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Panthic Report 6/8/2019: The impact of the 1984 Sikh attacks, Sikh memorial month

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San Jose Smagam


Click to register for the upcoming San Jose camp – June 21st-23rd


Importance of Sangat and Samagams


There may come a time when we might need inspiration, support, and help to navigate life’s challenges. For a Gursikh, Satsangat is that place – where one can listen, learn and apply. Sangat has the power to transform an individual while offering coping strategies for life’s ups and downs. It’s not surprising that our Gurus had the utmost respect for the satsangat.

In sangat, we learn the real purpose of our lives, which is to meet Waheguru while alive. One of the places to connect with sangat is at samagams. Samagams present us with the time and solitude necessary to rejuvenate and reflect on the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, which is essential for spiritual growth.

Let’s take a look at other reasons to join satsangat and samagams:

  1. Breakaway from daily routine. Samagams help us break our monotonous routine and rejuvenate our inner self. We’re able to discover Gurbani-inspired perspectives which can help us think more clearly and solve problems differently. This is not only beneficial for ourselves but for our families.
  2. Listen and learn. With no distractions from your phone, TV or email, you can listen and learn from the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Families have the opportunity to learn more about gurbani, simran, jeevan jaach, and how these core concepts relate to every stage in life.
  3. Apply the teachings. Sangat is a platform where one can learn how to apply the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Through samagams, we slowly transform from being a passive Sikh to a Guru-inspired Sikh. Our goal should not only be to acquire knowledge but also learn how to apply core Sikhi concepts in our everyday life.
  4. Share experiences and help others. Samagams attract Gursikhs from all walks of life. It’s helpful to meet others who have similar life struggles you can relate to and have learned how to apply Sikh concepts. These people become your support system as you work towards your spiritual goals. Most importantly, sangat lets you realize that you’re not alone in your journey and your challenges are not always unique.
  5. Hit refresh. With an energized mind and a fresh perspective, you’re able to go back to your everyday life and re-start your journey. You can implement newly learned ways of tackling daily life challenges through gurbani, simran and jeevan jaach. This is one way that Waheguru provides a new opportunity to work towards the purpose of your life.
  6. More economical than vacations. Samagams are much more economical and cost-effective as opposed to regular vacations. You don’t have to worry about things like meals, accommodations or transportation. Local sevadars will take care of all of this. Samagams have long-term benefits in the form of applicable lessons from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, while vacations only provide fleeting moments of pleasure.
  7. Investment for the future. While we meticulously plan for our kids’ education and personal retirement through regular savings plans, we often forget to pay attention to our personal and family’s spiritual well-being. Spending our time and money to attend satsangat and  samagams is an investment for an enriched and healthier spiritual life. Attending samagams and satsangat is our investment to advance spiritually.

Take action: Sign up for the biggest samagam of 2019 in North America at Gurdwara Sahib of San Jose, California, June 21 to June 23. The theme of this samagam: How can I hear God’s voice? Learn more about how you can register: Gurmat Samagam.


Salary Is Not The Endgame


Salary Is Not The Endgame

Money is an essential tool that promises you and your family a safe and comfortable life. Earning money also allows you to contribute to the community. So, earning fair wages for your work and time is important.

Instead of being satisfied with what we are given, waves of greed drive our mind to chase a higher salary. In our desire to draw fat paychecks we forget the ultimate giver, Waheguru. Chasing money by ignoring other tangible aspects of healthy working life is inane and self-detrimental. Here are some other reasons to not be greedy about your compensation, and ways to be content.

You will never know what is enough.

It’s not surprising to find someone negotiating aggressively to earn the salary he or she desires but then quickly feeling insufficient and yearning for more. This is because the mind is greedy and it doesn’t always know how much enough is actually enough. The relentless chase is similar to dogs chasing a car.

