by Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Academy

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Table of

The Reality………………………………………………………. 1

  1. INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………. 1
  2. SIKH HISTORY ON CALENDAR…………………………………………. 2
  3. CALENDAR & RELIGION…………………………………………………. 2
  4. BASIS OF INDIAN CALENDARS………………………………………… 3
  5. ORIGIN OF BIKARMI CALENDAR………………………………………. 5
  6. “NANAKSHAHI” CALENDAR……………………………………………… 7
  7. SIKH CALENDAR…………………………………………………………… 7
  8. INACCURACIES IN NANAKSHAHI……………………………………… 9
  9. GREGORIAN CALENDAR……………………………………………….. 10
  11. ARTICAL BY PROF. ANURAG SINGH JI……………………………. 12
  12. SUMMARY………………………………………………………………. 17


The Reality


Since 2003, our Sikh Panth has been challenged by another doubt which has resulted in disunity amongst the scholars, associations, groups and individuals celebrating Gurpurabs. The main purpose of celebrating Gurpurab has been deviated from it original intent to flourish unity and to instill the Guru’s Wisdom through the accounts of their life.

        The history of celebrating Gurpurab goes back to the times of our third Master, Guru Amar Das Ji who initiated the celebrations of earlier Guru’s Perkash (Birth), Guruship & Merger into formless form (Jothi Jot). This was initiated by Guru Amar Das Ji himself upon the request from Bhai Paro Ji to gather Sikhs in a large scale in order to instill unity between them. Bhai Gurdas Ji says;


Sacrifice upon the Sikhs of the Guru who performs passionate meditation and celebrates the anniversary to commemorate their Guru’s days.


Their deeds perform during lifetime shall fruitful and shall be practiced as a guide in future.  

        The purpose of the Panth celebating Gurpurab has been severely distorted and has become one of the cause of disunity. Today the situation is such that everyone who attends the Gurpurab is more concerned over the actual date based on their personal believe (which is rather subjective) rather then engrossing in the love through the particular event being celebrated.  A Sikh is required to live an exemplary life which is fruitful not only for himself but for the society, nation and global community. This would only be possible if one lives his/her life with our Guru’s wisdom and guide to which a Sikh accepts with clear conscious and shy away from doubts.   


        The entire Sikh history including the times during our Ten Guru’s is recorded on the Bikarmi Calendar. It is evident from the written history that the important dates in Sikh History is directly based on Bikarmi Calendar therefore it will the most appropriate to reflect and derive the Gurpurab dates from the same calendar which we have been following all through since the Perkash of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in year 1469 and after Guru Gobind Singh Ji year 1708. It has been 547 years since then. Our Guru’s has been proven to be all-capable and all-competent so if the need would arise they would have definitely create a separate calendar during their times. 

Our Guru’s has always instill unity among the mankind while upholding the truth to its most extent without hesitating to sacrifice all that they had including their own physical form


Calendar is the product of the understanding and measuring time through various methods and philosophies within the limits of nature.  However, the calendar has been developed noting certain landmark historical events within their local community. This has over time gained significant as most of the historical religious events were recorded on the same calendar. The calendar and its content are called by different names due to the local language bearing in mind of the limitation in vocabulary as single language were used in a particular area. 

The establishment of the calendars were based on the astronomy theories adopted during the time of its creation. Knowledge cannot be confined in the boundaries of religion although its founding members would have been belonging to a particular sect, creed or religion as the globalization concepts were yet to be established.

In today’s world, knowledge is shared as a common education syllabus used globally. Therefore limiting ourselves to knowledge within our sect, creed or society is not practical anymore. Guru Nanak Dev Ji marked as the first ever Guru (Prophet) who promoted globilisation through His travel and shared His wisdom without any discrimination.  It is sad to notice that we Sikh who have a birth privilege having Guru Nanak Dev Ji as our Guru is now confining ourselves in a tight horizon by drawing lines and building walls between us and the knowledge which is defined by the mother nature.


