Children and adults enthusiastically participated in this year Akhand Kirtan Samagam
The annual Akhand Kirtan Samagam (AKS) was held at the Parklea Gurdwara Sahib in Glenwood from September 29 – October 4, with participation of over 200 children in various programs including children/ youth camp.
Organised by Akhand Kirtan Jatha Inc (AKJ), the event included morning and evening diwans of approx. 3 hours, as well as a Kirtan Darbar. The purpose of the event was to spread the absolute and unquestionable teachings enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib, and offer direction and meaning in the lives of people as per the edicts of the great Guru Sahiban. With amazing fortitude, the children were as enthusiastic participants in chanting the kirtans as the adults, and sat through the entire event each day with devotion and patience. Volunteers perform the kirtans purely from a sense of servitude, one of the main tenets of Sikhism. In all, over 1500 people enthusiastically attended and participated in the AKS.
The children also enjoyed the camp, organised specifically to give them a clear understanding of the tenets of their religion in a fun and friendly atmosphere. Free food (langar) was provided, and there was also a ghatka demonstration. Another feature of the event was a traditional wedding ceremony following which, the newly wedded couple performed a kirtan by themselves.
The last day of the event included a Rainsabai (whole night congregation) where the kirtan started after the evening prayer and continued till 4 – 5 am the next day.
The event was well attended with people travelling from interstate and overseas to be a part of the program, and availed of special arrangements of free transportation and accommodation by AKJ volunteers.
Parklea Gurdwara also organises their annual Diwali celebration in a grand manner each year. Sikhs celebrate Diwali as ‘Bandi Chhor Divas’ to mark the return of the sixth Guru from imprisonment. It is recounted that Guru Hargobind Ji was captured by Emperor Jahangir and imprisoned at the famous fort of Gwalior. When he was freed from imprisonment, Guru Hargobind Ji also managed to release 52 hindu kings at the same time by cleverly manipulating the Emperor’s words. Jahangir’s orders were that the people allowed to leave the fort with the Guru could only do so by holding onto his coat-tails. So Guru Ji made sure he wore coat-tails long enough to be grasped by the kings, resulting in their freedom. Since then, Guru Ji was popularly known as the ‘Bandi Chhor’. When Guru Ji arrived in Amritsar, the Golden Temple was lit with hundreds of lamps to celebrate his return, and the day is now celebrated as ‘Bandi Chhor Divas’ or Freedom Day. Parklea Gurudwara celebrates Diwali by lighting up the temple, conducting prayers and organising a splendid display of fireworks. Free food is served and sweets are distributed at the event. This year, after the evening prayers, a kirtan will be performed by two jathas from overseas – Bhai Gurnaam singh Ji from Bangla Sahib and Bhai Satwinder Singh Ji from Macchiwara •