GuruGobindSingh.com Guru Gobind Singh 1666-1708
Tenth Master of The Sikhs
one thing men dread most is death. I have always lived in its
nearness and looked it in the face. So should every one of you who
claim to follow me. I will ride to my death as a bridegroom does to
house of the bride. Do not grieve for me. For wheresoever are the
Ones dedicated to God, there my presence shall always be." Guru
"The sword breaks through and cuts down the demons of the mind and body.
This beautiful and powerful weapon adorns the battlefield of life. It is as
an extension of the arm, unbreakable, terribly fast, it’s awesome splendor
overshadows even the sun. It protects the peace and happiness of the saints
and destroys any powerful negative energy. It has erased the negativity and
guilt that I carry. I seek its refuge. Praise, praise be to the great doer of the world,
savior of the creation, my great protector, praise be to the sword!" Guru
Rishi Dusht Daman
aka Guru Gobind Singh
Sikhs hold an important place in the history of India. Guru
founded Sikhism in the fifteenth century
and he was followed by nine Gurus (enlightened teachers or prophets).
Guru Angad developed the Gurumukhi
script. Guru Ram Das laid the foundation
for the city of Amritsar. Guru Arjan Dev compiled the Adi
Granth, aka Siri
Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred texts-songs of the Sikhs. But it was Guru Gobind Singh who gave Sikhs
a renewed sense of chardikala,
and Sikh Dharma its resurgent vigor and mass following in the 17th
century. The main principle of Sikhism is that there is but one God,
and all people are servants of God. The people who are bound together
in this holy brother-sisterhood are known as Khalsa. Guru Gobind Singh
declared that he was the last of the earthly Gurus, and he commanded
his followers to revere only the Guru-Word
as Guru after his death.
Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, was born in 1666 in Patna
Sahib, Bihar, India as Gobind Rai, to Mata Gujari and Guru Teg Bahadur.
His birthday Gurpurb has traditionally been celebrated on January
5th each year. He lived much of his amazing life in Anandpur Sahib,
Punjab, following in his father's footsteps in succession on the divine
throne at the age of 9 after his father's martyrdom in 1675.
father, Guru Teg Bahadur was martyred, upholding religious freedom
for the Hindus of Kashmir who were being forced to convert to Islam
or die under Emperor Aurangzeb's rule. Guru Gobind Singh brought the
Sikh Dharma through a difficult period of establishment, persecution
and battles to which he gave his life. His entire family was killed
in defense of religious freedom and Truth. He left his body in 1708,
in Nanded, also known as Hazur Sahib. His
prophecy is that 960 million souls will live in Khalsa
Consciousness, and all will be safe in the Khalsa fold. See GurdwaraSecurity.com.
Guru Gaddi Day
Guru Gobind Singh
"Today, we are celebrating the Shabad Guru. But what does it actually mean? It means Naam. It means perpetual experience of happiness. It means ecstasy. It means Anand. It means a lot of things. But it is not practiced. It is not understood. Naam means noun. Noun means personal identity. My personal identity bows to the Shabad Guru. It’s a very simple human thing. I bow that my words bring light to me and to my surroundings, even if I am in a grave. What does ecstasy mean, other than that?
It doesn't matter what is wrong with you. It is immaterial. But when you speak, it should be heavenly. It should be authentic. When you teach, it should be a penetrating, cut-throat, straight truth. Therefore, Shabad Guru means we are free from man’s opinion, worship or experience. If we are free from man’s worship, then what are we worshipping? We are worshipping ourselves as a man. The Shabad Guru and its domain practically means that you worship yourself by yourself. Be yourself, worship yourself, by yourself. That is exactly what Shabad Guru means." -- Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji, November 1, 1992
Singh requests baptism
Gobind Singh was a scholar and master of many languages, a poet and
author of divine verse, keeping
a court of 52 poets. He was a great warrior and statesman, defender
of the faith, and beloved of God. He added to and preserved the Siri
Guru Granth Sahib, and passed the Guruship (1708) for all time to the
Siri Guru Granth Sahib, the embodiment of the Divine Word, the Shabad Guru.
In honor of this event, Guru Gaddi Day is celebrated worldwide, by reciting an Akandh Paath. An Akandh Paath is the continuous recitation, without stopping, of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib from beginning to end, 1430 pages, by relay teams of readers. which lasts about 72 hours.
Our Beloved Guru put out the call.
The Sangat should attend Baisakhi –
A Springtime renewal for all.
Disciples from all over were excited and happy to comply.
A chance to be with our beautiful Guru and Sangat was the reason why.
To be in the presence of the Guru and bow our heads was not taken lightly --
It was the highest blessing from the Almighty.
Thousands of devotees heralded from villages far and wide.
Much seva to do, long lost friends to see and new ones to betide.
