A two day ICSSR sponsored International Conference ‘Kudrat ke Sab Bandey’ – Reflections on the Life and Legacy of Guru Nanak Dev ji in the Contemporary Context

To commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji, BBKDAV College for Women organized a two-day ICSSR sponsored International Conference ‘Kudrat ke Sab Bandey’ – Reflections on the life and legacy of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the Contemporary Context on 29th and 30th January, 2020. The aim of the conference was to provide a platform to academicians and researchers to exchange ideas on Guru Nanak’s teachings and to explore the relevance of His teachings in the contemporary era.

The conference commenced with a devotional walk in which students and staff of the college led the delegates to the auditorium while reciting Guru Nanak’s hymns.

Welcoming the guests, Principal Dr. Pushpinder Walia said that Guru Nanak Dev Ji taught us about humility and love. He showed us the path of unity, peace and harmony through his philosophy and his teachings continue to inspire us even today.

While delivering the keynote address, Prof. Dr. Harmohinder Singh Bedi, Chancellor, Central University of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamshala, shared his view about the diversity in Guru Nanak’s bani as it contains traces of Sanskrit Grammar, Marathi, Rajasthani, Islamic and many more languages. He further added that diversity of Asian culture as well as Indian culture can well be understood by studying Gurbani and Guru Nanak’s teachings. He also emphasized on the three principles of Guru Nanak i.e. kirat karo, naam japo and vand shakko

Throwing light on Guru Nanak’s teachings, Chief Guest of inaugural session Hon’ble Dr. Ramesh Arya, Vice President DAVCMC, New Delhi, said that this conference is a platform for everyone to understand what Guru Nanak taught us. He added that Guru Nanak Dev ji propagated the Idea of Oneness. He emphasized that practicing selflessness, equality and humility would be a real tribute to Guru Nanak.

Expressing gratitude, Sh. Sudarshan Kapoor, Chairman, Local Managing Committee thanked all the delegates, specially those who had come from across the globe for participating in the conference. He said that Guru Nanak Dev Ji propagated the doctrine of universal brotherhood and equality and we should inculcate His teachings in our younger generations.

The first technical session of the conference was chaired by Hon’ble Dr. Ramesh Arya. Dr. Alonzo L. Gaskill, Professor from Brigham Young University, USA presented a paper titled ‘Guru Nanak’s Vision of God’. In his paper, he said that Guru Nanak’s vision of oneness helped Christianity to unite and follow the faith called ‘God is One’. Maulana Syed  Athar Hussain Dehlavi, Chairman “Anjuman- Minhaz-e-Rasool”, New Delhi presented his paper  titled ‘Baba Nanak ka Roohani Paigam- Insaniyat ke liye’. He said that Guru Nanak Dev ji shackled the age old chains of inequality by introducing langar– the concept of community kitchen where a free meal is served to all without distinction of religion, caste, gender, economic status and ethnicity. Dr. Taunalyn Rutherford, Adjunct Professor, Religious Education, Brigham Young University, USA expressed her views on ‘Guru Nanak’s Significance for Women 550 years later: An invitation to conversation’. In her paper she appreciated the status of women in Sikhism and said that Sikhism is one of the few religions which talked about the equality of women in society. She also appreciated Principal Dr. Pushpinder Walia for her exemplary work in the field of education and community development. Ms. Jeannette Schiwek Kleijweg, Integrational teacher for Children with ADHS, Eberhard- Ludwig School, Ludwigsburg, Germany presented paper on ‘Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Joseph Smith – Sikhism and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints’. She threw light on the Udasis taken by Guru Nanak Dev Ji and she said that there is a need to open up ourselves for each other’s religion. Ras Vigrah Das, a spiritual teacher from ISKCON expressed his views on ‘Kudrat ke Sab Bandey’. He appealed to everyone to follow the religion of love and humanity. S.Ravinder Robin, freelance Journalist presented paper on ‘A day in Kartarpur’. He shared his memorable experience of visiting Kartarpur Sahib and said that Kartarpur Corridor is a ray of hope amidst all the tensions that are prevailing between India and Pakistan.

During the first day of the conference, two books were released namely ‘ Granthawali’  by Prof. (Dr.)  Harmohinder Singh Bedi and  ‘Guru Nanak- In his own words’  by Gurdeep Singh Nakshdeep, novelist and translator from United States. Scholars from leading educational institutions presented papers in the second technical session of the conference.

It is pertinent to note that during the conference, ‘Divine Glimpses’, a special exhibition on the life experiences of Guru Nanak Dev Ji was inaugurated by Dr. Ramesh Arya, in which students from the PG Department of Fine Arts and Department of Design and Applied Arts showcased their innovative creations inspired by Guru Nanak Dev Ji.