What Might Be The Best Thing To Pray For?


If you read the last blog then hopefully you know the four golden rules outlined by Bhai Sahib Raghbir Singh Bir on ‘The Power of Pray’. Can you recall them? Have you tried applying them? Did they work for you? Perhaps you think it is all hogwash and believe that there are NO rules.

Each to their own belief!

There is nothing right or wrong . Thinking makes it so.


I can only share my own ‘anubhav’ (life’s experience) and how in retrospection I can understand why things that seemed impossible did become possible.

It’s truly magical!  

I believe that right in the middle of an ‘ordinary’ life, ‘extraordinary’ things happen and they do so because of one’s firm convictions (thoughts).

 I would like to take Bhai Sahib ‘Bir’’s thoughts about the Power of Prayer further. He asks the question – “What is the best thing to pray for?” A very good question indeed.  Continue reading

Mindful Eating



Many people don’t realize that the simple daily act of eating can be a profound catalyst for spiritual growth, from experiencing a renewed sense of vitality to living a richer and more satisfying life. That’s because each time we eat we have the opportunity to pay attention, care for ourselves, and feed the real source of our hunger: our spirit. 

I was reading recently about a restaurant in Montreal that serves food in complete darkness. This is for people to experience how a completely blind person or a person with limited vision has to adjust to life without seeing anything. It is reported that when you go to eat there, you are taken first to a very dimly lit area where you order your meal (so at least you know what to expect on your plate), then you are given a briefing about the layout of the restaurant area and then your experience begins as you are taken to a completely dark room. You are ‘shown’ your seats by waiters/waitresses who themselves are visually challenged. To cut a long story short, people who have eaten there report that as a result of not having any other sensual distractions other than  taste and touch they felt a heightened sense of taste and since they were not able to see someone when they were talking or around and about they had to concentrate on hearing, conversation became powerful too. In addition, the whole experience felt like they had been spiritually nourished.

So the more we concentrate on one thing the better the results.

 For centuries, people of many different cultures have referred to the “mind’s eye,” or the “inner eye,” or the “third eye.” These are all indications that there is a separate way of looking within.

Recognizing that our bodies, mind and spirits are undeniably interconnected leads to the understanding that what we do to one aspect of our greater selves will impact the others. A logical next step is to treat our bodies, including our diet, in a way that will affect the way we think and support our spiritual growth. It is said that after fasting, a person’s mind is more clear, and the extra-sensory perception more keen when the digestive system is not drawing so heavily on the energy supply. We are body, mind and spirit inexorably intertwined. What a person eats affects mood; mood affects spirituality; how one views the body is affected by mood and spiritual practice.

Mindful eating is paying attention to what and how and when you are eating something and how it is affecting you – but the reality is ……………….

 How many times do you eat on the go or at the desk while working?How many times do you watch TV or multi task when having a meal?

 Life is just getting faster – faster – faster – faster – faster with no signs of anyone wanting to slow down. Multi-tasking is becoming the new way of life.

How then can we ask our mind to slow down or to calm down?

Meditation (simran), as we all know has been identified by our ancestors as an antidote to the fast pace of life. It is worth examining what we mean by meditation.

Bauji, in his lekhs and talks on Simran (http://www.gurbanivichar.com/) warns us that we should be aware that we are doing ‘simran’ at all times – whether we want to or not. Simran, is what you are thinking of repeatedly at any one time. It could be about work, about a relationship, about what you did and said to someone and the list goes on. All this happens at most times without us being conscious of it. Most people believe that ‘doing simran’ is when we take the time out and try to focus our mind consciously on the word ‘waheguru’. This is absolutely true but most of us at best can do this ‘sit down’ waheguru simran for a limited period of time. Gurbani, however instructs us to do simran all the time. The only way this can be possible is if we consciously try to watch every thought and direct it or connect it to the universe. In order to follow this, one would have to focus on every action and do it with full awareness. We would have to slowwww down and not be attempting to do a multiple array of things (eating, watching TV, texting and doing an assignment).

Every action has a domino effect.

 What you do affects everything else that follows.

One such action is eating. The way one eats influences everything else that one does during the day.

 So if we can sit and eat quietly and enjoy each bite, aware of the presence of our environment, aware of all the hard and loving work that has gone into our food it would not only physically nourish us but also do so spiritually.

If we can look deeply into our food and take this time as a meditation — just as important as sitting or walking meditation time — we can receive the many gifts of the universe that we would not otherwise profit from if our mind is elsewhere. If we eat in a distracted manner, food merely fills us but does not satisfy.

 •Mindfulness practices enhance the connection between our body, our mind and everything else that is around us.

 •Eliminating mood-altering foods (white sugar, white flour and artificial ingredients makes meditation and other spiritual practices easier.

