The Golden Temple…I came across the name of this sacred temple when I was real young. Read about it when in school and wanted to visit this beauty ever since…It was the architectural splendor which was certainly the first factor of attraction. But little did I know about the heavenly bliss I would be blessed with, when I stepped into the premises of the Gurudwara (a place of worship for Sikhs).
I was there in the fag end of December when the temperature was very low, all the more lower early in the morning. The chillness which was otherwise pricking my veins, seemed to be soothing me once I entered the premises. You could call it psychological but I felt it substantially within…This was a reason strong enough for me to love what I felt!
My friends and I were now in the premises admiring the surrounding structures. We removed our footwear and deposited them in the counter…Washed our hands and were all set to step in, with our heads covered with cloth. On the pathway, was a small strip of water which was miraculously warm even in that low temperature. I felt a rush of energy in me, when I had my feet in water.
My feet were then on the marble concourse so vast. The concourse is the ‘Pradakshna/Parikrama’ (meaning circumbulatory path) which encircles the pool and the Hari Mandir (read The Temple of God). This is a sacred pool that surrounds the Temple and is known as the Amrit Sarovar (meaning, a pool of divine nectar). The golden beauty is situated at the centre of this pool. The concourse is connected to the holy shrine through a marble bridge.
I could hear the hymns being chanted which echoed all around. It was absolutely captivating! The mellifluous music seemed to unite with my blood and stimulate a whole bundle of positive energy in me, absolutely rejuvenating me…Guess this is how it feels when one is divinely mesmerized!
On the way, we got the ‘Karah’ Prasad (the holy offering) which is distributed to all the pilgrims and we carried it along with us. Walking past the arch which marks the royal start of the bridge, I was now just a few metres away from the sparkling temple. Soon, I saw myself at the Majestic Entrance!
I was there…I was there inside the Golden charisma, absolutely spell bound by the aesthetic splendor my eyes were blessed with at that moment in time!! I lived every bit of that moment, undoubtedly I did…My amazed eyes were fanatically admiring every single thing they could spot. We were beneath a crown studded with precious stones and jewels arranged in floral patterns, reminding me of the Islamic style. The architecture and the interiors were done with utmost excellence; resulting in a style that world had never seen before. The exquisite gold and marble work was one of the kinds!
The hymns being chanted by the Holy men and women in sync, were soothing my soul. They were seated beside the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy scripture of Sikhism), reciting the holy chants all day long with an unimaginable ease, making the place a sacred abode! We went around all the 3 levels in our own pace. We prayed amidst the soulful kirtans (holy chants) happening in the first level…Sat in the second level of the temple leisurely for a while and relaxed in the absolute sense. ..Then up in the third level, we enjoyed the view from the top of the Temple. It was all incredibly serene!
This wasn’t the end…We then moved to the dining hall for the Guru-ka-Langar (meaning free kitchen) which I was told, was something without being a part of which, the day at the Shrine is incomplete. Each and every day, the devotees are served with free food…Food which wasn’t just stomach filling but divinelicious (read simple yet divinely delicious)! I soon understood why they say the journey to the temple isn’t complete without this. We were all seated on the floor, together, having the same food, regardless of religion, caste, creed, color, age, gender or social status. This tradition was certainly a strong foundation and propagation of sharing and oneness which I admired. They say the tradition of Langar symbolizes that “the light of God is in all hearts”!!
I was so totally lost in its magical beauty! Certainly wouldn’t say each and every one of you will feel this way but I can bet you will surely gather a lot of positivity from your visit to this spectacle…! You will certainly feel heavenly!
A heartfelt note of thanks to ‘Brijinder’ uncle and ‘Ajeet’ aunty, as I was here in Amritsar because of them and also a huge bundle of thanks to my darling friend ‘Harleen’ whose marriage was the reason for this travel of mine! :)
P.S – This write-up is a result of me listening to the lovely song ‘ik omkar’ all through its composition! :)
- Ahi (a keen traveler)
“ Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God.” ~Diana Robinson