Special Contributions

With heartfelt  thanks to all the contributors who have taken time to write and share with us the following, very informative and loving messages. They have been submitted over the last six years and are not in any special order of time. 

Remember that if you wish to leave a reply for any of the contributors please do so at the bottom of the page.

***********LATEST CONTRIBUTION FROM JB -MAR 24 2020 **********

After the webinar on Sun Mar 22, JB wrote some powerful insights in response to discussions we had and to the question asked about what opportunities we are being given at this moment in time .

There are six different threads of thoughts which are interwoven with each other at the same time, so to give space to each thought I will be posting one everyday so scroll down to see according to the numbers.

JB – You are a star!! Always grateful for your meaningful contributions pertinent to the current times. Blessings!!!!

1.-The Guru Knew – The Opportunity of a Soultime

At the dawn of the universe, at the beginning of this construct we call “Time”, the Guru knew that the coronavirus would one day come. Furthermore, he empowered it, and he enabled it. And in that flow of motion, let us take a deep breath, and remember:

Satgur Sabhna Da Bhalla Mannaaeyndaa

These are difficult times, and with it comes anxieties and fears. We enjoy a constant flow of freedom, peace, and relative ease. This new reality around us has presented a brash change in our realities, and change is often very difficult to process on the best of days.

Lean into your Guru. Lean into Gurbani. As we discussed on the virtual Kids Class, it is our Olaa

jaa kau musakal at banai ddoiee koi na dhei ||laagoo hoe dhusamanaa saak bh bhaj khale ||sabho bhajai aasaraa chukai sabh asaraau ||

chit aavai os paarabraham lagai na tatee vaau ||1||

When you are confronted with terrible hardships, and no one offers you any support,when your friends turn into enemies, and even your relatives have deserted you,and when all support has given way, and all hope has been lost

-if you then come to remember the Supreme Lord God, even the hot wind shall not touch you. ||1||

I’d like to lean into some of the topics we discussed and heard. All of the input triggered a flow of thoughts, and I’d like to offer them back to sangat for feedback and refinement. As a seeker and learner, I can learn from my mistakes, and you can help me do that. When I write, I tend to write in statements – please treat them as questions for discussion. These are reflections from my personal experience. As such, they may not apply to you. Such is the universal nature of our Masters, that there are probably seven billion (and counting) different ways to interpret and access Their message.

Over the next few short posts, I share why I believe times like these are opportunities. Most directly, I share my direct reflections about the fact that we cannot currently attend samagams. We are part of a sangat, we are in a Kaaflaa (Bauji uses this word; kaafla is like a group of our hunter-gatherer ancestors who travelled together, and leveraged each other’s skills and knowledge to survive), and we are each flowers in Nanak’s Bageecha. But we come alone, we die alone, and thus we must take the opportunities we can to personalize this journey and do our own personal Khoj, under the Guidance and Gaze of our Masters. What a beautiful opportunity to empower ourselves to find and connect with our Selves!

Death, suffering, and transformational shifts in our environments can be magnifying glasses to focus on what it is we’re doing with our lives. Why do I do certain things? Why do I associate with certain people? Who brings joy and who brings pain? What do I think about this uncomfortable state I’m in right now?

These are examples of powerful conversations I’ve had with myself and with trusted spiritual loved ones during my own crises, changes, and difficulties, and combined with the guidance of our mahapurakhs represent a sharpening of my spiritual sword, a refinement of my focus. In metallurgy, there is the Crucible. It is the process by which we expose metals to enormous heat and pressure, melting them down and forming them into new objects; in fact, it is the process we use to transform coal into diamonds.

So, will this be a crucible for you?

2.  The Guru Knew – The Opportunity of a Soultime

As mentioned in the last post, I often write in statements, but I am happy if you treat them as questions. In other words, they are discussion theses, not facts that can’t be disputed. These are reflections from my personal experience. As such, they may not apply to you.

During the virtual kids class earlier this week, we discussed the idea that perhaps we have been taking Samagams for granted. I think this is a beautiful sentiment, because samagams are, in fact, a gift in our life, especially if we’re utilizing them for what they’re intended. So to that end, if this inspires us to attend samagams with greater focus, greater attention, greater intention, and greater discipline, then that’s wonderful.

For me, I don’t think I’ve been taking samagams for granted. Rather, I’ve been taking life for granted.

In my view, the samagam was never the end point. It was never the objective. It’s easy to see why it feels like the objective, but the samagam has always been a tool. It’s been the signposts on the highway, but not the destination. Distorting those two things lets us believe that the real work is just showing up to the samagam. This has a double complication. Firstly, that’s not the real work. Secondly, it’s worth introspecting whether or not we have ever truly shown up for a samagam. I, personally, have not. Showing up is different from attending. Certainly there is immense value and positivity in attending, but showing up is an active effort.  

As we are witnessing now, samagams and local sangat (as we know them) are structures that can crumble when faced with adversity like this. But as tools, they have hopefully provided us with the resilience, inspiration, and guidance we need to carry on the infinite samagam within us. The samagam, after all, can crumble; your surti, your aatma can not. That is timeless, infinite, infallible, invincible.

So; if samagams never come back… are you ready?

3. The Guru Knew – The Opportunity of a Soultime

As previously mentioned, I often write in statements, but I am happy if you treat them as questions. In other words, they are discussion theses, not facts that can’t be disputed. These are reflections from my personal experience. As such, they may not apply to you.

For now, we are without one of the many gifts that our Masters gave us – the physical manifestation of the saadh sangat through local sangat and samagams around the world. The gift remains eternal, but now we must mobilize that eternal gift as an internal gift. Whether or not we’ve been practicing this already, this is a massive opportunity to lean into the overarching guidance of our Masters.