 Sorry folks – this means that junk food – food that we love the most is a culprit. It is one of the things that is responsible for our distracted thoughts.

The choice of course is always ours.

God gives us freedom to make our own path.

Bauji  always advocated a daily diet which consists of more fruits and vegetables – i now understand why. One time, i remember Mataji telling a sangat member about the importance of watching not only ‘what’ you eat but also ‘where’ you eat and paying attention to ‘who’ has prepared the food. Once again, finally after such a long time i have understood why she said so. We have already examined the importance of ‘what’ – the ‘where’ and ‘why’ is because there are vibrations in the food that we eat. If someone who has cooked it with love you will feel the peace after you eat it and feel satisfied (like Mom’s cooking) – often termed ‘soul food’.

Restaurant food has several people preparing it, it is frozen, mostly made by disinterested people who are often tired, fed up , in a rush. What kind of feelings can they inject into the food? Langar  on the other hand is prepared with much love and seva bhavna, with padh and kirtan – it contains loving vibrations.

 However, this still leaves the onus on us – how much and what we put in our body.

 Nowadays even Mom’s cooking and Langar consists of ‘harmful’ products (sugar, salt, oil). I firmly believe that if we can educate ourselves we can perhaps teach others around us to be more careful about the choices we make. You can help parents make better choices too.

Why is it that even though we all know that fried foods and sugary stuff  like mathiyaian, pakoras, samosas, etc are detrimental to not only our health ,our ‘surat’, our ability to do simran but they are they are the main cause behind diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure , cancer, aches and pains we still choose to cook them and feed the rest of our loved ones with them?????????????????????????

Gurbani guides us in the following manner.

 ਬਾਬਾ ਹੋਰੁ ਖਾਣਾ ਖੁਸੀ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥

O Baba, the pleasures of other foods are false.

ਜਿਤੁ ਖਾਧੈ ਤਨੁ ਪੀੜੀਐ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥੧॥

Eating them, the body is ruined, and wickedness and corruption enter into the mind. ||1||Pause||

 Finally, one thing that always come to mind from Bauji’s talks is :




At the last two Montreal samagams we read the story of Maee Subraee jee (Guru Gobind Singh Jee’s mother-in law). This story is narrated by Bhi Veer Singh Jee. It is called  ‘Sat Aukhian Ratan’. It tells us about the seven difficult nights Mata Subraee Jee had to face in the face of bad news (like the death of her husband, her daughter, her grandons and Guru jee) and how she finally conquered her ‘surat’ .

 It illustrates how thoughts can take you into high or low spirits and how we have to really watch them.

 I would like to thank the three sevadars from Toronto who kindly typed up the story for me. 

Hope you are all well.

Much Much Warm Nanak Love

Stay in High Spirits


Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan 

Continue reading

Ottawa and Montreal Samagam 2010



A most loving guru fateh gee

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

It seems like it was ages ago – the Ottawa Samagam. It was barely a month ago (Sept). In the mean time many of us were at the Montreal Samagam too (Oct).

Thank you Patshah jee for these blessed, precious moments spent in the aura of the Divine Sadh Sangat.

 At the Ottawa samagam, as many of you will recall we read Bauji’s lekh on Universal Religion  on the first day and then a story from the book shown above , ‘The Holy Man’ on the second day.

In the lekh, Bauji (Jaswant Singh Ji ‘Khoji’), explains the concept of Universal Religion as the essence of all religions which can be summed up as living a life which incorporates one main principle: Love for all & Malice towards none. Here is a short excerpt from the lekh: 

This transition of transformation of our thoughts, beliefs, faith and consciousness, from the illusive, materialistic world, to the Divine Realm, is the:

      The only ONE,
                                 Ultimate, and
                                              Eternal Divine Religion.

 Bauji also alerts us to the difference between the pitfalls of being so engrossed in the dogmatic rituals and symbols of ‘outer religion’ such that our true ‘inner religion’  may get sacrficed. He reminds us that while outer religion is an essential first step – it is a means to the end, and not an end in itself.

 Do read the entire lekh which can be found at Universal Religion 

I remember that when i read this lekh several years ago how it transformed my thoughts and life. I can only offer some meagre words of gratitude (never enough) to Bauji who wrote not only this lekh but several others to raise our awareness of what gurbani is telling us.

The story we read from the “The Holy Man” recounts the experience of a spiritual seeker who has been going through some existential crisis and how the visit to the Holy Man helps him to resolve this issue. Discussion led to several children sharing their experiences about general fears and how being in ‘sangat’ has helped them by giving them the courage and awareness to get through such times.

After the samagam one aspirant wrote the following soul searching message and asked is he/she could share it with others. Thank you so very much for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Although the best teacher is one’s own experience, hearing about similar journeys is a great help and a guide for everyone of us.

