Online Discussion Group, RAVINDER SINGH
Khoj Gurbani, the online portal, has hit yet another milestone: it turned two on Vaisakhi this year.
Two years ago on Vaisakhi, Khoj Gurbani was launched as a one-stop resource for anyone wishing to either establish a relationship, or deepen an existing one with the Guru.
Khoj Gurbani’s guiding philosophy has rested on the conviction that every Sikh must commit to a lifelong apprenticeship to the Guru by engaging in a holistic, collaborative and social model of learning that includes inquiry, thought, contemplation and discernment.
Two years later, Khoj Gurbani remains a work-in-progress (as it will likely be forever), but the reception it has received has been beyond our expectations. For this, we can only thank the Sangat and the Guru’s guiding hand.
The core activity remains a moderated Gurbani Vichaar session. Our first pilot - an online discussion (vichaar) in English, of Japji Sahib – drew participants from across the world every Wednesday evening.
With a wide range of different perspectives represented, the discussions were lively. It took us a little over a year to complete this discussion – which is now available on YouTube.
Gursikhs from around the world continue to join us in cyber-sangat. This increased interest has led us to put in place an additional weekend session on Saturdays, conducted in Punjabi.
This year, we also completed a discussion of the evening bani, Kirtan Sohila and are mid-way through Kabir ji’s ‘Baavan Akhri‘. The Saturday session completed a discussion on Laavaan and is presently discussing Anand Sahib.
More importantly, the cyber-sangat now has the feel of a close-knit family with diverse – and sometimes divergent – opinions. And this is exactly how we had envisioned Khoj Gurbani – as a forum where we could disagree, if necessary, without being disagreeable.
An informal survey of the membership has been most revealing. Participants freely admitted that opposing viewpoints actually contributed to the progression of their own thought processes. Diversity of opinion has become a catalyst for growth.
In the coming year, we hope to shift the discussion from specific banis to a more thematic focus on fundamental concepts in Sikhi. It has become abundantly clear that we need to converge on meanings of central ideas like Hukam, Shabad, Guru, Haumai, Naam, Sangat – and the interrelationship between them.
Without a measure of understanding of these vital components of Sikh teachings, it is easy to go astray.
Thank you for your support. We continue to seek the Guru’s hand in enabling our vision.
For more info on Khoj Gurbani, or to join, please CLICK here.
April 28, 2016
Conversation about this article
1: Bhai Harbans Lal (Dallas, Texas, USA), May 02, 2016, 6:07 PM.
Although I was not part of this discussion, I heard good things from those who experienced the discussion. I also like the idea of khoj on specific topics impacting our daily life in the Western world.