Malaysian Sikhs Celebrate Guru Nanak’s Birthday on 1st Vesakh

Malaysian Sikhs Celebrate Guru Nanak's Birthday on 1st Vesakh 2023

On 15 April, 2023, we continued our efforts for the second time to celebrate TWO important celebrations – Dhan Sri Guru Nanak’s ‘Agman Purab’ (birthday) AND ‘Khalsa Sajhna Diwas’ – the day Guru Gobind Singh completed Guru Nanak’s mission and formed the ‘Khalsa’ in April, 1699.

Sikhs began to gather as early as 4pm in Gurdwara Sahib Subang, Malaysia to help with the tea and langgar ‘sewa’ preparations.

We had a great darbar program lineup with the resident Granthi starting off with ‘Rehraas’ and ‘kirtan’, followed by myself, Dr. Karminder Singh Dhillon who shared some startling facts and Veer Balwinder Singh Kenth aka. Belley who mesmerized the sangat with his beautiful kirtan.

Vesakhi Guru Nanak Gurpurab 2023 Subang Gurdwara

Last year 2022, we did a similar program in conjunction of Guru Nanak’s birthday and Vesakhi. I’m happy to see more and more Sikhs especially the youth, coming forward to celebrate Vesakhi and Guru Nanak’s Gurpurab on 1st Vesakh.

Q: What’s happening here? Why are we celebrating Guru Nanak’s birthday in April?

I hope the following lines will shed some light on this question.

Sikh Historical Texts – Janam Sakhis

Based on six historical texts which are commonly referenced to as far as the life story and facts about Guru Nanak is concerned:

  1. Meharban Vali Janam Sakhi
  2. Bhai Mani Singh Vali Janam Sakhi
  3. B-40 Janam Sakhi
  4. Puratan Janam Sakhi
  5. Pathar Dey Chapay Vali Janam Sakhi
  6. Bhai Bala Vali Janam Sakhi *

Now, all these historical texts agree on three (3) points:

a. The passing of Guru Nanak on Asu 10th 1596 (1539AD)
b. Guru Nanak lived for a total of 70-years, 5-months and 7-days
c. Guru Nanak being born on 1st Vesakh, 1469 *

*Except for the last text (Bhai Bala Vali Janam Sakhi), ALL the 5 historical texts above state that Guru Nanak was born on 1st Vesakh 1469.

In my opinion:
Bhai Bala Vali Janam Sakhi may not have been written by a Sikh of Guru Nanak and likely written by anti-Sikh. Almost everything in this text is ‘Snatan or Brahmanvaad’ – slanted towards the Hindu ideology. The contents outright go against the very tenets and principals of Gurmat, Guru Granth Sahib and Guru Nanak’s philosophy.

In fact, there is NO evidence at all that a so called ‘Bhai Bala’ even existed and was with Guru Nanak. The only companion which has been recorded in the Janam Sakhis is Bhai Mardana. He was the only companion of Guru Nanak and he played the ‘Rebab’ (a classical Indian instrument) and accompanied Guru Nanak throughout the Guru’s long and difficult travels for many years.

Basic Calculation To Attain Correct Date

If you know how long one lived, and the date of passing, it’s easy to determine ones birthdate. Simple subtraction will reveal that Guru Nanak was born on 1st Vesakh, 1469.

1539 minus 70yrs (5mnths, 7days) = 1st Vesakh, 1469

So Many Calendars, Which One To Follow?

Based on the Gregorian calendar or English calendar, 1st Vesakh 1469 actually corresponds to 27th March 1469. This is because the Gregorian calendar is not based on solar. In fact, if we were to follow the Gregorian or Bikrami Indian calendar, ALL our Gurpurabs (not just Guru Nanak’s birthdate) will change every year.

This is what’s happening right now.

Fortunately, thanks to the late Sdr. Pal Singh Purewal who spent many years and came up with an accurate solar based calendar for Sikhs called Nanakshahi calendar. It has now begun to receive much deserved attention by the wider Sikh population. Based on his solar calculation, the correct date of birth of Guru Nanak falls on 1st Vesakh (April) and not in November (Kathak Di Puranmashi)

Any Other Evidence?

Apart from the historical texts stated above, there is another very old Janam Sakhi called Sakhi Mehley Pehley Ki which was authored by Sheehan Uppal in 1570.

In fact, Sheehan Uppal was a disciple of Guru Nanak and lived right up to the 3rd Guru, Dhan Guru Amardas Ji. He wrote this Janam Sakhi approximately 40-years after the passing of Guru Nanak.

Even in his text, he clearly states that Guru Nanak was born on 1st Vesakh, 1469.

What Is SGPC and Akaal Takhat Doing?

I’m sure you must be wondering, with so many undisputable facts, why isn’t SGPC and Akaal Takhat doing something to announce the correct date?

Several reasons come to mind but I guess, when you’ve been celebrating the wrong date for so long, it takes great courage and pain to right the wrong. Too much is at stake especially the ‘daans’,’phetas’ and ‘cherawahs’ (donations, incomes and profits) the Gurdwaras earns in November. Due to this fact, it is highly unlikely they would want to change the date back to the correct one.