 Here is the message:

In case you need some material over the next few weeks, I just wrote some thoughts up around the discussion I got to be a part of on Sunday. Would appreciate that they remain anonymous if you do post them though. 🙂
A few notes on courage:

This past weekend was one of the most amazing of my life. Part of it was the timing at which it came, and part of it was the yearning to be in the company of Sadh Sangat, but regardless of what the reasons were, it was a blessing to be at Ottawa Samagam. I had actually debated whether or not my schedule would really allow me to be at the samagam, but Guru Nanak worked everything out, and there I was.

I missed the first day’s kids class, but I was fortunate enough to attend the second day. During the second day, Rani Auntie was discussing a story of a woman named Eleanor who went to visit Joe, the holy man. As the discussion evolved, we began discussing fear, its pros and cons, and this idea of courage. Someone shared what Steve Jobs had talked about at a keynote address he delivered to Stanford, about how overcoming obstacles was a necessary part of life.

I think there’s a good and a bad thing about this discussion, and I’d like to share a couple of thoughts. This year was a very big step in a very different direction for me. I’ve felt, in the past, that one of my shortcomings as an individual was a lack of courage. I would pray and pray to Guru Nanak for “more courage”, and then I remember reading a book or an article where it was said clearly: Your personality is in your own hands. You will not simply wake up one morning with more courage, or a better sense of humor, or more compassion. You must practice it.

And that’s one thing I want to share with all of the kids:

  1. •         Courage is not absolute, it is relative.
  2. •         Courage is not static, it is dynamic.
  3. •         Courage is not a hurdle, it is a mountain.
  4. •         Courage isn’t an accomplishment, it is a journey.

I used to feel I lack courage. In the early months of 2010, I confronted the three biggest fears in my life, to varying degrees of success. In fact, standing up to those fears in and of itself was success, but the outcomes of challenging those fears varied from favourable to not-favourable. But I felt so much positivity at challenging them, that I was proud of myself for tackling the greatest fears that were holding my mind back from freedom.

The problem with doing that, though, is that your mind becomes conditioned to thinking that since your greatest fears have been tackled, there is nothing that can stop you. And that breeds complacency. It’s great – really great – to challenge your fears, because more often than not, you realize they were bigger in your head than they are in real life. But don’t stand still once you do it. Courage and fear are very dangerous elements. If you become complacent, fear (maya) will overtake and overpower your mind. I made the mistake of thinking that I had removed the attackers of my mind. In reality, I had let my mind conquer those fears, and then retreat into a shell, allowing other fears to propagate themselves and wreak havoc on my mental, emotional, and most importantly, my spiritual health, creating an environment where I duped myself into thinking that my mind was actually FREE, and therefore more likely to be productive mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Be courageous, but don’t treat it like an act or a task. Treat it as a lifestyle. And don’t let pride become the resulting sentiment. Guru Gobind Singh Ji wants us to be humble and courageous. Win your victories with class and humility.

Dhan Guru Nanak



Thank you so much for this heartfelt message. I hope more of you will share your experiences too. I look forward to that.

Guru Ang Sang sadha sadha

Warm Nanak Love












Continue reading

The Perseids meteor shower

A Loving Guru Fateh (WJKK WJKF)

The following post is by our first contributor. Thank you so much J!!!

Really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughtful insights and unique experience.I thought, however that perhaps a little bit of a background might help our younger sangatees. Here’s a  brief look intro to history of the Perseids

 The event is also known as “The Tears of St. Lawrence.”

Laurentius, a Christian deacon, is said to have been martyred by the Romans in 258 AD on an iron outdoor stove. It was in the midst of this torture that Laurentius cried out:

“I am already roasted on one side and, if thou wouldst have me well cooked, it is time to turn me on the other.”

The Saint’s death was commemorated on his feast day, Aug. 10. King Phillip II of Spain built his monastery place the “Escorial,” on the plan of the holy gridiron. And the abundance of shooting stars seen annually between approximately Aug. 8 and 14 have come to be known as St. Lawrence’s “fiery tears.”

We know today that these meteors are actually the dusty remains left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle. Discovered back in 1862, and most recently observed in 1992, this comet takes approximately 130 years to circle the sun. With each pass, Comet Swift-Tuttle produces a debris trail along its orbit to cause the Perseids.

Every year during mid-August, when the Earth passes close to the orbit of Swift-Tuttle, the material left behind by the comet from its previous visits ram into our atmosphere at approximately 37 miles per second (60 km/second) and creates bright streaks of light in our midsummer night skies.

Every year during mid-August, when the Earth passes close to the orbit of Swift-Tuttle, the material left behind by the comet from its previous visits ram into our atmosphere at approximately 37 miles per second (60 km/second) and creates bright streaks of light in our midsummer night skies.

