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Controversial Akal Takht Releases Nanakshahi Calendar

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Akal Takht releases Nanakshahi calendar
By Yudhvir Rana

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Akal-Takht-releases-Nanakshahi-calendar/articleshow/18411542.cms

AMRITSAR: Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh on Friday released Sikhs' own Nanakshahi calendar for the year 2013-14 in Amritsar.

After releasing the calendar, he also issued directions to Sikhs living around the globe to observe Sikh religious days according to the Nanakshahi calendar approved by the Akal Takht after amendments and published by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).

In 2003, SGPC had adopted Canadian Sikh scholar Paul Singh Purewal-authored Nanakshahi calendar with an aim to fix the dates of Gurpurab and other Sikh religious festivals, which otherwise used to wave according to traditional Bikrami calendar dubbed as a Hindu calendar. But there had always been disagreement within Sikhs over the dates of certain Sikh religious occasions which off and on required intervention of Akal Takht. The management committee of Takht Patna Sahib and Takht Hazur Sahib preferred not to implement the Nanakshahi calendar in the area of their influence pleading local prevalent traditions.

Changes in the dates of Gurpurabs and other Sikh religious occasions or occurring of some Gurpurabs twice in a year before implementation of Nanakshahi calendar created confusion among Sikhs, especially those living abroad. Since the Bikrami calendar is based on the length of sidereal year, its months keep on changing in seasons due to which the relation of the months with that of seasons as given in Gurbani are changing. Secondly, since some Gurpurabs are celebrated according to the lunar dates in the Bikrami calendar, these occur on different dates of the Common Era (CE) calendar from year to year.

Sikh intellectuals solved both the issues in the Nanakshahi calendar since it is based on the length of the tropical year, which is mentioned in Gurbani, so its months always goes in consonance with seasons. Certain groups of Sikhs including Sikh's prominent seminary DamdamI Taksal had some differences over the dates of certain religious occasions. Following this, in January 2010, Akal Takht approved certain amendments to the Nanakshahi calendar giving its stamp to observe certain parkash and jyoti purabs of Gurus in traditional Bikrami calendar as they used to be observed before 2003.
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

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This action completes the cremation ceremony of the REAL NANAKSHAHI CALENDAR issued by Akal Takhat and ADOPTED WORLDWIDE in 2003. The Last standing bastion of the real calendar was the Delhi Gurdwara Management committee that fell to the BADALS recently.
The remaining bastions are the DIASPORA SIKHS...who continue to celebrate the Nanaksahi Calendar 2003.
 

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