2016 Sikh Dharma International Annual Report
SDI is honored to host the SDI Academy tent at the Summer Solstice Sadhana Celebration at Ram Das Puri, outside of Espanola, NM, USA and at the Winter Solstice Sadhana Celebration at the Circle F Dude Ranch in Lake Wales, FL, USA. There are as many as 20+ classes on various aspects of Sikh Dharma which are taught by numerous inspirational teachers from around the globe. In addition to classes, every evening the SDI tent hosts a Gurbani Kirtan Program and ends each day with the recitation of Kirtan Sohila. Click here to learn more about the SDI academy, access how-to and past class videos, view upcoming class schedules and more.
SDI had a strong presence at Summer Solstice, the European Yoga Festival and 3 Sat Nam Fest Events, with Winter Solstice still to come. The SDI booth at Summer Solstice was a source of connection for people to purchase their “5-Ks”, or simply a kara to wear for the first time; to buy a Nitnem to learn Japji better and support their practice; or to purchase and tie their first turban. Our staff tied about 150 turbans on people trying it out for the first time. It was great to share that experience with people and help them better understand the wonderful technologies our lifestyle has to offer.
“Thank you, SDI for your warm and welcoming booth! I loved your array of Sikh products that are very precious to me as I learn more and embark upon my own personal journey of Sikh Dharma. I came back three days in a row to have a beautiful, full turban tied by the gracious staff and by the end of the camp, I felt ready to start tying my own turban and try out different styles and fabrics. Bless you all!“ – Janet M.
Camp Miri Piri is a celebration and dedication to Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh Guru who started the warrior tradition in Sikhism. He wore two swords calling them ‘Miri’ and ‘Piri’. These swords represented the balance between spiritual and worldly powers. This concept of the warrior-saint has permeated the Sikh philosophy and lifestyle ever since. The goal of Camp Miri Piri is to challenge participants to connect with their soul. We recite morning Banis, do group Sadhana, engage in physical training, listen to Sikh stories, meditate, practice gatka and participate in discussion groups.
For the 3rd summer in a row, SDI hosted Camp Miri Piri in Espanola, NM, USA. Participants came from China, Brazil, Finland, UK, Malaysia, Canada and all over the US. Teachers included Shanti Kaur, Chardi Kala Jatha, Gurutej Singh and Guruka Singh and Gurumustuk Singh of Sikhnet. Find out more about Camp Miri Piri.
View more testimonials of Camp Miri Piri
This September SDI hosted the Japji for the Aquarian Age Course. Six inspiring and experienced teachers (Hari Dharam Kaur, Guruka Singh, Gurutej Singh, Pritpal Singh, Sada Sat Simran Singh and Shanti Kaur) took turns presenting on every section of Japji, along with the history of Guru Nanak and the origin of the bani. Time was allowed for the students to practice pronunciation and engage in deep study of the meaning of Guru Nanak’s words. There were cozy evening programs of moving kirtan and inspiring stories. The course concluded with each student choosing a personal pauri to recite for 40 days.
In tandem with the launch of this new course, SDI produced the book, Guru Nanak’s Call of the Soul: Japji Sahib, by Guru Tej Singh. SDI also came out with an updated Japji for the Aquarian Age app which helps users to learn Japji or just read along with Japji in English or in Gurmukhi or read along with the Aquarian Sadhana Mantras. The app includes audio versions of Japji from Nirinjan Kaur, Snatam Kaur and Sada Sat Simran Singh.
The Japji for the Aquarian Age Course will be offered twice in 2017 in the Spring at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California and in August at Chateau Anand in France. Stayed tuned to this site for details.
“As I chant Japji in the morning, I am continually aware of how much the Course has helped me delve further into pronunciation and meaning. This is a real gift, and one that reveals that this process is unending. Thus – any time one is able to take the Course, I highly recommend it.” ~ Kathy
SDI supported Dharmic education at its 5th and 6th Sat Nam Fest events in April at Joshua Tree and in August at the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts by setting up a beautiful, sacred Gurdwara with daily kirtan and classes on Shabad Guru and the Gurdwara ceremony.
Each morning as attendees arrived after Sadhana, many openly nervous about their first visit to a Gurdwara, greeters met them warmly, handing out booklets and head-covers. They then went inside to have their feet washed. Throughout the program each step was briefly explained to further help everyone relax into their experience.
