Archive for July, 2007

July 26th, 2007

July 29 Diwan

Posted in Announcements by London Sikh Society

Gurmukh Piarey, Karuna-Nidhan Sri Khalsa Ji:

 

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki fateh

 

We had a very good annual picnic on July 21 at Weldon Park Arva. Dedicated members spent immense amount of time in preparing food and organizing this Picnic as usual. The day was beautiful and clear. Weather was great.  Variety of food items were prepared in advance, and food was plenty. Kids and adults had fun playing soccer, volleyball, and doing tug-of-war.  Generally members enjoyed relaxing and sharing various activities. Thanks to all the organizers and participants for a very commendable job.

In next day Diwan of July 22, the attendance was a bit thinner than usual but great Kirtan was performed by Bhai Amrik singh Ji. He sang the shabds on Satguru Charn Mehima e.g. Satgur kay charn dhoey dhoey peewaan|| Guru Nanak jap jap sad jeevaa|| He also sang the Baramaha month of Sawan, and explained its meaning. It was highlighted that following practically Guru Ji’s shabd , and Naam Simran are key actions that need prime importance in our lives. The Diwan was followed by Langar by family of S. Narinder Singh Lail.. S. Narinder Singh ji thanks all Sangat who helped them in this endeavour. Our next two Langars are by Sadh Sangat. Any member who may want to take responsibility to offer Langar are welcome.

S. Surjit Singh Bains and Bibi Santosh Kaur are going to do Seva of morning snacks and tea on morning of July 29th Diwan.  Thanks to all who help in Langar seva always.

N E W S From Sikhs in Vancouver

Feed the Homeless Campaign by Sikhs shatters records.
  

Wednesday 18th of July 2007 – Vancouver, BC – Sikhcess, a community organization dedicated to highlighting Sikh achievements and promoting the basic Sikh principles of public service, today announced that on Sunday, June 24, 2007, local volunteers successfully prepared, packaged, and delivered a record number of food packages to homeless communities in Vancouver and Surrey, British Columbia.

“I’m very pleased at the exceptional efforts of all of our volunteers and especially grateful to the students at Surrey’s Khalsa School, whose donations and volunteer spirit allowed us to deliver 3,500 food packages the needy in a single night,” commented Mr. Jatinder Singh, Founder of Sikhcess.   

“The Sikh institution of ‘Langar’ was started by the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, eventually evolving to become today’s only faith-based, free kitchen of-its-kind in the world, collectively serving millions around the globe each year, regardless of gender, social standing, caste, color, religious affiliation, or beliefs. Through this ideal of equality, the tradition of Langar expresses the ethics of sharing, community, inclusiveness and oneness of all humankind,” continued Mr. Singh.

With these guiding principles, Sikhcess has launched an aggressive campaign to ‘Feed the Homeless’ with the twelve-month goal of distributing 15 – 20,000 packages of freshly-cooked, warm vegetable wraps, desserts, and bottled water, juices, or other drinks to Vancouver’s needy. In only six short months, with support from the entire Sikh community, Sikhcess has already distributed over 12,000 food packages, primarily to Vancouver’s East Side community!

Working to address homeless hunger, the Sikh community is taking ‘Langar’ (or ‘Free Kitchen’) to those on the streets. Sikhcess does not accept any financial donations, but instead, receives a generous assortment of groceries, desert items, drinks, and even clothing for distribution to the homeless.

Not affiliated with any single Sikh institution, numerous Sikh Gurudwaras (Temples) throughout the Lower Mainland region provide logistical support, food donations, muchneeded kitchen space, and volunteers to Sikhcess. This month’s sponsor was Khalsa School (Surrey, B.C.), where students, parents, and administration generously donated all the requisite food needed to deliver an all-time record number of 3,500 food packages Vancouver and Surrey’s disadvantaged.

“While our campaign alone is certainly not enough to address the problems of addiction, abuse, mental health conditions, chronic human health problems, affordable housing, and poverty, we are confident that the Sikh community’s efforts to feed the needy will, at the very least, serve as temporary relief,” concluded Mr. Singh.

About the Sikhcess ‘Feed the Homeless’ CampaignLaunched in January 2007, the Sikhcess ‘Feed the Homeless’ campaign aims to deliver as many as 20,000 food packages to Greater Vancouver’s homeless and needy in only 12 months.  

