What does Khalsa Foundation stand for?
Khalsa is the name given by the tenth Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh, to the Sikhs as reference to the religion, which is commonly referred to as ‘Sikhism’. At Khalsa Foundation we look to provide a solid foundation of knowledge for individuals so they can explore different aspects spirituality and humanity.
What is Khalsa Foundation all about?
We believe in creating change by raising consciousness and thinking outside the box. We aim to challenge the current status quo by shaking up how we currently think about spirituality, life and the world. We encourage and inspire each other to take action with the goal of bringing to life a bright future for us all. Positive and heartfelt Seva (selfless giving) is a big part of what we do.
Living sustainably, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, creating a spiritual relationship with oneself and Creator, shaping a better world together are all things we encourage. We value balance in our world, which means examining all aspects of our lives. We encourage debate around, health, science, technology and an accessible, spirituality.
What do we do?
There are several projects which Khalsa Foundation conducts including:
- Khalsa Camp – this is our flagship project which offers individuals from a Sikh and non-Sikh background the opportunity to put into practice discussions around spirituality and meditation. The camp is the longest running Sikh retreat in the UK and has developed into branches around the world.
- Khalsa Darbar – aimed at those wishing to learn about philosophy and history by field experts, these are pre-arranged events which take place in Gurdwara’s across the UK.
- Khalsa Talks – aimed at those who have more of a western influence in their upbringing, these events look to explore spirituality in modern society and how one can find time to connect with their inner-being.
- Khalsa Family Retreat – something new and different with the aim of learning as a family. They key here is to help parents to learn about Sikhi, whilst their children also experience being in a Sikh environment and learn about Sikhi.
- The Sikh Parenting Course – aimed at anyone who is a grandparent, parent, about to become one or will be some time in the future, the course on parenting in Sikhi is explored through a half day course. Find out more on the Sikh Parenting Course section.
- Khalsa Shop – is a project to help raise funds for Sikh projects whilst also bringing Sikhi related items, such as Kakkars, literature, clothing and art to everyone in a much more affordable way. All proceeds go towards helping continue and enhance Gurmat Parchar.
- Gurdwara based Sikhi Camps – aimed at those who don’t usually attend the Gurdwara or may have been so for a number of years but due to language barriers, they have had a limited education on Gurmat.
You can book an event, Sikhi Camp, Khalsa Talk, Khalsa Darbar or speaker for one of your events by visiting the bookings section on the website.
In the mid 1980s there was a large surge by the Sikhs outside of India to discover more about their roots and culture after the tragic events which had unfolded in various parts of India.
Many young people who had grown up in the UK felt a huge division in being able to understand Sikhi due to language barriers or lack of information or teaching.
Gurdwara’s were a source of limited understanding, due to many political issues, the spiritual element was rarely discussed in detail.
A group of students, having been brought up and studying in the UK, were constantly yearning for more knowledge of Sikhi; but also a practical experience of the Sikh way of life. The waking up in the hours before sunrise, reciting on God’s name, having detailed meaningful discussions on Sikh philosophy, was all being sought after.
The group were being approached by others to hold events where people could experience the Sikh way of life, even for a very short and limited experience.
From this Khalsa Foundation was formed, as an organisation which would provide Gurmat education, for anyone wishing to learn about Sikhi, in a language they could understand.
Khalsa Foundation’s flagship event was born, in the summer of 1990, the first every Sikhi based camp was held in Bangor, Wales and attended by many throughout the UK. From the outset it was clear that there was not only a yearning from the small students who had established the organisation, but also the Sikh Community which was now, first and second generation Sikh in the UK.
Year on year, Khalsa Camp grew, more and more people attended, facilities became bigger and better. Due to limited financial support and personal commitments of key Sevadars, Khalsa Camp did not take place during the late 90’s.
With the founding members having passed on the torch to a new team of Sevadars, Khalsa Camp came back with a bang in the millennium. More and more events outside of Khalsa Camp were organised, with Khalsa Talks taking place in university campus’ and in Gurdwaras.
The last decade has also seen Khalsa Camp set up bases in Australia, Canada, USA, New Zealand and India. In 2014 a new group of Sevadars were passed the torch of Khalsa Foundation, which has seen a revamped Khalsa Camp aimed at the 21st century.
Khalsa Foundation became a registered charity in 2015, Khalsa Darbars aimed at education in Gurdwaras, Khalsa Keertan Darbars which gives everyone a chance to perform Keertan in Sangat were established alongside Khalsa Camp and Khalsa Talks. In 2017 Khalsa Family Retreat was launched, aimed at providing a whole family experience of Sikhi as well as practical steps in which to encourage families to make Sikhi the core of their family unit. 2018 saw the launch of the Sikh Parenting Course which provides a brief snapshot for parents, guardians, grandparents and potential parents on what it means to bring children up with Sikhi.
Since its formation Khalsa Foundation’s aim has been to help people ‘Discover the Spirit Within’. The motive is simply in aiming one’s personal journey with the Creator (VaheGuru), not through words, but through experience.
Future aims and ambitions
Khalsa Foundation is planning to continue to help implement Khalsa Camp’s around the world, with projects taking place to expand Khalsa Camp in Asia, Africa and Europe.
Khalsa Foundation is also looking to invest in full time Parcharik’s (speakers) who are able to travel UK, Europe and the rest of the world, providing Gurmat knowledge and understanding with the aim of helping people discover VaheGuru is closer then they think.