The first of these three blessed places in Gobind Sadan is Darbar Sahib, home of Guru Granth Sahib, the extraordinary Sikh scripture which includes sacred hymns of Sikh Gurus, Hindu saints, and Muslim saints. Here Maharaj is doing Chaur Sahib over Guru Granth Sahib in the veranda outside Darbar Sahib as Bhai Kirpal Singh (“Major Sahib”) takes the hukam (divine order) from Guru Granth Sahib for Joey and Shruti’s wedding.
International Interfaith Assembly guests pay their respects inside Darbar Sahib, where Akhand Path (non-stop reading of Guru Granth Sahib) goes on continually.
Another of the central holy places is the havan (sacred fire) which has been burning since 1968 with continuous recitation of Jaap Sahib. It was the first structure built in Gobind Sadan and is highly charged with divine Power. Delegates from the Interfaith Assembly join the prayers in havan.
The third sacred place is Baba Siri Chand’s havan, where Maharaj used to meditate. Sitting inside is his old assistant, Baba Gurbux Singh. The havan is decorated with flowers for the birthday of Baba Siri Chand, a great ascetic who was elder son of the First Sikh Guru Nanak and helped to propagate Guru Nanak’s mission. Baba Siri Chand was one of Maharaj’s beloved Gurus since his youth, and he sponsored many research efforts to clarify the true history of Baba Siri Chand.
Maharaj Ji used to meet the sangat in various places in Gobind Sadan. One was the “Green Room” opposite the langar, which is still maintained as a sacred place for his darshan, with his original rocking chair. A beautiful natural mural was on the wall behind his chair.
Another place where we were sometimes fortunate to have Maharaj’s darshan was in Gurcharan’s room. Gurcharan, manager of Gobind Sadan, was often sitting there, too, doing seva of pressing his clothes and those of Guru Granth Sahib. Laughing with Maharaj in this picture is Balwant Singh, his driver and agricultural assistant.
Maharaj Ji also gave audience in the front room of the small house where he lived, which we called “Dubai kothi” because of the family from Dubai who previously lived in it. Here he is sitting with Harvinder Singh (a close assistant whom he called by the pet name “Melang”), Acharya Sri Rama Shastri, and Dr. Karan Singh, a renowned Indian statesman from a royal family .
Maharaj met larger groups in the office. He sat on a low cushion and others sat on white sheets over the carpet. Before he sat anywhere to give audience, he bowed and prayed before the place he was to sit, apparently asking God or his Guru to do the speaking there.
Maharaj used his long and beautiful hands very expressively when he spoke. Even when one couldn’t understand his language—sweet rural Punjabi—his talks were visually touching and the microphone attached to my tape recorder was capturing his precious words for the world.
Portrait of Maharaj Ji in the outer audience room of his Dubai Kothi. He lived in three small rooms there. The outer room had large glass windows opening onto a garden from which devotees could have his darshan.