Mural (Fresco) by the Late Ed O’Brien

Mural (Fresco) by the Late Ed O’Brien

I want to share with everyone this beautiful mural that is in the back of the Gurdwara here in Espanola, New Mexico. The picture here doesn’t do the real painting justice.

I know for many people, at first glance all kinds of questions come to mind, and possibly criticisms. So, If you are one of them, I ask that you stop your judgmental mind for a few minutes. Open your mind to other perspectives and read on….. (Thank You!)

“When beyond the faith, in interfaith, God is seen and recognized, that is where man rises above the clouds and sees sunshine. With this Christ consciousness, Ed O’Brien worked with Sikh Dharma and predicted and depicted, through the mural, the future events of the world, through which mankind will be grateful.” – Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji

Edward O’Brien, Mural Artist, 1910-1975

Lady of Guadalupe Mural (1975 Fresco)
Painted by Edward O’Brien in The Singhasan e Khalsa Gurdwara, Espanola, NM


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

About The Fresco – by Guruka Singh

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, Yogi Bhajan, 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 Naam 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 nearly 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 the 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. Here an Akand Path takes place every week, year round.

And way in the back, behind the main Gurdwara our little incubator still remains. 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.

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

Sacred Art and the Story Behind the Fresco – by Ek Ong Kaar Kaur

from an old discussion on SikhNet

If you study sacred art it’s interesting that when a spiritual tradition moves into a new culture, that culture creates artwork which combines the symbols of the new religion with familiar symbols of their own. Study Buddhist art from India through to Japan and you’ll see what I’m talking about. As the symbols of that faith moved from one country to another, each culture found a unique way to artistically express their experience of the Buddhist teachings. But despite the varying cultural expression of Buddhism through artwork, at heart, the tenets remain the same.

With that framing in mind, I’d like to share the story of the painting that has the Lady of Guadalupe merged with the Khanda. It’s a beautiful mural that adorns the back wall of the Gurdwara at the Hacienda de Guru Ram Das community in Espanola, New Mexico.

First – a little background about the artist. His name was Ed O’Brien. He studied a unique form of fresco paintings in the 1930’s – an artistic technique that’s not very well known today. The fresco is painted in layers in such a way that, as the paint ages, the mural will take on the characteristics of stained glass. After World War II, Ed went to Mexico City to the Basilica and saw the Guadalupe. He had a great religious experience there, and, in order to share his religious experience, he decided to dedicate his life to painting Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was a spiritual mission for him. He would be guided to different places to paint murals and he always included Our Lady of Guadalupe in those murals. Ed did paintings in churches all over the United States. And then he came to New Mexico.

While living in New Mexico, he met some of the younger people from the Sikh Dharma community living in Espanola and spent time with them learning about the Sikh tradition. His experience when the symbolism of the Khanda was explained, was that the notion of the Adi Shakti – the Primal Creative Power of God – matched the spiritual experience he had in Mexico with Our Lady of Guadalupe. Even though he had spent his life painting murals for churches, he felt guided to do a mural at the Gurdwara. So he approached the community and requested permission to paint. We didn’t have any money to pay him, but he wasn’t looking for payment. He slept in the Gurdwara. The sangat fed him meals. We bought the materials he needed and for days on end he painted that mural from his own inspired vision of the relationship between his experience of our Lady of Guadalupe and the Sikh Khanda.

The mural is complex and beautiful and there are all types of symbols in it. Ultimately, though, it is a painting that harmonizes East with West, Past with Future, God with Humanity.

Ed O’Brien died within one week after completing the mural. It was the last work he did. For the members of the community who had fed him and supported him while he worked on the painting, it was a deeply spiritual experience. He came to us from his own spiritual vision, he spent his time working tirelessly without asking for payment and then, somehow, in the act of doing this painting for the Sikhs, his soul had completed its mission and it moved on. It’s a sacred work to us, not just because of the painting itself, but because of the way the painting came to be.