  1. Lunisolar
  2. Amanta

Measures month from new moon (msIAw) to next new moon. Used in Southern and Western India, the year starts     in the month of Katak & Asaar month start (Zero Year:- 57CE)

  1. Purnimanta

Measures month from full moon (sMgrWd) to next full moon.        The year starts in the month of Chet month start (Zero Year:- 57CE) Used in Northern India  (Zero Year:- 57CE)

  1. Solar


  1. Malayali –  Used in Kerala. The months are named by Rassi and the month starts on the same day if Sankranti means transmigration of the Sun from one Rāshi (constellation of the zodiac in Indian astronomy) to the next.[1]


  1. Oriya – Used in Orissa. The months are named by usual rules and the month starts on the same day if Sankranti.


  • Tamil – Used in Tamil Nadu. The months are according to usual rules, begins with Chittirai (Chet) and the month starts on the same day if Sankranti occurs before mid-night.


  1. Bengali – Used in Bengal, Assam, Tripura. The months are according to usual rules and the month starts a day after Sankranti if occurs accurs before mid-night. (Zero Year :- 963 + Solar years since 1556 CE)


  1. Mathematical (Saka)


This is the national calendar of India introduced in the year 1957 based on the proposal by Saba and Lahiri in 1952. Months are fixed to be 30 or 31 days  and leap every four years with indian month names. This calendar is in called Saka.



  1. History

The Bikarmi Calendar has been originated by by the Malwa People of Punjab in 58BC[2].  There is no historical evident that Bikarmi Calendar was initiated nor created by any Hindu King nor there was any Hindu King by the name Vikarmaditya.  Vikarmaditya is a title assumed by Six Indian kings; three of North and three of South India.

  1. Raja Vikramditya

The Bikarmi Calender has always been told to be originated after King Bikarmanjit or King Vikramaditya after he defeated the Sakas.      However there is no authentic proof such as coins, monuments nor inscriptions to verify the existence of the King[3].

  1. Other Raja Vikramditya


  • Chander Gupta II


The first Indian king, who assumed the title of Vikarmaditya was Chander Gupta II (376-413AD) i.e. ,that the Hindu king who is falsely associated with Bikarmi Samvat was born 434 years after the introduction of Bikrami Samvat.

  • Role Hero (A Myth)


In the Katha Sarit Sagar by Som Dev Bhatt written 11th to 12th century for the entertainment of Queen Suryamati (the wife of King Anantdev) of Kashmir. In contradiction, the accounts and stories of Vikramaditya told to be existed in 800AD are exactly similar to the stories carried through oral tradition dating back to 1BC.


  • Earliest Account


The earliest account of Vikram is metioned in the Bhavishya  Puran (one of the 18 Purans written bt Vyasa) as the son of Gandharvasen and grandson of Deity Indra. 


  • Mahankosh


Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha mentioned in his Mahan Kosh that there were many brave Kings named Vikram or   Vikram-Aditya. the following three (3) are mentioned;

  • The son of King Garadbhil of Ujain (known to have started the Bikermi), he ruled Ujjain in 1st century BCE, but some scholars, such as Vasudev Vishnu Mirashi, believe that he is not a historical figure.[4] Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha also noted that the Nine Jewels (9 Ratan – means 9 poets) believed to be in his court is also a myth as the named were born in different times.


  • The son of Samudar Gupt, Chandar Gupt who ruled Surashat (Kathiavar) in samvat 350.


  • Ranaditya’s son who ruled Kashmir in the 7th century AD.


Nanakshahi Calendar by Pal Singh Purewal is entirely based on the National Calendar of India, introduced in March 1957 after the independence as a Civil Calendar, and interestingly is based on Saka (Mathematical) Calendar, on which the Hindu Religious Calendar is also based[5].  This calendar was first introduced in 1993 and first adopted by the Punjab Government under the then Chief Minister Beant Singh who is well known for his extra judicial killings, extortions, kidnappings and outlawed activities. 

In the Nanakshahi Calendar and the National Calendar of India, five months are of 31 days and seven months are of 30 days. Whereas in Saka Hindu Calendar the month of Chet is of 31 days in during leap year and in Nanakshahi the month of Phagan is of 31 days.  Mr Purewal has confirmed this fact in his book Jantri 500 Years, saying The Saka year that starts in Common Era leap year will also be a leap year. The year will always begin on March 21 is a leap year. This way the months of the Saka Era will maintain constant relationship with those of Common Era.

In this way, Mr Purewal cleverly introduced the National Calendar of India, based on Saka Calendar (on which the Hindu Religion Calendar is based) as Nanakshahi Calendar. Interested readers may consult The (1921).



According to Oxford Dictionary of World religions published in the year 1993 (ten years before the implementation of Nanakshahi) the Sikhs religious Calendar is a modified form of the Bikrami Calendar (p 188)[6].

