The Golden Temple….Part 2 The Langar

Image

Wandering through the narrow crowded streets to the Golden Temple, we were bombarded with requests to buy orange head scarves.Bare feet and covered heads are mandatory in the temple for both men and women. Our guide suggested that we wear them in the streets to eliminate the begging to buy. The first stop was the shoe removal benches. Volunteers man the shoe shelves, and there is a pool of water for everyone to walk through and sinks and water for hand washing.

The Golden Temple is the focal point of a complex of buildings with the sacred water tank filled with water from the Ganges surrounding the temple in the center. The lay-out resembles Italian piazza plans. This is the central worship place for all Sikhs around the world, their St. Peters. I met a young Indian family who visit from Atlanta, GA at least once a year. We entered in the late morning and there were crowds of people. We went back in the evening for pictures and to enter the temple. The wait during the day is several hours, but only 20 minutes in the evening. The temple hours are 5 am through 11 pm, but the complex is open 24/7 for meditation or for a dip in the healing waters which some of our guys did. Your ears are filled with the continual beautiful chanting and hymn singing from the faithful which is continually amplified through the vast complex.

The part I was most interested in was the Larga which is the largest free eatery in the world. Each day, there are at least 1,000 faithful Sikhs who volunteer in food preparation, clean-up or at the shoe booth. It is possible to eat a simple Indian meal of rice, dal and rotini twenty-four hours a day. It is all free and you may eat as much as you want. There are continuous passers moving through the throng that is seated cross-legged on the floor. The average number of people served is 100,000 per day. All the work and ingredients are donated by the Sikhs. One of the early Sikhs felt men are unable to pray if their stomachs are empty.

As we circled the temple in the evening, we noticed homeless people under blankets on the colonnade sides of the complex. The can sleep, bathe, and eat without ever leaving the complex or return at any hour day or night. I am including a link to a video which, if you are interested you might like to watch, a YouTube video of the kitchen and my photos to give you a small taste of this incredible place. Christ told us that “The poor will always be here to serve,” and the Sikhs are a shining example of “caring for the least among us.”

“Indeed, few places in India demonstrate so clearly the country’s genius of diversity and tolerance, the twin reason that India—despite its fractures and fissures—has remained one nation.” By Lydia Polgreen

Nameste….T I I

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/30/world/asia/30india.html?pagewanted=all

Nameste…T I I

ImageImage

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in India, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The Golden Temple….Part 2 The Langar

  1. To be in Golden Temple is just peacefulness and when you do seva its just amazing 🙂

  2. Hi there, I discovered this blog once, then lost it. Took me forever to come back and find it. I wanted to view what comments you got. Excellent blog by the way.

  3. annetbell says:

    Reblogged this on TalesAlongTheWay and commented:

    From the response of some readers yesterday, I thought I would reblog his post to show what the Sikhs are doing to care for the poor in Amritsar. Remember, as you read and watch that these are all volunteers donating their time and volunteers donating the food!
    This was one of the life-changing events for me in incredible India!

  4. Page Shields says:

    I am glad you “reviewed” this blog…….this temple is truly awe inspiring. I was interested though that outside the temple you needed to protect yourselves from beggars…..when they could just go inside and be given so much…..amazing country, for sure!

    • annetbell says:

      Well, I guess that wasn’t so clear. The people were begging to sell the head scarves , not exactly begging for money. Yes, the poor could sleep inside, bathe in the water of the Ganga, and eat whenever they wished to. Hard to take in! Namaste. . . Anne

  5. Pingback: Seva Cafe. . . . Food, Love, and Service | TalesAlongTheWay

  6. great points altogether, you just won a new reader.
    What could you suggest about your submit that you made a few days in the past?
    Any certain?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s