Sat Nam Dear Family,
Ahhh, the Double Edged Sword...let me tell you what this concept feels like from my angle. The ultimate question becomes, "What can we focus on to guarantee that we understand Guru ji’s instruction to chant the sacred name of God, the Nam, all the while continuing to live in this world?" This conundrum becomes the litmus test for a deeper level of spiritual understanding. It turns out that the answer to this question is as sharp, as narrow, as disciplined, as is the edge of the sharpest double edged sword.
Repeating the Nam is pure discipline. At least it has been for me. There are many chances to not see results quickly enough, so many quit. That’s the way it is and has always been. But, obedience to the practice of repeating the Nam, whenever possible, eventually pays off. No matter what else you do, or don’t do, just keep repeating the Nam as non-negotiable, as irrefutable, as the only constant guaranteed constant in your life.
I know that this kind of discipline is difficult. It can tweak every insecurity you have, and many of which your are not even aware. It all depends on what you want out of life. Some reach for the stars; other are satisfied with planets; still, others with astroids. …oh, and for some earth. Some are satisfied with earth. The problem is that for many reaching for the stars, they haven’t found the right technique. This submission to God’s Will, to the chanting of God’s Name with every breath, is the gift we offer - that’s all, and that’s enough.
At some point, your sincerity, through chanting God’s sacred name, will be noticed by Guru ji. At that blessed point, repeating the Nam is no longer a concerted discipline, it becomes a show of devotion. Everything changes at this point.
When you are graced to have a true understanding of your blessings, gratitude arises. The understanding of how chanting Gods sacred Name, and dealing eloquently within this world at the same time, is solved. In return for devotion, Guru ji bestows the blessing of repeating God’s sacred Name effortlessly and automatically, sukh sahej. He does this through, around, and over every limitation one can throw at Him.
Devotion is further rewarded with Guru ji’s love. Gratitude and devotion equal love. And, let me tell you, He is the one you want as a lover because He covers the double edged sword for you as well. The student becomes so grateful for this awareness, this view of how God loves him. It’s overwhelming and continues through more and more love.
When one experiences this bountiful abundance of love, the only way to repay it is to serve it. This becomes such a blessed duty which further blessed by the release of fear, doubt, jealousy, hate and frustration. Living in this state demands serving that which bestowed this blessing on you. This awareness leaves no choice. Serving God the way He wants is the only way to show our sincere love. And knowing that God lives in everyone, there are multitude of opportunities in which to serve!
When the sacred Name of God becomes automatic, this world is lived in, and with, a different perspective. Not only is this balance understood, but it is lived. Life becomes guided. Do what you’re allowed, but do one thing and always do one thing, that is, continue to repeat the sacred Name of God one way or another. This is the formula for a Sikh, and I can verify that it works.
This is the way of a Sikh. This is the way the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan taught it. I’m grateful for the various entities he left us with. They carry us forward. They do a good job. They all carry the message of the Nam. They all promote it. They love it. Yes, he left us in very good shape in spite of the fact that sometimes all we can see is what’s wrong. He left us an abundance of right.
If you want to know a person, see what’s best about them, we all come with trash. The best is what separates beings. A Sikh automatically remembers that he represents the best. Ultimately, he represents his Guru while representing himself. A Sikh lives a life of authentic contentment, deep contentment. A Sikh is authentic in the sense that he’s everything and he’s nothing at the same time; he’s dead while alive. A Sikh lives on this double edged sword.
Pain and sorrow, left and right, are two sides of the same coin. You can’t have one without the other. There is no up without down, good and bad. This is the kind of contentment I mean. Contentment in the total relaxation that life is to be enjoyed whatever. This understanding comes from living on the double edged sword. This is the reason I share with you the life of a Sikh. I learned it first hand straight from the Siri Singh Sahib.
I write these stories in gratitude for the life I’ve been given. If I can live a life of joy, why not you? Listen, I didn’t start out so good either. Matter of fact, there won’t be much of an argument that I was far less than a joy - to myself or anyone else. What I’m here to say is that you can put your total confidence in our teachings - they work!
I’m grateful to KRI for maintaining the integrity of the teachings so meticulously. I’m grateful to Sikh Dharma for caring forward the message of the Guru. And, I’m grateful to 3HO for carrying our tradition and keeping us relevant. I could go on. You get the idea. Our beloved teacher left us in very good shape.
We should feel good about ourselves. We carry on. That’s a great accomplishment. We continue practicing living on the edge, the double edge. We continue to practicing serving: Seva. Happiness is found through the surrender to Guru’s Will. That’s when His security is experienced as surrounding all. This is when life is lived fearlessly and fearfully at the same time. Fearlessly under God’s protection; Fearfully, in the sense that fear of not doing the right thing will halt your good fortune.
So the trick is to not live ‘on’, but to live ‘in’ the edge. Through your devotion, courage and subtlety, go to a place so fine that the edge becomes available to pass through and enter the land of the Guru, Guru ji’s court, you and He become one. A Sikh enters the world of his Guru: a place where wisdom becomes automatic; a place where humility is the only escape; A place where only compassion rules. This beautiful, sacred place has been left to us by our teacher. It is our Sanctuary! And through our devotion to our teacher, this is what we offer. Stay tuned,
In the Humility of Service and Gratitude,
MSS Hari Jiwan Singh Khalsa
Chief of Protocol