By Esha Chaudhuri
On the event of Gurpurab, vital of the Sikh group celebrating the 552nd beginning anniversary of Guru Nanak, Sunday Shillong embarks on the journey of studying the intricate particulars of what goes into and behind the scenes of a group’s intrinsic service in direction of humanity on a worldwide scale. Talking with the Basic Secretary of the Gurdwara, Sri Guri
Singh Sabha, Shillong and an Endodontist and Dental Surgeon, Dr. Kamaljeet Sehdave, excerpts from the interview are as follows –
- Inform us about you, who you’re – Dr. Singh, the particular person and by occupation?
At first I’m an Indian, a citizen of Meghalaya and a Sikh.
As a place holder on the Gurdwara and a member of the Rotary Membership of Shillong, the motto of “Service above Self “has been ingrained in me that service to mankind is of paramount significance in life.
I’m Shillong-born and bred who studied in St. Edmunds Faculty, Shillong and later pursued my increased schooling from Chennai and Ludhiana, after which I got here again to Shillong and labored at Woodland Hospital earlier than stepping into full-time non-public apply.
- What’s your position within the Sikh Neighborhood Service?
Being the Basic Secretary of the Gurdwara, I’ve to rearrange all the pieces from scratch- the fundamental infrastructure prepared for any sort of Neighborhood Service, overseeing and liaising with members of different communities and even NGOs to succeed in out to people who find themselves in want of our assist and intervention.
Throughout the ongoing pandemic, we have now made concerted efforts to assist individuals by elevating consciousness in direction of the COVID-19 vaccination program. Due to which, we will proudly say that our group is now 100% vaccinated within the metropolis.
- What are a number of the key learnings which have been imbibed by the Sikh group from their Gurus?
There are three core tenets of the Sikh Faith – 1. “Naam Japo”- Meditation upon and devotion to the Creator, 2. “Kirat Karo” – Earn an sincere residing, and three. “Vand Chhako” – Sharing ones earnings with others; which primarily means giving to charity and caring for others.
Sikhs consider within the oneness of all beings in addition to the equality of everybody.
One such instance is – Langar or the group meals served on the Gurdwara. All, regardless of their faith, class, creed, sit collectively and partake in consuming meals. The Langar of all Gurdwaras is a spot the place all discrimination ends and humanity begins.
In Sikhism, serving is taken into account as worship of God.
- Globally, the Sikh Neighborhood is devoted in direction of Seva. Is that the Guru’s lifestyle? Please elaborate
“Sewa Karat Hoye Nehkaami
Tis Ko Scorching Prapat Swami”
One who performs selfless service, with none considered rewards shall attain his Lord and Grasp (SGGS P286)
Seva in Sikhism is crucial for a non secular life. It’s the highest penance and a method of buying the best benefit. A Sikh will usually pray to God for an opportunity to render Seva.
Within the phrases of Guru Arjan Dev ji, “I urge to serve those that serve you”(SGGS P 43) and “I, your servant, beg for Seva of your individuals which is on the market via success alone” (SGGS P802)
Three sorts of Seva are – 1. That rendered via bodily means – Tann, 2. That rendered via psychological talent and expertise – Jann, 3. That rendered via ones materials wealth – Dhann
The Guru states that one who performs selfless service with out want for reward or the have to be want much less (Nekhaani) is crucial in making this motion fruitful; thereby rendering Seva to society.
- How is Gurpurab historically celebrated? What are the highlights?
Guru Nanak Devji’s beginning anniversary is all the time the principle Gurpurab celebrated within the nation and worldwide.
It entails early morning processions ‘Prabhat Pheris’ for 2-4 days earlier than Gurpurab, whereby devotees assemble on the Gurdwara round 4 am after which take out a procession within the close by localities by taking turns in singing hymns and ‘shabads’ earlier than returning to the Gurdwara.
One other joyful procession often called “Nagar Kirtan” is organized at some point earlier than the Gurpurab. That is headed by the “Panj Pyaras” the place they carry the Sikh flag (Nishaan Sahib) passing via the roads of the town whereas Holy Scriptures of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib being learn out atop a transferring car. On some events, the youth carry out the ‘Gatka’, which is type of Sikh martial artwork, to enthrall bystanders. They showcase their swordsmanship utilizing the normal Sikh weapons. Historically, Gatka was used within the Sikh wars, which originates from the necessity to defend dharam (righteousness).
The ‘Akhand Path’, which is the continual and uninterrupted recitation of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, takes 48 hours to be accomplished, which is once more one other necessary side of Gurpurab celebrations.
On the day of the anniversary, the programme begins early within the morning at about 4 or 5 am with the singing of Asa-di-Vaar (morning hymns) adopted by Katha (exposition of the scripture) and Kirtan (hymns from the Sikh scripture) within the reward of the Guru.
The festivities are then adopted by the group feast known as Langar – a free and communal lunch the place the meals is obtainable within the spirit of Seva (service) and Bhakti (devotion).