A sea of tents was created which was miles long.
Such a festive spirit amongst the throng.
The auspicious day arrived on Baisakhi 1699
For a sight of the Guru we all did pine.
The crowd buzzed with excitement and anticipation.
What was the purpose of the Guru gathering such a large congregation?
There were many rumors that murmured around about the Mughal king
That he had spies everywhere and a nasty plan that would sting.
He was a mean and unruly emperor.
Many said we had yet to experience his full reign of terror.
There was a sudden rumble in the crowd.
The Guru had suddenly appeared, brilliant, radiant and proud.
A hush came over the Sangat, waiting for his address
His eyes pierced right through us –
There was no doubt the conviction he possessed.
His arm was raised high in the air
A long, sharp sword accompanied his intense stare.
His voice rang out loud and crystal clear:
“I need a head! I need it now!”
There was no uncertainty that he was sincere.
His strong words and what they meant swirled through my head.
Surely he wasn’t speaking to me, it must be my neighbor instead.
What about my husband, my community, my son
They still needed me; surely I wasn’t yet done.
At first, I admit, my heart did pound
But suddenly I felt my mind separated from the world around.
As I fully entered this out of body experience
I felt detached and relaxed and had a talk with myself that was quite serious.
I was devoted to my Guru completely and had always prayed to him so sweetly.
Or so I thought…
Has my life to this point been a sham, am I a fake?
Is my devotion to the Guru so easy to break?
When I bow my head am I doing so conditionally and artificially?
Or am I giving my love and devotion implicitly?
What is my life anyway without bowing, nay, giving my head?
If I’m not willing to give my life to my Guru, I may as well be dead.
Ha! I tell myself—how funny this is—what a predicament --
“If I’m not willing to die for my Guru, I might as well be dead?”
And here my Guru is ASKING me for my head. How magnificent is that!
I must give it. I must not wait!
I do not doubt it, the Guru IS my soul mate!
It is so true…
I feel a blissful peace come over me --
Thank God this is the conclusion that I drew!
As my mind slowly comes back to the earthly plane
I become aware once more of the panic around me and of people’s pain.
I want to reach out to them and tell them it’s OK, no actually, it’s great!
I want to tell them this is their chance to choose their destiny, not their fate.
I looked at the stage again to find my Guru.
He had 5 Sikhs around him, all radiant and beautiful.
Suddenly, the Guru put his hand up for silence. Once again he spoke loud and clear.
He said, these are my Beloved Ones – they have only love, no fear.
They are the Khalsa. Their hearts are pure
Their love of their Guru was completely sure.
Many of you do not understand my request
I know that what has occurred today is hard for you to digest.
However, the times we face in our future are sure to be difficult
To maintain your strength and grace, you must be vigilant.
Your love and devotion will be tested beyond your belief
For many, death will be your only relief.
You must be strong; to be prepared, your commitment must be steady
The enemy will have no empathy – you must be ready…
To live your destiny… or be vulnerable to your fate
Today was my effort for your destiny to create.
It is your true self who must decide.
You must be willing to die - for truth and righteousness.
There will be no other justice.
Then the Guru oversaw the making of nectar that he concocted
By stirring water with a sword and adding in sweets --
“Amrit” was the word for this that was adopted.
The Guru then baptized the 5 Beloved Ones and asked them to do to him the same.
Then thousands of us bowed our heads in understanding --
The Guru’s actions and words, our souls did inflame
The desire to commit to our Guru, come what may.
We begged the Guru to give us the nectar too – we were here to stay.
He saw our devotion and love shine through.
Our spirits had been renewed.
We chose our destiny, not our fate.
The rest is our history, which is GREAT!
Siri Guru Granth Sahib
Akandh Paaths are an important meditative practice for Sikhs. The recitation (or "Paath") can be undertaken for various reasons. It can be in honor of a particular occasion; to mark a happy or sad occasion within the family; or simply to increase one's feeling of connection to Whahe Guru.
A contemporary Sangat attending a Gurdwara service
Sahib (Meditation) By Guru Gobind Singh
From Sacred Writings of The Sikhs
is no mark, which sets apart
The Ever Changeless Light of hearts.
No caste or sect, shape, form or hue;
Imagination can't construe
His Greatness or His countless Names;
The King Who o'er the three worlds reigns;
A million Indras can't compete;
God's men and demons touch His feet.
world's vast fortunes seem as weeds
Amidst the garden of His deeds.
Thus, by His deeds His Name is
Breath of Wisdom, Grace of grace.
Even forests slim or small
In glades and glens repeat the call,
"He is Infinite and All ... Infinite and All."
bow to Thee, Eternal,
Beyond death the Beauteous Form.
