Sunday, June 21, 2015

Panjabi Culture or Sikh Culture...

Gurmat Vichaar by Bhai Ranjit Singh Ji Dhadrianwale...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Toronto Singhs Camp 2015...

With the blessings of Guru Sahib, Toronto Singhs Camp was held from Wednesday 27th May to Sunday 31st May. This is the fifth year the camp has been running. Toronto Singhs Camp provides inspiration and motivation to young and old who want to discover the essence of Sikhi. The camp is aimed to reach out to people of different backgrounds and levels of understanding of Sikhi. Bhai Jaspual Singh and the organising team of sevadaars are doing a great job with Guru Ji's Kirpaa. The group continue with seva beyond the camp with regular Amrit-vela sessions, weekly Simran programme, community seva and fun activities.
 
This year's camp was attended by around 70 people. The camp is aimed at people aged 17 years and above, however had some younger teenagers who also benefited from the Sangat, Seva, and Simran. It is a great opportunity to experience Sikhi in a relaxed, friendly and spiritually charged environment. Toronto Singhs Camp 2014 took place at camp Kintail, a beautiful scenic camp site located in South-western Ontario on the shores of Lake Huron. The beautiful beach scenery and natural surroundings helped to connect with and appreciate the Creator.

This year's workshop facilitators included, Bhai Gursev Singh (Toronto), Bhai Simerneet Singh (Chicago) and Bhai Mani Singh (Toronto). Special guests at the camp included Bhagat Ji (Bhai Jaswant Singh Ji), and Nihang Singh Bhai Maan Singh (Taruna Dal). 

The theme of the camp was "unity".  The theme of the camp very appropriately describes what Toronto Singhs Camp represents. The camp is a Panthic camp which has representation from different Jathebandis and has an ethos and feel which very inclusive, welcoming and goes beyond the minor differences of Maryada between individuals and seeks to show love to Guru Ji and all Gursikhs. 

The concept of unity was explored by the speakers and discussed with campers from different perspectives and angles. The first workshop was held on the beach. It was really hot that day and the sun was blinding. The workshop led by Bhai Simerneet Singh (Chicago) explored how we can merge back to the source through Gurbani and Naam and emphasised on unity between a Sikh and Naam. Veer Ji talked about the importance of Satguru and Naam.

The second workshop's seva with given to Daas. The topic was Ekta with Guru Ji and exploring the concept of Gurmat Bibek. The whole of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji revolves around unity between the individual with the Creator and this unity and consciousness of seeking to become one is call 'Bibek'. Different aspects of practical Bibek according to Gurbani were discussed, for example of Gurmat Bibek of speaking, Gurmat Bibek of seeing, Gurmat Bibek of what we hear, Gurmat Bibek or eating and so on.

The third workshop was by Bhai Gursev Singh (Toronto) on how we become united with our mind, thoughts and actions. The workshop practically looked at day-to-day living from family life and to being united within the community and Gurdwaras.  Bhai Sahib gave some really nice examples from the life of Gurmukh-Saints to show the virtues needed for unity amongst Gursikhs and with Akaal Purkh. 

The fourth workshop was by Bhai Mani Singh (Toronto) on survival skills and practical skills to help oneself. The Singhs were put in two groups and they had to compete with one another on a mission. (I didn't participate in this workshop as I needed some rest, but it looks like everyone had a great time!).

The fifth workshop was a questions and answers session. The session was interesting to say the least, with a lively discussion.
 

The sixth workshop was on Sarbat Khalsa. The history of Sarbat Khalsa and how Gursikhs in history would sit together and resolve matters and plan ahead in accordance to Gurmat was explored. We had our own 'mock' Sarbat Khalsa at the camp to form a Gurmatta on the issue on whether inter-faith marriages should be allowed in Gurdwaras and who should be eligible for Anand Kaaraj, as someone could argue it is not fair that someone is allowed to have Anand Kaaraj just because they are born in a Sikh familiy despite the fact that they might be an athiest, have no faith in Guru Granth Sahib Ji, have cut hair, drink alcohol and behave more un-Sikh like than someone of another faith. It was a really fun and thought-provoking exercise which made everyone realise how great the Gursikhs of the past were for being able to gather together and make decisions for the betterment for the Panth in very efficient and Guru-orientated manner.  And, the last workshop was on Panthic Ekta using examples throughout history. Old and modern examples were shared and reflected upon in hope we can all learn from our history for a better future.

Some photos from the camp:

 
Setting up Nishaan Sahib at the camp site.

 Satguru Ji arriving at the site and taking place on their beautifully decorated throne. The Seva of Maharaaj is done with lots of reverence and devotion by the Sangat.

