A Message for Vaisakhi
Happy New Year to all of the Sikhs communities across the world celebrating Vaisakh
Vaisakhi is the holiest day of the Sikh calendar. It marks the Sikh New Year and commemorates the year 1699 when Sikhism was given a collective faith and distinct identity.
This festival has several key messages from which all of us can draw wisdom. It reminds us all of the importance of religious freedom and our obligation to defend this. It also emphasises the virtue of equality and should spur us on to strive even harder to achieve this in the world.
Significantly the festival ends with a final prayer for the good and well-being of the whole of humanity; this is illustrative of the mutual respect and understanding between the faiths which is encouraged throughout Sikhism: "Consider the whole of humanity as one, we are all children of the One God" (Guru Gobind Singh Ji)
Finally New Year brings with it an opportunity to start afresh. It is a time of reflection and self examinations, when we renew existing resolutions and make new ones. It is a time of great hope. Let this festival be an impetus for an increased commitment to better faith relations and improving the plight of others across the world.