Thus, proving that Sikhs had a distinct calendar even before the implementation of Nanakshahi Calendar.

The summary records of all the important dates based on Bikarmi Calendar relating to Jothi Jot of Guru’s  are scripted in almost all the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s manuscripts and there is no evidence of any other calendar used in Sikh nation since 1469 as claimed.


 11 Image is of manuscript of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji dated Jeth 1, 1764 Bikarmi (April 29 1707AD). This very manuscript is autobiographed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. (courtesy from Professor Anurag Singh)





This manuscipt of SGGS dates Har Sudi 2 1762Bikarmi (June 12 1705AD).





Manuscript of SGGS at Punjabi University.




A Manuscript of SGGS preserved at Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib, Nanded.


This proves that Bikarmi calendar as we know it was used during our Guru’s times.



        The basis adopted in overlapping the Bikarmi and Saka calender with influence of Gregorian Calendar has caused many inaccuracies in reflecting the Gurpurabs in Nanakshahi calendar which was very evident from the beginning of its implementation in the year 2003.  Even this year 2016, the clash can be seen on the 16th April which records Jothi Jot of Guru Angad Dev Ji, Guruship of Guru Amar Das Ji and Jothi Jot of Guru Har Krishan Sahib Ji whereas Bikarmi Calendar recordes three different date.

Leaving the dates aside for a moment, if one would examine the gap measured in days (24hours) between the event of the Jothi Jot of the earlier Guru and the Guruship of the next Guru which should reflect  the actual days in accordance to the historically recorded dates. The following table summerises the discrepancies in Nanakshahi compared to the actual dates;


Gurus Difference between Gurdagadhi and Joti Joth[7](Days) Difference in Bikarmi 2016 AD (Days) Difference in Nankshahi 2016 AD (Days)
II & III 2 2 0
III & IV 2 2 0
IV & V 1 1 0
VI & VII 6 6 5
VII & VIII 0 0 0
VIII & IX 0 0 0
IX & X 2 2 0



Nanakshahi Calender has relied partly on Gregorian Calendar.  Although    this calendar is the most internationally recognised calendar but the advancement of the astronomy technology has surfaced the following     fault.

  1. The start date corresponds to the wrongly dated birth of Christ.
  2. Is associated with religious beliefs shared only by a segment of humanity.
  • Divide the history in an event relevant only for a fraction of humanity.
  1. Have negative years.
  2. Do not have zero year.
  3. The duration of months in the quarters is different as well as the duration of the quarters.
    Quarter 1: 31, 28/29, 31. Total 90/91.
    Quarter 2: 30, 31, 30. Total 91.
    Quarter 3: 31, 31, 30. Total 92.
    Quarter 4: 31, 30, 31. Total 92.
  • The leap day location at second month end causes the displacement of a date on the day of the week be different if the date is before or after February 29. If before, the double displacement occurs on the year after the leap year. If after, the double displacement occurs on the proper leap year.
  2015 2016 2017
January, 1 Thursday Friday Sunday
March, 1 Sunday Tuesday Wednesday


  • 7-day weeks don’t fit evenly into the Gregorian calendar. That means that each year, dates shift over one day of the week (two during leap years)



It has been propagated by the pro-Nanakshahi commenters that the seasons will change over time if Bikarmi Calendar is based on which would be against the Gurbani (Barahmaha). However this is a false claim propagated as change in season will not occur and the change in months is because of natural phenomenon called ‘precession of sun’. An example, Ram Chandra was born in the month of Chet 7128 years back on January 10, 5114 BC., and his birth still comes in the month of Chet ( March-April ) currently.

This difference of two months in 7128 years is due to the precession of the sun and not of the moon. Since one zodiac sign (of the total of 12) refers to 30degree, the earth falls backwards by about one zodiac constellation in 2200 years. Due to this natural phenomenon, the sun repeats its position in the same constellation by completing the 360 degree in about 25,920 years. So, this explains the shift of 3 months as three zodiac cycles have passed consuming a timespan of 6,600 years and is currently in its forth zodiac cycle. This process is explained in detail in, ‘polar shift and equinoxes’.

