Very early in the man’s history, the counting of time by days and months and seasons started and so had the beginning of calendar.
The Greeks from the very beginning of the Olympic games started maintaining Olympic Register, a traditional list of victors in the year 776 B.C. The Romans counted time from the founding of their city in 753 B.C. The Mohammadons reckon date from Hejira when prophet Mohammad left his birth place Mecca on July 16, 622 A.D for Madina. Hijri calendar is purely a lunar calendar. The 12 months in the year may have 29 or 30 days in a month with total number of days in a year vary from 354 to 355. Hijri year is shorter by 10 to 12 days in each succeeding year of common era years.
The Christian’s calendar so called Julian calendar was reformed by pop Gregory XIII on the recommendation of his astronomer in October 1582 by dropping 10 days and the 5th October was designated 15th October. This change was implemented by some countries immediately but England and United States switched to the reformed calendar called Gregorian calendar in September 1752 when the difference between the two calendars Julian and Gregorian became 11 days, designating 3rd September as 14th September thus dropping by 11days. This Gregorian calendar is commonly known as common era (C.E). the days of the months are fixed and every-one is conversent and need not to look after any almanac.
Bikrami calendar is both lunar and solar where two sets of months run parallel. The 12 months in a year may have 29, 30, 31 or 32 days in a month and year comprises precisely 365.25600 days in a year which is longer than true solar year of 365.24219 days in a year, by proximately 20 minutes in a year so it advances one day after about 70 years. Accordingly it would advance 100days or 3.25 months in 7000 years / 200 days or 6.50 months in 14000 years.
The great Guru Gobind Singh launched the Khalsa Panth on Baisakhi day of Bikrami 1756 Samvat which fell on March 29 in the year of 1699 C.E. It tricentinnial anniversary was celebrated world-wide on April 14, 1999 C.E. advanced by 16 days (11 days of C.E. + 5 days of Bikrami). Hence Vaisakh I (Vasakhi day) which now falls in the middle of April (Summer month) would fall 14000 years hence forth in the last week of October (Spring month) being repatriated to traditional Bikrami Samvet both Lunar and Solar having 365.25600 days in a year w.e.f. Chet 542 Nanakshahi (N.S.)/ 14 March, 2010 C.E. Similarly beginning month of Assahar (Harh) Sankrant which now falls in the middle of June (Summer month) would fall 14000 years henceforth in the last week of December (Winter month). The position of other months would also shift from summer to winter or winter to summer. By repatriating / adopting Sankrant of Bikrami calendar as a first day of month N.S calendar the year becomes longer by 20 mintes in a year than the true Solar year and there shall be no congruity with Gurbani of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji Jugo jug atal Barahmah Ruti Slok with relation to season.
The implementation of Nanakshahi calendar solely based on Solar system having 365.24219 days in a year (The earth revolution around the sun) with fixed days of months and congruity with Gurbani of Guru Granth Sahib ji Jugo jug atal Barahmah Ruti Slok is widely accepted by the Sikhs as there was no ambiguity in the calendar. It was prudent decision by the them Akal Takhat’s Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti and its implementation was declared on 14.04.2003 by Prof. Kirpal Singh Badungar the then President of S.G.P.C. All Gurpurbs and other historical events are on Solar dates of months and years with exception of Guru Nanak’s birthday, Bandi Chhod Divas and Holla Mohalla.
Apologetically I take liberty to my subtle expression and point of views on the so called N.S. calendar based on Sankrant of Bikrami Samvat w.e.d I chet 542 N.S. (14 March, 2010 C.E.) declared by S.G.P.C. and Akal Takhat. The sudden shift to Bikrami based Nanakshahi calendar is out-of-context. The year of calendar is longer than the Solar year by 20 minutes. Few dates of Gurpurbs and historical events are fixed on common Era ignoring the date of months of Nanakshahi Era. The structure of calendar is such that its flag hoisting on C.E. pole is fluttering atop the fort under the control of Bikrami commander. There are three battles our readers have to fight, the first with Giant Bikrami Era, the second with common Era and the third with so-called Nanakshahi Era mixed with rebellious troops of Bikrami and common Era. These forces are at apparent distant but really of mixed value and equipped with traditional arms. Which is easier to win? To displease everyone or to please everyone? This seems to have deftly done both.
