In the Sikh Faith, The Power of LangarBy Lavina Melwani • Aug 18th, 2012 • Category: 24/7 Talk is Cheap - The Blog
Vikas Khanna on Sharing Langar with the World…
A great act of love and community service in the Sikh religion is langar or communal meal which is served in gurdwaras across India and the world. ‘True Business’, Vikas Khanna’s film on Sikhism and the langar meal in his series on Holy Kitchens explains the simplicity and beauty of this concept.
Here Vikas Khanna shares his film and also the food which goes into the langar.
1. Growing up, what were your first interactions with the Sikh faith?
Being born in Amritsar, you are surrounded by Sikh culture and social traditions. But the most important Sikh interaction would be visiting Harimandir Sahib, the Golden Temple.
2. How would you explain the tenets of Sikhism to someone who knows nothing about it?
It’s a faith based on simple tenets of equality, service and selflessness. When combined together they become great symbols of generosity of spirit.
3. What do you think are the best features of the Sikh faith?
My mother would tell me as a child that the greatest thing to learn from Sikhs is “Kirt” which means work. Its absolutely true that they are the hardest working people in the world and never beg. No doubt that the highest number of officers in civil services are Sikhs.
4. Share your experiences of the Golden Temple with readers.
It will take a few days to write about it. My soul resides in there. I remember when I went back home after getting my green card, my mother asked me what do you want to eat. I requested her to take me back to Golden Temple. We went for Langar (community kitchen) and held our hands together and sat on the floor and ate. That moment I had decided to make my film on Holy Kitchens.
I told her that I had not eaten for 7 long years. Once in a lifetime everyone should visit Golden Temple to experience the greatness of Sikhism.
5. Why is the langar such a remarkable meal?
It’s the simplicity of it. The humbleness of service. The server and the served work like a complete circle of Universe.
Sitting on the floor in simple lines define the equality of us all.
The way everyone prepares, cooks, the energy, the chanting is all about seva and sharing. It’s truly remarkable that how much pride Sikhs take in even cleaning. It’s a Utopian experience.
6. What efforts have you made to create awareness of langar and service with the Sikh community.
I’ve made a documentary on understanding Sikhism and its power and heritage. We have shown it at several universities around the world. These DVDs are available for free for any educational institutions. Hopefully we can do more.
Related Article – Vikas Khanna Shares Recipes for Langar Meal