Presentation on theme: "LANGARLANGAR GURU - KA - LANGAR. ORIGIN The tradition of Langar was started by the founder of the Sikh faith – Guru Nanak Dev Ji - who was born in the."— Presentation transcript:
ORIGIN The tradition of Langar was started by the founder of the Sikh faith – Guru Nanak Dev Ji - who was born in the Punjab, north-west India in 1469.
SUCHA SAUDA The first mention of Langar is when Guru Nanak Dev Ji was a young man. His father was anxious that his son should start some sort of work and make something of himself. After trying various other occupations he finally asked his son to go into business. He gave him 20 Rupees and sent him to trade. He was given a companion to assist him. On route to the markets he met a large group of wandering Sadus who said they hadn’t eaten for days. Being a person of great compassion he gave all his money to his companion and told him to buy food and feed the Sadus. Having done this and no money left Guru Nanak Dev Ji returned home but was fearful of what his father would do. He sent his companion on to inform his father of what had happened. His father asked him why did he do that and in answer Guru Nanak Dev Ji said that it seemed to him to be the best thing to do—it was true trading—Sucha Sauda. Needless to say his father was most upset.
After four major journeys to the Middle East, Russia, Tibet, the Far East, Sri Lanka and the length and breath of India, Guru Nanak Dev Ji settled at Kartarpur in the Punjab,India. Hearing that the Guru had come home the Sikh devotees started visiting from far and wide. Arrangements of food and accommodation had to be made for them. The Guru worked on his farm and this provided the food and accommodation. Later local devotees also contributed with food, kitchen utensils, fire wood, bedding, etc. The poor, destitute, travellers, and visitors of all kinds ate food from the common kitchen.
Founding principles of Langar Guru Nanak Dev Ji gave the Sikhs a triple formula of code of conduct:- -- NAM JUPNA-------- Worship of One God -- DHARM KI KIRT ----- Honest work / earning -- WAND SHAKNA ----- Sharing of earnings with less fortunate The giving of charity ( Dasvand ) for good works is the basis for Langar. Sikhs are urged to share their food and earnings with others Only honestly earned food or money is acceptable to the Guru.
After Guru Nanak Dev Ji the continuation of the institution of Langar passed on to the second Guru –Angad Dev Ji who lived at Khadur Sahib,Punjab. Guru Angad Dev Ji added two more meanings to the word Langar :- 1. Guru Shabad Langar– Worship through recitation and singing of Gurbani ( Holy Scriptures ) and chanting of the Mantra. 2. Guru –Ka – Langar --- new name for Langar saying that the Langar is a blessing of the Guru and should be accepted by everyone with pride.
The Third Guru Nanak – Guru Amar Dev Ji – continued with the tradition of Guru –Ka- Langar. At the times of the Gurus the population consisted of two main communities--- Moslem and Hindus. The Moslems never ate with the Hindus and the Hindus were segregated themselves by the Caste System into four main groups. In order to breakdown the barriers of discrimination between the peoples the Guru added three more important aspects to it :- 1. All who ate at the Guru –ka – Langar, the rich and the poor alike, had to sit together in one line. 2. All who wished an audience with the Guru had to first eat in the Guru-Ka- Langar. This proved their commitment to equality between Man. 3. The 3 rd Guru established 22 doctrinal seats of propagation of the faith and ordained that these institutions should also provide Langar facilities in addition to collecting offerings from devoted Sikhs for the Guru. When the Emperor of India, Akbar the Great, came to visit the Guru he too had to first eat in the Guru-Ka-Langar with the common people. He was shown no privilege due to his position. Akbar was so impressed by this that he offered the ownership of 12 villages and their income to help run the Guru-ka-Langar but the Guru Sahib refused this saying that the Langar should be run by income from people’s honest and hard work.
The fourth Guru—Guru Ram Das Ji founded the city of Amritsar in which his son the fifth Guru—Guru Arjan built the holiest of holy shrines– The Golden Temple complex. Here is built the Guru-ka –Langar hall which can feed 5000 people in a single sitting ! The Guru continued with the tradition of Guru-ka-Langar feeding the poor and destitute and the visiting devotees The Guru also fed the workers who helped built the new city of Amritsar and the holy shrines in it. Those devotees who wanted to stay with the Guru were encouraged to work in some way to help pay for eating the Guru- ka-Langar. This was so that the Sikhs did not become dependant on charity but instead work for their living and be able to help others.
During the time of the sixth Guru—Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji events occurred pertaining to Guru-ka-Langar. Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji sent one of his devoted Sikhs Bhai Garia to Kashmir to not only propagate the Sikh faith but also to collect the offerings of his devoted Sikhs for him. Whilst he was doing this a local plague beset the people and Bhai Garia spent almost all the collection on the poor. When he returned to the Guru he explained to him about the money. The Guru applauded him and said that all the offerings of his devoted Sikhs had reached him. After the martyrdom of the fifth Guru his son Guru Hargobind Sahib armed the Sikhs to defend themselves. An army was formed. This army also ate from the Guru-ka-Langar. A Sikh was taking some honey for the Guru. On route a beggar said he was hungary and asked for some honey. The Sikh refused saying it was for the Guru. Later when he presented it to the Guru he refused it saying ‘when I was hungry you did not give it to me’. The Guru pointed it out that feeding the hungry is feeding him.
The Tenth Guru Gobind Singh Ji During the time of the tenth Guru the tradition of Langar was being copied by some other people. Mostly this was done to enhance the social status of these people as charitable but in reality the true principals of service of the community were not adhered to. After hearing complaints of these people Guru Gobind Singh Ji investigated these and subsequently denounced them and prevented the true ideals of Guru-ka-Langar to be corrupted. The Order of the Massands --- created to help devout Sikhs to send their offerings and concerns to the Gurus was disbanded by Guru Gobind Singh Ji because of complaints of corruption and malpractices.
CONCLUSION Guru-ka-Langar is a tradition started and maintained by the ten Gurus and thereafter continued by the Sikh institutions to date, where ever there are Sikhs all over the world. Guru-ka-Langar depicts the traditions, practical principals and ideals of the Gurus:- 1. Giving of food in charity is a sound principal seeking to serve the welfare of all. 2. Allows Sikhs to adhere to the Guru’s principal of working and sharing honest earnings 3. Offers the opportunity to do service of fellow man to build good characteristics such as humility. 4. The tradition of sitting down in a line and eating food with anyone with disregard for faith,race, colour, gender, social status breakdowns the barriers of discrimination and ego.