LOS ANGELES, CA – More than 12,000 devotees listened to nearly 40 Raagi’s and Keertani Jathas perform Shabad Keertan at Darbar-e-Khalsa organized by the International Institute of Gurmat Studies (IIGS) celebrating the 348th birthday of Guru Gobind Singh on December 25 at the L.A. County Fairgrounds here. The program started...
Fifteen youth Keertani groups of Valley Sikh Temple, Gurdwara Buena Park, Gurdwara Walnut, Sur Shabad Parivar, Baba Farid Academy, Gurdwara Santa Ana, Khalsa Care Foundation and Ujjal Didar Memorial Foundation did Shabad Keertan.
Sixteen Raagi Jathas including Bhai Parvinder Singh Sagar (Gurdwara Apple Valley), Sikh Women Now, Sur Shabad Bibian Parivar, IIGS group, Bhai Bhupinder Singh (Gurdwara Alhambra), Bhai Sobha Singh (Gurdwara Norco), Bhai Gurdeep Singh, Sucha Singh (Gurdwara Lankershim), Bhai Gopal Singh (Gurdwara Buena Park), Bhai Surdeep Singh, Bhai Naib Singh, Bhai Sohan Singh Rasia, Bhai Jatinder Singh (Gurdwara Vermont), Guru Ramdas Das Ashram Jatha, Bhai Gagandeep Singh (Gurdwara Nanak Sadan) and Bhai Bhavandeep Singh Zakhmi (Gurdwara Bakersfield) performed Shabad Keertan.
Famous Keertani Jatha of IIGS headed by Sardarni Gurpreet Kaur melodiously rendered Shabad Keertan.
Five prominent Jathas of Southern California, Prof. Ranjit Singh (Bhai Mardana Academy), Bhai Raghbir Singh (Gurdwara Walnut), Bhai Jaswant Singh (Gurdwara Santa Ana), Bhai Varinder Singh (Khalsa Care Foundation) and Bhai Kulwant Singh Chandan jointly performed Keertan.
Raagi Jatha Bhai Sohan Singh Rasia and Bhai Gurdeep Singh, Sucha Singh have been performing Shabad Keertan at Darbar-e-Khalsa every year during the last 28 years since the inception of Darbar-e-Khalsa.
Enhancing the image of the Sikhs Dr. Rajwant Singh, Chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education and Senior Advisor to the National Sikh Campaign, was the keynote speaker at the Darbar-e-Khalsa.
Singh spoke on the contributions of the Tenth Master, Guru Gobind Singh. He said, “The time has come that the Sikh community works on creating a national strategy to communicate with the American people about the powerful message of the Great Guru and also to create a better understanding about the Sikh values.”
He added, “We need to engage prominent marketing media agencies who can sharpen the methodology of communication with the broader public to build maximum understanding of our faith and our identity. He informed that a notable pollster Geoff Garin, the Chief strategic Advisor to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential campaign, is releasing the most thorough study and research to shape the Sikh community’s communication strategy going forward.
He added, “It is critical that we understand how Americans perceive Sikhism and the brighter future of our community hinges on our ability to effectively tell our fellow citizens that our values are their values”.
Dr. Rajwant Singh also applauded the positive role of the IIGS in imparting the teachings of the Great Sikh Gurus among the Sikh youth in the USA and in India under the late leadership of Capt Harbhajan Singh.
Harnadar Singh, Jr. Counselor at IIGS camps read an inspiring poem on ‘Guru Gobind Singh’.
Daljeet Singh thanked the congregation for the overwhelming participation. He also thanked the volunteers and the Gurdwaras of Southern California and other Sikh organizations for their cooperation and support. Emcees for the day were Prabhneet Kaur and Sarabdayal Singh.
Gurdayal Singh read the order of the day (Hukamnama). Kavi Raj Singh did the Ardas. Manjit Kaur did flower decoration.
The Southern California Gatka teams under the supervision of Sukhpal Singh showcased Sikh martial arts.
Upon conclusion, Guru Granth Sahib was carried out in a golden palki adorned with pearls and beads. Everyone chanted “Waheguru, Waheguru” to the beats of the nagara and the procession made its way to a helicopter specially chartered to fly the Guru Granth Sahib back. Thousands send off their revered Guru with thunderous jaikaras.
During the day, hundreds of people patiently stood in long lines to get some hot breakfast of Chholey Bhatoorey, samosas, sweets and hot tea. Around noon Langer was served to the sangat.
The open- air bazaar was beautifully set up as usual by vendors selling religious artifacts, books, jewelry, audio-videos, paintings, pictures and clothes.