There is a presence within each of us that I call the ‘watcher.’ It’s the part that ‘watches the show’ of the world without personal interest, both dispassionately and compassionately. It sees minute details that we might not normally notice when we are not in that neutral, peaceful state that comes through Naam. The watcher sees yourself as well as others. It’s present within all of us when we shut down our personal thoughts and pay attention to the Hand of God.
This has been my experience at SikhNet this year -- watching the Guru’s hand reach out and touch people in ways that I could never anticipate or imagine. Whether it’s talking on the phone with someone who watched a SikhNet video and began to meditate every morning, telling me of his spiritual experiences and transformation, or a young girl reaching out to share her loneliness and insecurity and finding support and inspiration in Gurbani katha she found on SikhNet.
Watching how lives are being touched by Guru Ji’s kirpaa through SikhNet’s global presence is a very humbling experience. It makes me realize over and over just how blessed I am that Guru Ji called me to this work in this way in the service of his mission - to spread the spirit of chardi kala, of joy, of seva, of community, of sharing and supporting each other; of welcoming everyone with joy and recognizing that the other person is you.
It is sweet to me that every year at this time I get to reach out to you personally and thank you for being part of this seva. The world is changing more rapidly now than ever before and Guru Ji’s message of love, inclusiveness and living our lives for each other rather than at each other is deeply needed in this world to heal the many bodies, minds and hearts that are caught in pain and worry.
May we live in truth, compassion, kindness and tolerance and share the indescribable blessings of this path we walk with every soul.
Please be generous as you donate to SikhNet this year. All gifts come from the Guru’s unlimited storehouse, and some of them flow through your heart and your hands.
Guruka Singh Khalsa
Chief Executive Officer, SikhNet, Inc.
Please take a few moments right now to support this mission of Light by giving a portion of your Dasvandh to SikhNet. We need to raise $350,000 by the end of the year in order to fund SikhNet’s growth, and to continue serving hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
Because of your generosity SikhNet is now able to launch a completely updated website that gives a fresh look and easier navigation for the core services that our SikhNet users love. Your active participation in this year-long process made all the difference and helped us adapt to the needs of the SikhNet community.
Here’s a glimpse into the process we went through this year.
When SikhNet did our user survey in 2014 the number one request we received was for more Dharmic-based online learning. Because of your generous support, our next project will be creating the unique SikhNet Learning Center offering inspirational courses on the meaning of Gurbani, meditation, health & wellness, and much more. The first online courses will be available early in 2017.
This year we began doing live video broadcasts on Facebook. These have included the SikhNet staff along with various guests discussing current topics related to Gurpurbs or other events, and sharing our thoughts on a particular subject such as the Anand Sahib, Sikh events, and current news featuring Sikhs.
We partnered with the Chardi Kala Foundation to hold the annual SGGS Conference in San Jose, California.
This year EcoSikh worked with us on our online Youth Film Festival and participated in the judging panel. (Would you like to be part of the judging panel next year? Contact us)
We worked with the National Sikh Campaign on core messaging around Sikh Identity
Chardikala-Time TV in India partnered with us to promote awareness of the Youth Film Festival in India as well as showing the winning films on TV there.
Camp Miri Piri was held this summer in New Mexico for Sikh youth where SikhNet’s Guruka Singh taught on the topic “Social Media Overload – Finding your true identity in the age of Instagram.”
Later in the summer Sikh Dharma International held a very special course “Guru Nanak’s Call of the Soul: Japji Sahib” in Espanola where Guruka Singh served as part of an international team of teachers who took turns presenting on every section of Japji, along with the history of Guru Nanak and the origin of Japji. Time was allowed for the students to practice pronunciation in addition to time spent in deep study of the meaning of Guru Nanak’s words along with evening darbars and camp seva. (...read more.)
During the spring of 2016 Gurumustuk Singh traveled to India and met with Sikh youth and leaders in Punjab. His goal was to create awareness about Sikhi growing in countries around the world, as well as the impact and changing needs of the Sikh community in this digital world.
He was invited to speak at the ‘The Centre on Studies in Sri Guru Granth Sahib’ at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. This was followed by a youth meetup in Ludhiana to celebrate the 20th anniversary of SikhNet. Business and youth leaders attended, as well as representatives of organizations such as “Basics of Sikhi” and “EcoSikh.”
During the Punjab trip Gurumustuk had many meetings and discussions with other businesses about partnerships and working together to better impact the Sikh Community, including Chardikala Time TV, and Vismaad Animation.
In July, 2016, SikhNet’s Ekongkaar Kaur taught ‘Japji Sahib, The Song of the Soul,’ in Mexico City. Sikhnet broadcast the course live each day on facebook as over 16,000 people from all over the world participated.
Back by popular demand, Harijot Singh attended the Sikh Youth Federation camp in Mississauga Canada in the summer of 2016.
