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Langar – Feeding, spirituality and love

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What is Langar?

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Langar is practised by Sikhs. It is the community kitchen of a gurdwara, which serves food to all, free from any charge, no matter what your religion, caste, gender, financial status, or ethnicity. People take a seat down at the ground and eat together, and the kitchen is maintained and serviced via means of Sikh community volunteers. The food served at a langar are always vegetarian.

Langar is a Persian phrase and got into Punjabi from it.

Etymology of serving “Langar”

Langar

The roots of such community kitchen and volunteer-run charitable feeding is a vintage practise in Indian tradition; for example: Hindu temples of the Gupta Empire had connected kitchen and almshouse called dharma-shala or dharma-sattra to feed the tourists and poors for free, or any donation they leave is acceptable.

These network kitchens and relaxation homes have epigraphical evidence, and in a few instances are mentioned as satram (for example, Annasya Satram), choultry, or Chathram in many parts of India. In fact, Sikh historian Kapur Singh refers Langar as an Aryan institution

The Chinese Buddhist pilgrim I Ching (seventh century CE) wrote about monasteries with such volunteer-run kitchens. The institution of the Langar emerged from Fariduddin Ganjshakar, a Sufi Muslim saint dwelling withinside the Punjab area during the 13th century. This idea similarly unfolds and is documented in Jawahir al-Faridi compiled in 1623 CE.

Langar- Unique to Sikhism

Langar Unique to Sikhism Langar The North-Eastern Chronicle

The idea of langar or free food, is a way to create equality amongst society and is unique to Sikhism and owes its origins to Guru Nanak. Sikh idea of langar turned into designed to be upheld amongst all people, regardless of religion, caste, colour, creed, age, gender, or social reputation and became an progressive charity and image of equality brought into Sikhism by its founder, Guru Nanak around 1500 CE in North Indian state of Punjab.

The second Guru of Sikhism, Guru Angad, is remembered in Sikh culture for systematizing the organization of langar in all Sikh temple premises, in which visitors from all around the world will get free simple meals in a simple and same seating.

He additionally set guidelines and training approach for the volunteers (sevadars) who operated the kitchen, setting emphasis on treating it as an area of relaxation and refuge, and being always well mannered and hospitable to all the visitors.

It was the third Guru, Guru Amar Das, who installed langar as a distinguished institution, and required human beings to dine collectively no matter their caste and class. He advocated the exercise of langar, and made all people who visited him attend langar earlier than they may communicate to him.

Idea of Langar

Idea of Langar Langar The North-Eastern Chronicle

Langars are held in gurdwaras everywhere in the world, most of which magnetize individuals of the homeless population, regardless of their caste, gender or spiritual faith.

The volunteers feed humans with none discrimination, along the Sikh devotees who gather.Almost all gurdwaras function langars wherein neighborhood communities, from time to time including masses or hundreds of visitors, be a part of collectively for a easy vegetarian meal. Anyone can volunteer in langar, irrespective of whether or not or now no longer they’re Sikh adherents.

It is stated that Guru Nanak whilst he was a child, was given a sum of 20 rupees and his father told him to go to the marketplace to do ‘Sacha Sauda’ (a good bargain). His father was a famous dealer of his village and desired young Guru Nanak to understand the family business when he was simply 12 years old.

Instead of doing a sophisticated bargain, the Guru rather offered meals with the cash and fed a big group of saints who were hungry for days and that’s what he stated as “real business”.

The Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book that is kept in all of the gurudwaras, carries such significant teachings of the Gurus and is worshipped by the Sikhs.

By taking lesson from Guru’s teachings and moves, one of the thoughts which is dearly followed and observed are, “Naam Japo” “Kirat Karo” and “Vand Chhako”, meaning, meditate of the Guru’s name, lead an sincere and honest life and earn honestly and devoted living by walking at the direction that the Gurus have made for us and lastly, share what you eat. These three principal pillars of Sikhism are the motive why humanity and serving the ones in need are number one moves taken by Gurudwaras.

Also Read: The Legend of the Bleeding Goddess Kamakhya & the ‘Shakti’ of fertility

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