Thursday, August 04, 2005

Ishnaan Seva

We start Ishnaan seva at 3:00 AM every Sunday. We start by reciting Japji, then we do an ardas read a hukam, and Sukhasan. I have no pictures of these. I enjoy reading the hukam so I usually do that. After that I usually start to vacuum the hallway where the bathrooms are located and the back closet where the rumalas and other Gurdwara items are stored. While I do this other people begin to clean the entry way.
The Gurdwara before we start.
The hallway where I start by vacuuming.
The entry way, which is cleaned first thing. It is swept and then washed.
This is the area where the Akand path takes place. Before the Gurdwara was expanded in 1990 (I believe), the Gurdwara just included the back area, with the lower ceiling and a smaller space. Before the expansion Gurdwara was held in this small space with the Guru being in this small area.
After vacuuming the hallway I vacuum this area, where ramalas, shabad sheets, swords, instruments, sheets, towels, and other things are stored.
This is where the Guru usually rests, however we have a seperate smaller area where we move the Guru before the ishnaan starts.
Picture of the back area, which used to be the whole Gurdwara!
Picture of the entry way, you can tell it is still dark. Just after 3:00.
All my action shots are blurry. As I was vacuuming the entry way was cleaned.
After vacuuming the hallway and closet I still have the whole Gurdwara to do. There are other things for other people to do while I vacuum. Since I'm here every week and occasionally it has been only me and Sat Bachan Kaur, I guess I got into the routine of being the one who vacuums.
Balwinder and Sat Purkh Kaur moving one of the rugs. They have become regulars. Of course since Balwinder lives with me, I don't think he could miss it. Sat Purkh Kaur just moved here.
Balwinder going back for another rolled rug.
The back rugs have been removed and placed in the entry way.
Since I was taking pictures, I was still vacuuming when they were ready to move the rugs. I took this picture while vacuuming. At least it isn't another picture while driving.
Coming back for more.
Getting ready to lift the rug I just finished vacuuming.
The rugs stacked in the entry way.
Balwinder collecting the microphones and Sat Bachan Kaur starting to fold and put away the Ramalas.
Sat Bachan Kaur using the nagara as a space to fold the ramalsa. Sat Bachan has done the seva every week since the marble was installed (with the excpetion of a few trips out of town). She is a pillar of strength and commitment.
Working on the microphones and ramalas. Next week, the microphones and other things will be moved before the rugs so that I can have more time to vacuum.
Almost finished moving the ramalas.
The entry way, with the rugs and other things.
I used flash, but I can assure you that it was still dark outside. Sometimes we fill the buckets with a hose, often we fill them in the kitchen.
Just a few more things to move.
The microphones stored in the hallway.
Everything moved.
Still moving some things in the back where the akand path is held. From this picture you can tell which part used to be the old Gurdwara.
Where the Guru usually sits.
Everything moved into the entry way, including the (large) nagara and the manji sahib from the Guru's resting place.
Sweeping the floor.
The dust of the saints feet.
Still sweeping.
I had to stop sweeping to take some pictures.
The dust has been removed and the buckets are moved in.
Proof that I was there! Balwinder took this picture. We start by saying 'WaheGuru Ji Ka Khalsa, WaheGuru Ji Ki Fateh!' Then we pour the water up where the Guru sits.
Once the water is poured we start by using our hands to move the water down the steps. It is so beautiful to hear everybody's kara claning on the marble in the early morning. As you can see Balwinder and I were the only Men, often we have more woment than men at the ishnaan.
Water on Marble.
Balwinder using the towel to push water towards the center, where we ring out the towels, with the dirty water back into the buckets.
Ringing out the towels.
Water in the back area.
The buckets with the dirty water. After sweeping the water's not usually that dirty.
I had to stop taking pictures of a little while because everything was wet. After we washed everything we dried it with towels and began to move everything back in.
Putting everything back.
Starting to cover the rugs with sheets.
Putting the sheets down.
Putting the sheets down.
Balwinder looking good. New rumalas in this area.
Still putting down sheets, while new rumalas are put in the main part of the Gurdwara.
Everything is done! At this point I ran out of batteries. After all the pictures at Wheeler peak and using flash a lot for these pictures, the batteries were gone.