In the summer of 2016 Gurujot Singh attended a camp in New Jersey. Here is a highlight from this camp. Gurujot says, "I taught a meditation workshop to the 9-13 year olds. We had a lot of fun. Once the class finished one kid wouldn't open his eyes. He remained in a meditation for several hours. Another kid meditated through his lunch break. When he finished, he opened his eyes and said, "Ah, finally I feel peaceful". I was so proud and inspired by these bright young Sikhs."
Absolutely amazing! Every woman needs to rekindle her faith in herself and reignite her passion to live the life of her dreams! This will inspire not only women, but also men to embrace courage and follow the heart. When we truly believe in our own divine nature and innate strength, anything is possible. And the Guru is always there to guide us. The most brilliant message of this movie was that, ‘The Guru bestowed EQUALITY upon us, and it is now incumbent on us to CLAIM IT.
SikhNet will continue to provide the core services that you have come to know and love over the years: the Daily Hukamnama; Online Siri Guru Granth Sahib; the unique original animated film KAUR; SikhNet Children’s audio stories; downloadable resources, and so much more.
In addition to English Katha on the daily Hukamnama, the SikhNet Sri Guru Granth Sahib Katha smartphone app allows people to learn and understand the meaning of Gurbani from Siri Guru Granth Sahib. It currently features over 600 hours of Gurbani Katha in Punjabi by Giani Thakur Singh and Giani Harbhajan Singh, USA. With plans to add additional Katha audio in later releases.
As we move to our new design, we are featuring more original content rather than simply aggregating news stories from other sources. We now have an expanded Lifestyle and News section covering a range of topics organized under such headings as: “The Pulse of the Panth,” “Spirituality,” “Identity,” and “Wellness.” We are also in the process of creating a very unique topic system, which will archive and highlight articles of lasting interest, providing a valuable research and learning tool for the Sikh community.
These videos bring peace and hope to countless hearts around the world. This year SikhNet published over 40 new videos on topics ranging from “How to Combat Islamophobia and Hate“ to “Success in Marriage” and “The Difference Between Sikhi and Other Religions.”
This year, SikhNet.com hosted its 11th Annual Youth Online Film Festival designed to give Sikh youth around the world a voice in media. The theme of the Film Festival, “Mata Dharat - Mother Earth” focused the directors’ lenses on the environment and the future of our planet. In all, 16 films from young Sikh directors were submitted from India, the United States and Kenya and over 100,000 people from around the world viewed the films online and on Time TV in India.
The panel of seven festival judges included SikhNet staff and a representative from EcoSikh. The “Likes” from online viewers around the world served as the community vote. For the third year in a row, Sukhmanjot Singh, age 24 from Jalandhar, Punjab, India was one of our top prize winners with his inspiring short film Sangraand.
View the winning films.
SikhNet has had a Youth Question and Answer Forum since 1999. You can find it here. This is a place where youth can ask any question (anonymously if they wish) and receive guidance from Gursikhs based on Gurbani and their own life experience. The panel of dedicated sevadars regularly handles questions ranging from Sikh lifestyle to acute depression and even suicide. No question goes unanswered on the Youth Forum.
SikhNet offers a wide range of inspiring services to connect people with our beloved Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Tens of thousands of people receive the Daily Hukamnama from Harimandir Sahib in Amritsar, delivered via our website, on Facebook, Twitter, via email or through the Hukamnama smartphone app, and even by a telephone call. We have more than 11,000 active users receiving Guru Ji’s Hukamnama every day.
The Gurbani Media Center on SikhNet is the most popular and, to many, the most impactful service we offer. Each year, more people than ever access this rich online library of Gurbani kirtan and katha. Our free Gurbani Media Center smartphone apps have made this resource available to Sikhs all around the world. Over 50,000 people downloaded the GMC App in 2016 and we have 23,000 active monthly users. These apps allow tens of thousands of people to stream the Guru’s kirtan right at their fingertips anywhere they are. Anyone is welcome to submit their musical tracks to the Gurbani Media Center and so add to this online treasure trove. Similarly, all Gurdwaras are invited to contact SikhNet to have their broadcasts included in the Sikhnet Radio Channels. https://www.sikhnet.com/radio/join
We have integrated the SikhNet Radio app into the GMC App so you no longer need two apps. SikhNet Radio is the default screen when you open the GMC app and it has exactly the same functionality as the old standalone radio app. SikhNet Radio offers a range of pre-programmed Gurbani channels along with streaming live channels from Gurdwaras worldwide including Sri Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar, India, and is available 24/7 through the website, the GMC app or the old standalone Radio app.
Remember, your donation to SikhNet funds a powerful and effective global initiative for the world-wide Sikh community. Your money helps Sikhs in so many different countries maintain a spiritual connection to their faith, their history and their roots.
Please take a few moments right now to support the work that SikhNet is blessed to do by giving a portion of your Dasvandh to SikhNet. We need to raise $250,000 by the end of the year to keep SikhNet 'on the air' and serving the cyber-sangat.
If you come to SikhNet regularly, consider becoming a monthly donor. Thank you.
SikhNet, Inc is a tax-exempt IRS registered 501c(3) non-profit charitable organization.