In March of 2016, while meditating at the Golden Temple, I received a phone call from the Prime Minister’s office. Given that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was recently elected along with 17 Sikh MP’s, there was going to be a large celebration for Vaisakhi on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada. I was requested to sing Kirtan and do the Ardas for the Diwan. I was honored and felt very grateful to the Guru that I had been asked to participate in such an important day for Sikhs in Canada. When I contemplated the Shabad that I would sing that day, I realized that the specific tune had come to me unexpectedly one Sunday evening after teaching yoga class several years prior. Jetlagged and just 2 days after arriving back from India, I found myself on a flight to the Canadian capital.
The following day, I briefly met the tabla player. We only had enough time to sing 2 lines of the Shabad acapella while he practiced the tabla taal on the MP’s office desk.
The Akhand Paath had already started on Parliament Hill and the Bhog and celebration of Khalsa Day program was to be on April 11th. Although Akhand Paaths had been done yearly for Vaisakhi since Sikh MPs had been elected, this year was special given the scope of the celebration of Khalsa Day. Gurdwara Presidents from across Canada were invited to attend, and the entire program was being broadcast live by the media to India and worldwide. It was a very special program and I could feel the excitement, and the pressure building. To me, it seemed like the vision of the Siri Singh Sahib ji of Sikhs being integrated within mainstream Canadian Society was coming to fruition for Canadian Sikhs.
10th Anniversary Celebration of the Life & Legacy of the Man Called Siri Singh Sahib ~ Yogi Bhajan October 3-6th, 2014
By M.S.S. Krishna Kaur
It was a beautiful fall weekend in Espanola, New Mexico and there was a definite buzz of anticipation in the air. It was as if we were gathering once again after ten years to sit at the feet of our beloved teacher, The Man Called Siri Singh Sahib ~ Yogi Bhajan. In essence, that is exactly what we did for four glorious days. We sat in his gardens, played the music he loved, meditated deeply as a family, bowed to the Guru, sang stories of old times and chanted mantras in gratitude for his life and legacy.
People came from places around the world, drawn to share the moment even though some had never met the Siri Singh Sahib. Others were attending one of our Dharmic events for the first time, for reasons they themselves didn’t totally understand. It was a calling! A calling many of us have heard and answered over the years that brought us together yet once again.
The feeling everywhere was joyous, relaxed and full of reverence and appreciation just to be a part of the celebration. Our opening presentation on Friday the 3rd was a kriya by Ardas Kaur from our Mexico community. Our Bhangra troupe led by Ravi Kaur kicked off the evening with grace and excitement to whoops and hollers from the audience followed by an evening of Oldies but Goodies by our grey bearded youngsters. Livtar Singh, Gurutrang Singh, Guru Singh, Guru Ganesha Singh, Dev Suroop Kaur, Harbhajan Kaur, Guru Sangat Kaur, myself and a host of us “Old Timers” reminisced with song and laughter during that opening night. From the stage we heard that Vietnam was getting our live feed, as was Russia, Australia, New York, India, Canada and more. The weekend was launched just the way Yogi Bhajan would have liked, and there was no looking back.