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'We must ensure the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib continue to inspire us'
Onkar Singh in Amritsar | September 01, 2004 09:07 IST
President of India A P J Abdul Kalam on Tuesday delivered a long and involved lecture on the evolution of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs, at an international seminar organized at the Guru Nanak Dev University.
Talking to Sikh scholars at the function and later at the residence of university Vice Chancellor Dr S P Singh, Kalam animatedly discussed the philosophy of the Guru Granth Sahib and heaped praises on the fifth guru, Arjan Dev, for having brought out such a remarkable book.
Speaking to rediff.com, the President reminisced on his earlier visit to Amritsar and how it differed from his current trip.
"My first visit to Golden Temple was a matter of routine... because I was visiting various places in the country. But this time, my visit to the city has great significance because it has come about at a time the Sikhs are celebrating 400 years of the Prakash Utsav of the Guru Granth Sahib," the President said.
Asked what he was thinking when he wrote his speech, Kalam said, "Reading and talking about the book compiled by Guru Arjan Dev is a great experience. We must ensure that the profound teachings [of the] Guru Granth Sahib continue to inspire all of us," he said, extolling the messages of love, compassion, unity, of the brotherhood of man and of the supremacy of God to be found there.
Told it was about evolution of the Guru Granth Sahib, his face lit up.
"Very good," he said, smiled, and began walking to where other VVIP's were waiting for him.
Those who have known the President say that while Kalam has an interest in a number of issues, he is particularly enamoured of the Guru Granth Sahib.Before returning to New Delhi, Kalam spent 45 minutes at the Amritsar airport, speaking with people who had sought personal appointments with him. They included schoolgirls from Amritsar, teachers and members of the Gujjar Sabha. He gave each one of them a patient hearing before heading back to the capital.
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