Khalsa Council - New Year's Eve Gurdwara
Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh!
Everybody in life tends to predict things. But this year has brought humanity the reassurance that the concept of spirit has won. Not only the Berlin wall has fallen... not only the President of the USSR, Gorbachov, has gone to meet the Pope... not only the Rajiv Gandhi government fell apart... but also the inhuman law of Punjab has been dismissed by the Indian Parliament.
That does not mean that the concept of life and the tragedy of humanity has lessened, but there is a one simple concept in Sikh Dharma.... there is a normal word which you must have heard in every walk of life and in your communications... and it is called "trust," or "Brosia." In ardas, also, we ask: "Brosia Dhan." Give us the gift of trust.
Normally, in normal life, there is a common saying, "Don't trust anybody." Trust not a friend; turn him into the enemy. Trust has a lot of misgivings in the human life. But if you really want to look at the way of the people who believe in God, people who believe spirituality... people who believe the Infinity and dignity of the mankind... trust is the very essential step.
Trust... only YOU can trust. Normally we say, "If I trust you, you cannot betray me." That's normal concept. But that's a bargain. That is what we expect. That is where we are cowardly or weak. It's not a very courageous act. The human act, the courageous act is that you MUST trust. Because if we are not going to learn to trust the other human beings, we are also not going to trust the One who made the human beings. It's a matter of projection... in our psyche... do we trust our soul? Do we believe and trust that we have a soul, and do we trust and believe that our soul is a part of the infinite soul, which is God?
Today, as the trend goes, the mankind is very unhappy and there's a last thing in the world and that is called 'trust.' Nations do not trust nations. People do not trust people. Individuals do not trust individuals. Circumstances do not trust yesterday, today and tomorrow. But after all, what is life? What is the concept of life we are dealing with? Nobody ever believes the events will come through as they have come and as fast as they have come. Therefore also nobody can predict tomorrow how the circumstances will change. It was a belief that we would meet... nobody believed that we would meet it here.
The human strength lies in human fulfillment and if a person thinks he is rich and he is comfortable, and his life is complete and perfect, actually speaking... fact that that life which is totally complete according to our estimate is not even one to ten percent of our whole capacity.
The most pain with a person in his life is that as the life gets to a maturity, the realization comes on, or it dawns on us that we have not lived life complete. We have not lived a fulfillment of life. We have not experienced a total sum of our living. And we end up doing life as a comparative study. We have to go across the line of thinking which the religions have taught so far. It is very unfortunate that we have to sit today to have the comparative study of the religion. Man in his religious reality has only tried to satisfy himself in relationship to God. Man decided that his love of God is enough if he goes through certain rules and regulations, and if he does certain things and he goes through certain days he is fine. Like if he goes Sunday to a church... on Sunday to a gurdwara, and shows up at the langar time.
Man has not yet accepted that his religious duty is for his own personal expansion. That's true. I shall be sitting here and lying to you if I say that religion has done its job. I will tell you that religion has been most misleading, most dodging and extremely corrupt diversion to just control the mankind. First motivations... Purpose of religion is that the man should expand in his own selflessness to find his own selfishness in his own dignity and expand himself to that extent that nothing can make him weak.
That reality which is our right... that reality which is our concept, that reality which is our richness... that we must develop our dignity and integrity and our concept of courage and our faith and our trust to that extent that nothing can shake it. Invincible man is not that ideal man. It is the beginning of the manhood, and that is what the purpose of the religion was. Purpose of religion was not that everybody just can belong one Sunday or one Saturday or one night we must sit down and do singing, or do certain acts. Most of these acts can be done only for popularity's sake, or it can be done for social sake, or it can be done for communication's sake. There is always one purpose or the other in performing a religious act. And that, all man has learned till the time of Nanak.
Nanak came to tell mankind, 'The purpose of the years is finding your reality and living your reality with courage and a strength.' That was the purpose of Nanak. Nanak has not rejected any religion, but Nanak also has not participated in any religion. Nanak's path was that even if you know the truth, it is not enough. So long you live the truth. And if you live the truth, you must live with the experience of your own dignity, with your own integrity.