ਏਹੁ ਮਨੋ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਲੋਭੀਆ ਲੋਭੇ ਲਗਾ ਲੋੁਭਾਨੁ ॥
This foolish mind is greedy; through greed, it becomes even more attached to greed.
ਅੰਤਰਿ ਲੋਭੁ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਹਲਕਾਏ ॥
Within them is greed, and they wander around like mad dogs.

Love for learning is the key.

Doing something that you enjoy will manifest in the form of higher productivity and quality, motivation to find solutions to complex problems, and learning about new areas of your field. These traits automatically result in faster promotions, higher salary, positive feedback, new opportunities, and general happiness in life. In today’s world, when technology is disrupting every industry, there’s considerable value in honing your craft, to the point where you won’t need to chase money. It’ll gravitate to you because of the value you’re able to provide.

Numbers don’t tell the complete story.

Widely cited research published in 2010 has shown that happiness plateaus at an annual salary of $75,000 ($90,000 in today’s dollars), making little difference in one’s emotional well-being beyond that. It is definitely important to be paid a fair wage for your services but other things that create a holistic and satisfying work experience include an open-minded boss, a schedule and commute that won’t drive you crazy, a sense that what you do matters, and a workplace that embraces diversity and inclusion.

Waheguru is the ultimate giver

A Gursikh is always thankful to Waheguru for the opportunity to serve, whether it is professional work or Sewa in the local gurdwara. The Gursikh performs his or her work with the intention of serving the ultimate giver, Waheguru. Constant remembrance of Waheguru keeps the Gursikh insulated from terrifying winds of greed. Everyday do simran, and the mind will automatically become pure and get rid of greed.

ਚਾਕਰੁ ਲਗੈ ਚਾਕਰੀ ਜੇ ਚਲੈ ਖਸਮੈ ਭਾਇ ॥
If a servant, performing service, obeys the Will of his Master,
ਹੁਰਮਤਿ ਤਿਸ ਨੋ ਅਗਲੀ ਓਹੁ ਵਜਹੁ ਭਿ ਦੂਣਾ ਖਾਇ ॥
his honor increases and he receives double his wages.

Image credit Artist: DEREK MICHAEL BRENNAN

Steps to Stop Worrying and Working Effectively


Steps to Stop Worrying and Working Effectively

Worry starts with a single thought. That thought, if not addressed or killed promptly, feeds on itself to become a whirlwind of thoughts or stress. Stress lives on the energy of the mind and the body. Since we got limited energy, stress is definitely not a good use of it. Stress is a parasite on the mind and body.

How do we then identify thoughts that create stress? How do we focus our mind on the action that drives result? How do we stop worrying and work effectively? Let’s learn about the steps to win over worry.

Plan your day but always be ready for change.

Once you put together a daily plan or list of tasks you set out to finish, your mind will work with clarity and conviction. Competing priorities, or new demands on your time, can change your plan but the new plan will be based on new facts. Don’t let emotions or thoughts derail your plan.

Execution is the key to progress.

Just like a farmer cannot expect a crop by thinking about it, no work is accomplished by merely thinking or worrying. Identify the inputs needed to execute a project, estimate the amount of time and effort required, assess any help that may be needed from others, and finally create a tracker to monitor the progress.

Start small.

Break-down complicated tasks into small, manageable tasks and do Simran before each block of time. For example, if a particular report might take an hour, divide your time into 20-minute blocks. Try doing 2-3 minutes of Simran before each 20-minute segment for mental clarity.

Focus on controlling your mind, not the outcomes.

Months of hard work can amount to nothing when a flood destroys a crop. A wise farmer will learn from this adversity and come out stronger next time. Similarly, if we apply our mind and efforts with the best intentions we have no reason to worry about the results. We should apply logic to understand the relationship between inputs and outputs to frame a strategy and then focus on execution. Outcomes, successful or not, will follow. Treat failures as teaching moments and celebrate the success.

Trust Waheguru with the outcome.