Do we have the courage to make the change? Will the Sikh community accept the change whole-heartedly? How are they (the leaders) going to answer as to why they allowed Guru Nanak’s Gurpurab to be celebrated on the wrong month and date? Too many questions, and no answers will likely make these Panthic leaders appear like fools in the eyes of Sikhs globally. Sikhs will likely begin losing whatever little respect and confidence they have for these institutions.

Whose Birthday Are Sikhs Celebrating in November?

Sri Chand’s – Guru Nanak’s eldest son.

Sri Chand’s birthday actually falls in November. Despite Sri Chand being the eldest son of the Guru, he was deviant and wanted to claim the 2nd seat of Guruship after Guru Nanak.

He literally went against the teachings of his father in every possible way, right from adopting a celibate life to creating a completely different religious sect called Udasi AND conspired with the Brahmin priests to take over and transform Kartarpur to an Udasi center during his failed attempt to convince Guru Nanak that he was the rightful Guru of the Sikhs.

Ever wondered why the Sikh center moved from Kartarpur to Khadur Sahib? One probable reason could be, Guru Nanak must have told Guru Angad (2nd Sikh Guru) to move the Sikh center there. Move it away from Sri Chand and all the chaos that was being created by him and the Brahmin priests.

Right from Guru Gobind Singh’s demise in 1708 till Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s time, Sikhs all over India and in the rest of the world were celebrating Guru Nanak’s Agman Purab in the month of Vesakh (April).

In fact, there are TWO celebrations happening concurrently in April.

a. Guru Nanak’s Agman Purab
b. Vesakhi or Khalsa Sajhna Diwas

In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh purposely chose 1st of Vesakh (April) for establishing the ‘Khalsa’ and a sign to mark the completion of Guru Nanak’s mission.

What Went Wrong?

There was a dark period in Sikh history, right around the time when Baba Banda Singh Bahadhur
was captured. Sikhs were hunted and killed. In fact, it was during this time when the rulers had put a price tag of RS80 rupees (today’s value) per Sikh head. Anyone who would capture a Sikh (dead or alive) would receive this reward.

This is the period when the most number of Sikhs were brutally murdered in cold blood. A genocide similar to the likes of Hitler during World War 2, who planned and almost wiped out every Jew from the face of earth.

Sikhs, fearing for their lives, fled, leaving their belongings, homes and lands behind and headed into the foothills of the Himalays and into the jungles of Jammu and Kashmir. This has been documented and is known as ‘Chotta Gallughara’ (Smaller Massacre).

It is during this period Gurdwaras all over India, including Sri Darbar Sahib in Amritsar and other historical gurdwaras were plundered, looted and taken over by Nirmalas who were literally Hindu priests. They were mainly from Benares and well trained in the Hindu scriptures but not in Gurbani or Guru Granth Sahib.

They disliked Guru Nanak because the Guru and other Sikh Gurus NEVER accepted their ways, lifestyle and ideologies. They had deep vengeance against Sikhs.

So, Sikhs were literally cut off from the outside world as they lived in the jungles for close to 80-years. You can’t begin to imagine the level of damage one could inflict in 80-years. One of the effects of this damage can be seen right up to today as we are split, celebrating Guru Nanak’s birthday twice a year; 7-months apart from His actual birthdate.

What Can We Do As Sikhs of The Guru

I think, it will take sometime for the awareness to grow and for the Sikh masses to awaken and realize what is going on.

Many are still happily celebrating Guru Nanak’s birthday in November but aren’t aware that they are actually celebrating Sri Chand’s birthday and not Guru Nanak’s.

We can however, individually do our part as Sikhs of the Guru to make this right. Tell your friends and family members about 1st Vesakh as being the actual date of Guru Nanak’s birth.

Make an attempt to take off from work and attend gurdwara functions on that day. Many gurdwara parbandhaks, after knowing the truth, some have braved themselves to celebrate Guru Nanak’s birth in April and not in November. But they’re few and afar. Find out if your local gurdwara is celebrating Guru Nanak’s birth or Sri Chand. Liklely, its Sri Chands!


As a Sikh of Guru Nanak, we are obligated to make a firm stand on making an effort to right the wrong. I believe if enough members of the sangat were to come together and decide to celebrate Guru Nanak’s birthday in April, eventually the rest will follow. SGPC and Akaal Takhat will have no choice but to move the Guru’s birthdate back to its original date which is 1st Vesakh, April.

What are your thoughts? Do share in the comments section below.

Additional Reading

For additional reading on this topic, visit the links below:

  1. 13 Questions On Guru Nanak’s Birthday
  2. Why Sikhs Celebrate Fake Birthday of Guru Nanak (by Ramjit Singh Mann)
  3. Karminder Singh at Subang gurdwara on Guru Nanak’s birthday
  4. Veer Amarjit Singh speaking live at Subang gurdwara
  5. Guru Nanak’s Birthday Is The Same As His Parkash Day

This article is related to this event poster.


  • Amarjit S. Gulati

    Amarjit says, the Sikhi that is being practiced today & preached by most clergy (Gianis, Parcharaks, Kirtaniyas) is NOT aligned with Guru Nanak's teachings. As a researcher and a student of Nanakian philosophy, he attempts to share his utmost honest opinions and findings based on Gurmat and real-life experiences.

    View all posts

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