Those who believe in that philosophy join together and a religion is born. Those believers congregate in one place to reinforce their faith and thus places of worship come into existence. It is a long drawn progression whence a religion becomes a reality. It is an ongoing and continuous process that never has an end. The problem starts when places of worship become displays of religious supremacy. The imposing constructions and their special signature are nothing new at places of worship. History is replete with many such edifices to honor conquests and subjugation of their subjects. Many victories have been dedicated to some gods and impressive temples built to commemorate the victories.
What is a Gurdwara The word "Guru" is made up of two words- "GU" meaning DARK and "RU" meaning LIGHT. The word Guru means from darkness to light or from ignorance to enlightenment. The one who enlightens is called "GURU". Among the Sikhs the title "guru" was given to the 10 leaders of the community from Nanak (1469-1539), the founder to Govind Singh (1666-1708) the tenth and last Guru. During the times of the early Gurus, Sikh places of worship were referred to as dharamsalas. They were places where Sikhs could gather to hear the Guru speak or sing hymns. As the Sikh population grew, Guru Hargobind the sixth Guru introduced the word Gurdwara, meaning the gateway through which the Guru could be reached. Thereafter all Sikh places of worship came to be known as Gurdwaras. Govind Singh, in 1708, ended the succession line of personal Gurus and installed the sacred book of "Guru Granth Sahib" as his eternal successor. Guru Granth Sahib was compiled by Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru in 1604. It is a compilation of the actual words spoken by the Sikh Gurus and various other Saints from other religions including Hinduism and Islam.
The Background of San Jose Gurdwara
Sikh Gurdwara - San Jose, was founded in the Evergreen district of San Jose, California, USA in 1985 by leaders of the then-rapidly growing Santa Clara Valley Sikh community. Initially they congregated in a rented East Bay Community Center. In 1986 they bought a small building on White Road in East San Jose and later added some nearby land. Soon they realized that it would be too expensive to build a Gurdwara of their requirements in the city limits, so they sold that land and in 1996 the Gurdwara Committee under the tutelage of Bob (Bhupinder) Singh Dhillon bought 40 Acres of land near East San Jose Foothills in Evergreen District. The first phase of the project of approximately 20,000 square feet built-up area was completed in August 2004 at a cost of 10 million dollars. With an estimated investment of another 10 million dollars in the second phase the completed Gurdwara will have over 90,000 square feet built-up area, housing all the essential features of a Gurdwara. The Fremont's temple in the Bay area, built in 1991 at a cost of 1.8 million dollars is, at present, the nation's largest. With its completion San Jose Gurdwara will overtake the Fremont temple in size.
The 90,000 square feet structure sparked controversy when Sikhs first unveiled their aspiration. Ironically, beauty of the site is the chief cause for concern among Evergreen residents; many of them believe the temple may become a tourist's attraction, causing traffic problems