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Sikh parade celebrates Guru Arjun De Ji

Shaheedi Gurpurb of Fifth Guru commemorated June 27

The Squamish Sikh Society is holding a community celebration and parade Saturday, June 27 to commemorate the Shaheedi Gurpurb, or martyrdom, of Fifth Guru Arjun De Ji.

Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. the Sikh community will celebrate this anniversary with a street parade through downtown Squamish and associated short readings and verbal presentations at the pavilion park.

"As this will be a very joyous event for the Sikh community we are hoping to have the support of the Squamish community at large," said Squamish Sikh Society president Makhan Sanghera. "The Squamish Sikh Society would be pleased and honoured if you would find the time in your busy schedule to attend the parade."

There will also be a Guru Ka Langar, or free food, along the parade route. The route runs from the Sikh Gurdwara on Fifth Avenue to Victoria Street, down Third Avenue to Main Street and up to Cleveland Avenue.

Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the fifth Guru of the Sikhs and first Sikh Martyr Guru. He went through untold bodily sufferings for freedom of faith and worship and condemned the rulers and the richs' tyranny over the people, placing in people's hearts a sense of dignity and self-respect. He also refused to give up his faith and embrace Islam and so was ordered put to death by torture by Emperor Jahangir.

The preparation of the Holy Book was the greatest achievement of Guru Arjan Dev. With three things in his mind he initiated the compilation of the Holy Book, the present Guru Granth Sahib. The Hymns revealed through the first four gurus were getting amalgamated and distorted by imposters. Secondly, he wanted to bestow the faith with everlasting guiding light, a physical and spiritiual phenomenon. Thirdly and most of all, the Guru wanted to establish the credibility of the Sikh religion as casteless and secular society.

The poetic revelations of the Guru himself are of the greatest esthetic caliber. More than half of Guru Granth is constituted of his own holy renderings. The martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji changed the entire character of Sikhism radically from a passive people to a courageous saint and soldiers.

"Please join us in making the parade a memorable event." Said Sanghera. "We hope to see you there."

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