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Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

Vaisakhi

2020 SPECIAL EDITION

2020 VAISAKHI

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Publishers: Gurvinder Singh Hundal Ramneek Singh Dhillon

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Panth Editor: Who Does the D’Souza Petrina

Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

The Joy of

Selfless Service

Turbans &

Khalsa Serve?

Contributing Writers:

2020 VAISAKHI SPECIAL

Tales

Celebrate Vaisakhi With

Traditional

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We Will Triumph Again

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Panth Vasse

Punjabi Bobby Singh Bansal Dishes Dr. Pargat Singh Bhurji Harpreet Kang SPECIAL EDITION Harinder Singh Jasleen Kaur Bahia Jasleen Kaur Brar Naina Grewal Priya Krishna Jasleen K Sidhu Happy hi Vaisak Saurav Dutt Shipra Khanna Surendar Pal Singh Shweta Kulkarni Vishal Gulati

14 Maharaja Ranjit Singh: Lion of Punjab

Graphic Design: Vinay Giridhar

52 The True Meaning of Vaisakhi

Vaisakhi

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Published By: Darpan Publication Ltd. Copyright © 2020 Darpan Publications Ltd. All rights reserved. Darpan Magazine is published once every two months. Th is magazine, its editorial content, images or advertisement cannot be reproduced or reprinted in any form, without prior written permission of the publishers. The views expressed by the writers in this publication are not necessarily the views of the publishers. The publishers assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. 2020 VAISAKHI Publications sales agreement no. 4116014.

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22 The Significance of Kartarpur Sahib 22 Having a Sikh Name 32 The Significance of Sangat 36 One Panth 40 Who does the Khalsa Serve 48 The Symbols of Vaisakhi 54 Vaisakhi: A Symbol of Hope 58 The Battle of Saragarhi 64 The Birth of Khalsa 70 Celebrate Vaisakhi with Traditional Punjabi Dishes 77 Recipes by Shipra Khanna 82 Recipes by Priya Krishnan 88 The Tradition of Langar 92 Order of the Sikh Gurus


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VAISAKHI FEATURE

Spend little time with news and more time connecting with your inner self

We will Triumph Again Dr. Pargat Singh Bhurji MD, FRCP(C)

I

n times the globe has never seen before, the whole world is gripped with COVID-19 or the fear of infection. With over 1.2 million infected and over 250,000 recovered, total deaths unfortunately amount to over 60,000. The numbers are rapidly changing as we keep up with the dynamic, evolving landscape surrounding the virus. Suddenly, we have come to think that all our possessions – be it the things we have collected inside our house, our cars, money, and achievements are of no real meaning. This is a mere illusion created by our egoistic mind; our real self is very basic. We are spiritual beings in a human experience. What this pandemic has brought to everyone’s attention is the bravery of doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, first responders, truckers, grocery workers, clean-up workers, transit workers, post/delivery staff and many more who

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anger. However, it is important to realize and understand that are working tirelessly with our mind is not like a dustbin compassion and expertise for to keep such kind of negativity, our betterment. These are, but rather a place to keep love, in fact, our real heroes who kindness, compassion, bliss, grace have sacrificed everything to and divinity. protect and treat us. Meditation with deep We must listen to our breathing relaxation can help health authorities and try to remove this negativity and restore be at home as much as possipositivity. Much needed at this ble. When going out, keep in time is for us to connect with mind the below precautions: ourselves. Inside our homes, • Wear a mask we are undoubtedly in physical • Maintain 6 feet of physical restrictions, but we can unlock distance between yourself and our minds to read, write, listen to others music, do Kirtan, play with our • Wash your hands with soap children and involve ourselves and water for 20 seconds in creative things. We can use • Avoid touching your eyes, technology for social communicanose and mouth tion with our friends, family and That said, one idea loved ones. Pandemics come and that has surfaced during the go – this shall also pass. Be in a times is that fear travels faster positive mindset. than the virus itself. We are Spend little time with bombarded with the word news, but more time with your “corona” so many times a day. inner self. It is in your hands to This starts to occupy space in change negativity to positivity. our mind and these negative With time, together, we shall thoughts eventually generate triumph again. fear, confusion, anxiety and


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VAISAKHI FEATURE

Panth

Vasse

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2020 VAISAKHI


Who is responsible for keeping the spirit of Vaisakhi alive? Panth Vasse is a call to the Sikh community, our community, to come together to help recreate that same sort of strength and unity that we showed during the battle of Anandpur; during the Thanda Burj; during the establishment of Kartarpur; and, more broadly, during the time of our Gurus. By Jasleen K Sidhu

V

aisakhi 1699 – this is the day that we know of as the start of the Khalsa, but it took nearly 200 years to reach there. The Sikh psyche was being developed from Guru Nanak Dev Ji through to Guru Gobind Singh. The Guru Sahibs blessed Sikhs with the ability to function in this world

while keeping Waheguru in their hearts and in their minds. The path to 1699 was not an easy one for Sikhs but on this day Guru Gobind Singh Ji announced to the world that the Sikhs were not going to cower to the likes of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. They were going to stand up to him and other oppressors and create a community that would fight for equality and freedom, and be willing to give their lives for it. The establishment of the Khalsa showed the world, and Aurangzeb, that all people were free and that the Khalsa would not allow for discrimination or oppression. The identity of the Sikhs was created in such a way that Sikhs were now given the responsibility to uphold their teachings and stand up in the face of injustice.

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VAISAKHI FEATURE

The establishment of the Khalsa showed the world, that all people were free and that the Khalsa would not allow for discrimination or oppression. The identity of the Sikhs was created in such a way that Sikhs were now given the responsibility to uphold their teachings and stand up in the face of injustice. 10

Guru Gobind Singh ji was an amazing example of leadership and resilience for Sikhs; they saw their Guru, their leader, lead with such love, compassion, humility and courage. In today’s world, Sikhs may not face the same sort of challenges, but they still draw inspiration from the way that Guru Gobind Singh Ji embodied “Panth vassé main ujjara, mann chaao ghanera.” He sacrificed his father, mother, and his four sons for the Sikh Panth without any regard for personal consequences. Those sacrifices provide a tangible, potent example of never compromising on your values. What is being done by today’s Sikhs

2020 VAISAKHI

to fight different types of oppression? Who is showing this sort of strength, love and determination to the next generation of Sikhs? In the 18th century, the Mughal Army of over 5,000 surrounded Anandpur Sahib and effectively cut off the city from the rest of the


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VAISAKHI FEATURE world. Sikhs, along with Guru Gobind Singh Ji and their family, were left with no supplies coming in, nor a chance to leave. During this time, the sangat would gather to do kirtan and simran which helped to build the morale and spirits of the group. It was a show of the power and strength of a collective group and what they could do for one another. This helped them to never forget their values and purpose. Panth Vasse is a call to the Sikh community, our community, to come together to help recreate that same sort of strength and unity that we showed during the battle of Anandpur; during the Thanda Burj; during the establishment of Kartarpur; and, more broadly, during the time of

Take this as an opportunity to take part in discussions in your community to celebrate and cultivate the Chardi Kala that our community has shown time and time again in the face of oppression, hardship and injustice.

our Gurus. Even though you may not be able to attend events, take this as an opportunity to take part in discussions in your community to celebrate and cultivate the Chardi Kala that our community has shown time and time again in the face of oppression, hardship and injustice.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jasleen K Sidhu is the Director of Sikh Heritage Month BC (SHMBC). Sikh Heritage Month was first celebrated in BC in 2018. Its purpose is to celebrate the contributions and aspirations of all Sikh-Canadians and develop a greater understanding and appreciation of a rich, unique and diverse heritage. On April 30, 2019, the Sikh Heritage Month Act was formally recognized by the Government of Canada. This means that throughout Canada, April is to be known as “Sikh Heritage Month.�

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DARPAN FEATURE

The Lion of Punjab

Ranjit Maharaja

Singh

Maharaja Ranjit Singh was recently named as the “Greatest Leader of All Time” in a British poll. By Saurav Dutt Saurav Dutt is a British Author, Political Columnist and Human Rights Campaigner. He has written for Times of Israel, IB Times, and the American Herald Tribune. His works have been featured in TIME magazine, BBC and Sky News. His last book commemorated the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of 1919.