To the Merciful and Mighty,
O, I bow to Thee, Unborn;
To the One Who has no costume,
Whos beyond all destiny,
Without treasure, without body, Indestructible is He;
Who is Nameless and cannot be named,
Who occupies no space,
Beyond karma, beyond dharma, beyond need of dwelling place.
I bow to Thee Unconquerable, the Stranger to defeat.
To the Fearless, Self Sufficient One, the One without deceit;
To the One Who has no color, no beginning and no end,
Who is Bountiful and Faultless, Far Too Great to comprehend;
O, I bow to Thee Who art but One and Thee Who many be.
Beyond earth, air, water, fire and gas, I bow my Lord to Thee ...
Beyond earth, air, water, fire and gas, I bow my Lord to Thee.
bow to Him beyond all deeds, Who wears no special dress,
Who has no country, name or manner, the Desireless.
I bow to Thee Imperishable, Thee from sorrow free;
Beyond attachment, anger, pride, desire and greed is He;
To the One in need of no one, Who is worshipped in three worlds;
The Source of every treasure, He Who cannot be installed.
He Whos free from all affliction, independent of all breath;
He Who organizes and destroys, Who is the Death of death.
I bow to He Who generates, the One Who can't be known.
The Source of passion, strength and grace;
I bow to Thee, Unborn;
He Who is the Supreme Yogi, far beyond all intellect;
He in need of no support, yet Who supports the ocean's depth ...
He in need of no support, yet Who supports the ocean's depth.
bow to He Who has no caste, religion, faith or creed;
Sublime and All Prevailing Beauty, with no lineage;
The Countryless, the Garbless, Homeless, Spouseless, King of all,
Who dispenses death and mercy, He Who takes the shape of all.
O, I bow to the Creator, the Sustainer, the True Lord;
To the One Annihilator, low I bow to Thee Unborn;
To the One Who has no secrets, He Who is the Death of all;
The Creator of all beauties, their destruction and their fall.
I bow to the Sustainer, Omnipresent in all hues;
Who prevails throughout the universe, the Endless Well of Truths.
O, I bow to Thee, Immortal Lord, to Thee untouched by age;
To the Doer, the Forgiver, to the Fearless and the Sage ...
To the Doer, the Forgiver, to the Fearless and the Sage.
Who is Every Occupation, no relations, no restraint;
To the kind and constant Husband, Aspiration of the saint;
To the Endless and the Infinite, the Love of every soul;
The Creator and Destroyer, bend thou low, this mortal coil.
Bow down to the Lord of Yogis, the Sustainer of the wife;
The Enjoyer of all pleasures, the Caretaker of all life.
Who's kind and understanding, more impartial than the sea;
He Who dries up all life's fluids, O, I bow my God to Thee.
To the Bountiful and Fruitful, Who is not sustained by breath;
Who is Fearless and Desireless, He Who is the Death of death;
Who is Infinitely Gracious, Whos within and out of me;
To the Only God whose Name is Truth, I bow, my Lord to Thee ...
To the Only God whose Name is Truth, I bow, my Lord to Thee.
bow to Thee, O Virtuous, upon Whom all rely;
He Who lives in everyone, the One from Whom all shapes arise;
To the Moon of moons, the King of kings, the most respected One;
Unto He Who has no comrade, Hymn of hymns and Sun of suns;
He Who is the Dance within the dance, the Sound within the sound.
To the Music of all music, to the Current, I bow down;
To the One Who is the Hand and is the hand's Activity,
Who contains all forms, all maya, Great and Glorious is He.
Dispute of all disputes, the Supreme Siddha of the verse;
To the User of all weapons, Mother of the universe;
Who is All-Supreme in wisdom, without lust and costume free;
To the Master of maneuvers, O, I bow my Lord to Thee ...
To the Master of maneuvers, O, I bow my Lord to Thee.
bow to He Who cures disease, Who takes our daily care;
Present in both gods and demons, Who is Dutiful and Fair.
He Who knows all forms of cunning, the Embodiment of love;
Who bestows all life and charity, All Seeing Lord above;
To the Mantra of all mantras, Pure of fire and the Pure;
To the Jantra of all jantras, Conqueror of the universe;
The Immortal, Without Master, to the True and Blissful Form;
To the Tantra of all tantras, low, I bow to Thee Unborn.
I bow to He Who rules all wealth, the Brightest of the bright;
To the Seed of seeds, the Song of songs, the Form of dark and light;
To the Honored of all honored, without fear or mystery;
Object of all meditation, O, I bow my Lord to Thee ...
Object of all meditation, O, I bow my Lord to Thee.
bow to the Bestower of all knowledge time and space;
To the Source of love, the Source of strength, salvation, bliss and
He Who takes the form of passion, He Who takes the form of pain;
To the Harshest of the harsh, the Many and the One again;
To the Everlasting Sculptor Who is pleased with every mold;
The Embodiment of kindness, the Controller of the soul;
The Destroyer of the three conditions, future, past and now.
