Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh"

Visit a Gurudwara and you are bound to hear this Sikh salutation. This means "khalsa belongs to God and to God alone belongs the Victory". I had the privilege of visiting a Gurudwara last Sunday. It was a 15 minute drive from my house. I was on time to attend the Gurbaani (words of guru). It is compulsory for everyone to observe the Gurudwara discipline, which includes sitting in a group, bare footed, with head covered, dressed in traditional attire listening to gurubaani. The first thing that a Sikh does after entering Gurdwara Sahib is to bow before Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. This is called "Matha Tekna". On entering the hall, devotees walk slowly and respectfully to the main throne (called the takht) on which the Guru Granth Sahib rests. I found the devotees to be completely lost in the prayer as they recited wahe guru, wahe guru....  At the end of a prayer, one person out of the gathering says "Jo Bole So Nihaal, and the rest of them say Sat Sri Akal. There is a sense of pride when they utter this in the grace of god.  It literally means "Victory belongs to them; Who recite the name of god with true heart". - blessed are thee. (Sat Sri Akal).  The gurubaani is usually followed by "Langar" which means community kitchen. Every Sikh is expected to help out in a gurudwara. The Sikhs refer to this as "Seva" - means voluntary service. Please see below for pictures.

Whoever visits a gurudwara does not leave hungry. When they serve the food the volunteers say "Prashada ji" which means food from God. People from any and every religion are welcome at the Gurudwara. It was a one of a kind of spiritual experience for me. A sense of calm prevailed around me throughout  the day when I came back from the Gurudwara - the gateway to the guru. The prayer wahe guru, wahe guru kept playing in my mind...


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