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e was one of the most powerful and charismatic Indian rulers of his age. While inspired by the Sikh faith’s ten founding gurus, the 19th century ruler of the Sikh Empire in India, Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780–1839,) upheld the rights of all he came in contact with.


PERMINDER C H O H A N

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DARPAN FEATURE

Maharaja Ranjit Singh Memorial, Amritsar

The Maharaja was the founder of the Sikh empire and recently has been named as the “Greatest Leader of All Time� in a poll conducted by BBC World Histories Magazine. More than 5,000 readers voted in the poll. Singh was admired for creating a new tolerant empire, carrying more than 38 per cent of the vote. The magazine asked the readers to vote for the greatest leader from the list of names that had been nominated by several renowned

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His contribution to making Amritsar’s Golden Temple one of the greatest religious pilgrimage sites in the world ensures that his legacy still inspires Sikhs all over the world. historians. Readers had to choose a leader who had “exercised power and had a positive impact on humanity and to explore their achievements and legacy.” Maharaja Ranjit Singh topped the poll. Savvy and astute, the Maharaja’s appeasement of the East India Company was politically convenient, and

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reinforced a legacy centred around political fluidity, regional peace and harmony. While rapprochement with the East India Company angered the Maratha chieftains who were fighting it, this move countered the fact that preceding rulers — Mughals and Afghans — could not provide people with peace and security for generations. With his shrewd knowledge

of tribal rivalries among Afghans, the Maharaja made sure they were never able to unite to deprive him of his throne. Wisely, he also invested in a well-trained military force. He unified the warring chiefdoms of the Punjab into a powerful northern Empire of the Sikhs stretching to the borders of Afghanistan and Tibet, built up a modern army, kept the British in check to the south of his kingdom and closed the Khyber Pass through which plunderers had poured into India for centuries beforehand. Yet, unique among empire builders, he was humane and just, gave employment to defeated foes, honoured religious faiths who did not follow Sikhi, and included Hindus and Muslims among his ministers.


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DARPAN FEATURE

Maharaja Ranjit Singh is also remembered for his secular credentials as both Hindus and Muslims were given important positions in his darbar. A devout Sikh, who never differentiated on religion, both his court and army had equal number of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims – a true secular king. 20

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Even though he is recognised as a Sikh icon across the globe, Ranjit Singh is also remembered for his secular credentials as both Hindus and Muslims were given important positions in his darbar. A devout Sikh, who never differentiated on religion, both his court and army had equal number of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims – a true secular king. His formidable modern army even recruited European officers to bring in the latest techniques of

warfare. Hence the reason why British Rulers could not annex Punjab while he was alive. Because of him, Punjab was the last State which came under British rule in 1849. His rule led to Punjab becoming the most literate state at that time. Even though he recruited European officers, he ensured they followed a strict code of conduct, no beef, no smoking and no alcohol. As a matter of fact, Ranjit Singh banned cow slaughter in his empire. His finance minister was a Hindu Brahmin, his Prime Minister was a Dogra, his foreign minister a Muslim. The legacy of his rule cuts through the maharaja’s military achievements and ends with the controversial period of the Anglo-Sikh Wars following his death, which saw the fall of his empire while in the hands of his successors whose internecine differences was exploited by the British. His contribution to making Amritsar’s Golden Temple one of the greatest religious pilgrimage sites in the world ensures that his legacy still inspires Sikhs all over the world.


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VAISAKHI FEATURE

Kartarpur

The SigniďŹ cance of

K

artarpur Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan’s Punjab Province is corridor to enable Indian pilgrims to visit it throughout the year. Why is the shrine, situated a few kilometres from the border in the Narowal district, so significant that the Indian devotees have been demanding year-long pilgrimage

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VAISAKHI FEATURE

The shrine was closed to people coming from across India’s border after the partition in 1947. The gurdwara was opened to pilgrims after repairs and restoration in 1999,

Guru Nanak settled after his missionary work. Gurdwara Darbar Sahib was the place where Guru Nanak is believed to have lived for 18 years until his death in 1539. After a lifetime of travel and converting the masses, Guru Nanak settled down in Kartarpur on his farm

on the banks of the Ravi River, according to a post on the official website of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SPGC), the body governing the affairs of the Sikh community. Guru Nanak discarded the dress of a pilgrim and adopted the clothes of a householder. Days would be spent in farming while mornings and evenings would be spent in prayer and singing the praises of God. Over centuries, the river Ravi shifted course and the part of the farm where Guru Nanak passed away in 1539 is on the other side of the river in Pakistan, while Gurdwara Dera Baba Nanak is on the Indian side of the border where Guru Nanak used to meditate daily. In the

and Sikh jathas have been visiting the shrine regularly ever since.

Photos: iStock, DARPAN Archives

facility for the last 70 years? The gurdwara, originally known as Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, is among the holiest of holy shrines which is believed to be the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh religion. Located on the banks of Ravi River, the gurdwara was built to commemorate the site where 2020 VAISAKHI

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VAISAKHI FEATURE India travel to Pakistan on four occasions every year – Baisakhi, the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev, the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev. Pakistani authorities normally clear the tall grass from time to time, enabling the devotees from India to view the shrine with the help of a telescope. The Indian devotees, especially the Sikhs, had been demanding a visa-free “khule darshan” (free obeisance facility) Over centuries, the at the gurdwara for all faiths, in Pakistan’s Shekhupura river Ravi shifted district, now Nankana Sahib. from India and overseas, all course and the part The original structure of the seven days a week by crossing the international border from Dera Kartarpur Sahib was once of the farm where Baba Nanak town in Punjab’s destroyed by floods. It was Gurdaspur district. reconstructed by Bhupinder Guru Nanak passed Keeping in mind the Singh, the then scion of away in 1539 is on huge sentiment of people of Patiala and grandfather the other side of the of current Punjab Chief Punjab, India first proposed the Kartarpur Sahib corridor in 1999 Minister Amarinder Singh. river in Pakistan, when the then Prime Minister The shrine was closed while Gurdwara Atal Bihari Vajpayee took a bus to people coming from ride to Lahore. However, it did across India’s border after Dera Baba Nanak not make much progress before the partition in 1947. The is on the Indian side gurdwara was opened to last year when the proposal was renewed and given a push by pilgrims after repairs and of the border where restoration in 1999, and Sikh India. Guru Nanak used to Pakistan agreed to the jathas have been visiting the meditate daily. proposal and foundation stones shrine regularly ever since. were laid for the corridor on both A 500-year-old well, sides of the border in November gurdwara is preserved a chola believed to have been built 2018. The construction of (robe) which Guru Nanak during the lifetime of Guru the corridor was completed in received as a gift while Nanak Dev, was discovered visiting Mecca, the SGPC near the Kartarpur gurdwara October, ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak added. in April. The well was The founder of Sikhism discovered while digging the Dev. In November, the gurdwara was opened to Indian pilgrims. was born on April 15, 1469, enclosure of the shrine. at Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi Sikh ‘jathas’ from

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VAISAKHI FEATURE

Sikh

Having A

Name

By Harpreet Kang

Our names are like a greeting, a Sat Sri Akal. A hello I come from a culture full of colour.

