Thursday, January 24, 2013

An Assault on the Senses: Days 50 - 51

Day 50

On our way to Ludhiana, we stopped to visit Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib, Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib, and Gurdwara Mata Gujri.

It was touching to see a part of Sikh history flash before my eyes.
Gurdwara Mata Gujri now stands where the Chote Sahibzade (the youngest two sons of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh ji) were held captive in a cold Fort with their grandmother, Mata Gujri. They were martyred at the place where Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib now stands. Because they refused to give up their religion, they were bricked alive. Baba Zorawar Singh Ji was nine years old and Baba Fateh Singh Ji was six years old.

As we walked through the halls of the Gurdwara, I remembered a story that my uncle in Delhi had told us just days before: A Sikh man was once explaining Sikh history to a non-Sikh woman. When he finished, she said she had 3 questions to ask him, and he agreed to answer. Her first question: When were the Chote Sahibzade martyred? The man answered: December 26, 1705. The women then asked: What time was the first brick laid, and what time did the two young boys achieve martydom? He answered her question. Then she asked her final question: Together as a Sikh panth, what do you do between those times on that day every year? Do you pray? Do you have some service? At this, the man broke down in tears.

I thought about that story as I bowed my head before Guru Granth Sahib ji, at the spot where the Chote Sahibzade were bricked alive, fearlessly and willingly giving up their lives for what they believed in and fighting for injustice. I promised to never forget them and I prayed for their strength, for their courage, and for their conviction.

Day 51

Today, we were fortunate enough to visit Darbar Sahib (the Golden Temple) in Amritsar. Standing there, surrounded by a blessed pool of Amrit glimmering in the sunlight, listening to the beautiful kirtan (hymns) projected from the main hall, being surrounded by stunning carved walls, I found myself in the most beautiful, serene place on earth. I am at peace.

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