1 Role of Gurdwaras in 21st Century –
Gurdwaras are places where Sikhs go to learn from the Guru Granth Sahib and meditate through teachings, kirtan and common discussion on understanding ultimate reality as explained by Guru Granth Sahib. The Granth Sahib brings a person, who so choses to learn and meditate, closer to ultimate reality, Waheguru. GurSikhi also stresses on a life of ethics, responsibility and care for all of humanity, life and environment. The Gurdwara is a focus for the community living a practical life in accordance with the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. A Gurdwara is more than a place to worship. It is the centre for the community to gather and collectively support each other.
Life and communities change over time as new challenges, new opportunities and different living arrangements emerge with time. A hundred years ago, the average life span of a human being in Punjab was around 50 years. Now the average life of a Sikh in Punjab and in the world can be from 70 to 100 years. With age there is also dementia, immobility and dependence.
Children are also facing new challenges. This is the age of internet, social media and highly advanced science. Children face new threats, new challenges and do not reach an age of independence until 24 in most cases as they chart their way through school and University.
Lifestyles have changed. People are more sedentary, getting little exercise and have the opportunity to eat rich food with plenty of fats and carbohydrates. Without appropriate exercise, illnesses like diabetes, heart problems and obesity have become common.
Economic challenges also are increasing with unemployment, need for skills,
This consultation strives to ask vital questions.
Does the Gurdwara have a role in these issues. How can Gurdwaras influence decisions and help the Sikh community to meet and adapt to changing times as a community, family and individuals.
These consultations are ongoing and will involve several stages as well as sections.
- Engaging and Caring for the Elderly
- Children and Youth
- Health and Fitness
- Economic strength
- Participation in national life