Auspicious Occasions and Presentations
For some years now in the summertime I’ve enjoyed attending, teaching and offering our symbolic jewelry and kirpans for sale at a Yoga Festival in France. Generally after the Festival I’ll fly to the UK and do similar things through friends and acquaintances. On these UK visits I frequently enjoy sitting with Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia, a thoughtful and kind elder in Birmingham at Guru Nanak Nishkam Sevak Jetha on Soho Road there where he is the Chairman. It was early August 2011 when I met with Bhai Sahib at his office in the Nishkam Center. I had the most special Kirpan we had ever created with me to show him, which we had built for a London client who fell on hard times and wished for us to sell for him. Bhai Sahib enjoyed the Kirpan very much and decided to purchase it. He shared with me then that he intended to offer it as gift on the occasion of the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, 10th master and founder of Sikhism, at Patna Sahib in India in January 2017.
The three of us, Bhai Sahib, Inderbhajan and myself (along with millions of others) had the good fortune to be in Patna for the auspicious occasion of Guru Gobind Singh’s 350th birth anniversary in early January 2017 and the Kirpan was presented to the Harimander Sahib Takhat (main temple) there. Full description of this kirpan is here:
On August 7th 2016 I flew from Paris to London and drove to be part of a sword presentation honoring Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh at GNNSJ in Birmingham, UK. A friend and consultant of ours, Supreet Manchanda from the Los Angeles area, decided that he wished to gift Bhai Sahib one of our new ‘Song of the Khalsa’ swords. (Bhai Sahib had actually ordered one of our swords and was about to pay for it when Supreet stepped in and decided that he would gift that). Supreet and his dad, Joginder Singh, had grown up with Bhai Sahib in Zambia and had only the fondest memories of those times. Supreet and Joginder had flown in from the USA just to present this sword to Bhai Sahib and spend some time visiting with him. The event was attended by several hundred from the local community.
It was late summer 2016 when I received a call from Bibiji (wife of the late Siri Singh Sahib Yogi Harbhajan Singh, who for many members of the 3HO Kundalini Yoga community was a beloved teacher and guide) on behalf of Sikh Dharma International. She shared that it would be a most appropriate offering during the Yatra that was planned for Patna India in early January, if we could present a special sword there honoring the 350th birth anniversary of one of humanity’s most revered and respected humanitarians, Guru Gobind Singh. We got to work and created a customized 'Song of the Khalsa' sword in the 'Sword of Raj Khalsa'. A royal gift created in pure silver, 18K gold, varied gemstones and a 24K gold laser engraved stainless damascus steel blade with two Gurmukhi and English etched inscriptions, was presented at the Harimander Sahib Takhat in Patna India on January 5, 2017. A full description of this sword can be found here. The blessings and privilege that I felt throughout my process of looking after this sword in its entirety – and then doing some of the final assembly, finishing and delivery – were profound.
Sikh Dharma International and generous donors took care of expenses and it was my honor to do the rest as seva (selfless service). Because of tyrannical religious oppression in India back in the late 1600’s and early 1700’s, Guru Gobind Singh was forced to ‘take up the sword’ and other weapons of the times, leading his followers into numerous battles trying to uphold honor, justice and fairness for all. He left us a sacred legacy, which was reiterated in many ways by our teacher, the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan. This legacy is shared throughout Guru Nanak’s Japji Sahib, that to live as a Saint-Soldier, and a protector of the weak and innocent, is one of life’s highest incarnations’. For 45 years now I’ve been fortunate to follow the path of a Gurusikh, Kundalini Yogi and martial artist. I’m grateful I continue to learn lessons to be the best I can be. One of my prayers going on this Yatra (spiritual journey) was that by immersing myself in two of the locations where Guru Gobind Singh spent quite bit of time (after Patna Sahib, I went to Anandpur Sahib to check on a sword we brought with Yogiji back in ’99, which I had forged, fabricated and embellished with a team of other master artisans), that I would drop any remaining fear that I had in my life. For the last 45 years, I’ve been reflecting and meditating on my own fear and leaving it all behind, by the grace of the One.
The Raj Khalsa Yatra was a powerful and elevating trip. I’m very grateful that my wife and I felt called to go on this yatra (sacred pilgrimage) as there were blessings at every turn.
Looking for inspiration? Check out ‘Founder of the Khalsa: The Life and Times of Guru Gobind Singh’.