40 Day Seva!

Finally a long overdue post about about one of the most memorable aspects of our year, 40 day seva. At 2:00 AM the students wake up, get dressed in bana, load onto the buses, and head off to the Golden Temple to wash the marble floors of the Prakarma surrounding Darbarsahib. Each student has their own routine. Some start right away with filling up metal buckets to be used to wash the marble, others who do seva on the opposite side have some time before their seva starts. What better way to spend this time then to warm up with some hot chai? During seva students have the option to either stand in the water and fill buckets or carry buckets to be poured out by the sevadars. This part of seva is great because we get to work together with our school and with the Amritsar community to get the job done. The seva is finished with a resounding bolai sonihal! Sat siri akal!

For students like Paramvir the washing of the floors is what they enjoy most about seva. “I feel like a better person after I finish seva. I feel like my karma is getting washed away.”

After seva finishes students follow their different routines, some, like Siri Radha, find a spot around the prakarma to  do their personal meditations, “It’s a great time to sit and meditate”. Some, like Jasdeep, take a dip in the Sarovar while reciting Japji. ” It energizes me for the entire day.” while others bow inside the Golden Temple and sit, listening to kirtan.

A huge part of the challenge of 40 day seva is just waking up at 2:00 Am. Sophia and Anna were proud to tell me they had not missed a day and I was surprised to find out how many students had also not missed.  40 day seva is a challenge for everyone and it takes discipline to accomplish. It is one of the many completely unique parts of the MPA schedule which shows through in our student body’s character.