What happened was that a man of Christ and an artist, through the symbol of the Khanda, had a chance to move into truly Universal consciousness and realize that his symbol of the Lady of Guadalupe and our symbol of the Khanda point to that same Divine Power which mothers all of Creation. And ultimately, isn’t that what our Sikh faith is about – giving people a chance to move beyond a one-aspected understanding of the Divine into an understanding that every faith, every culture, every symbol is trying to describe that one Indescribable Power behind Creation?

I just wanted to share the story behind the fresco so you can understand what it meant to a man and a community and why we cherish it so very much.

About Ed O’Brien and the Symbology of the Fresco

Ed O’Brien painted murals that always included the Virgin of Guadalupe in Wisconsin and Chicago and then came to New Mexico. Here he painted a mural at St. Catherine’s Indian School and a mural at a church in Pecos. While he was in Pecos, he met some young Sikhs who lived in the ashram in Santa Fe. Mr. O’Brien asked them about their religious faith – Sikh Dharma, which originated in the east, in the land of India. While speaking, the conversation turned to Adi Shakti (The Khanda.) Adi Shakti is the representation of the feminine principle in Sikh Dharma. Mr. O’Brien realized that this symbol of the Adi Shakti (Khanda) represented Our Lady of Guadalupe. At the center of the Adi Shakti is the two-edged sword – the feminine principle, surrounded by the circle representing God, on either side, swords, representing spiritual and temporal sovereignty – to be in this world, but of the spirit at the same time. So, Our Lady is in the center of the mural as the feminine principle. She stands on the crescent, which represents the two swords. Mr. O’Brien was impressed that the same universal principle meant the same in the east as in the west. In the mural the same concept from both ends of the world become one. On the right side of the mural is the Golden Temple of the Sikh faith in India. On the left side, the Basilica in Mexico. The image of Our Lady on Don Diego’s shawl is filtered and projected through the Adi Shakti. On the left, is Yogi Bhajan, who brought Sikh Dharma to the western hemisphere. On the right, is an American Sikh bringing Sikh Dharma back to the east. So, Adi Shakti, after being blessed by Guadalupe is being reintroduced back into eastern culture.

The twelve astrological symbols frame the mural, showing the all-encompassing effect of the universe and its influence upon man’s life. At the top there are four sections showing the universe in creation and repose, and showing life taking form from the cellular world to man. Here the universe is seen in macrocosm and microcosm and in past, present and future, showing Ek Ong Kar – the constant process of creation.

The basic structure of the mural is formed by two equilateral triangles forming a six pointed star, one rising from the earth towards the heavens, the other bringing energy down to the earth. The center is the western symbol of Our Lady of Guadalupe combined with the eastern symbol, the Adi Shakti. This combined symbol is the Universal Mother for all mankind, the purity and power of the feminine principle. It takes form as it comes from eternity through the sphere of sound, down through the color spectrum, into physical form. Above her shoulders are two eastern goddesses, Saraswati and Bhagwati who represent the aspects of beauty and balance in the life of a God conscious being.

On both sides of the Adi Shakti are portraits of the ten Sikh Gurus, and to the side of each portrait is a miniature painting detailing a virtue from a significant event in the life of each Guru.

The left side of the mural represents the formation of Sikh Dharma in the western hemisphere. Here is a picture of Yogi Bhajan with no pillow of rest behind him, showing the time and work spent in preparing the destiny of this country. His right foot rests on the United States and his left foot rests on the original building at Hacienda de Guru Ram Das, symbolizing his mission of coming to this country to train teachers and inspire many to a new way of life. The right side represents the activity and projection of the Khalsa into the next 5,000 years. The man represents a Sikh man of the future with the attributes of Guru Ram Das. The pillow behind him symbolizes his comfort in the east and the prophecy that our generations would return to teach the Indian continent and to prosper for the next 5,000 years. His left foot rests on India. Next to this figure is the Golden Temple with its nectar tank in the foreground.