On the afternoon of the first day, Snatam Kaur, Prabhu Nam Kaur and Sada Bahar Kaur taught a class called Connecting to the Guru, introducing the concept of the Shabad Guru and the Siri Guru Granth Sahib and including how to read from the Guru. The class culminated with reciting Japji together to begin the first Sat Nam Fest Sahej Paath. Sevadhars helped readers find their starting place, answered questions and provided support and community. Thirty people read over the three afternoons and over and over they expressed how wonderful their experience was and how grateful they were for the opportunity to be able to read. The Sat Nam Fest Sahej Paath will continue through future festivals until the entire Siri Guru Granth Sahib has been read and it’s blessing spread throughout the Sat Nam Fest community.
Since the summer of 2015, SDI has hosted the Sikh Dharma International Academy Tent with daily classes dedicated to many aspects of the Dharmic way of life. At night, the tent transforms into a cozy space for campers to enjoy dinner while listening to Sikh stories. After dinner, kirtan is played by ragis from sangats around the world while various ministers and sangat members take turns leading the participants in Kirtan Sohila, an evening prayer, before heading off to sleep.
“Thank you for organizing and giving us the opportunity to serve through Guru’s divine naad. May Shabad resound forever in Ram Das Puri, with love, grace, and heart-felt inspiration. In gratitude.” – Hari Bhajan Kaur & Siri Chand Singh
The divine words of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib serve as a road map for living this life to its fullest, most conscious human experience, in service of others and with happiness and abundance. Countless shabads from the Siri Guru Granth Sahib and other banis and sacred volumes relate very specifically to prosperity in all forms. SDI is dedicated to sharing these sacred words of the Gurus and Saints in our Shabad Guru for Prosperity Section of the website. This section will continue to grow in 2017 and beyond. Click here access this technology.
The SDI Blog also features lectures, video classes, personal stories and more about the Siri Guru Granth Sahib and relating to the Shabad Guru as a divine source of wisdom and guidance. SDI promotes several online and in person classes on Shabad Guru that are offered by ministers from our global community.
The KirtanXchange is a community of musicians sharing the gift of kirtan with the world. Our KirtanXchange website offers resources and connections to learn about kirtan, be introduced to musicians and jathas and to listen to their music. The KirtanXchange also helps bring live kirtan to communities that do not have access to a local Gurdwara. The program also includes a network of highly skilled and experienced teachers and mentors who can open the door to help develop other’s skills under their expert guidance.
Click here to learn more and get involved with the KirtanXchange program.
In February, SDI launched its new website to serve as a platform of resources to fulfill our communities’ Dharmic needs. Users can easily explore each of our featured sections of the website to:
Our new, robust blog features lectures, meditations and kriyas, shabads, articles, stories, art, poetry and music to enhance learning and inspiration of all forms of the conscious, dharmic lifestyle. Blog post categories include:
And Much more!
Appreciation for Educational Posts:
“I had no idea that the Sikh belief in equality goes that far back. Plus, I could never understand the last name of my Sikh friends. This sheds a lot of light. I love the saying, ‘all those that breathe are brethren’.” – D. Tangen on Equality ~ All One Before God
“In gratitude for this deliverance. By seeming chance, I took a step on a path most unknown. Then came a light that brought my sight to the gates of the one true home.” – G Khalsa on Numerology Post
“Sat Nam, thank you for sharing this wonderful poetic story, I was listening with tears in my eyes, such beauty to honour Guru Gobind Singh and God.” – P. S. Kaur on Where the Sun Sets
“Wow, that’s such a uplifting and beautiful story…just reading it brings healing to my heart. Thank you so so much for sharing…and for your wonderful seva….:)” – M Valant on Dhan Dhan Ram Das Guru
The SDI YouTube Channel features over 100 instructional and uplifting videos on:
Click here to visit our Youtube Channel page.
“I wanted to thank you for making videos in English. I was born and raised an atheist/agnostic. And happened onto learning Sikhi by accident. Have fallen in love with Sikh beliefs and the Gurus. I have visited the gurdwara, but is a long distance from me, and also a language issue when attending. So these videos help me out greatly.” – M. Wut on our How To Video series.
In celebration of the 350th birthday of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, the SDI community is embarking on the Raj Khalsa Yatra to India in December. For 40 days leading up to the Raj Khalsa Yatra, and in honor of Guru Gobind Singh, SDI has created 40 daily posts from the vast teachings that Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan gave about how to develop and expand the Radiant Body.
