Visiting the Golden Temple

The feel of the rough jute rug on your bare feet as you walked along the marble, the sounds of prayers being sung before dawn, the smell of chai being boiled in huge vats—these are the memories of my time as a teenager at the Golden Temple (the holiest temple of the Sikh religion). Amazing how familiar and how soothing these sensations were when I returned to the Golden Temple with my family a couple of weeks ago.The Golden Temple is always open, welcoming people of all religions and offering them a free meal. The kitchens feed between 40,000 and 100,000 people a day, and are staffed almost entirely by volunteers. Everywhere you look at the Golden Temple, you will see people washing the marble, cleaning dishes, offering food and water to visitors—performing Seva (or serving others), which is considered one of the highest honors in the Sikh religion.