Over 1000 Sikhs came to Sri Guru Singh Sabha Park Avenue Gurdwara in Southall last Sunday to support community leader Jagraj Singh, following his recent diagnosis of stage four cancer.
Jagraj Singh is the CEO of Sikh charity Everythings 13, an organisation which powers projects such as Basics of Sikhi and the Sikh Press Association. Having formed the charity in 2012, Jagraj Singh has since gone on to become one of the international Sikh community’s most respected figures.
Sandeep Singh, a trustee of the Everythings 13 charity, said of the event, “This program was arranged to help uplift the spirits of Jagraj Singh. The sheer number of people that attended is unprecedented and a great tribute to how Jagraj Singh has impacted so many people through his work in educating people about Sikhi.”
People of all ages and backgrounds came from all over the UK and even from overseas to join in an evening of kirtan (devotional music) at the Gurdwara from 6pm, the time-slot usually filled by Jagraj Singh doing Sikh educational talks in English. There were so many attendees that even the hallways and Gurdwara foyer were completely full of people. Jagraj Singh used the opportunity to speak to all attendees and the thousands of people watching via Facebook live. An excerpt of the speech can be found below, whilst the full one can be seen above.
Ajwinder Singh Kang flew in directly from Ontario, Canada, to be at the event. “As soon as the news about Jagraj Singh broke, I booked a flight immediately as I knew I had to be here. He has helped me personally so much through his videos, which are made to help people from a Western background learn about Sikhi. I sincerely hope he pulls through and stays with us for a lot longer.”
Jagraj Singh has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer of the liver and told he likely does not have more than a few months left. However, Jagraj Singh is being supported by thousands of people in his fight against the cancer and is taking steps for treatment. Over 80 events in six different countries were arranged following the news, made public last Wednesday, as well as thousands of messages from people of all backgrounds being shared with Everythings 13.
Supporters of Basics of Sikhi – Jagraj Singh’s educational youtube channel – have started fundraising campaigns for the Amritsar project. The Amritsar Project is an idea of Jagraj Singh’s to open a free Sikh educational centre up outside of Harmandir Sahib – the Golden Temple. Donations can be made here – https://t.co/oU6wFpJMGb.
More information on the charity and can be found on Everythings13.org.
Jagraj Singh Speech
*Please note, this is not the full speech, this is just a short excerpt.
I am really happy and humbled that so many people are here. I can’t believe what has happened globally over the last couple of days. I am really thankful. It is lovely to see so many different Jateh-bandia (Sikh groups).
I would like to thank family and friends during this time, as it has been very tough for a lot of them involved in the charity, and everyone has stepped up, so I am really grateful.
It is very important we see positives in Maharaj’s (God’s) will, so I will tell you some of the positives I have seen. I am glad that Maharaj gave me warning of my early departure, so I am grateful I have time to plan with the family and with the charity. We do have plans with the charity that we will have to bring forward.
I am really grateful to Maharaj for allowing me to do this seva (selfless service). It is a seva that could have gone to anyone, but Maharaj blessed me with this seva of running Basics of Sikhi, so I am really grateful.
I feel very blessed in my life. I have a great family, a lovely wife and sangat’s pyaar (congregation’s love). There is nothing more I could ask for.
I want to reassure everyone that we are trying our best to fight the cancer. We are taking in the advice given. With our Lord and Master WaheGuru, we can only do Ardaas (prayer of supplication). So if SatGuru (the true Guru) decides I am to get on that next flight, I am ready for that flight. I have been ready for that flight for 16 years, ever since Maharaj blessed me with Amrit (nectar of immortality – given during the Sikh initiation ceremony).
No one should feel this is unfair, I have had a very nice life. Also, no one should feel Ardaas does not work. I don’t ask for people to do Ardaas so I have a long life. I asked for people to do Ardaas to keep me in Maharaj’s charan (by the feet of the Guru) and so that my family and the Khalsa panth can prosper.
I am thankful to Maharaj that I feel like my legacy is there through the charity. I want to remind everyone that the respect and love that has been shown to me is all come from the work Maharaj has blessed me to do. Everythings 13, Basics of Sikhi and Sikh PA has come from the support of sangat, so I ask you to continue to support that legacy.
We don’t know how long we have got. If you have dreams for the panth, if you want to do something, if you want to keep your kes (unshorn hair) or take Amrit, don’t wait.
I have always believed here is nothing this panth (Sikh community) can’t do if we work together. We don’t need to go elsewhere for help, our Guru has everything right here for us. He is the only one we need to turn to. Let’s build the systems we need, go back to the ways of our Guru and then we will prosper. Do your best, and do Ardaas that I get a place at Maharaj’s charan.