By Hari Jiwan Singh
The teachings are working when you start to appreciate the creativity, the service, the trust and the love it took for your true teacher to even begin to teach you. Gratitude is the result. The awareness of just how unaware students are of there teacher’s teaching is what makes them students. This unawareness is defined through a lack of, or a display of gratitude.
I’m not saying that all students who are grateful, are grateful for this reason. Not at all. What I’m saying is that no matter how or what made you grateful, once you are, you are blessed with the understating and experience of of just how much grace it has taken to teach you. It comes with the turf. You become addicted to gratitude. It leads to so many other wonderful things, but let’s keep our focus. Why am I saying this? Where’s the connection? What does it even mean? Please, let me explain.
Through his teaching, our beloved teacher, the Siri Singh Sahib, was exemplary. Even his enemies would admit to his “it”ness. Wherever he went, he was special. And, not just in his eyes, but the eyes of those all around. He was noticeable everywhere he was and in a good way.
No matter what your religion, people who came into his presence trusted him. I’ve seen it many times. We live in a Catholic state. Devoted Catholics came to him for advice. He became their “Padre,” father confessor. He was trusted. He delivered. He never tried to convert anyone, he always spoke in a manner consistent with their religions customs. After all, he started out as a custom’s inspector (an attempt at a little humor).
He advised in Catholic rhetoric terms. He was schooled at the Sacred Heart Academy in India, so he knew the lingo. Not only that, he was good at it. I was always amazed at his intimacy with Catholicism and how he could integrate it into these types of conversations.
Our teacher’s ability to teach Catholicism was a blend of creativity, service, trust and love. His creativity gave him flexibility; his service gave him stability; his trust gave him courage; his love gave him reciprocation. This is from where his teachings spring. He lived the Guru’s will so much that he could identify with the best in all religions.
Not only that, he was so down with it that he could even teach it. There was no fear, no intimidation, no misunderstanding. This example, and many others, gave me into a view of just how expansive he was in his teachings and how grateful I was for it. See what gratitude can lead to.
In the Humility of Service and Gratitude,
MSS Hari Jiwan Singh Khalsa
Chief of Protocol