Now we normally say in our common day of life, "I have to do this thing for myself. This suits me." I am asking those who do lot of things for themselves, are they not willing to do things for themselves completely? Why we are doing things for ourselves just partially? Why we can't do things for ourselves, wholesomely? What is stopping us that today we just want to do things, just that to serve time and space from which to receive our self-freedom is our fundamental work?
We are afraid. Every man is afraid. When Guru Nanak sang: "Ant na sifatee kehan naa ant. Ant na karanai ke-an na ant." When he said the 'Beanta'... the timelessness, the infinity of God and man and His creation... it was a very, very great difficulty for man to conceive. Because you have to understand the history of man is: "This is my tribe and this is my town and this is my city. This is my city and this is my nationality, and this is my word. And this is the space, and this is the galaxy and this is this and this is that." But when Nanak says: "There is nothing which you can say is yours, everything belongs to God," then trust it. Trust it that you don't belong to yourself. Trust it!
Now tell me, is there anybody who wants to accept that? Though it is a fact. It is a scientific fact. It is a logical fact. It is a realistic fact. Environments and circumstances have proven to man again and again that things happen beyond anybody's concept. Things happen beyond anybody. Sometimes we say: "It is a miracle." Somebody says: "It is a luck." Somebody will say everything. But there is an explanation for one thing, that all what it is, does not belong to what all it is now. It does not belong to what it is yesterday.
The performance of human life, the purpose of human life, is happiness. The smiles, the songs -- the nation cannot be killed, cannot be destroyed which has its songs and its smiles. That is why 1984 to 1988 we went everywhere, through a very tremendous amount of tragedy and international impact of insult. Nobody can deny it and nobody can forgo it. But the entire nation smiled at it. It went through it. We are closing this year of '89, and in a couple of hours there'll be year 1990. Up to this date today 88,946 men... innocent... have been butchered, killed and destroyed. The latest tally. And it is not yet happening, though the trend has stopped. Situation has been asked to stop. And it is desirable that the situation will stop. But it has not stopped yet. The innocent people, those who have no concerns with the circumstances in the situation, have given their lives and nobody can ask anybody, "Why?"
There's a purpose for it. Sometime, to wake up something which is sleeping... to awaken something which is dormant... the unknown hand of God asks for the sacrifice. It is sacrifice which builds the strength. It is the test of circumstances which brings us to a certain reality.
I understand many of you are sitting here with utmost pain that 1984, you were in a position only... that was the last trip you could go and bow your head to Golden Temple. And when Gurudass Singh wrote that song: "When Will We Walk on that Cold Marble Again?" it was the most true sentiments of a Sikh... of a Sikh of the Guru. His sentiments were: "When we shall garland thy darbar, thy body again? When we shall walk on that cold marble again? When that day will come?" There was a longing. There was a separation. There was an environmental situation which did. And just understand, we understand it was government of India internal matters, let us put it this way. But may I know where government of India earned the right to bar every Sikh of the world that they cannot visit their temple? What gave them the authority?
Today world is so small... religious freedom is so powerful and human rights are so understandable... and if little thing happens, everywhere there is a U.N. cry. Do you believe that three million people living outside India were not allowed to visit Golden Temple for no purpose, for no excuse, and no explanation was given?
These tragedies in life are very invoking. They are not provoking. They are giving a man a thought. The thought is that the man has not reached his own religious or realistic understanding. Man is still using the political power and the religious power combined for personal motives. The government of the people, by the people and for the people, which is a theory, is only a theory. I have seen in my life the religious men compromising for personal glory. I have seen religious men compromising for benefits, for concessions. But also I have seen the religious men who took their heads on the palm of their hands and they walked into it with the strength and the courage so tomorrow can live.
