The Story of Raj Khalsa Gurdwara
The roots of Raj Khalsa Gurdwara were planted approximately 40 years ago in Washington, DC. Yogi Bhajan, also known as Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji, established a community that was based on Sikh and yogic practices. It was his mission to share the teachings of Kundalini Yoga and to help people live healthy, happy, and holy lives. The community attracted mostly young Americans who were spiritual seekers, and who wanted lives of meaning and service. Yogi Bhajan inspired us to live according to the Sikh Rehit. We rose in the Amrit Vela to recite Japji Sahib, to practice yoga and meditation and to chant the Guru’s bani. He introduced us to the Sikh principles of Bana, Bani, Simran and Seva. We began to wear turbans and to dress in noble bana. We studied Gurmukhi, we learned Gurbani Kirtan, and we immersed ourselves in the Sikh way of life…not just as a philosophy, but as a daily practice. Most of us took Sikh vows and participated in an Amrit ceremony to be initiated into the Khalsa.
Our community at that time was called Ahimsa Ashram. In 1970 we opened a vegetarian restaurant which we named The Golden Temple Conscious Cookery. Our restaurant was very successful and we served delicious vegetarian food there for about ten years. As our community grew and many of us married and had children, we decided to move from the city, and in 1979 our community moved to Herndon and Great Falls, where we still reside. Our children have been raised as Sikhs and have been given a strong identity of what it means to live in the purity of Khalsa consciousness. From 1978 – 1986 we operated a Khalsa pre-school and we then built a school in Amritsar, India called Miri Piri Academy where most of our children have been educated. Please visit: www.miripiriacademy.org
We established a Gurdwara in 1980 on Export Drive in Sterling, where we held Sunday Gurdwara services. In 1998, as our Sangat membership grew, we increased the size of our space, quadrupling the square footage, and adding a kitchen and Dharma school room. We asked the Siri Singh Sahib at that time for an official name for our Gurdwara, and he named it Raj Khalsa Gurdwara, the royal domain of the Khalsa.
From the moment we expanded the size of our Gurdwara, the number of Sangat members expanded to fill it, and again at our current location 22821 Silverbrook Drive, Sterling, we now have about 500 – 600 members who attend Gurdwara regularly. We are in the beginning stages of planning to expand our langar hall.
Our Sangat has grown over the years and we generally have 400 -500 members attending Gurdwara each week. It is a beautiful community that joins together in devotion to God and Guru. We have created a sacred place of worship where the Guru’s Word holds court, and where we honor each other in an environment of mutual respect, friendship and service. Raj Khalsa Gurdwara is a meditative environment where you can bow your head and sit in the peace and ecstasy of the Guru’s vibration. We also strive to make this an inspiring experience for children, and encourage them to participate in the Kirtan and some of the seva.
We are blessed to have many inspiring and devoted Ragis to play Gurbani Kirtan each week, and you will hear both traditional Eastern instruments, such as the harmonium and tablas, as well as Western instruments, such as the guitar and piano. We offer the English translation of the Shabads as well as the English and Punjabi translations of the Hukam.
Please join us and enjoy the love and grace and nobility that is Raj Khalsa Gurdwara!
“You have a responsibility to take the message of Guru Nanak to the four corners of the world so the mental poverty, spiritual degradation, fear and phobia may disappear from mankind.” 6/11/90 Yogi Bhajan