You are here >> HOME  //  Know India Religion & Spirituality

Did you know?    

India is about 1/3 the size of the United States, India is the seventh largest country in the world, the second most populous country in the world. ● ● India is the largest democracy in the world. ● ● The Kumbh Mela (or Grand Pitcher Festival) is a huge Hindu religious festival that takes place in India every 12 years. In 2001, 60 million people attended, breaking the record for the world’s biggest gathering. The mass of people was photographed from space by a satellite. ● ● To avoid polluting the elements (fire, earth, water, air), followers of Zoroastrianism in India don’t bury their dead, but instead leave bodies in buildings called “Towers of Silence” for the vultures to pick clean. ● ● India has one of the world’s highest rates of abortion. ● ● Most Indians live on less than two dollars a day. ● ● Cows are considered one of humankind’s seven mothers because they offer milk as does one’s natural mother. ● ● Dancing is one of India’s most highly developed arts and was an integral part of worship in the inner shrines of every temple. It is notable for its expressive hand movements. ● ● Many Indian wives will never say their husband’s name aloud, as it is a sign of disrespect. When addressing him, the wife will use several indirect references, such as “ji” or “look here” or “hello,” or even refer to him as the father of her child. ● ● The Indian flag has three horizontal bands of color: saffron for courage and sacrifice, white for truth and peace, and green for faith, fertility, and chivalry. An emblem of a wheel spinning used to be in the center of the white band, but when India gained independence, a Buddhist dharma chakra, or wheel of life, replaced the spinning wheel. ● ● ● ● ● The temples of Khajuraho are famous for their erotic sculptures and are one of the most popular tourist attractions in India. Scholars still debate the purpose of such explicit portrayals of sexual intercourse, which sometimes involve animals. ● ● The earliest cotton in the world was spun and woven in India. ● ● The Himalayas—from the Sanskrit hima, meaning “snow,” and alaya, meaning “abode”—are found in the north of India. They extend 1,500 miles and are slowly growing taller, by almost an inch (2.5 cm) a year. Several ancient Indian monasteries are found nestled in the grandeur of these mountains. ● ● With 150,000 post offices, India has the largest postal network in the world. ● ● The Bengal tiger is India’s national animal. ● ● Alexander the Great of Macedon (356-323 B.C.) was one of the first important figures to bring India into contact with the West. After his death, a link between Europe and the East would not be restored until Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama (1460-1524) landed in Calicut, India, in 1498. ● ● The British Raj, or British rule, lasted from 1858 to 1947 (although they had a strong presence in India since the 1700s). British influence is still seen in Indian architecture, education system, transportation, and politics. ● ● Every major world religion is represented in India. Additionally, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism all originated in India. ● ● India has the world’s largest movie industry, based in the city of Mumbai (known as the “City of Dreams”). The B in “Bollywood” comes from Bombay, the former name for Mumbai. Almost all Bollywood movies are musicals. ● ● Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) is known around the world as Mahatma, which is an honorific title meaning “Great Soul” in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. ● ● ● ● ● The lotus is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. ● The Bahá'í house of worship in Delhi, known as the “Lotus Temple,” is shaped like a lotus flower with 27 gigantic “petals” that are covered in marble. ● ● The banyan, or Indian fig tree, is considered a symbol of immortality and is mentioned in many Indian myths and legends. This self-renewing plant is India’s national tree. ● ● Marigold flowers are used as decoration for Hindu marriages and are a symbol of good fortune and happiness. ● ● The name “India” derives from the River Indus, which most likely is derived from the Sanskrit sindhu, meaning “river.” The official Sanskrit name of India is Bharat, after the legendary king in the epicMahabharata. ● ● Indians made significant contributions to calculus, trigonometry, and algebra. The decimal system was invented in India in 100 B.C. The concept of zero as a number is also attributed to India. ● ● The national fruit of India is the mango. The national bird is the peacock, which was initially bred for food. ● ● Hindi and English are the official languages of India. The government also recognizes 17 other languages (Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Nepali, Manipuri, Konkani, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu). Apart from these languages, about 1,652 dialects are spoken in the country. ● ● India has the world’s third largest road network at 1.9 million miles. It also has the world’s second largest rail network, which is the world’s largest civilian employer. ● ● Bathing in the Ganges in particular is thought to take away a person’s sins. It is not unusual to spread a loved one’s ashes in the Ganges. ● ● Most Indians rinse their hands, legs, and face before eating a meal. ● ● It is traditional to wear white, not black, to a funeral in India. Widows will often wear white in contrast to the colorful clothes of married or single women. ● ● India is the world’s largest tea producer, and tea (chai) is its most popular beverage. ● ● The Taj Mahal (“crown palace”) was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1592-1666) for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal (1593-1631). Made of marble it has intricate workmanship. It took 22,000 workmen 22 years to complete it. ● ● The first and greatest civilization in ancient India developed around the valley of the Indus River (now Pakistan) around 3000 B.C. Called the Indus Valley civilization, this early empire was larger than any other empire, including Egypt and Mesopotamia. ● ● After the great Indus Civilization collapsed in 2000 B.C., groups of Indo-Europeans called Aryans (“noble ones”) traveled to northwest India and reigned during what is called the Vedic age. The mingling of ideas from the Aryan and Indus Valley religions formed the basis of Hinduism, and the gods Shiva, Kali, and Brahma all have their roots in Aryan civilization. The Aryans also recorded the Vedas, the first Hindu scriptures, and introduced a caste system based on ethnicity and occupation. ● ● Chandragupta Maurya (340-290 B.C.), a leader in India who established the Mauryan Empire (321-185 B.C.), was guarded by a band of women on horseback. ● Sanskrit is the mother of all the European ● languages. Sanskrit is the most suitable language for computer software reported in Forbes magazine, ● July 1987. ● Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to humans.Charaka, the father of medicine consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago. ● India never invaded any country in her last 10,000 years of history. ● India invented the Number System. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta. ● India never invaded any country in her last 10,000 years of history. ● India invented the Number System. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta. ● ● India never invaded any country in her last 10,000 years of history. ● India invented the Number System. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta. ● ●
Religion & Spirituality
18
Feb 2013
PDF
Print
E-mail
Inside Hollywood's GRAND Swaminarayan temple

