Poems and Reflections from the First Khalsa Women’s Training Camp

September 30, 1976 |

Categories: Our StoriesPoetry

Here is some poetry written by women who attended the first KWTC in Espanola, NM, USA, in 1976, which originally appeared in a 1976 issue of Beads of Truth:

The Home Of Guru Ram Das

By S.S. Guru Prem Kaur Khalsa

The earth where we root our souls, the floor.
The infinite reach of our hearts, the ceiling.
Our yearning to be with Truth, the door.
With four walls of Guru Ram Das protecting
Here we have come together
Loved together
And felt the touchstone of the Guru’s Word.
We have worked together
Lived for each other
And through God’s praise have been found Pure.
The sisterhood we have known and built has lived before and will reach beyond
To soothe every corner of this laboring Earth.
Our Guru’s radiance, the glint of the sword
Will cause all negativity to fall before us.
And through His Grace and through His Word
This living sisterhood shall hold the world
With joyful simran and service.

Ladies Camp

By Judy Whipp

I entered in fear,
Dreading what was here.
Timid to try,
I was letting part of life by.
Fears fell like snaps as I stretched and expanded.
Running became a challenge.
Karate became an exploration of self.
Jungle games became conquerable
Gurmukhi became a key
A shabad became learnable.
It has been a time to grow in awareness of my Womanhood . . .
To grow close to many sisters . . .
To grow in commitment and peace.
I’ll leave in grace, with a smile on my face!

Breakfast comes but once a day, we surely never miss it. Langar lines straight as pews, soup, yogurt and Khalsa biscuits. Announcements!! Announcements!! Siri Bhrosa Kaur: “No men allowed in tents!” “Does anyone have a car?”

Khalsa Remembers God

By Har Nal Kaur Khalsa

Oh, Soul, seekers of home.
Khalsa, remember God
A vague feeling hidden deep
Calls to say, “there was something else.”
(We were born to die).

Slave to circumstances and people
Emotions run up and down.
Ego demands recognition
Positive and negative.
Unfocused lethargy, a heavy weight.
Body fumbles, inept its clay
Soul cries out for release
Soul pushes out for release

Pierce into the self.
Channel to infinity
Soul merges into oneness.
Sweet nectar flows peace and joy.
I am the Grace of God
God. God. God.
God and me are One.

Life becomes conscious.
Consciousness is to serve
Graceful spirit, poised and tall.
Trust God within.
Freely manifest His Grace and strength
You know the Truth
Live to acknowledge God
Or doubt with silence
And fall into forgetfulness
Once again.

Khalsa remembers God.
And lives in the bliss of His Name
Servant of God and Guru
Break and bring your forehead
To the ground.


By S.S. Guru Prem Kaur Khalsa

Women, Roses, Ladies
Your perfume fills the air.
Your perfect petals reflect heaven.
Your pure existence fulfills prayer.


By S.S. Bibi Bhani Kaur Khalsa

When I was a child
I would lie in bed
And look out at the vast dark sky
So much greater than I.

My life seemed like a tiny spark
That would soon flicker and die.
And the universe would go on without me.
I would never be there again.
There would be nothing but darkness.
Emptiness, nothingness.
Forever and ever.

I would call to my mother and cry.
“I don’t want to die!”
She would say. “Don’t worry, dear, go to sleep.
You have many more years to live.”
I would count sixty, seventy, maybe eighty years.
That was a very long time.
And my mother’s presence made me feel less alone.
I would forget and go to sleep.

Now I lie in my bed at night
And look out at heaven’s expanse.
Somehow I feel myself a part of it all;
I know that my life is just a small spark
But it is part of a greater light,
That will shine forever and never go out.

I imagine myself dying for Truth.
Standing proudly before the enemy
To choose death over disgrace
Choosing to go to the Infinite Creator
Rather than dishonor His Name on Earth.
To stand at the last moment and cry,
“Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa! Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh!”

Or if it is my destiny to die when I am old,
Welcoming death as a friend come to guide me to a higher realm.
God and Guru Grant me the Grace to live and die in Truth.
With the realization that I am a part of the Infinite Spirit.
Which lives forever.

Ladies Training Camp 1976

By S.S. Sat Kartar Kaur Khalsa

Days and distances of land and sea
Lay tucked away so far behind me.
My room back home was cluttered still
With things of which I had had my fill:
Lurking scraps of bad habits and fears
Left behind for the rest of my years.

Many months I wondered in advance,
“Will we really have this Golden Chance
To learn to take the true Khalsa stance,
To have a glimpse of the Guru’s glance?”
At last the day dawned to wave good-bye
I sailed away like a butterfly.

As a wave on the sea takes its form,
We joined together to build our norm.
A nest of ladies shimmering white.
Solid sisterhood with auras bright.
Service, sweat, sacrifice were the tools
To shape us into the Guru’s jewels.