Brahm Giaani Ka Sabh Oopar Haath

The God-conscious being extends his hand to all.

This journey inwards is the most important journey you’ll take as a physical being. We can and will continue to conduct webinars, online sangats, kids classes, and YouTube Simran watch parties, all of which will help us ease our longing, but will not be total solutions to the task we are ultimately here to accomplish. The opportunity here is to go deep inside ourselves, and to do sangat with, for, and of our Selves. When I consider that imperative task, it puts a whole new spin on the phrase:

Jaisee Sangat, Taisee Rangat

As is your sangat, so is your character

           With this ultimate task in mind, we shine a new lens on the samagam, and its role as a tool to take us deeper into ourselves. The physical samagam that we attend serves as encouragement and it shows us the powerful kaafla of which we are a part. It gives us solace and comfort on the difficult journey within. In my opinion, as I’ve mentioned before, the samagam isn’t the destination, it is the collection of signposts on the highway to the destination. But ultimately, you are the driver, and it is your responsibility.

           And so I come to this next opportunity of a soultime. For me, this is an opportunity to examine myself and question the responsibility I am taking for my journey. If I depend on the samagam for this, I’m effectively putting my spirituality in the hands of public health officials. That seems like a slight misalignment of goals! This is an opportunity to take control of your spirituality, your personal khoj, and your journey. This is your chance to seize your Self. That’s two separate words. “Your Self.”  It’s your chance to discover your Inner Self, and to validate if you haven’t just been outsourcing it to those public health officials!

           Bauji tells us that we’re like lightbulbs, and that the world around us is but a mere play. An older uncle recently called me spontaneously, and unbeknownst to him, he called me during a particularly down period. He reminded me that the world around is merely for our entertainment, and that we must bring our lights to the show. And thus, we are lightbulbs, and a current gives us our light.

So what is the current telling you, now?

4. The Guru Knew – The Opportunity of a Soultime

As previously mentioned, I often write in statements, but I am happy if you treat them as questions. In other words, they are discussion theses, not facts that can’t be disputed. These are reflections from my personal experience. As such, they may not apply to you.

           For 32 years, my family has attended sangat and samagams. In August 1988, Ottawa held its first ever samagam, just a couple months after we were introduced to local sangat. We had already purchased tickets for a family vacation to Florida, and the local sevadaar at the time encouragingly told us we should cancel because we wouldn’t want to miss the samagam.  We didn’t listen; we went to Disney World (Currently closed, sorry folks!), and we came back on time for the second half of the samagam. Life would never be the same after that.

           For the better part of the next 25 years, our family raced to every samagam in our reach. Back then, there were about sixteen samagams a year, significantly less than the quantity we see today. We packed up our station wagon, and then our minivan, filled it with other Ottawa kids or uncles and aunties, and off we went on road trip after road trip, to samagam after samagam. My best friends and my best memories are only in my life because of sangat and samagams.

           Attending those samagams were extraordinarily important in my youth and into my adulthood. They were something to look forward to between bullying at school, school itself, homework, and whatever else occupied my time as a kid. The samagam became that oasis in the desert. I cannot recount the number of times that a samagam ended with groups of us kids crying, desolate at the end of the samagam, and having to return to “the real world”.

           In the past, I’ve shared my experience that the samagam is not the destination, but rather a tool for the journey within. It is undoubtedly a Spiritual Oasis in the Desert of Maya, but as Bauji writes, the true Oasis is actually in our consciousness.

           Samagams are important tools, and they are an Oasis. The way I see it, our journey is to

  • Move towards 2 weeks of Maya and 3-4 days of Oasis, and try to recognize your Divine; then,
  • Move towards 6.5 days of Maya and an evening of Oasis, and try to recognize your Divine; then,
  • Move towards 23 hours of Maya and 1 hour of Oasis, and try to recognize your Divine; then,
  • Move towards 1 hour of Maya and 23 hours of Oasis, and try to recognize your Divine; then,
  • Move towards 1 second of Maya and 23:59:59 of Oasis, and try to recognize your Divine; then
  • Merge and become your Divine.

Eyk Nimakh Jey Bissreh Swami, Jaanoh Kott Dinass Lakh Bareeyaa

If I were to forget my Lord and Master, even for an instant, it would be like millions of days, tens of thousands of years.


                 5.  The Guru Knew – The Opportunity of a Soultime

As previously mentioned, I often write in statements, but I am happy if you treat them as questions. In other words, they are discussion theses, not facts that can’t be disputed.These are reflections from my personal experience. As such, they may not apply to you.

           In this time, fear, anxiety, doubt, uncertainty, ambiguity, and sadness might all be felt. These emotions are real, and they need to be acknowledged. Our emotions carry great power; of all the animals in the world, the sheer diversity of emotional capability possessed by humans is unique – as far as we know!

           I trust my emotions as a tool of the Divine. Our Guru is “Beant”, but even when I feel extraordinarily Happy, the Guru’s happiness is even grander. And even when I love to my fullest extent, the Guru’s Love is even grander. And even when I reach pits of sadness and despair, the Guru’s sadness and despair is even deeper. The Guru is unlimited and without border. And every time I reach a new height of happiness, a new extent of love, and a new depth of despair, I have come to see it as an opportunity to marvel at the limitless nature of the Divine. To think, if I could feel this way with my human capacity, the infinite extents of the Guru are incredible and awe-inspiring!