Here is the post:


The Perseids meteor shower is the most active meteor shower that we get to see from the earth. This year, with the moon setting in the early evening, we had the pleasure and the blessing to see this meteor shower almost crystal clearly from Ottawa. There’s a small park not too far from my home where there’s not too much artificial light. Typically, I’d think “this is a kind of unsafe little park”, but tonight, it was just perfect. As you may know, too much artificial light reflects in the night sky, and reduces the visibility of the meteors in the sky.
I spent a couple hours lying down on the damp grass in the park, hearing the bugs buzzing around me, feeling the grass blades on my ears and on my neck, hearing small animals in their sleeping stupor in the trees around me. In my current schedule, I no longer take the time to reconnect with nature. Tonight, that was just one of the blessings I got to experience. There’s so much more to our lives beyond ourselves and the people around us. There’s much we take for granted.

As I was lying there looking into the sky, anxiously awaiting each meteor as it appeared from different parts of the sky, I couldn’t help but letting my mind wander a bit, to try to understand just exactly what I was seeing, and what it meant in my life.

And so, there I was, lying there on the damp grass with my insect and animal friends, and the blades of grass, looking up into the night sky at the meteors. See, the reason we see these meteors is because we enter an area of high-debris. This debris enters our atmosphere, where it burns up, and as a result, we see the piece of debris, and a trail of light as it slowly burns into nothingness. And when you compare it to the stars in the sky, it looks wondrous. God is truly great.

These pieces of debris look to be about the same size (and some are smaller) than the stars in the sky. It just made me think. In the distance, on the next street over, I could see the porch lights of houses, which looked to be about the same size as the meteors in the sky. The meteors in the sky looked to be about the same size as the other stars in the sky. But think about that. The actual size of the meteors is probably millions and millions of times larger than the porch light, and the stars are soooooooooooooooo much further away, and so they must be millions and millions times larger than the pieces of debris.

And we– we’re arguably hundreds of times smaller than a single house. We are so so small. We are so so insignificant in the grand scheme of God’s creation. After we die, the meteor shower will still occur every year…

We are small and insignificant creatures, who control only our own thoughts, actions, habits, characters, and destinies. There is so much beyond us. We are like those pieces of debris that enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Some of us will be brighter, and leave longer trails, but eventually, we too will end. And only the great Creator will ultimately remember our deeds and our paths and our actions.

So ultimately, who is it that we should be pleasing? The other meteors? Or the ultimate Creator? We spend far too much time pleasing each other, when the only way for our flame never to extinguish, for our meteor to never burn into nothingness, is to cultivate our relationship with God, while still fulfilling all the things we need to do to be successful and responsible and contributive in this life. To do all that WITH the Spark of Love is the ideal goal. Without that Love, all is for naught, all goes to waste, and it’s all useless… But the Spark of Love… The Spark of Love remains forever, and you will be forever Immortal in the eyes of God.

maerae man saadhhasa(n)gath mil reheeaa ||
O my mind, remain united with the Saadh Sangat.

kirapaa karahu madhhasoodhan maadhho mai khin khin saadhhoo charan pakheeaa ||1|| rehaao ||
Be merciful to me, O Lord; each and every instant, let me wash the Feet of the Holy. ||1||Pause||

 amar pi(n)dd bheae saadhhoo sa(n)g janam maran dhooo mitt geeaa ||1||

My body has become immortal, in the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy. Both birth and death have come to an end for me. ||1||



Many many thanks for sharing this wonderful experience.

Dhan Guru Nanak

With Warm Nanak Love


(Hope to see you all in Ottawa)

Continue reading




“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’that would suffice.”    Meister Eckhart

 Waheguru ji ka khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh

While all samagams are held in high spirits somehow the love and seva that the Toronto sangat showered on all those who attended was monumental. Teh dilon dhanvaaad !

From the core of my heart thank you to all the pyaree sadh sangat children who listened so attentively and participated in the two classes we had at Toronto Samagam. Shukar hai !!

In the classes we went over some of the main points from Bauji’s lekhs on Bandan Chutan (105 & 106)

These lekhs highlight the different types of ‘bonds’ we create for ourselves and how we become slaves of these ‘masters’. Our minds/thoughts are responsible for creating ‘prison cells’ from which it becomes very hard to escape.

Do you recall what these ‘bonds’ were??

One of them was ‘bhai charak bandan’ – bonds we create because of our obligations to society or socially related bonds.

One person suggested that this could in the present generation be related to Facebook, Twitter, texting. How our need to answer every beck and call of this media has taken away our freedom. We feel obliged to be in touch. Gurbani tells us to reduce our social commitments, however with the ability to stay in touch with more and more people with the aid of technology, we may be increasing these interactions.

