Significance of Diwali in Sikhism

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Significance of Diwali in Sikhism

Today, Sikhs celebrate the release of the 6th guru, Hargobind Singh and 52 other princes from prison

Significance of Diwali in Sikhism

The five-day-long festival of Diwali is celebrated by every Indian with full excitement and joy. Each religion of India has its beautiful traditions and cultures, while the festival of Diwali is a constant celebration shared by most. In Sikhism, Diwali is an important celebration. On this day Sikhs celebrate the release of 6th guru, Hargobind Singh and 52 other kings from the prison by lighting candles and diyas.

History
Hargobind Singh was imprisoned by Delhi king Jahangir, in Gwalior. It is said that when Hargobind Singh reached the prison, he noticed 52 other princes were also imprisoned by Jahangir. Every king was tied to a pillar, and were not treated properly. After the guru reached, he eventually started singing Gurbani for all and relaxed the princes. Later on, the guru requested Jahangir to treat everyone properly and give them food. The request was approved and all the prisoners started to feel better.

Further on Sai Mia Mir, who laid the foundation of Harminder Sahib suggested Jahangir not to keep the young spiritual leader of Sikhs Hargobind Singh in prison as he has not done any mistake. Jahangir agreed to Sai Mia Mir and decided to release Guru but the guru expressed that he wanted other innocent prisoners also to get free from prison. Jahangir accepted the request but he challenged that he could take only those princes out with him who can hold him or his clothes.

Guru accepted the challenge and wore a kurta with 50 kalia (slit) on the day of release. Finally when the day came guru came out with 52 other prisoners. 50 prisoners held every kali of guru's kurta and the other two who were left held hands of guru. This way the challenge was also accepted and everyone was released from prison. That is why Hargobind Singh is also known as 'bandi chod data'

After the guru was released from the prison of Gwalior, he reached Punjab on the day of Diwali. Everybody welcomed the guru by lighting diyas and candles.

Every year on Diwali Sikhs visit gurudwaras, pray, light candles, and diyas to celebrate the release of Hargobind Singh.