Saturday, August 11, 2012


SIX DEAD IN SHOOTING AT TEMPLE - Hundreds of people streamed into a Wisconsin (USA) high school Friday to pay their final respects to six worshippers gunned down by a white supremacist at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee. Somber, tearful mourners, most wearing scarves on their heads in the Sikh tradition, greeted victims' family members with hugs at the Oak Creek High School gymnasium. Flowers adorned the six open caskets and a large video screen flashed photos of those killed and injured. 
Mourners took their seats as Sikh singers sang hymns in Punjabi, an Indian dialect. One of the singers paused to translate some lyrics into English. "Dear God, you have given me this body and this soul. This body is doing whatever you want me to do. You take this soul, this is your soul," he said. Federal investigators may never know why 40-year-old Wade Michael Page chose to attack strangers in a holy place. What they do know is that the Army veteran opened fire with a 9 mm pistol at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, shortly before Sunday services were due to begin.

Page killed five men and one woman, and injured two other men. Authorities say he then ambushed the first police officer who responded, shooting him nine times and leaving him in critical condition. A second officer then shot Page in the stomach, and Page took his own life with a shot to the head. Violence against Sikhs is becoming too frequent, Holder told the mourners Friday. "That is wrong, it is unacceptable and it will not be tolerated," he said. Several dozen police officers stood by in the gym, watching the service. 
Gov. Scott Walker told mourners that the Sikh community has shown that the best way to respond to hatred is with love. "Today we mourn with you, we pray with you, we support you," Walker said. Mourners were expected to later return to the temple where priests would read the Sikh holy book from cover to cover in a traditional rite honoring the dead called "Akhand Path." That process takes 48 hours. "We want to pay homage to the spirits who are still in there," said Harpreet Singh, a nephew of one of the victims.

One by one, six coffins were rolled into a high school gymnasium at Oak Creek, Wisconsin (USA) and were surrounded by Sikh men and women singing traditional Punjabi hymns. Thousands of people from around the world mourned the six worshipers who were shot and killed at the Sikh Temple. The deaths have rocked the town and reverberated throughout the global Sikh community. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder applauded the Sikh community, saying they responded without violence despite witnessing the worst of humankind. "You've inspired the best of who we are," Holder said. Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, born in Punjab in 1469, taught truthfulness and unity amongst the Hindus and the Muslims.

The association of the Sikhs and the Hindus is like that of the blood brothers. Shri Guru Gobind Singh fought all his life to save the Hindu religion. Many Hindu and Sikh families are closely intertwined. Despite periodic discord and disunity, the gurus cemented their relationship with the blood of sacrifice. Sikhism literally means “learning.” Gurus taught their disciples to always be willing to learn. Shri Guru Granth Saheb contains the immortal teachings of the Sikh gurus. Compassion is given a very high place by the gurus. Without compassion, the religion itself would be meaningless. ... We are often advised to accept both the success and the failure in equal manner. This, in practice, is very difficult. Gurbani, the sacred teachings of the Sikh gurus, teaches us a simpler and easier method: We must pray to the Lord for redemption in time of difficulty and distress; and we must express gratefulness to the Lord when we receive a bounty or favor. In both the profit and the loss, we must learn to remember and communicate with God.

Dr. Hiro Badlani:
"Hinduism - Path of the Ancient Wisdom"
Chapter 39: "Sikhism: The Youngest Religion in India"

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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