The last scene painted by Mr. O’Brien was the Lady of Guadalupe appearing to Don Diego and telling him of her mission to crush the evil serpent of misunderstanding and abuse of mankind. Her image is imprinted on his poncho to prove her presence and her intentions to the Catholic Church, and in the painting. This is filtered through the Adi Shakti symbol to show the universality of her mission.

The Siri Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogi Ji (Yogi Bhajan) said of Mr. O’Brien and his work, “When beyond the faith, in interfaith, God is seen and recognized, that is where man rises above the clouds and sees sunshine. With this Christ consciousness, Ed O’Brien worked with the Sikh Dharma and predicted and depicted, through the mural, the future events of the world, through which mankind will be grateful.”

 

Read this wonderful book about Edward O’Brien’s life and Art.

67 Responses to “Mural (Fresco) by the Late Ed O’Brien”

  1. isingh says:

    Thanks Gurumustak, you read my mind! I saw that mural in one of the pics that you took of the sangat but totally forgot to ask about it.

    -isingh

  2. Anonymous says:

    Gurmustak,

    Thank you for putting the mural up. This is really interesting and is completely new to Sikhism that I grew up in or is used to since it combines Hindu goddesses, Sikh Gurus, Lady Guadalupe and Yogi Bhajan and brings them to the same level. It would take a while sink in. I guess if that is what came from Artists heart and mind, it is Ok. It reminds me kind of like paintings by Hindu artists of Sikh Gurus during the 17th and 18th centuries which London museum had displayed a few years back in San Francisco here as part of Sikh art.

  3. Manjit Singh says:

    Gurmustak,

    The last comment was by me as well. It brings up a few questions:

    1) I would be curious to know how the other western Sikh community share their feelings about this mural, since most of them came from different religious backgrounds? For example, a western Sikh in Sweden, Italy or Russia etc.? This definitely brings Sikhi to another level where it has not gone before.

  4. Anonymous says:

    rss

  5. isingh says:

    uhhh i smell something brewing here and i have a feeling that it’s going to turn into a discussion. so i just want to clarify my comment if anyone cares. i was thanking gurmustak for posting the mural. and i’m not going to share my opinions regarding the content of the mural (it’s not my blog and it’s not a forum).

    thanks again Gurumustak :)

    Sat Nam!

  6. Can’t we all accept a work of art for being a work of art, without getting critical

  7. I posted this artwork (not to start controversy or debate) but to try to help open people’s minds a little.

    Sikhi is based on openness and acceptance of all faiths. We have to stop being so critical and one pointed and open ourselves up to the infinite which flows through everyone. Not…”My way is the only way”. If found the story of this artist and this mural to be very inspiring. I hope others can see this too.

  8. Anonymous says:

    good art

    but khanda mix with mary picture is not the good choice.

  9. Manjit Singh says:

    All

    I apologize if I said something wrong. I am in no way an expert on art or Sikhi. I do look beyond any religion even Sikhi, when it comes to faith. But I would still want to learn and ask questions if I may.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for helping to open my mind Gurumustuk Singh.

    My mind was so closed and I was so blind to think that my Guru does not reside in a mural.

    I was so blind and so closed minded to think that if my Guru’s image is to be drawn on a mural, it shoudl not be drawn smaller than Yogi Bhajan.

    I was so blind and so closed minded that I thought perhaps there is One God and the Hindu Goddesses cannot unite you to him. I was so blind to follow Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s gurbani which clearly says not to worship Hindu gods and goddesses.

    I was blind but now I see.

