It was past three o’clock in the afternoon. I was still sitting in the Baisakhi 2017 Gurdwara created at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The space had been transformed into a magnificent and sacred gurdwara in honor of our Siri Guru Granth Sahib and Guru Gobind Singh’s 350th birth anniversary. Wherever I looked, I could see SS Seva Kaur’s design artistry at work.
The celebration had begun at Guru Ram Das Ashram in West L.A. in the Amrit Vela. By the afternoon, the crowd had swelled to nearly 15,000. Many had already gone down the escalator to wait in the street for the Guru to be brought down for the Nagar Kirtan parade through downtown Los Angeles.
A special float had been created for the Guru in addition to the Sikh float from this year’s Rose Bowl parade.
Those of us who remained in the gurdwara were blessed to listen to MSS Kirtan Singh doing the Ardas. Harkirat Singh read the Hukam and SS Gurujodha Singh read the English translation.
With majestic reverence, SS Gurujodha Singh then respectfully placed the Guru on his covered head and started the long walk out of the gurdwara and down to the waiting crowds below. SS Hari Kirn Kaur was standing near me, having come in from staffing a donation table.
As the Guru passed by me I welled up with tears, realizing that a tiny group of dedicated Sikhs—long-time students of the Siri Singh Sahib and members of Guru Ram Das Ashram, Los Angeles—were the core organizers of this incredible event.
Seeding the Future
“In this garden of the Khalsa, there comes spring and each one of you add fragrance to it like this Baisakhi, [which] was a very sacred time. You all came; the pilgrimage was very sacred, and you may not feel you have done something special but you have done a lot. There is a lot accomplished. [The] seed may be tiny, but there is a huge tree in it and a tree has millions of seeds in it. That means the future [is] in it.”—The Siri Singh Sahib (Baisakhi 1986 Khalsa Council lecture)
Yes, of course, it takes an enormous number of volunteers to pull off this event, as well as cooperation from many gurdwaras. However, this tiny core of organizers and workers are the heart and soul, the pulse that keeps this event going. Where else in the world do around 23 gurdwaras work together in mutual harmony to create a sacred celebration of Baisakhi?
It might be helpful to understand that when we first started this event, there was much skepticism about us. Many thought we would not last. Now, by consistent, conscious selfless service by this core group, Baisakhi in LA. has become one of the most anticipated events of the year.
From the seeds planted by our beloved teacher and the blessings of God and Guru, the hearts and souls of thousands of Sikhs are touched each Baisakhi. I am grateful to the Guru Ram Das Ashram core organizers for their dedication, seva, humility, and delivery of this enormous and transformative event.
Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa! Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh!
SS Dr. Sat-Kaur Khalsa
Secretary of Religion
THE SECRETARY OF RELIGION
SS Dr. Sat Kaur Khalsa has served as Secretary of Religion since 1991 and was ordained as a Sikh Dharma Minister in 1975. As Secretary of Religion, Dr. Sat Kaur oversees and is ultimately responsible for the delivery of the functions of this Office. Dr. Sat Kaur is a long-time member of the International Khalsa Council and the Khalsa Council Executive Committee. Dr. Sat Kaur maintains a full-time psychotherapy private practice in Santa Monica, California and Santa Fe, New Mexico, counseling individuals, couples, and families to support their personal and spiritual growth. She is a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher, a facilitator of White Tantric Yoga®, and a published author.