We gathered gladly, a cozy clan,
To hear the words of one saintly man.
His wisdom, truth and sincerity
Instilled such courageous clarity:
We have no fear to defend and fight,
To live gracefully and do what’s right.

His mine of knowledge so vast and deep
Opened a vein of life, rich and steep.
His sacrifice and infinite flow
Ignited in us a gracious glow.
His stamina and fatherly ways
Coated our hearts with a golden glaze.

The shock of death jolted every heart
When a saintly soul chose to depart.
The time had come for us to realize
We come to go, but the spirit never dies.
And so that day we felt elated.
For our dear friend was liberated.

The sweet sight and smell of the local land,
Unending range of red desert sand.
Sculpted formations from days of old
Preserved and honored in nature’s fold,
Moving masterpieces meet the eye.

The joys, the gifts, the lessons, the tests
Were received by us as grateful guests.
We bowed, we prayed, we meditated.
We thanked the Lord that He created
This Training Camp where we could all meet
And surrender at the Guru’s feet.

Khalsa – Rainbow O’er the Earth

By S.S. Ravi Har Kaur Khalsa

The night wind blows in gusts so strong the earth shakes.
And my tent-home billows and wavers under its continued impact.
The darkening sky is shot with lightning and thunder shouts from the heavens.

But not even the monstrous wind beating at all of Creation
Can sweep away the kiss of God, the rainbow,
Which embraces the sky from one end to another.
It comes forth silently, gracefully, to stand immovable in the heavens, yet joined with the earth.
Ever present, it manifests and becomes known,
Only when God calls it forth to stand as an example, a thing of beauty, awe-inspiring.
The vibrant delicacy of its colors,
The purity of its radiance,
Glow as a gift from God.

No wind can bend the great arc,
Nothing can change the bold shape.
And it promises it will never give an inch to the elements.
Nothing can move it because it is constructed neither of wood,
Nor of clay, nor painted in the sky.
Intangible, untouchable, its essence is ether, spirit, created out of love, by the One Creator
As a Sign for people to find a bit of hope in times of doubt.
The rainbow, steadfast and unbendable, radiant,
Magnificent in God’s Glory,
Shining through the darkest of times,
Graces our earth.

Khalsa, the spirit of Khalsa, born also of Love
From the deepest Womb of the Universe.
Born, nursed, nurtured and raised,
That one day it too might be as the rainbow,
But a “spiritbow” whose entire form is not visible from one point,
But encompasses the entire earth.

The spirit of Khalsa, a rainbow o’er the earth —
Its colors: compassion, humility, grace, courage, and strength;
Its radiance, the purest Light of God.
And like the rainbow, Khalsa comes forth,
Called by its Infinite Creator to be an example,
To stand strong in the Grace of God
Against the greatest turbulence.
To stand boldly and courageously with the humility
Of knowing its courage comes from God alone.
Nothing can move Khalsa an inch,
No action, no word,
For its action is of God, and its word is God
And that cannot be broken.

The spirit of Khalsa is a thing of beauty.
And those blessed to behold it are in awe.
Born of undying Love, undauntable, immovable —
it is the Hope for those in doubt,
That their tomorrow might bring New Faith.
The spirit of Khalsa, steadfast and unbendable,
Radiant, magnificent in God’s Glory.
Shining through the darkest of times,
Graces our earth.

Reflections on Ladies Training Camp

By Manjit Kaur Khalsa and Siri Prem Kaur Khalsa

The sound of silence
Where silence is essence
The strength of purity
Where purity is living soul
The songs of bliss
Where bliss is union
The flow of nectar
Where nectar is sacrifice
The power of truth
Where truth is alone
May this moment of Shakti ever endure.

This fountain of light
Our inner moon.
Reflection of God’s purity;
This gentle softness
Our motherhood.
The Pritham Bhagavate
Our enduring wisdom
A deep ocean,
Perfection and totality
This endurance of good
Our simple self
Nature’s supremacy
May this moment of Shakti ever endure.

Purple sentinels standing
Sharing with flowing crystal
Age, youth, and neither one
Perceiving all and giving all
Father Water and Mother Earth.

Through a liquid black
Laced with tree branches
Woven by lights of the night
Peering into the unknown.
Defending sleeping sisters;

By the pink dusty ribbon
Safe and grass and wildflowers
Scenting the morning freshness
Sky rising to meet clear light
Running on breath sweet and full

Ancient rhythms
Haunting longing
Soul pierced by melody
Exalted by undying sounds
Easy union, floating.

Bodies straight and fast
Energy vital and centered
With kick or shot or sword,
Countering negativity
Uplifting spirit and self,

Reaching beyond the rain
Taxing borders of past reality
Walking borders of past reality
Walking a softened earth
We emerge a new white lotus
Embracing our infinity.