  11. Prabhu Singh says:

    To the last anonymous.
    Why are you so insulting? What is your problem? Does it make you feel better to insult the things that your small mind cannot understand?
    Nobody is disrespecting the Guru, it is a work of art. What’s most insulting is that you are directing your vitriol at somebody like Guru Mustuk. You SHOULD thank him for doing the amazing work he does. I’m not upset by your comments about the art work. I don’t care if you insult a work of art. I’m upset because you insulted Guru Mustuk who is one of the most humble, kind, open hearted, serviceful Sikhs on the planet. Just because you can’t understand art, you have to insult others.
    Why are you so scared that you cannot reveal your identity? Why are you so scared that a piece of art can shake your foundation in the Guru’s bani? It doesn’t shake our foundation or even weigh in on our love and service to Guru Ji. The problem is all on your side.

  12. Anonymous says:

    some guys just wanna troll…..attention seekers thats all
    desi

  13. All the roads lead to the same place, we are just following different routes!

  14. jasjeet says:

    Hey greatman(gm:gurmustuk),

    Criticism gives inspiration, thats my philosophy. May waheguru bless you. Hope I will meet you some day.

    Regards,

    Jasjeet

  15. isingh says:

    ਕਿਉ ਲੜ ਦਿਉ ਆਪਿਸ ਵਿਚ??? ਪਰਾ ਪਰਾ ਬਨ ਕੇ ਰਹੋ!

  16. Anonymous says:

    as a comment on the art itself, i think his redemption of the faces is very poor (ugly I might say)…i don’t have a problem with the content since it’s his own artistic taste, but the faces seem very ugly..maybe he’s not familiar with East Indian faces??

  17. Sat Dharm says:

    The first time i saw this mural i couldn’t avoid to drop some tears. I really felt inspired beyond this world, time and space. Seeing not the images, but the message that conveyed directly into my heart, the same message that Guru Nanak spoke more than 500 years ago: “There is only one God and one Creation.”
    When i saw this mural, i knew it was blessed by Guru because it really showed the tenets of our faith. Thank you Ed O’Brien.

    Sat Dharm Singh (Mexico)

    To Gurumustuk and Ek Ong Kar,
    Thank you, and keep up with that high caliber, i truly admire you. Ang Sang.

  18. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
    Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    Thank you for posting that Mural
    it is a Beautiful mural and i love Art and always thought of painiting something like this one day but this is Beautiful. Do not mind all the critics without them we cant better ourselves (But we Cant kill them either Hhahaaa). What i mean is keep doing the Guru’s Work because it is He the Guru who is going to judge us not any man. My favourite Fresco Painting used to be Davinci’s ” The Last Supper” but thanks to The Great Ed O Brien and you my dear Brother GuruMustuk Ji i now have a new Favourite.

    Waheguru Bless You all and me too
    INdy The Piper

  19. Ghanaya says:

    Thankyou Gurumustuk for posting this beautifull painting and what a lovely story behind it……

    i got emotional when i read the story of the artist…..

    the sayings of Yogi Bhajan are true ‘if you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all’

  20. Tania0110 says:

    im speechless for once..awesome awesome writings!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    I don’t want to comment. Egoes of humble people are too big.

  22. Anonymous says:

    How can you even compare those other people (yogi bhajan) and put halos around them and put them in the same context ouf our great gurus. Sorry but this is not acceptable I admit yogi was a great man, but this is beyond limits. Sorry this does not OPEN my mind. I think its insulting, and quite openly distgusting.

  23. Anonymous –
    Every being has a light (Aura) around them. I don’t think it is comparing Yogi Bhajan with the Guru’s…or trying to say that Yogi Bhajan is in the same line. We are all people who have to carry on the mission of the Gurus. The painting is about a vision of the artist (past and future) which relates to his experience with Yogi Bhajan and the Sikhs in our community.

    This is art is portraying a message that everyone may interpret differently. You are entititled to your opinion, but let us please be civil and kind with our words.

  24. Wahe Guru ji ka Khalsa
    Wahe Guru ji ki Fateh

    Even when I was in 3HO, I was disturbed by this painting and I wasn’t the only one. This is not a question about the merits of the painting as art but does it belong in a Gurdwara? The final arbiter of what is appropriate in Gurdwara is that it should follow the principles of Gurmat and this painting does not. Astrology is contrary to Gurmat. The use of an other religions symbols is contrary to Gurmat.Yogi Bhajan’s picture being larger than the Gurus is contrary to Gurmat. Just by itself, a picture of a person who is not a Guru is contrary to Gurmat. This painting is just not appropriate for display in a Gurdwara.

