“Feeding the hungry is the biggest help anyone can offer” and at Golden temple, Amritsar, we see around 100,000 people eating Langar every day. A kitchen is the most important part of any household. Daily, our mother prepares succulent food for us, but do you all know the history behind the largest kitchen in the world and history behind langar? Langar(kitchen) is the term used in the Sikh religion for the common kitchen/canteen where food is served in a Gurdwara to all the visitors, without distinction of faith, religion or background, for free.At the langar, mostly only vegetarian food is served, to ensure that all people, regardless of their dietary restrictions, can eat as equals. We live in a world where at each and every level we have to face criticism on the basis of caste, creed, religion, sex etc., but if we are sitting for langar we will never see any difference. “All are equal”
Here is the history of Langar
Langar was first started by Baba Farid, a Muslim of the Chishti Sufi order. It became a common practice amongst Sufi Muslims in South Asia and it was later adopted by Sikhs. In Sikhism, the practice of the langar, or free kitchen, is believed to have been adopted by the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak It was designed to uphold the principle of equality between all people regardless of religion, caste, color, creed, age, gender or social status, a revolutionary concept in the caste-ordered society of 16th-century India where Sikhism began. In addition to the ideals of equality, the tradition of langar expresses the ethics of sharing, community, inclusiveness and oneness of all humankind. “…the Light of God is in all hearts.
But the biggest question is ‘ Who pays for all this’?
A staggering volume of foodstuffs is needed in the Golden Temple kitchen daily—12,000 kilos of flour, 1,500 kilos of rice, 13,000 kilos of lentils, and up to 2,000 kilos of vegetables. Like every bit of the labor, the budget is entirely donated, sometimes up to two years in advance. People give, mostly anonymously, out of a sense of religious and social obligation. Isn’t this amazing that we have a place where lakhs of people are served food in a single day? Now imagine the hard work and money required to feed these number of people in a day. Now imagine the situation when your dad tells your mom that around 10 guests are coming for dinner tonight. How tough it is for her to manage the whole situation, but with the blessings of god daily lakhs of people are served food free of cost. It requires a lot people to come together and prepare this holy food. Here are some videos showing how the food is made at world’s biggest kitchen
We can see how beautifully and with lot of love this langar is made. This tradition is followed from years daily, but never we see any difference in the amount of devotion that people have. All the ladies and gents gather together and make chapatis and dal, sabzi for the Sangat. The combination of love, humanity, purity, devotion comes together and this langar is prepared, not only at the time of preparation but also at the time of serving this proper devotion towards langar is shown. Visiting Golden temple and having langar there served with all the love and happiness is a pure bliss!