One of the highlights of every student’s experience at MPA is the annual 40 days of parkarma seva at the Golden Temple. For forty days, the students get up around 2am and off to the Golden Temple in time to participate with the community in washing the marble floors of the Harmandir Sahib. It’s a precious seva and one that the Siri Singh Sahib did continuously for many years.

For our students this time of year is a highlight and it’s also very challenging. Everyone has to adjust to a different sleeping schedule – one that is broken up into two parts; one before seva and one after – the daily schedule is altered slightly but for the most part the students are expected to keep up with the normal MPA program and apply themselves fully to academics, sports, yoga and other activities.

Maintaining the spirit of cherdi kala under these conditions can be challenging for the students and staff. It’s a daily battle to keep inspired, to not walk through the day on autopilot, and to  keep up with the various commitments that we’ve made during these forty days. While often difficult, it’s these kinds of pressures that turn our students into diamonds and why we continue this practice year after year. If you have any doubt, just look at the light that shines through their faces.

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