Raj Khalsa Gurdwara

A home for the Guru inspired by the teachings of the SSS Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogi Ji

The Story of Raj Khalsa Gurdwara
The roots of Raj Khalsa Gurdwara were planted approximately 40 years ago in Washington, DC. Yogi Bhajan, also known as Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji, established a community that was based on Sikh and yogic practices. It was his mission to share the teachings of Kundalini Yoga and to help people live healthy, happy, and holy lives. The community attracted mostly young Americans who were spiritual seekers, and who wanted lives of meaning and service. Yogi Bhajan inspired us to live according to the Sikh Rehit. We rose in the Amrit Vela to recite Japji Sahib, to practice yoga and meditation and to chant the Guru’s bani. He introduced us to the Sikh principles of Bana, Bani, Simran and Seva. We began to wear turbans and to dress in noble bana. We studied Gurmukhi, we learned Gurbani Kirtan, and we immersed ourselves in the Sikh way of life…not just as a philosophy, but as a daily practice. Most of us took Sikh vows and participated in an Amrit ceremony to be initiated into the Khalsa.
Our community at that time was called Ahimsa Ashram. In 1970 we opened a vegetarian restaurant which we named The Golden Temple Conscious Cookery. Our restaurant was very successful and we served delicious vegetarian food there for about ten years. As our community grew and many of us married and had children, we decided to move from the city, and in 1979 our community moved to Herndon and Great Falls, where we still reside. Our children have been raised as Sikhs and have been given a strong identity of what it means to live in the purity of Khalsa consciousness. From 1978 – 1986 we operated a Khalsa pre-school and we then built a school in Amritsar, India called Miri Piri Academy where most of our children have been educated. Please visit: www.miripiriacademy.org
We established a Gurdwara in 1980 at 6 Export Drive in Sterling, where we hold Sunday Gurdwara services. In 1998, as our Sangat membership grew, we increased the size of our space, quadrupling the square footage, and adding a kitchen and Dharma school room. We asked the Siri Singh Sahib at that time for an official name for our Gurdwara, and he named it Raj Khalsa Gurdwara, the royal domain of the Khalsa.

Mission: Provide a Gurdwara where all are welcome, all may serve, and the Shabd Guru is exhalted.

“In old times God used to speak from the sky and men used to listen and act. God spoke to Ibrahim, God spoke to Noah, God spoke to many people. God might have spoken many times to Jesus. God spoke to Buddha. I was not there with a tape-recorder, so I don't know whether He spoke or not, but in this Age of Aquarius, your consciousness will speak to you all the time. If you have not ears to listen, you shall always be in pain, trouble and face a very painful destruction.”
~Yogi Bhajan 5/4/94 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“You can lie to everybody but you cannot lie to your consciousness. And you cannot deny your intuition.”
~Yogi Bhajan 1/26/94 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“The greatest blunder I have seen that almost everyone makes is to just speak their mind. It doesn't make any sense. They sound like squawking ducks in a pond. The mind is not meant to be spoken. The mind is mostly waves of thoughts and sensations of many sources. The mind is meant to know the truth. Know your own mind and use it to speak the truth.”
~Yogi Bhajan (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“You have to learn only one thing. This planet belongs to God. God rotates this planet. Let God take care of your routine. Do not interfere. Spare yourself from pain, tragedy, desperation, and desolation.”
~Yogi Bhajan 2/8/95 (YB Teachings, LLC)

“Give Mother Earth the chance to be in peace. Give mankind the chance to live. Give children of the future a chance to enjoy the faculty that the Creator has created for us. At this time your mental projection in peace can change the warring minds. Peace has a price—the head and heart of all of us. Let us pray.”
~Yogi Bhajan 6/10/89 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“Transformation in the game of love requires a complete reorientation to the rules of the game. In order to truly experience love and union, we must begin by playing with a new rule book. In the West, we have been trained to look for that one person—our soul mate—who can fulfill our longing, who can give us what we believe we need or want from a relationship. To truly love, we must first fulfill that longing within ourselves with the Infinite, the love of God. Anything less will fall short. No human being can fill that particular hole—not even a soul mate.”
~Yogi Bhajan (©YB Teachings, LLC)