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P

unjabi names include Jaswinder, Rupinder, Sharnjeet, Harpinder, and Gurparveen, among others. Sometimes the vowels in these names make Caucasian teachers roll their eyes. So we wring out our flavours and become Jas, Rup, Sharn, Harp, and Gurp because it’s easy. Making them simple for mouths that have never heard syllables from the land of five rivers. God and my family collaborated when finding

my name. Guru Granth Sahib gave me a beginning. Haha which is H, turned to Harpreet –the one who loves God. Growing up I’d slice my name right in the middle, shortening it. I would listen to other names, hear how effortlessly people would remember them. In classrooms I’d make my name a noun dressed up like everyone else. Harp. Small, not taking up too much time and space. My Punjabi ethnicity would ask me why it’s always gets compared to English; I’d ignore its voice. The first time I realized the importance of my name was while talking to my maternal grandmother


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VAISAKHI FEATURE

Punjabi isn’t quiet, it’s a language with the volume on loud. This name I have the privilege of showing off, it came to me because my ancestors knew how to roar. (nani). Her full name was Gurmej Kaur Hayer. I remember telling her as a joke that I’d start calling her GKH so she could sound hip and cool. “I like my name,” she said in Punjabi, “It’s the name my parents gave me, the name God wanted me to have. Why would I change a gift from God?” I’ve never seen God, but my grandmother was the closest I’ve gotten to feeling God’s presence. When she said those words, I felt like I received a piece of advice from him. Slowly I discovered that my name wasn’t meant to be said quietly. Punjabi isn’t quiet, it’s a language with the volume on loud. This name I have the privilege

of showing off, it came to me because my ancestors knew how to roar. A name that came to me because my nani had the courage to raise five kids. One of them being my mother, who had the courage to pack her bags and move to Canada. To leave her home, to give me a better home. A name that came to me because my parents worked long shifts, lLate hours and early mornings so I could have a sound. Why hide this lengthy name, why not do a show and tell? Sikh names derive from a holy book full of poetry and teachings from our gurus. To have a Sikh name means being blessed. There’s a sense of pride

that comes from hearing a long Punjabi name being pronounced. When the letters of these names roll off tongues, the sound purifies every room. A bit of God hides in these names. Our names are like a greeting, a Sat Sri Akal. A hello I come from a culture full of colour. They’re like a firm handshake from an uncle, like a tight embrace from a bibi that just wants to feed. These long names, accent heavy, the ones God took his time on so when he presents the letters to us, we ignite.

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VAISAKHI FEATURE

The Significace of The Sikh Gurus encouraged sangat to encourage unity, growth, bonding, and heightening spiritual awareness.

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Sangat

I

n present day and historically, humans have naturally been connected to one another and gathered together as a tribe, village, group, community and assembly. Sangat, particularly in Sikhism, is defined as a company or fellowship of woman, men and children that gather in holy assembly in the presence of Guru

Granth Sahib ji. They may meet in a Gurdwara, at a home, or elsewhere in the community. The Sikh Gurus encouraged sangat to encourage unity, growth, bonding, and heightening spiritual awareness.�Dharmic faith, patience, peace and poise are obtained by vibrating upon the Lord in


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Photos: iStock, DARPAN Archives

VAISAKHI FEATURE

the Saadh Sangat,” (Guru Granth Sahib ji Ang 104). The spiritual environment influences the personality and character of the devotees. “The rust of poison and corruption from countless incarnations sticks to us; joining the Sadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, it is cleaned away. It is just like gold, which is heated in the fire, to remove the impurities from it” (Guru Granth Sahib ji Ang 666). Devotees may sit in sangat to meditate and listen to katha (sermons) or kirtan

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(hymns), which aids them to have a positive mindset, internal bliss, and harmony. As one steps back from their attachments and self-existence, they will no longer see a partition, but rather a cohesive flow of unity of souls merging. Singing together in succession the expansion of the sound rises and transforms into a harmonious spiritual form. Sangat allows one not only share their joy, but it also helps to release one’s sorrows, both spiritually and physically. Physically,

one can aid in the preparation of langar (free meal) to serve the community. Further, sangat can come in the form of out reach and collaboration to do seva (selfless service). When a person is able to bond and communicate with others, it reduces stress and nourishes inner peace. Moreover, one’s negativity and sins are dispelled allowing them to become pure and aligned with God. Guru Granth Sahib ji states, “In the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, I meditate on the Lord, Har, Har; my lifestyle is pure and true.” Ang 104. It is up to all of us to connect with one another at a deeper level. Through this connection, friction amongst communities will reduce and connections as opposed to differences will be celebrated. The future is in our hands to end wars and have common goals of peace. Sangat is the purity of all souls merging like raindrops into the ocean, with the multiple ripples arising and adapting to the change; but forever unifying into one. This Vaisakhi I encourage you all to dive into that ocean with love and peace in your heart. Waheguru.


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VAISAKHI FEATURE

One Panth By Harinder Singh

Our Panth is One Panth that belongs to the One Force.

“I ABOUT THE AUTHOR Harinder Singh is a thinker, author, and educator. He is the co-founder of the Sikh Research Institute and the Panjab Digital Library. He tweets at @1Force.

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n the constitution of the Khalsa commonwealth, the greatest act of genius of Guru Gobind Singh was when he transferred the divine sovereignty vested in him to the God-inspired people, the Khalsa.” - Prof. Puran Singh On Vaisakhi Day 1699, ‘The Rider of the Blue Steed’ inaugurated a highly dynamic personality – the Khalsa. This community’s ‘Light of Life’ ceaselessly radiates glory, justice and love. The Nash doctrine enforced on Vaisakhi day freed us from the shackles of slavery: shattered inequities due

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to caste-apartheid or lineage, eliminated doubts borne out of a polluted mind, and eradicated sexism through annihilation of patriarchal hegemony.   Today, Vaisakhi has become a reminder to all Sikhs to reflect on the Guru’s vision of personal and community development as articulated in the Guru Granth Sahib. It implores us to revive the Spirit Ascendant that changed the destiny of South Asia and beyond through unparalleled sacrifices. It demands us to think strategically and respond to the critical issues


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Let us become active agents of freedom. Let us treat women with dignity and respect in our private and public lives. Let us identify and align with the unrepresented and under-represented communities: from the Dalit struggle in India to genocideladen Darfur. All this is possible once every Sikh recognizes and maintains the Guru-granted sovereignty.

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our private and public lives. Let us identify and align with the unrepresented and underrepresented communities: from the Dalit struggle in India to genocide-laden Darfur. All this is possible once every Sikh recognizes and maintains the Guru-granted sovereignty.   Guru Nanak and Guru Arjan share great insights with us on Vaisakhi. To them, Vaisakhi is a beautiful moment: submitting to the Guru in totality, feeling the divine presence in everyday life, and discovering the Divine via infinite wisdom. At that and challenges we Sikhs moment, one is ready to be part are facing worldwide, both of the Guru Khalsa Panth, the internally and externally.   collective whose utter volunteer In today’s global Sikh spirit becomes Guru-like.    reality, Vaisakhi translates This is not the panth into making genuine and of jutts, bhapas, ravidasis, or the concerted efforts on three androcentric males. Our Panth fronts simultaneously: break is One Panth that belongs to the intra-Sikh barriers of prejudice One Force. One Panth that frees and hostility among people and empowers each and every and institutions due to gender, caste, social-strata, tribe or clan; person. One Panth that lights a fire in the gut and explodes the confront global powers, not conform, when they act against creative potential. One Panth that makes us humble and the well-being of the Sikh nation and the rest of humanity; courageous concurrently. One Panth that delivers justice and build inter-religious understanding, especially where to the enemy within and outside. One Panth that is sharpened by prejudice runs strong through the 10 Nanaks and follows the strategic alliances with likeGuru Granth Sahib.  minded people who live by Which Panth do you belong the principle, ‘The end does to? Take charge. Claim your not justify the means’.   Let us become active agents legacy!  of freedom. Let us treat women with dignity and respect in

2020 VAISAKHI

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VAISAKHI FEATURE

Who Does the

Khalsa

Serve?

By Surendar Pal Singh

Learning the way of the Khalsa

V

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Surender Pal Singh works at the Sikh Research Institute, where he instructs online Gurbani courses on language and theology. Additionally, he conducts research for curriculums, presentations, and research papers on Sikh culture and history, and is the lead instructor for Gurbani 101 at the annual Sidak leadership program.

