Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

Heritage Gold Nugget Found in Golden Temple Amrtisar !!

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by Gyani Jarnail Singh, May 18, 2009.

  1. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
    Expand Collapse
    Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,623
    Likes Received:
    14,188
    The Christian Century

    May 19, 2009
    Sikh wisdom
    by Miroslav Volf

    One of the most recognizable pieces of religious
    architecture in the world is the Golden Temple in
    Amritsar, India, the most significant place of
    worship of the Sikhs. The upper part of this
    ornate rectangular marble structure is covered in
    gold. I saw the gleaming temple early in the
    morning, before sunrise, when it was bathed in
    soft artificial light. It stood immovable as a
    huge gilded rock, its reflected image dancing
    gently on the surface of the surrounding pool.

    I was in Amritsar as a Christian consultant for a
    meeting of the Elijah Board of World Religious
    Leaders, organized by my friend Rabbi Alon
    Goshen-Gottstein. I had written a position paper
    to serve as a basis for discussions that would
    include the Dalai Lama and the chief rabbi of
    Jerusalem. Six writers of position papers
    representing different world religions had
    discussed their drafts with one another and with
    a larger interfaith group of scholars. It was a
    fascinating exercise. As I was writing, I was
    aided by wisdom from other faith traditions. What
    I presented as genuinely my own was in part received from others.

    I grew up solidly Protestant in an overwhelmingly
    Catholic and Orthodox environment controlled by
    aggressively secular communists. Unlike the
    communists, those in our Protestant tribe
    nurtured a sense of the holy. But we differed
    from the Catholics and the Orthodox in that for
    us holiness was not to be located in time and
    space. The eternal and omnipresent God was holy;
    people could be holy if they made themselves
    available for God; times and places were not
    holy. We did not follow a liturgical calendar
    closely, and we met for worship in remodeled
    rooms of an ordinary house on an ordinary street.
    As a child of a pastor, I lived in that house;
    the neighbor kids and I played soccer in its yard
    and marbles on the patch of dirt in front of it.
    As examples of sacred architecture, the places
    where I experienced God*in restless rebellion and
    not just in sweet surrender*were the polar opposites of the Golden Temple.

    At the temple I walked barefoot and with covered
    head around the holy pool in which people took
    ritual baths. I observed the people quietly
    streaming to the temple and walking by the place
    where Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is kept, the holy
    book which ultimately makes the place holy. But I
    didn't feel spiritually pulled in. I was a
    sympathetic observer, learning, questioning,
    puzzling over things, appreciating. I remained an outsider, not a participant.

    Yet I took with me something unforgettable, a
    nugget of enacted religious wisdom that I cherish
    more than I would a piece of that temple's gold.

    The next day, as I walked one more time within
    the temple complex, I wanted to buy a souvenir
    for my two boys. Then it dawned on me: I hadn't
    seen a vendor or a shop anywhere on the temple
    premises. "Thousands of religious tourists mill
    around here every day," I thought. "There must be
    a place to buy souvenirs!" But there wasn't.

    You had to leave the temple complex and step onto
    the profane ground of surrounding streets to
    satisfy your tourist appetite. There peddlers
    were as busy as anywhere else in the world, and I
    found what I was looking for*a small kirpan, a
    ritual sword that all baptized Sikh wear. But not
    on the holy site*there the only commercial
    transaction that took place was the purchase of a
    "ticket" to walk across the bridge to the temple
    in the middle of the lake. The ticket was a bowl
    of porridge, the size of which depended on how
    much you paid. You could eat some of it, but you
    were expected to put at least a portion of it
    into large bowls. When the bowls were filled,
    they were carried off to feed the poor.

    The contrast between the Golden Temple and other
    religious sites I've seen could not be greater.
    Everywhere else, greedy people*often religious
    leaders with business managers*were trying to
    cash in on the devotion of visitors. Here that
    devotion was channeled into feeding the hungry. I
    was reminded of the story of Jesus' cleansing of
    the temple, recorded in all four Gospels. "And he
    entered the temple and began to drive out those
    who were selling and those who were buying in the
    temple. . . . 'Is it not written,' he said, '"My
    house shall be called a house of prayer for all
    the nations"? But you have made it a den of
    robbers.'" The Gospels consistently tie Jesus'
    death to the cleansing of the temple. Mark's
    account continues, "And when the chief priests
    and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him."

    I came away from the Golden Temple with a nugget
    of wisdom*houses of worship should not be sites
    of commercial activity, but places of gift giving
    to the needy, just as faith itself is not to be
    bought and sold but freely given. That Sikh
    wisdom turned out to be buried treasure of my own faith.

    Miroslav Volf, a Century editor at large, teaches at Yale Divinity School.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads Forum Date
    Golden Temple Sarovar Gurmat Vichaar Apr 23, 2016
    Golden temple Blogs Oct 21, 2015
    Heritage Why Sikhs Don't Want The Golden Temple To Be Declared A World Heritage Site History of Sikhism Apr 29, 2015
    Iaf Asked Help From Golden Temple To Prepare Meals For J&k Flood Relief Sikh Organisations Mar 10, 2015
    Organic Langar At Darbar Sahib (golden Temple), Amritsar Health & Nutrition Mar 10, 2015

  3. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
    Expand Collapse
    Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,623
    Likes Received:
    14,188
    He writes......

    Yet I took with me something unforgettable, a
    nugget of enacted religious wisdom that I cherish
    more than I would a piece of that temple's gold.
    !!!

    Looks like a Foreigner appreciates what we really have....while we continue to admire the "Gold" plating exteriors....:yes::yes::yes:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. dalsingh

    dalsingh
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,064
    Likes Received:
    233
    Gyani ji, that is a wonderful story!! Thank you for sharing.:star::star:
     
  5. Rory

    Rory
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    323
    Brilliant, very inspiring!
     

Share This Page