GURDWARA

Gurdwara

Welcome to the Gurdwara at the European Yoga Festival, a quiet oasis amidst the vibrant outdoor festival.

Gurdwara: A Spiritual Retreat

In Sikhism, the Gurdwara goes beyond a place of worship; it serves as a spiritual refuge, welcoming people from all backgrounds. Rooted in Sikh Guru teachings, our Gurdwara at the European Yoga Festival connects kundalini yoga philosophy with Sikh spirituality.

This year, the festival proudly presents the Gurdwara experience, as a warm invitation to all attendees, irrespective of your beliefs or background, to experience the serene and spiritual atmosphere of the Gurdwara.

Join us at the Gurdwara for a blend of kundalini yoga and Sikhism through meditation, musical kirtan sessions, and discussions on the fusion of kundalini yoga with Sikh principles.

Gurdwara Daily Itinerary: From early morning meditations to evening kirtan, each session offers an enriching experience. You will find the daily schedule at the entrance of the Gurwara at the European Yoga Festival.

Gurdwara FAQ

Yes, covering your head is a sign of respect in Sikh tradition. Both men and women are encouraged to wear a head covering, like a scarf or turban, showing humility and reverence for the divine. This aligns with yogic principles of mindfulness and respect for the sacred space.

Simple headcovers are provided at the entrance of the Gurdwara.

Yes, bowing, or “Matha Tekna,” is common in Sikhism. It’s a respectful gesture when approaching the Guru Granth Sahib. Bow by touching your forehead to the ground, symbolising humility and devotion.

Everyone, regardless of faith, is welcome to bow to the Guru. Sikh philosophy promotes inclusivity, allowing people of any belief to experience the values of humility and devotion.

Modest clothing is recommended. Both men and women should cover shoulders and knees as a sign of respect and take off your shoes before going in.

Akhand Path is the continuous reading of the Guru Granth Sahib, the central scripture of Sikhism. It takes about 48 hours to complete and every participant of the festival is invited to read.

Kirtan is a spiritual practice in Sikhism where people sing or chant sacred hymns and mantras. It’s an essential part of Sikh worship, with beautiful melodies sung alongside musical instruments.

In the Gurdwara, the main book is called the Guru Granth Sahib. It’s like the main guide for Sikhs. It includes teachings from Sikh Gurus and other spiritual leaders. Sikhs believe it’s their everlasting teacher. It’s crucial for worship and guidance in the Gurdwara.

The Gurdwara at a Kundalini Yoga Festival offers a special place for people to explore Sikh spiritual practices. Kundalini Yoga, taught by Yogi Bhajan, is rooted with Sikhism, and the Gurdwara adds to the festival’s spiritual lineage. It encourages unity, mindfulness, and a better understanding of the link between Kundalini Yoga and Sikh beliefs. The Gurdwara welcomes everyone from all walks of life to enjoy the fusion of these spiritual paths.

Glossary of Terms

Ardaas is a daily Sikh prayer done by the sangat (community) for healing, strength, blessings, and success. It can be done before or after undertaking any significant task or event.

This is a cry of victory, divided in two parts or phrases. The first, Bole So Nihaal , is a statement meaning “whoever utters (the phrase following) shall be happy, shall be fulfilled,” and the second part Sat Siri Akaal means “eternal is the Great Timeless Truth”). 

This word is made up of 2 roots: ‘Gur’ meaning ‘Guru’ – spiritual teacher, and ‘Bani’ meaning ‘words, utterances’. Gurbani means ‘the Guru’s words’, ‘the Guru’s teachings’.

“Gateway or door to the Guru.” Refers to a place that houses the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Also means the ceremony held in the Gurdwara.

‘command of God’. This is a daily reading of a shabd from the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, which can be taken as a ‘thought for the day’. After singing kirtan and saying an Ardaas, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is opened to a page at random, and a shabd is read – first in the sound current of shabd guru, then the English translation. You do not need to understand the meaning intellectually to feel the sound current touch your heart.

Kaur is given as the second part of a Spiritual Name for women. Kaur means “princess or lioness of God.” The names Kaur and Singh convey nobility, grace, power, courage and living consciously.

Singing the sacred poetry contained in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib (each poem or hymn is often referred to as a shabd).

A simple tradition in which all people regardless of religion, race, or gender sit together as equals and share in a blessed meal. No one has special seating or dishes. All sit on the floor and are served together.

This term is said to originally come from Persian, meaning ‘alike or equal’. In the 18thC it was used to describe a unit of Sikh warriors. It has been used in 3HO to describe a working group of sevadars.

All night kirtan and devotional music. Join the whole camp for this cozy and divine night. You may lie down (with your head towards the Guru) or sit up; listen or sing along.

A complete reading of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib accomplished at the reader’s schedule (an Akhand Paath is a complete and continuous reading with no breaks). A Sahej Paath or an Akhand Paath may be done by one or more readers.

Sangat is a group of people offering good community and spiritual support to its members. The Guru often refers to the ‘company of saints’ or the ‘company of the holy’. When we are dedicated and aligned with Truth, we become this ‘company of saints’.

Sat Nam is a mantra in Kundalini Yoga. It means “truth is my identity” or “truth is my essence.” Saying Sat Nam helps connect with inner truth and authenticity. It’s a powerful affirmation of your true self and existence.

Seva is selfless service done with love and compassion. It’s an important practice in yoga and Sikhism. Seva can be any helpful act, big or small, done for others without expecting anything in return. It’s a way to show kindness and contribute positively to the community.

A shabad is a sacred hymn or verse in Sikhism. It’s often sung or recited during worship and meditation. Shabads contain spiritual teachings and inspire devotion.

The second part of each Spiritual Name for men. Singh means “the lion of God.” The names Kaur and Singh convey nobility, grace, power, courage and living consciously.

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