It’s always been my habit to do as I will and let the chips fall where they may. That way of thinking was satisfying for me, but insensitive to others who may become affected and don’t get any chips. It’s caused me more trouble than necessary. Our teacher, the Siri Singh Sahib, made this clear to me on too many occasions. Please let me explain.
Our beloved teacher used my self-serving nature against itself to create a universal one. How well it worked, or is working, is only up to God, but his technique was and is flawless. Like an internally flawless graded diamond, his technique is always clear and never the problem, it’s real. The problem is that students don’t come internally flawless and transparent.
Here’s the genius of our teacher. Many times he used me to do what he couldn’t do for himself. I was always a willing participant especially when I was well prepared for the job like sharing my opinions. I was glad to be of service to him in any manner he deemed, and asking me to express my opinion was a no brainer, it was as easy as pie. I have a habit of speaking my mind. This is how I was raised.
It’s taken decades to understand that not everyone is like my family, and therefore either isn’t interested or is irritated by opinions, including mine. When it comes to criticism, even constructive criticism, most people are are hyper-sensitives to other people’s opinions about them. An invasion into that arena without an invitation challenges their security, so good manners dictates leaving them alone. They’re not interested, I get that. Nevertheless, in service to our teacher, my opinions worked for him - if not for me initially.
At the Siri Singh Sahib’s command, and, unfortunately, too many other times when I commanded myself as well, I unleashed my opinion about something that was going on, or while our teacher was counseling. My opinion must have been generally to his liking or he wouldn’t have allowed me to continue for decades. As a student, I didn’t have the restrictions a true teacher has and I was able to express what he couldn’t.
One of the misjudgments I made was in thinking that my opinion served his will in letting others know what and how our teacher should be treated when he couldn’t do that for himself. But in fact, most times he’d even correct me regarding that and get me out of the way when I tried to shield him. My duty wasn’t to protect him, he already had that covered.
His technique was to have me serve a man of God, him, in a way in which that man of God chose. The gem-like lesson is that any service done in that love and trust to a true teacher is recognized by God as that blessed service and gains His, God’s, attention. In whatever form and without judgement, this service becomes a karma eater.
My duty was to express what he couldn’t. I was pretty good at it, otherwise I still wouldn’t be here. Expressing my opinions for his good was my service and I was blessed for it. Through this service, I have now been graced to understand that my job now is to no longer express my opinions. The Siri Singh Sahib used my nature against itself to give me the opportunity to see the great limits in my self-serving nature, and, to eradicate it at the same time. What a miracle!
When God starts paying attention to who you are and what you do, you’ve received His great blessing. My actions came to His attention not through my competency or lack thereof, but because at this level it’s only a matter of love. When God loves a teacher, He also loves those who truly love the teacher. The blessing bestowed is in direct correlation to the service rendered in service to a beloved of God. This sacred service leads to universality, universality which leads to understanding, understanding which leads to gratitude, and gratitude which leads to love. When this link is complete, blessings are bestowed and they flow flawlessly through the grace of the Infinite; first, with God; then with the Guru; next with the teacher; and, lastly, through the student himself as he becomes the teacher.
Loving one of these sacred arms of God is loving them all. That’s the beauty. There’s no ambiguity. In addition, there are ten Guru’s to add to the list of truth sayers. Pick any of them, pick all of them, they are all One!
So, the chain is linked between serving the will of any of these blessed advocates and being blessed to exceed your limits by doing so. It takes courage, faith, and a keep-up spirit to keep giving more, especially when expectations haven’t been met. That’s when you need to keep-up the most and not let judgement get in the way of commitment. Best to not think about it too much, just keep-up.
Now the chips no longer fall where they may. I have learned and keep practicing the good manners of knowing in advance where the chips will land, and can now avoid some issues which become a waste of time. This is the blessing I have gained in using my limited nature in service to our real teacher. Now, you can see just one of the reasons I love him so much. He did for me what I couldn’t do for myself, and only in the best of ways. Try it yourself, it’s available to all. Stay tuned,
In the Humility of Service and Gratitude,
MSS Hari Jiwan Singh Khalsa
Chief of Protocol