Monday, November 23, 2015


The last thing we did today was visit on of the largest Sikh temples in the world.  I had seen a documentary a few years ago about a Sikh temple that fed thousands of people a day, every day, no charge, to anyone who showed up. Some days there are 50,000 meals served. (This is India, after all). There is no requirement to be a Sikh or even anything religious. Homeless, wealthy, atheist, devote, westerners, anyone. The documentary showed a huge kitchen with all sorts of people cooking lentils, chapati bread and vegetable . As people entered the large room they took a seat next to the last person...sitting on long rugs on the floor. They are handed a large tin plate and a spoon. Then a SIKH will come put fresh food. on the plate and you eat. I was so impressed with this and the kindness of the Sikh. This very temple is where the film was made! Never in my dreams did I think I Would be there, veiled, standing barefoot in a wonderfully hot busy kitchen watching people from all walks of life cook for others and serve them. HUMANITY!
We arrived and were taken to a room where those without head cover were given a bright orange head scarf. Men and women. Everyone had to be barefoot, no socks or anything on one's feet. Sikhs believe in only ONE Deity, but welcome anyone to their temple. Inside the temple one cannot take photos, but there is much gold, chanting/singing 24/7 which never ends. Also a Sikh is placed  by the holy book 24/7 using a big feathered fan to keep flies or anything from the holy scripture. We observed and listened for a bit and then walked to the  immense dining room. As I said before, ANYONE can eat at anytime as they serve food for 12 hours every day. Many people, even Hindus, Christians, and others volunteer to cook and clean. If you show up, they will find a job for you. It is common on India to make a gift of grain or lentil bags when one has a birthday or graduation. Our guide is Hindu, but he takes his young son to "work" a few times a year. He said his boy loves the service. Sikhs never beg,believing that each person no matter what their situation is, can offer help for their food, even singing or opening a door can be helpful.
The community kitchen is meant for providing food for all devotees, pilgrims, and visitors. It is a SYMBOL of EQUALITY , FRATERNITY, AND BROTHERHOOD.  This is where that the high and the low, the rich  and the poor, the learned and the ignorant, the kings and the paupers, all share the same food sitting together in one row. This Langar (community kitchen) is instrumental in creating social equality among the WHOLE of mankind. HUMANITY!

Anyway, for me, it  was the highlight of the day and We went back to the hotel for our last night feeling very thankful for everything. Wake up call at 4:00AM for an early morning train trip to Rahjastan. Goodnight!

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