I want to take a moment to pay brief tribute to Hari Simran Singh Khalsa, who passed away earlier this month in an apparent hiking accident. I had the opportunity to meet and spend a short time with Hari Simran as he participated in the Sikh Coalition’s Sikh Advocate Academy last June.
It became very apparent to me early on that Hari Simran was unique. He lived his Sikhi in a way that was harmonious with his reality — his spirituality was effusive even his engagement with social justice issues. Whether he was bringing yoga to the Occupy Wall Street movement, or wearing his full bana in the halls of US Congress, he was unapologetically Sikh, but approachably so. I have several memories of him from the week we spent — his senses of humor and purpose, his confidence, but also the harmony that he seemed to bring to any situation, be it speaking to Washington, DC bureaucrats on behalf of our community or sitting in a crowded DC restaurant and sharing stories (he and his wife were a cute couple).
I never had a full appreciation for Hari Simran until after I learned of the news of his passing and saw the outpouring of remembrances and tribute from all quarters of our community. It became clear that his impact was a hidden gem for our community in the United States, and it spoke volumes about his humility and the sense of greater purpose that he clearly had about his life. While our Creator took him from our world much too soon for our liking, I will always admire the life he led, the unheralded contributions he made, and I will seek to learn from his legacy.
I offer admittedly brief and belated heartfelt condolences to his family and friends, and offer a prayer that our Creator has accepted Hari Simran’s great soul.
You can read more about Hari Simran Singh Khalsa at the website findharisimran.com, which also features the video of the touching memorial service in his honor.