We are very excited to report back on the success of the Gurdwara at Sat Nam Fest West that took place in Joshua Tree, California, on April 16th through April 20th.
Sikh Dharma International was invited by Spirit Voyage to host a Gurdwara at the Sat Nam Fest event in Joshua Tree, California in April. Although the event has been happening annually for several years, this was the first time that there was a gurdwara available for the participants to experience.
The average participants at Sat Nam Fest events are not as familiar with Sikh Dharma as the participants at our main events of Summer and Winter Solstices. But they are drawn to the beauty and transforming power of our mantras as presented by the wonderful musicians who perform at the Sat Nam Fest events. Having a gurdwara experience available to these students was an excellent way to expand their understanding of the origins and context of the experience and of the teachings about our sacred mantras and shabads.
Three members of the SDI staff, Pritpal Singh, Fatehpal Kaur and Himmat Singh, were sent to organize, setup and manage the gurdwara .The gurudwara was held in a beautiful building called the Sanctuary where the Siri Guru Granth Sahib was regally installed for all to come and have it’s darshan.Each day there was an early morning program of Gurbani Kirtan, Ardas, Hukamnama and Gurprashad where some of the Sat Nam Fest musicians lead the kirtan. There were about 150 people attending each morning! For many of them, it was their first time in a gurdwara. We took extra care to introduce and frame each segment of the gurdwara program so as to help those who were unfamiliar with gurdwara protocol. It was truly inspiring to see so many touched by the dignity and divinity of the Shabad Guru.
With staff on duty throughout the day, everyone was welcome to come to the gurdwara as a place to ask questions about Sikh Dharma or simply as a peaceful place to meditate. Each day we offered three other mini-programs in the gurdwara of 11 recitations of “Dhan Dhan Ram Das Gur”, “Poota Mata Ki Asees” and “Basant ki Vaar”. There were also two classes taught by Pritpal Singh – “Understanding the Aquarian Sadhana Mantras” (with Snatam Kaur ) and “Using Poota Mata Ki Asees to bless your children when nothing else is working”.
We are grateful for this opportunity and would like to thank Karan Karan Kaur, Sat Darshan Kaur and Snatam Kaur for their support and encouragement. SDI looks forward to being invited to participate in a similar capacity at the Sat Nam Fest East event in the Fall, later this year and look forward to sharing the light of the path of Sikh Dharma. We encourage you all to participate in these uplifting, heart-felt events and join us at the gurdwara.