    I think that it is ironic that a week ago there was a discussion of how inspiring it was that Bhai Fauja Singh and others stood up to the Nirankaris when the Guru was insulted. I believe that Bhai Fauja Singh would feel that the Guru had been insulted by this painting being in Gurdwara and so do I.

    Chardi Kalaa

    Amar Prakash Singh

  25. Anonymous says:

    to the [email protected]:40pm aug 03,2005.you’re blind…that’s you problem if you don’t want to understand.but i believe it didn’t change your condition you’re still the same.He’s trying to unite everyone and where did guru gobind singh ji said not to worship hindu gurus or so(seems like never did path or read gurbani)in gurbani Ram,vishnu,Brahma,shivji all are praised for their good work and what they taught the of humanity and worship and also has given examples for what was wrong at some certain circumstances with them at that particular time.Guru Gobind singh ji only had opposed Murti puja or puja of any other image than the one and only God.there is only one God…why don’t you understand that.Guru gobind singh,GUru Nanak and all the gurus,Brahma,Shiv ji,Vishnu,jesus,marry they are all same,part of one spiritual light.they just come in the diffrent identities from time to time as was required.
    Gurbani has everything in it.it has Mualas, pundits at the same time.Sikhi is the religion to learn and learn through out the life not to put the other religion down or to critisize or to block your minds due to the lack of knowledge.
    Gurumustak,i won’t say sorry to this person that if he or she feels bad about what i said as Guru Gobind singh ji, ne vee is tarah de bahut sodeh.

  26. SatKiran KAur Khalsa says:

    “Chan veh kror, khalsa sajaygaa, Khalsa Raaj karaygaa”. Guru Gobind Singh gave this prophecy that Khalsa shall one day be 960 million strong. Do you actually believe that all these people are coming from Punjab? Hmmmmmm!

  27. Khalsa Woman says:

    This mural has been a touchstone for me and has carried me through many difficult times.
    I would meditate on the Shabd “Dhan Dhan Ram Das gur…..” for 2 1/2 hours for 2 years. Always the site of this mural would lift me to understand the importance of woman in the Guru’s Court. Every Man is born of a woman, befriends woman and marries a woman. She is the steady spiritual support and nurturer to the man the children and to the future generations. She is the Pritam Bagoti(sp?) that Guru Gobind Singh prays to in ‘ardas’. And here she is, a divine woman vision for us all to aspire too and engender. Where else in Sikhi will you find such a beautiful sight for us woman…..not in ANY media which is blasted in all our faces….thak you God, Guru for this beautiful gift of a Divine Woman for our presant and future generations

  28. isingh says:

    This post has been removed by the author.

  29. isingh says:

    Sat Nam!
    Brothers & sisters, Why are you fighting amongst eachother? Why not try to understand why the brother of contradictory
    opinion said what he said?

    AND if you don’t stop being belligerent to eachother i’m going to unleash a 500 word essay on you to cool you guys off. IN GURMUKHI!

    :))))

    -peace and love

    96 degrees/feels like 100 hot and humid!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Gurumustuk, I was surprised to see Nuestra Senora in this mural when my yoga teacher showed me a picture of it. But I see it as the artist saying that he has been touched deeply by Sikhism as well as by Christianity. That is quite a tribute coming from someone who obviously knew Christianity longer than he knew Sikhism! Not knowing much about Sikhi, I can’t speak to the appropriateness of having the mural in the Gurdwara. But in the U.S., we may have become more accustomed to fluidity and plurality of religious symbolism (most of us see such symbolism frequently in non-sacred contexts instead of church, Gurdwara, temple, etc.). Please don’t be discouraged by abusive comments on this blog – I’m really enjoying it and learning a lot. — Heather, Kundalini yoga student in Millis, MA

  31. Anonymous says:

    SHOULD NOT BE IN GURDWARA, PLEASE REMOVE IT

  32. In case it wasn’t clear…this is a mural which is actually part of the wall in the Gurdwara Building. It’s not something that can just be “removed”.

