Monday, February 26, 2007

Gravesend Workshop on "Sangat"

Last Saturday was a long day. I was invited to Gravesend to do a workshop with the youngsters there in the afternoon. It was a very long drive - two and a half hours! But listening to Keertan in the car made the journey okay. With Guru Sahib's Kirpaa I didn't get lost on the journey! The last time I went to Gravesend was last November for a History workshop with the youngsters.

Around 50 youngsters, aged from 7 to 20 yrs old, attended. The topic of the workshop was SANGAT. The motivation behind choosing this topic was that Sangat one chooses affects one's life either in a positive way or negative way.

First of all the youngsters were asked what the word "Sangat" means to them and then the different ways one can do Sangat with someone. The following Shabad was looked at to explain that the colour of the Sangat rubs off on the person (Jaisee Sangat, Taisee Rangat):
ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਪੰਖੀ ਭਇਓ ਉਡਿ ਉਡਿ ਦਹ ਦਿਸ ਜਾਇ ॥
kabeer man pankhee bhe-i-o udd udd deh dis jaa-ay.
O Kabeer! The mind has become a bird; it soars and flies in the ten directions.

ਜੋ ਜੈਸੀ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਸੋ ਤੈਸੋ ਫਲੁ ਖਾਇ ॥੮੬॥
jo jaisee sangat milai so taiso fal khaa-ay. ||86||
According to the company it keeps, so are the fruits it eats. ||86||
(Ang 1369)

Everyone was then divided into three groups and given the task of planning a short drama on the effects and influence Sangat has on a person. The groups were given 30 minutes or so to plan. It was good to see that the younger kids and elder ones all worked together and came up with some good ideas.

Below is the performance of Group 1. The narrator in this play is also called 'Manvir Singh'. (Note: The workshop was held in Gurdwara's Panjabi School building. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is not present in the building).

After the dramas, Gurbaani's perspective on good Sangat and bad Sangat were shared with examples of personal stories of the effects of Sangat in school and university etc. The dangers facing Sikh youngsters in schools, colleges and universities were shared also. This was followed by questions. It was an enjoyable day and the youngsters were nice.

In the evening I went to Southall for the End of Month Youth Keertan Darbaar. I was feeling bit tired from the long journey and sitting in the car for such a long time. However, the Keertan at the Gurdwara was so uplifting that all my tiredness went away! It was amazing. The turnout was great and Chardikalaa Gursikhs from Midlands also came down which uplifted the spirits :)
ਮਿਲਿ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਸਰਧਾ ਊਪਜੈ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਚਾਖੁ ॥
mil sangat sharDhaa oopjai gur shabdee har ras chaakh.
Joining the Sangat, the Holy Congregation, faith (in Japping Naam) has welled up within me; through the Word of the Guru's Shabad, keep tasting the sublime essence of the Lord's Name.

ਸਭੁ ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਹਰਿਆ ਹੋਇਆ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਭਾਖੁ ॥੧॥
sabh man tan hari-aa ho-i-aa gurbaaNee har guN bhaakh. ||1||
(One who tastes the sublime essence of Naam,) their mind and body all the time blossoms forth; through Gurbaani, chant the Glorious Praises of the Lord. ||1||
(Ang 997)

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