           An old sangat friend shared the parable I briefly mentioned on the call. There is a potential that our emotions can become overwhelming. That is okay. It is allowed. We are but human.  But one of the visualizations that has helped me is that of the Enlightened Observer. When we are in our deeply human moments, and our emotions have us overwhelmed, it is like we are in the ocean current, surrounded by our emotions, being dragged along by that current. But the Enlightened Observer has a lawn chair and umbrella on the white sands of the beach, and is observing the current as it goes by. One is drowning in his emotions. But the Enlightened Observer is enjoying her emotions, acknowledging their presence, and allowing them to move by at whatever speed it needs, accepting the Divine Order.

           Our masters have provided us a lamp to use on our journey into the forest of our deep self. Such a journey requires a heightened awareness, and awareness is developed by understanding what is within you. “Fake it till you make it” is an often used strategy, but also has the danger of suppression and repression, which we know from “Power of Thoughts” is undesirable. To continue with the imagery, the lamp allows us to shine a light on the dark trees in our inner journey, acknowledge their presence, accept them as part of your journey, and then replace – and not suppress – their effects, and move beyond them.

           Are you experiencing emotions or thoughts that feel overwhelming? Can you use this as an opportunity to sharpen your awareness? 


                    6. The Guru Knew – The Opportunity of a Soultime

As previously mentioned, I often write in statements, but I am happy if you treat them as questions. In other words, they are discussion theses, not facts that can’t be disputed. These are reflections from my personal experience. As such, they may not apply to you.

           Throughout Gurbani, we’re given countless qualities and descriptions of the relationship between Gursikh and Guru. In this short post, I’ll share a few that come to mind. This time is a perfect time to leverage the symbolism of the world around us to dive deeper into our inner journeys.

1)      Surrendering to a Higher Power

The Governments have told us to stay home and obey physical distancing. This has likely represented inconvenience for you. It may be uncomfortable, or even unbearable. These uncomfortable realities don’t have room for negotiation. You must obey the higher power.

2)      Staying at home – Residing Within

Don’t go to work. Don’t go to school. Don’t go on public transit. Stay. At. Home. Stay within. Gurbani often tells us to investigate our “nijj ghar”. So, do your “workouts” in your Home. The symbolism is unavoidable:      

Nanak, Ghar Baithheyaan Jog Paayeai, Satgur Kai Updesh

O Nanak, Yoga is obtained even while sitting in your own home, by following the Teachings of the True Guru. ||64||

3)      Only Essential Services will remain open

We hear that only “essential businesses and services” will remain open. The rest are noise. Shut off the noise and focus on your true essence. Declutter our thoughts and focus deeply on our essence.

4)      Exercise Discipline in Hygiene

Wash your hands, and do it every 20 minutes with warm water and foamy soap. Scrub the insides of your fingers, get both thumbs, don’t forget that pinky finger, and definitely make sure you get your fingernails. Make the Effort (Udham); develop this Discipline (Sanjum); as you go about your daily activities, be Attentive (Dhiyaan/Saavdhaan) so as to invoke your discipline whenever necessary. Sound familiar?

5)      Public Transit will shut down, you should not commute in to work

I have on countless occasions said things like “man if I didn’t have to commute for an hour every day, I could sit in Simran or do my paath or take out a new shabad”. Well, for many of us, the Guru has now taken away so many of our excuses. We now have the opportunity to confront our ego on these matters.

6)      Single-Minded Attention and Focus

If you’re like me, you’re probably consuming way too much news, media, content, and memes about this virus. I read articles, I read the forwards I get on WhatsApp, and I watch videos from esteemed public health experts to better protect myself and those I love. For most, if not all waking moments, I am somehow interacting with thoughts about this virus. Imagine if I could do that when times were good, and be single-minded on the Divine!




Aug 14 2016

What is silence?
We defined silence is the absence of any kind of stimulation, internal or external, and more specifically, as the stillness and the sanctuary within us that we can access anytime.

“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at anytime and be yourself” – Herman Hesse

Why is silence important?

Spending time in silence is crucial because “silence is the language of God”, and the place where true growth occurs. Bauji constantly stresses the importance of intuition and this is developed through Simran, sangat, and “chup Preet”–silent divine love.

God is always inside waiting to talk to us and give us answers and guidance, and yet, we never seem to be able to make the time to listen to what He has to say. We need to make ourselves vacuums–empty ourselves of our desires and be still in order to be able to hear something beyond the incessant chatter of our neurotic minds.

Samagams increase our time spent in this sanctuary of silence; however, we need to do our homework and continue to pursue silence when we return to our everyday lives. 

How can we incorporate silence in our daily lives? 

Even starting with 5 minutes can make a huge difference, and slowly we can increase those time intervals. It’s important to make a plan and stick to it, especially as our lives start to get busy with school and other commitments, and discipline ourselves to follow through with it.

We can also strive to lessen the stimulation we expose ourselves to in our daily lives (such as the external stimuli we discussed in previous webinars). This includes everything we perceive through our 5 senses–which is why we close our eyes and remain quiet during gupt simran–and we should strive to emulate the same conditions when finding time for silence outside of samagams. The end goal is obviously not just external silence, but that can help us achieve our ultimate goal of internal silence. Another strategy is setting up “triggers” for ourselves–such as right before eating or when going to sleep–just little reminders to close our eyes, breathe, and feel gratitude for the love that lies within us.

Gurbani describes this method of communication with God as “parsana”–getting a glimpse of the divine.  
We’re all made of the same stardust, just a minuscule collection of particles living in this vast, vast universe, and yet, the same force that created everything also lies within us. All we need to do is take moments our of our day to say, “God, I’m listening”, and develop our relationship with our True Self.