Who is the Life of life, bestowing undestroyable power;
To the Battle of all battles, the Embodiment of peace;
The Unalterable Essence, Formless through eternity;
To the Righteous Lord of Indras, Whos within and out of me;
Meditation of all meditations, Lord, I bow to Thee ...
Meditation of all meditations, Lord, I bow to Thee.--
The words of Guru Gobind Singh
Stories of Guru Gobind Singh
GURDWARA SECURITY AND SAFETY
Act without fear Act without anger Act to defend the weak
Act to protect the innocent
The essence of security efforts.
"In Prosperity three things work: Security, Security and Security.
Because Security manifests Prosperity. Security manifests the entire
manifestation. Because Security is the Rule of Harmony." Siri Singh Sahib
Monitor all activities occurring in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib as well as any other activities in order to maintain a safe, hazard-free environment, and a peaceful, respectful Gurdwara decorum.
Assist Sangat members in the performance of their worship and other activities, especially to include the arrival and departure of families with young children, giving aid and comfort to the elderly and the infirm, and greeting visitors.
Take direct Protective and/or Defensive action in the event of emergency circumstances such as fire and emergency medical response, disruptive or disorderly activity, or any act of aggression occurring within or around the Gurdwara or amongst Sangat members, and ensure security of building perimeter (doors and windows) while maintaining appropriate access for Sangat members and guests.
Gather and disseminate intelligence data, and subsequently alert Sangat members, and appropriate local authorities to the existence of issues or circumstances involving imminent or potential risk to the security of the Guru, Sangat members, or Gurdwara property.
Interface with and assist Local Fire and Medical Emergency or Law Enforcement Response Team members in order to maintain appropriate and respectful decorum in any emergency conditions occurring in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib or upon the Gurdwara property, circumstances permitting.
NOTE: General Protocols For Gurdwara Sevadars are intended to be general in nature as opposed to specific since these apply to the commonalities of all Gurdwaras.
Special Operating Protocols or SOPs should be formulated and implemented by respective Sangat leaders after consultation with local First Responders, i.e., Fire, Medical Emergency, Law Enforcement or other agencies. These Special Operating Protocols then will reflect conditions peculiar to local circumstances, which may vary according to any unique layout, structural, or geographical, economic, or technical requirements.
In addition, each community should contact their local First Responders, especially Fire Prevention and Law Enforcement Agencies, for a comprehensive risk assessment survey of Gurdwara property, and management policies and procedures to include a comprehensive Safety and Security Audit. Audits may possibly be provided free of charge, and should include procedures related to the following issues:
For assistance, call 800-528-0413 Ext. 354 Eastern, or click here. For security skills training, see RamDhanSingh.com.
Security does not happen by accident!
Security is those actions or systems, which prevent or minimize
the occurrence of adverse events within specific environments.
The most effective security is preventative as well as proactive,
and serves to minimize any risk to life, property or environments.
American Sikhs are free to pursue happiness, but there's no guarantee we will achieve it.
NOTE: American Sikhs are free to pursue happiness, but there's no guarantee will achieve it. We can view the subject of Security as an unpleasant, even terrifying concept, or as a fearless, even exhilarating exercise in courage. We can choose to be passive, wimpy victims,
or proactive, fearless survivors. To those members of the Sadh Sangat who choose
to remain in denial with regard to matters of Security
and Safety, who either claim that Gurdwara Security is unnecessary,
or who dismiss any thought of improving Gurdwara Security, I suggest
that you not only recall the tragic events of the August 5, 2012 Gurdwara
assault in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, the Sandy Hook Elementary School
killings in Newtown, Connecticut, December 14, 2012, and the U.S. Navy Yard massacre of September 16, 2013, but that you
recall the days of Operation
Blue Star, the tragic assault on the Guru in Amritsar, India, June 1-6, 1984, a week which will live in infamy...
the event that involved the desecration of the Golden
Temple, and the destruction of the Akal Takht.
(See video.) Going back much farther, remember Aurangzeb?
Beadbi of Siri Guru Granth Sahib
Keep in mind also that the Siri
Singh Sahib of Sikh Dharma established a policy whereby a Security
and Safety Sevadar is posted at the door of the House
of Guru Ram Das Gurdwara in Los Angeles, California, even to this
day. His vision being that Gurdwara Security and Safety is not about acting out
of fear or anger, it is about selflessly serving the Guru and the Sangat while
fearlessly defending the weak and protecting the innocent for which
Sikhs have a sacred duty. See Our Youth Deserves Leadership Training.
