by Balvinder Kaur
On the afternoon of 9 October my experience started with filling up my car with various grocery ingredients and driving to Shepherds Bush where the GRDP was to hold its annual, overnight keertan event called ‘Aquarian Sangat’. As I was parking the car I was approached by a man who appeared to be a passer-by. He asked if I knew what was happening in “that place” (pointing towards the direction of the Gurdwara). “I have heard there is meditation, do you know what time it starts?” I gave him a print out of the leaflet I was carrying. He was already aware there would be free food served. He said that he would see me later on. Sure enough, he was there at 8pm in the kitchen enjoying the langar (blessed free food) and socialising with other people who had started arriving for the event, due to start at 8.30pm. I didn’t see this man again until about 11 pm when I caught him walking into the Gurdwara; this time he had come to join in the meditation. He was blessed to have taken part in eating langar with sangat and to have joined in the meditation on Guru Ram Das Mantra.
Many others stayed throughout the night to experience the most wonderful vibration which started early in the evening when musicians of all ages and experience from the community played music and sang from the mantras of Shabad Guru. Some sang in pure Ragas prescribed in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib and others sang in melodious rhythms. While this was happening in the upstairs Darbar Hall (Courtroom of the Guru), sangat was enjoying another level of vibration in the downstairs food hall and kitchen. People were partaking in serving food, continuous cleaning, washing dishes and, most important of all, eating. Ah Yes! Eating together brings about a jovialness to the heart, and when the food one is eating has been prepared with love and blessed with prayers, it becomes even sweeter. I had never seen so many happy faces with joyful hearts.
Later, it was time for me to go upstairs again to the Courtroom of Guru Sahib. As I tried to enter, I found the entrance obstructed by three young men who were standing at the back, talking softly to one another. As they appeared to be newcomers to a Gurdwara I approached them to guide them with the Gurdwara protocol, but then stopped myself from doing so. They seemed to be totally overwhelmed by the scene they were witnessing from the back. Looking through the backs of people sitting in deep meditation in the sangat, wondrous instruments were being tuned up on the stage and a young devotee musician, Kirit Sing, was preparing himself to launch into singing Shabad Keertan. One of the young men commented to the other, “Listen, it is so strong, I am scared to go inside further.” Another, “Wow! the vibration is overwhelming.” I decided no protocols were needed. Pure experience was the guiding protocol for these blessed souls.
Soon after midnight Vaheguru simran was about to start and people began to gather closer together on the floor around the musicians. Manpreet Singh led the way with his melodious voice that sounded like a calling to Vaheguru. It was heart wrenching. Vaheguru simran continued like this through the softer ambrosial hours until 4 am when calm and peaceful hearts slowly drifted away into total relaxation and were later gently awakened by a call for sadhana at 5am.
In one of the many lectures Yogi Bhajan gave he said, “Seva and simran are the two legs on which God walks. If you have come here, do seva. Do the Karma Yoga. Do it with your hands, and your mind, and your soul, and your money. Do it with your Self and your Self will be exalted.”
When I think of this quote by Yogi Bhajan I feel blessed to have had this opportunity of experiencing both seva and simran. I am so blessed, and I pass this blessing to all others who came to experience seva and simran on 9-10 October. I pass this blessing to all others who were not able to come so they may join us, approximately the same time, next year.
Chair of the Board of Trustees