Let’s see ….once upon a time I didnt know anything about anything, went for Amrit aged 18 after starting University and moving away from home. Went for the initiation ceremony because I thought that’s what you got to do to reach God. Didn’t understand anything the Punj Pyare said because my punjabi was almost non-existant. Didnt even realise they’d given me waheguru and mool manter to meditate upon!!!! Didn’t even realise Naam was important until I started reading translations of Nitnem and Guru Granth Sahib is saying do Naam jap all the time. But, we did say to God in our heart that we truly do give our head, that we could have committed suicide a year or so previously (aged 17 and living at home then) as we were so broken-hearted and so trapped between what our heart wanted (love) and what our parents wanted (control our life). And at that time we couldn’t see any way out, not strong enough to fight our parents, not strong enough to follow our heart, not able to cope with the overwhelming feelings of sorrow and sadness. So now as God had kept us alive, we were only going to live for Him. We said to God in our heart, “now we live for You and trust you take care of all our worldly tasks.”
So the question in my mind after getting initiated and reading “do naam simran” in almost every Shabad was "what is the Naam to recite? What is the technique? Why doesnt Guru jee tell the word to use for Naam, the Name of God and the technique, as well as just telling us to do Naam simran?" Used to have a mala (beads) which I was turning in my fingers all the time, even walking about to lectures. Used to sing waheguru, say it internally to the rhythm of the kirtan as I didnt understand kirtan so I just sang waheguru to the tune. Did that for a good few years and imagined that I was surrounded by a sea blue nihang singhs. (I think I actually was but I thought I was imagining it) any way didnt have any other spiritually inspiring sangat in those days at University. Mum and dad’s spiritual stage was way to ahead to come back and help me with the details.
After leaving Uni and settling in Hounslow/southall area where there are huge sikh communities which I loved as I grew up as the odd ne out in white communities, bullied and named called. So felt good to belong. Ended up going to sikhi Camps every year and loved them. Then was attending mnthly all night kirtans. Loved the “waheguru waheguru” mixing, went to camps felt like Guru jee was there, cried felt like ‘I’d come home.’
In early 1996, Yogi Bhajan and his American sikh devotees dressed in white and beautifully radiant, came to our Sikhi workshops which we ran for children on Sunday’s at the southall gurdwara. He talked about feeling pain in the forehead and seeing the Dvine Light – he made it sound so easy. Then he said to everyone, “just come to USA to learn,” I was seriously considering it. But, at the same time the maya storm was brewing. My mind was longing for the worldy love of a woman. But I was going to fight, “no way maya! The harder you attack, the lower I’m going to fall at God’s feet to save me. O save me Guru jee. Keep me at your feet. I’ve got nowhere else to go.”
The Uncle jee I used to go to the Gurdwara with was glowing at Amritvela. He said with a smile, “Guru jee has made my mind into a flower.” At same time I read Rajneesh’s comment in his book “The True Name- explanation of JapJi” that to get rid of ego one has to meditate for 3 days, just as Guru Nanak Dev jee disappeared into the river for 3 days. So I took 4 days off work….I was love sick! Said to Guru Granth Sahib with firm faith, “no more doubts Guru jee. You are my Guru, no-one else. Why should I go running to USA to learn from Yogi Bhajan ji. He only got his knowledge from you. You can teach me directlt too Guru jee."
I remember seeing a film about an Indian boy who wanted to learn how to be a warrior archer like Arjuna, but Arjuna’s Guru wouldnt teach the boy. So the boy went into the jungle and made a statue out of mud of the Guru and he used to believe the Guru was teaching him. He mastered archery in that way. When the Guru actually met the now famous boy archer, he asked how he’d learnt so much without a Guru. The boy replied, "but I have a Guru…YOU”. The Guru was surprised and on hearing about the statue he said, “if I am your Guru then obey your Guru and cut off your shooting hand.” So he did! Sad, but true, not all Guru’s are nice we guess. But, the moral was that if you have faith 100% in your Guru then your Guru teaches you from within.
"Guru Granth Sahib Jee, You are my Guru of Gurus, you are the Sant of Sants, you are my Yogi of Yogi’s..mera SatGuru Jogee….I bow to you again and again, forever and ever……satguru daya nidh, mehma agadh bodh, namo namo namo nayt nayt nayt ha – the SatGuru is the treasure of mercy, whose praise is infinite. I bow, bow, bow again and again and again to You."
