Sri Guru Gobind Singh 347th Birth Day Celebration in Los Angeles
At the age 9 when his father martyred to save the basic human right of Hindu community
Los Angeles, Dec. 25, 2013
The 347th BirthDay of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji was celebrated with great fanfare on the day of Christmas, Dec. 25th, 2013 at the Pomona Fairplex. The Darbar-E-Khalsa was organized by the International Institute of Gurmat Studies (IIGS).
What a coincidence! Sri Guru Gobindji was born on the same day as Jesus; no wonder our Guruji was as sacrificing, giving, and leads our way!!
The program was scheduled from 7 AM to 3 PM, but actually ended only after 5 PM. The program started with the chanting of Sri Guru Granth Sahibji at 6 AM followed by ASA Di Vaar, Akhand Kirtan Jatha, Ardaas, Shabad Kirtan, Shabad Kirtan by youth groups, by various by various groups from all the Gurudwaras in Southern California.
Thousands of people attended the celebration of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji 347th Birth Day. The cost of the program exceeded $100,000, donated by various Gurudwaras and individuals. It is such a great sight to see food being cooked at 4 or 5 tents in utensils which are big one can not see anywhere. Cooking for such a big crowd is a challenge, which was met easily by the volunteers. You could see brotherhood and fraternity in their words and actions. It was a collective effort of many service minded individuals, and the main contact was Mr. Kavi Raj Singh.
According to Mr. Kavi Raj Singh:
Darbar-E-Khalsa: Sikh Sangats came in thousands to celebrate Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s 347th Birthday! On a beautiful sunny day, Sikh Sangats came out in thousands from all over the country to celebrate their beloved 10th Guru's 347th Birthday with grandeur, pomp and reverence. Darbar-E-Khalsa is an event that’s organized by International Institute of Gurmat Studies (IIGS) every year on Christmas Day. On the 28th sending off the Babaji’s swaari in the helicopter amidst the thunderous Jaikaras.
As in previous years, this year too, the whole place was very eloquently decorated. Babaji’s darbar hall seemed so regal. It was decorated tastefully in red, blue and golden colors. A special dome was created under which Sri Guru Granth Sahib’s prakash was done. Inside the hall, there was the Khalsa Bazaar and the kids corner and one had to walk through there to get to the Darbar Hall. Outside was the place to eat variety of food varying from gol guppe, chole bhathure, dosas, veg burgers, pakoras, jalebi with rabri, sweets and Guru ka langar among other things. Also, outside one got to see the live demonstrations of Gatka by more than 60 participants. It was an amazing sight!
The day started early at 6:00 am with Babaji’s Prakash followed by Asa Di Vaar done by Akhand Kirtani Jatha. After the Ardas and Hukam, morning session continued with Shabad Kirtan by Bhai Sahibs Sobha Singh ji, Daljit Singh ji, Sardarni Simran Kaur and the Youth Groups from Gurdwara Santa Ana, Sur shabad parivar jatha, Gurdwara Walnut, Valley Sikh Temple, Khalsa Care Foundation, Ujjal Didar Memorial foundation, Baba Farid Sangeet Academy, Gurdwara Buena Park and IIGS youth group. Dasmesh International Award. This year’s recipient of this award was Bhai Manmohan Singh ji from San Jose, Ca. He was honored and recognized for his untiring sewa over the past 3 decades. During these years, Bhai sahib has taught many adults and children Gurbani Kirtan and created teaching material both in English and Punjabi. Bhai Sahib has been involved in San Jose Gurdwara Sahib for many years. He also was the Head Granthi at Gurdwara El Sobrante in northern CA.
Speeches: Sardar Sahib Ajit Singh, a young Sikh, spoke very passionately about the life of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji. This was followed by a small talk by Sardar Kavi Raj Singh. He too reminded everyone present about how much love and compassion Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji had for us and the entire humanity and that He sacrificed everything to protect and help us find our way Home. Now is the time for us to take a good look at ourselves and bring a change for better so that our Guru ji can be proud of us. Sardar Daljit Singh ji thanked everyone for coming to Darbar-E-Khalsa. He also thanked all the volunteers, supporters, well-wishers, sewadars and Gurudwara Sahibs of southern California for their support and cooperation. This event would not be the same without everyone’s help.
This was followed by Shabad Kirtan by IIGS, Bhai Sahibs: Jatinder Singh ji, Harjinder Singh Ji, Gurdeep
Singh and Sucha Singh Ji, Ajit Singh ji, Guru Ram Das Ashram, Sardar Jasdev Singh ji (IIGS, San Jose), Bhai
Sahib Bhavandeep Singh and Jasdeep Singh ji (Zakhmi family), Bhai Sahib Nirmal Singh Ji followed by Joint
performance by Five Prominent Ragi Jathas of Southern California: Bhai Sahibs Raghubir Singh Ji, Jaswant
Anniversary of Darbar-E-Khalsa, Sikh Sangats came early and left only after Singh ji, Varinder Singh ji, Jatinder Singh ji and Parvinder Singh Ji.
Morning Ardas was done by Bhai Sahib Manmohan Singh Ji, while afternoon Ardas was done Sardarni Harmala Kaur, Sukhasan Ardas was done by Sardarni Gurpreet Kaur and Final Ardas of the day was done by Bhai Sahib Kirtan Singh Ji. Morning Hukamnama was taken by Sardar Kanwarbir Singh and in the afternoon, Sardarni Manjit Kaur took the Hukam. Announcements were done by Sardarni Puneet Kaur and Prabhneet Kaur. Sardar Sarabdayal Singh and Sardar Gurdayal Singh were the main MCs for the program.Grand Finale:Upon samapati, Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji was carried out in a well decorated palki. Everyone was chanting "Waheguru, Waheguru" to the beat of the nagara. Hundreds of children participated in the procession which was led by an impressive gatka performance by the youth. The procession made its way to a helicopter specially chartered to fly the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji back. As in every year, thousands send off their revered Guru with thunderous jaikaras. Large bouquets of balloons were released to mark the end of the celebration as the helicopter soared away.
International Institute of Gurmat Studies (IGS or IIGS) is one of the leading Sikh organizations in the world today that has been serving the Sikh Community since 1955. IIGS was founded by Late Captain Kanwar Harbhajan Singh Ji. IIGS is prominent worldwide for its historic role in pioneering the International Sikh Youth Camping Movement. Since 1985, IIGS is registered in USA as a 501(C)(3) organization. In the last 2 years, IIGS has given 5 scholarships and 5 ‘Special Recognition Awards’. This year, IIGS is giving 3 scholarships of $1000/each. For more details, visit www.iigs.com and click on ‘IIGS Scholarships’. Deadline to apply is January 31, 2014. Apply today