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aisakhi 2019 seems special. After a gap of 72 years, Kartarpur and Dera Baba Nanak appear to be within sight of each other. Decades of ardas by the sangat seem to have been finally answered. However, the Kartarpur corridor talks had hardly begun, when a convoy of Indian forces was attacked in Jammu and Kashmir, killing 40 soldiers, and bringing the two nations on the brink of a war. The Indian media played hawkish nationalistic sentiments on the loop. The project started

2020 VAISAKHI

looking farfetched and the fear of war loomed large, with Panjab being at the center of this conflict on both sides of the border. Even after de-escalation, cross border firing continues as always, regularly killing soldiers on both sides, most of whom are economically poor. Another time, another scene. A film named Kesari was released in India on March 21, 2019, based on the exemplary valor and sacrifice of 21 Sikhs from the 36th Sikh regiment of the British Army, in the Battle of Saragarhi (September 12, 1897),


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VAISAKHI FEATURE

Khalsa is the one who adorns arms, mounts steed, campaigns incessantly, protects the poor and annihilates the oppressor.

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against thousands of Pashtun Orakzai tribesmen, in the now NWFP, Pakistan. The episode is considered to be one of the greatest laststands. A primarily territorial battle between the British and the Pashtun tribes was softly projected as a contest between Sikhi and Islam, without explicitly saying so, like many other historical encounters of the Sikhs with the Muslim rulers. Undermining the autonomy of the Sikh politics, time and again Sikh history is milked to serve the current majoritarian political interests in the Indiansubcontinent. With their fading power, Sikhs have also lost their agency, and narrative. Glimpses of this malaise are visible in the diaspora also. Take for example the good intentioned

“We Are Sikhs� campaign by the National Sikh Campaign (NSC), a couple of years ago, arguing that Sikh values are American values, even after decades of US invasions of sovereign states, and the continuous profiling and killing of people of colour domestically. Contours of this racial politics have become even more pronounced with a war on immigrants. Thus, such campaigns unwittingly allow themselves to be coopted by the majoritarian politics. Turbans coloured red, white and blue start looking not so etched in Sikh values after all. These issues are deep down linked to the central question of:

What does the Khalsa stand for? What are the Khalsa ideals? Who does the Khalsa serve?


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VAISAKHI FEATURE

Some allied with friends, children and siblings; some allied with in-laws, their relatives. Some with selfish motives allied with elite leaders. My alliance is with the All-Pervading Reliever. It is pertinent here to visit early Sikh tradition through Gurbani and history, and see what principles guided It.

The Guru informs us:

I have allied with the Reliever, Reliever is my support. To me there is no side or alliance other than the Reliever; I sing infinitely many virtues of the Reliever. Pause. … In the illusion of the other love, people make alliance. Searching for others’ fault, individual only feeds self-ego. As one sows, so does s/he reap. The alliance of servant Nanak is entirely the Reliever’s support, by which whole world is overcome. 5. Guru Ramdas Sahib, 366

Some allied with friends, children and siblings; some allied with in-laws, their relatives. Some with selfish motives allied with elite leaders.

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My alliance is with the All-Pervading Reliever. 1.

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Khalsa inaugurated at Anandpur was clearly rooted in this consciousness. The Khalsa character celebrated in the secondary text very much compliments

the Sabad in this regard. The lovers drenched in Divine devotion defined as Khalsa (p. 655) seamlessly compliments the individual drenched in self-taste as the epitome of Khalsa (Sarabloh Granth). Guided by this principle, Guru Nanak Sahib, at the outset, proclaimed association with the most oppressed class.

Among the lowest of the low caste, I am the lowliest of the absolutely low. Nanak seeks their company, why compete with the elite? Where the lowly are cared for, there is the glance of Your grace! Guru Nanak Sahib, 15 He exposed the hypocrisy of the religious elite, and openly challenged the rulers, Mughal emperor Babar being


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VAISAKHI FEATURE

Photos: iStock, DARPAN Archives

Among the lowest of the low caste, I am the lowliest of the absolutely low. Nanak seeks their company, why compete with the elite? Where the lowly are cared for, there is the glance of Your grace! one example. From here arose the celebrated tradition of contrasting the rebellious Divine lovers as Babe Ke (of the Baba Nanak) with Babar Ke (of the Babar), representing the ruling class. Additionally, langar

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(community kitchen) had also started undermining the caste system that the brahmins very much rued. By the time of Guru Amardas Sahib, this resentment turned hostile, when the brahmins complained to Akbar about langar destroying caste purity and hierarchy, one of his courtiers, Birbal, himself being a brahmin celebrated by the current caste elites. The Sikh character of countering the ruling class in favour of the oppressed continually bothered the ruling elite. They were particularly incensed by the inauguration of Khalsa by Sahib Guru Gobind Singh. It is not without reason that majority of the battles fought by the Guru were against the Rajput hill

chiefs, who later joined forces with the Mughals to attack the Guru. Documenting the instructions of Sahib Guru Gobind Singh, Bhai Nand Lal (court poet of 10th Nanak) clearly marks the political character of Khalsa. He informs that Khalsa is the one who adorns arms, mounts steed, campaigns incessantly, protects the poor and annihilates the oppressor. Khalsa is also proclaimed as the sovereign rule of the Divine (Tankhahnama). This description of Khalsa being sovereign, principle centered, anti-establishment and pro-oppressed, assumes great significance, in the face of still prevailing abject poverty, extremely skewed power balance and caste oppression. Take for example regular killings of lower castes even today, just for riding a horse, which is considered to be a sign of power assertion and rebellion. In this context, wearing of arms and mounting horses by the Khalsa were not only considered symbols of defiance, but also sovereignty. As the right leaning politics gains currency globally, it is a good opportunity for us to reflect on the Guru’s call and question; as a part of Khalsa commonwealth, who do we serve and align with?


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Vaisakhi The Symbols of

More than Meets the Eye

By Naina Grewal

The strikingly exuberant colours, decorations and signs come together to create a meaningful sea of celebration infused with tradition, culture and community.

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2020 VAISAKHI

T

he celebrations of Vaisakhi are undoubtedly a visual feast. The strikingly exuberant colours, decorations and signs come together to create a meaningful sea of celebration infused with tradition, culture and community. The procession of Vaisakhi, celebrating the birth of Khalsa community, is led by the Guru Granth Sahib ji, considered a living Guru. In fact, the chaur sahib, constructed from yak hair mounted on a wooden handle, is waved upon the Guru as a sign of respect and

humility. The parade is led by the Panj Pyare, representing the ‘five beloved ones’ that were initiated into the Khalsa. One of the most prominent colours of Vaisakhi is saffron, or kesari. This shade of orange signifies courage, wisdom and deep bliss, often associated with sentiments of martyrdom as well. The kesari colour can usually be seen on the Nishan Sahib, which is the Sikh flag symbolizing freedom; ‘nishan’ means stamp while sahib is added for respect.


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VAISAKHI FEATURE The flag can be found at all Sikh temples, or Gurdwaras, which literally translates to “door of the Guru,” illustrating that people from all faiths are welcome. This also relates to the selfless service principle, seva,, the driving force behind the many free services, food and activities implemented during Vaisakhi celebrations. Navy blue, another popular colour, represents sensitivity and intuition, alongside signifying war and service as it has traditionally been worn by Nihang Sikh warriors, especially as part of One of the most their turban; turbans are a prominent symbol of identity, equality colours of and preservation of the hair. Vaisakhi is Another article of clothing, the free-flowing, unisex chola, saffron, or adorned by various gear-like kesari. This shade additions, traces back to the of orange signifies freedom of movement for an courage, wisdom always-ready warrior. This may be worn by those participating and deep bliss, in Gatka, the Sikh martial often associated arts – with sentiments or by any person attending of martyrdom as celebrations. Gold, the colour of Sri well. The kesari Harminder Sahib, commonly colour can usually known as the Golden Temple, be seen on the can also be a representation of Nishan Sahib, happiness and healing. As a colour that is often related to which is the Sikh feeling grounded, black may flag symbolizing come up, during Vaisakhi, freedom.

