People all over the world are being confined to their homes due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and it’s a challenging time for many people. In this challenging time, the Sikh community is making a remarkable and invaluable contribution to the life of this world and to so many others, just as it has always done. Sikhs are those people who put the community’s needs before their own and seek to lighten the burden facing many today.
It’s a fact known the world over that wherever there are Sikhs or Sikh Temples called Gurudwara Sahib, nobody starves. Today when the whole world is grappling with the Pandemic called Covid19, sources of livelihood have been hurt badly, people are running out of money and ration; Sikhs are serving humanity in various ways. Sikhs are distributing Langar ( free food) as per their age-old tradition. The Sikh community and community kitchens of Sikh shrines in all over the world is working tirelessly to deliver free meals to people struggling with self-isolation and financial hardship amid the coronavirus crisis. As per the Sikh faith, there is no discrimination among people of different colours, races, religions, the rich and the poor. People of all religions sit together in a queue and eat Langar (also known as divine food). During these tough times when everyone is thinking about his/her own welfare and safety sitting at home, Sikhs are making sure there is food on everyone’s plate
The basic principle of Sikh religion, is it’s selfless seva. The Sikh religion was founded by Guru Nanak Dev ji during fifteen century. Once Guru Nanak Dev ji’s father gave him money and sent him to make some business. Guru Nanak Dev ji spent all the money feeding homeless, and hungry, holy men that he met on the way. When he returned empty handed, his father became very angry. Guru Nanak Dev ji insisted that doing good deeds for others he had earned an excellent profit.
To remove discriminations, Guru Nanak Dev ji gave the concept of Sangat and Pangat. Everyone is welcome in Sangat and Pangat. The people who joined the Sangat were made to sit together and discuss the teachings and compositions. In Pangat, everyone sits down together in a row for the Langar (free meal given to all regardless of caste or religion as a gesture of equality), regardless of who is coming from which caste. Also there are three basic pillars of Sikhism formalized by Guru Nanak Dev ji, Naam japna (mediatate and recite the name of lord, feel his divine presence in everything and everyone), Kirat Karna (earn your livelihood through hard work and by honest means), Vand Chakna (to selflessly serve and share with others especially with those less fortunate than yourself).
Sikh organisations and individuals are not only providing essential services in a difficult time, but also inspiring many others to do the same. There is a message in it for the whole human race i.e if ever one sees somebody go hungry; one should give them food because there is no greater service than that. A great salute to Sikh community for their selfless service to the society. Seeing Sikhs go that extra mile to help others fills one with zeal and zest, it gives us a ray of hope; one feels humaneness and positivity are still alive.
Jaswinder Singh (Lect. In Physics)
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