By putting these strategies into practice we can experience what Joel Goldsmith describes as the “Thunder of Silence”, and cultivate love and other divine qualities within us. Bhai Vir Singh describes the beautiful place where silence can take us in his poem, “Beyond Time”.

Beyond Time

My heart won’t listen to me
It has reached a place–
A timeless abode
In its wondrous minarets
Without past or future
It loses its self;

It returns dripping in love, but
Does not know or say anything.

-Bhai Vir Singh, Cosmic Symphony 



The Flawed Idea

Summer 2016

Let us ponder and explore the standard of women beauty today.
From lipstick, to foundation, to eye-shadow, and hairspray.
The aspirations to look lighter, “prettier”, and blemish-free.
Something struck me as a lack of awareness of spiritual reality.

When society judges a woman, it’s about their appearance.
Our values and actions regarding the double standard lack coherence.
We use intelligence to attribute men, but we attribute women by their look.
We’re hypocritical because we look at a cover, and proceed to judge the book.

Now, in Sikhi, we are told to focus and strengthen the inner soul.
By repeating his Divine name, we tame our desires with mind control.
But if we focus on beauty, what are we really doing? 
If we apply makeup and get piercings, what ideology are we pursuing?

That ideology is about decorating the body, when the jewel is inside.
That ideology is about increasing self-esteem to feel temporarily dignified.
That ideology is about “trimming” the beauty, “powdering” future ashes, “polishing” what is already pure, “cutting” a ribbon of divine love, “tweaking” a perfect creation, and simultaneously “shaping” our fate.

What if we replaced this ideology, with the wisdom of our Guru’s. 
The body was never meant for such things, as we continue to misuse.
This body was a vessel for which beauty lied within.
The soul was the aspiration for enhancement, not the skin.

It’s so much easier to make the outside more appealing.
We can hire individuals or to attract others, we might get more revealing.
But that’s why I adore a true Kaur, because her personality wasn’t easy.
Her strength, her inner contentment, her detachment… 
Approaching her to talk, will get me quite queasy.

Now, if we followed Gurbani…

we’d perform similar actions we do today with a different focus. 
We’d “shave” our ego off,
We’d “tweak” our personalities,
We’d “curl” our tongues from impure speech,
We’d “wax” our soul, not our legs for the beach,
We’d “trim” time spent on materialism,
We’d “shape” our destinies, as this is truthful spiritual activism.

Now, I know I am not a female, and “men are lucky”.
“They don’t have to do what we do”, and they never feel “yucky”.
Now here’s some perspective for you:

I treated my dastaar as a crown, and other girls treated it like a towel.
Women wouldn’t talk to me because they thought my language was “growl”.
When my beard came in, I felt like a millionaire!
Until those same girls asked me if what was on my face was pubic hair.

Gursikh men get attacked more and get mistaken for Osama.
But no fret, I just remember the wise words of Dalai Lama.
“In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher”.
Ignorance, doubt, and prejudice are my preachers.

Most girls and guys in this day and age cut their hair for other guys and girls.
They settle for mere shells and neglect the internal pearls.
My turban, beard, and hair are signs of respect to my Gurus.
Women watched their children get dropped onto spears, as their blood oozed.

Those women repeated Waheguru, they did not give up their belief.
They sacrificed for Sikhi, they did not allow that to become grief.
This is love, strength, and sacrifice. This is the result of inner beauty.
No attachment, no grief, only faith remained. This was their fiduciary duty.

And lo and behold:
We were the beneficiaries, and here we are giving into the same society.
We resulted in anxiety and notoriety, from what we thought was propriety.
It can be argued that “so what? I like how I look, it makes me happy”!
The truth is, your ego is what’s happy, not your soul.




Nov 19 2014

Stop Going to Samagams

Probably not something you might expect to read on this blog. But do continue reading.

In the past years, we’ve seen an amazing and inspiring growth in sangat in the States and in Canada. It’s amazing to see all the souls touched by the Divine Aura of Sadh Sangat. Guru Nanak, through the hands and efforts of Bauji and Mataji, has left us a priceless jewel of a gift with which to hone our minds, sharpen our intuition, and impact our lives and souls forever. We are blessed with a gift, of which no equal exists. The highest of the high gifts is sangat.
That’s “Sangat”. Not “Sang at”. 
Sangat is not – can not! –  merely be this thing you go to once a week or a few times a week, at someone’s house where you sat and you sang at God, or sang at the tabla, or sang at the vaja, or sang at the other people. That’s not sangat. That’s sang at
I’m not just trying to make a play on words here, but the irony is staggering. How often have you heard the phrase “oh man… that session was amazing.  Everyone was singing so loud!”. Similarly, “I love that keertani’s voice, it’s so nice. She sings so beautifully”. These sentiments can be innocent, but they are still so limiting, so superficial. These two examples are hardly the outer peel of the onion that is Sadh Sangat. Without peeling back, we won’t get to experience the tears of yearning of our souls begging for a reunion with the Beloved. Indeed, we end up stuck on “the good keertanis” and “the crazy tabla” and maybe – just maybe – we stop there. 
This magic is not merely a song! It is the journey to acknowledge, to understand, to know, and imbibe the Guru within your heart!
So perhaps we can move beyond our pride of how we sang at. Instead, we can go many steps further, and experience Sangat! Perhaps, instead of merely “Goin’ to samagams”, we can do ourselves one more favour, and we can “Go Into Samagams”. The adventure only begins when you arrive at the samagam. Let’s take the focus off of merely showing up, and start putting more emphasis on what we do when we get there, and what we do when we go home. Are we merely “Goin’ to the samagam?” or can we in fact go deeper, and allow our minds and our souls the opportunity to meet each other after such a very very long time, and to open the windows and remove the thick veils of our ego, and our obsessions, and our desires, and our attachments. And in the process, invite Guru Nanak into the emerging garden of our hearts, where he can plant the seeds of the Eyk Bageecha, and infuse our spirits with Amrit. 
Don’t worry, you need to make but the first step. Guru Nanak will take care of the rest. 