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“When an obstruction comes into our lives, we feel very upset. We suffer. We think everything is ruined. No, it’s not true. A car without brakes is not going to be driven on any road. These obstructions, these negativities, these nuisances are part of the game. They give you a chance to cross over them. But you can’t cross them, because you have not acquired friendship with your own spirit.”
~Yogi Bhajan 10/5/73 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“You now have an action to take, you must achieve your own fulfillment so that your inner satisfaction will be strong enough and your courage will be strong enough that you can let the world know that there is a place where we live in total reality. There is an achievement that a man can accomplish, not ritualistically, but in a total reality, and it is that total reality which shall prevail tomorrow.”
~Yogi Bhajan 12/31/1989 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“Appreciation is an art and a lifestyle; a source of happiness and fulfillment. It’s called gratitude, an attitude of gratitude. A person who develops an attitude of gratitude is absolutely divine. You don’t have to sweat. If you have achieved the attitude of gratitude, everything in the world will come to you. If you make it a point to have an attitude of gratitude, it could be the greatest achievement in your life. Gratefulness will make you great. It takes away any discrepancy, any negativity, any bother.”
~Yogi Bhajan 6/27/1984 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“Even if life is lived with purity and piety, in happiness and in abundance, still it’s the journey, which we are supposed to take and supposed to finish. Let us finish it with victory, so nothing falls short in our lives. God has given us this chance with every breath of life, every moment of life.”
~Yogi Bhajan 7/28/2002 (YB Teachings, LLC)

“What can you give to your child except the values of self-justice, except self-identity and self-sovereignty. A child must be told in a practical way how to behave and must be treated to be self-sovereign. Otherwise you are absolutely not giving self-respect to that child. If you take away self-respect, after childhood, the child reacts and then needs psychologists, psychiatrists, mental hospitals, and the like. In childhood we have to be taught about life and justice. We have to be asked to relate to the reality of life in practical sovereignty, and to our independence. We have to have a system of judiciary within ourselves so we can have the experience of it.”

~Yogi Bhajan 2/19/1985 (YB Teachings, LLC)

“Misery doesn’t need appreciation. Misery needs to give you pain. The purpose of misery is to put you through pain. As soon as you start appreciating misery, its purpose is lost.”
~Yogi Bhajan 6/27/1984 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“Kindness knows no defeat; caring has no end; and touching a person's heart is the only language God knows. I hope God and Guru will bless you throughout this time, here and hereafter.”
~Yogi Bhajan (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“Facing the life decides whether you are fulfilled or not. When you face your life you win, you are fulfilled. This is the secret we all know and this is the only thing we do not want to do.”
~Yogi Bhajan 4/9/91 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“Seva or service is infinite giving. Service is not finite giving. If you do some service and say, ‘I served,' then you have totally missed the point. Service is when you feel honored by doing something. You don't feel honor in the company of many. You feel it within your own self. That is service. Seva is when your inside is honored, when you honor yourself. When I am honored in my consciousness for doing something, it is seva. When I stand before my consciousness, I feel good, and I say, ‘Well, I am so blessed that I could do it.’ That's Seva.”
~Yogi Bhajan, 7/22/78 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“I know you have passions. I have passions, too. You have thoughts, I have thoughts, too. Can you match your thoughts—sort them out? And only take the good and leave the wrong? There is a test for it. Whenever a thought comes to you, you ask yourself, will it make me noble or will it make me inferior and take away from me the chance to be exalted? These are questions you should ask.”
~Yogi Bhajan (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“Religion is a state of reality in which a man when he is challenged for limited values, he stands tall with infinity.”
~Yogi Bhajan 11/6/88 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“God is nothing but universality in experience. When you experience a universal consciousness in your finite consciousness, that is what God is all about. When you say ‘In God we trust,’ it means, ‘we trust in our own universal consciousness'.”
~Yogi Bhajan (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“Every day of your life your tolerance should be ready to cope with your circumstances.”
~Yogi Bhajan 1977 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“You know, the only thing man knows is to stimulate the glandular system, the guardian of health, and the muscular system to build strength and keep on being strong. But that's not the answer. There is another thing in the body, which is called mind. The mind can take you through such a hell that you can never know. The mind is very powerful. The mind does not measure time. The mind is given to the soul to connect the Infinity to the finite. The mind is a swing. It can take you anywhere you want to go. That's why your fantasies sometimes are stronger than your life. The mind affects your life and can take you either way.”
~Yogi Bhajan 7/27/94 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“Do you know how comfortable it is when you walk and God is walking with you? Talking what God is talking in you? That should be the standard. That should be the elevated sense of God. Your behavior, your manners and your virtues should be that of Infinite Divinity. You know how comfortable it is? How powerful it is? How marvelous it is?”
~Yogi Bhajan 6/30/2002 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

