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Community Kitchen of The Sikhs - Book By Parkash Singh
Preface To Book 'Community Kitchen of The Sikhs' By Parkash Singh
Sangat and pangat are two outstanding institutions that Sikhism provides its followers for the corporate practice of religion. Sangat is Temple of Naam and pangat is the Temple of Bread. The Sikhs are ordained to
|Meditate upon the Naam|
|And meditate upon the corn.|
Corn that symbolise the subsistence of our lives, is a Divine Gift. Meditating upon it, therefore, is worshipful living in gratitude.
Into this world we came under the Divine Will. Under that very Divine Will must we live our lives. That we cannot do as renegade ascetics. We must be active participants in the struggle of life. We must first earn our living, our daily corn. Honest earning, in itself, is worshipful living. A Sikh is expected to go even further: to share his earnings with others, particularly those in need:
|He alone understands the real Path, sayeth Nanak|
|Who not just earns his living with honest labour|
|But also gives other a part thereof from his own hands.|
The Langar, which is how the pangat is more popularly known, is an institution where divinely inspired service of mankind is practiced unremittantly. Day and night the great Yajna of services goes on. Hundreds of devotees can be seen engaged in cooking, serving, dish-washing, cleaning the utensils and tidying the dining premises. Multitudes are fed in the Sikh langars everyday. This marvellous institution is a means to ensure that none would go hungry in the Kingdom of God. That is why a langar is open to anyone and everyone, of whatever faith or creed or caste or status, without let or hindrance.
Equality of mankind, dignity of labour, welfare of all, and gratitude to the Providence are all practiced together in this unique institution. Religion is actually lived here, not merely professed. And it is practiced not for any selfish concerns, like personal salvation, but entirely for affirming the Brother-hood of Man.
The history, philosophy and the working of this institution in all the places where the Sikh communities reside, merits the notice by all other communities. It is a gift of the Sikh Gurus not to the Sikh alone, but to the entire world.
It is a matter of pride for me that my own brother, Sardar Parkash Singh, younger to me chronologically, but elder spiritually, produced a book detailing the various aspects of this institution. He now brings out a revised version thereof. Tremendous effort and admirable scholarship has gone into both the writing of this book and the revision that it has now undergone. Blessed be these efforts, and blessed be all those who read the book or gift it to others to read.
Table Of Contents For 'Community Kitchen of The Sikhs' By Parkash Singh
|--Preface Jaswant Singh Neki||7|
|1.||Discipline of Service||9|
|2.||The Institution of Langar||14|
|3.||Sangat and Pangat||19|
|4.||Guru Nanak's Charity and the Free Kitchen||27|
|5.||Guru Angad and the Langar||39|
|6.||Guru Amar Das and the Institution of Langar||45|
|7.||Langar at Ramdaspura||55|
|8.||Guru Arjan and the Free Kitchen||60|
|9.||Langar and Guru Hargobind||64|
|10.||Langar at Kiratpur||73|
|11.||The Young Guru and the Free Kitchen||76|
|12.||Langar at Anandpur||78|
|13.||Guru Gobind Singh and Deg Tegh Fateh||81|
|Appendix: The Institution of Karah Prashad||101|
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