Thus, Nanakshahi’s calculations of changing seasons in 13,000 years and threat to Gurbani is a misleading lie


11.     ARTICAL BY PROF. ANURAG SINGH JI – Nanakshahi Calendar : A Historical Blunder

Prof Anurag Singh of the International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) Sikh Affairs was asked to prepare a Note on the Nanakshahi controversial calendar so that the IHRO may take a stand and do lobby to get it through so as to clear the mist among the Sikh people worldwide – DS Gill Chair IHRO 

The so-called Sikh Calendar, presented to the Sikh world as Nanakshahi Calendar by learned fraternity of Chandigarh, known for creating controversies and backing the adversaries of Sikh Panth, Gurbaksh Singh Kala Afghana openly, backed Pal Singh Purewal, Government’s sponsored campaign to distort the Sikh history, and introduce a new Calendar in the sacred name of Guru Nanak.

Here it is pertinent to mention the following two facts:

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandak Committee (SGPC) neither passed any resolution for replacing the existing Sikh Calendar nor entrusted the job to Pal Singh Purewal.

Pal Singh Purewal Singh’s Jantri 500 Years was published by Punjab School Education Board in 1994 during the tenure of Chief Minister Beant Singh, whereas the Board is supposed to publish the text books for the school students with the quota of paper supplied to it. This was the first and last book, meant for researchers, published by the board.

Here, I may add that when this very Jantri of Purewal was extensively quoted to question the wisdom of Mr Purewal, all the copies of this Jantri  were exported to Canada. With this Jantri of Purewal, the Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh, in its meeting dated November 27, 1995, prepared the Sikh Calendar within two hours, and presented to the SGPC through Dr Kharak Singh, member Dharm Parchar Committee of the SGPC to replace the traditional Sikh Calendar with distorted dates and history of the Sikhs in this so-called Nanakshahi Calendar.  

In the Calendar, Pal Singh Purewal and his associates have taken the shelter of mendacious assertions and perfidious lies and till date neither Purewal nor his associates, could either confront or controvert or weaken in any manner the following historical facts pointed out by me and other scholars exposing the misleading lies of Mr Purewal:

Before introduction of this distorted Calendar, a Sikh Calendar was/is used, and Nanakshahi Samvat was also used. This fact has been highlighted in 1993, long before the so-called Nanakshahi Calendar was introduced, in the Oxford Dictionary of World Religions (EdJohn Bowker): “The Sikhs’ religious Calendar is a modified form of the Bikrami Calendar.” (p 188). The first perfidy of Mr Purewal was exposed, who claimed that he is the architect of the Sikh Calendar.

Secondly, the tall claim of Mr Purewal that he is the maker of Nanakshahi Calendar, which is original, was also exposed as it is nothing but a carbon copy of the National Calendar of India, introduced in March 1957 by Indian Government as a Civil Calendar, and is based on Saka Calendar, on which the Hindu Religious Calendar is also based. In the Nanakshahi Calendar and the National Calendar of India, five months are of 31 days and seven months are of 30 days. Whereas in Saka Hindu Calendar the month of Chet is of 31 days in during leap year and in Nanakshahi the month of Phagan is of 31 days. Mr Purewal has confirmed this fact in his book Jantri 500 Years,saying “The Saka year that starts in Common Era leap year will also be a leap year. The year will always begin on March 21 is a leap year. This way the months of the Saka Era will maintain constant relationship with those of Common Era.” (p iv). In this way, Mr Purewal cleverly introduced the National Calendar of India, based on Saka Calendar (on which the Hindu Religion Calendar is based) as Nanakshahi Calendar. Interested readers may consult The Hindu Religious Year — by M.M. Underhill (1921).

Thirdly, Mr Purewal spread the canard that Bikrami Calendar is a Hindu calendar and was introduced by a Hindu King of India Vikramaditya Bikrami Calendar had no connection with any Hindu king Vikramaditya, nor Vikramaditya is the name. This is mere a title which was assumed by eight monarchs of India. The first monarch so named was Chandraguptya II (376-414 AD)and this emperor was in constant war with the western India. It is accepted fact that Bikrami Calendar was introduced by the Malwa people of North-west Punjab in 57 BC, i.e., 433 years (57+376) before the first Vikramaditya title was assumed by Chandraguptya of Ujjain (Ancient Malwa and Vikramaditya Tradition by Dr D.C. Sircar, 1969). Thus, Bikrami Calendar was introduced in 57 BC on the land of five rivers in Punjab by a valiant community known as Malwa people, who were inhabitants of the valley of river Ravi. A section of these people migrated to Jaipur, Tonk region of Rajasthan, under pressure of foreign invasions. It was known as Malwa Samvat, which is evident from the historical records. “The era handed down by the Malwa republic” (Ancient Indian History & Culture Political History of Ancient India 325 H.C. – 319 AD. Rise of Mauryas- D.R. Bhandarkar, 1921 (Nos 5, 6, 9). Malwa people carried forward this Calendar to Rajasthan. Originally it started with the month of Katak. Hence, this Calendar is of East Iranian origin and is in use only in North-Western India. The Sikh Gurus accepted this Calendar and modified it according to Sikh ethics to make a Sikh Calendar in true sense, while in Hindu traditions it is known by  the name ‘Vikarmi Samvat’ as Hindus normally use ‘V’ in place of ‘B’. In Sikh religious and historical literature it is known as Bikrami Samvat in accordance with the dialect used in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Dasam Granth and related literature.

