You know, I am the sort of person who is rather shy and horribly concerned about offending others.  I suppose this is the main reason that I find going to a Gurdwara so daunting.  Whenever I do go (rarely, I will be honest), I usually go to a very large one in Southall as you can almost get lost in it.

I asked a friend today to meet me and come along to the Gurdwara.  It was something that I felt I just needed to do. I know that you should always need to go, but have you ever had that feeling (really strong feeling) that it is really time for you to be there.  That the only thing that can comfort you at this moment is being at the Gurdwara...close to your Gurus and closest to Whaeguru's word?  Well, that is how I was feeling.  So, back on track Kel...

So we got to the usual Gurdwara that I would go to and there was a wedding going on.  I looked at my friend and for her reasons she did not want to enter there either.  Having to go to the more popular and very Indian Gurdwara near the station was our only other option.  The idea had me shaking with nerves.  But we did it.

This is the amazing thing...once I entered and saw SGGS, it was the first time that I had nothing in my mind but Waheguru and waht our 10 Gurus did to share this knowledge!  When I looked to my right later, all prayers were projected in English and as I walked back down to the back, I saw a woman from my work wave me over and make room for me! How welcoming that simple gesture was.

Waheguru is always with us!  I will admit now, that as I sat there, I felt hot tears sting my eyes and for the first time, I truly felt like I connected to God...My tears were present for all the times that I have doubted God's love for me adn how ignorant I was to how lucky I was that I was given the opportunity in this life to simply learn about Sikhism!

These last few months have been extremely challenging health wise, relationship wise and family wise and I was trying everything to keep hold of God and my faith but I felt it slipping and I felt the emptiness!  Today was the day that my prayers were answered.   You see, all I asked each night after prayer was that God would help me with my problems and to please not give up hope for me - "I know I am not doing my prayers right, I know you are not what  I am thinking of as I pray. Just please don't let go of me!" (Always the same ending "Don't let go of me!").  Today I felt that love/saftey and with it came my happiness!

It is amazing what one visit to what may seem like the most terrifying place on earth can bring you.

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Kelli Ji,

what a sweet personal acccount... it really seems that our mind creates most of the preoccupations, as usual in life.

Once we actually let go of this, we can feel that " once you take one step towards Guru Ji, He takes millions towards you"

It's probably worth trying out different Gurdwaras every now and then... the most non descript (as opposed to grand looking) Gurdwara may have the best energy in the Sangat...and that's what it is about....an experience that touches your soul.

So let's keep up the courage and build a habit of going more often....
Thanks for sharing your story. I can totally understand you and your feelings when entering a gurudwara. The more you visit, the easier it will become. It's really good to befriend someone.

May God bless you and give a power and strength to overcome your problems.

Danka
Ah, Kelli ji, it seems your experience at the Gurdwara was more in line with what I hoped my first visit would have been . . . something powerful and transforming, even if a bit unnerving.

Mine was, I suppose, but in a very human, rather than transcendental way. I went with the family of a Punjabi friend who was away in India at the time. I met the family to transfer a wedding gift, as they were soon to depart for India. The family was dressed for the Gurdwara in Salwar Kameez. I was in jeans, but had a scarf (a.k.a. ‘chunni’) for the occasion.

They showed me in and how to prepare for presenting myself before the Guru. We each received a handful of parshad. . . I took mine in a napkin rather than the palm of my hand . . . we sat for prayer and I comfortably began Waheguru Simran. I would have stayed longer there, but the family thought it was time to go to the langar hall.

We took our places on the floor, each with a thali dish and cup. Perhaps I should have remembered what I had read. Perhaps I should have noticed what others were doing. I reached my hand to take the naan from the Sardar’s tongs! He scowled, grunted and yanked it back. Our eyes met. He smiled kindly and brought the naan toward me again. Again I reach for it and again he pulled it back!

In that very instant the image of what was proper to do descended into my mind and I promptly bowed my head and put my hands together to receive the naan with appropriate humility! The Sardar smiled and nodded at me. I bowed my head to him and said ‘theek hai’ for the bread, but more importantly, for the lesson.

