The Fresco


(Download a large version of the painting to see more detail)

Take a moment and close your eyes and travel back in time to 1971. The delicate seeds of Sikh Dharma lovingly planted by the Guru in the fertile Western soil and tended by his gardener, YogiJi, were just beginning to sprout. There was no Gurdwara in Espanola. We didn’t understand Siri Guru Granth Sahib. There was only a dedicated band of about 20 young settlers, living on the land and rising in the amrit vela to chant the Nam together in the cold dark morning. We had a single old unheated adobe building on the property, and it was there that we gathered and huddled in our shawls for warmth to do our morning sadhana together by candlelight.

A man came and said he had a vision of our future and that God told him to paint a fresco in the wet plaster of our cozy little meditation room… our little incubator.

He was an amazingly humble man and a very talented artist. He painted his divinely inspired vision on the wall.

Today, 34 years later, our little community numbers over 400 Khalsa and we have been blessed to build together a large beautiful Gurdwara. The roof is supported by eleven vigas (tree trunks) representing the 10 Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib. The walls are three foot thick adobe. A huge gold Khanda decorates the Guru’s platform and the interior floor and walls are covered with beautiful white marble imported from India and set in place by skilled artisans.

It is all Guru’s work, and our hands are his hands. We are very blessed.

And way back, behind the main Gurdwara is our little incubator. The cozy little room where we were moulded by the Guru and where we set our consciousness upon this sacred path. And on the rear wall of that room (which was crowded with only 20 people in it) is Ed O’Brian’s fresco. The seeds of Guru’s vision sprouting in the West. It is a most sacred and divine vision. It is our childhood. A beautiful reminder of our sweet beginnings.