However this does not mean that technology is not useful or is ‘bad’ for us. It only means that we have to use it to our advantage – as long as YOU are the master, and not the technology.

 For example – technology has now made it so much easier to access gurbani and kirtan. We can even stream the samagams for those people who have not been able to come. The important thing to remember is to allow technology to work for us rather than it becoming our master an controlling us.

If your spiritual understanding is sound, then you will constantly be aware of the subtleties of life. If you fritter away your concentration on minor entertainment and trivial distractions, then you will never attain a profound level of awareness.                                           365 Tao Meditations

 We visited many other themes – one was why it is important to wake up at amrit vele for simran and why and how it can help us regain our focus.

Usually we are constantly vacillating between two states:


 When we do simran we enter a state of remembrance.

Yaad  – (a state of remembrance)

 •when we remember who we really are. When we are  in the flow, when we know that all that happens is in the Divine Will, and that we are one with the Universe and we are able to say SHUKAR. A state of mind in which we able to say thanks to our Guru for everything whether it is good or bad.

 Bhul – (a state of forgetfulness)

 •when we forget who we really are. When we are not in the flow, when we forget our Guru. This is when our egoistic mind makes us believe we are alone, and that we are in charge and we are unable to say thanks

•In other words when we are ungrateful, there is an absence of the spirit. It follows that only when we are grateful there is presence of spirit.

•However, offering thanks is not easy as it seems. We can all ‘say’ thank you, but to actually mean it is another thing.

•The attitude of gratitude is something that needs cultivating as a habit. One way is to make  conscious effort of listing your blessings everyday – perhaps before falling asleep or on arising or both. This practise immediately begins to transport out ‘surat’ or our ‘mind’ to higher levels which brings us inner content. There is so much to be grateful for!

ਮਿਹਰਵਾਨੁ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਮਿਹਰਵਾਨੁ ॥ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਿਹਰਵਾਨੁ ॥

 My Lord is gracious

Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,

If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something

For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.

During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations

Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge

Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes

They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary

Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.

A life of rich fulfillment comes to those

who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles

and they can become your blessings.


~ Author Unknown ~


When drinking water remember the source.

 Guru Ang Sang

(May you always feel His Presence)





Pyar sehat guru fateh parvan karnee jee,

A loving guru fateh jee : Waheguru jee ka khalsa waheguru jee ki fateh

At the last two samagams (Detroit and Binghampton) due to some time constraints we were able to have just one class. However, the one class that we did have, was about a very important topic – bullying.

What it is and how to deal with it?
Mostly, the answers and questions came from the participants.
I love it when that happens. It means that you are getting comfortable enough with each other to start discussing even personal issues like bullying. Thank you to all of you who were brave enough to bring up situations that might have warranted bullying and then also to share what worked for you.
We also talked about the movie called ROOTS AND WINGS (One Light Films) by Angad Singh. A very charming, to the point, 30 min documentary made by a 14 year old sikh boy from USA. I would urge you to watch it and share it with others.

Angad explores the question, “Does one have to cut off their roots to spread their wings to soar high?”

Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uNep99rxmY

I particularly enjoyed Angad’s laid back, clear and to the point commentary. Thank you Angad for all your efforts. May your eagle soar high!!! Dhan Guru Nanak.

 Towards the end of our class, a group presented a small skit about encountering bullying. It was quite hilarious, but illustrated the point of not getting enraged but dealing with the situation with confidence and a kind of maturity that our guru would expect from his Sikhs.

The kind shown by Angad Singh.

Bullying happens all the time – whether you are a sikh or not.

Bullying occurs in school playgrounds every 7 minutes and once every 25 minutes in class. (Pepler et al., 1997)

As a teacher I came across several incidents where kids were bullied for the most ridiculous reasons.  Anyone who does not fit into the ‘normal’ framework becomes a target. People are ignorant and need to be educated.

The trick is to be calm and consistent. Assert your self by being yourself.

 Why try to fit in when you were meant to stand out?

 I love this slogan – I saw it on a young sikh boy’s teeshirt.

 Sometimes it is easier to be just like everyone else – it requires less effort, less energy, but Gurbani teaches us to walk the path least travelled -to swim upstream rather than with the current.

ਉਲਟੀ ਰੇ ਮਨ ਉਲਟੀ ਰੇ ॥

ਸਾਕਤ ਸਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਉਲਟੀ ਰੇ ॥


Turn away, O my mind, turn away

Turn away from the faithless cynic.

This requires persistence, it requires a lot of energy and is very difficult. Bullying does not only happen in schools, it can follow you even to work later in life. It is worthwhile to understand and come to terms with this social disease and not be affected by it.

