Wahe Guru Ji ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ke Fateh! I humbly submit this report of my recent journey through India and share with the Sikh Dharma Stewardship a series of meetings with Sikh religious and political leaders that occurred during it.
On March 12th, the day after my arrival, I accompanied Bhai Sahib Satpal Singh to Old Delhi and Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib, built on the location where Guru Tej Bahadur was beheaded. There we met Giani Ranjit Singh who, though the current head Granthi at this Gurdwara Bangala Sahib, was the previous head Granthi at
Gurdwara Sis Ganj. On behalf of the management at Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib I was presented with a Saropa on behalf of the Sikh Dharma Stewardship.
Bhai Sahib Satpal Singh and I then traveled back to New Delhi where we bowed at the feet of the Guru at Gurdwara Bangala
Sahib. The Chairman of the Gurdwara met us there and on behalf of the Gurdwara, we were blessed with a Saropa and a Siri Sahib on behalf of Sikh Dharma Stewardship.
On March 20th
and I traveled to Amritsar. Upon arrival, we went to the headquarters of the SGPC and met with
Secretary Dalmeg Singh who the Sikh Dharma Stewardship had met previously in Espanola. He served us breakfast and we had a very cordial discussion about the status of Sikh Dharma in the United States, the role of Sikh Dharma Stewardship, and the future relations between the Sikh Dharma Stewardship and the SGPC. We discussed ways that Sikh Dharma can actively participate with the SGPC in the future and it is my prayer that the Sikh
Dharma Stewardship is blessed with a good relationship with the SGPC in the future. At the end of the meeting, I received on behalf of Sikh Dharma Stewardship a Saropa and a beautiful picture of the Golden Temple.
That afternoon we went to view the changing of the guard on the India-Pakistan border. Through the auspices of the SGPC, we were graciously received and given preferential parking, close access to the
staging area, seating right in front of the ceremonies and access to the VIP Visitors Center. Upon conclusion of the ceremonies Commanding General S. K. Sharma, the commanding general of military forces in Punjab, came over to me and introduced himself. He invited Bhai Sahib Satpal Singh and I into the VIP Visitors Center for tea and we had a very pleasant conversation about Sikh Dharma and its growth in the United States.
The next day began with an early morning meeting with Singh Sahib Giani Iqbal Singh, the Jathedar of Patna Sahib Takhat who is a close friend of Bhai Sahib Satpal Singh. He came to meet us in
Bhai Sahib Satpal’s room at our hotel across from the Golden Temple, Le Golden. Again we had a very cordial conversation about Sikh Dharma in the United States, the relationship between Sikh Dharma and Kundalini Yoga and the leadership being provided the Dharma by the Sikh Dharma Stewardship. On behalf of Sikh Dharma Stewardship, I made a presentation to him of a mala. He gave me a copy of his book, Naam Rasaain, which contains a chapter on the specific references to Kundalini Yoga in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Before his death, the Siri Singh Sahib had specifically requested him to write this book. In return, I presented him with a copy of my yoga DVD, Peace of Mind in Stressful Times.
Bhai Sahib and I then visited the offices of the SGPC where the newest Member of Parliament from the Punjab Sardar Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa was holding a press conference. He greeted me and asked us to accompany him to the Golden Temple where we all bowed and listened to Gurbani. A photo session took place and he kindly held my hand and had me stand next to him for it.
Next, we went to see Singh Sahib Gurbachan Singh, the Jathedar of the Akal Takhat at his office in the Golden Temple complex. I was warmly received by him on behalf of Sikh Dharma Stewardship.
He too is a friend of Bhai Sahib Satpal Singh and the meeting proceeded in a very cordial manner. It is unusual to meet privately with the Jathedar but we
were blessed with a private appointment. We discussed the Sikh Dharma Stewardship, Sikh Dharma Universal and our future relations with the Akal Takhat. At the end of the meeting, I presented him with a mala on
behalf of the Sikh Dharma Stewardship.
The following day Bhai Sahib Satpal Singh and I traveled to Miri Piri Academy where we met with Principal Jagat Guru Singh Khalsa and Mr. Bedi. On behalf of Sikh Dharma Stewardship, I presented the school with the picture of the Golden Temple given me by the SGPC. My grandson Siri Guru Dev Singh who is a student there was in attendance at the presentation.
Bhai Sahib Satpal Singh and I left Amritsar in the afternoon and traveled back to New Delhi where we met for tea with our friend and Member of Parliament Tarlochan Singh. He is a very old and
dear friend of Bhai Sahib Satpal Singh and his family; a relationship that predates his relationship with Siri Singh Sahib. I always make it a point to pay my respects to him each and every time I go to New Delhi. He is keenly interested in all things happening in Sikh Dharma and the Sikh community in general. We discussed the state of affairs of Sikh Dharma Universal, the Sikh Dharma Stewardship, and the future of Sikh Dharma. I brought him up to date on all activities in the Sikh community in New York City as well. He is very concerned about all that is going on but he has faith and confidence in our ability to handle the affairs of Sikh Dharma. On behalf of Sikh Dharma Stewardship, I presented him with a mala.
I left India the next day still feeling the blessing of the Guru’s hand guiding me. The many blessings that flowed there continue to flow now that I have returned to America. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to serve the mission of the Siri Singh Sahib and Sikh Dharma over the last three weeks. I pray I may continue to serve as an ambassador on behalf of Sikh Dharma in the years to come.
Many good contacts, connections, and relationships were made that should be of great benefit in the future and should be cultivated and nurtured. Bhai Sahib Satpal Singh was a consummate ambassador for Sikh Dharma. I am extremely grateful to him for his tireless efforts, support, and companionship during this trip.
Sat Jivan Singh Khalsa
Member Emeritus, Sikh Dharma Stewardship