Here is another poem by Gurukirin Kaur from the same book "Pure Longing Fulfilled" which is a beautiful book of art and poetry. This poem tells the story from March of 1996 when Gurukirin Kaur and a group of American & Indian Amritdhari women were (somewhat) allowed to do the ishnaan seva at the Golden Temple under the protection and guidance of Singh Sahib Bhai Manjit Singh, the then acting-Jathedar of the Akal Takhat.

Answering the Call
by Gurukirin Kaur Khalsa

From the Head Jathedar had come the call,
For women to wash the floors
Of the Harimandir Sahib in Amritsar,
The Golden Temple, whose four doors
Face the four corners of the world,
As open as heaven’s gate,
Except in the earliest hours of the morn,
When women are made to wait
Outside while men alone clean the dust
Left by the holy saint’s feet.
Yet now, his call had come to us,
This sacred rite to complete.

From the West, we made the trip
To the holy nectar tank.
Bowed our heads, took a sip and a dip
And humbly gave our thanks
For this chance to honor the God in all,
Regardless of race, gender, or caste.
By answering the Jathedar’s call
We truly felt that at last
Women would be honored as in Nanak’s song
Of Bandh Jameeai,
And she who had been separated for so long
Would be bathed in the Guru’s ray.

Fireworks burst over the water that night,
During the reading of Kirtan Sohila,
In honor of this, the very first time
That women would perform this seva.
And so with hearts glad and spirits high,
We dressed in our best for the occasion.
Walking down from the Nivas, we felt we could fly,
No doubt, no hesitation
Entered our minds as we bowed our foreheads
And welcomed the cool marble’s kiss.
We felt that the hand of destiny had led
Us to this experience of bliss.

Continue Reading The Poem

3 Responses to “ANSWERING THE CALL”

  1. SikhsRus says:

    To all the women gursikhs I say, please forgive those that hurt your feelings and did this dis-service to you, they don’t any better. Their only reference point is the Indian or Punjabi community that they grew up in, which is not purely a Sikh way of life but a mixtue of Sikhism, Hinduism, caste system, Indian psuedowestern modernism which is being called secularism, alcoholism and many others social customes and rituals. It is really hard to find true Gursikhs among this political power, control and psuedosikh society. Lately, even Sikh families are naming their kids as Goldy, Bunty, Rocky etc. which has no spirituality in them whatsoever. Almost all of the Sikh names used to have spiritual meaning to them, but the latest trend seems to be that more western sounding or acting you are, the easier acceptance you seem to get in India. I don’t know whose at fault, the Indian Government or the Sikhs themselves, but the social trends are really troubling. Now, even same muslims, who used to do kirtan before 1930’s, aren’t allowed in Harmandir Sahib. Sorry little off base at the end, but remember, Akal Purakh Waheguru is watching all of us and is the Antarjami and the Ultimate Supreme Judge of all this behaviour. Please keep doing your great part and raise your sons to respect women.

  2. SikhsRus says:

    Oh! by the way, I am also a cultprit and victim of the above trend. I wish I could change the past.

  3. Anupreet Kaur says:


    We’re screwd…unless we can sort it out!!  yea i really don’t understand the name things!!  I love my name =D the names Guruji has given us are beautifull and full of meaning! ask any westerner “what does your name mean?” they dont have a clue!! Whats the point in that?

    Indian govt are corrupt because their main priority is to make money! they dont actually care about india or the people living in it! its all in the money for them. Nothing more.

    Sad fact of life!!

    hmm….i think i might go to india and become a political activist… keep sikhi pure and simple is what i say .. whos with me!! ; )

    wjkk wjkf