Report by – Niharika S. Grade 9th, Avantika
Yesterday, Sunday Feb 12th, 2023, all of the JCHYKs (Grades 9 – 12) at Chinmaya Gurukul had the amazing opportunity to visit the SEWA Gurdwara in Roswell! It was an exciting experience for all of us, and we gained a lot of insight into Sikhism.
We started the day off by meeting up in the parking lot and getting assembled. We made sure to put on head coverings, as it was an important symbol of respect. We were welcomed with a delicious breakfast (mithai, donuts, khaman, pakoda, and tea).
After that, we headed to the main prayer hall called Divan where the Guru Granth Sahib was placed on an altar. We listened to melodious Kirtan (devotional songs like bhajans), which everyone enjoyed a lot. Afterwards, we had Langar Prasad, which consisted of raita, chole, paneer subzi, rice, roti, and jalebi – all of which were very flavorful, satvik foods. In fact, some of the JCHYKs and Chinmaya parents got to serve the food too.
Then, we had a peek into the Sikh culture and religion. We learned that there are 5 K’s, (Kesh, Kirpan, Kachera, Kanga, Kara) which are 5 objects that are markers of Sikh identity. Additionally, I came to the conclusion that even though Hinduism and Sikhism are different religions and have different traditions, the end goal is the same, whether that be called Moksha or enlightenment.
In Sikhism, the role of the guru is very important, similar to Hinduism and Vedanta. The word Sikh is derived from Sanskrit, directly meaning “student”, so in a way we all are Sikhs.
All in all, we had a wonderful experience, and I think that the people there were very warm and welcoming to us! Thank you to the JCHYK organizers and the folks at the Gurdwara for allowing us such a wonderful opportunity!
Sharing a couple of pictures from the field trip: