an offering of love.
The yatra marks the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism & the first of the gurus, Sri Guru Nanak. Retracing his journey and with an aim to spread the message of humanity given by him, the countrywide yatra had commenced from Gurudwara Sri Nanak Jhira Saheb, Bidar, Karnataka. “The yatra has covered 250 cities, and traveled over 1100 kilometers and has arrived in Pune,” said an organizer from the Pune District Sikh Gurudwara Association. The panj pyaare were honoured with the traditional coconut and shawl.
The Working Chairperson of the Mission, Didi Krishna Kumari, speaking on the occasion said, “Our founder Sadhu Vaswani revered Sri Guru Nanak, often having trances at nights of the Guru coming to him and conversing with him. And to many of us Sadhu Vaswani himself was Guru Nanak. We are thankful that Sri Guru Nanak has visited our holy premises and sanctified it even more. This is the occasion to remember the teaching of Sri Guru Nanak that our Master would repeat often, ‘Naam Khumari Nanka, Chari Rahe Din Raat’ (May we remain absorbed, day and night in the intoxication of the Name Divine).”
“The Mission is a pilgrimage in itself and today Guru Nanak Devji has come all the way up to us. What more can we ask for? Truly they say, wadbhagi hai jo satguru le darshan paye— fortunate is he who has the darshan of the Guru,” said Rashmi Bhagchandani from Accra.
“The yatra has come from so many miles away and we are here to have the darshan. It’s truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. We never imagined we would have had this chance,” said Shalini and Pratap Advani from Dubai.
The yatra proceeded to Ahmednagar from the Mission. Covering 19 states, the yatra will end also at the same starting point of Gurudwara Sri Nanak Jhira Saheb in Bidar, Karnataka.