Thursday, May 25, 2006

How Guru's blessing has changed my life?

This post started as a comment on Gurumustuk’s blog, but ended up here for being too long. I didn’t feel right to take up his blog space for this long of a post. Please read the last paragraph if you decide not to read the whole post.

I have known about Sikhnet since 1996 or so thru a relative who mentioned that I can get a Hukamnama directly from Harmandir Sahib. Even though I grew up in a semi Sikh environment, I still was the farthest thing from having spirituality in life and did not even fully understand the meaning of Hukamnama. Still clean shaven, ate meat, drank alcohol, depressed, angry, miserable, full of hatred for feeling like I was being treated unfairly and discriminated at jobs, hated by family and hated for life in general. Sikhnet was the only site that I knew of which had positive and inspiring news within the Sikh community and it looked like everybody else in Sikh online and print media had been focused on the negatives aspects of things in India, America and everywhere else Sikhs lived. I always loved the fact how things were (and still are) kept positive on Sikhnet discussion forums and in general, and junk was filtered out. My interest in Sikhi grew after 2001, and thru reading answers to people’s problems on forum discussions, It looked like it was run by western Sikhs, but still I had no idea what 3HO was or what it did. I only had heard of the name Yogi Bhajan once or twice growing up in India and saw his picture once on Yogi tea package that my wife had bought.

Then the news came of passing away of Yogi Ji and I read the tribute on Sikhnet about him. I was just amazed how he was able to impact people’s lives through yoga, helping them open up successful businesses along with spirituality. I especially loved Yogi Ji’s quote “Can’t see God in all, can’t see God at all”. I had heard and read the negatives as well but wanted to see it myself. I checked out “ and read things but still was not comfortable. This was around December 2004 after his death. Now, I had done a little yoga all my life since I was about 5 years old, when I first saw by brother-in-law putting a pillow on the bed against the wall and standing on his head. That image had stuck with me ever since and I just kept trying to imitate standing on head as a kid but was never really successful. But I did learn some other moves that I could do easily.

Then around spring 2005, I happen to visit the 3Ho site again and saw “Khalsa Youth Camp” listed as one of the events for summer. I felt the cost was kind of high, but decided I needed to overcome my fears, and insecurities. These feelings only came from me being ignorant about Sikh way of life myself and thinking I just don’t know enough and add the western culture on top of that, it was even harder. My non-Sikh wife was (and still is not) comfortable with my life changes and she had all kinds of questions about camp. She was not comfortable with leaving the kids alone at the camp with strangers so asked several questions and wanted me to go. She talked to the camp director and thought that he was very nice and soft spoken.

Last year I along with my younger sons drove to Espanola to attend the Khalsa Youth Camp in Espanola for two out the three weeks. It was my and kids first time to any Sikh camp in a Western or Indian Sikh environment. My daughter had signed up for a summer course at school before I found out about the camp so she and my wife could not go. All I can say is that you just have to check it out yourself and make your own conclusions. Personally, we loved it. My kids were able to learn “mool mantra”, stories of Sikh Gurus, gatka, Bhangra and other activites that I could not get them thru their brain in the last 6-8 years I have been trying myself. Both of my sons became vegetarians without me pushing it on them. The older one has not cut his hair since camp. He does not wear a jhoora or patka yet, but he does not want to cut it. I am just going to leave it up to him. The camp is a great experience for any kid. And, now a Sikh Film Festival for kids and by kids. Who says, Sikhnet, Yogi Bhajan or 3HO has not impacted Sikh lives all over the world. I look at this way, a lot of us follow all kinds of life quotes by various non-Sikh politicians, writers, CEO’s, Lincolns, Gandhis, Kennedy’s etc. in Western and Indian media, but can’t follow a few quotes from one of our own Gursikh who impacted so many lives. I would not be the same if Sikhnet had not become part of my life learning, Sikhnet would not here if Yogi Bhajan had not become part of western Sikh’s life learning, and Yogi Bhajan had not been a great Gursikh if it was not Guru’s kirpa and blessing.


Blogger Gurumustuk Singh said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing with us. This is so inspiring to hear and see how things progressed. Stories like yours are what motivate us at SikhNet to keep on going inspite of the many hardships and sacrifices. It's all Gods will and it is our blessing to be able to serve. As Yogi Bhajan used to say... something like: When you help others...and uplift and inspire others...then God takes many steps to take care of you and inspire you.

4:02 PM, May 25, 2006  
Blogger Singhni said...

Bole So Nihaal!
Sat Sri Akaal!!

May Guru continue to keep you and your family in Chardee Kalaa!

7:29 AM, May 26, 2006  
Blogger Sikhi Seeker said...

Oh Manjeet Singh ji, what an honest and humble write-up. And the impact of the youth camp - significant. It's beyond wonder for me that your sons have been vegetarians ever since and that the older son has not cut his hair ever since. I think it's so wise of you to not "push" him, but be supportive and exemplary in this phase of his life.

I myself commend Sikhnet for bringing back Sikhi to my life, most importatnly in the form of an opportunity to blog, which even though not run by sikhnet was very much an idea introduced through it. And even though I barely make meaningful entries on my blog, everytime I'm there is an opportunity of meaningful thought.

God will bless all those who help people like us to come a step closer to God.


11:09 PM, May 27, 2006  
Blogger SikhsRus said...

Thank you all for nice compliments! There are times when everyone needs this in his/her life.

7:53 AM, May 31, 2006  
Blogger Khalsa@Cisco said...

Manjeet Singh G, I loved reading this post. Thanks so much for sharing..
I cud relate to so much of what you wrote here. I'm 24 years old, I've been what people call 'cut-sikh' or mona sikh until a few years ago. Have seen a similar "Semi-Sikh" life-style.
Thank you for this inspiring write-up!!!
Humbly, Abhijit Singh

8:19 AM, June 03, 2006  
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