Nov 19 2014

If You’re a Keertani, You’re Not Doing Keertan

Once, there was a Gurmukh sitting in a hut, immersed in simran, immersed in naam for days on end. After a number of days, a sevak came and knocked on his door.
Gurmukh: “Kaun Haiga?” (Whos’ there?)
Sevak:: Druaajaa Kholoo! Main haan!” (open the door! it’s me!)
The Gurmukh went back to his simran and ignored the knocker’s request. Seconds later, again:
Sevak: Druaajaa Kholo!!! Main Haan! (Please, open the door, it’s me!!)
Once again, the Gurmukh ignored him, and went back into samadhi, back into simran. A couple of minutes passed before…
Sevak: Oh Ho!! Druaajaa Kholo!! Main Haan!!!! (“Enough Already! Open the Door. It’s me!!)
Finally, the Gurmukh replied
“Nei! Jey toon ‘main’ haan, tu nei andar aa sakda! Eithay rab vassdaa, eithay main vastay koi jagaa nein!”
(NO! If you’re “me”, you CANNOT enter this place! In this place is God, there’s no room for Me!!!)
A long time ago – maybe twenty years ago –  it was mentioned in kids class that if you really hate someone… If you truly hate someone from the depths of your heart, and wanted to do something to ruin their lives…. you should tell them they do good keertan. 
Nothing inflates a person’s ego more than telling them they do good keertan. And nothing will destroy a person’s spiritual path more than an inflated ego. 
The moment you think of yourself as a keertani is the moment you’re descending into a spiritual downward spiral. Similarly to the saakhi above, once you deem yourself a keertan’i’, you’ve allowed “i” to come into the picture, and your entire spiritual path and purpose immediately gets jeopardized and threatened. Where there is “i”, there is no keertan, there is no naam, there is no shabad, and there is no Grace. 
Ghaal Na Milio, Seyv Na Milio, Milio Aaey Achintaa
This is a difficult challenge. Guru Sahib may have glanced with his loving grace upon you to sing his baani endearingly and inspiringly. It’s a rare gift to be able to have a conversation with your Beloved through his Baani, and to be able to share that experience and amplify it with the help of the Saadh Sangat.  The sangat may enjoy it, and in their misplaced actions of love, may come up to you and tell you what a good keertani you are. They will mean it lovingly, and if you haven’t done enough simran, enough bhagti, you will let it go to your head. You may place an increased sense of importance on yourself, and will focus more on “pleasing the sangat” than about conversing with your Beloved. Once you cross over into that pit, you are doomed. And then fighting out of that pit is extremely difficult. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience. And the worst part about it is that it will happen unconsciously, subconsciously, as a response to the love and blessings you receive from your sangis.
It was said to me once recently that if you sit down to do keertan with the intention that you want sangat to enjoy a shabad, and that you want sangat to connect with the shabad, you’re nothing more than a cheap musician. You could sit on the corner of a street and do the same thing. But if you sing keertan as an opportunity to converse with your Beloved, then you are actually thanking Guru Sahib for his great gift of singing keertan by singing his praises, by connecting with him, by generating and taking advantage of the energy of saadh sangat to help you connect. Then you’re His sevak, and He will be the only source of love and blessing you’ll ever depend on, listen to, and absorb. He will be all you need. 
An interesting (And eye opening) paradox was shared with me once. If you listen to the tapes from the 1980’s and early 1990’s from samagams in Dodra and North America, the keertan was certainly not musically refined. The tabla players sound much less skilled than today’s, the vaaja playerssound much less agile than today’s. As it was said to me in Punjabi “Keertani ghatt see, Gurmukh Jyaaday See”. Bauji sent us on a Love-Path to transform our Aatmik Jeevan – our soul journeys – and to become Ik-Mik – imbibed – with our Beloved. Without completing the paradox, it is worth asking ourselves with honesty and reflection; are we simply becoming cheap musicians, or are we trying to be connected and imbibed with our Beloved? 
So the challenge is two-fold. 
1. Do not be affected by the ustat and the praises of the sangat. After all, you cannot control what other people do, you can only control how you react. So, you must build a Love-Fort against the well-intentioned, but possibly harmful praise you will get from sangis. They probably don’t mean any harm, but it may be harmful nevertheless. How do you build this fort? 
2. Do not (Even accidentally!!) contribute to the ego of another person by telling them they do good keertan. Don’t do it in groups behind the person’s back. Don’t do it privately and quietly in your own mind. Don’t. Do. It. Period. Control that energy. Do not focus on the keertani. Focus on the Keertan. The keertani will die. The Shabad never will. Put your energy where it counts!



February 8 2014 – New contribution by RS

Untitled 2

Right click on each link below to open in a new window.

The Role of Thought 

Your Words and Thoughts Have Physical Power


waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru 

 I have come across a few things that would be nice to share:) The first is a poem a friend of my kindly shared with me yesterday:from the book called: The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Every

There is a quote very similar to (Power of Thoughts by Khoji).  

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind…If you change your mind you can change your life.”