“Thank you for sending me this invitation and reading. I don’t know much about Sikh traditions. Deeply appreciate these writings…like a light of unexpected hope in my dark and hopeless thinking. Cellular soul medicine. A cup of prayer. Thank you, Sikh Dharma International. This is new stuff to me and it is a comfort.” – Karen H. on Characteristics of the Ten Bodies, part of the 40 Days of Radiant Body Teachings
Click here to sign up to receive these daily teachings on expanding the Radiant Body
Sikh Dharma International has been the home of the sacred art of Dasvandh for over 40 years. The Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan taught Dasvandh as one of the most powerful tools for prosperity. SDI has been committed to sharing other conscious, prosperity technology for just as long. With the creation of our new SDI site, we were able to launch the Prosperity Tools section with over 100 lectures, meditations, shabads and articles all devoted to sharing the many facets of prosperous living.
Click here to learn more about Dasvandh
Click here to visit our Prosperity Tools Section
“I have been playing this every day since it came to me. It is a true meta meditation to the self. Passing it along to many others in my life. May it be a gift to them as it is to me.”
– M. O’Keefe on Patience Pays – Audio Affirmation by the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan.
“Thank you. Just what I needed this morning as my mind was trying hard to take over a difficult venture–let me go back to the true source of wisdom and success.”
– Mary on Prosperity Meditation ~ You Are a Spiritual Being with Unlimited Potential
In 1996, construction began for a new Gurdwara on land owned by Sikh Dharma of Phoenix directly behind the original Gurdwara structure. Building the new Gurdwara has created an expansive energy and a spirit of generosity. With its beautiful scalloped arches and etched glass windows, the new building is an inspiration to many visitors from all over the world. The building has come together incrementally over the last 10 years through many fundraising efforts.
Sikh Dharma of Phoenix is in the last phase of construction towards completing this beautiful new Gurdwara Sahib, which will be much larger and better able to serve the sangat. This Gurdwara is one of the jewels of Sikh Dharma and part of the legacy of the Siri Singh Sahib; a legacy where all Sikhs join to live, work and serve humanity together. SDI lent its support to this project in 2016 in several ways to help the community complete this incredible house of the Guru. Click here to learn more.
This year more than 15,000 Sikhs from around the world gathered at the Los Angeles Convention Center to participate in the Anniversary of Baisakhi Celebration. This event is coordinated by Sikh Dharma of Southern California and Guru Ram Das Ashram, with the cooperation of many other Gurdwaras in Los Angeles County. Sikh Dharma International sent support staff to help with the set up of the magnificently decorated Gurdwara, lead by Seva Kaur Khalsa. The SDI KirtanXchange program helped bring Jatha members from Chardi Kala Jatha to play at the event.
“On every 13th of April Baisakhi comes and Baisakhi is the harvesting season and people cash their crops to bring home prosperity and valuable wealth. Baisakhi is not only celebrated in Punjab or India, but it is celebrated all over the world under different names, different ceremonies and different points of view…
Guru wanted to give you a message. He gave the sons and daughter of this land to be the householders of the Khalsa and now from Oslo to the end of Spain, and from the North to the end of Argentina’s tip, you will find Khalsa established in its roots growing. Is it not amazing? So I wanted to share this beautiful birthday of ours to the point of joy and happiness and blessing. It’s the time when prosperity, purity, piety comes to us and that is God’s grace and Guru’s blessing.”
– Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan on Baisakhi in Los Angeles 4/8/2003
In January of this year, Sikh Dharma International held a town hall meeting in Los Angeles for the local sangat members. It was a cozy gathering in Guru Ram Das Ashram of about 30 people, beginning with langar and chanting. The meeting was facilitated by S.S. Gurujot Kaur, the Secretary General and CEO of Sikh Dharma International, along with the Bhai Sahiba Bibiji Inderjit Kaur, the Siri Sikdar Sahiba Sardarni Guru Amrit Kaur, SS Dr. Harjot Kaur, MSS Kirtan Singh and Sada Anand Kaur, the COO of SDI. The meeting was an invaluable opportunity for SDI to personally connect with our sangat and see how we can lend any needed support.
The Siri Sikdar Sahiba Sardarni Guru Amrit Kaur also visited with Sangats in Vancouver, Mexico and Brazil throughout the year to offer leadership, guidance and support. SDI will continue to expand this practice of meeting with global communities in 2017 and beyond to help build stronger connections and increase our service to our Dharmic family and collective mission.
Sikh Dharma International represents Dharmic, conscious people, sangats, educational programs and seva around the world. The impact and work that our global family produces every day is incredible and we at SDI want to highlight and support these efforts in anyway we can. One avenue for highlighting far reaching service is the Sikhs Feed People facebook page which shares info on langar programs around the world. SDI has also participated in seva and lent fundraising support to Food for Kids NM and also created online support tools for those wanting to create similar programs in their own communities. SDI promotes many service and educational projects on our website and in our newsletters including the Seva Sadhana program and the Miri Piri Brasil School.
