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Advice please after bad experience

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:02 pm
by Chappyski
For the last 2 weeks, virtually every single day, I have visited Shri Guru Ravidass Bhawan, 1 Union Row, Handsworth, Birmingham B21 9EN

I always obey the rules and respect everything and everyone in the temple.

When I enter, I take my shoes off ,wash my hands and go upstairs to the main hall, where I approach the Guru Granth Sahib, bow and pay my respects to the Gurus. I then take 4 spaces backwards, so I never turn my back on the book. I then sit down and pray with my legs crossed and then I bow with my head on the floor as respect.
I then make my personal prayers again, stand up bow again to the Guru Granth Sahib. On my first visit doing this, I was offered a special blessing, which I gratefully accepted with both hands open and consumed the offering.

I then walk back downstairs\ put my shoes back on and enter the langar hall. I only choose the dishes I like and I always consume everything that I ask for.

I then wash my own tray and cups and if others come in with trays, I offer to wash them for them. On one occasion\ I washed over 60 trays for people.

I always keep my head covered in the temple and I do not drink alcohol or smoke nor bring in anything like this with me. I also shower before I leave my home just down the road, before going to the temple.

However, this afternoon when I went to the temple 9/12/2018, was stopped from entering by a sikh man, who said he was part of the committee and that the temple was for members only. I asked what he meant by this and he said I must be a Sikh!! I told him that this goes against the very ethos of the Sikh religion and from the very start, it has been acceptable for every person, male, female, any colour or creed or any religion to access the temple, as long as they obey the rules, which I do.

He proceeded to tell me that there have been other non Sikhs cause trouble there and I told him I was a good man, I am always respectful and should not be barred for the bad deeds of others. He still refused my entrance and barred the door from me entering.

This has truly upset me, as the temple gave me a place to pray and contemplate life and made me closer to God. I have only been in Birmingham for 3 weeks, after having a breakup with my fiance, who ran off with another man and I came here for a new life and my prayers in the temple were helping me overcome this and make me into a more spiritual person.

I would very much like to visit the temple again on a regular basis and it is only one man that is determined to stop me without any good reason against myself\ other than that I am not a Sikh.

Please help and advise, as this sort of treatment should not be dealt to any human who visits and is respectful, thanks

Re: Advice please after bad experience

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:46 am
by gurmail
Appalling behaviour by this Gurdwara. Please look for another Gurdwara in Handsworth.

Re: Advice please after bad experience

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:31 pm
by Bundha
Bhaji,

This goes against all that is Sikhi and I hope you do not judge the faith by the actions of these small petty minded people who seem to have no idea the message of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

I would suggest that you write/email the Gurdwara and ask for their rules and regulations.
If they send them, and I doubt they will, but if they do see what it says regarding who can or cannot enter the Gurdwara.
Also ask for a face to face meeting with the President.
If this does not work I suggest you get in touch with a number of Sikh organisations and tell them of your predicament. They will be able to assist you.
Try getting in touch with Sikh Channel which is based in Birmingham, near Handsworth I think, they should pick up your complaint. Try to get an airtime interview, this will shake the Gurdwara committee up a little.

Re: Advice please after bad experience

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:56 pm
by Chappyski
I visited the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha in Handsworth today and it was a very nice spiritual exoerience. I had to give my passport details and address etc to security first, as is standard there and they treated me extremely graciously :)

I also went back to the initial Gurdwara and that same man wasnt there but I did tell the story to a man that gives the special offerings and he told me not to be disheartened by this and that everyone recognised that I was respectful in there and saw me often, so I am welcome anytime. He advised to tell this man this if he confronts me again and remind him that everyone is welcome. He also said that sometimes when people get into the committee, they get big egos, which is silly if everyone is equal.

So, now I have both places I may visit :)

I may write to them, but I think I will do only if I am obstructed again from entering there.

Also, it will never put me off the Sikh religion, just because of one misguided individual :)

Re: Advice please after bad experience

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:51 pm
by CristinaOgando
I'm sorry, Chappyski, for enter in this conversation, but I read something that get me curiosity.
Since when in the gurdwara do women and men sit separately? Is it a common and inviolable rule?

Excuse me again for interrupt in the conversation and thanks for your time.