    As expected, this topic is showing the wide variety of opinions that people have.

    The point of me posting this is not to start a controversy or debate. But attempt to show how things like this can cause so much anger and opinionated remarks. These situations are a chance to learn and expand our minds.

    Guru Nanak had such a vision and wide perspective on life. We should not limit our vision and try to expand our viewpoint.

    In any case…it’s all God’s will. It is my prayer that we focus on our strengths and stop nit-picking these things. Our nature is to divide and sepperate. It is this focused narrowminded approach that we miss the big picture in life, and who we are has humans on this earth.

    PS. I would hope that anyone making comments would have actually read all the information that I posted (including the details). Read slowly, allow yourself to be open and take everything in.

  33. Prabhu Singh says:

    To Amar Prakash Singh who wrote:
    “Astrology is contrary to Gurmat. The use of an other religions symbols is contrary to Gurmat.Yogi Bhajan’s picture being larger than the Gurus is contrary to Gurmat. Just by itself, a picture of a person who is not a Guru is contrary to Gurmat.”
    Your bitterness towards 3HO does not allow you to be nuetral and you are abusing what I hold sacred (Gurmat) to make your point. I’m sick of people saying what is anti-Gurmat, are you perfect?
    If astrology was against gurmat, why then is the Kali yug (AN ASTROLOGICAL AGE) mentioned so often in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib? Is the Granth anti Gurmat? Both the Siri Guru Granth and the Dasam Granth use other religious symbols, which to you means they’re both anti-Gurmat. This is ridiculous. Fanaticism, hatred, judgement, these are anti-Gurmat.
    How can any picture of Yogi Bhajan, whether large or not, be anti-Gurmat? I’m sure somewhere on this earth there are pictures of me which are larger than other paintings on this earth of the Gurus. Should I destroy all my pictures because it is anti Gurmat? At my home I have my walls decorated with Sikh art that I find inspirational, including several paintings of the gurus. I also have pictures of my family in my home. They are even next to each other in some cases, is this wrong?
    Many gurdwaray have pictures and paintings of other inspirational people. What the judgemental fanatics don’t seem to realize is that their problems lie with them alone. We don’t worship statues or paintings (maybe some of you do), we’d rather concentrate on Gurbani, on service, on the betterment of this world. We don’t need to abuse other people to feel better about ourselves. We don’t create websites that spread rumor and slander about other people’s inspirational teachers. We don’t slander other people’s sacred practices (Sadhana), even if it includes astrology, puja, yoga, or anything else. Why do people feel the need to attack us every time they find out something different about us? If we were so bad, don’t you think that God and Guru have the power to destroy us in an instant? Instead we continue to grow and prosper and people are continually inspired to adopt our way of life.
    Guru Mustuk and myself try to share something sacred or something beautiful on our blogs and people just want to hurt us. Why?

  34. Anonymous says:

    Gurfath

    I’m sorry but the above statement doesn’t hold any ground in my ‘narrow mind’. The question was should this be in a Gurdwara not in ur home. I’m sorry if u think that this is a personal attack but, u are doing the same to Amar Prakash Singh.
    This is ridiculous. Fanaticism, hatred, judgement, these are anti-Gurmat.

    That is true but i think these are also true a bit closer to home as well.
    Ur just ignoring the main part of this comment, “does it belong in a Gurdwara?�

    Anyway back to the picture I think that it is a great work of art that should never have been in the Gurdwara (in my opinion) but I understand the attachment u may have and that is completely understandable with the story attached to it.