  
Campers arriving at the camp site.

 Amrit-vela Naam Simran

 Amrit-vela Nitnem.


 Satguru Ji


Hukamnama Vichaar.


Singhs Camp is famous for Langar (also known as Langar Smaagam) because there are so many Langar breaks! This is the only camp I have been two were you get breakfast twice!


Post Langar Gurmat Vichaar on the topic of......... Langar.

Bhagat Ji explaining to Singhs about healthing eating and living (after everyone had pancakes, syrup and cream for breakfast. Vaheguru).
 
 Abseiling - You are never too old. Bhagat Ji showing the younger ones how it should be done.

Training for new spider man movie.

Enjoying the beach
 
Boating. (An example of how not to do it being shown by Bhai Palminder Singh)
 

Enjoying a walk in the woods.

Gurmat Vichaar by Bhagat Ji near the beach
 
 Gatka

 
Arrow firing - Veer Palminder Singh. He looks professional.
 
Arrow shooting.


Football


Whilst everyone enjoyed the divaans, activities and rest, Bhai Sahib would be doing seva of washing dishes. Vaheguru.


Group photo on the beach.


Bhagat Ji and Bhai Maan Singh saying goodbye to the camp.
 

Rainsbaaee Keertan - Bhai Jaspaul Singh


Rainsbaaee Keertan


 Rainsbaaee Keertan


Rainsbaaee Keertan


More photos on Toronto Singhs Camp Facebook.


Dhan Hai Guru! Dhan Hai Teree Sikhee!
 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Information on Shaheedi of Guru Arjan Dev Ji for non-Sikhs...

During the month of June, Sikhs of all backgrounds and ages get together in their local communities and hand out drinks to passers-by to remember the sacrifice of the fifth Sikh Guru and express ‘Chardi-Kala’ (‘Ever Rising-Spirits’), the Sikh ethos of remaining optimistic and positive. 
 
Guru Arjan Dev Ji (1563-1606) was the fifth of the ten Sikh Gurus. As soon as he became the Guru at the age of eighteen he became a champion for the welfare of the poor, sick and disadvantaged sections of society. He spent nearly eight months in Lahore helping thousands of people who were suffering from malaria and chicken pox. He started a centre at Tarn Taran to help people suffering from leprosy, and would feed and serve the suffering with his own hands. To overcome religious, social and gender inequalities the Guru further promoted Guru Nanak’s teachings by furthering the institution of Langar – the Guru’s holy kitchen where all people sit together and eat a free meal, and building of wells and pools for all sections of society to use.  
 
 

Testimony to the Guru’s vision was the construction of the world-class city of Amritsar in the Punjab and the establishment of Harmandar Sahib, known as the Golden Temple, as a religious centre. These were key components in the formation of the Sikh nation and of Sikhism as an independent faith.  Guru Arjan Dev Ji compiled the first version of the Sikh religion’s holy scripture, which was collection of the authentic revealed sacred hymns of the first five Gurus and a number of holy saints that were born different social and religious backgrounds. The new sacred scripture was installed in the sacred shrine in Amritsar in 1604.  


The Guru’s social and spiritual revolutionary activities were deemed a threat to institutionalized religion by the ruler of the land. Refusing to waver from his faith, he was tortured until his body succumbed.   

Over the period of five days the Guru was cruelly tortured. He was kept without food or water, exposed to the burning sun and boiled in boiling water. On the last day of the torture he was made to sit on a heated plate placed over a burning fire, with tonnes of burning sand poured over him. His body was then immersed into the nearby river that flowed through the city. Throughout the torture, the Guru calmly repeated “Sweet is Your Will, O Lord…”  

Traditionally, Sikhs commemorate the martyrdom by the free distribution of sweetened and chilled drinks to all. Instead of remembering this event through mourning, the Guru taught the Sikhs to accept Gods will as sweet. Therefore, Sikhs changed negativity to positivity by turning an attack upon them into a chance to serve others. Sikhs honour the Guru’s burning by cooling everyone else. This is Chardi-Kala.
 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

What is the difference between Punn and Paap?


Author: Bhai Atamjeet Singh (Toronto)

Punn (virtue) is a debit card - pay first and enjoy later.

Paap (sin) is a credit card - enjoy first and pay later.!

KARAM (acts) is a restaurant, where there is no need to place order - We are served, what we have cooked..!

Saturday, June 06, 2015

1984 Sikh Holocaust and Genocide in Amritsar - Sketch

Tribute to all the Shaheeds of the 1984 Holocaust and Genocide. 




Please attend the protest march and freedom rally tomorrow in Central London.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Remembering the Shaheeds of 1984...



