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Playing Her Role to The Fullest

04/13/2008

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    She leads no ordinary life. She's an achiever but an achiever with several rare and extraordinary feats to her credit. To find someone in a league as great as hers is difficult! She's an inspiration, a beacon of hope and happiness to humanity... an exemplary woman with an exemplary life. Here's discovering the charisma of Bibi Inderjit's life...

    Bibi Inderjit has crusaded for the Guru's mission in countries throughout the world and she continues to raise her voice for peace,the integrity of the family, and upliftment of women so that they get to live in dignity and grace. She has counselled and taught people in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Russia, as well in her native India and she considers herself as very fortunate on having been honoured to serve as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Akal Takhat, which is the supreme ruling body of the Sikh Religion. "As a member of the Advisory Committee," she enlightens, "we were charged with studying issues important to Sikhs and giving input and suggestions to the Akal Takhat." Bibi Ji claims that she is dedicated to representing to the best of her ability, the teachings of the Guru for the upliftment, healing, and future growth of the Khalsa throughout the world.

    Therefore, as the Bhai Sahiba on the Khalsa Council, her primary responsibility is to continue her husband's legacy, of serving the Sadh Sangat and humanity and to share the words and teachings of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Bibi Inderjit, by virtue of her commitment and dedication to her designated service, has also earned the honour of being the first Sikh woman to be formally recognized with the title of "Bhai Sahiba" by the Akal Takhat. And she says, "I do not view my responsibilities differently with this change. The only change is that I no longer have the blessing of my husband serving along side me."



    Bibi Inderjit is loved and acknowledged throughout the world as the Bhai Sahiba or Chief Minister of Sikh Dharma. To more than 25 million Sikhs around the globe, she is a revered mother and is honored as a good well ambassador and a harbinger of interfaith dialogue among religious leaders. She has been named the New Mexico Representative and Ambassador to India by Governor Bill Richardson in 2007 and the New Mexico Ambassador of Peace by Senator Shannon Robinson in 2006. She was recognized as an Outstanding Woman of New Mexico by then Governor Bruce King, following which she was inducted into the New Mexico Democratic Hall of Fame. In November of 2004, Bibi Inderjit was recognized by the highest seat of Sikh religious authority, (the Akal Takhat, similar in authority and responsibility to the Vatican for Roman Catholics), as the Bhai Sahiba of Sikh Dharma of the Western Hemisphere, a position she has held in the West since 1975. In 2006 Bibiji was recognized by the Akal Takhat at the 300th Anniversary of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib as one of 10 Sikh religious leaders and the only woman - who has helped to spread the Guru's teachings around the world.

    "As a mother in our Sikh family, this is a role that I love," claims Bibi Inderjit.

    Furthermore, she also claims to enjoy cooking, serving, and taking care of all of her Khalsa children and grandchildren. Since coming to the U.S. in 1972, Bibi Inderjit has been blessed to receive thousands of children in her home, which of course, is called the Guru's house, where Bibi Ji teaches all the way to gracefully serve the Guru and the Sadh Sangat. "Everywhere I travel," she says, "I feel so fortunate to meet the children of the Khalsa in so many countries, and I am so grateful to experience their innocence and love." Bibi Ji further claims, "I feel the connection that I have with our children is a profound blessing in my life. They have always come to me over many years with beautiful questions, and so I began to collect the questions that the children would ask me. I knew that while I could answer each individual child, there were always many more children who had the similar questions, and yet I may not meet them face to face. That is why I wrote the book Living Reality," admits the dutiful mother. The book is a collection of many of the questions the children put up before her, along with answers about Sikh Dharma and the teachings of the Guru.



    with New Mexico Governor, Bill Richardson

    NEW MEXICO'S REPRESENTATIVE TO INDIA

    Being honoured as the Governor's Representative and Ambassador to India, Bibi Inderjit has travelled with a team from the Governor's office to promote business ventures and facilitate greater understanding and education between New Mexico and India. She informs that the projects under development have the goal to utilize the resources of New Mexico and India for mutual benefit and facilitate building opportunities of greater prosperity and greater understanding among the people of both New Mexico and India.