    I think that if this had been anywhere else there would been no problems and to those that say there shouldn’t be pictures of Gurus next to hindu gods then I think u forgot on big point……THEIR NOT UR GURU UR GURU IS THE BANI. Their just artistic impressions just like this.

    The above comments are just based on my own ignorant knowledge and I’m sorry if i have said anything anti panth.

    narinder singh

  35. Guruka Singh says:

    The Fresco
    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. We had a single old adobe building in which we gathered together to do our morning sadhana.

    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 20 people in it, is Ed O’Brian’s vision. 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.

  36. Manjit Singh says:

    Narinder Singh,

    But God is all around us and within us. Gurudwara is just one of the places of worship. I am thinking to myself, how would I feel if someone says something negative about something I hold so dear in my heart such as a parent or my child, what would I do and what kind of reaction would I have? Lets move on please since we as Sikhs have a lot of work to do in this crazy world to make people aware of Sikhism before a next tragedy like September 11 happens. Please go out and volunteer and show America what Sikhs are all about and stop this. Also, please read Sat Dharam’s thoughts.

  37. Anonymous says:

    no one is trying to hurt you Prabhu Singh Ji, I have learnt a lot from you guys and I respect all of you. But that painting is not in accordance to gurmat.

  38. Apaar Singh says:

    To all,

    First of all, I find the fresco unbelievable in an artisic sense. I would also like to point out that I have no ill feelings towards yogi bhajan ji or any other 3ho sikhs (i simply don’t know much about either). I do not even mind that the fresco is in a gurdwara.
    However, I was not ready to see the fresco when I saw it. It made me feel uncomfortable and unsure about how to react.

    Since that time I have read all of the information posted on the fresco and Now feel very differently about it. I don’t think it is such a bad thing, maybe it does not speak to me as much as it speaks to the sikhs who started living in New Mexico 30 years ago. This in itself does not make it a bad thing. Just because we may not understand or have the knowledge to understand we shouldn’t jump to conclusions or order people around.

    Bottom line: We all have different paths to God. Even every sikh has a different path! Love your sikh brothers and sisters and share what you’ve learned. Maybe the other person won’t understand at first but it’s always worth a try.

    Thank you Gurumustak Singh Ji for opening my eyes and sharing what you’ve learned with me!

    Apaar Singh (Even though I was
    born a Sikh, I’m still trying to become a Sikh)

  39. You can read a very hearfelt post on Prabhu Singh’s blog at: http://prabhukhalsa.blogspot.com

  40. Manjit Singh says:

    Gurumustak,

    First of all I am sorry that I have been misspelling your name all these times. I just realized that. I went to Prabhu Singh’s blog and his thoughts are even more inspiring. He is right about everything he is saying about what being a Sikh means, trusting one another and following Sikh way of life really is. It is a real eye opener and hope everyone reads it. Beautiful pictures of Gurudwara and desert valley as well.

  41. Anonymous says:

    We all agree that Sikhism teaches us to respect all other religions and even people without religions, and also that any human being is allowed in the Gurdawara irrespective of their religion. However, we fail to perceive the same thing, which is depicted in the form of art. It shows that we do not actually understand Sikhism. When we are going to stop fighting over irrational issues. Constantly, we are fighting over irrational issues ( at Gurdawara in Canada and US) and destroying the fundamentals of Sikhism and the future of our children.

    I was born in Punjab, came to Canada when I was about 2 years old. Then went back to India for few years in a boarding school. While I was in India I saw lot of business named after our Gurus, such as Nanak fashions, Nanak sweets, Golden temple atta etc…… Why don’t we think that this is insulting to the Gurus or to the God? Maybe the reason is we grew in that environment where it was accepted by the society? The point is that whenever we see something new we react to that stimulus without contemplation and this leads to making slanderous remarks against someone. These kind of actions are hurting Sikh nation as whole.

