Jump to content
Guest Gupti

Problem with my Guru Ghar's Committee right now

Recommended Posts

We should take a leaf out of history, has a precedent been set to allow monay to lead services or be parcharaks on stages? We know the answer, so why change.  No one is stopping them from doing general seva duties.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Singh

If the gurdwara doesn’t let you do katha on stage...try making videos of katha and put them online. You will reach a wider audience this way.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't be disheartened veere, this world and the people are blinded by outward appearances and don't spend enough time meditating to see each other as jots; equal , one. 

You keep focusing on bani and when Guru ji wants, then they will aap put you to their seva. Meanwhile keep khojing bani everyday and try to create small focus groups with people around you so can have gurmat vichaar on weekly basis. Doing katha at a Gurdwara will always have restrictions. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Road2Sikhi

Gurfateh veer,

To the OP don't be disheartened by the commitee'walas narrow view, instead maybe look at different avenues to encourage your passion to have a discourse about Sikh with others.  Set up a YouTube channel and make some flyers and share these with the sangat in your local GurGhar - your calling could be far greater than the limits of 4 walls in a small town or city. 

Look for the lessons in things and you will never be disappointed. Everything is hukum.

Peace

Vaheguru <3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Jagsaw_Singh

Upset and frustration with Gurdwara Committees is a common theme with our generation. Understandable, because so much of what happens within the Gurdwara is so clearly contradictory with Sikhi. But...as anyone that knows me on this forum will tell you; my 'thing' is history. I always say understand history and you will understand today but when it comes to Gurdwara committees it goes much deeper than that because when you understand history well you will begin to show a lot more understanding of the committee members.

Before I say anything else let me tell you about the UK's most important / famous Gurdwara: the Southall Havelock Road Gurdwara on Havelock Road:  Back in the day, for us old Sikh families of Southall, the langar hall used to be a tent / marquee in the back. Every Sunday, after all the families had had langar....around 2pm onwards, the men used to bring out their bottles of Bacardi and Dimples and sit there and drink. I know because my dad used to tell me how he and my grandmother used to leave him (my grandfather) there after langar with the other men.

So why am I telling you this ?

I'm telling you this because it illustrates how it is human nature to think in utopian terns and think what happens today is so much more worse / immoral than what happened in years gone by. If a Gurdwara committee won't allow a katha or gatka or dhadi jatha etc it is a small, meaningless and trivial thing in the bigger scheme of things. In the bigger scheme of things...when one understands how things used to be....every Gurdwara committee desrves upmost respect today.

So now comes the bit I love but you all hate : History:   If you read the constitution or charity status for a lot of the old established Gurdwaras in the UK you will notice that they were established, and many still registered as, branches of the IWA ; Indian Workers Association. That means a hellava lot but I don't feel any of you are in the mood for one of my history lessons here so let me condense it down to this:

We my like to criticise the committee members of Guru Khars but remember these facts: We've had it easy. Those old billigerent unknowledgable committe presidents didn't have it so easy. They came to a foerign country that had never seen a dark skinned man but still built a Gurudwra. They worked to the bone day and night but still found time to make a Gurdwara. They suffered the indignity of being paid less than their work colleagues with white skin but they still focussed on making a Gurdwara. They suffered immeasurable racial prejudice and violence but they still devoted their time, energy and money into building a Gurdwara. None of our generation has done the same despite how easy we have it. In comparison.....we are utterly useless.

Moral of the story ?   We are a lovely house. A house, whether lovely or not, will only stand if the foundation was strong. Those old timers that make up the committee of our Gurdwara,....despite doing and saying silly things.....are the strong foundation that allow us to stand rather than fall. They've been through enough to have earned the right to not allow you to do katha. In the bigger scheme of things it doesn't matter.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a kid I still remember the elderly Singh's sitting on the benches next to the King St Mandir, (just outside Havelock Gurdwara) openly drinking in broad daylight. I guess it was the overspill from drinking in the gurdwara?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Jagsaw_Singh
2 hours ago, DailyMail said:

As a kid I still remember the elderly Singh's sitting on the benches next to the King St Mandir, (just outside Havelock Gurdwara) openly drinking in broad daylight. I guess it was the overspill from drinking in the gurdwara?