SANT SIPAHI - SAINT SOLDIER
JAPJI SAHIB - 37TH PAURI
Karam khand ki bani jor. Tithai hor na koi hor. In the realm of Karam, the Word is Power.
No one else dwells there,
Tithai jodh maha-bal sur. Tin meh ram rahia bharpur. Except the Warriors of great power, the Spiritual Heroes.
They are totally fulfilled, imbued with the Lord's Essence.
Tithai sito sita mehma mahi. Ta ke rup na kathne jahi. Myriads of Sitas are there, cool and calm in their
majestic glory. Their beauty cannot be described.
Na ohi marahi na thage jahi. Jin kai Ram vasai man mahi. Neither death nor deception comes to those
within whose minds the Lord abides.
Tithai bhagat vasahi ke loa. Karahi anand sacha mani soe. The Devotees of many worlds dwell there.
They celebrate; their minds are imbued with the True Lord...
is a blend of Saint and Soldier (Sant Sipahi); this is a complete person.
If you are not a soldier your sainthood will be kicked around. If you
a soldier, not a saint, you will start kicking others around." -- Yogi
"I can think of a number of fanatical, over-zealous religious groups who
would do us all well to take Yogi Bhajan's advice." -- Hari Singh Khalsa
Sat Nam. The Siri Singh Sahib was asked to express his priorities for a community gathering in the early ‘70s. His reply, “Security, Security, Security.” I share his vision. I have the concern that with the passage of time, nay, even as we speak, the memory of the Oak Creek massacre will fade away just as the memory of the infamous 1984 Operation Blue Star attack on the Sikhs in India seems to have disappeared from our recollection. Many Sikhs simply tag these events as the will of God and Guru, which is true, but we cannot stop there. There is a deeper message, a challenge, that has apparently gone unnoticed, i.e., our sacred duty to fearlessly "defend the weak and protect the innocent," just as Guru Gobind Singh taught us. So, I am requesting that the Sikh ministers act to meet our present day challenges. Not out of a sense of fear or apprehension, but with the same courage and fearlessness as did Guru Gobind Singh and our beloved Siri Singh Sahib. I urge my fellow ministers to answer this call by purchasing the Active Shooter Survival Training DVD shown below, and sharing it with their respective sangats. See Jai Jagdeesh Kaur's Ad Guray Nameh.
Active Shooter Survival DVD is
a reality-based training production.
Training covers the following topics.
Planning for Survival
Stopping the Shooter
Escaping the Violence
Hiding from the Shooter
Preventing Violent Intrusions
Collective Survival Strategies
Disrupting the Shooter’s Intentions
Training includes a step-by-step how-to, such as:
Protecting you from extreme violence
Responding to an active shooter
Managing workplace violence
Improving Gurdwara security
Becoming better prepared
Saving innocent lives
Who is responsible for your security?
Most people are reactive when it comes to their safety and well-being.
Most people respond only after threats have materialized and the problem is acute.
This approach brings little solace to the victims and is dangerous.
The most effective security is preventative as well as proactive.
The radicalization of fringe elements in society is increasing.
The targeting of minorities is nothing new and will continue.
Community preparedness is a must; its absence is a liability. --
Alon Stivi, CEO, Direct Measures International
value is not in how many experiences you have had.
It is in your stability -- in how much sacrifice you can do.
Your value is in how effectively and how consistently you can
live for others. Your value is in how you can take command of
yourself and others in any situation. Your value is in your capability
of firmly planting yourself in the neutrality of your higher consciousness
and standing as a pillar of strength, turning every negative to a
Your value is how quickly you are there when the call comes." -- Yogi Bhajan
consciousness is a state of being whereby we live in service
to humanity, inspiring and assisting others to do the same. And while
it is our sacred purpose to celebrate Naam and live as saints,
it is our
sacred duty to defend the weak and protect the innocent." -- Hari Singh
Q: DOES YOUR SANGAT OR GURDWARA NEED MORE SECURITY? CONTACT YOUR POLICE DEPARTMENT TO GET A SECURITY AUDIT.
Q: DOES YOUR SANGAT HAVE A GURDWARA SECURITY COMPONENT?
IF NO, YOU CAN GET HELP ORGANIZING A SECURITY MISSAL HERE.
IF YOUR SANGAT AND GURDWARA SECURITY IS ADEQUATE,
SHARE YOUR STORY HERE OR CALL 800-528-0413 EXT 354 EASTERN.
RESPONSES ARE CONFIDENTIAL
A POST 9-11 HISTORY OF DISCRIMINATION
remains true today, in the ancient tradition of ignorance,
that people of faith and otherwise good sense hasten
to ostracize and demonize any person or group
whose beliefs and customs are unlike their own.
at the Sikh Gurdwara in Fresno, California
Photo courtesy of Christian Parley, The Fresno Bee.
after September 11, 2001, an epidemic of hate crimes against minorities
swept the United States and other countries. The wave of hate crimes and hate violence affected Muslims especially, and anyone perceived to be a Muslim, e.g.,
Sikhs, Arabs, South Asians, Latinos, and other brown-skinned people.