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2020 VAISAKHI

as a depiction of resentment or protest against communal or political wrongs. On the other end, white denotes purity and peace, containing within it the entire colour spectrum. Although these colours encompass special meanings, the holistic belief is that all colours are equal. Besides colours, a widespread symbol you may see is the khanda, made up of three distinct parts. The khanda itself, a double-edged sword, is a portrayal of one God. This meaning also coincides with that of Ik Onkar, Onkar made up of the number ‘one’ and Punjabi alphabet, ‘urha’, meaning God. ‘ Secondly, the chakar is the round center; it indicates that God is without beginning or end, much like the Kara you may see on the wrists of many. Finally, the two kirpans on the side are a symbolization of righteousness, spiritual power and defense of the weak. With unique embodiments, each of these symbols bring with them a distinct purpose, history or meaning that is weaved into the fabric of Vaisakhi. As you soak in the celebration delights, embrace the ‘why’ behind what you see. As lifelong learners, it is always good to ask about what you’d like to know more about and educate others about what you do know.


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VAISAKHI FEATURE

The

True Meaning of

Vaisakhi By Jasleen Kaur Bahia

Guru Gobind Singh Ji standardized a central discipline, practice, and identity around which the Sikh community is centred.

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A

round the joyous time of Vaisakhi, it is common for people to get caught up in deciding what to wear or what things they should buy to be prepared for the occasion. However, it is more important to ground ourselves and remind ourselves of the reason we celebrate Vaisakhi in the first place. Vaisakhi is celebrated every April to mark the spring harvest and the establishment of the Khalsa Panth (the community of committed Sikh warriors). It is the day that marks the birth of the Khalsa and the

2020 VAISAKHI

Sikh New Year! In 1699, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji formally established the Khalsa Panth in the city of Anandpur Sahib with his disciples. The Sikhs were transformed into a family of soldier saints known as the Panj Piare (the beloved five). Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s disciples were the first members of the Khalsa and wore turbans. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji entrusted the Khalsa Panth with leadership and passed political authority to them during a period of political tension between the Mughal Empire and the Sikh community. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji also standardized a central discipline, practice, and identity around which the Sikh community was centred. Every year subsequent to this, Sikhs come together on Vaisakhi to commemorate this major historic event. Vaisakhi is a celebratory and rich cultural event that features floats, hymns, and langar. It is an occasion to celebrate the community’s growth and to recall our roots of shared traditions and values. Vaisakhi is about community, culture, and progress. Jasleen Kaur Bahia is a student of Management and Organizational studies at Western University


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VAISAKHI FEATURE VAISAKHI FEATURE

Vaisakhi A Symbol of

Hope

The Sikh population has multiplied to approximately 27 million! The culture and religion are now represented in every continent, with the majority inhabiting the U.S., U.K., and Canada. 54

By Jasleen Kaur Brar

D

id you ever wonder what the true meaning of Vaisakhi is? Initially, Vaisakhi originated in Punjab, India and is now celebrated across the world. The ancient tradition symbolizes prosperity, happiness and freedom for various cultures and religions. From a cultural perspective, Vaisakhi is a harvest festival. Since most Punjabi’s are farmers, a fruitful harvest season is crucial as it determines access

2020 VAISAKHI

to resources and security. To celebrate a successful harvesting season, Punjabi farmers take part in lively festivities and folk dances like bhangra. Above all, the community thanks the Almighty for the generosity and prays for another prosperous year. More importantly, Vaisakhi signifies the birth of the Khalsa Panth. We all recognize that Vaisakhi is an important tradition for the Sikh community, but do we know why? You may have heard your parents say, “We are here today because of the courageous actions of our Gurus,” but do we know what actions they are referring to? Our history is enriched with the heroic tales of Saint Soldiers who made it their life’s purpose to protect everyone from tyranny and injustice. Rich or poor, Sikh or not; equality is of the utmost importance.


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VAISAKHI FEATURE

Vaisakhi is a time for people to praise the lord for a successful year. Businesses and stores offer gifts and great deals at this time of happiness. Now’s the time to buy that new iPhone you’ve been eyeing the whole year! One particular battle against injustice triggered a lifealtering change for the followers of Guru Nanak. Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji was martyred in Delhi

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to protect the Hindu priests from the Mughal Empire. Their sacrifice allowed Hindu priests to practice their desired religion without the Mughals terrorizing them to convert to Islam. As the tenth successor, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji decided to establish the Khalsa Panth, The Way of the Pure. The Khalsa Panth are warriors with the duty to protect the innocent from tyranny and injustice. The ceremony is called Amrit Sanchar. During this ceremony, those who receive Amrit (holy water) become Amrit Dhari (baptized). All who wish to follow this path are to take part in the Amrit Sanchar and to forever uphold the Sikh Code of Conduct. Since the birth of Khalsa in 1699, the Sikh population has multiplied to approximately 27

million! The culture and religion are now represented in every continent, with the majority inhabiting the U.S., U.K., and Canada. The religious purpose of Vaisakhi is to celebrate the birth of the Khalsa Panth. The public celebration involves singing of holy hymns in the community, commonly known as the “Sikh Parade or Nagar Kirtan.” As a bonus, everyone is educated about the Sikh religion and enjoys free food! From a cultural perspective, Vaisakhi is a time for people to praise the lord for a successful year. Businesses and stores offer gifts and great deals at this time of happiness. Now’s the time to buy that new iPhone you’ve been eyeing the whole year! At last, now you know the true meaning of Vaisakhi. At this year’s celebration, enjoy time with the congregation and be sure to try some gulab jamuns!


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VAISAKHI FEATURE

Saragarhi By Bobby Singh Bansal

The Battle of T

he world is going through a vast change and the rapid advancement of technology has made it challenging to find our neutral state of mind. Various methods

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2020 VAISAKHI

The British had dedicated the Saragarhi memorial to the heroism and valour of the 21 Sikh men who made the supreme sacriďŹ ce while defending the desolate outpost in 1897. through scientific, psychological and spiritual reasoning are collectively emphasizing meditation to assist in a holistic approach to human wholesomeness and balance. The Battle of Saragarhi was fought between 21 Sikhs soldiers of the 31st Sikh Regiment of the British Indian Army, and about 10,000 Afghan tribesmen on September 12, 1897,


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VAISAKHI FEATURE

The 21 Sikh soldiers, led by Havildar Ishar Singh were tasked with defending the outpost of Saragarhi, which formed three signal posts along with Fort Lockhart and Fort Gulistan, situated back then in the North West Frontier Province of British India.

on the Samana Ridge, in present day Pakistan. The 21 Sikh soldiers, led by Havildar Ishar Singh were tasked with defending the outpost of Saragarhi, which formed three signal posts along with Fort Lockhart and Fort Gulistan, situated back then in the North

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West Frontier Province of British India. The British had partially succeeded in getting control of this volatile area, but tribal Pashtuns continued to attack British personnel from time to time. Thus a series of forts, originally built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the ruler of the Sikh Empire (1799-1849), were consolidated. Due to the forts not being visible to each other, Saragarhi was created midway, as a heliographic communication post situated on a rocky ridge, and consisted of a small block house with loop-holed ramparts and a signalling tower. A general uprising by the Afghans began in early 1897, and between 27 August and 11 September many vigorous efforts by

various tribesmen to capture the forts were thwarted by the 36th Sikhs. The Orakzais were joined by the Afridi tribe thus swelling their numbers to more than 10,000. The mass attack came on Saragarhi on September 12, the 21 strong detachment fought one of the most unequal engagements in the history of warfare. Instead of withdrawing to one of the other posts, the Sikhs decided to remain in an effort to maintain communication between the two forts. There were fierce onslaughts by the 10,000 Orakzai and Afridi tribesmen. The outnumbered defenders returned the fire in a most determined manner. After a series of abortive attempts, the tribes managed to reach the wall of the post by using an ingenious method. Effecting a breach, they came face to face with the brave Sikhs, most of whom had been wounded with


