The following are excerpts from the in depth research paper by the creator of the Nanakshahi Calendar Mr. Purewal.
We have given up the Bikrami calendar for the following reasons:
1. Its months do not have a permanent relationship with the seasons as mentioned in Gurbani.
2. We should have our own calendar. A calendar is a part of the identity of a Nation.
The Bahai faith is the newest faith, being about 200 years old. Its followers gave up on the
Hijri calendar and have their own calendar which is based on tropical year length and has permanent
correspondence with the Common Era calendar. All major religions of the world have their own
calendar. A calendar is an important part of the identity of a Nation.
The following quotation from ‘Mapping Time’ says it all:
“Today each of the major religions has its own calendar which is used to programme its religious
ceremonies, and it is almost as true to say that each calendar has its religion. The Christians, the
Moslems, the Jews, the Buddhists, the Jains, the Hindus, the Zoroastrians, and, more recently, the
adherents of Bahai, all have their calendars.”
-Richards, E.G., Mapping Time, p.6
3. The lunar-date system is not very practical. For celebrations of important days we should use a calendar
based on the solar tropical year. The Bikrami calendar is luni-solar based on the sidereal year.
We have fixed the dates of ‘Sangrands’ in Nanakshahi calendar so that the phenomenon of rath firai shall always
occur in Harh close to 7th day of the month, and it shall stay according to Gurbani – the relation of months and seasons
staying as at present. The Gregorian calendar, the Iranian solar calendar, and the Bahai calendar are all also based
on the length of the tropical year.
4) When Guru Sahiban revealed Barahmaha and Ruti Sloka Banis, they had the seasons in Punjab and not the ones in
Australia, in their mind, just like Guru Sahiban used the Indian units rati, tola, masa, ser, maan etc., and not the
British units ounces, pounds, stone, nor the international units grams, and kilograms etc. The interpretation of
Gurbani has to be made in the same context in which it was originally revealed. It is true that Guru Sahiban’s message
is universal, but there are certain thoughts expressed in Gurbani which are region-specific. Barahmaha’s spiritual
message is universal, but the seasons and their occurrence in particular months is region specific – Punjab.
5) The date when the day is longest in the year, when the northern declination of the sun is maximum , when the sun
changes its course from northerly to southerly direction.. This phenomenon occurred on the Sawan Sangrand at the
time of beginning of Siddhantic astronomy. Because of the shift of the Sangrands due to the precession of the
equinoxes, it occurred about 15th Asarh at the time of Guru Nanak Sahib, and around 13th Asarh in the first decade of
the 18th Century, and occurs around 8h
6) Asarh of Bikrami calendar currently. This will shift to the close of Jeth in
another 600 years. Here it does not matter whether it is Australia or India, it will occur in Jeth, contrary to its mention
in the month of Asarh. Unlike Bikrami calendar, Nanakshahi calendar is based on the tropical length of the year,
therefore no further shift will occur and it will always occur in the month of Asarh.
7) In 6500 years Asarh will move into mid-September. In September, it is autumn in the Northern hemisphere, and
spring in the southern hemisphere (Australia included). My request is to understand the problem with the Bikrami
calendar and not to offer far-fetched explanations.
8) The names of the month of the Nanakshahi calendar are the same as given in Barahmahas, except that their popular
variants are used. We read Gurbani, and we want our children to read and understand Gurbani. We have to tell them
about calendars as well, when explaining Gurbani Barahmahas.
9) On the beginning month of the Nanakshahi Calendar, I just want to emphasize that in the calendar we cannot have
Chet as the twelfth month, when it is the first month in both the Barahmahas, and Ruti Slok Banis. Nanakshahi year
would start with 1 Chet, irrespective of the fact that Guru Nanak Sahib’s parkash day falls on a different day. If the
names of the existing months have to be used then this is the right procedure. Hazrat Mohammad Sahib’s flight to
Medina from Mecca did not take place on 1 Muharram, yet their new year starts on that date. Christ was not born on
1 January, yet the new CE year starts on that date.
Read the entire indepth Research: Gurbani and the Nanakshahi Calendar