history of gurudwara richfield sahib
The text of the marker reads as follows: This marks the site of the first Sikh Gurdwara in the state of Ohio. Sikhs began to arrive in Ohio after India's freedom from British rule in 1947. They came for advanced education at universities in the state. With liberalization of immigration laws in the 1960s, many Sikhs settled in metropolitan areas and set up organizations to hold congregational prayer. The Guru Nanak Foundation of Greater Cleveland Area was named after Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh Faith. The Foundation, which at first used rental facilities for religious activities, was incorporated in 1976. However, by 1980 it was able to purchase a building at 3305 West 25th Street in Cleveland. Membership swelled during the 1980s, and in 1991 the congregation decided to move the Gurdwara to its present location in Richfield.
Inside the Gurdwara you will see these photos and symbol. The photo on the left is Guru Nanak (First Guru) and right is Guru Gobind Singh (Tenth Guru). The center is the symbol of Sikhism called Khanda-Kirpan. The circle in the emblem of Sikhism represents the Deg (cauldron or kettle) used to prepare food, Guru ka Langar initiated by the founder of the Sikh faith, Guru Nanak to remove caste barriers, teach people equality and humility before each other and to feed all and sundry on an egalitarian base so that no body sleeps with an empty stomach. The two swords on the outside represent the Miri--Piri (Bhagti and Shakti) doctrine of Sikhism, revealed by Guru Nanak and put into practice by his sixth successor, Guru Hargobind indicating the integration of spiritual and temporal powers together and not treating them as two separate and distinct entities. In the center is the Khanda, the double-edged sword, used by the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh to prepare Amrit to initiate the Sikhs. Khanda has cutting edge on both sides indicative of two swords fused together representing Bhagti and Shakti (spiritual and temporal powers), giving birth to “The Khalsa”, who is a saint-soldier (Sant-Sipahi), the saint meaning scholarly in knowledge of Gurbani and soldier meaning martial in spirit. (Thanks to Paramjit Singh for this explanation)