Incidents occurred in every part of the public sphere: houses, roadways, workplaces,
airports, school grounds, and street corners, as well as churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and gurdwaras in nearly every major
city in the United States. In targeted communities, places of worship have been burned,
homes vandalized, families threatened, jobs denied, children bullied,
women harassed, men and women beaten and murdered.
RECENT VIOLENT ACTS AGAINST RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES
SIX SIKHS SLAIN
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Sikhs murdered at their Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Top left to right, Satwant Singh, Sita Singh, and Paramjit Kaur,
Bottom left to right, Ranjit Singh, Prakash Singh, and Suveg Singh.
Sikh community members in the wake of the Oak Creek murders.
ANOTHER SIKH SLAIN
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Dalbir Singh of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, murdered in his store.
MUSLIM GIRL WOUNDED
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Malala Yousuf Zai, a 14 year old girl, was seriously wounded by religious fanatics for speaking out for peace and human rights. More.
Security is those actions or systems, which prevent or minimize
the occurrence of adverse events within specific environments.
The most effective security is preventative as well as proactive,
and serves to minimize any risk to life, property or environments.
Sat Nam, Brothers and Sisters! I am a former U.S. Marine and someone who has been involved with Gurdwara and Solstice security for decades. I would like to address what I see as a general absence of security/soldier consciousness within Sikh communities by quoting the Siri Singh Sahib, who said: “Human is a blend of Saint and Soldier; this is a complete person. If you are not a Soldier your sainthood will be kicked around. If you are only a Soldier, not a Saint, you will start kicking others around.”
The Siri Singh Sahib was once asked to express his priorities at a 3HO Solstice Sadhana gathering in the early ‘70s. His reply was, “Security, Security, Security.” And since the establishment of the Guru Ram Das Ashram in Los Angeles, and until this very day, a sevadar is posted at the door of the gurdwara as ordered by the Siri Singh Sahib. Security has been a priority consideration since the earliest days of 3HO/Sikh Dharma.
recently speaking with a sangat member regarding the subject of Gurdwara
Security and Safety, she mentioned how she thought she would engage an active-shooter incident
within her community. She said her first instinct would be to physically
cover any potential victims with her body as a shield. I advised her
that this would be exactly the wrong action to take. I suggested that
she think about the instructions given by airline attendants concerning
an in-flight emergency. Passengers are advised to take self-saving
actions first by utilizing their oxygen mask on themselves before
attempting to assist anybody else.
may seem counter-intuitive, but self-preservation must be the first
response in order for other potential victims to be protected and
defended. Contrary to the unfortunate outcomes of numerous recent
horrific events, an active-shooter event is not a situation where potential victims
are without recourse. This is addressed in numerous, simple, and surprising
ways in a survival training video called Survival
Edge: Active Shooter Survival, available at ACTCert.com (ACT stands
for Attack Countermeasures Training), which I urge all communities
to acquire and view. This DVD provides a reality-based, step-by-step
training program that covers how to protect you and others from
extreme violence, including responding to an active shooter, managing
workplace violence, improving Gurdwara
security and safety, becoming better prepared, saving innocent
lives and surviving terrorism.
Though the outcome of the shooting event in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in 2012 was horrific, those murders might have been preventable to a significant extent. There are specific actions (some even at the time of the attack) that could have possibly mitigated the outcome.
Since the incident, many Sikhs have opined that as unfortunate as it was, it was the will of God and Guru. This is true. But I opine that the event did not just happen in order to happen. It happened with a clear and challenging message to the Sadh Sangat: as Sikhs of Guru Gobind Singh, it is our sacred duty to defend the weak and protect the innocent.
My question is, what are we collectively doing to meet this challenge? What are we doing in the way of securing our communities, whereby we honor our sacred duty?
My concern is that with the passage of time, the memory of the Oak Creek massacre and other tragedies will fade away. I strongly encourage all members of the Sikh community – and especially Sikh Dharma Ministers – to act now to meet this ever-present challenge – not out of a sense of reactionary fear, but with the same attention and fearless dedication as our beloved Siri Singh Sahib.
As a member of the 3HO Solstice Security and Safety advisory team, I am working to help develop programs and awareness, and I am happy to receive communication from sangat members.
Nam, Khalsa ji! In the wake of the attention now being given for and against gun ownership, I have frequently recalled a scene from many years ago with a wince, even a shudder on one hand, and a smile with a head-shake on the other.
Women: Wimps or Warriors?
