ਸਤਨਾਮ ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਵਾਹੇ ਗੁਰੂ … [Satnam Wahe Guru ]

You step into a confined space to free yourself or rather you step out of your fears to embrace sheer  joy of being alive.  The essence of being in the presence of my guru enlightens me beyond thoughts, beyond words, beyond anything this mortal world provides. Guru alone put me in this world and he alone can take me away giving me no reason to fear the world. I am one of his children, who under his omnipresent self has come to fulfill my destiny and carry forward his name by my deeds.

The above para would not even be obliquely clear to those who have never felt what its’ like to be under the Supreme power. Our ego that makes us feel invincible is the first thing that gets shattered once you enter his shadow of peace and blessing. This isn’t a thought from anyone 60 or 70 years in age, but from a man, merely 20 , yet in college but bound to be happy because he believes so, and also because he believes his “wahe guru” is watching him. That man is me, but I wasn’t the same some while back. A trip to a gurudwara one Sunday, resulted in a change of a lifetime in my perception of this world. Neither did the holy music have any affect on me nor did any other form of literature. I was mesmerized the concept the proud Sikhs follow in every visit to the Guru Sabha. This article besides illuminating the routine practices a sikh does, also embosses the essence of their actions, as told by our 10 gurus.

guru1 guru2 guru3 guru4 guru5 guru6 guru7 guru8 guru9 guru10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Sikh stands for a disciple of the supreme power, no religion, no caste ,allegiance to neither hindutva or Islam, he who stands and fights for the right in the shade of the sole guru, the sole power, is a sikh. Although, I’m not a sikh, still following some unknown intuition, I let myself walk into the gates of the guru sabha, that day.

After removing you footwear and washing your hands and feet { believe me you’ll never find a flaw with the arrangements }, you tie a patka or a cloth on your head like a scarf, which is compulsory for all and which signifies that one bows in respect to the “akal purakh” or the guru. Then, I was lead upstairs into what at first looked like a congregation hall, but later turned out to be the most peaceful place, I had ever stepped foot in. As I coasted in, { or at least that was what it felt like walking on the soft rug }, I couldn’t help but notice a section of ladies sitting to the left and another section of gentlemen sitting to the right of a temple like structure, which seemed to be the exact spirit of the place, the throne of the “Guru Granth Sahib”. Later did I realize, how it represented an equal status to women, who were placed at equal level as that of men, and the holy scripture at height equally above all.

IMG_2373

The kirtan being done in the background was what gave me a profound sense of being an eternal part of this dynasty, the guru, the sole power. This sense overrides all other senses, and once it happens, your each and every moment is worth relishing, becomes refreshing and the mind comes a long way from frustration, anger, ego, pride, arrogance, anxiety, lust and any other form of energy you can imagine. It isn’t happiness exactly, but a neutrality that circulates within your being, within your soul. Before I knew, I’d already bowed down to the guru granth sahib, stepped back , and was sitting on the floor enjoying each moment as it passed. The sikhs have structured their conduct guidelines very liberally, e.g. you can come and leave the ‘sabha’ at any time, photography isn’t banned, and most importantly no queues like the temples to let yourself closer to the guru’s region. Everyone is already so connected to their deity that physical nearness is never a priority.

Now, the Gurudwaras have to keep three practices up to pace:

1) kirtan

2) katha

3) Langar

Being a naive yet inquisitive visitor into their world, I decided to see how is that they manage the langar i.e. free meal for anyone who walks in. And the quality of the food is in itself remarkable and surprising, given the number of people they fees. Once, my friend told me that nothing matches the taste of food from a langar. I saw through his point that day when I ate, and although not full, I felt content. The gurudwara requires voluntary ‘seva’ or services that can be rendered by anyone to the gurudwara in form of cleaning the premises to preparing food, from distributing the food among people taking the langar to cleaning up their plates and many more acts of service are considered a seva.

IMG_2385   IMG_2386

I served salad to the people eating at that time, a small act of service yet a fulfilling thing to do. This act actually made my food delicious, this is what made me content and this is I believe what people strive for here. Well, ironically I didn’t get any salad for my lunch but I never felt the need for it too. This practice of seva is what keeps the gurudwara functional in all senses, may it be labor-wise or financially or just simple ground work. People cook, distribute, eat, wash and the cycle continues with every person reversing roles in short whiles.

IMG_2382

IMG_2383

Finally, the day went past in an enthusiastic and aesthetic manner, due to which I’d love to visit the place again. The Gurudwara, unlike most religious places, especially temples, is a much more cleaner, healthier place where crowd behaves as a single unit, as children of a single father, as parts of the single divine energy that sustains us all. I’d really like people to comment views , opinions and experiences, not just for my curiosity to know more, but for everyone who are still in search of a place similar to a Guru Sabha.

“Jo Bole So Nihal… Sat Sri Akal”….

P.S. the pics might be unprofessional but the spirit is pure.. enjoy.

Advertisements