Sikhweb: A Lifeline for the Faith

March 5, 2007

Author: Neha Singh Gohil

Source: The Columbia Journalist

Every morning, Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa wakes up at 4 a.m., coats his body in almond oil, takes a cold shower and spends the next two hours meditating on God. In the quiet New Mexico dawn, he goes through a yoga routine and recites two Sikh prayers--"the Japji Sahib and the Jaap Sahib." This was Khalsa’s New Year resolution--to get up early and practice his “Sadhana,” or daily discipline, as the Sikh gurus did hundreds of years ago. Seated alone on his living room floor, Khalsa leads his mind through each verse, singing to himself.

Khalsa, 31, completes his morning Sadhana together with at least 32 other Sikhs who signed up to join him from around the world. At the end of January, he wrote about what he planned to do on his Internet blog,

Khalsa encouraged others to sign up for the 40-day effort, and even created an online pledgebank to make it official. Soon, he was getting comments from Sikhs in the Middle East, India and Bangkok asking advice on everything from which alarm clock works best to why certain prayers are said in the morning.

“We all are human and have our challenges,” Khalsa says, referring to the difficulties in observing his Sadhana commitment. “By sharing our struggles and successes and things that are happening in our lives, people don’t feel as bad about approaching those challenges.”

Like Khalsa, thousands of the world’s 23 million Sikhs use the Internet to communicate with others who share their faith around the globe. What began primarily as an educational resource has today turned into a lifeline for the faith and its youth, helping Sikhs everywhere adapt their ancestors’ religion to new, non-Indian worlds.