Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Bara Maha or ‘twelve months’ composition in Raag Tukhari [i] says:
‘In the month of Chet [ii], the splendour of spring has sprung and the bumble bee hums with joy’.
The bee is the mind which has received the blessing of eternal spring – the joyful state of balance and enlightenment. On 14th March, Sikhs across the world will celebrate Sikh Vatavaran Diwas or World Sikh Environment Day.
This day also marks the start of the new year on the Nanakshahi Calendar, as well as the inauguration of Sri Guru Har Rai Ji – the 7th Guru of the Sikh religion, who is revered for his love of the natural world, wildlife and compassion for animals.
We all have a collective responsibility to care for the air, water and soil. We are facing an unprecedented environmental crisis and desperately need to take action now, to ensure that our children’s children can inherit a healthy planet.
There are many creative ways to celebrate the Sikh New Year and Sikh Environment Day. A wonderfully simple way is to distribute ‘Boota Parshaad’ to the Sadh Sangat.
[i] Tukhari is the raag Barah Maha is composed in. It is the oldest composition belonging to this genre, as well as the first, in which the theme of love poetry has been transformed into that of spiritual import.
[ii] The Nanakshahi calendar begins with the month of Chet or Chaitra (mid-March to mid-April)