Author: Bhai Vijay Singh UK

As we remember the shaheeds of 1984 and salute their sacrifices,
we should ask ourselves have we truly valued and taken benefit from their shaheedi (martyrdom)?
How have we moved forward? Are we still ghulaam (enslaved)?

Gurbani says that when Gursikhs leave this world, their names are never forgotten. But WE have forgotten.
We've forgotten those who smiled when their end came because they had sacrificed their all for what they loved most - their Panth.
It's time to wake up and recognise your responsibility.
You sit in your house on your comfortable sofa, watching your TV, feeling happy because you did your Nitnem that morning.
Ask yourself, what do you do for the Panth?

IF your answer is NOTHING... Then recognise Guru is calling for your shaheedi too. We all need to give shaheedi... HOW?
Sacrifice your time to do much needed seva;
Get involved in local/national projects;
Start up kids classes;
Work with gursikh groups to support our community and fight for our rights;
Give up your money to support the Panth.
The Panth's future is in YOUR hands.

Or forget this message and carry on living your comfortable little lives and forget the Panth... Who cares about the Panth?

------------------------------------

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Summer Sikh camps for under 16s in UK & Europe....

NOTE: The list of camps will be updated as more upcoming Gurmat Camps are announced by the Sangat.

 
6 – 19 July 2014
Paris Chalda Vaheer Gurmat Camp (Age: 4  – 18)
Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Lot 1919 No. 85/386, 1618 - Rue De La Ferme, 93000 Bobigny, France
Tel: +33 6 05 92 80 52

25 – 26 July 2014
Sikh Unity Camp (All ages)
9am to 5pm
Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Grant St, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD3 9HD
Register: www.singhsabhabradford.com
 
 
26 – 30 July 2014 
Sikh Naujawan Academy Leicester Gurmat Camp (Age: 5 – 18)
Guru Tegh Bahadar Gurdwara, 106 East Park Road, Leicester LE5 4QB.
Contact: Giani Sukha Singh - 07956 938737 
 
 
25 – 26 July 2014
Newcastle Summer Sikhi Camp (Age 5 - Adults)
Gurdwara Singh Sabha Newcastle, Cottenham Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE4 5QU


27 July – 2 August 2014
Sweden Khalsa Gurmat Camp (Age: 5 – Adults)
Gurdwara Sangat Sahib Förening Dymmelkärrsv. 23 14650 Tullinge, Stockholm.
Tel +46 (0) 8-778 14 14 

 

2– 7 August 2014  
Sikh Naujawan Academy Gurmat Camp (Age: 5 – 18)
Guru Nanak Gurdwara South Birmingham
629-635 Stratford Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham, B11 4LS.
Contact: Giani Sukha Singh - 07956 938737  
 
 
3 – 6 August 2014
Slough Sikh Family Camp (Age: 5+ – Adults)
Khalsa Primary School
Khalsa Primary School, Wexham Road, Slough, SL2 5QR
www.khalsaprimaryschool.com


3 – 7 August 2014
Southall Singh Sabha Summer Camp (Age: 7 – 15+)Khalsa Primary School - 9am to 3.30pm
Khalsa Primary School, Norwood Green, Middlesex, UB2 5QP.
To register:
 Phone: 07984714808 / Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthallSikhiCamp
 

6 – 10 August 2014
Southshields Gurmat Summer Camp (Age: 7 – Adults)Khalsa Mero Roop Hai Khaas Gurdwara, West Way, South Shields, NE33 4
For further information please contact Bhai Karnail Singh on 07801431855

 
9 – 14 August 2014
Sikh Naujawan Academy Gurmat Camp (Age: 5 – 18)
Guru Har Rai Gurdwara 128 High St, West Bromwich, West Midlands, B70 6JW 
Contact: Giani Sukha Singh - 07956 938737  
 

16 – 20 August 2014 
Sikh Naujawan Academy Gurmat Camp (Age: 5 – 18)
Baba Deep Singh Shaheed Gurdwara, 4 Holyhead Road, Birmingham, West Midlands B21 0L.
Contact: Giani Sukha Singh - 07956 938737  

21 – 26 August 2014
Connect 2 Sikhi Camp
(Age: 7 – 16, residential camp)
Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College, Roding Lane, Chigwell, Essex IG7 6BQ.
To register: www.connect2sikhi.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Connect2Sikhi/344775912276305

23 – 28 August 2014
Sikh Naujawan Academy Gurmat Camp (Age: 5 – 18)
Guru Nanak Gurdwara Wolverhampton, Sedgley St, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, WV2 3AJ.
Contact: Giani Sukha Singh - 07956 938737