cosmic corner


Golden Greetings

In the Heart of Amritsar

I arrive at night. The Golden Temple sits on the surface of a huge man-made lake (sarovar) in the middle of a bustling city, the water tank itself surrounded, and separated from the busy streets, by a fortress of white marble. Outside, it is completely lit up by hundreds of strings of light magnifying its magnificence. It reminds me of Disneyland, and I feel like an innocent, standing there, in awe of the light.

As I take off my shoes, I realize I am entering a very sacred place. I cover my head with my shawl and walk barefoot across the concrete to the entrance. Everyone is bending down to touch the marble, then tapping their forehead, some have hands in prayer, some are uttering, “Sat Nam Wahe Guru.” This is what devotion looks like.

I descend the marble steps and stop at the bottom, trying to take in the Golden Temple, floating in the water. Like the pulsing of my heart, it throbs in the middle of the sarovar. I hear—no, I feel—the powerful mantras penetrating my thick skull and hypersensitive skin.

As I walk around the sarovar with the masses, my feet feel dainty, pressing on the cleanly washed marble. I pass men dipping in the holy healing waters (women dip in covered structures out of modesty) and soon enough, I am on the long walkway leading directly into the Golden Temple. The song of the ragis (classical Indian musicians) calls me inside, to hear the words of the Guru, to pray and give thanks. With each note, my heart sings, experiencing what my soul longs for. I close my eyes and am overcome, an empty shell filled by the Guru's praise.

Thi Kim Hoang, PhD
Haridass Kaur
Travel Enthusiast, Writer, Producer, Yoga Teacher
For a very informative read, try A History of the Sikhs.


Sarb Nam Kaur Khalsa commented on 01-Jun-2010 04:49 PM5 out of 5 stars

Thank you Haridass Kaur for capturing so beautifully the experience of the Golden Temple. I will never forget my first sight of this sacred site and reading your article brought me back to that place of peace! Blessings and may you return soon to India if it is your destiny to do so (mine too!)

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