Bullying is the assertion of power through aggression. Its forms change with age: school playground bullying, sexual harassment, gang attacks, date violence, assault, marital violence, child abuse, workplace harassment and elder abuse. (Pepler and Craig, 1997)

To become more informed about bullying and other related issues, try this site – it is set up by Sikh Coalition and provides useful information about bullying. http://www.khalsakids.org/

If you are ever in a vulnerable position always seek help immediately from a trusted source (teacher, parent, family member, older sibling).

 Be courageous -ask for help when and if you need it.

Here is a story of a young Sikh girl who was bullied, called “Gorilla Girl” just beacuse she chose to stick to her heritage and how she stood up to the bullies – A Testimony on Courage

It is also important to remember that while we stand up for those who are bullied we must pay special attention to the fact that we should ourselves not be part of any bullying.

Teasing, saying mean words, pushing, gossiping, leaving somebody out on purpose are all forms of bullying that we must guard against. 

Love for All 
Malice Towards None

This is what our gurus have taught us. 

With much Love




Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh
Dhan Guru Nanak

It’s a very common cliche but it is so true – the birth of a baby or an animal truly reminds you of the protective and nurturing Divine plan. Again and again, as you see the tiny features that have developed from the union of an egg and a sperm make you marvel. Even more so, the tightly shut eyes and the beautiful l’il Buddha expression reminds you of another world. where the soul is in tune with the One.

The serene expressions  may start you wondering – Ah! Little one – what messages do you bring us? Which soul has arrived? 

I would like to apologize for not posting for the last two weeks – you see a tiny soul just arrived in our family and I have had the glorious opportunity to witness its arrival. She is adorable – Dhan Guru Nanak! 

Gazing at her and her mother, I am reminded of how Bauji always uses the example of the bond created between a mother and a child. He likens this bond to the nearest thing possible to the love of God. In the moments when the mother shows possessive love this love takes on the form of ‘moh’ or attachment, but in its purest form, when the mother thinks not of herself but the welfare of her child, she portrays ‘preet’ or Divine Love. She protects, nurtures and if necessary is capable of sacrificing her own life and interests for her child.

The following story exemplifies this phenomena.

 Two women came to King Solomon and stood before him. One woman (#1) said:”My Lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while with her in the house. On the third day after I gave birth, she also gave birth. We live together; there is no outsider with us in the house; only the two of us were there. The son of this woman died during the night because she lay upon him. She arose during the night and took my son from my side while I was asleep, and lay him in her bosom, and her dead son she laid in my bosom. when I got up in the morning to nurse my son, behold, he was dead! But when I observed him (later on) in the morning, I realized that he was not my son to whom I had given birth!”

The other woman (#2) replied: “It is not so! My son is the live one and your son is the dead one!”

The first woman (#1) responded: “It is not so! Your son is the dead one and my son is the living one!”

They argued before King Solomon.

King Solomon said: “this woman (#2) claims ‘My son is the live one and your son is the dead one, ‘and this woman (#1) claims ‘Your son is the dead one and my son is the living one!”‘

King Solomon said, “Bring me a sword!” So they brought a sword before the King. The King said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one and half to the other”

The woman (#2) turned to the King, because her compassion was aroused for her son, and said: “Please my Lord, give her the living child and do not kill it!”

But the other woman (#1) said: “Neither mine nor yours shall he be. Cut!”

The King spoke up and said: “Give her (#2) the living child, and do not kill it, for she is his mother!” All of Israel heard the judgment that the King had judged. They had great awe for the King, for they saw that the wisdom of God was within him to do justice. [I Melachim 3:16 – 27]. The woman was rightfully awarded custody of her son.

King Solomon’s trick succeeded. The imposter revealed herself by her heartless cruelty. After all, no mother would have let her own child be killed just to spite another woman.

In his lekh KARAMAT (Miracle) Bauji reminds us to have the faith of a child, to become innocent like a child, to become childlike but not childish or immature and to pray like a child.


Finally, life itself is a miracle. Everyday we get up, we are given a brand new opportunity to enjoy the glorious miracles that surround us. The air we breathe, the sunshine,the rain, the stars, the trees, the fruits, the vegetables,the flowers – the list goes on and on. It’s up to us to enjoy everything we have been given by Divine intent.













With Warmest Love


Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru

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Divine Will



Dhan Dhan Dhan Sadh Sangat

 Dhan Guru Nanak!



Shukar hai!

Thank you!!

These are just some words that come to mind to describe the samagam held at Montreal this past weekend.

Each samagam brings with it, its own rainbow after the showers of Nanak Love. In one of the earlier posts (Avatar), you might recall that I mentioned the ‘collective voice’ of the sangat being very similar to the scene in the movie when all the congregation is holding hands and chanting – all connected through a universal power as they prayed. There was a highpoint during the samagam when that happened. If you were there, I am sure you know what I am talking about. It was during afternoon simran when a crescendo was reached and there was a single voice – all the sangat reciting ‘waheguru’ as if they were all one.