    We need to focus upon relevant issues such as how to promote higher education in our community in every field, how we teach the world about teachings of our Gurus, how can be lift our spirituality at higher levels. How can we unite under one umbrella when Sikhs are facing discrimination in the entire world and other issues as well?

    Finally, I have lot of respect for Gurumustuk singh and other Sikhs because they have shown us the true way of Sikhism. Born in Sikh religion does not make us philosophers or expert of a religion. I have learnt a lot from them and still learning. May God bless all of you?

    Please relax, Gurdawara does not belong to one person or but to the entire human kind.

    Gurinder

  42. Man with maya says:

    all of our different views are great and make us great. have your different views, but chill out and try to live with everyone as equal.

    In the end, only the naam with go with you.

  43. xSHANTIx says:

    oh dear its jus art…..Waheguru blessed the artists hand that made this mural and i think most of us agree it is beautiful..whether the place for it is right or not..its there now and obviously an important piece in this community. We shouldnt be so quick to judge each other it doesnt do ones self any favours..if you dont agree then count to 10 before posting..this is Gurumustuks personal blog and he tries to share as much with the world as he can in order to learn more…..sure you wont agree with everything but instead of writing sumthin bad wait til he posts somwthing u do like and then use ur energy for that comment :D BLESSINGS to people of the blog xxxx

  44. isingh says:

    >>oh dear its jus art

    trust me it’s not that simple. and yes, he’s probably in heaven for doing what he did with that mural. i’ve always had a soft spot for artists because i envy the way they live. material things mean so little or nothing at all to them. they see this world through a totally different point of view. it’s really envious. i could never live like that.

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 post!:)

  45. Tarun Singh says:

    “where did guru gobind singh ji said not to worship hindu gurus?”

    “Ram Rahim Puran Quran Anek kehai mut ek na manyo”

  46. Anonymous says:

    I’m in love with it! For me, the above Image is what Sikhism is about. I know that it may go against the mainstream view of the religion – but I have my own interpretation of my beloved Sikhism. My mind is open to everything, I can only see God behind it all.

    ~ Joravar Singh

  47. torontosingh says:

    “where did guru gobind singh ji said not to worship hindu gurus?”

    Mai ‘N’ ganays pritham manaaoo, kisn bisn kabhoo na dhiaaoo
    I do not praise or hail Ganesh before I start any task. Nor do I let the thought of Vishnu or any incarnations of Vishnu (i.e. Krishna) enter my mind.

    Kaan sunay pahichaan ‘N’ thin so, liv laagee more pag in so
    I know of their existence, but I do not ever worship them. May my prayers and thoughts always be in the immaculate, holy feet of the Lord.

    “I would meditate on the Shabd “Dhan Dhan Ram Das gur…..” for 2 1/2 hours for 2 years.”

    I don’t think our Guru Sahibs wanted their Sikhs to meditate on them, but only God, which is why we have been given Gurmantr. Even meditating on “Satnam” or any one of the other countless names of God, will never have the same effect as meditating on Gurmantr, so why do it? Maybe there is something in these other mantr’s that is not in the Gurmantr? Please let me know. I also wanted to know where these other mantr’s come from and where it say we should chant them.

    Thanks in advance.

  48. “I would meditate on the Shabd “Dhan Dhan Ram Das gur…..” for 2 1/2 hours for 2 years.”

    This is a reference to the Shabad:

    “Dhan Dhan Ram Das Guru, Jin Siria Tinay Savaria”.

    My mother used play this shabad as a meditation every day for 2.5 hours for over 3 years (1,000 days).

  49. isingh says:

    The significance of 2.5 hours is (10% of the day) that Guru Gobind Singh Ji instructed us to dedicate to the Guru.

    :)
    ps…this has become a good discussion, i’m learning a lot.

    Sat Nam!

    -isingh(spirit of isingh)
    “very hot” and humid 96 degrees in the nation’s capital today…

  50. Apaar Singh says:

    isingh,

    your in dc? so am i. Its so freaking hot today! aaaaaaaaaahhhhh