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Darbar-E-Khalsa-- IIGS


IIGS-Darbar-e-Khalsa Celebrate 346th Birthday of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Became Guru at the age 9 when his father martyred to save the basic human right of Hindu community

Los Angeles, Dec. 25, 2012
Gary Singh/ NRIpress

Guru Gobind Singh was the tenth and last living Gurus of Sikhism. He became Guru on November 24, 1675 at the age of nine, following in the footsteps of his father Guru Teg Bahadur ji..... Hind Di Chaadar’ Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was martyred at Chandni Chowk, Delhi by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, for his perseverance to save the basic human right of Hindu community in particular and The Humanity in general, of practicing any faith freely without interference or duress.

Birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh is celebrated as Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti or Gurpurab or Prakash Utsav.The annual celebration of the Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s birthday is based on the Nanakshahi calendar and it takes place on the 23rd Day of Sikh calendar month Poh which coincides with 5th January.

Jetha from left to right facing the stage (above photo)
Siri Gopal Singh Khalsa, Kirtan-Singh Khalsa, Mahan Atma Kaur Khalsa, Gurprasad Kaur Khalsa, Seva Kaur Khalsa, Saheb Singh

In Los Angeles, California, IIGS ( Darbar-e-Khalsa) celebrated 346th Birthday of 10th Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji at Fairplex-La County Fairgrounds. The congregation began this morning at 7.00 AM continued up to 4.30 PM and was marked by the recitations of Gurubani Keertans and Kathas (Holy Hymns) by the renowned and reputed Ragi Jathas (Sikh Preachers).

More than 300 volunteers helped with various sewas including Setting up, food, shoe sewa, reception committee, oordinating, Babaji's room sewa, karah parshad making and distribution, planning and other activities.

List of MCing: Sarabdayal Singh, Jaskiran Kaur, Payal Kaur, Baljinder Kaur, Manjit Kaur (Charaiya), Prabhneet Kaur, JotSukhmani Kaur, Gurdayal Singh, Nimrata Kaur

Food Sewa: Gurdwara KCF, Gurdwara Walnut, Singh Cash and Carry, Diamond Palace, Peacock Resturant, Mantra Restaurant, S. Manjeet Singh, S. J.P. Singh, S. Shingara Singh, S. Jagmeet Singh, S. Sarbjit Singh and the unnamed sewadars/sewardarnis with each one of them and lot more were responsible for Food/langar sewa that carried on through out the day starting with early tea at 6:00am.

S. Daljit Singh ji thanked everyone for coming.

Thousands of devotees in their multi-colored turbans and dupattas, walked delightfully behind Sri Guru Granth Sahib’s Golden Paalki. While the Panj Piaraas escorted the Palki, the Sangat took turn to shoulder-carry the Palki, and the overhead colorful umbrella to the waiting helicopter.

Limited people were allowed near helicopter. After Ardas, Sri Guru Granth Sahib’s helicopter slowly started lifting up and thousands people reverberated with the thunderous Jaikaraas of Bole So Nihaal, Sat Sri Akaal.

Jabarjung Singh, California wrote:

Darbar-E-Khalsa is our Christmas Celebrations!
Jabarjung Singh

It was Decemeber 25th, 2012. A very big day in our family. Not because of Christmas but because of Darbar-E-Khalsa. We don’t have to wake up the kids, they wake us up. Let’s go dad, let’s go mom, I could hear the excitement in our younger ones voice. I want to go meet ‘Baba on the wheels’. If you don’t know him, he is the gentleman on the skates with a guitar singing Waheguru and Guru Raamdas and Happy Gurpurab and distributing candies. His name is Harnar Singh. You couldn’t miss him. I have learnt over the years, he is a big star on Venice Beach and even has been in many films.

So the car got loaded and we started an hour long drive to Fairplex Pomona. This is how our Guruji’s birthday should be celebrated: in style. While driving, kids were chattering among themselves of whom they are going to meet and what they are going to do. Our eldest one had his ‘Bana’ on for his Gatka participation and our daughter was looking forward to meeting her friends. It’s a tradition. We all get together at Darbar-E-Khalsa. It’s our Christmas if that makes any sense.

As our car pulled into the parking lot of LA fairgrounds where Darbar-E-Khalsa was organized, the excitement grew. As we approached the parking attendant, with a smile, he handed us a ticket and the ‘Schedule of the Day’ along with other information. As I was parking, our younger one saw the tram and got excited. Let’s go, I want to get on the tram and so we all did. As we got off it, our little one ran towards the ‘Baba on the wheels’… screaming candy man!

As always, the place was beautifully decorated and everywhere one could see a sea of turbans. So we took a vote, do we take our shoes off first and go ‘Matha Tek’ or go eat first. It was the former. Everybody got in the long line of shoes and after taking our shoes off we went past the Reception area. My eyes were desparately looking to grab a glimpse of Papaji who had started this beautiful tradition 27 years ago. A bear hug from him is what I always looked forward to but for the past two Darbar-E-Khalsa that hasn’t happened as he is not among us anymore. It seems like yesterday when 27 years ago I had migrated from India and came to the first Darbar-E-Khalsa in La Habra Heights. Even then this was a grand celebration. That’s when I had met Papaji for the first time. I wasn’t even married then. Ever since that bond and love for this dynamite personality grew in my heart.

For many years, I was a regular at IIGS house bi-weekly programs. Anticipation of meeting him, made the drive go by fast. Today, I see his sons and their families and other IIGS members carry on the tradition of serving the community.

Our family was greeted with the same warmth that we all were so used to. Red Carpet welcomed us as we enter the building 6 and as we walk towards the hall, one goes through  a variety of stalls on both sides. As we enter Babaji’s room, the grandeur of the occasion begins to sink in. Wow is the word that comes to mind looking at the amazing decorations. Hall was packed to the brim and multiple lines of Sangat were coming all the way out of the hall.

It took almost 40 minutes before we could pay our obeisance to Sri Guru Granth Sahib. After enjoying Kirtan for a while, we all came out to enjoy the yummiest of foods. We came out to enjoy the many delicacies that were served all over the place. As we stood in the lines, enjoying the beautiful day, one could look at the snow covered mountainous range in the back.

There was a big crowd gathering on one side as the gatka team was getting ready to perform. On the other side, long lines were forming for langar. The family decided to split. My eldest son decided to go for Gatka and my daughter disappeared in the crowd of sangat with her friends. She was going to help with the shoe sewa and my younger one took some money and went to the stalls to buy something that caught his eye. My wife and I stood in the line for cholle bathure and Nan. There was fresh jalebi, gol guppai and a lot of other stuff.

While in line, we ran into our friends and family and soon we were all meeting and greeting each other. Before long, the day long celebrations were coming to an end. We all went in to join in the Ardas. This year, the ardas was dedicated to those who died in Wisconsin Sikh Temple and Newtown Connecticut school massacre. I also noticed a young girl capturing signatures on a big card for the victims of Newtown school students.

After the Hukamnama, Babaji was carried in this beautiful Palki amidst the chant of Waheguru Waheguru Waheguru to the helicopter waiting to receive Babaji’s swaari and take it home. This year, I too got a chance to get close and carry babaji’s palki. As we walked passed the sangat to the helicopter, it seemed not a single soul was willing to leave before waving good bye to Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.

After waving good byes, we too headed for the car and before long we were heading home. Kids were busy sharing their experiences and I couldn’t help wondering what our lives would be without Darbar-E-Khalsa. Thank you Papaji for this beautiful gift to our family!