- Topics & Settings
Worship at the Gurdwara ends with the passing of Karah Parshad, a warm, sweet dough made of wheat flour, sugar, and clarified butter. Before the Karah Prasad is served, children worshipping at the Gurdwara gather at the front of the Divan hall to pass napkins to each visitor. Adults follow the children, carrying large silver bowls of dough and serving it with their freshly washed hands. Worshippers recieve the dough in their cupped hands, and many bring their hands to their hands to their bowed heads in gratitude before consuming it.
Throughout worship, people enter and exit the Divan hall at their own discretion, interweaving prayer with various community and temple activities. During the passing of the Karah Prasad, however, all present enter the hall for communal worship. Most people exit the hall to serve and eat Langar once they finish their Karah Prasad.
Those at the Gurdwara give different explanations regarding the significance of the Karah Parshad. Jasmine, a college student from out-of-state, explained that the Karah Parshad is a gift from the Gurdwara to her. When she takes Parshad, she reflects on the manifold ways her Sikh faith has enriched her life. For others, the dough is "God's leftovers," and thus deeply sacred. While food waste of any kind is discouraged at the Gurdwara, consuming one's entire portion of Karah Parshad is especially important, as the dough is seen as being a gift from the guru and carries deep meaning.