top-rated free essay

Golden Temple

By sidw_93 Oct 13, 2013 760 Words

A visit to The Golden Temple
Submitted by

Siddhant Walia
B.Com
0211078

The Golden Temple is quite possibly the best sight in North India. But the Golden Temple is more than a sight. It's an experience. From the moment one walks through the shallow water (to wash your feet) into the inner compound, one can tell that there is something holy about the place. It's an incredibly moving experience to see the devoutness and solemnity with which the Sikhs bow down and pray. It is surprisingly quiet given the hundreds of people inside the compound at any given time, the Golden Temple is a place, that one doesn't simply feel in awe to look at--one feels in awe to be there.

The Golden Temple, just after sun rise.

The shimmering Golden Temple, by the night.

The Golden Temple is a holy place of the followers of Sikhism. The fifth-largest organized religion in the world, Sikhism is monotheistic and emphasizes values of faith and justice. The Golden Temple is "considered holy by Sikhs because the eternal guru of Sikhism, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, is always present inside it and its construction was mainly intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religions to come and worship God equally"

We arrived at the perfect time of day; it was about 5:30PM. As we stayed for over two hours, we were able to see the Golden Temple by daylight, sunset, and night, beautiful in a different way at each time. First, we took our time walking around the perimeter of the inner complex. We then noticed that there was a huge line of people waiting to get into the temple itself. We creeped along with the masses until finally, we were able to enter the temple.

If it had been quiet outside, it was silent inside. Everything about the interior was lavishly decorated. A Sikh holy man was in the center of the room, reading aloud sacred scriptures from a giant, ancient book, unhurriedly and with unbroken concentration. People milled about with prayer books; people sat reading prayers; there were people everywhere. It was opulent--otherworldly--awe-inspiring. And that was just the first floor. The second floor held similar wonders, and the third was an open rooftop. Photography wasn't allowed anywhere inside the temple, and for once it was a rule that I actually felt like respecting. As you leave the temple, each person is given a small handful of the sweet(prasad) from the communal offering.

After seeing the temple, we went to have langar. This was the part I was most incredulous about. Supposedly, any one, at any time, can come to the Golden Temple and have langar, a free meal. One enters the hall where the food is served under a Sikh scripture that says: "The lord himself is the farm, himself he grows and grinds. Himself he cooks, himself he places it on a platter and himself he eats, too. Himself he is the water, himself the toothpick, himself he offers a handful of water. Himself he calls the men to eat, himself he bids them off. Yea he to whom the lord is merciful, he makes them walk in his will."

Under that arch with the scripture are volunteers handing out plates. After those who come to eat are ushered into the hall and seated on the floor in rows, volunteers come down the lines of people ladling out food. When we were there, the meal was prasada or roti (chapatti) and dal (lentils), and a rice-based dessert. Volunteers come around multiple times with seconds and thirds; there is enough for anyone to have their fill. After finishing, we handed our plates to the volunteers in charge of washing them by the hundreds. On our way out, we passed by the volunteers who were chopping carrots for the next meal. Total, there were a few hundred volunteers working to make that meal and the next meal possible. Anyone can volunteer, at any time, just as anyone can come and eat at any time.

It's hard to do justice to the Golden Temple in writing; it was an incredible experience of community, of giving and taking, together. Perhaps photos make the aforementioned descriptions more relevant. It was heavenly being inside the Golden Temple, it is definitely one of the most peaceful and tranquilizing places I have been too. If you ever stop by at Amritsar, a visit to the Golden Temple is a must.

The last moments at the Golden Temple.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Wong Tai Sin Temple: Social Functions’ Change and Rebirth in Modern Society

    ... Wong Tai Sin Temple: Social Functions’ Change and Rebirth in Modern Society Abstract Wong Tai Sin Temple, located in Wong Tai Sin district of Kowloon in Hong Kong, was established in 1921. As one of the most important Taoist Architecture, the social function of Wong Tai Sin Temple has experienced some changes from the basic religious funct...

    Read More
  • The Art & Architecture of Shree Jagannath Temple

    ...Architecture of Shree Jagannath Temple Mrs. Rashmi Mishra Shree Sadashiva Campus, Puri. Architecture in Odisha found its supreme expression in the form of temples, some of which are among, finest in the country. Of these, three are most famous the Lingaraja temple at Bhubaneswar (11th century), the Jagannath T...

    Read More
  • Buddhist Temples.

    ...Buddhist temples come in many shapes. Perhaps the best known are the pagodas of China and Japan. Another typical Buddhist building is the Stupa, which is a stone structure built over what are thought to be relics of the Buddha, or over copies of the Buddha's teachings. Buddhist temples are designed to symbolise the five elements: * Fire ...

    Read More
  • temple grandin

    ... English 1A November 12, 2013 Temple Grandin Temple Grandin, a woman who was diagnosed with autism at the age of three exceeds expectations, and limits placed on her as a child. Grandin has exceeded the expectation of not being able to talk to earning a PhD. Grandin developed an interest in livestock during her early life while spending tim...

    Read More
  • Temple Grandin

    ...TEMPLE GRANDIN Temple Grandin is an HBO film directed by Mick Johnson and debuted on February 6, 2010 with the four major casts: Claire Danes as Temple Grandin; Julia Ormond as Eustacia Grandin and Temple’s mother; Catherine O’Hara as Aunt Ann, Temple’s Aunt and sister of Eustacia Grandin; and David Straithairn as Dr. Carlock, Temple...

    Read More
  • Temple Grandin.

    ...Emergence: Labeled Autistic By: Temple Grandin and Margaret M. Scariano Temple Grandin is one of the world's leading experts in the design and construction of livestock handling facilities. Temple is also a recovered autistic. Throughout her life, Temple experienced much physical, emotional, and psychological pain because of her condition. An ...

    Read More
  • Temple of Heaven

    ...The layout and architecture of the Temple of Heaven is filled with symbolism. According to symbolic tradition, Heaven is round and the earth is square. Therefore, all of the buildings in the temple complex are round in shape, while their retaining walls and the axis are square. The surrounding walls of the complex also reflect these traditions. ...

    Read More
  • Bopexecutive Summary Banking History the First Banks Were Probably the Religious Temples of the Ancient World, and Were Probably Established in the Third Millennium B.C. Banks Probably Predated the Invention of Money.

    ...BOP http://www.scribd.com/doc/13314549/Internship-Report-of-Nhttp://www.scribd.com/doc/13314549/Internship-Report-of-NBPBPhttp://www.scribd.com/doc/13314549/Internship-Report-oExecutive Summary BANKING HISTORY The first banks were probably the religious temples of the ancient world, and were probably established in the third millennium B.C...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.