I am asking you one thing very politely but very definitely. From '84 to '88 we have not only lived with the tragedy of death but we have also lived the very treachery of life. History is not going to forgive us when facts are going to come out that there were many people among us who were responsible for all this tragic end. Not only they participated, but they also are the leaders and they did it for purposes best known to them. What I'm asking you today is that now we are coming into the openness of tomorrow... a religious openness... and what is required today is to spread the word of Nanak to the four corners of the world.
You have now a motion to make, an achievement to accomplish your own fulfillment that your inner satisfaction should be strong enough and your courage should be strong enough that you should let the world know that there is a place of our total living. There is an achievement that a man can do, not ritualistically but in a total reality, and it is that total reality which shall prevail tomorrow.
Today you are a few hundred, few thousand, a few hundred thousand. Today you are totally eighteen million on the planet earth and you are one of the most powerful religions. You are the eighth religion. You come among eight religions. But that is not your heritage by numbers. Your heritage comes on the top of everything. You hold the heritage of the mankind experiment to the height and tranquility in which you can share people's pain.
We are closing this year with this note: that we should come out our own shell and we should come out and trust ourself that we can heal people of spiritual, mental and physical pain. That is what '90 has for us. And that is what '90 is calling on us to do. This is not the time to just relate to our individuality. Now it is the time to go ahead and encounter that tragedy which we have faced for the last four years. Now we have come out of the circumstances and this is the time that each one of us must take a view that: "Today as I have eaten I have nurtured myself. Today as I have done my sadhana I have exalted myself. Today I have earned money I have enriched myself. Today I must spread the word of Nanak by totally understanding myself."
You cannot understand yourself if you will not take the banner of the Guru and share with somebody next to you. It is one of the biggest reliefs. It is one of the biggest satisfactions. It is the total sum of our beings that we should be in a position to share with others the satisfaction, the calmness, and the integrity within ourself that we trust. To share one's inner trust with somebody is the most precious sharing... the most precious gift. And those of us who belong to the House of Guru must not be satisfied only in this fact that we are Sikhs. That's not enough. That should never be enough. But it should be our primary duty... our total understanding... and it should be our realism that with our songs and smiles and with our understanding and our peace... that with our tranquility and our projection, we must share with the other human beings the joy we have. That is the way our Gurus have led us to believe. That is the way we can reach out the world at large.
You must be aware that in 1982-1983, to tell somebody, "I am a Sikh," it was very unknown. "Sikh? What?" But all these four years, through media and newspaper and through sacrifices, there's hardly any man in the Western world who doesn't know two things: Sikhs and Golden Temple. It has been repeated. In other words, we do not... we might not have paid for this public relations in cash, but we might have created through the human life that much media concern that not a one person in the world... it must be the dumbest person who today doesn't now where is the Golden Temple, what is the Golden Temple, and what the Sikhs are.
I was one day standing in Europe in one corner and certain people walked in and they said: "We want to know which order you belong to." And some of us said, "We are Sikhs." "Oh, you are Sikhs. Oh, you are Sikhs. We really are very sorry what happened to your Golden Temple. We really understand it." I was shocked. In the remotest corner of somewhere where it was just a social event, even those people had a shared feeling and very affectionate way of letting us know that they share, as a humanity, with us. They didn't ask whether we are American, we are Japanese, we are German or we are Indian or we are French. But they totally shared our altar.
The humanity is ready to listen to the words of Nanak and the walls, the Berlin Walls we have created in our own selves, have to fall. And we have to carry the cross onto the altar itself. And this is what 1990 should be.
There's a very good American saying: "Death is no good, but death in bed is no good at all, and death with boots on is not a death at all." So basically this is a time, wherever you are in your schedule... I know today it is a very modern world. There is a day management book everybody carries. I see you all. It has all the stuff. In day management, you should write down: "How much I have managed myself in the sphere of my Guru Nanak. How much I have today with my day work, daily work, I have talked about my Guru." Wherever you fill your hours, 11:30, 11:30-12:00, 12:30-1:00, 1:30 - - you have a lot of hours to fill. And man has become very mechanical. Therefore it is very conveniently possible if you just spare in your day management. Let us say 10% belongs to the Guru. If you make a hundred calls, make ten calls for the Guru's sake. Talk to somebody. "Hey, Kernail Singh, how are you? Did you do your Japji today, man? I didn't. What about you?" I mean to say, just start communicating! It is worthwhile.