The months of N.S. calendar are of Bikrami with dates of Bikrami and common Era. Gurpurbs and other historical events are shown with dates of C.E. ignoring N.S. dates of month. Thus calendar swings and would swing and swing as:-
1. Khalsa Jajna Divas Vaisakh-I (Vaisakhi day) falling on 14 April (Summer month) would fall on 15 April after about 70 years and after 14000 years henceforth would fall in the last week of October (Spring month).
2. Prakash of Sri Guru Amar Das ji – 9 Jeth, II N.S. (5.5.1479 C.E.) which falls 23 May, 2010 C.E. / 10 deth, 542 N.S. and 23 May,2011 C.E. / 9 Jeth, 543 N.S. having no consistency concluding common Era date of month are followed ignoring N.S. dates of month.
3. a) The Sikh army under the command of Banda Singh Bahadur captured Sirhind on 16th Jeth, 242 N.S. (14 May,1710 C.E.). Its tricentennial anniversary Solar based N.S. calendar is 16 Jeth corresponding to 30 May C.E. Its celebration on 14 May,2010 C.E. is followed by 1 Jeth, 542 N.S. instead by 16 Jeth and 14 May, 2011 C.E. followed by 31 Vaisakh 543 N.S. instead of 16 Jeth and is having no consistency as during 542 N.S. it was celebrated on 1 Jeth and 543 N.S. on 31 Vaisakh.
b) Banda Singh Bahadur embraced martyrdom on 11 Har, 248 N.S. corresponding to 9.6.1716 C.E. which now falls on 25 June. Its celebration is followed on 25 June, 2010 C.E. and 2011 C.E. / 11 Har 542 N.S. and 543 N.S.
Note – one event is celebrated by following common Era date and the other by following Nanakshahi Era.
4. Martyrdom of Sahibzadas of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji:-
a) Sahibzadas Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh embraced martyrdom with other Singhs on 8th Poh, 237 N.S. corresponding to 7.12.1705 C.E. which falls on 21 December, 2010 C.E. and 2011 C.E. and celebrated / being celebrated on 6th Poh 542 N.S. / 543 N.S. instead of 8th Poh concluding C.E. date of month is followed ignoring N.S. date of month 8 Poh
b) Sahibzadas Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh embraced martyrdom on 13 Poh, 237 N.S. corresponding to 12. 12. 1705 C.E. which falls on 26 December, 2010 C.E. and 2011 C.E. and celebrated / being celebrated on 11 Poh 542 N.S. / 543 N.S. instead of 13 Poh concluding C.E. date of month is followed ignoring N.S. date of month 13 Poh.
5. Martyrdom of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur ji 11 Mughar, 207 N.S. (11.11.1675 C.E.) which now falls on 24 November, fell on 24 November, 2010 C.E. accepted to celebrate on 24 November 2010 C.E. was shifted and celebrated on 10 December, 2010 C.E. following Lunisolar Bikrami calendar year’s month Mughar sudi ignoring N.S. date of month 11 Mughar.
6. Parkash of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji 23 Poh 198 N.S. (22.12.1666 C.E.) which falls on 5th January as per Solar based N.S. calendar, is falling twice in a year of 2011 C.E., on January 11th and December 31st with a gap of 354 days and would not fall in the year of 2012 C.E. being following Lunisolar Bikrami calendar’s month Mughar Sudi 5 ignoring N.S. date of month 23 Poh.
The soured relation of both Lunar and Solar based (Lunisolar) Bikrami calendar with true Solar based Nanakshshi calendar are alarming and this conception would render no result. The structure of N.S. calendar should base on true Solar calculations with relation to seasons having fixed days of months and the correspondence of each of its matching date to the date in the corresponding common Era calendar is automatic.
In the end I hope IOSS and other well-wishers of the Panth would impress upon the S.G.P.C. and Akal Takhat’s Jathedar to delink the Nanakshshi calendar from Bikrami Lunisolar calendar and adopt the true Solar based N.S. calendar so that it should be free from the grip of riddles.
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2011, All