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

Agencies launch coordinated response to an opioid ‘emergency’

Health workers, law enforcement agencies and emergency managers are responding as they might to a disaster.

Jordan Evers distributes coffee Sunday afternoon during the annual community meal at Carl Gipson Senior Center in Everett on November 19, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Firefighters serve Thanksgiving meals at Carl Gipson center

The next two feasts at the senior center in Everett will be Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 3.

Pair charged with first-degree robbery in marijuana theft

A man was shot in the head during a holdup that was supposed to net about an ounce of pot.

Planning — and patience — can ease Thanksgiving travel

The Washington State Department of Transportation offers information to help guide planning.

Puffy-coated robbery suspect arrested on Whidbey

The suspect apparently wore the same outfit in 2 robberies at the same place in less than 2 weeks.

Injection sites still banned — County Council doesn’t budge

At a public hearing, more than 15 people said they are opposed to sanctioned areas for using heroin.

Dog shot at Mountlake Terrace house during burglary

A suspect was arrested Friday in Everett for investigation of burglary and first-degree animal cruelty.

Major flooding expected all along the Stillaguamish River

Drivers are warned to avoid areas on Highway 530 due to water flowing over the road.

Alleged philanderer attacked with hammer near Everett

His girlfriend had accused him of cheating and allegedly called on another man to confront him.

Most Read