    THE INFLUENCE OF HER HUSBAND, IN HER LIFE AND FAMILY

    Both Bibiji and her husband dedicated their lives to serve the Guru's mission hand in hand. The holy mother claims that the two had committed their lives to the Guru's service even before they had met, and then upon being married, she says, they recommitted themselves to serve as one soul in two bodies. "With infinite thanks, I was grateful to God and Guru for the blessing of being married to such a great man of God," says Bibi Inderjit, "who appreciated my conviction and utterly supported my seva without any hesitation, ever." "My husband was a great spiritual leader to Sikhs worldwide," Bibi Ji further informs, "and he was bestowed with the honour of being named the Sin Singh Sahib of the Western Hemisphere by the Akal Takhat Sahib. He also received the highest honor of being given the title of Panth Rattan, or Jewel of the Khalsa, bestowed by Keshgar Sahibji."


    With Pope John Paul II and her husband, Yogji Ji

    Though she further claims that even aside from the many honours and titles that her husband was given, he remained to be a humble Gursikh, who lived each day to spread the mission of his Guru and to serve humanity and the Sadh sangat. As a man, he was determined to train leaders and teachers of tomorrow with the power to heal, uplift, and inspire humanity. "Together," says Bibiji, "we decided to give back to the service of the Guru's mission, those many gifts that Guru bestowed on us." Bibi Inderjit feels incredibly blessed to have been married to Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan for 52 years, and since his passing on October 6, 2004, she claims to miss him by every beat of her heart. "I will give all of the remaining days in my life to continue serving the legacy and mission that we began together," she says. Her three children, claims Bibiji, have been trained by their parents to carry on the mission and they've so far lived up to all expectations and have dedicated themselves to the same cause that their parents have lived for.

    HOW 3HO BECAME A NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS

    The NGO work that Bibi Inderjit has so far done; remains near and dear to her heart and she informs that the first step for an organization to work with the United Nations is for that organization to become recognized as a Nongovernmental Organization (NGO), which contributes to the betterment of the world. "This was an effort that I spearheaded nearly twenty years ago," she claims, "and I was so happy to help bring this recognition and certification by the United Nations to the Healthy Happy Holy Organization (3HO) which my husband had founded in the U.S. in 1969." Bibiji was the first Sikh woman to serve as the head of an NGO body under the United Nations. 3HO is a non-secular arm of Sikh Dharma, which is dedicated to the upliftment of humanity through education, science, and religion. 3HO has served hundreds of thousands of students and today has more than ten thousand teachers of Kundalini Yoga and meditation throughout the world. 3HO is also dedicated to helping women realize their grace and potential to create change and bring peace to their families and the world. And much of 3HO's work as an NGO in the United Nations has been focused on serving the healing and upliftment of women and children of the world.

    HOW 'CREATE INNER PEACE' CAME INTO BEING

    During the trying times of her husband's illness when the first responders would come to his rescue and give him aid for survival, Bibi Ji decided that she would do something to give back to the first responders the hope and happiness they had given her so many times, during the critical moments of her husband's illness. 'Create Inner Peace,' was thus developed to honour the selfless service of first responders in the society, and is based on the ancient science of Kundalini Yoga according to the teachings of Yogi Bhajan. "I designed the program as a stress management regime especially geared for their busy lives," informs Bibi Inderjit. With the State of New Mexico adopting this program, 'Create Inner Peace' is now being developed for other state and federal departments, as well as for use in other countries besides the U.S.

    THE BOOKS AUTHORED BY BIBI INDERJIT

    When Bibi Inderjit came to the U.S. she had only a Bachelor of Arts degree, but somewhere, she was determined to return to studies after her children were grown up. "I again completed my B.A. and then went further to complete my M.A. and PhD in Psychology and Counselling in 1989," she informs. The experience of this education inspired her to write books and by now, she has authored eight books, which are on a variety of subjects, though all related to spreading the Guru's Message of hope and peace and healing to humanity.

    HER LIFE'S PURPOSE AND MISSION

    Bibiji recurrently claims that her life's purpose got clear to her since she was a child. "I am here to serve the Guru's mission and humanity," she says, further claiming, "My mentors are the 10 Sikh Gurus and the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, and Simran is the vitality of my life." Bibiji further professes that the hand of Guru Ram Das has watched over her, guided her and protected her all the days of her life. "I have surrendered myself to Guru's Will and by the greatest good fortune and blessings of God, I walk on the path laid before me by Guru's hand," she declares.