Written by Administrator

Inside Hollywood's GRAND Swaminarayan temple

Days after its inauguration, one of the biggest Hindu temple in United States, built at a colossal cost of $100 million (Rs 543.5 crore) and designed to last 1,000 years, has become a major draw for its grandeur and architecture

The 68th Swaminarayan temple built near the Hollywood city in Los Angeles has been carved out of traditional stone and marble and cutting edge technology to protect it from earthquakes.

"The mandir is a beautiful testament to the hard work of your congregation who has spent several years to build this place of worship," Chino Hill Mayor Peter Rogers said.

"The mandir and cultural center will indeed be a place that Chino Hills can be proud of for so many, many generations," he added.

Constructed from 35,000 pieces of meticulously hand carved Italian Carrara marble and Indian Pink Sandstone, the temple encompasses five pinnacles, two large domes, four balconies, 122 pillars and 129 archways.

From the external walls and domes to the inside pillars and ceilings, the mandir is completely etched with intricate carvings in marble and sandstone.

The 6,600 hand-carved motifs depict a mosaic of tales of inspiration, devotion and dedication, along with historical figures from Hinduism, temple officials said.

"Artisans created the carvings in India with great love, skill and patience before the pieces were shipped to Chino Hills," a BAPS statement said.

 

The mandir is situated on a 20-acre site, complete with 91 foot lotus-shaped reflection pond, a cultural center, gymnasium and classrooms.

It is designed to "calm the mind and open it," said Ronak Patel, a volunteer of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.

