Guru Nanak in Asia

On Guru Nanak Dev Ji's birthday Rajveer Singh and I had the blessing to speak at the Gurdwara Sahib Petaling Jaya a...

LocationThailandThe Kundalini Yoga Festival in Asia, held in Thailand centered on the theme: The Invincible Human - Celebrating the Emergence of Our Innate Human Excellence. It drew over 70 participants from across Asia - including students from Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, Vietnam, Australia, Malaysia and China. The event was led by senior teacher Sunder Singh Khalsa, who has been coming to this part of the world for the last 10 years to share the teachings of Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji. Other teachers who participated included: Nirvair Singh Khalsa, CEO of KRI and his wife Nirvair Kaur; Kartar Singh Khalsa of Herndon, Virginia; Dr. Kartar Singh Khalsa of Espanola, New Mexico; Suraj Kaur from Australia, who also was the general manager of the event; Prof. Surinder Singh, world-renown for his kirtan; Angad Kaur, one of the KRI Teacher Trainers from China; Tonie Nooyens who helped found the Wat Opat Project in Cambodia; and myself (Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa, Creative Director for Sikh Dharma International.)

meditationThe festival took place in the tranquil and serene Baan Phu Waan pastoral retreat center, about 45 minutes outside of Bangkok. In the words of Sunder Singh, "The intent of the festival is to create a sense of community or common unity among the kundalini yoga practitioners in Asia." It was fascinating to see how dedicated and devoted these students are. For me, it was also a tremendous gift to be able to sit and share the teachings of Guru Nanak with people from so many different countries. The experience reinforced in my own heart how universal Guru Nanak's Japji Sahib is - how it speaks to the common humanity in all of us - no matter what country or background we come from.

The festival also gave us an opportunity to hear about what types of activities various communities are doing in their own countries. One program in particular touched my heart. In Cambodia, there are young people in their late teens and 20's, who have taken the spirit of seva - of selfless service - to heart. Cambodian yogisThey have created a program through which they travel to the poor areas of Cambodia and teach Kundalini Yoga and meditation to children who are affected with HIV/AIDS. The original purpose was to help the children with stress and trauma release. Since that time, they have also begun to teach the children to teach other children simple yoga and meditation. The name of this project is the Wat Opot Project, and they are actively seeking donations to continue this and other outreach projects. To connect with them, you can visit  To read more about other Dharmic-related events in that part of the world, visit:


ChayoAfter a beautiful and satisfying week at the Yoga Festival in Thailand, it was my blessing to travel to Kuala Lumpur and spend time with the Sikh community there. Rajveer Singh and Guru Jaswant Kaur Khalsa have opened a delicious vegetarian cafe and tea house called Chayo - and above the café is a welcoming and heart-opening yoga center. For three nights from Nov 3rd - 5th, approximately 40 members of the Sikh community in Kuala Lumpur gathered at the Chayo Yoga Center to chant, meditate and discuss the meaning of Guru Nanak's Japji Sahib. It was a deep and powerful experience for all of us. There was such a depth of love that the students have for meditating on the Guru's words. It was especially inspiring to see families do the course together: husbands and wives, mothers and children meditating and opening their hearts with each other.  

In addition to a 3-night course on Japji Sahib, there were many other things to do. On Guru Nanak's birthday, November 2, Rajveer Singh and I had the blessing to speak at the Gurdwara Sahib Petaling Jaya about the Mool Mantra, and how to apply it to your own life. Another morning, Dharamjot Kaur, the manager of the Chayo Yoga Center, and I visited the children of the Gurpuri Foundation. The Gurpuri Foundation in Kuala Lumpur is a home for the underprivileged, orphaned and neglected children of Malaysia. It is the first Sikh-run welfare children's home in the world outside India.

GroupThere are about 55 children who live in this home, and they range in all ages. Dharamjot Kaur and I led the children with some easy yoga. And then we chanted and did Celestial Communication together. (Celestial Communication is the art of adding simple gestures to sacred chants and songs.) We had a wonderful time, and ended the class by having the children give a blessing to themselves. To learn more about the Gurpuri Foundation, visit  To keep in touch with the events at the Chayo Yoga Studio in Kuala Lumpur, please visit:

Every day when we wake up, we are faced with terrible stories of negativity, economic hardships, human suffering and war. But what this two-week trip to Southeast Asia reminded me is that there are so very many people in the world with good hearts, who are reaching out to each other in simple ways to help heal the planet.

Children 2These are the secret heroes of our times, and there are so many of them at work around the clock, in every country, in ways that we see and in ways that we do not see. It is in the name of those secret saints that Sikh Dharma International continues to grow, and to serve, so that one day the positive truth and Divine Light that lives in all of our hearts will have a chance to shine forever.

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