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Locals to celebrate guru’s 550th birthday

WARREN — The local Sikh community will spend this week marking the 550th birthday of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.

Dr. Kartar Khanuja of Warren said Guru Nanak’s birthday is Tuesday, but there will be a worldwide celebration Sunday through Nov. 16 with people in Pakistan and India.

Nanak was born in Pakistan in 1469 and was the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus. His birth is celebrated worldwide. Nanak traveled far and wide, teaching people the message of one God who dwells in every one of His creations and constitutes the eternal truth. He set up a unique spiritual, social and political platform based on equality, fraternal love, goodness and virtue.

“His birthday is a big celebration all over the world. There are religious places today in Pakistan that will be open for the celebration. There will be celebrations in both in Pakistan and India,” Khanuja said.

Locally, 40 to 50 families in the Youngstown and Warren areas will travel to Cleveland and Pittsburgh for celebrations. Khanuja said there is no temple locally.

He said when he came to Warren in 1975, there were religious services held at different peoples’ homes.

“I go to a temple in Cleveland where there will be a celebration this weekend and next,” Khanuja said.

He said Nanak’s mission was to focus on three things — earnest earnings, sharing of resources with the needy and less fortunate, and praises for the Lord.

“He was for all humanity and helping everyone,” Khanuja said.

The fundamental beliefs of Sikhism, articulated in the sacred scripture Guru Granth Sahib, include faith and meditation in the name of the one creator, unity of all humankind, engaging in selfless service, striving for social justice for the benefit and prosperity of all, and honest conduct and livelihood while living a householder’s life.

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