(GENTLE SITAR MUSIC PLAYS)
MAN: Every Sunday, we have a gathering of about 2,000 people who come here to pray and to satisfy their religious beliefs.
Usually, for a Sunday gathering, we start cooking at six o‘clock in the morning and it starts with the making of vegetables, dhal, rice pudding, rice and chapattis.
This is not anybody‘s kitchen – this is everybody‘s kitchen. There is no supervisor. There is no manager to supervise them or tell them what to do. Everything gets done by the will of the people.
Everybody has a contribution towards the temple, which really makes it an excellent institution of equality.
All of our religious prayers finish up with a sweet called ‘parshad’.
Central idea of parshad is a halva, which is made with the wholemeal flour, ghee, sugar and water, all in equal quantities.
At the end of our prayers, we will distribute these offerings to everyone in the temple.
The halva is offered to Guru. Once it‘s offered to the Guru, it becomes a parshad. The essence of the prayer goes into the halva as well. Once it becomes the parshad, then it‘s distributed to everybody in the temple.
Kheer is a very important part of our free community lunch. Every person who has had a meal is given a kheer to sweeten his palate. We make it in a huge quantity with about 150 litres of milk, 10 kilos of rice, 10 kilos of sugar, almonds, sultanas, and sometimes we add saffron to this.
We are very tolerant of other religions. We accept everyone and anyone of any religion and any faith in our temple.
A basic principle of Sikhism is that all creatures in this universe are equal, and the wishes of the god has to be taken as sweet. Sweet is an essence in our culture which tells us whether somebody is born or somebody passes away. We have to follow it up as his order and take it as a sweet thing to move on in our life.
All these people are volunteers and these people come by their own choice.