Guru Gobind Singh Gurpurab celebrates the birth anniversary of the tenth Guru which falls on January 5th. The holiday is traditionally celebrated with Akhand Paths, Nagar Kirtans, and Gatka Competitions but due to the Covid-19 lockdown this year, we're sharing an activity my husband and I created a few years ago to celebrate this holiday at home with your children.
Ik Jot (One Divine Light In All)
This activity teaches your children the names of the ten Gurus and about the concept of Jot. In Sikhism, Jot is the divine light of the soul and it is believed that all of the Gurus that came after Guru Nanak shared his Jot:
ਜੋਤਿ ਓਹਾ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਸਾਇ ਸਹਿ ਕਾਇਆ ਫੇਰਿ ਪਲਟੀਐ ॥
They shared the same Jot and in this way; the King just changed his body
- Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 966
The activity also reinforces the Guru's teaching that Jot exists in all human beings:
ਜਾਣਹੁ ਜੋਤਿ ਨ ਪੂਛਹੁ ਜਾਤੀ ਆਗੈ ਜਾਤਿ ਨ ਹੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Recognize the Jot within all and pay no heed to social class, for there are no social classes in the world hereafter
-Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 349
10 pillar candles
1 cupcake for each child
Start by telling your children that today we celebrate the birthday of the tenth Guru known as Guru Gobind Singh. We believe he shared the same divine light, known as Jot, as Guru Nanak which was passed down to him from the previous Gurus.
Set all 10 candles on a table or kitchen counter and place them in a row. Tell your kids that each candle represents a Guru.
Light the first candle and ask your kids to say the name of the first Guru
Pick up the first candle after it's lit and use it to light the second candle. While lighting it, ask your kids to the say the name of the second Guru
Pick up the second candle after it's lit and use it to light the third candle. While lighting it, ask your kids to the say the name of the third Guru
Continue down the line using the candle that was just lit to light the next one. This is important because it represents the Jot of Guru Nanak moving through each of the Gurus
After you light the tenth candle and your kids say the name of the tenth Guru, ask them to stand back and notice how all the ten candles share the same light that originated with the first candle. Similarly, the Jot of Guru Nanak was shared by the 9 Gurus that followed him and is now found in the eternal Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
Explain how counting up all the candles equals the number 10 and today we are celebrating the birthday of the tenth Guru.
When you're done, let your children blow out the candles and eat their cupcake