If benches could talk Daily Mail my what wonderful stories that bench or 2 on the green next to the King Street mandir could tell. Through 3 generations those benches have seen it all. First the drunken Scotsmen with their cans of Tenants Super, then our uncles with their plastic cups and a bottle of bacardi and now the faujis with their heroin. A thousand hard luck stories are ingrained within the wood of those benches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. Early Punjabi immigrants certainly drank a lot more than today's generation. In those days, given the racism suffered elsewhere, wrongly, Gurdwara's became a social meeting point as well as a place of worship. Thankfully, behaviour have changed but that's because people drink elsewhere, not because they don't drink at all.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Jagsaw_Singh
5 minutes ago, DailyMail said:

Wow. Early Punjabi immigrants certainly drank a lot more than today's generation. In those days, given the racism suffered elsewhere, wrongly, Gurdwara's became a social meeting point as well as a place of worship. Thankfully, behaviour have changed but that's because people drink elsewhere, not because they don't drink at all.

 

It's only semantics DailyMail but I wouldn't say Gurdwaras "became" a social meeting point" because historical documentation evidence - i.e the majority from back in the day registering themselves as community centres of the IWA (Indian Workers Association) - tells us that the genesis of Gurdwaras in the UK did in some way mirror the original birth of Gurdwaras in the Punjab. What I mean by that is the fact that use of the word Gurdwara itself is not traced to the birth of Sikhi but came later as what we today know as 'Gurdwaras' were originally called 'Dharamshalas' by our forefathers. As the word itself would be defined as a spiritual resthouse for weary travellers you can see we're not venturing too far off the beaten track of 'community centres'. Gurdwaras then, really were very much a place of refuge for our community from the hard working grinds of daily life as well as the rampant racism. I suppose we have to show some sympathy of the time and conditions to understand why men did what they did inside what we today know as Gurdwaras.

And you're absolutely right. Alcohol abuse among our people today is about a tenth of what it used to be back in the day. Back in the day...it was really bad !

btw...you probably remember the old tooti nung gangster pub The White Swan in old Southall ?  It's a Gurdwara now but I just can't bear to go in it because I can't erase from my mind the absolutely disgusting things that used to go on in there during their lock-ins. :ghost:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clifton Road Gurdwara! 

I don't go there myself to be honest. Funny enough, we've never been invited to a function there either. I'm not sure how frequented it is. We stick to the Hounslow Gurdwara(s), closer to where we are.

Yes, it was called dharamsala, a word that has gone out of fashion in the post-Singh Sabha era that we find ourselves in. Incidentally, the first British gurdwara was initially called 'Maharaja Bhupinder Singh Dharamsala' (in light of his donation) in Putney, 1911, before moving to Shepherds Bush.

I knew the the IWA had a hand in some gurdwarae but I wasn't aware how profound an impact that they had in the early days. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Jagsaw_Singh
Quote

Clifton Road Gurdwara!

Yea sort of...the Guru Amardas Gurdwara but its actually Adelaide Road innit, Clifton Rds a bit further on

Quote

 

I don't go there myself to be honest. Funny enough, we've never been invited to a function there either. I'm not sure how frequented it is. We stick to the Hounslow Gurdwara(s), closer to where we are.

 

Yeah i know what you mean coz we've never been invited there for a path either, which makes me think it might not be a mainstream one ?  They didn't need a gurdwara there anyway as it's a gurdwara right opposite a gurdwara which in turn is 30 seconds walk from an even bigger gurdwara. Didn't need it but certainly shouldn't have had it inside the very walls of the infamous white swan. What i witnessed inside the white swan as a little 'un would make even the most broadminded man blush

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/19/2018 at 4:04 PM, Guest Gupti said:

Sangat Ji I’m going through a very weird situation right now with my Guru Ghar,

When I first happened upon your post, I thought this might be the story of yet another Gurdwara doing something against Gurmat. Come to see, though, you're complaining that they a Gurdwara committee actually took a stand and did something according to Gurmat.

On 1/19/2018 at 4:04 PM, Guest Gupti said:

I can talk about Bani all day and I would love the opportunity, I asked the head of the committee about it and he refused to let me, I asked why and he explained it to as thus.

He said that since I shave my beard ... it projects a bad image and that the sangat would start attacking the Guru Ghar over allowing someone like me to do Katha

Don't take this the wrong way, bro. It' s possible you're the most knowledgeable person on this form about Gurmat. Maybe you have more bani memorized than anybody. You know the meanings of more bani than anybody. And I would salute that.

And yet the minds of Sangat (even monas), will come right back to the question of: If he's so knowledgeable about Gurbani, why does he cut his hair?

