On the way from the Gurdwara I walked pass the Havelock Arms pub. I was really disheartened to see a group of young Panjabi men smoking cigarettes on the street corner. It was hard to sink in how a Panjabi or someone whose family has a Sikh background could smoke openly, even though they had their hair cut and clean-shaven. I was bit disheartened at seeing this.
Reaching Sikh Missionary Society I saw some familiar faces and said 'fateh' to them. I was pointed in the right direction where the programme was happening. Walking up the stairs of the Sikh Missionary Society I could hear "WAAHE-GUROO, WAAHE-GUROO, WAAHE-GUROO..." being powerfully sung. Entering the room where there was simran happening, I felt a strong vibration of "WAAHE-GUROO" permeating in the air. It was so beautiful and so peaceful – a small room full of young and old, men and women. Everyone was singing along and take Laahaa (benefit) of Naam Simran.
Afterwards Bhaji Navraj Singh Ji shared some Vichaar with the Sangat (majority which were youngsters of different age-groups). He shared his experience of how he came to into Sikhi and started to adopt the Sikh path. I must say, it was an inspiring talk. Bhaji shared how he was a clean-shaven boy when he was growing up and sadly hanged around in the wrong crowd. However, the one word, which Bhaji used to summarise what got him into Sikhi, was "SANGAT" (Company). Changee Sangat (Good Company) inspired Bhaji to think and evaluate his life. Through self-reflection and being inspired by in-laws being Gursikhs, Bhaji started taking steps towards Guru Ji. Bhaji's talk ended with deep-felt message of being brave and being strong is about fighting the Panj Chor and negativity. This is the true battle, which take place. One should always be brave and strong internally and find their inner-strength.
Afterwards Bhaji Sukhraj Singh Ji led Jaap (meditation) of Mool Mantr & Salokh. He followed on with a small talk, discussing the 33rd pauree (stanza) from Japji Sahib and the steps towards finding and experiencing Waheguru:
aakhan jor, chupai neh jor.
No power to speak, no power to keep silent.
jor na mangan, den na jor.
No power to beg, no power to give.
jor na jeevan, maran neh jor.
No power to live, no power to die.
jor na raaj, maal man sor.
No power to rule, with wealth and occult mental powers.
jor na surtee giaan veechaar.
No power to gain intuitive understanding, spiritual wisdom and meditation.
jor na jugtee chhuttai sansaar.
No power to find the way to escape from the world.
jis hath jor kar vekhai soe.
He alone has the Power in His Hands. He watches over all.
naanak utam neech na koe.33.
O Nanak, no one is high or low. 33.
Again it was a very inspiring and meaningful talk.
The programme finished with everyone singing 6 paurees (stanzas) of Anand Sahib and an Ardaas for thanking Waheguru and Guru Ji for blessing us with the oppurtunity to joining the Saadh Sangat and enjoying Naam Simran and Gurmat Vichaar.
Some mittiyaaee (indian sweets) were distributed to everyone and Langar was served.
The programme was in word - inspiring!! I can't explain the joy I felt in the Saadh Sangat. To feel it, you will have to come along and feel it for yourself. The programme takes place the last Friday of every month between 7pm-9pm at the Sikh Missionary Society, by the youth for the youth, and all are welcome.
Here are some photos from today's programme: