The months of October and November bring with them celebration of the Divali festival, Guru Nanak’s birthday and Kirpal Sagar founding day, the latter regularly celebrated on November 16th.
The Divali festival of lights and peace is celebrated by almost everyone in India and coincides with the new moon which, this year, was the end of October. “May every day be Divali for us”, explained Sant Kirpal Singh, “Illuminate the lamp inside. If you have any bad thoughts for someone, stop them, and if someone has hurt you intentionally or unintentionally, forgive and forget”. In this spirit of brotherhood and forgiveness hundreds of oil lamps and strings of lights illuminated Kirpal Sagar whilst employees received gifts as gratitude for their work.
Guru Nanak’s 550th birthday was celebrated on November 12th this year. He declared, “I am neither Hindu, nor Muslim; I am puppet made of five elements, in which the Invisible is playing, and which is called by the name of Nanak”, and He blessed all: “Peace be unto the whole world, according to Your will, O Lord”.
Early in the morning in recognition of this great Guru, who taught about a single God in a time of tremendous hostility among religions, students from the Kirpal Sagar Academy sung Shabads and recited verses from the Guru Granth Sahib as part of a procession that moved from the Sarovar to the Langar, the school, the hospital, the workers’ facilities and the farm. According to Sikh tradition, food was distributed in the Langar, hospital and guesthouse while a reading from the Guru Granth Sahib followed at 11am.
School programme and Kirpal Sagar anniversary
On Nov. 15th, the anniversary of Kirpal Sagar Academy was celebrated by singing and dancing, sketches and presentations. A gospel song was sung by a music teacher from the West who later gave lessons at the Academy.
Spiritual lectures were given and songs were sung in the event hall on Nov 16th in commemoration of the Kirpal Sagar foundation stone being laid. Meanwhile, many Indian volunteers helped put vegetable seeds into small containers which are then cultivated in the greenhouse. Some Western visitors, taking advantage of the milder temperatures in Northern India at this time of year, helped with planting trees.
This year has provided a good vegetable harvest, especially cauliflower and eggplants. The practice of stubble burning has been prohibited by the government to stem air pollution. The acquisition of a new milling and sowing machine does the job instead while surrounding farmers can rent it financing a new, stronger tractor. The harvested organic lemons were transformed into lemon jam, among other things.
The Symbols of Unity, which are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather conditions, have also been renovated while the various fountains in Kirpal Sagar have been painted anew.
The months of October and November provided visitors with an inspiring stay, full of experiences and encounters and stories to tell upon their return.