Appreciating the Harmandir Sahib: GIEU India 2015 (By Shukria)

A few days ago our group arrived at Harmandir Sahib at  about 3:40 AM to witness the procession of the Guru Granth Sahib into the gurudwara.  We just missed the elaborate line of young Sikh men carrying the Guru Granth Sahib inside, but we did get to witness the many people urgently trying to get a glimpse or a photo of it. In the midst of the early morning confusion many Sikhs just stopped, bowed, and then prayed . We’ll go back and attempt to see the real deal tomorrow which is very exciting.

UPDATE:

We went back the following morning.  After waking up earlier and taking our shoes off more quickly to avoid being late for the procession we saw an amazing crowd of people. What we witnessed was a living sea of colors, a sea of people pouring outwards and then towards the gurudwara, and over it all poured the mighty soundtrack of  bugles blowing. It’s rather hard to describe the whole ceremony and the myriad of colors I saw, but the two images from the ceremony that’ll stick with me the most are:

The crowds of people chasing the Guru Granth Sahib down the bridge to the gurudwara and the images of the countless Sikhs bent over in thoughtful prayer.

I was overwhelmed inside, yet I was calm. There was a buzz in the air, yet it was calmly controlled. I felt at peace with just being. I think that’s the biggest thing to keep in mind while appreciating the Harmandir Sahib and Sikhism, finding the calm reverence that allows one to truly appreciate the scene (both mental and physical), which in turn allows one to appreciate life– to grow and to learn.

Shayan signing out,

-Shukria

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