Sri Sardar came around again with naan and offered it with a great smile and twinkle of mischief in his eyes. I was forgiven, relieved and very much impressed by the kind, receptive and very loving treatment he showed to this naïve newcomer.

My next Gurdwara trip will be to a politically-oriented one. A Smagam is coming up and I am told that “Usually Singhs have all books of Bhai Sahib at Smagams.” It has been recommended that I fetch and read Bhai Randhir Singh’s book titled “Anhad Shabad Dasam Duar”.

I’ll be going alone this time and staying in the Presence, listening to the Kirtans and Gurbani recitals until my hirda tells me it is time to leave . . . with as many English books by the Bhais as I can gather!


Sat Sri Akal,
t
What is Smagam? Never heard this word before?

T. St. Amant said:
My next Gurdwara trip will be to a politically-oriented one. A Smagam is coming up and I am told that “Usually Singhs have all books of Bhai Sahib at Smagams.” It has been recommended that I fetch and read Bhai Randhir Singh’s book titled “Anhad Shabad Dasam Duar”.
Danka ji,
Check the link under Smagam for an an experiential description. Alternate spellings are Samagam and Smaagam. The word means 'gathering'.

In Smagams, Sikhs gather for Kirtan and Gurbani recitatals and apparently the Singhs bring the books written by Bhai Randhir Singh, who is a “Freedom Fighter, Reformer, Theologian, and Hero of Lahore Conspiracy Case, First Prisoner of Gurduara Reform Movement”.

Any more than that and I dare not say until I've been to one! I expect it will be interesting. Hahaha!

Sat Sri Akal,
t
Here is an account of "first time to a Rainsabhai Keertan Smaagam" by Manvir Singh Khalsa...

http://manvirsingh.blogspot.com/2006/04/bliss-from-rainsabaaee-keer...

enjoy...

T. St. Amant said:
Danka ji,
Check the link under Smagam for an an experiential description. Alternate spellings are Samagam and Smaagam. The word means 'gathering'.

In Smagams, Sikhs gather for Kirtan and Gurbani recitatals and apparently the Singhs bring the books written by Bhai Randhir Singh, who is a “Freedom Fighter, Reformer, Theologian, and Hero of Lahore Conspiracy Case, First Prisoner of Gurduara Reform Movement”.

Any more than that and I dare not say until I've been to one! I expect it will be interesting. Hahaha!

Sat Sri Akal,
t
Great story! Thank you for sharing your experience! I need to go to my local gurdwara sometime as well...

WKWF,

              I must admit that i do have that strange feeling when i visit the Gurdwara especially if all the Sangat members are present in the hall and when i move in and bow before the Guru, the back of my mind says all the Sangat is watching you, and i become uncomfortable and strange feeling of shyness comes within me.  I am not able to get rid of this problem.  Probably this issue is because of me being an introvert and a shy natured guy. 

WKWF. 

Kelli Ji 

Well done for taking the first step to get to a Gurdwara. Kelli do forgive me upfront if I overstep the mark or make you feel uncomfortable with what I am about to write.If in any way it helps you then I feel that I have passed on Wahagurus message. I also write from personal experience. 

When people have personal problems or issues they turn to God looking for the answer to their problems, the answers  and solutions to the problems are within ourselves, going to the Gurdwara and being with the Sangat is a catalyst environment for Guru ji to help us find our own solutions to the challenges we have. For me personally there used to be a time that I would pray and ask Guru ji to help me with certain problems, after a while the realization came to me that instead of focusing on myself actually to ask how I may be able serve Guru Ji. In doing this I found that I was not focused on my problems and instead was focused finding the solutions as WahaGuru ji in his safe environment helped me empty my mind and let go of the past. Kelli in my opinion you have a calling to attend the Gurdwara, when you are able to let go of your personal fears and are more in touch with yourself and allow Guru Ji in your heart all shall be taken care of

Sat Sri A Kal   

Chiranjeev Aka Raj 

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