 

Inside the 'Haveli' or mansion at the Swaminarayan temple complex, Chino Hills

BAPS said that it is first earthquake-proof mandir in the world.

Inside the 'Haveli' or mansion at the Swaminarayan temple complex, Chino Hills

"The upper structure of the complex is protected from earthquake damage by separating it from the base with a series of 40 base-isolator units," it said.

Inside the 'Haveli' or mansion at the Swaminarayan temple complex, Chino Hills

"The mandir also uses a solar power system to generate electricity and reduce adverse effects on the environment. The mandir combines the best of traditional stone art and architecture and the best of modern technology," said Divyesh Patel, a member of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha

Inside the 'Haveli' or mansion at the Swaminarayan temple complex, Chino Hills.

Inside the 'Haveli' or mansion at the Swaminarayan temple complex, Chino Hills.

Inside the 'Haveli' or mansion at the Swaminarayan temple complex, Chino Hills.

Inside the 'Haveli' or mansion at the Swaminarayan temple complex, Chino Hills.

'Murti darshan' at the Swaminarayan temple, Chino Hills.

'Murti darshan' at the Swaminarayan temple, Chino Hills.

The cultural centre at the Swaminarayan temple, Chino Hills.

 
18
Feb 2013
PDF
Print
E-mail
Mahabharata - The essence of life!

Written by Administrator

Mahabharata

Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 08:04
 
26
Nov 2012
PDF
Print
E-mail
Offering of Water to Sun

Written by Administrator

See our parents or grand parents and also even some of us offer water to Sun God in the morning. That is a different question if our ‘mornings’ for offering water to Sun god varies from 8:00 AM to 12:00 Noon J, but those who are regular don’t see the timing and do it whatever time it is possible. Ever wondered why do we offer water to Sun God? Is it because Sun has the status of a God in our Indian customs? Is it because our parents or grand parents do and they know better about traditions so we should also follow suit? Or is it because we want to follow it for the sake of following it? Well the reason why our brilliant ancestors followed it had none of these reasons but a very strong logical and scientific reason behind it.

We offer water to Sun God in the morning between 8:00 AM to 12:00 Noon as per our convenience with a Lota. When we pour water by raising both our hands towards Sun God a very thin flow of water falls from the Lota and we do not even see towards the Sun because of the strong rays coming from it. While our ancestors would offer water to Sun God at the time of dawn, when the Sun rises, with a utensil which had a wide edge. When the water was offered by raising both the hands towards the Sun God a wide film of flowing water would be made in front of the eyes and our ancestors (sages, saints) would see the Sun God through that film of flowing water. The rays of the Sun coming (filtered from the flowing film of water) at the time of sun rise were not only excellent for their eyes but it would also energize their entire body and soul.

It is a proven scientific fact that the early morning sun rays are good for the human being, after all human body is also a bundle of energy. The human body is made up of five things, air (vayu), water (jal), earth (prithvi), fire (energy) and space (aakash) and the cure of all the ailments of the body is amongst these five things only and the rays of the rising sun are one of these things. Many diseases can be cured by the use of sun rays e.g. ailments of the heart, eyes, jaundice, leprosy and weak mind. Rigveda says, it is sun that wakes one up from sleep. It is due to the sun that all can work and are active. All living beings of the creation depend on the sun. The sun removes physical, mental and spiritual weaknesses and makes one healthy and long lived. The seven colours of the sun are very good and important for the health. If early morning one has a bath and after offering prayers to the Lord one has sun bath and allows the sun rays to fall on one's body then one could free the body of all ailments and increase one's intelligence.