As gursikhs we need to spend our swaas (breath) wisely. Worry robs us of our breath that we can instead save by remembering Waheguru. We should entrust our worries or distressing situations to Waheguru and focus on doing simran. Simran gives strength to our mind. This strength helps to discern between right or wrong, useful or useless. Simran helps instinctively identify thoughts that are vague fears and of no utility.

ਨਾਨਕ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਮਤਿ ਕਰਹੁ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਤਿਸ ਹੀ ਹੇਇ ॥
O Nanak, do not worry; the Lord will take care of you.
ਜਲ ਮਹਿ ਜੰਤ ਉਪਾਇਅਨੁ ਤਿਨਾ ਭਿ ਰੋਜੀ ਦੇਇ ॥
He created the creatures in water, and He gives them their nourishment.


JAAP – Kirtan, Akath Katha, and Simran samagam – Vancouver – March 29th-31st


Kirtan, Akath Katha, and Simran samagam
Surrey & Abbotsford, BC

Dates and Times:

Friday, March 29th: 7PM – 9PM – Dasmesh Darbar Sahib (Surrey)
Saturday, March 30th: 2PM – 9PM – Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Sahib (Surrey)
Sunday, March 31st: 8:30AM – 11:30AM – Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Sahib (Surrey)
Sunday, March 31st: 12:00PM – 3:00PM – Gurdwara Kalgidhar Sahib (Abbotsford)

Everyone is welcome! Please bring your friends and family!

For accommodations and airport pickups, please contact: e: | t: +1 (604) 725-6232

The benefits of Kirtan


The Benefits of Kirtan

Kirtan is a form of music – the singing of Gurbani.

We know that performing music and even listening to music has tremendous benefits on a person’s brain activity. There are also considerable physical, emotional and social benefits. Science has been telling us all of this for a very long time. Some of these benefits include:

  • Improving mental alertness – so much so that the Alzheimer’s Society has a singing service to help those with dementia.
  • Lowering stress – this happens as the amount of cortisol decreases in a person’s bloodstream, as a result of singing
  • Boosting your confidence – singing in front of others (even a small audience) helps overcome stage fright

(Source: 11 Surprising Health Benefits of Singing)

But why is Kirtan so important? Let’s take a slightly spiritual perspective.

1) Helps you learn Gurbani.

Kirtan is the singing of Gurbani. Through singing, a person can often learn the words much more easily to Gurbani, Shabads, and Nitnem. Have you ever walked out of a Gurdwara and a particular shabad that you were just listening to is still playing in your mind? While you might be remembering the tune, you’re likely to also remember the words – the Gurbani.

2) Encourages you to do Simran

On every page of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, instructions are given to chant, jap, recite or remember. These are all different words for Simran – the practical application of Gurbani. So, when you hear Guru Sahib telling you to chant, jap, recite or remember, do just that. Learn more about how to incorporate Simran into your work schedule.

3) Kirtan is a mechanism for knowledge transfer

The Gurus were intelligent beyond their times. They realized that the message of Gurbani would need to be delivered through Kirtan across the world. This was likely because the written word of Gurbani was not easily accessible at the time, and because most people would not have been able to read it if it were available – because of low literacy.

Kirtan is a platform to receive the knowledge contained within Gurbani. That knowledge is there to guide every Sikh, through Gurbani (Scripture), Simran (Remembrance of God) and Jivan Jaach (Turthful living).

4) Kirtan teaches you how to listen

Active listening is something that requires energy and focus. It’s a skill that’s needed in every aspect of life; from family and work, to volunteerism and leadership. Kirtan teaches us how to listen actively. The message of Gurbani, delivered through Kirtan, can only be understood if a person is attentive. This means actively listening to what is being sung, but also taking it one step further – practical application. Listening = love. When we listen to someone or something, it shows either love or a certain level of respect.