This isn’t the tip of the celebrations. Evening prayer periods are additionally held in some Gurdwaras that begins at sundown when Rehras (night prayer) is recited adopted by Kirtan until late evening. At 1:20 am (additionally believed to be the beginning time of Guru Nanak) the devotees sing the Gurbani, which refers back to the compositions by the Sikh Gurus from the Guru Granth Sahib. The celebrations culminate at round 2 am within the evening.
- How many individuals serve within the committees? How is figure delegated? What’s the position of the youth and different genders in your group service?
The Managment Committee consists of 8 elected members that comprise a President who leads the Members of the Gurdwara, 3 Vice Presidents, Basic Secretary, Treasurer, Joint Secretary and an Assistant Treasurer. Moreover, there are 5-11 Nominated Government Committee Members and Advisors who’re often Previous Presidents of the Gurdwara.
Work is delegated as per the portfolios of every elected member whereas the nominated members are often the heads of varied sub-committees which play and necessary position within the each day actions.
The youth performs an especially energetic position – ranging from organising and internet hosting programmes based mostly on non secular or cultural ethos, serving to in and getting provides to the needy. The youth are the torchbearers of the Gurdwara and with out them the big work finished throughout the pandemic wouldn’t have been attainable. Sikhism strongly believes in gender equality and due to this fact the position of the opposite genders is comparable and there’s no discrimination within the roles performed by them.
- Within the peak of the pandemic, aside from authorised assist, the Sikh group was seen actively organising for beds, oxygen cylinders et al. Please inform us how this was executed.
Throughout the second wave of the pandemic, what we witnessed was an acute scarcity of oxygen all around the nation and we knew that within the coming months it could absolutely have an effect on Shillong and Meghalaya.
Conserving this in thoughts, we began the “Oxygen Langar” on the Sikh Centre adjoining to the Foremost Gurdwara, which is an auditorium that doubles up as a parking area for Sunday devotees.
We began with 5 beds initially and managed to obtain 5, 10 litres oxygen cylinders and a couple of oxygen concentrators at and really excessive value owing to the demand that oxygen cylinders had been promoting within the nation at the moment. This centre was open to all.
Because the demand for oxygen grew, we elevated the variety of beds to twenty and added 10 of 60 litres oxygen cylinders to the prevailing 5.
The issue arose after we then realised that solely oxygen was not sufficient and that COVID constructive sufferers wanted to be positioned to be admitted at; for which we bought in contact with the Well being Ministry and Division they usually helped us with their medical doctors, nurses, cleaners, who had been stationed on the Gurdwara around the clock. That is how we lastly had our “Oxygen Langar” and Corona Care Centre .
- Throughout the arduous days of COVID, how did the group attain out to the individuals in Shillong? How many individuals benefited from it?
Throughout the first wave of the pandemic the Gurdwara was actively concerned in reaching out by distributing meals packets consisting of freshly cooked vegetarian meals each day to a most of 700 meals packets a day. Aside from the cooked meals packets, we additionally began distributing necessities – rice, dal, potatoes, sugar and salt in bulk to far off villages, inaccessible by car in and round Sohra.
The cooked meals was each day distributed by 4 totally different groups of our volunteers to the shelters, orphanages, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, slum areas in and round Shillong and to many homeless individuals.
Two groups of our youth members additionally executed the uncooked ration distribution. Each these programmes went on for nearly 100 days at a stretch and the variety of beneficiaries of cooked meals was roughly 40,000 individuals whereas beneficiaries of uncooked ration included 16 villages.
- Whether or not there’s a refugee disaster, meals scarcity and hunger, Sikhs have been lauded worldwide for his or her commendable high quality in service to humanity. How would you lengthen a few of these to different residents?
The Sikhs are all the time prepared to assist their fellow beings. It’s an inherent trait that each one have and Seva is foremost for us all.
We request all different residents to affix fingers with us in any sort of meals scarcity, pandemic, flood scenario, and convey peace and tranquility to all affected.
- On the event of Gurpurab, what message, on behalf of the Sikh group would you wish to impart to our readers?
As we rejoice the 552nd beginning anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji, might we try to emulate his beliefs of peace, love and repair to all. Whereas the celebrations received’t be the identical this 12 months allow us to do all we will to work in direction of a extra equal and simply society.
As Guru Nanak Dev ji as soon as stated, “Earlier than turning into a Sikh, a Muslim, a Hindu, or a Christian, lets grow to be a Human First”
A dentist by day and server of humanity all 12 months spherical, Dr Sehdave is consultant of the Sikh group, devoted to the enormity and but humbling service to mankind via quite a few methods. Personifying teachings realized and imbibed so deep that it’s thought of a carry over from one technology to the subsequent, upholding what they consult with as “responsibility – Sikh phrase”. Subsequently, setting an exemplary instance for others to be taught and observe past non secular ties and bounds.