Foreign sevadars visit Shahidatadarbar: A report from Irina Enatesku

Foreign sevadars reading Jaap Sahib in havan

In the Holy Scripture of Sikhs Guru Granth Sahib it is written: “God lives within you and is closer to you than your hands and feet. The distance between you and God is no wider than a butterfly’s wing. It is not possible to ever separate us from God – neither at the time of our birth nor at the time of our death.” Having forgotten this simple truth, many people spend their whole life in search of God, in realization of God, sincerely willing to unite with Him.

This is why millions of people constantly come to India, to this sacred ancient land. The same search brought me to Gobind Sadan and those people whom I was lucky to meet here.

Baba Mukand Singh (left) and Baba Hari Singh (right)

The 15th of March was a nice sunny day, the kind of day when you feel like changing yourself and the world for the better. On this day Mary Pat Fisher made us happy with the opportunity to visit Shahidata Darbar, a unique spiritual community in the north of Delhi. A small group of 8 people from 4 countries (Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Netherlands) headed by Gurdev Singh left for the Sikh temple which is still keeping the memory of 3 saints – Baba Hari Singh, Baba Mukand Singh and Baba Virsa Singh.The way to the community took us about 2 hours; we were passing narrow noisy streets of Delhi amidst of fairs, markets, and joyful colourful Indian weddings. At last we arrived. As soon as you enter the gate of Shahidata you feel like you are in a different world, in a totally different dimension. There is no fuss, no noise of usual India, just peace spreading around. For a minute I even forgot where I was.

Irina at the blessing tree
Irina at the blessing tree

Right at the entrance a huge beautiful tree stretched out its crown, the witness of the first inhabitants of the community and Baba Hari Singh himself. The saint is famous for his exceptional modesty and simplicity as well as the miracles that were going on around him. They even tell that many people heard him talk and sing kirtan with Guru Gobind Singh. This is where I felt great love and peace. Holding a candle in my hands I could not stop tears, and with those tears peace and conciliation rolled over me.

The inhabitants and sevadars showed us unbelievably warm welcome. After Indian tea and tasty exquisite dishes especially adapted for Europeans, the conclusion of the fabulous dinner became the traditional Indian dessert – khir, the favourite dish of sages and deities.

Gurdev Singh leads Jaap Sahib in havan

The brightest impression for me became the opportunity to read Jaap Sahib at the sacred fire (havan) among attendants, sangat, and friends. During an hour and a half immersed in reading by singing, we could clearly feel the power and vibration of the collective prayer. In spite of the heat of the fire, a lot of people and little space we felt the invisible presence of the Divine.

At such moments one cannot doubt the fact that there is no distance between us and God, that the God is within us. The main thing is to maintain this state to the end.

Baba Hari Singh’s underground meditation cave