I do hope you don't view kes as a minor outward symbol. It's not. A minor thing would be wearing a black gatra vs. a blue one vs. a shiny and fancy silver embroidered gatra.

Kes, on the other hand, is a visible manifestation of accepting hukum. Why do people cut their hair? Because they're afraid of their white neighbors? Or because in their minds, they think girls don't like kes, and so they can't very well flirt up a storm with a big bushy beard?

In any case, the idea of somebody sitting on a stage and lecturing people about being Nirbhau (fearless), or avoiding Kaam, or living in santokh and hukam, while not having enough santokh not to cut his God-given hair will definitely rub the Sangat wrong.

You say you can talk about Gurbani all day. When you happen to come upon the following tuks, do you not think you'll be in an awkward situation talking about Guru's hukum from the stage?

ਗਾਵਿਆ ਸੁਣਿਆ ਤਿਨ ਕਾ ਹਰਿ ਥਾਇ ਪਾਵੈ ਜਿਨ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਆਗਿਆ ਸਤਿ ਸਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਮਾਨੀ ॥੧॥

The Gurbani listened to and sung is accepted by God of those who accept the Satguru's command as true, very true. (p669)

ਜੋ ਗੁਰੁ ਕਹੈ ਸੋਈ ਭਲ ਮੀਠਾ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਤਿਆਗਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Whatever the Guru says is good and sweet to me. I have renounced the intellectual wisdom of my mind. ||1||Pause||

ਪ੍ਰਭਾਤੀ (ਮਃ ੫) (੬) ੧:੨ - ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੧੩੩੯ ਪੰ. ੧੦ 
Raag Parbhati Guru Arjan Dev

ਨਾਪਾਕ ਪਾਕੁ ਕਰਿ ਹਦੂਰਿ ਹਦੀਸਾ ਸਾਬਤ ਸੂਰਤਿ ਦਸਤਾਰ ਸਿਰਾ ॥੧੨॥

p1084

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, DailyMail said:

Clifton Road Gurdwara! 

I don't go there myself to be honest. Funny enough, we've never been invited to a function there either. I'm not sure how frequented it is. We stick to the Hounslow Gurdwara(s), closer to where we are.

It is popularly known as Clifton Road Gurdwara. It was opened by the Sangat following Baba Jaswant Singh in the 80s and some of the sangat like a few of the families we knew became attached to the Gurdwara and stopped attending Havelock. 

It's true Havelock langar was covered by a tent like structure for many years, before becoming a more permanent structure with tables inside where everyone generally stood, what I do not recall even from the early days is that men sat and drank there after the diwaan, something I will check with my father. 

What fond memories, loved the old Gurdwara, felt instant peace entering the Darbar and was very much a close knit family oriented environment where everyone more or less knew each other if one was a regular. Nowadays, and I'm not saying its a bad thing, we have these MASSIVE structures and no one mingles like they used to and the satkar of the elders is not present. Back then the Babey had no qualms about smacking children out of line or making excess noise :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Jagsaw_Singh
9 minutes ago, InderjitS said:

It is popularly known as Clifton Road Gurdwara. It was opened by the Sangat following Baba Jaswant Singh in the 80s and some of the sangat like a few of the families we knew became attached to the Gurdwara and stopped attending Havelock. 

It's true Havelock langar was covered by a tent like structure for many years, before becoming a more permanent structure with tables inside where everyone generally stood, what I do not recall even from the early days is that men sat and drank there after the diwaan, something I will check with my father. 

What fond memories, loved the old Gurdwara, felt instant peace entering the Darbar and was very much a close knit family oriented environment where everyone more or less knew each other if one was a regular. Nowadays, and I'm not saying its a bad thing, we have these MASSIVE structures and no one mingles like they used to and the satkar of the elders is not present. Back then the Babey had no qualms about smacking children out of line or making excess noise :)

Ah....the good old days :)

Those were days when half of the Havelock Road sangat was made up of Hounslow people as Hounslow didn't have a Gurdwara. (took the Hounslow sangat 30 years to establish one) It wasn't until the 1980's that the Hounslow sangat found a small piece of land  behind a house on Hibernia Road (you had to go through that man's side access and his orchard in his back garden in order to get to the Gurdwara). The darbar hall was a portacabin structure and the langar hall was an old shed. Pretty soon money got involved and they bought more land and expanded it so that the main entrance would be Alice Way off of Hanworth Road but it'll always be known as the 'Hibernia Road' gurdwara in my mind :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×