Places of worship are where Gods live and so I was taught as a toddler to always bow down. I did, as told like an obedient girl. My places of worship revolved around the various temples which in many ways were similar. There would be adorned idols of Gods, folded hands, prayers and pandit ji. This to me encapsulated everything which a place of worship stood for. I neither was fascinated nor disillusioned, I was neutral at best.
I would have lived and died in my neutrality but for a casual visit to a Gurudwara. The white clean rugs, the covered heads, the prostration, the bright piece of cloth around the holy book, the Shabad, the parshad, it was magical to the core. I felt at peace and became a regular visitor to the Gurudwaras. I thought now, I have discovered it all but that couldn’t have been farther from the truth for I was still to comprehend the humbling concept of "Sewa".
Sewa to Sikhs is the purest form of devotion, everything small and big which can be done in the service of another man and community in general is undertaken by the devotees. Distinguished men polish shoes smeared with filth and dirt; carefree young girls and boys safe keep the shoes of anyone and everyone who enters the abode, affluent women serve and cook when hundreds sit to satiate their hunger and the little ones run around with whatever their hands can carry. Sikhs seek opportunities to do Sewa, it is the essence of their religion and the path towards salvation. It is amazing to see how ingrained, how selfless the devotion is. It is not that I haven’t seen devotion elsewhere, but devotion to another being, is what mesmerizes me.
Thank you God, for taking me to a Gurudwara, thank you for letting me know whatever I today know of Sewa.
And now a picture of the most beautiful place of worship I have ever visited J