My journey with SikhNet started when I was in a moment of intense, personal struggle. SikhNet can help so many people the way it helped me.

Will you show your support?

A Moment in Time

The Cherdi Kala Jatha in New York, by Sat Hari Singh.

The walls of the Richmond Hill Gurdwara, still under re-construction from a devastating fire reverberated with the transcendental sounds of the Guru's bani as the Chardi Kala Jatha led kirtan in classical style. Many of the Indian origin Sikhs were awestruck with the excellence of the kirtan from such an unexpected source as Western Khalsas.

In their dhumalas and cholas the Chardi Kala Jatha captivated both the hearts and minds of the sadh sangat bringing smiles of bliss to their faces. As the Guru's western devotees vibrated in excellent raga and tala some of the Sikhs with small motions of their hands kept timeĀ  The whole attention of all in the Gurdwara was captivated as Jugat Guru Singh, Sadasat Simran Singh and Harimandir Jot Singh began to awaken the love for the Guru's bani delivered in the traditional way. When Sadasat Simran Singh began to sing the opening notes all heads turned to hear his voice as what they heard they could not believe. The excellence of the Chardi Kala Jatha's presentation of gurbani drove home the truly international nature of Sikh Dharma. When they heard these Khalsas from the West singing in such a devotional and ecstatic manner they were moved to stillness and the usual hustle and bustle of the Gurdwara stopped as all strained to hear them.

Friends of mine who were doubtful that Westerns could achieve such excellence and play in Harimandir Sahib were transformed into believers. When the Jatha left they stopped to meet well wishers and devoted Sikhs serving chai near the entrance to the Gurdwara. There several received their second shock when members of the Jatha began to speak in Punjabi with them. Some of Those Sikhs having weak English were able for the first time to converse with a Western Sikh and it was truly an East meets West moment. The Richmond Hill Sadh Sangat clearly enjoyed to hear Western Sikhs having the same affection and devotion for the Sikh places and exchanged reminisces of places that both had found special. They were inspired later after the Jatha had departed to hear from my children later that the Chardi Kalaa Jatha are teachers of Western youth as well at a Sikh school called Miri Piri Academy outside the holy city of Amritsar. My daughter told one of the Sikhs that anybody could send their children to the school but that the program was designed by the Siri Singh Sahib to create Khalsa consciousness children.

When I was pressed later for more information about the jatha I told nearby Sikhs that they studied kirtan traditional Gurbani Kirtan in Amritsar, Punjab under their "Ustaad ji" Narinder Singh Sandhu, as well as the Siri Singh Sahib who with the grace of the Guru brought them to Sikh Dharma. I told eager listeners that Chardi Kala Jatha has a several CDs, a web site and kirtans on Sikh Net and You Tube. The visit of the Chardi Kala Jatha was an inspiring event for all who participated. It was truly a Guru's moment in time.

Photos by Waheguru Kaur, Austria and Sat Hari Singh, New York

Add a Comment