The Siri Singh Sahib left us a legacy which has touched people worldwide. As sangats grow across the globe, each community welcomes international visitors with open arms and tremendous hospitality.
Each year many people from our International Sangat now make the long trip, on a yatra to New Mexico, USA for Summer Solstice. Thirteen years ago, Gurubachan Singh and Gurubachan Kaur started hosting an annual dinner at their home to welcome them. As the event grew, it became more than their home and budget could accommodate.
Sikh Dharma International now collaborates with other legacy organizations, Gurubachan Singh and many other sangat members to host this event. This International Welcoming Dinner is an opportunity to reciprocate the warmth and smiles our global sangat share with us when we visit them. Click here to learn more.
When the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan was born, his family was so grateful that they gave the entire village gifts. From then on gifts of food and clothing were given to the community each year on his birthday. Keeping with the tradition and to honor Guru Ram Das, the Siri Singh Sahib would sponsor langar, give sweets and offer new rumallas to the Siri Guru Granth Sahib at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. Honoring this legacy, as his students, we have continued this birthday tradition of making an offering of new rumallas, expertly crafted by the renowned Surinder Singh, to the Siri Guru Granth Sahib at the Golden Temple each year. Our students at Miri Piri Academy who live near the Golden Temple, are present to make this offering on our behalf.
Since 2003, Sikh Dharma International has sponsored the weekly Akhand Path in Anandpur Sahib, India as a continuous blessing for our global sangat. This unbroken prayer, recited in the home of the Khalsa, Takhat Sri Kesgarh Sahib, is dedicated every week to the benefit and chardi kala our global Khalsa family.
Sikh Dharma International also offers many online resources for those seeking knowledge and the experience of holding an Akhand Path or a Sahej Path in their own home or community. Click here to access this section of our website. Or click here to sponsor a weekly Akhand Path in Anandpur Sahib and offer your personal dedication or prayers.
In May of 2016, the Dharmic Office of Public Affairs (DPA) was established to serve our entire Sikh Dharma/3HO family of organizations and constituents. SS Shanti Kaur Khalsa, is serving as the Executive Director and SS Sada Sat Simran Singh is serving as the Director of Indian Sangat Affairs. MSS Kirtan Singh is assisting as the SDI Ambassador.
The DPA seeks to affirmatively influence opinion and expand awareness about the legacy organizations of the Siri Singh Sahib, build and maintain a positive reputation for our organizations and build solid relationships with the Indian Sangat, the yoga community, the media and the general public. The DPA also seeks out avenues of service to help connect our for-profit and non-profit Legacy organizations with worthy projects and causes around the world.
In August, 2016 the office of Dharmic Public Affairs along with the East West Tea Company and United Sikhs sent 24 cases of Yogi Tea to support the flood relief efforts in Lousiana.
In October, 2016 Sada Sat Simran Singh, Director of Indian Sangat Affairs, and Dr. Harjot Kaur, Chairperson of the Khalsa Council completed a diplomatic tour to India and visited with the Jethadar of the Akal Takhat and many other SGPC and DGPC officials and government representatives on behalf of our worldwide community.
Khalsa Council serves as a leadership body for our Dharma, meeting twice a year to discuss issues of relevance to the present and future of our Dharma.
Following Summer Solstice, a large group of Millennial Sangat Members met in Espanola, NM, to share their thoughts about the future of our Dharma and to identify their key areas of interest and concern. The Khalsa Council invited representatives of this group to lead a presentation and discussion session with the members of the Council at the September meetings. They identified 4 key areas: New Businesses, Integration of the Generations, Transparency and Seva Programs (Service). The Khalsa Council broke into discussion groups and several task forces were assigned to further develop and implement the ideas brought forth.
Click here to learn more about the International Khalsa Council and to access meeting reports.
In celebration of the 350th birthday of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, the SDI community is embarking on the Raj Khalsa Yatra to India in December. Participants will celebrate the New Year at the Golden Temple in Amritsar and commemorate the 350th Anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Birth in Patna Sahib, the place of his birth. The Siri Singh led many Yatras to India as a way for our sangat to connect with Sikhs from around the world and to walk on the sacred ground where the spirit of Sikh Dharma was born. Click here to learn more about this and other Yatras.
350 years ago, a magnificent soul was incarnated on the earth in the small village of Patna in far eastern India. Guru Gobind Singh began an era on this planet where religious tolerance was a human virtue and religious freedom became a human right.