 
23
Sep 2012
PDF
Print
E-mail
Valmikis' stunningly accurate account

Written by Administrator
The story of Shri Rams' life was first narrated by Maharishi Valmiki in the Ramayana, which was written after Shri Ram was crowned as the king of Ayodhya. Maharishi Valmiki was a great astronomer as he has made sequential astronomical references on important dates related to the life of Shri Ram indicating the location of planets vis-a-vis zodiac constellations and the other stars (nakshatras).
Needless to add that similar position of planets and nakshatras is not repeated in thousands of years.
By entering the precise details of the planetary configuration of the important events in the life of Shri Ram as given in the Valmiki Ramayan in the software named "Planetarium" corresponding exact dates of these events according to the English calendar can be known.
Mr Pushkar Bhatnagar, of the Indian Revenue Service, had acquired this software from the US. It is used to predict the solar/lunar eclipses and distance and location of other planets from earth. He entered the relevant details about the planetary positions narrated by Maharishi Valmiki and obtained very interesting and convincing results, which almost determine the important dates starting from the birth of Shri Ram to the date of his coming back to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. Click here to join World Malayali ClubMaharishi Valmiki has recorded in Bal Kaand, sarga 19 and shloka eight and nine (1/18/8,9), that Shri Ram was born on ninth tithi of Chaitra month when the position of different planets vis-a-vis zodiac constellations and nakshatras (visible stars) were:
i) Sun in Aries; ii) Saturn in Libra; iii) Jupiter in Cancer; iv) Venus in Pisces; v) Mars in Capricorn; vi) Lunar month of Chaitra; vii) Ninth day after no moon; viii) Lagna as Cancer (cancer was rising in the east); ix) Moon on the Punarvasu (Gemini constellation & Pllux star); x) Day time (around noon).
This data was fed into the software. The results indicated that this was exactly the location of planets/stars in the noon of January 10, 5114 BC. Thus, Shri Ram was born on January 10, 5114 BC (7121 years back). As per the Indian calendar, it was the ninth day of Shukla Paksha in Chaitra month and the time was around 12 to 1 noontime. This is exactly the time and date when Ram Navmi is celebrated all over India.
Click here to join World Malayali ClubShri Ram was born in Ayodhya. This fact can be ascertained from several books written by Indian and foreign authors before and after the birth of Christ - Valmiki Ramayan, Tulsi Ramayan, Kalidasas' Raghuvansam, Baudh and Jain literature, etc.
These books have narrated in great detail the location, rich architecture and beauty of Ayodhya which had many palaces and temples built all over the kingdom. Ayodhya was located on the banks of the Saryu river with Ganga and Panchal Pradesh on one side and Mithila on the other side.
Normally 7,000 years is a very long period during which earthquakes, storms, floods and foreign invasions change the course of rivers, destroy the towns/buildings and alter the territories. Therefore, the task of unearthing the facts is monumental.
The present Ayodhya has shrunk in size and the rivers have changed their course about 40 km north/south. Shri Ram went out of Ayodhya in his childhood
(13th year as per Valmiki Ramayan) with Rishi Vishwamitra who lived in Tapovan (Sidhhashram). From there he went to Mithila, King Janaks' kingdom. Here, he married Sita after breaking Shiv Dhanusha.
Researchers have gone along the route adopted by Shri Ram as narrated in the Valmiki Ramayan and found 23 places which have memorials that commemorate the events related to the life of Shri Ram. These include :
Shringi Ashram,
Ramghat,
Tadka Van,
Sidhhashram,
Gautamashram,
Janakpur (now in Nepal),
Sita Kund, etc.
Memorials are built for great men and not for fictitious characters. Click here to join World  Malayali ClubDate of exile of Shri Ram: It is mentioned in Valmiki Ramayans' Ayodhya Kand (2/4/18) that Dashratha wanted to make Shri Ram the king because Sun, Mars and Rahu had surrounded his nakshatra and normally under such planetary configuration the king dies or becomes a victim of conspiracies.
Dashrathas' zodiac sign was Pisces and his nakshatra was Rewati.
This planetary configuration was prevailing on the January 5, 5089 BC,
and it was on this day that Shri Ram left Ayodhya for 14 years of exile.
Thus, he was 25 years old at that time (5114-5089).
There are several shlokas in Valmiki Ramayan which indicate that Shri Ram
was 25-years-old when he left Ayodhya for exile. Valmiki Ramayan refers to the solar eclipse at the time of war with Khardushan in later half of 13th year of Shri Rams' exile. It is also mentioned it was amavasya day and Mars was in the middle. When this data was entered, the software indicated that there was a solar eclipse on October 7, 5077 BC, (amavasya day) which could be seen from Panchvati.
The planetary configuration was also the same - Mars was in the middle,
on one side were Venus and Mercury and on the other side were Sun and Saturn.
On the basis of planetary configurations described in various other chapters, the date on which Ravana was killed works out to be December 4, 5076 BC, and Shri Ram completed 14 years of exile on January 2, 5075 BC, and that day was also Navami of Shukla Paksha in Chaitra month. Thus Shri Ram had come back to Ayodhya at the age of 39 (5114-5075). Click here to join World Malayali Club
