Why is Baisakhi important to Sikhs, Buddhists and Arya Samajis?
Baisakhi is celebrated with great zeal in Punjab. The festival has a two fold significance. On the one hand it celebrates the harvests, since at this time, the rabi crop is ready for harvest. More importantly, the day also commemorates the founding of the Khalsa by the tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh. The festival of Baisakhi is an important festival for the Sikhs because it is a formal celebration of the brotherhood of their community.
According to the solar calendar, Baisakhi falls on the thirteenth day of April. On this day in 1699, their tenth Guru Gobind Singh organized the order of the Khalsa. He initiated his first disciples by giving them amrit (nectar) and declaring them the first members of the martial community known as Sikhs.
The day also has significance for Buddhists and Arya Samajis. On this day, Buddha attained Nirvana or enlightenment. For Arya Samajis, the day marks the date in 1857 when the reformist Swami Dayanand Saraswati, founded the Arya Samaj sect. This off shoot of Hinduism looks to the Vedas for inspiration and eschews the ritualism and idol worship that riddled 19th century Hinduism.