I was in a mixed group discussing security and gun safety training in which a young woman reluctantly picked up a handgun between her thumb and forefinger as if picking up a dead mouse. The scene stuck with me ever since. And all the recent talk about guns and violence has especially caused me to recall that silly albeit sad scenario. Silly because it looked so comical, sad because it is indicative of where I see the mind set of many women, today.
a woman is attacked by a gun-toting assailant, her chance
of survival diminishes greatly if she has no training in
survival skills, e.g., martial arts and
of where you stand on gun control, knowledge of firearms equates with strength, ignorance
of firearms equates with weakness.
OUR YOUTH DESERVE LEADERSHIP TRAINING
New Mexico Military Institute can provide this.
A two-year leadership program is available.
Those who shall not learn to obey shall never be
in a position to command. -- Siri Singh Sahib
A woman who is not a leader is a miserable person… A leader has three things.
First thing, leader has to sacrifice; second thing, leader has to stand alone; and
third, leader has to lead. And leader has to lead by example, by action and by word.
A leader is one who can stand on the top of the ladder and can stay balanced and
alone. So basically, if you do not want to be the leaders, and you do not want to
lead the home, lead the family, lead your environments, with grace, with courage
and with intelligence, you will have nothing in your life... -- Siri Singh Sahib
children, not dependent children. Give your children
the basic values to face their own tomorrows, not be blinded by yours. Make
them proper personalities, not helpless puppets. Position them for success; do
not paralyze them with the commotion of your emotions. -- Siri Singh Sahib
The basic aspect of you as woman is not in your sensuality and in your dramas.
You are not only the givers of life, you are the manufacturers of character. Whatever
character you will give to your children, that shall be their future. -- Siri Singh Sahib
Your reliability will give people the courage to trust you.
Their trust will give you the power to carry a situation. A leader
carries and serves people. Learn to lead as a ‘seva’ (to sacrifice your
time and resources for the benefit of others without wanting anything in
return); people will love you, and you will continue to expand. -- Siri Singh Sahib
Children are born with intrinsic leadership traits, which prepare them for life.
These must translate positively into the lives they lead as citizens of the world.
These are: Service, Justice, Courage, Compassion, Decisiveness, Reliability,
Integrity, Initiative, Knowledge, Loyalty, Enthusiasm, Endurance. -- Hari Singh Khalsa
Sikhi youth...Sant-Sipahi is their heritage
Nam, Khalsa ji! I am a passionate proponent of more balance
between our claims to accept and understand the concept of Saint-Soldier, and actually living our lives as authentic Sant-Sipahi. To this end I strongly urge Khalsa parents, especially
our women, the first teachers of our children, to consider the following points.
WOMEN Are The First Teachers
.) I urge you to consider enrolling our children at the New
Mexico Military Institute, located in Roswell, New Mexico. My
kids graduated high school with honors at NMMI in the early '80s,
the first children of Sikh
Dharma to attend a military school in America. The Siri
Singh Sahib expressed pleasure upon observing
cadet training when he visited NMMI in 1983. He advised us then that he
would have enrolled his own children at NMMI if he had known of its existence. Another group of children
who attended school in India later attended NMMI in the early '90s.
Sikh minister, M.S.S. Hari Singh Bird, addresses Sikh cadets in front of the NMMI chapel, 1992.
New Mexico Military Institute offers an outstanding two year college option for your sons and daughters after they complete their
time at Miri Piri Academy. For those families for which MPA is not an option, NMMI has an excellent four year high school college prep programin addition to theirtwo year
college program. New Mexico Military Institute has been ranked No. 5 on a list of the nation’s top 50 community colleges by an independent organization, i.e., TheBestSchools.org, which has described the Roswell, New Mexico school as the “only state-supported, coeducational, military boarding school in the United States.” The school offers college prep, a four-year high school and a two-year junior college. See NMMI
Strategic Measures Statistics.
Each of the former Sikhi students/graduates
of NMMI provide a testament to the advantages of attending NMMI, which
include a rigorous and challenging lifestyle, camaraderie and fellowship,
and outstanding leadership
training especially, along with NMMI's excellent scholastic program.
This experience prepared them for additional university training, and exciting
careers all over the world. NMMI is the only American prep school I know
that has a history of accommodating the Sikhi lifestyle, i.e., sadhana, kesh, turban, sipahi training, and vegetarian diet. And it is an excellent environment for Sikhi youth to learn leadership
and soldiering skills for which the Siri Singh Sahib was a passionate
The NMMI program offers MPA students and other Sikh youth
a unique and reasonably cost-effective opportunity to transition
from the Indian program into the American experience as a unit, and the obvious advantage of continued
bonding with their peers. See NMMI
Admissions, or click firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 800-421-5376.