 From the same book is the following poem:

Stone walls do not a prison make,

Nor Iron bars a cage;

Minds innocent and quiet take

That for an hermitage;

If I have freedom in my love

And in my soul am free,

Angels alone, that soar above,

Contributed with much love by RS 2

waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru

To my beloved Sadh Sangat,

I had a dream. This was no ordinary dream and I knew it wasn’t an ordinary dream because everything felt so REAL. It felt too real. I could feel the emotions, the vibes and just the atmosphere of the dream. Now, I have never been to a Dodra samagam in my entire life but in this dream, I woke up inside a Dodra samagam. I looked around and saw that I was sitting with the sangat, and there was Bauji. He was laughing and smiling and I saw all the joy in his eyes. I turned and looked all around me and everyone was in such high spirits. It was beautiful. It was like the sangat made one whole mahapurakh together and I had the honour of sitting in the middle of it. I turned back around to look at Bauji again, but his face had changed. It was the same clothes and the same feeling, but this time the face had changed and instead of Bauji’s face, I saw a singh veerji’s face! I turned back around to see if anybody noticed what I had noticed, but the sangat remained just as strong and was not moved by this one bit. I turned back around to where Bauji once was, and instead of the first sangat veerji, I saw another sangat veerji’s face! I thought this was some kind of joke or a hilarious dream. Every time I blinked or turned, the face of Bauji would change, and the faces that were shown, were all faces from people I have seen in Sangat. After all the blinking and turning, Bauji returned and he had his original face and I felt so much better. But he came to me and said “Everyone in this sangat is connected, we are all one.” Right after he said this, I woke up. What he said and what I felt in the dream made such a big difference to my thoughts on sangat. This sangat, these people, we are all ONE and together we make one extremely powerful mahapurakh.

Dhan Guru Nanak


waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru 

Potential. Destination.

What is it with these words? We hear them in sports, in education, in careers. We hear them in dreams, in aspirations, in ambitions.

I want to “maximize my potential”. I want to travel to a “tropical destination”. But just as we – or at least I do this – so just as I quickly skim over very meaningful words in Gurbani, assuming I know what they’re saying, often we do the same with very meaningful English words, because we’re so used to hearing them in clichés, and contexts that cheapen what these words really mean.

Let’s start with the word Potential. (We`ll save destiny for another blog post)

Potential has a dictionary definition, but let’s ignore that for now. Let’s think of the word, and think about what we know about it. I don’t know about you, but to me, I think of “doing the best I can do, being the best I can be.” It’s the word we use to describe the “distance” that exists between who we are today and who we could possibly be.

This is all well and good. But we’re missing something VERY CRUCIAL in this bare bones definition. We can go much deeper. So let’s try to do that with this word “Potential”.

The first part of the word is “potent”, and adjective. For something to be potent, it means that when it’s exposed to a certain environment, a reaction takes place. If it is sensitive to a catalyst, and is exposed to a catalyst, then a transformation occurs, and the “thing” in question is now different than it was before the reaction. It’s like making your cheese pizza with a spicy sauce. 😉 It’s kin of the same, but somehow it’s just been made better.

 Without harping on words too much, I think we all know where I’m going with this. Bauji’s written 6 english lekhs and 132 punjabi lekhs, all of which either talk about the sangat we keep, the simran and seva we do, and how to avoid doubt, delusions, and bad thoughts and company. We’ve heard about experiments on what happens to the molecular makeup of water when exposed to positive music, negative music, and everything in between. Depending on our environments and our company, changes can — and as far as I’m concerned, they DO – take place.

So what’s this all got to do with “potential”? Oftentimes, whether it’s pressure from our parents or our teachers, or our bosses, we’re told that we should be maximizing our potential in school, at work, and in sports. We know what that ends up meaning. Study for longer hours. Practice your three-point shot more. Show up early, and network with your coworkers and bosses. Put in overtime. All these things can cause a positive change in your abilities, and can “take you to the next level”

So how can we “maximize our potential” in sangat? In spirituality? We need to expose our spiritual selves to environments that foster these TRANSFORMATIONAL changes. We need to study more hours, practice more spiritual three-pointers, so that we, too, can reach “the next level”.

And we’re already so close! First of all, we have our Sadh Sangat. We have not one, but TWO spiritual teachers in Mataji and Bauji. And then, biggest of ALL, the King of All Kings, the Master of the Universe, the Eternal Message, Dhan Guru Granth Sahib Ji, our beloved Gurbani, the love letters of 6 Gurus and 31 of the greatest saints and bhagats this world has ever seen!!! Our Beloved Guru!!! How LUCKY can someone get???

It’s like we’ve been told there’s billions and billions of dollars of gold somewhere. Then we’ve been given thousands of motivated friends who want to help us find that gold. Then we’ve been given 2 Sherpas (2 guides) who know precisely where that gold is, and can take us there.. THEN we’ve even been given the map with all of the warnings, motivations, and secrets we need to find it. We have it ALLL in our hands!

We just need to be dedicated to the route. We need to be dedicated to the map and to our guides. We need to study the map. We need to know what to watch out for, and how to protect ourselves against the things that will inevitably try to hurt us. We need to develop a relationship with our journey. We must take support in Sadh Sangat, listen to the instructions of our Mahapurakhs… our Beloved Mahapurkhs who gave us sooooo much love and inspiration; who led us to the feet of our Guru, our Enlightener, our Remover of Darkness, Guru Granth Sahib Ji. We need to read and try to understand and implement the lessons of Gurbani in our lives… We need to pray for the strength to undertake all of these blessed blessed activities; pray for the protection against our own egos and the other evils that may bring us down.

