by Siri Sadhana Kaur
I was divinely blessed to find myself in the Sri Harmandir Sahib, also known as the Golden temple, on 29th October for Guru Ram Das ji’s birthday. I’d heard it gets busy at festivals and celebrations so I arrived at 2.40am to join hundreds of devotees queuing in Indian style. Busy was an understatement! My only previous reference to crowds like this were massive rock concerts. Being compressed and contorted with so many others made me wonder whether it was my time to exit this planet. Having only hours before been witness to an earthquake and hurled, unstrapped into rollercoaster rickshaws rides, in true yogi style, my nervous system was beginning to adapt to Indian terrain. What better place, I thought, to be confronted with one’s mortality! The shabad kirtan is sung so sweetly in the ambrosial hours, the soul is nourished, all else loses significance. As you gaze over the Ramdas Sarovar, the holy reflective pool of nectar, the body is healed. Its name comes from Har/God, and in this Temple of God, the spirit is elevated and one’s only option is to tune the heart and mind towards the infinite.
As I walked along the bridge connecting the Parkarma (circumambulatory marble path) across the Sarovar to the temple, the magnificent tenderly sewn flowers formed a fragrance that enhanced my senses further towards the divine. Many, many devoted sevadars spend long hours at festivals, draping and intricately arranging and enhancing the already existing beauty. The Golden Temple welcomes all. It has 4 entrances so everyone from all 4 directions of the earth is welcomed. This 4 takes us to the realm of the heart, the 4th chakra, symbolizing deep equality and a gateway to God. Guru Ram Das, as the 4th Sikh Guru, so eloquently taught us through his short and devotional life, that through the heart, we can commune in truth, be of service, and conquer all duality. Sitting on the throne and in the consciousness of Raj Yoga, Guru Ram Das holds the suffering of humanity and invites healing. Just as the steps to the Golden Temple physically take you down to the Parkarma, as one takes this symbolic journey down towards the heart, it’s possible to consciously meet your own depth, open to the wealth of humility and healing within your inner temple.
Meditating in this place awoke within me a state of Cherdi Kala (elevated spirits). This palace of a temple was expanding my heart and I communed with my soul. I have only ever experienced such vast and exquisite depth of this kind once before, at the moment my daughter was born. After a long and initiating birth into motherhood, I met her eyes for the first time and felt a similar precious state of elevated joy. Here it was again! I was suspended in time and space, wrapped in a state of sacred bliss in this magical and ancient site. For over 1,000 years this land and site has been known as a place of worship and pilgrimage. Gurus, saints and holy beings have walked, bowed, conversed, taught, stood in courage for truth and justice, and prayed. Although not evidenced, it is said that Gautama Buddha 563 BC to 483 BC had specifically come here in contemplation. It was clear from the beauty experienced both outwardly and inwardly, and from the vibrating current of life present, that sacredness seeps from the fabric of the walls, and from the ground under ones feet.
As I walked around a corner of the Parkarma, I smiled from my heart as there stood an inscription of the names of Yogi Bhajan and Bibi Inderjit Kaur. Yogi Bhajan had been a sevadar at the Golden Temple for a number of years and it was during this time he met the light of Guru Ram Das ji in his subtle body and was given the mantra ‘Guru Guru Wahe Guru, Guru Ram Das Guru’. This meeting with Guru Ram Das served as a catalyst for Yogi Bhajan to move fully into his destiny. Today we are so freely graced and served by these great teachers and the incredible sacrifices made, that we have a legacy and body of teachings that serve us and prepare humanity to transition into the Aquarian age.
During my pilgrimage at the Sri Harmandir Sahib, I witnessed massively ordinary acts within and without. The community kitchen was incredible. I have never seen so much food arriving in truckloads, or such numbers of plates being washed, hundreds of servers and sevadars ranging from young ragged clothed paupers to wealthy elders. There were people from all walks, faiths and projections of life, sitting on the floor in rows of hundreds and thousands eating and being served together. There were large teams of sevadars who had never met, moving as one, giving their time and love, cleaning the Parkarma, making rotes, and contributing effortlessly in harmonious remembrance and service to God. It made me expand my projection of what’s possible if a free kitchen for tens of thousands of people can be served each day 24/7 with such ease in a country with so much poverty, then what really is our true potential to serve humanity, here in a European and wealthy country.
Siri Sadhana Kaur is a professional KRI approved Kundalini Yoga Teacher Trainer and musician. She began the Level 3 pilot training with KRI this year. She is involved in organizing a range of UK trainings and sangat events, including White Tantric Yoga, Level 2 with Karam Kriya School, the GBKYF and Karam Kriya Women’s Camp UK in 2016. Siri lives in Kings Cross with her daughter Kiranjot Kaur where she also runs a weekly Aquarian Sadhana, regular Gong baths, Red Tents and a community acapella choir. Having produced 5 music and kundalini mantra CDs, she also travels teaching, giving concerts, and sharing expressive movement and mantra dance.