How beautiful is that?

During the Children’s classes – on the first day we read a summary of Bauji’s lekhs on Divine Will. It was presented as a powerpoint presentation which is available at this link http://www.slideshare.net/jussrani/divine-will. Those attending the class brought up several points about the application of the principles of Divine Will  – for example – how life can be particularly stressful during school (homework, exams) and Divine Will, making appropriate choices for careers, How does one know what is Divine Will? While there were no clearcut answers (there rarely are) it was refreshing to hear ‘children’ (i put this in quotes as some of the children are now going to college) answer each others questions and give suggestions.

The word “Will” comes from the Italian “Volontà” or volition.

Free will is the greatest gift given to human beings by Divinity for  progress. However, exercising free will  sometimes lead  to greater suffering.  According to Bhai Sahib Bhai Vir Singh ji , each suffering or pain comes to us in the form a teacher or a guru and if we allow it to, it ends up refining us.  We might learn more from that suffering because behind our free will there is a Divine will that guides the destiny of the individual.

The gift of free will is like being given a lamp to light the way home but not to set the forest afire. Only we are to blame for misusing our free will. We have the mechanism and the power within us to join free will with Divine will and move with the current of nature, not against it.

“By calling it in everything you do, whether natural or spiritual. In fact, everything is in the Divine Will; therefore It wants to love together with you, and if you call It, It gives you Its Love in your power in order to be loved; It gives you Its sanctity to make yourself a saint, Its light to make Itself known and to eclipse your weaknesses, miseries and passions, so that they may no longer have life in you, but only Its Will, laying and forming Its Life in your little act…”

(From the Letters of Saint Luisa – Corato, January, 2, 1939)

Linking Divine Will to Guru Gobind Singh ji and how He embodied it in His lifetime and the events at Vaisakhi we played a game of Jeopardy (The Khalsa Edition) with categories like Khalsa, Vaisakhi, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Judging from the laughter and comraderie and comments after the class, it was a great success.

It made learning historical facts fun! (one of the comments)

 I guess it’s a redo!!.

Some of you requested the questions and answers – here is where I found the game. Hey we might just repeat the same game, so learn the facts.


(A special thanks to Sikh Coalition for providing this wonderful site with loads of pertinent information for kids and fun games)

In other parts of the lekh on Divine Will  Bauji reminds us that language is so limited that it could never express what true surrender is but when we do surrender we would know it intuitively. One can surrender oneself consciously – first, through the thought process until all  is discarded, all thought, feeling, and emotions. With all that eliminated, you yourself become the Divine will.

 ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਆਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥

O my mind, you are the embodiment of the Divine Light – recognize your own origin.

ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਧਾਵਤੁ ਥੰਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਿਆ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਸਿਆ ਆਏ ॥੪॥

Thus says Nanak: O my mind, you are the very image of the Luminous Lord;

recognize the true origin of your self. ||5||

We are God – in the making!!!!!! 

Can we give our all to achieve this dream?

With Warm Nanak Love

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki fateh 


The Prophet




I ‘met’ Khalil Gibran through his writings around 1996, while I was teaching at a secondary school. The presence of a spiritual master in my life had awakened in me a certain type of hunger that urged me to seek out other enlightened souls. It was during this time that i went to my school library and discovered ‘The Prophet’. A book written by Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese American artist, poet, writer, philosopher and theologian. I was deeply touched by it’s wisdom and spiritual depth – it seemed to offer that timeless advice just at the right moment. I rejoiced when I read the different essays and the truths they represented. They seemed  to echo what gurbani tells us – only this was in a language that I could understand a little better. It felt like I had found a friend, a guide who showed the path to a kind of freedom that I was looking for – a freedom of thought, a freedom from the shackles society tends to bind us with without saying a word. Freedom from fear, obligation and guilt. Overjoyed, I remembered that there were other books by Gibran in the library (Spirits Rebellious, Mirrors of the Soul, Voice of the Master, A Self-Portrait and many more). At the time I had no idea that I had stumbled upon the third best read poet in the world (after Shakespeare and Lao Tsu). I couldn’t believe my good fortune.

Reflecting back, I know now that this was no fluke. It was the Universe’s way of providing a way to quench my thirst that I had developed.Later I ordered all of the books and they gracefully adorn my private book collection till now. I go back many a time to emerge myself in their ocean of wisdom. Each time the words inspire me to want to be the higher self that Gibran talks about. Words, that embody his spirit, thus i end up doing his ‘sangat’.  Just like Bauji’s lekhs – he reiterated this many a time -‘if you want to meet me, read my lekhs’. Professor Puran Singh also writes that he went for a ‘walk’ with Walt Whitman – actually he was referring to the fact that he was reading his poetry.The book has been a faithful companion, and has remained one of, if not the favorite, of all the books I’ve read.

