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The Guru Granth Sahib that graces my nuclear family is one that my ancestors preserved and passed forward. My grandfather brought his family’s Guru Sahib from India and gave it to my father when he settled in the United States. Although we weren’t able to delegate a separate room for Guru Sahib in our two-bedroom condominium we respectfully housed it in my bedroom closet. The act of prakash would transform my room into my family’s collective sanctuary. A sense of tranquility emanated from the room amidst the majestic palki hanging over and brightly colored and sparkling rumaals decorating Guru Sahib. Sukhasan and ardas concluded Guru Sahib’s public presence, and my room converted back into its former setting with stacks of video games, books, and art supplies sprawled over my bed and shelves.

I may get slammed for admitting the above as some would say that the Guru Granth Sahib is to always be in the setting of an open throne and presence of the sangat and certainly not tucked away in a bedroom closet. Perhaps this is true. When I read about folks like Pritam Singh who build second homes for the sole purpose of meditation and prayer, my description of our keeping of Guru Sahib appears terrible. I guess I can limit the amount of negative mail I receive by adding that the next home we lived in included a private room for Guru Sahib with a large custom designed colored-glass window with Waheguru in Punjabi etched into a portion of it.

Or maybe I can’t prevent your negative feelings from rushing in. And I’m okay with that. Why?

In each of the aforementioned instances the Guru Granth Sahib is a physical presence of one’s personal sanctuary and a source of guidance for her current life and eventual connection with Waheguru. In each setting it is read with purpose and held with reverence. More importantly, the ideas and content within the spoken word of the Gurus infiltrate our conversations and daily activities. The spirit moves within a Gurmukh no matter what setting he is in, be it at work, the gurudwara, a restaurant, or a concert. Waheguru surrounds every living being in all moments, thoughts, and locales, and to be able to remember and translate his message into practice is what makes us truly blessed.

Do you keep a personal gutka? A Guru Granth Sahib? In a closet? A separate room? In your heart? Please share your thoughts.