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Talhan Village’s Annual Akhand Path Part Of It’s “Kindly Gentleman’s” Legacy

By Balwant Sanghera

Service to your fellow human beings and the humanity in general is one of the noblest acts. Simran and service was the guiding principle of two very kindly gentlemen –Baba Nihal Singh and Baba Harnam Singh of Talhan village in the Punjab.

Talhan, near Jalandhar in the Punjab, is very well- known village not only in the Punjab but also overseas. Its Gurdwara named after two noble and kind souls –Baba Nihal Singh and Baba Harnam Singh-is a very popular place of worship for people from all around and a large number of NRIs. Here in the Metro Vancouver area, families belonging to village Talhan and area, their relatives and friends have been organizing Akhand Paath Sahib at India Cultural Centre of Canada Gurdwara Nanak Niwas situated on Richmond’s Highway to Heaven (aka #5 Road) for the past 27 years. This year again, all of them came to-gether from September 6 to 8 for the 27th Akhand Paath Sahib. The annual Akhand Paath Sahib was commenced on Friday, September 6. On Saturday, September 7, the devotees, along with members of the Gurdwara Management Committee, changed the Chola of Nishan Sahib. On Sunday, September 8, there was Bhog of Shri Akhand Paath Sahib.

During these three days, Metro Vancouver residents of Talhan and area, their friends and relatives attended the Gurdwara in large numbers to pay their obeisance. On all of these three days, the ladies, with their helpers, worked hard in the kitchen to ensure that each one of the attendees enjoyed a very delicious vegetarian langar. On this special occasion, a number of their fellow villagers/area residents from various cities and countries including U.K, U.S.A and Spain had come to join them. Sarwan Singh Randhawa, one of the main organizers of this event, mentioned that the Gurdwara in Talhan brings in very large donations from devotees. Most of this money is used for worthwhile causes and in helping the needy. It was mentioned that the Gurdwara provides a lot of money to the nearby hospital to give free medicines to the needy. Randhawa told the congregation that after paying for the expenses related to the Akhand Paath Sahib here, any leftover funds are donated to B.C.Children’s Hospital, Cancer Foundation and Heart and Stroke Foundation. He also gave a brief talk about the Simran and Service mission of Baba Nihal Singh and Baba Harnam Singh.

The Talhan Sangat must be commended for carrying on this tradition for twenty seven years. It provides them with a great opportunity to stay in touch with each other. The involvement of young people in this process is also commendable. Events and functions like this, act as great bridge builders between generations. Also, it encourages young people with same heritage and background to strengthen their mutual bonds. Often, in our community there are complaints that our youth is becoming alienated. However, at functions like this they feel more valued and appreciated. The Talhan Sangat and the organizers must be commended for carrying on this noble task over the years. Another notable positive development in this case is that over these years, the Talhan Sangat has stayed fully united. The way they work to-gether in a very cordial environment, offers an excellent example and model for others in our community. Management Committee of India Cultural Centre Gurdwara Nanak Niwas is very thankful to the entire Talhan Sangat and the organizers for setting a great example for others in our community.

Link Columnist Balwant Sanghera is a retired School Psychologist and Community Activist. He is a member of the India Cultural Centre of Canada Gurdwara Nanak Niwas, Richmond, BC Management Committee.

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