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VAISAKHI FEATURE the fierce battle lasting nearly six hours. Although seen a Afghan victory, the Sikhs fought long enough to allow the British to rush reinforcements and was later a subsequent strategic victory for the British Empire, despite the Afghans having lost nearly 600 men in the battle. The British had dedicated the Saragarhi memorial to the heroism and valour of the 21 Sikh men who made the supreme sacrifice while defending the desolate outpost in 1897. It is located about 90 km south west of Peshawar, now in Kohat District and is a five hour drive due to the tough terrain and bad conditions of the roads. The 12 feet high memorial, built in grey stone, stands at a height of 6,300 feet above sea level. Situated amongst the beautiful Tirah Mountains, the memorial’s condition is relatively good, although the main

structure needs a facelift but The British had the original plaque, inscribed dedicated the Saragarhi with the names of the 21 Sikh memorial to the heroism soldiers is proudly displayed and valour of the Sikh on its northern wall. There is a permanent Pakistan army

men who made the garrison that is stationed at supreme sacrifice while nearby Fort Gulistan outpost, defending the desolate outpost in 1897.

who along with the local Sikhs of Hangu, maintains the memorial. They have also constructed a Sikh Gurdwara and garden to the immortal memory of the 21 Sikhs. The 21 Sikh soldiers who died in the Battle of Saragarhi were from the Majha region of Punjab and were posthumously awarded the Indian Order of Merit, at that time the highest gallantry award which an Indian soldier could receive. The corresponding gallantry award was the Victoria Cross. The battle is considered as one of history’s greatest last stands; it has been listed as one of the top eight battles of bravery by UNESCO.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bobby Singh Bansal is an author, historian and documentary filmmaker based in London. His works on Sikh Heritage and Culture have been widely recognised by various institutions and government bodies in Pakistan and India. His forthcoming publication, The Punjab Chiefs - The Lost Glory of the Punjab Aristocracy is releasing in summer of 2020.

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VAISAKHI FEATURE

We will be celebrating the 321th birthday of the formation of the Order of Khalsa this year.

Khalsa

By Dr. Pargat Singh Bhurji MD, FRCP(C)

The Birth of

Tbe celebrating the his year we will

550th Prakash Purab of Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji in November. Although we correlate the birth of Khalsa with Guru Gobind Singh ji and with events that happened during the Vaisakhi of 1699, it was Baba Nanak who laid the foundation for Khalsa.

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▲ Mata Sahib Kaur, Devender Singh 2011, Oil on canvas, Kapany Collection

In his Bani “Jo To Prem Khelan Ka Chaao Sir Dhar Tali Gali Meri Aao,” the fundamental principle of Khalsa is strongly put forward. We will be celebrating the 321th birthday of the formation of the Order of Khalsa this year. Our first nine Guru ji’s shaped us to being a human of the highest character and morality with qualities a saintly person possesses; it was the 10th Master who brought in the qualities to being a saint, soldier and scholar. Several months prior to the Vaisakhi of 1699, Guru Gobind Rai, our 10th Guru, invited followers from all over India to come to Anandpur Sahib. Many came as a sign of respect while some came out of

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curiosity. On that Vaisakhi day, Guru ji addressed the congregation with the most stirring oration on his divine mission of restoring their faith and preserving dharma (righteousness). After his inspirational discourse, Guru ji flashed his sword naked and asked “Is there any one among you who is prepared to die for righteousness?” This caused great turmoil and confusion. Some left while others began to look at each other in amazement. It was a crowd of 80,000 people. A brave Sikh from Lahore, Daya Ram, stood up and offered his head to the Master. The Guru took him to a tent near by, after some time he came out alone with a

blood-dripping sword. The Guru then asked for another head. Dharam Das was the one to obey the order. This act did not end there. Soon three more, Mohkam Chand, Sahib Chand and Himmat Rai, offered their heads to the Guru. Each Sikh was taken to the tent and the sound of a sword being used was heard. A little later the Guru ji brought these five bravehearts in new clothing wearing the five Kakkars.

Kesh (uncut hair) Kara (iron) Kanga (wooden comb) Kachera (military shorts) Kirpan (sword)

Photos: iStock, DARPAN Archives

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VAISAKHI FEATURE

The Panj Pyare are also They were renamed by the the five stages of spiritual Guru ji and were called Panj Pyare (5 Beloved): journey starting with Bhai Daya Singh ji compassion to giving Daya Ram from Lahore worked birth to duty, with then as a labourer. having the courage and meditative sense to merge Bhai Dharam Singh ji Dharam Das from Hastinapur, with sahib (God). Uttar Pradesh, worked as a farmer.

Amrit was prepared in an iron vessel with water and patasey (sugar puffs) being added by Mata Sahib Kaur ji. A khanda (double edge sword) was used to stir it while Bani of Japji, Jaap, Chaupai, Savaiye and Anand Sahib were recited. The Master baptised these five Sikhs by sprinkling amrit in their eyes, hair and then gave them to drink it five times while reciting “Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.”

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Bhai Himmat Singh ji Himmat Rai from Jagannath Puri, Orrisa, worked as water carrier.

Bhai Mohkam Singh ji Mohkam Chand from Dwarka, Gujarat, worked as a tailor.

Bhai Sahib Singh ji Sahib Chand from Bidar, Karnataka, worked as a barber.

These are also the five stages of spiritual journey starting with compassion to giving birth to duty, with then having the courage and

meditative sense to merge with sahib (God). Guru Gobind Rai then stood in front of these Panj Pyare asking for him to be baptized, hence changing his name from Gobind Rai to Gobind Singh. “Waho Waho Gobind Singh Ji Apey Gur Chela Apey Gur Chela.” This created equality, democracy, common place of worship, common external appearance with bhakti and shakti. The creation of Khalsa starts with the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev ji, who also says “Jo To Prem Khelan Ka Chaao Sir Dhar Tali Gali Meri Aao.” If you want to walk on the path of love then put your head on our palm and walk towards me (Remove one’s ego). It took 240 years through the 10th Guru ji to create the perfect image of saint, soldier and scholar called Khalsa. Guru ji prescribed Rehat Maryada, the Code of Conduct. “Rehni Rahe Soi Sikh Mera, Oh Sahib Mein Us Ka Chera.” In Surrey and Vancouver, Sikhs are blessed to have the yearly Nagar Kirtan where hundreds of thousands attend as devotees. This is Guru ji’s mehar.


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VAISAKHI FEATURE

Celebrate Vaisakhi With

Traditional

Punjabi Dishes By Shweta Kulkarni

What’s a festival without its trademark delicacies? Here’s a list of some of the most iconic and delectable Punjabi foods that are a must-have during Vaisakhi. 70

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V

aisakhi not only marks the onset of the New Year but also the harvest time of rabi crops and is celebrated with much joy and gusto across the Punjabi and Sikh community across the world. While dancing, singing, paying respect at Gurudwaras, and dressing up are major parts of Vaisakhi celebrations, like any other festival, the Vaisakhi festivities are incomplete sans its

trademark delicacies. A sumptuous feast, replete with some quintessential Punjabi dishes like chole bhature, sarson da saag, and pindi chane, is specially prepared on this day to welcome the festivities. Here are the top Punjabi dishes that are a must-have to keep up the spirit of Vaisakhi. Go ahead and delight your taste buds with these lip-smacking delicacies during the festival.


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Chole Bhature The delectable combination of tangy chickpeas and fluffy bhaturas are a hit across the world; this all-time favourite North Indian dish is also a staple celebratory Vaisakhi food that can be enjoyed for either breakfast, lunch or even for dinner.

Coconut Laddoos A preparation that is relished during the Vaisakhi revelries is nariyal ke laddoos. Made from grated coconuts, condensed milk, ghee, semolina, and sugar, these snowy wonder balls are perfect desserts to add sweetness to your festivities.

flour bread and cooked mustard greens needs no Think Vaisakhi food introduction. A winter and you certainly can’t staple across north India, skip sarson da saag traditional Vaisakhi and makki ki roti festivities are never from the list. complete unless this tasty This winning and nutritious dish is part combination of your festive menu. of corn

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Photos: iStock, DARPAN Archives

Sarson Da Saag & Makki Ki Roti


VAISAKHI FEATURE

Pindi Chana

Punjabi Kadhi Spicy, tangy, sour and utterly scrumptious, Punjabi kadhi with onion pakoras dunked in it is a delicacy that is a must to jazz up your Vaisakhi merriments. Made with sour curd and various spices, Punjabi kadhi is best enjoyed with basmati steam rice or lachchha parathas.

