Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gurudwara Bangla Sahib

March 8, 2012

See the Turban? It's actually part of the Sikh religion
The tuktuk driver wanted to take us to his place of worship, the Guruwara Bangla Sahib. He is a Sikh, a follower of Sikhism. He wears a turban, like all the Sikh men. Sikhs are not allowed to cut their hair or beard. Women needs to cover our head before we are allowed to enter. I think Uncle (tuktuk driver) is quite a respected man in this Gurduwara!

The temple is open 24/7 with Ragis
(hymn singers) singing non-stop (shifting)

According to Wikipedia, Sikhism originated from the Punjab region (people: Punjabi). Perhaps, majority of Sikhs are Punjabis. What do you think? 

Sarovar (pool of water called pond) is considered to be holy. Bathing in the pool is
done openly by men and a section (closed/walled) is meant for women. I stepped into
the pool and said, "This is it, India. Let's do this!"

Before heading out, there are people (both Sikhs and Hindi) who are offering pitchers of water to drink, coming from the holy water (not the one in the pool!!!) that made this temple so important and well-known. It was meant to be a blessing so, why not?! (I was praying for it not to cause me Delhi belly!)

Free food for everyone, regardless of religion, caste, gender
and everything else denoting exclusion
The Gurudwara feeds about 10,000 people per day. Veggie food only. We also went into the kitchen where massive pots/cauldrons are steaming and people are very busy cooking! We were supposed to have the free lunch here too but decided otherwise (since our lunch is paid for at the Institute already and (for me), we're extra mouths to feed so it's better to feed the more hungry).

From another angle
Based on what he told us and what we have seen, I think Sikhism, as a discipline (religion) has very humble and kind roots. Especially when it comes to treating everyone as equal.

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