Sikhcess serves thousands of food packages to Vancouver’s needy each month. This effort starts with volunteers arriving early in the morning to cook fresh vegetables in delicatelyspiced curry. Throughout the day, volunteers help package the nutritious and flavorful curried vegetable filling inside tortilla wraps, which are then assembled into individual packages that include bottles of water or drinks, and cookies or other deserts. Once ready, these packages are placed in boxes and distributed to the homeless.

Every month, the homeless and needy take delivery of thousands of food packages generously donated by the entire Sikh community. In exchange, Sikhcess volunteers receive countless hugs, smiles and a heart-felt “thank you”, many times over. Sikhcess thanks all those who contribute to the ‘Feed the Homeless’ campaign with their charitable support of time, effort, food, and kitchen facilities.

Sikhcess does not accept financial donations of any kind. Inquiries for donations of food and supplies to the homeless should be directed to Info@Sikhcess. com or Mr. Jatinder Singh at 604-866-5432.

 

  

  


  

   

“Sikh Community Battles Hunger in Vancouver”   

          

“Feed the Homeless Campaign” is a community-based program, started in January of 2007, committed to helping those stricken with poverty in downtown Vancouver. Through the remarkable support of the community, as well as several Sikh temples throughout the region, we have been able to handout close to 12,000 packages of food to the homeless. This puts us well on our way of reaching, and hopefully surpassing, our original goal of distributing 15,000 to 20,000 food packages by the end of the year. Started by Sikhcess, and inspired by the teachings of the Sikh religion, we hope to provide some form of relief to those in need of it, and hopefully, to inspire others to do the same.
Starting in January of 2007, a group of dedicated volunteers began by distributing 800 packages of nutritious vegetarian wraps, as well as other snacks and drinks, in an effort to alleviate some of the hardships experienced by the homeless community in the downtown Vancouver area. Another successful event was coordinated in February, and broadcast on Global Television’s “News Final”, where 2,000 packages of wraps and additional foodstuffs were handed out. Thanks to the support of numerous volunteers within the community, as well as the generous food donations offered by the public, our organization is better situated to tackle the growing economic disparity that is becoming evident on the streets of our city. Only six-months in, the “Feed the Homeless Campaign” has handed out a whopping 12,000 food packages to the city’s homeless, culminating in June where 3,500 food packages were handed out in a single night, shattering previous records. Our efforts in the community were recognized and honoured by the Burnaby City Council.
Homelessness is a cruel reality for the thousands living on the streets of downtown Vancouver. From the years 2002 and 2005, there has been an increase of 94%, in the number of homeless individuals within the region, according to a report published by the Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC). By 2005 alone, these figures collected by SPARC BC, places the homeless population in the Vancouver region to be well over 2,000 individuals, which includes men, women and children. The Social Planning and Research Council of BC further claims that even the number of people at-risk of homelessness in the region remains high. There were 126,500 people at-risk of homelessness in 2001, compared to a decade before in 1991, where the number was estimated at 80,000.   

Sikhcess’ “Feed the Homeless Campaign” draws much of its inspiration from the Sikh institution of “Langar” or free kitchen, which was started close to 500 years ago. The term “Langar” itself refers to vegetarian-only food that is freely served in Sikh temples, eaten equally by all. While the tradition saw it’s beginnings during the times of Guru Nanak Dev Ji (the founder of Sikhism), it was installed as a pillar of the Sikh faith by Guru Amar Das Ji (3rd religious leader of the Sikh faith). Through an edict that was passed down to all, anyone who wished for an audience with the Guru, would have to partake in the “Langar” offered at the temple. As such, individuals were expected to sit together regardless of their caste, sex, or religion, whether they were rich or poor, commoner or royalty. It should be noted that even the Emperor of India, at the time, took his place amongst the masses, and partook in a meal before meeting with Guru Amar Das Ji, demonstrating the ideals such an institution was meant to bring forth; ideals such as living honestly, equality, and sharing. So important is giving back to one’s community, that it is ingrained as one of the three important pillars of the Sikh faith. These same ideals are carried on today, with “Langar” being freely distributed throughout Sikh temples worldwide. It is with this same spirit that Sikhcess has brought forth the “Feed the Homeless Campaign”, in an effort to carry on such a tradition, transcending cultural borders and economic inequalities.

