To mark Gurpurab, South Australia Parliament organizes ‘Prakash’ ceremony of Guru Granth Sahib

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The Parliament of South Australia marked the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev for the first time with the ‘Prakash’ ceremony of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

The ceremony was held on November 16, three days before Gurpurab on November 19, when Sikh communities around the world will celebrate the 552nd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.

Member of the Legislative Council, Russell Wortley, who hosted the event, described it as a proud moment for all. “This year is really special because we have the holy scripture – the Guru Granth Sahib – here in the balcony room of the South Australian Parliament House. It is a proud moment for all of us,” said Wortley.

“I have attended many of your festivals, events, Gurudwara prayer services and even weddings. I think I have some connection with the Sikhs – the brave, the warrior, the savior,” Wortley said while addressing a gathering that included eminent members of the Indian community as well as South Australian political leaders.

With the pandemic bleak across the globe, the event was a silver lining, bringing the community together once again. “Guru Nanak’s teachings of ‘Pray your prayers and share your food’ have impressed me greatly and I see all of you cooking and sharing food in Gurudwaras taking his message to heart. You provided food to those in need in the recent bushfires in Australia at a time of crisis,” said Wortley, who joined in prayer with wife and Member of Parliament Dana Wortley. Speaker of the South Australian House, Dan Cragan, of Adelaide Federal Member Steve Georgenas and Leader of the Opposition and member of the Australian Labor Party Peter Malinouskas were also present.

The Panj Pyare was a unique sight to watch with several parliamentarians and members of the public ceremonially escorting the Guru Granth Sahib from outside the Parliament. With the aim of spreading Guru Nanak’s message of oneness of humanity and equality for all, this first ‘Prakash’ ceremony was followed by Kirtan and prayer.

“The celebration was unique for the community. The message to all is to maintain faith and pray for the well being of all,” said community liaison officer Monika Kumar.

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