Touch somebody's heart.
And today the world is so small you can do anything you want. And when you are carrying that big purse, your portfolio, and you are all very educated, there is no need to be aggressive. Just make it a point that: "With my sadhana and with my life, for my sake, I have to spare a certain "x" amount of time." In 24 hours, calculating, it comes to 2-1/2 hours a day. 2-1/2 hours or one tenth of the money you earn, the time you live, the environments you have, do not belong to you. Make it a very pivotal point that that belongs to the Guru. I shall spend my life, one tenth of it, doing something to my Guru and I shall do one way or the other, share myself with the common man. And if we act in this graceful way for the year to come, Guru shall bring us to the prosperity. And we shall multiply out of this tragedy.
It is not true that we have problems, but it is very true we have stood fast and we can walk tall facing the problem. Handful nation (eighteen million people are not a great many people) stood well a government terrorism. Stood well an international conspiracy.
When I was in Rome, the motorcade of Gorbachov was going to meet Pope John Paul II. I had to meet the next day, and I was very jubilant. So one Italian Sikh asked: "You are very happy today, Sir. What is the matter?" I said, "Today is a happy matter. The Godless man has gone to see the man of God... though both are bogus or both are real... it's not my problem to discuss. But fact is, today the Godless has gone to see the man of God and why they are doing it I don't understand."
But one thing I can assure you, KGB shall not have money enough to torture the Sikhs in India. And Harkishan Singh Surjit will not have enough money to do his work which he has been doing for four years. And we are blaming the whole world that Sikh tragedy is because of that. Because of that, fact is that it was an international conspiracy and if the present circumstances continue as they are, you in the West will totally understand what an international conspiracy was made, and fact is the international conspiracy was made to divert the attention of the United States and all European Governments to the fact because they are very loud about terrorism.
As Americans we are great terrorists, ourselves. We don't spare anything we want to spare, but we talk very loud about human rights and we talk loud about terrorism. A conspiracy was created to create a sense of terrorism to divert the total sum and the total attention of people in the Western world towards India. We, as a nation... as Sikhs as a nation... have lost so many people just to fill the public relations. But just understand, it did not work against us. It tested our grit. It tested our courage.
What I'm asking you is, with all the good relations and good wishes, that 1990 should become a matter of total itemized day in which we must make it a point that each day we'll dedicate some time. It is up to your consciousness. I'm not asking you to do what and what not. But you will dedicate some time of the day, according to your consciousness, to spread the word of Guru Nanak.
We must justify ourself in our relationship. As nobody has seen the heavens, but everybody feels it. Nobody has seen walking love, but everybody feels it. Therefore let us close the year of '89 with the words that Guru has blessed us to come through, and let us make an understanding that 1990 shall be our year where we should just make a perfect chance in our life to spread the word of the Guru.
Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh!
HUKAM for 1990:
Dhanasari, 5th Channel
There is One God, By Guru's Grace Is He Obtained. I make obeisance unto my God. I sing the praise of the sovereign Lord, the World Cherisher. By great good fortune one meets with the divine Guru. Millions of sins are erased by the Lord's seva. The fire of sorrow clings not to that person who's soul is imbued with the Lord's Lotus feet.
The world ocean he crosses, joining the society of the saint. Imbued with His love, he remembers the Name of the fearless Lord. Death's courier, the enemy of life, draws not near him, who takes not another's wealth, nor commits any evil deeds or errors. The Lord Himself quenches the fire of desires. Taking to the Lord's protection, O Nanak, the mortal is delivered.
WAHE GURU JI KA KHALSA, WAHE GURU JI KI FATEH!
end of transcript
Transcript by Tej Kaur Khalsa, Los Angeles, CA