Today we were very lucky to be able to participate in the Akhand Paath, Sangeet and I read from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji from 10am until 11am.
AKHAND PATH (akhand = uninterrupted, without break; path = prayer) is the non-stop, continuous recital of the Guru Granth Sahib from beginning to end. Such a recital is normally completed within 48 hours. The entire Body of Writings, 1430 angs (limbs) comprising divine poetry, is read through in a continuous ceremony. This is considered a very holy practise and is said to bring peace and solace to the participants and the passive listener of the recitation.
For it to be classified as a “Akhand paath”, this reading must go on day and night, without a moment’s intermission. The relay of reciters who take turns at reading the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji must ensure that no break occurs in the reading. As they change places at given intervals, one picks the line from his or her predecessor’s lips and continues. When and how the custom of reciting the canon in its entirety in one continuous service began is not known. Conjecture traces it to the turbulent days of the eighteenth century when persecution had scattered the Sikhs to far off places. In those exilic, uncertain times, the practice of accomplishing a reading of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji by a continuous recital is believed to have originated.
The beautiful doors entering the ashram:
Afterwards we walked over to Yoga West, where we browsed the store and checked the schedule of the yoga teachers.
Sangeet and I came back to the ashram to have lungar. Well Sangeet had lungar I cannot eat spicy food!…..have you ever heard of an Indian not being able to eat spicy food – this is a first!!!
The shop selling treats:
After lungar we just had to make another trip to Babycakes – I have said it before but will say it again, this place is FANTASTIC!
We then went to the Beverly Center…..”located at the cusp of Beverly Hills and WeHo, this eight-story monolith has been one of the LA area’s prime shopping destinations since it opened in 1982; notable for its exterior escalators and high-end stores (Bloomingdale’s, Burberry and Louis Vuitton, among others), it also offers over a dozen restaurants and a rooftop terrace for private parties; in short, it’s the indoor equivalent of nearby Rodeo Drive – with better parking.”
Sangeet needed to pick up some items from The Bodyshop, I enquired about purchasing the new iPhone, the apple shop is always amazing when you enter it feels like you just need to buy something. Apple’s marketing is spot on. Afterwards we took a wonder around the other shops spending around three hours there. Some shops had free wifi which kept me entertained.
So as you can imagine all this walking made us hungry!! We said we would not go back to Vegan Glory, but as it was close we just had to go. Again the food was amazing!
The crispy ‘chicken’ tasted amazing!!
In the evening I had arranged to participate in Muay Thai:
Muay Thai is a combat sport from Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. It is similar to other Indochinese kickboxing systems, namely pradal serey from Cambodia, tomoi from Malaysia, lethwei from Burma and muay Lao from Laos.
Unfortunately the class was for a higher level and full combat. They asked me just to sit and watch. It was amazing to see and I really want to take this up.
On the way home, I passed by the Gurdwara, there I met Saheb Singh, he came to the states eight years ago and was telling me his life story. What was supposed to be a five minute visit turned out to be one hour!
In the evening we went to the Gurdwara, at the Guru Ram Das Ashram, LA their timing is spot on, at 6pm they start Rehraas sahib “The Rehraas Sahib is the evening prayer of the Sikhs. It is recited at the end of a working day. Its purpose is to add energy to one’s being and living environments.”
At 6:30 Kirtan was performed by Bhai Anantvir Singh from Riverside Gurdwara, along with Bhai Jaswinder Singh (tabla) and Bibi Kamaljeet Kaur (on the Santoor – and a fellow Brit!) They were fantastic.
Afterwards we had fantastic lungar which was donated and cooked by a local family.
Where we are staying they have a son staying with them, called Gurmukh who I had a chat with a couple of days ago at the house. I mistook a guy at the Gurdwara for Gurmukh! Well they did look alike! After I had eaten I sat down next to him and said do you not recognise me we are room buddies!! It is only at the end of the conversation when he gave me his name did I realise it was not Gurmukh!!