Punjabi dishes like chole bhature and sarson da saag, are specially prepared on this day to welcome the festivities.

Vaisakhi celebrations are incomplete without this signature chickpea Punjabi dish, which is made with an assortment of spices like peppercorn, cloves, bay leaves, and cardamom. Pindi chana is a dry preparation and is served with raw onion, tomatoes and green chillies.

Kesari Chawal Kesari chawal aka peeley chawal is a traditional Punjabi dessert that is a staple in every Punjabi household during Vaisakhi celebrations. Made with basmati rice, sugar syrup and

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an assortment of aromatic spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, saffron and a variety of dry fruits, this delicious yellow-hued rice is a definite must-have to welcome the festive spirit of Vaisakhi.


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Vaisakhi Recipes

Chef Shipra

Khanna

with an invincible spirit, bewitching charm and empirical culinary skills, Khanna has been coined as the “Glamorous Chef”. Her entrepreneurial ventures have encompassed various social missions on malnutrition and gender equality and her lofty stature has extended generous service with empathy and humility. Chiefly consulted he winner of for her skills for restaurants, MasterChef India Season 2, Shipra Khanna’s Khanna has authored the alluring charm as a Prolific deeply guarded secrets of her delicacies in the Chef, Global Television books, The Spice Route and Personality, Consultant Sinfully Yours, which got and a social worker is her the World Gourmand distinctive. Endowed

Endowed with an invincible spirit, bewitching charm and empirical culinary skills, Khanna has been coined as the “Glamorous Chef”.

T

Award held in China , May 2017, and Super Foods for Awesome Memory, and her new books Simply Indian Cuisine series of Simply Maharashtrian, Simply Gujarati, Simply Punjabi, Simply Rajasthan, Simply Himachali, and Simply Bengali coming soon ! She’s got a YouTube Channel, Shipra’s Kitchen, to her credit and presides over as the Culinary Ambassador to Spain. She has also been awarded by the Mahatma Gandhi Leadership Award to take Indian cuisine across the Globe at the British Parliament, London, by the NRI Society of London and has taught Culinary Art at Le Cordon Bleu, in Paris and China.

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Vaisakhi Recipes

Almond Mint

Potatoes By Chef Shipra Khanna

Ingredients For the potatoes:

For the vegetables: • 250 gms baby potatoes • 1 tbsp butter

• 250 gms baby potatoes

• 2 carrots, cut into even sticks

• 120 gms almonds, soaked in water overnight

• 8-10 French beans, trimmed and blanched

• 2 tbsp oil

• A pinch of salt

• 2 tbsp finely minced garlic • 1 tbsp poppy seeds, ground to a paste • 1 tsp tomato purée (commercial) • ½ cup puréed fresh mint leaves • 1 tsp garam masala powder • 1 tbsp red Kashmiri chilli powder • 1 tbsp black pepper powder • 2 tsp salt • ½ cup cream • 8-10 saffron strands, dissolved in 1 tsp milk

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Preparation • Scrub the potatoes and parboil them in salted water. Drain and set aside whole. Do not peel them. Peel the almonds and grind them to a paste. Set aside. • Put the oil in a pan on moderate heat. When hot, sauté the garlic, till fragrant. Add the almond and poppy seeds pastes and cook for five minutes, stirring all the while.

Delicious Almond Mint Potatoes recipe best served with sauteed veggies, naan or roti • Stir in the tomato and mint purées, spice powders and salt. Simmer for a few minutes. Add the potatoes and cook, till tender. Mix in the cream and saffron and simmer for another 10 minutes. • In the meanwhile, melt the butter for the vegetables in another pan on low to moderate heat. Add the carrots and beans and sauté, till tender, but crunchy. Mix in the salt. • Serve the potatoes with the sautéed vegetables and naan or roti.


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Vaisakhi Recipes

Rosemary and

Apple Soup By Chef Shipra Khanna

6-8 servings This soup can be served cold as a drink or as a warm starter to your meal. You can prepare it ahead of time and enjoy it at any time of the day.

Ingredients • 3-4 green apples, peeled, cored and quartered • ¼ cup cream • 1 tsp rosemary • ½ tsp salt • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preparation • Heat water in a pan and boil the apples, till soft. Drain. • Purée the apples in a mixer, till it has a smooth consistency. Press the purée through a strainer into the same pan to remove all lumps. • Add the cream and a little water if required as the soup should not be too thick or too thin. Add the salt and pepper and bring the soup to a boil, stirring all the while. Serve the soup hot or chilled.

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Vaisakhi Recipes

Chef Priya

Krishna

Born and raised in Dallas, Priya was inspired by her mom’s cooking which featured traditional Indian recipes, with a modern American twist.

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riya Krishna is an Indian-American food writer and YouTube personality.who contributes to leading magazines and websites such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, Bon Appétit, and more. She is also the author of the college-centric cookbook Ultimate Dining Hall Hacks, and formerly worked for Lucky Peach.Her latest cookbook, “Indian-ish: Recipes and Antics from a

2020 VAISAKHI

Modern American Family.” The book has been named one of the best cookbooks of spring 2019. She lives in New York City. Photo credit: Excerpted from Indian-ish © 2019 by Priya Krishna with Ritu Krishna. Photography © 2019 by Mackenzie Kelley. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved


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Vaisakhi Recipes

Preparation • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Set the caps aside, and finely chop the stems.

Mushrooms By Priya Krishna

T

The secret is stuffing the mushrooms with more mushrooms — specifically, chopped-up mushroom stems, which, along with quinoa, retain moisture and soak up the garlic juice and Parmesan cheese exceptionally well. This recipe purposefully makes a little more filling than you need for stuffing the mushrooms, as it’s perfect for snacking or taking for lunch the next day.

Ingredients • 16 small white button mushrooms (about 10 ounces; see Note), brushed clean • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped • 1 small Indian green chile or serrano chile, finely chopped • 1 garlic clove, minced

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1½ cups cooked white quinoa (from about ½ cup dry quinoa; see page 19) • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (1 ounce) • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro • ½ tsp kosher salt • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper Note: The mushroom caps should be small enough to eat in a single bite.

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• Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and let cool for five minutes. Add the cooked quinoa, Parmesan, cilantro, salt, and black pepper and stir to combine. • Arrange the mushroom caps on a baking sheet and, using a teaspoon, fill them with the quinoa mixture — the filling should be spilling out of each cap. • Bake the stuffed mushrooms for 12 minutes, until slightly wilted and lightly browned on top. Let cool for about five minutes. • Drizzle each stuffed mushroom with a little olive oil before serving.

Photos: Courtesy of Anjali Pathak

Mushroom-Stuffed

• In a large pan over mediumhigh heat, warm the oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion and chile and cook until the onion browns, five to seven minutes. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook until soft, two to three minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute.

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Vaisakhi Recipes

Preparation

Quinoa

Kheer By Priya Krishna

A

t this point in the book, you’re probably like, “Seriously, you’re going to put quinoa in another dish? In a dessert, of all things? IS NOTHING SACRED ANYMORE?” The quinoa grains turn soft and silky, adding a hint of nuttiness to the kheer. They also do an even better job than rice of soaking up the cardamom flavor. Start to finish, this takes about as long as an episode of TV to make, so now you have something to do while you stir! Kheer can be eaten warm or cold, but I like it straight out of the fridge, as it has more thickness and body when chilled.