.) I urge you to reflect on the Siri Singh Sahib's words, "Human
is a blend of Saint and Soldier (Sant
Sipahi); this is a complete person. If you
are not a Soldier your sainthood will be kicked around. If you are
only a Soldier, not a Saint, you will start kicking others around."
Again, our youth deserve leadership training going forward. I know of no readily available source of formal leadership
training available to our Sikh youth other than the New Mexico Military
To: M.S.S. Hari Singh Bird Khalsa
Sent: Thu, Aug 1, 2013 12:24 pm
Sat Nam Hari Singh,
Hope you and your family are keeping well.
As you must have heard, another Gurdwara in California got vandalized recently. Please let me know your comments on security measures we can suggest to various Gurdwaras that they can take to prevent these incidents. Also, what do you think the local, state and federal government can do to protect our Gurdwaras.
Bhai Sahib ____________________ --
Sat Nam, Bhai Sahib ji!
Thank you for your inquiry!
I am truly saddened to hear of the recent Gurdwara vandalism.
Regarding your request for my thoughts about local Gurdwara actions, I suggest that immediate consideration be given to adopting and distributing the General Protocols listed at GurdwaraSecurity.com.
These should be supplemented with any appropriate Special Operating Protocols unique to a respective Gurdwara.
In addition, I suggest that Sangat leaders make contact with local law enforcement, medical emergency and other first responders, ASAP, for the purpose of initiating a security and safety assessment audit in order to determine the actual security status of the Gurdwara environment plus the adjacent property and neighborhood, followed by the implementation of any appropriate recommendations. Communications with key people within these same agencies should remain well established and maintained, as well. (Note: It may be helpful to direct local agencies to this site, WhoAreTheSikhs.com, for historical reference, especially regarding the Oak Creek tragedy.)
Further, I suggest that Sangat leaders immediately execute actions that secure Gurdwara environments, e.g., employ an on-site uniformed, and armed law enforcement officer along with an on-site marked vehicle presence during high visibility Sunday activities, especially. This action will provide the Sangat with a) an on-site, professionally trained agent with arrest powers, and b) legal cover in the event of potential liability issues.
With respect to vandalism concerns, I suggest that security video cameras be deployed at key points around the Gurdwara perimeters as well as inside the Gurdwara. This will also provide a means by which safety issues such as fire and-or hazardous and emergency medical events can be monitored. The security audit will more than likely cover this issue.
A final thought, although this may not be practical for obvious reasons, remember that the Siri Singh Sahib directed that a Sevadar be stationed full-time at the entrance of House of Guru Ram Das Gurdwara, Los Angeles. To my knowledge, this remains the case to this day. See Interior-Guard.com.
M.S.S. Hari Singh Bird Khalsa --
"Forgiveness doesn't mean you forget what happened...
If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-
measures, you have to take counter-measures." Dalai Lama
Khag Khand Bihandang Khal Dal Khandang
At Ran Mandang Bar Bandang
Bhuj Dhandh Akhandang Tej Parchandang
Jot Amandang Bhan Prabhang
Sukh Santaa Karnang Durmat Darnang
Kilbikh Harnang As Sarnang
Jai Jai Jag Kaaran Srist Ubaaran
Mam Pratipaaran Jai Tegang
Translation: The Sword breaks through and cuts down the demons of the mind and body. This beautiful and powerful weapon adorns the battlefield of life. It is as an extension of the arm, unbreakable, terribly fast, it’s awesome splendor overshadows even the sun. It protects the peace and happiness of the saints and destroys any powerful negative energy. It has erased the negativity and guilt that I carry. I seek its refuge. Praise, praise be to the Great Doer of the world, Savior of the creation, my Great Protector, praise be to The Sword!
"This shabd is the total property of Guru Gobind Singh, given to us as a gift. This one shabd alone can keep you daringly alive and brilliant...It awakens the spirit...And if you find a person very feeble, who has no grit, no courage, no self-esteem...and you do the job of this shabd, the person will become totally tempered and can cut through any negativity...You sing this shabd and from a begging bowl of poverty, you shall have royalty, imperial dignity and your grace." Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji
Human is a blend of saint and soldier; this is a complete person. If you are not a soldier your sainthood will be kicked around. If you are only a soldier, not a saint, you will start kicking others around. -- Siri Singh Sahib of Sikh Dharma
If you cannot walk together, you
cannot work together. Yogi Bhajan
Those who shall not learn to obey shall never
be in a position to command. Yogi Bhajan
The synergistic equation is 1 plus 1 equals 11.
this synergistic equation is applied, the 'me' perspective
morphs into the universal 'we' perspective. The result is each action is
accomplished exponentially for the common good. 1Plus1Equals11.com
security is local.
Homeland security begins with hometown security."