And from dark to light,
Pain to bliss, earth to ether
We will seize this moment of Shakti
Unto it, truly live, or truly die.

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh!

The Coming of Dawn

By Sada Anand Kaur Khalsa

No one hears me
The only voice is from with inside
Listening to the calm, dark stillness
And feeling proud to be alive.
Occasional sighs of restless slumber
And the subtle drone of the gamma waves.
All our sisters’ traveling
Their souls on a road
That’s been well paved.

Not a word do we utter
We walk so consciously
Tune our ears to silence
And all charge is frequency
Crackling in the bushes
We’ll sneak up on the sound,
How should we attack the mugger,
Does he stand a chance
Should we rib him from behind
Or wait calmly in front stance?

We’ll carry our lessons always
Fight fearlessly till the end
Armored pole and whistle
God and Truth in hand.
Approaching the scene of crime
But not a soul in sight
Could it be the crackling sound
A mugger in the night?
We’ll face our future fearlessly
Expecting no reward.

Sa Ta Na Ma brings me back
To all the things I knew
But God and Guru give me strength
To help me see it through.
Guru, Guru, Wahe Guru.

The light of day at last
Dyes coral clouds glowing embers
The light has shed its mask
Vibration of Anand Sahib
Set my spirit free
Around the track running
To gain the strength we need,
To carry on our mission
Living righteously.

In Gratitude

By S.S. Adi Shakti Kaur Khalsa

And sitting here
Looking up at this man
Tears streaming from an unknown place inside
Never before touched this way,
I thank God.
For I have never in my life felt such love from anyone
Totally accepting, unattached, encompassing,
Very gently he holds my soul
Peeling away layers and layers
Of insecurity, of fear, of doubt.
Of ignorance.
Awakening me to my Self
I thank God.
Engulfed in this gratitude
Surrendered to the Ecstasy of this moment.
I realize the incredible gift I’m being given,
the know-how to become a living woman
And I thank God.


By S.S. Guru Prem Kaur Khalsa

Daughters of the Khalsa
Mighty warriors too.
Prepare for any battle
By running our course on through.
Quickly leap the treacherous ditch.
Run cheetah to the ladder
Then a mental block made manifest,
An excuse: “Let’s see, my bladder!!”
A wall of courage, fight fire with fire,
A foot, a leg on the other side.
Tears, insecurities, a shadow of the past.
With God and Guru by my side
I leaped the wall at last.
Crawling on my belly now,
Low from enemy fire.
Thank God, I made it safe,
To cross the tightrope wire
Leave behind not fiery coals
Flying parallel.
There’s never any time to waste
To make the karate bell!!
Will you know me
When I come home again?
On this soil I’ve been growing
Into a living woman.
I have no words to tell you where I have been
No picture, no story could give that description!
Only my life, our life, will show
As I serve you, I shall deserve you
And so shall we grow.

American Patterns from Insanity to Dignity

By Akasha Kaur Khalsa

Children see women pushing
Every bad habit plus sex,
On the billboards of this country.
Degrading! Insults! Yet next…

Vicious cycle continues,
Young girls raised with no respect,
Never learning their self-worth
Abuse is all they expect.

Man’s nature is to conquer
Seed and go. Woman beware!
Each union will hurt you
Loose character is nowhere.

Scarred, woman, unwed mother
Full of insecurity.
Men are weak, female tantrums,
Both raised to insanity.

Where woman’s not respected
There will be war in the land
Let us mend our vibration
Give each other a helping hand.

Motherhood and womanhood
Roles that must be kept apart
Woman protects herself first.
Mother gives and gives from the heart. 

On Guard

By S.S. Vikram Kaur Khalsa

I was guard at Siri Singh Sahib Ji’s lectures. One day I was sick. The thought came: “No! We are saint-soldiers and a soldier of the Khalsa is always ready for duty!”

I dragged myself out of bed and upon arrival found that Sardami Sahiba Krishna Kaur had replaced me.

Joining the sangat and sitting there I found myself still guarding! And a wave of realization passed through me. I suddenly knew that I would be “guarding” for the rest of my life, whether “on duty” or not.

I felt a fearless readiness to leap up and protect with my very life, not only our beloved Siri Singh Sahib Ji, but any one of my sisters present! And then I knew that from then on I would walk, talk and live in that constant readiness that was ever a longing, where sacrifice of self was no sacrifice but a gift! And where forgetting myself thus, my individual life and family, was merging in Amrit-Khalsa, where all is white-light and bliss, and always was and always will be.

Read “The First Khalsa Women’s Training Camp in 1976” Beads of Truth article written by Hari Har Kaur Khalsa.


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Comments (0)

  1. Just beautiful. Thank you!

    • Wahe Guru, thank you for your comment. Such a wonderful gift to read this inspiring poems

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