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Sikhs Should Be Doing Seva For This Historical Gurdwara

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Vikram singh, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. Vikram singh

    Vikram singh
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    SPNer Thinker

    Feb 25, 2005
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    An American Sikh leader has urged Washington to rebuild a historic Sikh shrine in Iraq, destroyed by extremists three years ago.

    Rajwant Singh met Secretary of Defence Robert Gates Wednesday during a White House ceremony to welcome the Pope and requested him to help reconstruct the gurdwara in Baghdad that was erected to mark the visit of the Sikh religion founder Guru Nanak to the city in the early 16th century.

    Singh, chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, told Gates that Sikhs in the US and India revere the shrine and want to see Pentagon offer the required assistance and resources towards its restoration.

    Gates promised to look into the matter.

    'The shrine is a symbol of interfaith harmony and dialogue,' Singh told the defence secretary, adding that Iraqis have always been tolerant of other religions and have shown respect for all communities especially Indians. Iraqi Muslims had, in fact, been taking care of the shrine.

    The shrine was built next to the tomb of a Muslim saint, which still stands there. During his visit to Baghdad, Guru Nanak met a Muslim holy man named Bahlol Dana, which represents the first dialogue between the two religions.

    Recent visits by the Indian press revealed complete destruction of the gurdwara bombed by extremists.

    Singh also brought up the subject during his meetings with other political leaders including Senator Ted Kennedy and Congressman Steny Hoyer, House Majority leader.

    Singh told them that the Indian government would be willing to join in the restoration of the sacred site with which so many Indians have an emotional attachment.

    He added in a press release: 'Sikhs are proud to be Americans and they are an integral and productive part of the American society. Many Sikhs are serving proudly in Iraq and Afghanistan.'

    US urged to help rebuild historic gurdwara in Iraq
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    1947-2014 (Archived)
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    Jun 17, 2004
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    Nanaak in Baghdad

    He charmed even the most mighty with his songs of love -- for all humanity and all of nature. He sang of an eternity that was greater than 7 universes and 7 planets.
    Baghdad was, in Nanak's time, a centre of Muslim culture - it was home to pirs and sufi fakirs. Guru Nanak stayed in Baghdad for four months and interacted with the holy men there, one of whom was Bahlol. Read the story at this link:

    On The Tomb of a Fakir

    Here is part of the story,

    Guru Nanak Meets Bahlol In Baghdad
    Baghdad was, in Nanak's time, a centre of Muslim culture - it was home to pirs and sufi fakirs. Guru Nanak stayed in Baghdad for four months and interacted with the holy men there, one of whom was Bahlol.

    Guru Nanak sang of the infinity of God and His infinite creation. Bahlol said that the Qur'an had mentioned seven earths and seven heavens only. Guru Nanak urged that the universe was not confined to seven earths and seven heavens but had millions and millions of planets and worlds and the Guru greeted all in the name of Sat Kartar.

    Bahlol and his son would talk to Nanak often, discussing all these issues and eventually, Bahlol found that he was getting closer to Nanak's philosophy. Soon Bahlol and his son were convinced of the truth of Guru Nanak's teaching and they became his bhaktas.

    Sri Ananda Acharya, an Indian swami who travelled widely wrote Snow Birds, a record of his travels. Sri Ananda Acharya eventually made Norway his home.

    On reading an Arabic inscription in a shrine outside the town of Baghdad, he wrote:

    "Upon this slab of granite didst thou sit discoursing of love and holy light, O Guru Nanak! Prince among India's holy ones! What song didst thou sing to charm the soul of Iran! What peace from the Himalayas' lonely caves and forests didst thou carry to the groves and rose-gardens of Baghdad? What light from Badrinath's snowy peak didst thou bear to illuminate the heart of Bahlol, thy saintly Iranian disciple!...

    "Eight fortnights did Bahlol hearken to thy words on Life and its Mystery, on the Path and the Spring Eternal, while the moon waxed and waned in the pomegranate groves beside the grass-covered Desert of the Dead! And after thou, O Nanak, didst depart for thy beloved Bharat, Bahlol, the fakir, spoke to none: he listened not to the voice of man. And his fame spread, far and wide, and the Shah of Iran came to pay him homage: but the holy fakir took no earthly treasure nor listened to the praise of kings and courtiers... "Thus lived he, lonely, devoted, thoughtful, for 60 years, sitting before the stone on which thy sacred feet had rested. And ere he left this house of avidya, he wrote these words on the stone: Here spake the Hindu Guru Nanak to fakir Bahlol, and for these 60 years, since the Guru left Iran, the soul of Bahlol has rested on the Master's Word, like a bee poised on a dawnlit honey rose".

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