Old and new Sikh ministers stand together to take the vows again and be ordained as Ministers of Divinity for the Sikh Dharma Brotherhood in the Western Hemisphere at Summer Solstice, 1973.

This is an excerpt from an article from a 1973 issue of Beads of Truth, written by Ram Das Singh of San Diego, California.  

Dearest Brothers and Sisters in Divine,

Sat Nam! In the closing moments of this most recent Summer Solstice Sadhana, Yogiji requested that all of us write down “our highest moment” of the gathering… I would like to share with you the greatest bliss and understanding of those delightful ten days that I was privileged to experience. By the Grace of God I may also be able to explain the significance of that experience as it relates to my life and to all the lives of the members of our family.

As I stood in line with the ministers of Sikh Dharma, receiving the instructions of Yogiji, as to the nature of our duties, I was pleasantly amused when he told all of us to go touch the feet of the members of the Sangat. But, when I placed my hands upon the feet of the first brother I approached and bowed my head in reverence to the Divine within him, Sat Nam graced me with bliss— complete Wha Guru!

An eternity of joy and an infinite amount of gratitude filled my being. With each Saint I approached and then bowed and touched his feet, that same tranquil ecstasy manifested itself in my consciousness. For the first time in my life I felt I could appreciate the meaning of the word “humility”.

And now the moments are past and now is now. So, how do I relate to all that happened? It is far more than simply an experience that I write about. It is a lesson that I must relate to my life.

In order to apply what I felt to how I now shall live, the lessons the Sikh Gurus taught must be understood. Look to Guru Ram Das. There he was, the leader of the Sikh peoples, in a position of immense power. For him, power was service. The greater the man, the more he must serve those who wished to learn from him. And so, Guru Ram Das spent his entire life in service. When travelers would arrive at his home, he would personally wash the feet “of those Saints” who had journeyed to learn more about being one with the One.

The job was not delegated to somebody— the Guru brought himself before the feet of those people. He then helped prepare and serve the food that was given to the travelers and others in need of nourishment. Again, remember always, that the Guru, the leader, the minister, was the one who did the work of serving those who came to him for assistance. And, of course, as Guru, he spoke the Divine word to all who cared to listen. His life was kissing the dust of the feet of the Saints. Through his position he used every resource God granted to him to serve all others…

The Sikh Ministers Line Up (about 200 of them) before the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, Summer Solstice, 1973.

We too, must learn from the lessons of the Gurus’ lives and from the experiences that we are blessed to realize. We have been granted this life and these teachings so that we may not only direct ourselves toward living in a higher consciousness, but so that we may also show all others the love in God’s Name. We must remember then that we are servants of all those who seek to learn from us. Ours is a life of dedication to our students…

We must remember that we are on no different level than any other member of the Sangat. Before the Guru, all are equal. We eat together, sharing the same food. We do not isolate ourselves, placing ourselves on a pedestal. We immerse ourselves in the center of the activities, so that we may teach and learn and grow.

We have been granted the blessing of the Naam…we should always be in a state of mind of bowing to the feet of the Sangat.. Let us have an ‘attitude of gratitude’ in all of our actions. Let us learn to be God’s humble servants.

View this article as it originally appeared in Beads of Truth in September 1973