A colleague, Dr Ram Avtar, researched on places visited by Shri Ram during his exile, and sequentially moved to the places stated as visited by Shri Ram in the Valmiki Ramayan, starting from Ayodhya he went right upto Rameshwaram.
He found 195 places which still have the memorials connected to the events narrated in the Ramayana relating to the life of Shri Ram and Sita These include Tamsa Tal (Mandah), Shringverpur (Singraur), Bhardwaj Ashram (situated near Allahabad), Atri Ashram, Markandaya Ashram (Markundi), Chitrakoot, Pamakuti (on banks of Godavari), Panchvati, Sita Sarovar, Ram Kund in Triambakeshwar near Nasik, Shabari Ashram, Kishkindha (village Annagorai), Dhanushkoti and Rameshwar temple. Click here to join World Malayali ClubIn Valmiki Ramayan it is mentioned that Shri Rams' army constructed a bridge over the sea between Rameshwaram and Lanka.
After crossing this bridge, Shri Rams' army had defeated Ravana. Recently,
NASA put pictures on the Internet of a man-made bridge, the ruins of which are lying submerged in Palk Strait between Rameshwaram and Sri Lanka.
Recently the Sri Lankan Government had expressed the desire to develop Sita Vatika as a tourist spot. Sri Lankans believe this was Ashok Vatika where Ravana had kept Sita as a prisoner (in 5076 BC).
Indian history has recorded that Shri Ram belonged to the Suryavansh and he was the 64th ruler of this dynasty. The names and other relevant particulars of previous 63 kings are listed in Ayodhya ka Etihaas written about 80 years ago by Rai Bahadur Sita Ram. Professor Subhash Kak of Lousiana University, in his book, The Astronomical Code of the Rig Veda, has also listed 63 ancestors of Shri Ram
who ruled over Ayodhya.
Sri Rams' ancestors have been traced out as: Shri Ram, King Dashratha, King Aja, King Raghu, King Dilip and so on. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Bengal to Gujarat, everywhere people believe in the reality of Shri Rams' existence, particularly in the tribal areas of Himachal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and the North-East.
Most of the festivals celebrated in these areas revolve around the events in the life of Shri Ram and Shri Krishna.  The events and places related to the life of Shri Ram and Sita are true cultural and social heritage of every Indian irrespective of caste and creed. Therefore, it is common heritage.
After all, Shri Ram belonged to the period when Prophet Mohammed or Jesus Christ were not born and Muslim or Christian faiths were unknown to the world.
The words Hindu (resident of Hindustan) and Indian (resident of India) were synonymous. India was also known as Bharat (land of knowledge) and Aryavarta (where Aryans live) and Hindustan (land of "Hindus" - derived from word Indus). During Ram Rajya, the evils of caste system based on birth were non-existent. In fact, Maharishi Valmiki is stated to be of Shudra class (scheduled caste), still Sita lived with him as his adopted daughter after she was banished from Ayodhya.
Luv and Kush grew in his ashram as his disciples. We need to be proud of the fact that Valmiki was perhaps the first great astronomer and that his study of planetary configurations has stood the test of times. Even the latest computer softwares have corroborated his astronomical calculations, which proves that he did not commit any error.
Shabri is stated to be belonging to the Bheel tribe. Shri Rams' army, which succeeded in defeating Ravana, was formed by various tribals from Central and South India.
The facts, events and all other details relating to the life of Shri Ram are the common heritage of all the Indians including scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, Muslims, Christians, etc.
Prophet Mohammad was born 1,400 years ago.
Jesus Christ was born 2,000 years back.
Gautam Buddha was born 2,600 years back,
whereas Ram was born 7,000 years back.Click here to join World Malayali Club
Hence, discovering the details relating to Shri Rams' life would be lot more difficult as destruction caused by floods, earthquakes and invasions etc., would be far greater. But, should that stop our quest for learning more about our cultural heritage?
As Indians, let us all take pride in the fact that the Indian civilisation is the most ancient civilisation today. It is certainly more than 10,000 years old. Therefore, let us reject the story of Aryan invasion in India in 1,500 BC as motivated implantation.
In fact Max Mueller, who was the creator of this theory had himself rejected it.
Let us admit that during the British Rule, we were educated in the schools based on Macaulay school of thinking which believed that everything Indian was inferior and that entire "Indian literature was not worth even one book rack in England." If there were similarities in certain features of Indian people and people from Central Europe, then automatic inference drawn was that the Aryans coming from Europe invaded India and settled here.
No one dared of thinking in any other way. Therefore, there is urgency for the historians and all other intellectuals to stop reducing Indian history to myth.
There is need to gather, dig out, search, unearth and analyse all the evidences,
which would throw more light on ancient Indian civilisation and culture. There is need for the print and the electronic media to take note of these facts and create atmosphere which would motivate our young and educated youth to carry out research and unearth true facts about the ancient Indian civilisation and wisdom and would also encourage them to put across the results of their research before the people fearlessly and with a sense of pride!
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 07:41
 
