Why the Sikh langar is vegetarian

Most of us slip into poetry describing the meal at temples and mutts. But how is it in a gurudwara? On worldchanging.com, Sarah Rich has a lunch at the langar.

“Every Sikh temple throughout the world has a Langar (Punjabi for “free kitchen”). This is not a soup kitchen. It’s not exclusively for the poor, nor exclusively for the Sikh community. Volunteering in the cooking, serving and cleaning process is a form of active spiritual practice for devotees, but the service they provide asks no religious affiliation of its recipients. Our guide’s chorus was, “Man, woman, color, caste, community,” meaning you will be fed here regardless of how you fit into any of those classifications. This spirit of inclusion and equality is reinforced by the kitchen’s adherence to vegetarianism, not because Sikhs are vegetarian, but because others who visit may be, and by serving no meat, they exclude nobody.”

Read the full article here: Lunch at the Langar: Exploring a free kitchen in Delhi



  1. What a noble attitude. It’s no wonder that the Sikhs are a mainstream in all societies, in India or abroad.

  2. E.R. Ramachandran said

    Like anything they do in life, the Punjabis are open and lively , so are their kitchens in the temples.Perhaps this is the only community which allows any pilgrim to roll some rotis as part of community service .Remarkable custom which others could pick it up.

  3. Doddi Buddi said

    The Langar effort is very praiseworthy!

    But unfortunately, in Hong Kong all the slain Khalistani terrorists were depicted as martyrs in the local gurudwara–it was a bit confusing!

    Food has a universal appeal but we should not be glossing over the unpleasantness that lurks beneath a faith that is capable of virulently, anti-social behavior, given half a chance and with some real and mostly imaginary grievances!

  4. I had a similar pleasant experience which is in my blog titled “Gurudwara” at http://ykote.blogspot.com/2004/08/gurudwara.html

  5. Doddi Buddi said


    ‘Langars’ are common in many of South Indian Mutts. No big deal.

  6. I know. However, they never seem to serve enough to fill your stomach 🙂 And the taste is indifferent at best…and at worst too!

  7. Doddi Buddi said

    Is it so? I have come away with some happy experiences in diverse mutts like SiddhaGange, Tumkur and Dharmasthala. Very good food cooked using native vegetables and served in abundance. Great taste!

    Swalpa ee Sikhara oota namigey hosadhagi irodhrinda channagi kansuthhey. Also, many alluring ‘fair-skinned’ Sikh damsels make ‘greasy oily’ food palatable, IMHO 🙂

  8. In that case, the problem probably is in the size of my stomach and my very particular taste buds!

    As for the fair skinned damsels….no comment of course 😀

  9. Doddi Buddi said

    Of course that seems to be case! Muttgalalli Maney oota sigolla–swalpa adjust madkobeku saar!

  10. Shakti Day said

    Almost all Indian temples/mandirs/gurdwaras/stanaks/etc., that I know of namely Buddhist, Jain, Hindu, Sikh, Hare Krishna, Brahma Kumari, Rajneshi, Sai Baba, Maharishi Mahesh, Radha Swami etc. etc. are vegetarian and offer vegetarian meals….

    To my knowledge, the 10 universal gurus that the Sikhs follow were all vegetarian as well.

    In Indian society which is 50% vegetarian, more than 95% of India greatest thinkers and philosophers were/are vegetarians, where over 90% of India’s prison population and violent terrorists are meat-eaters.

  11. Shakti Day said

    Where I live in North America, overall (all things considered and compared) the Chinese Buddhists have by far the best vegetarian langars, followed by the Hare Krishnas, Hindus and then the Sikhs….

  12. As a side note the Sikh Guru’s were not vegetarian. Some were and some were not.

    Sikhism is not a vegetarian religion.

    India is not 50% vegetarian.

    To think vegetarian diet is the best is egotism, or in Sikhism called “Hankaar”.

    Like the writer says, vegetarian diet is to include all, not because it is the best.

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