Here is a beautiful poem and painting by Gurukirin Kaur relating to the longing of women to do seva inside Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple).

It’s really sad to see that this isn’t allowed, and continues to be a political thing. Even though in Sikhi one of our most basic beliefs is equality of Gender. How can we say this if at our most sacred temple it is quite contrary. It doesn’t set a good example for people to follow, and for me gives no confidence in the "leadership" there in Punjab. No wonder most Sikh youth don’t have an interest in being a Sikh! (not to put all the blame on them…but it does have an impact).

I must not understand the issues in India…but it seems like a no brainer. Does anyone know some of the reasons why people appose women doing seva and playing Gurbani Kirtan inside Harmandir sahib? Most of the things I have heard don’t make sense and are so backward. It’s like it is a "Platinum Exclusive Club" and they don’t want others to be able to get in. We have to stand up to this thinking and make our voice heard. At the very least, let others know. Quite a few people I meet don’t even know that women can’t do this seva or play kirtan. When they find out…they can’t believe it!

Anways… here is the poem.

By Gurukirn Kaur Khalsa

Harimandir Sahib longs for the touch of Thy mothers,
Thy sisters, daughters, and all the others,
Who bow each day to Siri Guru Granth,
Following the path of the Khalsa Panth,
Who enter freely through all four doors,
Except when it is time to clean the floors.

In those holiest hours when it is such
A beautiful time to serve and touch
The marble where the saints have walked,
Why must those gilded doors be locked
To women alone, the Guru’s daughters,
Cleansed by Thy Word and Thy Holy Waters?

The women of Bibi Bhani’s line,
And those descended from Mata Sahib Kaur’s time,
Gather as one to utter this prayer:
"O compassionate Guru of infinite care,
Let all Sikhs enact this holy rite,
As all are immaculate in Thy sight."

Download the poem as a wallpaper
Read updates and background info on the seva issue

The above poem and artwork is from the book of poetry titled "Pure Longing Fulfilled" by Gurukirin Kaur Khalsa.

"This is a work of great depth and originality in which Gurukirn Kaur Khalsa combines her inspiring poetry, exquisite paintings and photography for the first time in one volume. Both witty and wise, she brings a refreshing perspective to the expression of the soul’s longing for the infinite. Gurukirn Kaur Khalsa is an Award-winning poet and artist. She is a Sikh, and a juried member of Arizona Artists Guild, and a member of the Interfaith Action Coalition. Available in hardcover or softcover"