05
Aug 2012
PDF
Print
E-mail
The Power of Devotion

Written by Administrator

For a moment, if one pushes the religious fact aside, It is no ordinary feat to serve a meal to thousands of people in a day and that too round-the-clock.

Forty to fifty thousand people, on an average, partake of langar every day at Harmandar Sahib.

"On Sundays, festival days and Masya, the number exceeds 1 lakh," says Jathedar Harpinder Singh, Who is in charge of the langar.

Serving such a huge gathering is not an easy task. But, the devotion and selfless service of the Sewadars makes the job simple.

We have 300 permanent sewadars who work at the langar. They knead dough, cook food, serve people and perform a number of other jobs. Also, there are a good number of volunteers, both men and women, who work in kitchen and langar hall.
They also wash and wipe the utensils. "

"In the washing hall we have four sewadars to supervise the work," adds Harpinder Singh.

Of course, an elaborate arrangement is in place to cook and serve food at such a large scale.

The langar at Harmandar Sahib is prepared in two kitchens, which have 11 hot plates (tawi), several burners, machines for sieving and kneading dough and several other utensils.


At one tawi, 15 people work at a time. It is a chain process - some make balls of dough, others roll rotis, a few put them on the tawi and rest cook
And collect them.

It is all done so meticulously that one is surprised to see that on one hot plate, in just two hours, over 20 kg of flour is used to make rotis. The kitchen also has a roti-making machine, which was donated by a Lebanon-based devotee.

The machine is, however, used only on days that are likely to witness huge crowds.

The machine can make rotis of 20-kg flour in just half-an-hour. To get the flour, there are two machines in the basement of the langar hall and another that kneads one quintal of flour in just  Five minutes. It is this fine team of man and Machine that makes it possible for the Gurdwara to provide 24-hour langar on all days.

But, what about putting together the raw material?

