Ek onkar satgur parsad

There is but one God reached through His own grace

Hey akal purkh sache patshah

Our eternal true Lord

We are here today to pray for and honor the memory of the several thousand of innocent and unsuspecting people who lost their lives in the horrible incidents of terrorist violence on Sep.11, last year. Great was the courage of those who put their lives at risk so that others may live. We honor their heroism. Great was the service of those who worked tirelessly to bring succor and relief to the suffering, weary and distraught. We honor their dedication. Unfortunate was the targeting of those like Balbir Singh Sodhi who became innocent victims of misplaced rage. We pray our anger does not ever possess us to hurt the innocent.

Our lives have changed. Our sense of optimism vivid at the turn of the millennium is turning into despondency. Our security of person, of economic well-being, safety of children, our own privacy and stability of values is threatened. War clouds hang over our heads. Peoples of the world feel increasingly divided. Vast majority of God’s creation is suffering in dire poverty and privation in societies deeply mired in exploitative corruption of various hues. People everywhere are apprehensive, unsure, afraid.

We pray that in this climate of fear and mistrust, feelings of hate and hurt do not guide our responses. We also pray that leaders all over the world have the wisdom to choose the path that results in reducing human suffering and bring about peace. Nanak told us that balance and stability in the world is the product of righteousness and compassion –

Dhaul dharma daya ka poot.  

Let us all not forget that.

Bhagat Kabir says in Guru Granth Sahib

ek noor te sabh jag upjiya kaun bhale kau mande

the entire creation has emanated from Your one light, who is high or low, good or bad.

Let us try and live by that persuasion and try to create harmony among and around us.

In prayer we seek, as always, “sarbat da bhala” – good of one and all.

Nirmal Singh

Farmington, Connecticut, Sep. 14, 2002.


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