Guru Gobind Singh related to swords and other weapons as a manifestation of the sacred power of God, only to be used consciously and without anger in the face of tyranny. SDI has commissioned Master Sword Maker, Jot Singh Khalsa to create the “Sword of Raj Khalsa” which will be presented to Takhat Patna Sahib at the 350th anniversary celebration of Guru Gobind Singh’s birth. The Sword of Raj Khalsa will join a long line of gifts which have been given by the Sikh Dharma Community to the Guru at significant gurdwaras in India on numerous historical occasions.
Click here to learn more about the Sword of Raj Khalsa and other historical gifts presented in India in years past.
In January, 2016, Spirit Voyage along with support from several of the Legacy non-profit organizations, initiated a Japji Global Sadhana. 9,000 souls came together to participate and SDI was humbled to be among those who helped to support and facilitate this transformative experience of group consciousness and deep learning.
SDI staff worked along with many others to gather personal stories and experiences of each of the 40 sections of Japji Sahib (including the Mul Mantra and the Shalok) to share with the 9,000 participants. Throughout the 40 day intensive practice, a lively facebook group was created to allow for participants to share their journey with each other, gain support and have questions answered. SDI staff helped to field some of these questions and offer online support.
“Japji is now part of my life again, thanks to the Global Sadhana initiative. I woke up, did the wake up series and the rest of my personal sadhana. It was part of my life years ago, but life got in the way, as they say. Now when I wake up, even when my mind is not fully awake, I would almost automatically start Japji, then waking up while reciting Japji, how beautiful is that? The best way to wake up and start my day. Sat Nam ” – A. Dewanti
The SDI Community Calendar is meant to be a unified place where our legacy organizations and community leaders and ministers from around the world can list their Dharmic events for all to see and connect to.
This year SDI used this Community Calendar and our regular e-newsletters to help promote numerous events being offered by our large global family. Some events included Journey to the Heart of Sikh Dharma, Naad Academy, Breathe Events, Shabad Guru Courses, Gurmukhi Classes, Super Health and more. Please Click here to view the Community Calendar and please contact us at [email protected] to find out about posting your upcoming events.
“I’m so grateful to SDI for their willingness promote the Journey into the Heart of Sikh Dharma tele-course through their emails, their website calendar, and in other ways. They have a tremendous network, and therefore have a capacity to inform and encourage people around the world about a variety of educational opportunities people are offering. Especially from their emails, a number of students have signed up for and thoroughly enjoyed our Journey into the Heart of Sikh Dharma course; then gone on to other courses, yatras, and events. Much gratitude. I hope that anyone who runs programs related to Sikh Dharma can add their events to the SDI shared calendar so they can inform and recommend them worldwide.” – Mata Mandir Kaur Khalsa
The goal of the Sikh Dharma Job Board is to connect people within our large, global community to jobs, internships and Seva opportunities within the Dharma.
Employers include individuals with their own practices, small businesses, nonprofits and large companies. Their offerings include full and part-time, career-path positions, as well as internships, mentorships, exchanges and requests for pure seva. Applicants range from recent Miri Piri Academy graduates to seasoned professionals. The Job Board allows employers and businesses to directly post their job openings where those seeking conscious employment can find them. SDI also sends out emails and social media posts to direct potential employees to the job board as new opportunities open up. The site also serves as a directory for Dharmic businesses and offers conscious, spiritual business tools for all. Click here to visit the Job Board.
SDI provided livestreaming for 11 events in 2016 including live sadhanas, kirtan from ashrams around the world, group meditations, Breathe events and more. This platform allows people from all over the world to tune into and be a part of the group consciousness and chardi kala spirit created at so many events throughout the year. Please contact us at [email protected] to add your community’s Kirtan or other events to our Livestream page. Click here to visit the page and access upcoming and past recordings.
“God bless all that made this possible. It is certainly a cleansing and elevating experience every time!” – Yvonne R.
“Having access to these livestreams is wonderful- from Espanola to Massachusetts! Almost like being there- many thanks. Love it.” – T. Gonzalez
Sikh Dharma International is a service organization that solely relies on grants and donations to deliver all of its service, education and outreach.
Your support is the fuel that propels our mission forward. Please consider including Sikh Dharma International in your generous year end giving and let us know how we can best serve you and your community.
Donations to Dasvandh help support all the work of Sikh Dharma International while also activating the law of the vacuum and unlocking personal prosperity and success.
You can also donate directly to specific programs that SDI delivers every year.
Donate $108 or more today and receive a copy of Furmaan Khalsa – Poems to Live by, by the Siri Singh Sahib Yogi Bhajan.
Thank you for your support!
WAHE GURU JI KA KHALSA, WAHE GURU JI KI FATEH!
The Sikh Dharma International Team