Additional writings by K.P. Singh may be found as Reflections of the Sacred in the Arts and Architecture

Original drawings of some of the images shown on this website are available for acquisition. Please contact KP for more information.

Sikh prayer that longs for a world at peace

Ardas, the closing prayer in the Sikh worship tradition, ends with a universal blessing for all humanity: “By thy grace, may there be peace and goodwill among all people everywhere.” Sikh scriptures remind us to understand and celebrate our common humanity: “Recognize all humanity as one race, one brotherhood.”

Peace and goodwill are an important condition for human survival and progress. A state of peace must prevail for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and for communion with our deeper self. A spirit of friendship and goodwill among nations and people can “make the whole world kin.” Conflicts erupt, discords arise when a civilized society fails to guarantee freedom, justice, human dignity and equal opportunity to all citizens.

A century ago, the great Indian sage and humanitarian Rabindranath Tagore saw this tragedy and wrote his famous prayer for his country “where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; where knowledge is free.” Tagore’s prayerful yearning enshrined a universal dream for all nations and people everywhere.

Today we are no wiser or closer to Tagore’s grand vision for humanity. The task of finding new solutions to old and new universal challenges, building bridges of trust and lasting peace among nations, faiths, ethnic communities, remains an unrealized hope. Poverty, hunger, injustice, illiteracy and divisiveness dominate global concerns.

I have meditated upon Tagore’s moving and enlightened writings, especially Gitanjali, for which he won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1913. As we begin a new millennium, I offer my prayers for a world at peace, drawing inspiration from my faith, struggles, experiences and the echoes of Tagore’s hauntingly beautiful prayer songs.

Peace that: transcends temporal frontiers, reaches deep into the spiritual realm, transports our spirit to a new purpose, sets our sight to a higher promise.

Peace that: accepts all triumphs and trials, inspires respect and understanding among nations, discovers meaning and challenge in all things, entertains The Good of All Creation.

Peace that: the threat of war is a distant memory, peacefull coexistence is not an illusion, unwelcome conflicts do not intrude on human space, might surrenders to right in loving grace.

Peace that: the mind captures and honors the essence of life, the soul dances to the rhythms of universal joy, great ideas are rewarded chariots of fantasy, common everyday living is a cherished pastime.

Peace that: the heart cherishes giving, giving in faith is a sacred rite, the true count of blessings begins with giving, the spirit yearns to serve as an offering.

Peace that: legends and tradition echo and affirm Universal spirit, faith and seva (service) converge to mirror our humanity, the Light of the Unseen guides us through unimagined valleys, the promise of tomorrows keeps hope and dreams alive.

Peace that: despair and divisiveness no longer threaten the human race, ignorance and injustice find no friendly place, vision and striving strengthen and thread human destiny, diversity of thoughts and ideas is a cherished treasure.

Peace that: reason and truths herald triumphs, dignity and justice are sacred rights, love transcends all colors and separating walls, hope and freedom are an eternal flame.

Lord, teach us to make peace with all that surrounds us. May we reflect on the meaning and shape of our universe and nurture it with prayer, sacrifice and inspirations of great souls. May our labors and prayers converge to create a beautiful canopy of dignity, equality, justice and friendship for all living beings under the heavens to live and prosper in peace.

May the entire creation move forward in solidarity, oneness of spirit and purpose, and together shape and inherit a legacy worthy of God and man, where peace is not a dream but our true destiny.

Kanwal Prakash “KP” Singh
Indianapolis, Indiana USA