Sikh National Center (SNC) Celebrates Guru Nanak’s 544th Birthday

Model of the proposed SNC Gurdwara in Houston.

Model of the proposed SNC Gurdwara in Houston.

HOUSTON: The Sikh National Center celebrated the 544th Birthday Anniversary of Guru Nanak this past weekend with the services being held in the temporary building that has been erected on the 20-acres of land that the SNC has on the northwest side, at Fair-North Houston and The Beltway 8. The permanent Gurudwara is being built on this site with more buildings slated for later on.


 The celebration of Gurpurab started with the Akand Path (a continuous reading of 1430 pages of the Granth Sahib) on Friday, November 15 and concluded with a Bhog on Sunday, November 17.  Hazoori Ragi Jatha of the SNC performed a melodious Gurbani Kirtan and was joined in by Bhai Sukhdev Singh from Winnipeg, Canada and Dr. Rajpreet Kaur. Their recitation inspired the congregation to imbibe the righteous path led by the Guru.


The construction of the new permanent Gurdwara building is a monumental endeavor by the Sikh community as it has involved many people and taken many years to go forward with the work. The complete facilities will include a school till 8th grade, with a library and museum about the Sikhs contemplated for in the second phase as part of the campus. The building has been designed by PGAL, a Houston architect firm and by Mandeep Singh Kohli of Jalandhar, India. Turner Construction Co has completed the steel structure and is currently framing the exterior of the Gurudwara. The architecture of the Gurdwara is inspired by golden domes and turrets of the Siri Harimandar Sahib, Amritsar, India (also widely known as the Golden temple).


Guru Nanak was born in the holy place of Nanakana Sahib in 1469 during a time of dire disharmony and corruption in India. Early on in his life’s journey, he took the message of One God’s and of brotherly love through the vast country of India.  His mission was to eradicate all the confusion and worldly meaningless rituals practiced to please God .

His biggest contribution was to females. At that time, female infanticide and Sati ritual (burning of wife along with deceased husband) was a common practice. He preached equality of sexes with the sermon, “How can you degrade the woman who gives birth to kings? “

He was beyond the caste system.  He chose a shoemaker (the lowest cast) to be his fellow traveler to go around the country in the hope of eradicating the cast system that divided humanity.  He said, “All mankind is created equal in the eyes of the Creator, so there is no higher and no lower being.”

His message to humanity was to live a life of honor and to accept death rather than a life of subjugation of evil emperors. It was by his purposeful messages that Sikhs have enjoyed unique respects the world over. His three lessons in life to humanity that are practiced by his followers all over the world are earn an honest living, meditate to raise your consciousness and share your blessings with humanity.