          

We are ever grateful to the generosity of those who have donated food and drinks, as well as the many volunteers who helped in the preparation and distribution of our food packages to the homeless community. Thank you for your charity, your time and support. While we encourage people in volunteering their time, as well as donations of food and drink products, we would like to remind everyone that financial donations are kindly refused.   

If you would like additional information on how you can help, or any additional inquiries about the “Feed the Homeless Campaign”, please contact Ms. Nikki Bachu at (604) 649-1490 or Mr. Jatinder Singh at (604) 866-5432.

http://www.sikhcess .com/feed. html

 

Guru Har Krishan – The Beacon of Hope for Suffering Humanity
 

 

Onkar Singh*

 

 

* East of Kailash, New Delhi.

Guru Har Krishan (1656-64) was the eighth Sikh Guru to whose sacred memory is dedicated the holy shrine, Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, in the centre of the nation’s capital. Har Krishan though appointed Guru at the age of five years and three months, gave promise of a dauntless spirit and an acute intellect, sagacity and wisdom. He was a divinely gifted genius. He surprised every one by upholding the sanctity and purity of his faith with grace and dignity, and soon received the veneration of his followers by his deep spiritual insight, love of God and the love for suffering humanity.

Once a magnificent Haveli (bungalow) of Raja Jai Singh of Amber (Jaipur), Guru Har Krishan stayed here as the royal guest when he visited Delhi early in 1664 as an eight-year-old lad to bless his devotees. While he was in Delhi, an epidemic of cholera and small pox raged. He rushed to the affected parts and plunged himself into the task of bringing solace and cure to the sick and the afflicted.

His holy presence infused a new life, a new hope among the people to pull through the ordeal. He distributed water, sanctified with prayers, to every sick person, which healed countless men, women and children. The miracle of healing was hailed by both the Hindus and Muslims of Delhi who were deeply moved by his providential healing touch, compassion and human concern and called him their saviour. When the news of the child-prophet’ s miraculous healing power spread people from far and near flocked to the Haveli to seek his benediction and drink the sanctified water as a panacea for all their diseases and suffering.

The Guru’s healing miracle instilled faith that God’s mercy could be invoked through sincere prayer and devotion. Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb himself was thunderstruck to learn about the divine healing powers of the Bala-Pir (child-Prophet) . He had gifts sent to him to test his spiritual powers, placing a rosary beneath glittering gold and silver coins. If the Bala-Pir picked up the rosary, he should be considered a gifted saint. When Guru Har Krishan took the rosary only and returned the gold and silver to be distributed among the poor and the needy, the Emperor was astounded. It’s recorded that the Guru’s sanctified water had cured a seriously ill member of the royal family.

The Guru braved the challenge of Emperor Aurangzeb to meet him. Every time Raja Jai Singh was ordered to procure the Guru for an interview with the Emperor, the Guru repeated his reasons for not seeing the Emperor, “I cannot meet the Emperor. My father (Guru Har Rai) in his dying declaration told me that my elder brother (Ram Rai) will transact all political affairs with His Majesty, and I had better not meddle with them. My mission is to preach the True Name.”

The young Guru upheld the dignity and respect of his followers, ultimately sacrificing his life for the cause. He died of small pox. He breathed his last on the bank of Jamuna, a site he had himself chosen to breathe a purer atmosphere. Gurdwara Bala Sahib – Samadh of Guru Har Krishan Sahib, was subsequently built at the place.

Before Guru Har Krishan left the earthly world, seeing the anxiety of his devotees over his illness, he thus addressed them: “This world is transitory. To fix your minds on it, to indulge in rejoicing or mourning, and to impute blame to God are all highly sinful acts. We ought all to accept God’s will and deem His pleasure as our own. Whatever He doeth is for the best. As Baba Nanak hath said in the Japji ‘What pleaseth Thee, O God, is good.’ “This body must one day perish. What mattereth it whether it perish now or after the fullness of years? He who obeyeth God’s will renounceth pride and other deadly sins. He remembereth the true Name, crosseth over the world’s terrible ocean, and is forever emancipated from its troubles”.