Let’s take another point of view. Think of the many conflicts that happen either at home or in the workplace. How many of these situations were a result of someone not listening or properly understanding a particular point? We all want to be listened to and understood. When we learn to listen to each other, we’ll learn to listen to our Guru.

The next time you’re at the Gurdwara or hear Kirtan being sung, take the time to actively listen to the words and try to understand the greater meaning. From there, ask yourself, how can I apply this to my life? Even if you’re only able to do part of that, then you’ve realized the greatest gift that Kirtan has for us – the connection to Gurbani!


NYC (Long Island) – Sikhs in World War 1 – Exhibit and Katha



Sangat Ji,

On Friday, February 22nd and Sunday February 24th there will be a special exhibit organized in NYC recognizing Sikhs in World War 1. The purpose of this event is to spread awareness of the brave sacrifices of our forefathers and build the youth’s confidence in their Sikh identity. Katha will highlight the mindset of the Sikh Soldiers and teach us how to apply the same Sikh values in our daily lives.

Exhibit & Katha
Friday, February 22nd
Exhibit: 7 PM to 9:30 PM
Katha: 8:30 PM to 9 PM
Guru Nanak Darbar of LI
11 Broadway Hicksville, NY 11801

Sunday, February 24th
Exhibit: 11 AM to 2 PM
Katha: 1 PM to 1:30 PM
Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Center
1065 Old Country Road Plainview, NY 11803

For more details, call (917) 535 0299

**Special guest: Lieutenant colonel Kamal S Kalsi will be attending the Sunday program and will have a question and answer session with the sangat. Kamal S Kalsi is the 1st Sikh granted Department of Defense religious accommodation in over a generation. He has been striving to change current laws that prohibit Sikhs with turbans from serving in the military.**

How to Avoid Relapse Into Clutter


In the previous article, we learned about helpful decluttering techniques that build a stress-free, organized and controlled mind. We now know that the benefits of a decluttered mind greatly outweigh the sacrifices of this journey. A decluttered mind is like a shiny piece of metal that is constantly interacting with its surroundings. In the absence of regular care, these interactions are bound to have a negative effect resulting in a dull and rusted metal.

Our mind also needs a strategy to avoid a relapse into clutter. A strategy focused on executing decluttering techniques is critical for long term success. However, it takes a life-long commitment to maintain self-discipline, and deal with cravings and triggers in different situations throughout your life.

Let’s look at some habits that you can form to build self-discipline and a pathway to success.

Create a daily schedule. You control your time and it starts with saying no to things that distract you from your goals. Review your goals each morning before you start your day, or set and review your goals the night before. Time management and goal setting go hand in hand.

Keep track or a lekha of your thoughts. The app is a great tool for this. There’s simply no better way to learn about your thoughts than to write them down and keep track. This way you can understand what contaminates your mind and the steps you can take to avoid those activities.

Do Simran to constantly remember God with every breath. Simran gives strength to your mind. This strength helps to discern between right or wrong, useful or useless. When Simran becomes a habit then your lifestyle will reflect a personality that is compassionate, caring, and responsible towards itself and others in the community. Forming other habits also becomes much easier once you have Simran as the foundation.

Exercising regularly is a habit that tests your physical and mental strength. To instill the habit of exercise in your life, start small. Begin by getting up from your office seat every 20 minutes to take a walk. Add a perpetual reminder on your calendar to remind you. Do that for one week until it becomes a full-blown habit. As you progress, add 30 minutes or more for exercise every day in your daily schedule.

Keep Sangat of people who share common goals with you. Sangat can bring you back if you stray too far from your goals. Sangat will reveal techniques that can shorten your learning curve.

Finally, Rinse & repeat. Persistence and patience will keep you moving. Habit forming is hard work. Habits are at the very heart of who we are. Self-discipline is our commitment to ourselves to be successful and our habits decide if we can stay disciplined. Habits take a long time (sometimes decades) to form but once formed, they become a natural extension of our personality. And then the journey to our goals is enjoyable and meaningful.