Notes From the Road » Snatam Kaur


Vigil for Oak Creek Gurdwara

Those of us who frequent yoga studios may be familiar with the work and voice of Snatam Kaur. Here she offers some reflections and two downloadable chants as prayer for the tragedy at the Gurdwara in Oak Creek, WI. In this I think the character of the Sikh faith is revealed. Those who work and pray for healing in Oak Park, our nation and the world may be interested in this offering.

Sat Nam.

We invite you to light a candle and send your prayers from your home, with your family, and with your community for those who lost their lives in the Oak Creek Sikh Temple shooting with these two sacred chants from the Sikh tradition (please click here for the free downloads of these chants). In the past few days since the shooting at the Oak Creek Gurdwara (temple) there has been a great outpouring of prayers, and compassion from the American public for the Sikh Community in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and across the United States. As we understand the details of what occurred we see the pure ignorance that caused such an act, we see the anger, and we see the terror. We see the large gap of understanding and connection in our society, that such an event could occur in our country to such a peaceful community as the Sikhs in a place of worship. As the Muslim mosque was burnt down just the next day in Joplin Missouri our hearts wept once again.

However this blog is to call upon the light, the love, and the strength of human spirit. So how do we move forward? In the Sikh prayer that we recite every morning there is a beautiful line that comes to mind now. “May we remember those who saw the faults of others yet overlooked them.” And so as our eyes turn beyond the faults to find the connection, to find the way to move on, let us together find the light.

We see the incredible heroism, in knowing how the President of the Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Satwant Singh Kaleka, faced the shooter with a butter knife and from what reports tell us was able to hinder his rampage for a time. We see the absolute shining spirit of humanity come through Lt. Brian Murphy as he encouraged his fellow officers to go inside the Gurdwara and help the people inside before tending to his wounds. We feel the love and beauty of the Sikhs of the Oak Creek Gurdwara who offered Langar (a sacred meal) to the police officers just hours after the shooting; always serving, always caring, true Sikhs to the core. We see the mass media coverage of Sikhs so that the world can better understand who we are as a community and we are grateful for it. We feel the outpouring of sympathy from people of all walks of life. We see the turning of the tide, as people in this country are truly supporting the Sikh American community in the wake of this tragedy.

So let us pray together. People of all walks of life, I invite you. Let us pray for all of those who died on August 5th in the Oak Creek Gurdwara. Let us pray for their families. Let us pray for the sanctity of the Gurdwara in Oak Creek, and for the sanctity and protection of all places of worship of all faiths. Let us pray for the Mosque in Joplin Missouri, may it be rebuilt as a place for this peaceful community to thrive. Let us pray for the strength of our commitment to reach out to each other in our diverse communities to find understanding and connection. Let us pray for the soul of the shooter Wade Page that the pain that was in his heart and is in the hearts of others in this country and in this world may be healed, healed, healed. And let us know deeply within that that the light of our prayers, our candles, and our courage, most certainly is overcoming this tragedy with the victory of the human spirit. I invite you to light a candle and send your prayers from your home, with your family, and with your community with these two sacred chants from the Sikh tradition. You can chant along or remain in silence. In the spirit of truly connecting in your prayer, we ask that you cover your head as you recite these sacred words, as is the Sikh way.

via Notes From the Road.

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About Richard Hudak

I am Senior Adjunct Faculty in Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and I have been a practitioner of Anusara™ yoga. I have completed 200 hours of teacher training within its diaspora community, consistent with its philosophy and alignment principles.
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