Sikhs invite all to ‘become one with God’

BOTHELL — The rooms were filled with songs.

Downstairs, mothers adjusted small girls’ head scarves. In the kitchen, people lined up to fill plates with food from steaming aluminum pans.

In another room, families sat on the floor to eat along rugs set in rows parallel to the walls — except for the oldest guests, who sat on benches, nodding to greet each person who entered.

Upstairs, people prayed. They made an offering of small bills at the front of the room. They bowed, head down, arms stretched forward. Children watched their parents for guidance. People talked softly.

Sunday was Vaisakhi Day, an annual sacred celebration for the Sikhs. Hundreds of people went to the Sikh Centre of Seattle in Bothell, just north of where I-405 crosses the Bothell-Everett Highway. Children played outside. People hugged and ate.

“This is a pure place of God. This is a temple. Every wish is fulfilled here,” center spokesman Harjinder Sandhawalia said.

Everyone is welcome, Vice President Manmohan Dhillon said. The kitchen is open around-the-clock, he said.

“The food is always good, you know,” he said.

Vaisakhi Day celebrates a message given to the Sikhs in 1699, temple president Jaswinder Singh said.

The message was to be compassionate above all, he said. The people were told that compassion leads to faith and courage.

“They can become one with God,” he said. “That was a special message.”

The Sikhs are a people of peace, Dhillon said. Men and women are equal.

Children are taught classes at the center in the native language, Punjabi.

Jasmine Banga, 15, of Bothell, came to Vaisakhi Day with her mother and sisters. She and her friend Simran Daind, 13, knew almost everyone there, they said.

“It’s just really fun coming and spending time with friends and family,” Banga said. “You get to listen to the prayers and everything. It’s a big thing, and you get to be a part of it. It feels good to be part of a big family.”

Each Sikh temple has its own way of celebrating Vaisakhi Day, Daind said. Each way is accepted.

Her friend nodded in agreement. “People should come and watch and see how everything’s done,” Banga said.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

Sikh Centre

Sikh Centre of Seattle in Bothell, 20412 Bothell-Everett Highway. 425-487-4878, www.sikhcentreofseattle.org/, info@sikhcentreofseattle.org. Construction on a large-scale addition is almost complete.

More in Local News

‘Come talk to me. Don’t jump, come talk to me’

State Patrol trooper Yaroslav Holodkov just happened to be driving by when he saw a suicidal man.

Marysville educators reach out to a newly traumatized school

Several affected by shootings in 2014 offered to talk with counterparts in Eastern Washington.

Serial killer wannabe admits trying to kill man she met online

She told police she planned to rip out her victim’s heart and eat it — and would continue killing.

Hurry! Target will take your old car seat, but not for long

The seats will be taken apart and the various materials recycled.

Sheriff’s Office receives national recognition

Sheriff accepts award “notable achievements in the field of highway safety” over the past year.

Edmonds-Woodway High School briefly locked down

A student tried to stop a fight and a boy, 16, responded by threatening the student with a knife.

Study considers making it legal to grow marijuana at home

The Liquor and Cannabis Board is considering two scenarios for allowing a minimal number of plants.

Minutes mattered the day Pat Ward was brought back to life

The Mukilteo police and fire chaplain died at breakfast. She got a second chance thanks to a waitress.

Hot weather takes toll on young Christmas trees

The effect is likely to be felt in the years to come when they would have been cut.

Most Read