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My Sikh Interfaith Journey

In recognition of World Religion Day 2019 on January 20th, Guru Amrit Kaur, a 2nd generation American Sikh, shares what inspires her in her interfaith work:

"...I draw my inspiration to do interfaith work from a rich Sikh history, and many Sikh interfaith heroes. Guru Nanak, the first Guru and founder of the Sikh faith, is famous for saying “There is no Hindu and no Musalman” – his first words upon reappearing after his enlightenment. Guru Nanak taught that the only divisions among humanity are imagined constructs of the ego, and that we all come from one Creator.

Guru Arjan, the fifth Sikh Guru, built the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, the most sacred site of Sikhism, with four doors, one on each side, to signify that people from all faiths and walks of life are welcome.

Perhaps the most dramatic example of interfaith activism among Sikhs lies with the legacy of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, the ninth Sikh Guru. Guru Tegh Bahadur made the ultimate sacrifice and gave his life so that another faith community, the Hindu pandits of Kashmir, could practice their faith, thereby preserving freedom of religion in 17th Century India.

In my life as an interfaith activist, I continually draw on Sikh shabads, stories, and larger than life figures for inspiration.

I am a second-generation American Sikh, born to two parents who were originally Jewish and converted to Sikhism after falling in love with the teachings of the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan and joining 3H0 communities on the East Coast. My father became a Sikh when he was 19 years old. My mother was 30. I grew up in a home full of love and devotion for the Guru.

I also grew up with Jewish grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We would celebrate Jewish holidays together. I will always treasure my memories of Passover Seders around my grandmother’s table, of eating potato latkes, lighting the menorah and playing dreidel with my cousins during Hanukkah. I attended Miri Piri Academy in Amritsar, India where I was steeped in Sikh practices and traditions, and then I finished high school at a Catholic school in Fairfax, Virginia.

myemail.constantcontact.com

“Love without trust is a river without water. And all of you who try love, love, love, I am tired of listening of this love. You neither know love nor understand it. Love fundamentally is the most powerful ecstasy of consciousness, and even if a person goes blind, there is no question when you are in love.”
~Yogi Bhajan 7/13/89 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“In the Age of Aquarius, learn to call on yourself. Learn to be yourself. Learn to vibrate and become prayerful in attitude.”
~Yogi Bhajan 3/29/96 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“Oh God of all Gods, Oh merciful God, Oh the one God, Lord of all Lords, Oh Infinite, Oh formless in every form, Oh being in every being, Oh supreme being. Thank you for assuring you are with us. Thank you for assuring you are in us. Thank you for assuring you are us. Grant us the boon of love, health and happiness so that we can shine in the radiance of your praise. Keep us positive, keep us happy, keep us selfless so that we can serve you all over the world as long as we live on this planet. May this day be one with everyone to find the one within and without, and may your joy prevail all around us forever unto Infinity.” Sat Nam.
~Yogi Bhajan 6/25/72 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“Our thanks to every such environment where man is supposed to grow in peace and harmony, in love and tranquility. Our thanks for all that is graceful around us and also our thanks for everything that forces us to become graceful. Our thanks to that negativity that has made us positive. Our thanks to the power that overtakes us, that has given us the power to love and sustain ourselves. Our thanks to all those natural calamities that have given us joy and beauty when we have crossed them. Our thanks to all those sicknesses and weaknesses and laziness that has given us the power to triumph and survive so that we can chant the Holy Naam. Our thanks to all those enemies who made us strong so that we love to live. And our thanks to the Almighty Creator who has created us to go through all this experience in the Holy Name that prevails through everybody; the Cosmic Power that is the instrument of our life and our dignity; the Adi Shakti of which we all are part of in one brotherhood of pure beings; to that height of consciousness that holds this world. We pray in thy consciousness, oh Consciousness of all consciousness, that you be with us and bring love, tranquility, and peace to every heart.”