FEEDBACK Note : On January 31, 2003, RSS Chief Sudarshan loudly proclaimed that they will not allow the implementation of Nanakshahi Calendar, since the Sikhs are already using Hindu Saka Calendar, and not knowing that the Sikhs are using Sikh Calendar, a modified form of Vikarmi Calendar (The Tribune, Chandigarh).

Mr Pal Singh Purewal, who was up till that time had proposed Khalsa Samvat Calendar, immediately switched to Indian National Saka Calendar, and obliged the RSS bosses.  The so-called Nanakshahi Calendar was released about two months later on Vaisakhi, April 14, 2003 AD, and RSS was happy, and remained silent. RSS was happy that what they failed to achieve in 50 years, was achieved it with one stroke through Comrade Purewal. 

The history of the Sikhs was completely distorted, and the Sikhs were further divided on the only source of their unity, i.e., Gurpurbs. Such attempts were made by the governments even during the times of the Gurus, and such adversaries ended up as OutGroups, namely, Minas, Dhir Malias, Handalias, Ram Rayias, Ajitmalias, but failed to harm, in any manner, the Sikhism. 

From 1884 AD the British started this policy by creating divisions in Singh Sabhas, and promoting Lahore Singh Sabha as parallel body. Fresh controversies- Date of Birth of Guru Nanak, Bhai Bala, Bhagat Bani, Bhatt Bani, Dasam Granth, Ragmala, Ardas, were started between 1884-1928 AD, and now the so-called Nanakshahi Calendar. 

That is why Bhai Daya Singh in his Rehitnama had defined such selfish Sikhs as: i) Bhekh-di-Sikhi- those who became Sikhs for material gains, ii) Dhande-di-Sikhi-those who became Sikhs for commercial gains; iii) Hirsi Sikhs- greedy Sikhs. For such adversaries William Shakespeare writes: “And thus I clothe my naked villainy, with old odd ends, stolen out of holy writ, and seem a Saint, when mostly I play the devil.” 

Ludhiana: January 16, 2015


12.     SUMMARY

The bringing of Nanakshahi was a devious plan to play with the Sikh ethos. Its history is full of controversies and also its implementation which was done in hurry by Akal Takht back in 2003. The way it has changed the perception of our very own Sikh Calendar (modified Bikarmi Calendar) used for the past 547 years by relating it to the Hindus and introducing a calendar which had deeper roots into the Hindu Calendar (Saka). The anti-Sikh lobby has already been successful in tearing apart the Sikhs with the calendar issue as they were unsuccessful in many trials like Ragmala, Sri Dasam Granth, Bhagtan Dhi Bani, Ardas to name a few. The Panth has gone stronger from the following insults but is in a dire state currently.

It is our sincere hope, that this article will be an eye-opener to the issue and will encourage the readers to get up from their comfort zones and do their own research rather than listening to the self-made professors.

[1] Sankranti means the entry of the sun from one zodiac to another.

[2] “An Advanced History of India” by RC Majumdar

[3] “Oxford History of India” by Vincent Smith

[4] Chandra Rajan (2005). The Loom Of Time. Penguin UK. pp. 268–269 & Vasudev Vishnu Mirashi and Narayan Raghunath Navlekar (1969). Kālidāsa; Date, Life, and Works. Popular Prakashan. p. 10.

[5] Hindu Religious Year by M.M. Underhill

[6] Oxford Dictionary of World Religions by Ed John Bowker

[7] According to Suraj Perkash Granth, manuscripts and other Panth approved text

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The Sikh Calender 1