"About 50-quintal wheat, 18-quintal daal, 14-quintal rice and seven quintal milk is the daily consumption in the langar kitchen. We have utensils that can store up to seven quintal of cooked daal and kheer at a time," says assistant in-charge Kanwaljeet Singh.

Items needed in langar are bought in huge quantities from Delhi . The purchase mainly includes pulses, while other every day requirements are met from the local market. A stock of all items is Maintained for two months, he adds.

"Desi Ghee comes from Verka Milk Plant in the city.Also, the devotees make donations. In a day we receive, over eight quintals of sugar and seven quintals of dal. Often, people also donate money in langar funds.
For instance, we recently received a donation of Rs 2 lakh from a devotee who wanted to bear all Langar expenses for a day ," says in-charge Harpinder Singh.

"Besides dal-roti, kheer and karah prasad is Prepared on alternate days. On an average, seven Quintals of milk and an equal quantity of rice is Needed to prepare kheer. On festive occasions, We also distribute jalebis.

Every day over 100 gas cylinders are needed to fuel the kitchen. For making tea, 6 quintals of sugar and 20 kg of tea leaf are consumed," adds Kanwaljeet.


But, all this wouldn't have been possible without the grace of Waheguru: "Loh langar tapde rahin" (may the hot plates of the langar remain ever in service) are the words that every devotee says in his prayers at the gurdwara.
At a time, over 3,000 people are served on the two Floors of the hall. Everyone is welcome at the darbar to share the meal, With no distinction of caste or religion.

The Sikh practice of 'Guru ka langar' was strengthened by Guru Amar Das, the third Sikh guru. Even Emperor Akbar, It is said, had to take langar with the common people
before he could meet Guru Amar Das. Langar or community kitchen was designed to uphold the principle of equality between all people regardless of religion, caste, colour,
creed, age, gender or social status.


In addition to the ideals of equality, the tradition of langar also aimed to express the ethics of sharing and oneness of all humankind.

 


On the other hand, following the principle of division of labour, the sewadars in the hall make sure that sangat gets the complete meal, from pickle to rice and dal. The whole thing is highly organised - from arranging the material to cooking and then serving.

After eating, the utensils are collected in one part of the hall in huge bins from where they are taken away for washing. Once cleaned, the dishes are quickly but neatly stacked in huge, wheeled storage bins, ready to be used again for the next sitting. 

But, all this wouldn't have been possible without the grace of Waheguru: "Loh langar tapde rahin" (may the hot plates of the langar remain ever in service) are the words that every devotee says in his prayers at the gurdwara. At a time, over 3,000 people are served on the two Floors of the hall. Everyone is welcome at the darbar to share the meal, With no distinction of caste or religion.

The Sikh practice of 'Guru ka langar' was strengthened by Guru Amar Das, the third Sikh guru. Even Emperor Akbar, It is said, had to take langar with the common people before he could meet Guru Amar Das. Langar or community kitchen was designed to uphold the principle of equality between all people regardless of religion, caste, colour, creed, age, gender or social status.



Aashima Seth Captured on film the Belgian film makers, Valerie Berteau and Philippe Witjes, and were so impressed with the langar at the Darbar Sahib that they made a documentary film on it.

Entitled Golden Kitchen, the film has impressed audiences at numerous film festivals in Europe. On June 6 this year, it was adjudged 'Outstanding' at the Festival of Short Films organised at the New York Museum of Modern Art.

Critics have praised the film for bringing out the beauty of what is for western audiences "an endeavour that is remarkable in scale, the clockwork efficiency with which the kitchen is organised and the fact that all the people manning the kitchen are volunteers who are inspired to undertake the heavy labour by their religious convictions."

IN THE SERVICE around 3,000 people are served meals at a go. It wouldn't be possible without sewadars, who look for no return except Wahegurus blessings.

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 August 2012 12:09
 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 3

Who's Online

We have 8 guests online

Your Inputs!!

What do you feel about Pride Indian.com?
 

Write to Us!

Your Email:
Subject:
Message:
Web Statistics