is a place in the northeast of India, with schools, a college for teacher training, workshops, a hospital, old people’s home, agriculture and much more.

Only a few kilometres away from Kirpal Sagar, in the south, the Sutlej riverbed is deeply buried in the sandy loamy soil. This is one of the five rivers that gave the name to Punjab. Punjab means five river country and refers to the rivers Beas, Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi and Sutlej. Their waters are taken up by the mighty Indus, which flows into the sea near Karachi.

A generation ago, today’s Kirpal Sagar was a floodplain, inhospitable living conditions. During the rainy season, the Sutlej coming from the Himalayas flooded the whole region for weeks at a time.

Outside the rainy season the land was dry steppe due to the sandy soil. The situation changed with the regulation of the Sutlej, whose water is dammed several times in the mountains. On the way from Delhi via Chandigarh to Amritsar the road leads along the dam at Rupnagar. Two large canals discharge water for irrigation and electricity generation. Since then the river almost loses itself in its large bed. Floods have become rare. The terrain level of Kirpal Sagar has been raised by up to one meter in the built-up sections to provide more protection from flooding. The fields lie deeper, thus forming a retention space for the monsoon season.

Traditions, Challenges, and Language

The Punjab had been known for centuries as the granary of India, with the province located on both sides of the Indian-Pakistan border before independence and covering about three times its present area, Amritsar and Lahore, now in Pakistan, were the cultural centres. The division into Bharat/Hindustan (present-day India) and Pakistan led to multiple flight, expulsion, murder and manslaughter. Culturally, the Punjab is still a melting pot of different traditions, languages and religions. The times of the invasion of Central Asian steppe peoples, the Mogul emperors in the 16th to 18th centuries, the English colonial period have left their deep traces in the country, which is today dominated by Sikhs and Hindus. In terms of language, there are mainly those of Indo-European (Punjabi, Hindi) and Persian origin (Urdu).

culture, music and religion

Preserved cultural treasures of India often have a religious connection. Unfortunately many old treasures have been replaced by the respective rulers and can only be found in traces or even only in old descriptions and stories like the more than 5.000 years old ancient Indian epics.

A good example of this is the music, melodically extraordinarily rich and varied. Innumerable keys, European-Western unrecordable nuances and ornaments, that’s already impressive. As far as the previously existing multitude of instruments is concerned, unfortunately only little of it has survived, apart from individual percussion instruments, especially in the north of India. The British hand harmonium dominates the instrumental scene, complemented by flutes, sitar and various drums.

There are religious houses of worship of many directions (Gurdawaras of the Sikhs, temples of the Hindus, Christian churches, a few Jewish and Buddhist temples, mosques of Shiites, Sunnis, Sufis), above all many wise and God-fearing people, who wander around and call for reflection or simply give a practical example.

Especially in the Hindu faith with its manifold forms music and singing play an important role. Hardly any religious gathering – no matter which colour – does not include some religious songs. This all explains why spiritual-religious life takes up a significant part of life in western comparison, and also why schools often look far beyond their own horizons in terms of content. The result is an atmosphere in which exchange is almost self-evident and promotes interest in other lifestyles and cultures. Kirpal Sagar is not only embedded in this environment, rather it stands for comprehensive exchange, for esteem, for mutual help – not as a showpiece, but as a “do-it-yourself” workshop, so to speak, which would have closed the circle to Goethe….

Grey are all theories and green
life’s golden tree.

J.W. von Goethe

Poet and Universalist