~Yogi Bhajan 11/25/71 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“There is nothing wrong in this world if you do not hate anyone, undermine anyone or create a superiority complex to make anyone else feel inferior.”
~Yogi Bhajan 1/5/00 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

Prayer for a Happy New Year.

In God's love for you alone, life unfolds like a silken cone unwinds. And we are all woven, one with God. Strands of silk, sacred and divine.
The drums of war are loud and clear but hope of peace is also near.
If the Word of God will lead the people and compassion will flow with the beat of the heart, the human race will find its essence. Let us pray for love of peace.
Let us pray for love of truth. Let us pray for everyone to pray for the innocent in bondage, miles and miles away. Let us pray for the innocent victims. Let us pray on the death of the innocents-- Those humans created in the image of God, tortured by men with earthly authority, actions so far away from morality.
In my prayer I wish you the wealth of peace, to make beautiful our tomorrow. Where human beings can live in love, forever free from sorrow.
~Yogi Bhajan (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“Every crime is out of frustration. Every divorce is out of frustration. Every wrong is out of frustration. Now question is where this frustration comes, That's the question we must ask. Frustration comes when the outlet and inflow of the energy is not in balance.”
~Yogi Bhajan 7/7/86 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“We are not born to judge each other; we are born to know each other. We are not born to judge each other; we are born to love each other. We have not come here to kill each other; we have come here to serve each other.”
~Yogi Bhajan 12/6/96 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“Origin of everything is God. Everything comes from God; everything goes to God. Everything belongs to God. It never belongs to individual. You all have to die; you all have to be born to die; you have come to go. That's called Ava-Gavan. We come to go. If we remember that and we are good, then we know where we are going. Otherwise we don't. We just die, miserable.”
~Yogi Bhajan 12/10/90 (YB Teachings, LLC)

“You must deduce what comes to you from the behavior of the magnetic field and then you must induce the counter effect of it to find it out what is true, once you have this method you can always make mess into a massive joy. You can change tragedy into prosperity.”
~Yogi Bhajan (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“Take away all your principles, difficulties and shortcomings and pressures, and offer them to Guru and live in that higher consciousness for which Guru has given you this path.”
~Yogi Bhajan 7/6/97 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

*image by Art of Punjab

“There is a difference between revolution and evolution: Evolution is the law of nature, revolution is the law of ego. A revolting mind is a filled ego mind who seeks destruction, who believes in death and life. Evolution mind believes in transforming its existence into the Higher Being.”

~Yogi Bhajan 5/ 7/81 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

“Our relationship will always be happy if we keep on expanding. Touch every heart, bow your head, bless everybody and you shall be blessed.”
~Yogi Bhajan 2/1/99 (©YB Teachings, LLC)

"The whole world may give you support....but if your own mind does not support you, you will not be in a position to do anything in life. Your own mind cannot be controlled and guided and give you the support until it is brought to a discipline. That word which brings a mind to a discipline to support you is called "Mantra". Man -Tra...to bring discipline to the mind. That is why we do Japa (Repitition of Mantra/Bani). Japa creates the heat. That is called Tapa; Tapa, that heat burns the karma. Out of the karma grows the kindness and it becomes Dharma. Out of that it grows the compassion. That is called "Sidhi", that is called "power". From that comes the word "Sadhu" who has controlled himself through the all aspect of life and that is what we call "sadhana". Which you do not normally want to do. How many of you are doing regular Sadhana?"
~Yogi Bhajan 6/25/1987 (YB Teachings, LLC)

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