Then – and only then – will we BEGIN to maximize our spiritual potential.

Dhan Guru Nanak

Dhan Guru Nanak

Dhan Guru Nanak

The Divine Guru is the Image of peace, truth and wisdom. The Divine Guru is the Philosopher’s Stone – touching it, one is TRANSFORMED.

Touching the philosopher’s stone, they become the philosopher’s stone, which TRANSFORMS lead into gold; O Lord, they become pleasing to your mind.
The Guru is the Philosopher’s Stone; by His touch, iron is TRANSFORMED into gold.

Philosopher’s stone produces another philosopher’s stone i.e. from Guru emerges disciple and the same disciple eventually becomes a virtuous guru. I am sacrifice unto such Holy Congregation (which brings about such transformation)



waheguru waheguru waheguru wahecguru waheguru waheguru waheguru 

Different perspectives RSContributed by RS 2 

waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru  

Socrates, Rumi, and Criticism

 We’re animals. It’s shocking to me, since I’ve been coming to sangat for more than 20 years  now, and I’m still so very animalistic. My consciousness is animalistic, my actions are animalistic. Only rarely does Guru Nanak forgive me once in a while and show me what life can be like if I weren’t so animalistic; of course, shortly thereafter, I forget these lessons, and go back to my animalistic self. If only I could harness the power of my Mahapurakhs, if only I had the true faith and the true love that Guru Nanak wants us to have. Then, maybe, I would be spared from this animalistic consciousness. Alas, I fight the battles I fight for a reason.

Animalistic consciousness is a dangerous state of mind. One aspect that I’ve tried to work on over the past couple of years is my response to criticism. I’ve often been criticized by my parents, my teachers, my siblings, my friends, and my mentors and role models. I’ve tried to slow down the speed of my thoughts when I’m in the midst of being criticized, and if nothing else, at least in this one part of life, I feel that Guru Nanak has helped me make some minor strides, through His bani, and through various other messages and messengers.

“Know Thyself” – Socrates

One lesson I’ve learnt is that criticism is rarely totally unfounded. Perfection might be unattainable, and as a result, some criticisms may be unfair relative to others, but at the end of the day, most criticisms are totally valid, even when they come from someone who says it in spite or in enmity. If we take care to focus on the message being conveyed and not the way it was said, then we can make improvements in our lives.

This path that we’re on is one of continuous improvement. Gurbani very clearly says that we need to reach a state of mind where we realize – and not just acknowledge – God in our own Selves, as well as everywhere around us. We all know that God is in each of us, but I for one will definitely admit to having no clue as to where He is in me. I haven’t realized Him in me, because I haven’t put in enough time or effort to do that inward Khoj, and I’ve chosen to stay stuck in certain places, which have probably stunted my spiritual growth. I know He’s with me somewhere; I just haven’t realized Him.

Guru Nanak sends us the messages we need to hear, and sometimes the messages we need to hear are difficult to absorb because we don’t really want to hear them. But if our path is one of continuous self-improvement, then not only do we have to accept the idea that all criticism is an opportunity for growth and learning, but that we also have to be very well aware of where we are presently in order to absorb that criticism. In other words, if we don’t know where we are as individuals, then we can’t set goals on where we want to be and what we want to become. If we don’t know what we want to become in some detail, then it’s hard to interpret criticism in the right way. A young basketball player doesn’t know how to react to a coach who tells him to be a better shooter if he never chooses to realize that he could be a better shooter.

Instead, often, our animalistic consciousness rebels against criticism. We refuse to accept the opportunity presented to us, and we view criticism solely as a negative experience. Our inner dog barks at criticism like it is the unwanted mailman, thus scaring away potential future opportunities for growth. The point of accepting criticism is not to become slaves of what others want you to be, no! ; rather, it’s to view criticism as an opportunity to become what you have the potential to become.

The Dog Problem ­– Rumi

Now, what if a dog’s owner

Were not able to control it?

A poor dervish might appear: the dog storms out.

The dervish says, “I take refuge with God

When the dog of arrogance attacks,”

And the dog’s owner has to say,

“So do I! I’m helpless

Against this creature even in my own house!

 Just as you can’t come close,

I can’t go out!”

This is how animal energy  becomes monstrous

And ruins your life’s freshness and beauty.

Think of taking this dog

Out to hunt! You’d be the quarry.

This is a beautiful way of explaining what the animalistic consciousness does to us. Not only does it scare away others, it prohibits our True Selves from coming out! Our own selves become confined by the arrogance and ignorance of our animalistic consciousness, reducing our ability to have our soul soar into the Aatmic Manddal, the Spiritual Realm. Instead, we become basic individuals guided and defined by our animalistic consciousness, focussing on the false beauties and pleasures of the world.

Ros na Kaahu Sang Karoh

                                Aapan Aap Beechaar

                                                           Hoey Nimaana Jag Raho

                                                                                                 Nanak Nadri Paar


waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru 


I sat down to begin to write something, but felt that what was being written or said was not quite good enough to share with such innocent souls, so I diligently kept erasing my words and began starting over, and over again. Somehow through this constant repetition, the following few phrases managed to emerge, but, it is made up of such limited choice of words that I am not sure it was able to grasp the intent behind it. I sincerely doubt it will ever be good enough or conveyed in the manner that it should have been expressed. I ask you to please forgive me in advance for any inadequacies, in thought or in writing, on my part; Young souls are extremely blessed to have been privileged with the Love-Gift of Sadh-Sangat, in whatever shape or form It has Manifested in their life. They are very, very fortunate. Their desire, no matter how small or large, to understand and to begin to swim in this deep, priceless Ocean of spiritual Love has come to fruition because of Divine Grace and Love. May this Divinity remain with them throughout their existence, life after life. May they be relentless in exploring the inner depths of their Souls, and fall deeply in Love with, and be Wondrously fascinated over and over and over again with Waheguru and His Beloved. I pray that they also share their beautiful mystifying spiritual Affluence, silently and with utmost humility, with anyone that passes along in their path.