Ingredients • ½ gallon (2 quarts) whole milk • ½ cup dry (uncooked) white quinoa, rinsed and drained

cardamom pods, crushed into a powder, or 1¼ teaspoons ground cardamom (freshly ground is best) • 2 tbsps roughly chopped unsalted pistachios, for garnish

• Evenly coat the bottom of a large pot or Dutch oven with two tablespoons water (this will prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pot). Pour the milk into the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Watch the milk very closely — as soon as you start to see bubbles forming, reduce the heat to low (otherwise, the milk will boil over!). • Add the quinoa. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring continuously, for 15 minutes, then increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring continuously, for 30 to 35 minutes more, until the milk resembles heavy cream (it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon) and the quinoa is fully cooked. Don’t worry if there still seems to be a lot of milk left — it’ll soak into the quinoa as the kheer cools. • Stir in the sugar and cardamom and let the kheer cool to room temperature. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight or for up to 12 hours — it should resemble a loose rice pudding. When you’re ready to serve the kheer, garnish with the pistachios.

• ½ cup granulated sugar • Seeds from 5 green

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VAISAKHI FEATURE

T

he tradition of langar is a longstanding symbol of selfless service. No matter where one is in the world, free food is offered to anyone who reaches the doorstop of any Gurdwara regardless of faith. As the largest free kitchen in the world, Sri Harmandir Sahib ji, popularly known as the Golden Temple, serves 50,000 to 100,000 people a day. The concept of langar, in the Sikh context,

No matter where one is in the world, free food is oered to anyone who reaches the doorstop of any Gurdwara regardless of faith.

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Langar The Tradition of

By Naina Grewal originates from the first Guru, who, in his youth, received money from his father to conduct business. However, rather than yielding a profit, Guru Nanak Dev ji chose to feed hungry pilgrims. Today, many pay homage to Gurdwara Sacha Sauda Sahib ji, situated on the monumental spot where the pilgrims were fed. This event gave rise to a tradition which was further solidified by the Gurus that followed. The strongest wave surrounding the format


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VAISAKHI FEATURE of langar came from Mata Khivi ji, wife of the second Guru, Guru Angad Dev ji. Being in charge for serving langar, she has been praised in historical texts for her genuine generosity and passion towards serving others. The third Guru, Guru Amardas ji, implemented a rule at Sri Goindwal Sahib ji, according to which no one could meet the Guru until they had eaten langar. This rule was not even bent for the emperor, which was a revolutionary move in a hierarchical society. This Gurdwara is at the center of the inception of many religious elements including sports, Gurmukhi and langar. The importance of langar and its unique purpose can be traced back to its beginnings in India. At a time when the caste system was heavily dominant, the poor could not even enter religious temples. Using separate utensils, food was often thrown at devotees rather than served based on discriminatory grounds. The concept of Pangat, or langar, introduced a philosophy where both the king and beggar would eat the same food at the same level. Symbolically, and literally, one is not higher or lower than the other. Therefore, langar depicts

a message of equality and oneness, breaking the shackles of colour, caste, community, gender or status. There is no special treatment and nothing is hidden from the public, instilling values of humble acceptance and gratitude. Moreover, the original term being Guru Ka Langar, implicates that the langar does not belong to a specific country, person or institution. Transcending beyond discrimination, even the process of preparation, cooking, serving and cleaning is a shared experience. For this reason, it is also important to recognize that langar is not just limited to food; it entails serving people to fulfil their needs in any area – be it of medication, clothing or even education. While langar comes in many forms, the essence of serving

others wholeheartedly allows one to find in themselves the heart to give without expecting anything in return. For both the giver and receiver, the impact is a treasured experience. In the modern age, however, we must be careful in preserving the true meaning of langar, rooted in its simplicity and compassion towards humanity. As the channels through which we serve evolve, we should not compete with others, but recognize service as a catalyst of unity. Playing our role entails simple steps such as being more mindful, taking only what we need, reducing imperishable waste and promoting health. Taking these steps paves the path for one to reap maximum utility from a more wholesome experience and truly embrace the glory of langar!

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Sikh Gurus

T

he word ‘Guru’ in Sanskrit means teacher, religious person or saint. However, in Sikhism, ‘Guru’ refers to the descent of divine guidance to humankind provided by the ten enlightened masters. These ten Sikh Gurus founded the religion, starting in 1469 with Guru Nanak and ending with Guru Gobind Singh in 1708. After that, it refers to the Sikh Holy Scriptures as Guru Granth Sahib. The Gurus are widely regarded as the embodiment of one guiding light which passed from one Guru to the next, and which now resides in the Holy Scriptures. The order of the ten enlightened Gurus is as follows:

Guru Nanak Dev (1469 to 1539) Founder of Sikh faith; apostle of peace, unity and true infinite; possessed divinity and religious authority; first Guru of modern thinkers in India; created Langar, free kitchen, for all people; teachings are in the Guru Granth Sahib; his philosophies and teachings were enlightened for his time, he criticized the social, political and religious injustices; advocated for equality between men and women; instructed disciples to face and tackle oppression, he knew this couldn’t be accomplished in his lifetime, so he appointed the practice of successors to lead Sikhs in their spiritual mission

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Guru Angad Dev (1504 to 1582) Compiled the biography of Guru Nanak Dev; introduced Gurmukhi script, medium of writing the Punjabi language; opened schools to educate children; started Mall Akhara, physical and spiritual exercises

Guru Amar Das (1479 to 1574) Social reformer; removed caste, colour distinction and stigma of untouchables; strengthened Langar on basis of equality; introduced Anand Karaj marriage ceremony; abolished Sati and custom of Paradah

Guru Ram Das (1534 to 1581) Organized the structure of Sikh society; contributed 688 shabads to Granth; planner/creator of Ramdaspur (Amritsar) and designed the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple); founder of sacred Sarovar; author of Lavaa, the hymns of marriage rites

Guru Arjan Dev (1563 to 1606) Completed construction of Amritsar, founded Taran Taran and Kartarpur; collected works of first four Gurus, dictated works into verses for Adi Granth compilation, the only script that still exists in the form first published, a hand-written manuscript; organized Masand ‘missionary’ system

Guru Har Gobind (1595 to 1644) Wore two swords of Miri-Piri – one represented spiritual authority, while the other temporal; built the Akal Takht (Throne of the Almighty); excelled in matters of the state; built an army with trained horsemen; martial artist and hunter; built fortress at Amritsar called Lohgarh (Fortress of Steel) 2020 VAISAKHI

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Guru Har Rai (1630 to 1661) Known for his compassion of life and living things – instead of killing animals, placed them in his zoo; continued military traditions started by grandfather Guru Har Gobind, maintained cavalry of 2,200 soldiers; established ayurvedic hospital and research center at Kiratpur Sahib

Guru Har Krishan (1656 to 1664) Guru Har Rai named five-year-old Har Krishan to succeed him as the next Guru, rather than his elder son Ram Rai, who was in favour with Aurangzeb and the Mughal Empire; helped heal the sick and in doing so, contracted smallpox and passed away at the age of seven

Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621 to 1675) Youngest son of Guru Har Gobind; created city of Chakk Nanaki, which later became Anandpur Sahib; contributed hymns to Guru Granth Sahib, including Saloks (Mahal 9); responsible for saving Kashmiri Pandits from Mughal persecution; Aurangzeb issued order for Guru’s arrest, was held for three months and tortured until he would accept Islam; he refused and was martyred at Chandni Chowk

Guru Gobind Singh (1666 to 1708) Succeeded father Guru Tegh Bahadur at age nine; was a warrior, poet and philosopher; created the Khalsa Panth in 1699 – the Panj Pyare were the first baptised Sikhs; declared the Guru Granth Sahib as his successor, and living Guru for Sikhs; his writings and poems were compiled in volume called Dasam Granth; recited the line “Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji Ki Fateh,” which is an important religious verse included in the daily prayer of Sikhs

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Profile for Darpan Magazine

Vaisakhi 2020 - DARPAN Magazine  

This special Issue we bring you: 6 We Will Triumph Again 8 Panth Vasse 14 Maharaja Ranjit Singh: Lion of Punjab 22 The Significance of Karta...

Vaisakhi 2020 - DARPAN Magazine  

This special Issue we bring you: 6 We Will Triumph Again 8 Panth Vasse 14 Maharaja Ranjit Singh: Lion of Punjab 22 The Significance of Karta...

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