 

 

To his mother Krishan Kaur, who sat by his death bedside and became very sad, the Guru said, “Mother dear, feel no anxiety, the greater part of thy life hath been spent in happiness. Pass the remainder in God’s service.” The Guru’s final instruction was that none should weep for him but all were to sing Gurus’ hymns and recite God’s Name”. When a body of Sikhs present wanted him to appoint his successor, some one like him for their salvation, the Guru, unable to move, waved his hand three times in the air in token of circumbulating his successor, and said, “Baba Bakale“, that is, his successor would be found in the village of Bakala.

His choice of Guru Teg Bahadur in Bakala was evidence of his intuitive judgment and spiritual wisdom. Guru Teg Bahadur proved the most deserving successor who made the supreme sacrifice of his life in the cause of freedom of faith.

Raja Jai Shigh dedicated his Haveli to the eternal sacred memory of Guru Har Krishan which is now know as Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. He had a tank constructed so that the sanctified water (amrit) was ever available to the suffering humanity as faith-healer. Gurdwara Bangla Sahib is an unmissable place of pilgrimage for devotees visiting Delhi. Multitudes of worshippers throng the Gurdwara on the occasion of the Gurpurab to pay respect to the sacred memory of Guru Har Krishan seeking his benediction for peace and well-being of humanity. Their fervour and devotion is to be seen to be believed.

http://www.sikhrevi ew.org/july2001/ celebrate. htm

__  CHARHDI KALA TO ALL

 CHARHDI KALA TO ALL 

 CHARHDI KALA TO ALL  

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

July 19th, 2007

Diwan July 22, 2007

Posted in Announcements by London Sikh Society

Guru Piaree Sadh Sangat Ji

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

The Sikh Youth Camp to be started on July 23 Monday, is post poned to a later date. We regret and appologise if it has caused any inconvnience to Sadh Sangat. We shall inform you about the new date as soon as we make the decision.

The Picnic is on July 21 at Weldon Park, Arva. It is on Richmond street going north out of the city. Please be there in the afternoon.

 

July 9th, 2007

Sunday July 15 Diwan

Posted in Announcements by London Sikh Society

Guru Piarey Jio

 Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki fateh

The Langar Seva is by Sadh Sangat on July 16 Diwan.

What is Langar? What happens at Sri Harmandar Sahib would be of interest to Gurmukh Piareys: Please read:

 L A N G A R – At Sri Harmandar Sahib, Amritsar – Guru Ki Nagri

F or a moment, if one pushes the eligious facet 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 te meal, with not
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. ?

aashima.seth@ rediffmail. com Captured on film Belgian filmmakers, Valerie
Berteau and Philippe Witjes 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 THY SERVICE Around 3,000 people are served
meals at a go. It wouldn’t be possible without sewadars, who look for no
return except Waheguru’s blessings.
 

July 5th, 2007

July 8 Diwan

Posted in Announcements by London Sikh Society

Parm-Manohar, Man-Yog, Sri Khalsa Sadh Sangat Ji:

 Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Diwan of July 8, 2007 is our regular Diwan. The Langar Seva is by Bhai Surjit Singh Ji Bains and family. Presence of all is requested.

We have our mid-year General Body Meeting on this day at 1:30 PM after Langar in the Diwan Hall. All members and life members are eligible to attend. Please attend the meeting and provide your valuable input into the planning and better functioning of our Gurdwara affairs. The General Body meeting agenda is as follows:

A G E N D A

 

1. Approval of past GB minutes

2. Report by the President of our accomplishments

3. Financial Position and Income Statement by Treasurer

4. Proposed Future Projects:

a. Relocation of washrooms near the place for the shoes and Bhai Sahib’s quarters to where the washrooms are at present.

b. Installation of a Video Screen in Langar Hall/ Kitchen for projection of live Kirtan in Diwan Hall for the benefit of handicapped and the Bibian doing seva in cooking area.

c. Special portable individualized sitting stools of a uniform design for the handicapped on the same patterns as in Dixie and Kitchener Gurdwaras (In place of a permanant long bench).

5. Any matter with prior approval of the Chair, S. Arundeep Singh Tiwana.

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