‘The Prophet’ includes a series of very short philosophical essays on topics like Love, Marriage, Children, Religion, Freedom, Pain, Joy and Sorrow, Friendship, Beauty, Death, Time, Self Knowledge and many more.

Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against your passion and your appetite.Below I include the one on ‘Self Knowledge’ which highlights this battle:

On Self-Knowledge
Kahlil Gibran

Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.

And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.

Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.”
Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.”
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself like a lotus of countless petals.

I hope you enjoy the timeless wisdom and truth within these pages  The Prophet as much as I have over the years.

With Warm Nanak Love

A Mystical World – Avatar

A very loving guru fateh Guru pyari sadh sangat jee,

I really missed being at the Sacramento samagam. Although I was engrossed in some family affairs my mind kept flitting to the sangat and what might be happening at that moment. I would then revert back to the present, and where I was and remind myself of the importance of being ‘fully present’ in whatever and where ever my thoughts have brought me to. So I fully immersed myself in the work at hand and tried to find peace with that thought.

Bauji’s ever green presence in my life – either through cherished memories, or through his Lekhs has been and continues to be monumental. Mataji, in turn reinforced his loving presence and still does. One of the many ways I have been blessed with, as a direct result of keeping the sangat of enlightened souls, is the awareness of the power of thoughts. Some of you might recall that we read a part of this lekh. Here is the link to it:


(Even if you read one page a day (there are only 6), try to understand what it says. It is very powerful when applied in life – if you look in the post “Thinking about Thinking” there are audio links to the lekh too.

“As you sow, so shall you reap”

Sow a thought, reap an idea;

sow an idea, reap an action;

sow an action, reap a habit;

show a habit, reap a character;

sow a character, reap a fate;

sow a fate, reap a destiny” 

The reason i bring up the topic of the power of thoughts is because it is very beautifully represented in the movie Avatar which is the rage nowadays. I rarely watch movies, but when i do it is carefully selected. I was pleasantly surprised and relieved to find affirmations of Bauji’s lekh on Power of Thoughts. Don’t worry, if you haven’t seen it, I am not going to give the plot away, but I will try to make some connections.

At its core, Avatar’s philosophy is not new; it is ancient, profound, and liberating. The word avatar represents a higher self – one which is more god-like.

Like mystics here on Earth, the Na’Vi (the indigineous people of Pandora) have an experience of unity of consciousness with other beings, all of which (themselves included) are really just manifestations of one Being or God, which they call Ai’wa.

The Na’Vi have a convenient plug, attached to their bodies at the end of their long pigtails (which to me showed the significance of long hair and its power) which physically unites them to other beings (such as horses, winged or otherwise) and to Ai’wa Herself/Itself.. Once this bond has been established, their mere thoughts can direct what ever they are riding. At this point I remembered – ah! the power of thoughts. You can do anything, but yes, you have to be connected with the source first.

In the Na’Vi cosmology, what’s really happening is that the Ai’wa in me is connecting with the Ai’wa in you. This is echoed in their greeting, “I see you”- which doesn’t mean ordinary seeing – it, really means “the God in me sees the God in you.” I see Myself, in your eyes.

How beautiful is that! So many lines in gurbani echo this. Can anyone think of them? Can you share?

Here is one:

ਸਭੁ  ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ  ਹੈ ਸਭੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਹੈ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਈ ॥

God is everything, God is everything. Without God, there is nothing at all.


If we are all one – then there is no individual self – it’s an illusion, a mirage.

“I” exists, sure, but only just like a wave on the ocean: here one minute, gone the next, and never apart from the ocean itself.

These ideas have important practical implication in my own life as i recognize that all my desires revolve around making my own wave bigger or more comfortable than others. I forget that I’m water. Only when the connection is made with the whole, and the ‘I’ disappears – even if it is momentary- one feels the impact of the energy that we are all made up of.

This concept is elegantly portrayed in the movie.

At one point, when the entire community prays in complete unison, connecting, becoming a whole I was reminded of how this very phenomenon happens when we are in a samagam or regular sangat, when we are all one, all concentrated – how the energy flows from one to the other. Bauji explains in one of his talks that we all bring our positive and negative vibrations to the ether, hence to sangat. At times when the positive vibrations overpower the negative ones we feel a powerful lift in our spirits – we fly on the wings of the giants.

Yes, I really missed the Divine congregation – would anyone like to send  their loving thoughts about it?

Dhan Dhan Dhan Sangat

Dhan Dhan Dhan Sadh Jan

With warm Nanak Love