Just did "waheguru waheguru" all the time, every moment with determination and asked for forgiveness each and everytime my mind got distracted. By Guru’s kirpa I started singing waheguru really slowly and long on the vaja…music teacher had told us to do an alaap which lasted 15 minutes!! (alaap is the introduction to a shabad, just a few mellow mystical notes in raag to create the atmosphere). I could feel the ‘vastness’ of Waheguru in that sound, I could feel vibration on my forehead, a little bit of light, so I continued in search of Waheguru. By Guru jee’s kirpa I carried on going to sadh sangat in morning and evening with Uncle Jee, but never let go of "waheguru waheguru" for a moment.
I played a tape by Bhai Jasveer Singh jee for hours on end, kept turning it around and doing simran in rhythm to his kirtan and discourse. I dont know where it came from..it wasnt mine. He was singing and explaing about dasam duar and he kept saying do ardas, bentee, put your hands together and say to Guru jee ,’ma oora, tu poora – I am incomplete You are complete – ma oora too poora – Guru jee make me complete as well. So while sitting on the edge of the bed with straight back and palms pressed together like in ardas, with fingertips touching third eye point and head bowed slightly forward, kept begging Satguru Nanak Dev Jee. We kept reciting Mool Manter now, bowing to each holy word in Mool Manter. Each was a name of God, with each word we felt God was infront of us, so we bowed to him after saying Ik Oankar, we bowed to him after saying SatNaam, we bowed to him after saying KartaPurakh and so on. For hours on end we kept bowing in our mind with full faith God was infront of us in the form of Dhan Guru Nanak Dev ji’s holy feet.
Kept imagining my spine was a stem and my face was the blossoming petals of the flower. I breathed in through my nose and imagined the ‘sap’ rising up the stem, along the top of the head and as I breathed out , I imagined the ‘sap’ energy gently washing over my face like the sunlight shining on the petals. And the flower would fall at Guru Nanak Dev Jee’s invisible feet……..that was all imagination…….never read it in any books, I didnt know yoga teachniques or breathing techniques…just the odd bits and pieces that the Gurmukhs had mentioned……..then to my amazement imagination turned into reality. I could feel energy on either side of my spine, rising slowly as I breathed in and pulled the sap up, it went across the top of my head and at the 3rd eye point there was light glorious light, flooding in, merged into beautiful Guru Nanak Dev Jee’s invisible feet. Saying the Mool Manter sound was far away, even the fingertips touching the skin on my forehead was too far. Guru jee was inside and I basked in the glory and the love and the humility and the brilliance……a flower at guru nanak dev jee’s feet…I could feel a bright aura around my head like the light around the full moon. It was warm and wonderful and all around in all directions. It lasted for a few minutes I guess, but it was too hard to concentrate for longer, then thoughts came back in and the curtain was closed……..and that’s the way it stayed no matter what I tried. That was in the afternoon.
Next morning, the fourth day, at Asa-Dee-Var at the Gurdwara with Uncle Ji, I was just relaxing and still just doing "waheguru waheguru” mixed in with Mool Manter at every moment – just bowing in the mind to Ik Onkar, bowing to SatNaam and so on. The kirtanees began singing Bhagat Kabeer Jee’s shabad – it was so beautiful, the sap rose once again and in the light, in tune with the shabad I could feel the endless lovelight and humbleness that Kabeer Jee sung the shabad with……..it was beautiful, I never knew the Bhagats and Guru Jees had so much love, so deep so pure and unadulterated……….after that it was back to reality, I got obsessed with getting the feeling back, I focused on the techniques of how I was sitting , how I was breathing and I only got more and more frustrated because it wouldn’t happen again!!!!!!!
Lesson learnt :……..say to Guru jee that I have 100% faith in only you my dear Guru Jee. Focus on love and saying Naam all the time with full determination, begging for forgiveness when you forget. Do seva of a blessed Sant soul like Uncle ji. Be near them even if they dont say anything, they radiate in all directions and all over you, opening your channels.
Afterwards I found out that sap is called Kundalini Shakit (energy) by the Yogis, the channels on the side of the spine are Ida, Pingal. Sushmana is the central one. These three go around the top of the head and meet at the third eye point……LIGHT. In gurbanee, Guru Arjun Dev jee says ‘Ulta kamal bigsnaa’..the upside down flower blossoms. A blessed soul was saying there is a lotus inside your chakras but it is facing down , when it faces up you have spiritual experience.
That was March 1996.
……keep sharing, caring, loving and learning