This morning at 3:40am we went to Yoga West
1535 South Robertson Boulevard,
T + 1 (310) 552-4647
To recite Japji sahib followed by a Kundalini Yoga Kriya and Aquarian sadhana mantra chants. Then went to the Gurdwara on Preuss
Guru Ram Das Ashram
1620 Preuss Rd.
Los Angeles, California 90035
Sevadar: +1 310 858-7691
For the Gurdwara programme including kirtan. It was a fantastic start to the day and something we missed so much.
Afterwards we went to Trader Joes to get some fruit for Harkirat and Simran Sat Sangeet to thank them. Also I had been looking on the website airbnb for accommodation to stay until this Sunday. Even the ‘budget’ motels here charge around $165 a night! Ideally we were looking for a apartment, also if possible which would be walking distance from Preuss…I do not ask for much!! I sent off a couple of enquiries and was waiting for a reply.
We went back to the house and got talking to Hakirat and his wife ……..they said if we are comfortable here stay until Sunday…..! We happily agreed and felt very thankful.
For lunch we went to the Khalsa Corps kitchen attached to the Gurdwara. The kitchen is to serve EVERYBODY, regardless of religion, caste, creed, social status…..the lungar is totally free or if you want, you can give a donation. This happens at all Gurdwaras all over the world – anyone can go in to have lungar. There was lentils, vegetables, rice, yoghurt and rice pudding. I have come to the conclusion that my body cannot eat Indian food due to health issues, so instead Sangeet had lunch. We chatted to a few members of the sangat, they were very warm and cheerful.
Afterwards we went to Vegan Glory where I had my lunch!
8393 Beverly Blvd
This is an old favourite and the food is excellent, we first discovered this restaurant earlier this year. All the dishes are worth trying and we can definitely recommend this restaurant.
Later I washed my hair and got ready to go to a good friends house for Rehraas Sahib, the evening 31 minute meditation of Dhan Dhan Ram Das Gur followed by supper. It was good to see Ravi, and his family. We chatted to the sangat especially as we knew a few of them from previous trips.
We left Santa Barbara around 4pm as wanted to get to Los Angeles for 6pm, there was a meditation held at one of the sangat members house. It was a 31 minutes meditation of the Shabad Dhan Dhan Ram Das Gur (this has been happening every day for a few weeks at different sangat members houses leading up to the celebration of Guru Ram Das ji’s birthday on Tuesday 9 October). We headed down highway 1, the views were fantastic and you could not help but stop at the vista points.
Unfortunately we arrived in Los Angeles too late for the meditation at around 7:30 pm when dinner was being served. Our khalsa sister, Sri Dyal Kaur was there too. We have known each other for a number of years, every time we meet our bond gets even stronger. Harkirat Singh was also there, we met him last year at summer solstice in New Mexico. Earlier in the day he kindly said stay at my house tonight.
As we are travelling light we need to wash our clothes once and sometimes twice a week. I asked Sri Dyal Kaur where the laundrette was, she said she wold show us, even though she was still eating!! She came along bringing her food with her! Whilst our clothes were being washed, we chatted, wandered down to the Preuss Rd Gurdwara and also met Ravi from Australia (now married with a little daughter and living next door to the Gurdwara).
After washing and drying the clothes, Sri Dyal said she would show us where Harkirat lives and then we can drop her home. As always it is very nice of her to help us.
We dropped off Sri Dyal Kaur and made our way to Harkirat’s house. He kindly showed us around his beautiful house and gave us a fantastic en-suite room to sleep in.
We headed back to Espanola around 7pm. Decided to grab a very good friend of ours Deva Singh and head up to Ram
Das Puri to see the stars. Unfortunately it was a cloudy night but after a while the clouds started to disperse. Deva has helped me so much whilst I have been on the course. As well a Sangeet, Deva has been the person I could turn to when I had any issues or just needed to talk.
Hi, thanks for visiting my blog, feel free and have a look around.Here is a bit about me, as you may or may not have guessed my name is Mandeep,I work to travel as opposed to work to pay bills and die!Every trip for me is an adventure, I have been very fortunate to stumble across amazing places and meet awesome people along the way.
Why gaygoat? When I first started this blog I was a vegetarian, so gaygoat – happy goat! Also you have to admit it is catchy and a URL you will not forget!