Dhan Guru Nanak

waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru  


My dearest or dearest….beautiful….pyare pyare….chotte chotte….beloved little veers and bhains…
I LOVE YOU…each and everyone of you with all my heart. You are very near and dear to me my little angels. You are indeed the future prince and princesses of guru nanak’s….our master’s kingdom. My heart REALLY longs to see you at samagams. My heart blossoms…My heart smiles in such a joy when i see you sitting in keertan….singing along so beautifully…playing chaine (even though i sometimes have to take them away from you guys…sorry 🙁 )….playing tabla….doing keertan sohilla/chaupai sahib…doing sewa….i cannot describe how it truelly feels seeing you guys in so much love….seeing so much dedication to sanagat….YOU are my role models…my soul…my heart! Sometimes i feel like gathering you all up and kissing away your charan dhuur…pyare pyare….I LOVE YOU!
Being an older sister however…i have a duty…a responsibility to protect you guys from weeds….from viruses….so i would also share with you, what i learnt from my elders in sangat…MY role models…and from bauji mataji…which was useful for me while walking on this path and still remaining in the corrupt society (being in the school environment where it is hard to walk on this path and not to waver away from it).
Few things i took from MY older sisters and veers in sangat and mata ji bauji are..
– Being simple. THE most helpful thing. This protected my mind from useless thoughts that diverted my mind from taking laha in sangat…doing simran…and in school (which is really meant for studies). Why we need to stay simple in sangat? We OUGHT to stay very simple (simplest of the simplest) in sangat…because by wearing certain “attractive” clothes, makeup…it diverts sangat’s attention….aslo, ouur own mind gets polluted with useless thoughts.  we want to come to sangat “unnoticed” and take as much laahaa….because this is indeed our main goal….reason why we come to sangat…and receive the divine gifts our pyare bauji mataji struggeld to give us..
– Utilizing our precious time in sangat. My dad always taught me to remember “You have been given a chance to attend this samagam. It is a grace of guru Nanak. if we dont avail this opportunity wisely….we have no right to complain to guru nanak if we don’t get the next samagam….the chance is simply passed on to the soul that’s more sincere than you.” How do we utilize our time? sitting inside the divine aura of the samagam hall and listening to keertan or doing sewa when your tired of sitting. Does that mean we can’t play at a samagam? No. it’s just a bit of time adjustment. Our playtime can be accommodated in break time…
– Not holding a grudge in sangat (or outside sangat). This has been very helpful to me….it helps me enjoy the samagam rather than my mind constantly thinking about useless poisonous thoughts that drain out the acquired laha in sangat. In one of the thoughts bauji says “if you hold a grudge against someone in sangat….your stabbing guru nanak!”. When i heard bauji say this….i got goosebumps…It hurts THAT MUCH to guru nanak? Hence, this is very dangerous…
that’s all I’ve got to share….these are just few personal tricks learnt from sangat and bauji’ talks…that helped my walking on this path…
keep going…challe chalo with blind faith on guru nanak 🙂
with sooooooooo much love…
waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru wahegur waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru

Looking forward to more contributions always

Dhan dhan sat sangat

Dhan Dhan Dhan Sadh Jan




2 thoughts on “Special Contributions

  1. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam :
    “When I was a kid, my Mom cooked food for us.
    One night in particular when she had made dinner after a long hard day’s work, Mom placed a plate of ‘subzi’ and extremely burnt roti in front of my Dad.
    I was waiting to see if anyone noticed the burnt roti.
    But Dad just ate his roti and asked me how was my day at school.
    I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember I heard Mom apologizing to Dad for the burnt roti.
    And I’ll never forget what he said: “Honey, I love burnt roti.”
    Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy, good night; I asked him if he really liked his roti burnt. He wrapped me in his arms and said: “Your momma put in a long hard day at work today and she was really tired.
    And besides… A burnt roti never hurts anyone but HARSH WORDS DO!”
    “You know beta – life is full of imperfect things… imperfect people…
    I forget birthdays, anniversaries just like everyone else.
    What I’ve learnt over the years is :
    To Accept Each Others Faults
    Life Is Too Short To Wake Up With Regrets!
    Love the people who treat you right ; have compassion for the ones who don’t.

  2. I have a story to share:

    Me: God, can I ask You a question?
    God: Sure
    Me: Promise You won’t get mad … … … …
    God: I promise
    Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?
    God: What do u mean?
    Me: Well, I woke up late
    God: Yes
    Me: My car took forever to start
    God: Okay
    Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait
    God: Huummm
    Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call
    God: All right
    Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn’t work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?
    God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one Of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that
    Me (humbled): OH
    GOD: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.
    Me: (ashamed)
    God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn’t want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.
    Me (embarrassed):Okay
    God: Your phone went dead bcuz the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered.
    Me (softly): I see God
    God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.
    Me: I’m Sorry God
    God: Don’t be sorry, just learn to Trust Me…. In All things , the Good & the bad.
    Me: I will trust You.
    God: And don’t doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.
    Me: I won’t God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.
    God: You’re welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children…

    Moral: Love god and trust him because he loves you 🙂

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