3-12-14 – The Best Photos of the Week

The Best Photos of the Week! Images that inspired, impacted and entertained us.

Saddle of Self Reflection – Holla Mohalla by Amardeep Singh

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Courtesy of www.amardeepphotography.com

Each year, during the spring festival of Holla Mohalla, the Nihangs (Sikh military order, dating back to 17th century) still come together at Anandpur Sahib (Punjab) from all corners. It is their time to show the world their dedication to the ancient martial traditions of the Sikhs. Riding their horses as they were one with them, they remind us of Saint Kabeer’s saying on self-reflection.

On saddle of self-reflection,
and stirrups of intuition, placed my feet.
grasped the reins and attached the bridle;
I rode through the skies.
so let me ride you to heaven.
If you hold back, I shall strike with whip of love.
Says Kabeer, remain detached to be the best rider.

Adi Granth, page 329

Resting the Consciousness on the saddle of self-reflection, leveraging the stirrups of intuition to balance and striking with the whip of love, Kabeer rides the soul to a state of liberated living.

The sense of liberated living could be felt in the energetic expressions of Nihangs riding their horses at high speeds, while performing acrobatics on the horse backs.

Nihangs, the last guardians of the Sikh martial spirit, roam freely across the Punjab (western state of India). Their nomadic lifestyle is dedicated to praying the almighty and practicing the Sikh martial arts. They maintain these traditions from the time of the 10th Sikh Guru, who left this world in 1708 AD.

A description of them from an ancient text (Prachin Panth Prakash) is what we can continue to see today.

Where the Khalsa (Sikh Army) had set camp the war drums were being beaten and battle standards were raised. He arrived at where the Singhs were based. Ahead he could see where the Singhs were congregating. The musicians sung the Gurus hymns while others read the scriptures. Some were grounding sukha (cannabis) and others were preparing mahaparshad (meat). Some Singhs were cleaning and sharpening their weapons. Some trained in archery while other did target practise with their muskets. The Singhs massaged each other while others fanned the congregation. Some set off far to fetch water for the Singhs to bathe in…Running around the Singhs served one another”. (Prachin Panth Parkash)

Courtesy of www.amardeepphotography.com

 

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