Sikh Community in New Mexico Continues to Grow

September 26, 2005

Source: SikhNet News!OpenDocument

On September 26, 2005 SikhNet News reported, "For all intents and purposes, Peter the long-haired counterculture firebrand has died — to be born again and remain true to what he says was his spiritual calling... Out went his birth name, so conventional it would make him a welcome guest at most American dinner tables. In came a lengthy, foreign-sounding appellation.... Guruka Singh Khalsa, the Pure Lion of Wisdom, is now an important person in the Sikh religious hierarchy who begins every day with a prayer, a successful no-nonsense businessman, doting father, husband married to the same woman for nearly 34 years, and a recognized community leader... The largest organized Sikh colony in the United States (where Sikhs live in one centrally administered camp) comes to life every day even before some big city revelers go to bed... More than 400 people live in the 40-acre religious settlement [in Espanola, New Mexico] that Khalsa helped found in 1971 together with the community's spiritual leader, Yogi Bhajan, who died last October. About a quarter of them are former members of the counterculture movement that shook the country more than three decades ago — only older, wiser and more at peace with themselves and the world around them, according to Guruka Singh. The rest are children, relatives, new followers, who, like everybody in the community, have foresworn tobacco, alcohol and meat — and preach hard work and devotion to God and family."

See also: Sikhism