We are currently in the process of starting a Jakara Misl in Richmond. Jakara is a nationally recognized Sikh organized that focuses on local and national community development through Gurmat inspired learning.
We held our first Jakara Juniors camp on January 25th, 2014. This was a day camp for kids age 5-15. The theme was Growing with our Gurdwaras.
What is a Misl?
The Misl is a Sikh institution that has been prominent in Sikh history, since the eighteenth century. It is a term associated in Sikh history with the twelve Sikh bands and groupings that came to control various territories throughout Punjab. However, the etymology provides even richer descriptions: according to Steingass’ Persian-English Dictionary, the word means “similitude, alike or equal,” as in a confederation of equals; Wilson described it as “a voluntary association of the Sikhs.
The equality and opportunities of the misls made them popular for many. Without any restriction based on class or caste, all were welcome and could join. Irvine in his Later Mughals wrote: “In all the parganas occupied by the Sikhs, the reversal of previous customs was striking and complete. A low scavenger or leather-dresser, the lowest of the low in Indian estimation, had only to leave home and join the Guru, when in a short space of time he would return to his birth-place as its ruler, with his order of appointment in his hand. As son as he set foot within the boundaries, the well-born and wealthy went to greet him and escort him home. Arrived there, they stood before him with joined palms, awaiting his orders. A scavenger, from the nature of his duties, is intimately acquainted with the condition of every household.”
dayi cheej chahai ghareeb kau kiun ath dayo akhaai
yah dayaavaan ghar Guru ko ghareeb nivaaj akhvaai
The needy alone deserve to be endowed with rare gifts,
What is the use of empowering those who are already powerful.
The House of the Guru is known for its compassion and generosity,
And known as the saviour and protector of the poor.