    THE MEANING OF RELIGION

    The Sikh Religion is her identity she insists and in actuality, the essence of the meaning of religion, she explains, comes from its Latin root, which is "origin". Religion was meant to be a vehicle to help humanity experience their origin in God, reveals Bibiji further and says that she has observed that in some religious practices, people are told they are separate from God and separate from each other and in some cases they require an intercessor to speak to God. "The Sikh religion," she articulates, "is a technology to experience God within. This is the Guru's Message in the powerful technology of the Shabd Guru, which I have been dedicated to sharing since coming to the West and throughout my travels in the world." Bibiji explains more and says, "As Guru Nanak taught us when he first uttered Ek Ong Kaar, there is one Creator of the creation and the Creator and the creation are One. We are all one in the spirit of the One Creator of all beings," she says. "God is our origin and this is the true meaning of religion," believes Bibi Inderjit with profound conviction and in utmost surrender.

    THE INTEGRATION OF LIFE AND RELIGION

    "Many people have asked me," suggests Bibiji, "how I can achieve accomplishments in the world while my life is dedicated to religion." "In truth," she says, "the Guru gave us a lifestyle and technology for living our lives from birth to death and throughout every moment and every breath of our lives that is all encompassing." Everything that Bibiji does, she claims is interconnected to her faith and this includes she says, each and every activity of her life. "Whatever we may do, everything is a part of God's play," enlightens Bibiji by way of offering to explain her belief. She further reveals, "When we realize with each breath that we are always at One with the cosmic spirit that prevails through all creation, we empower ourselves to co-create this universe in the Divine Will of God; we expand our consciousness and our projection to build a foundation for peace and prosperity for all people throughout the world," says Bibi Inderjit. And the magnanimous lady continues by saying, "These are my interests and my pursuits in life which I do not separate into religious and nonreligious because in fact, the Guru's teachings provide a lifestyle that is all encompassing." In this regard, Bibi Inderjit drifts towards one of her husband's very popular sayings, which she claims to particularly love -"If you can't see God in all, you can't see God at all. "Something she particularly lives by!

    LIVING IN HAPPINESS


    While Bibi Inderjit remains happy with her life and is grateful for the opportunity to share the technology of the Shabd Guru with humanity, as a human being and a woman, she says she feels deeply the pain and suffering that exists in the world's poorest populations. "I came to the U.S. to join my husband and to help him in his mission," she informs, "Whether I am in my beloved motherland in India, my new home in the United States, or travelling to the many countries I have visited throughout the world, I know that the technology of the Shabd Guru is our best hope to create a bright future for healing our mother earth and bringing opportunities for education and upliftment from the curse of poverty to the poor and destitute throughout the world," she asserts. But in her life, Bibiji is both happy and desperate at the same time. "I know life is short, a brief moment in time, and my days grow fewer," she voices, "Still, there is much work to do and people around the world need our help. With the support of so many friends and family around me, I keep up and I am kept up. As long as I am here, I will keep working until my last breath to serve humanity, and share the Guru's teachings throughout the world," she conveys. The technology of the Shabd Guru is the best hope for a bountiful, beautiful future, she yet again proclaims. To truly live in happiness, Bibiji says that she has always found the formula in the seven steps that her husband advocated and quoting him she says, "Discipline gives you character, which gives you dignity, which gives you divinity, which gives you grace, which gives you the power to sacrifice, and that brings you all the happiness."


    MANY ROLES AND MANY CHALLENGES

    Throughout her life, Bibiji has fulfilled many different roles as a wife, mother, student, teacher, counsellor, and minister with corresponding responsibilities. Some she confesses; came easy to her, while some in specific periods of my life proved very challenging. One time that stands out in her mind, she reminisces, was the period in which she was first making the transition from her life in India, during the early 1970's, to life in the United States. "Upon arriving in America," she states, "I experienced a rather severe culture shock. Bear in mind, this was the era of the flower children (the hippie movement) and these were the people who flocked to my husband's classes so that they could learn Kundalini Yoga. It was difficult to adjust in this environment, and my husband told me it was our destiny to put the Guru's seed into their consciousness." "I realized the truth he was speaking," says Bibiji, "because it was the truth within me, as well. These flower children were our hope to build a future of conscious human beings. I then told him that I would stay and teach Sikh Dharma to those students who came to the Guru's House. From that day forth, I simply followed the Guru's edict and looked only to see the spirit of God residing within each being," she concludes.

    LIVING REALITY

    It is by Guru's grace and blessings that we may rise or fall, believes Bibi Inderjit. From the great God that resides within us we can draw on the infinite strength and courage we need to move forward, she suggests. Whatever comes on our path... is there because we are ready to meet it... she insists. "As Guru teaches," she says, "we may view any event in our life as a block or an opportunity to challenge and expand ourselves. It is simply a matter of our attitude and altitude. Any crisis is always a combination of danger and pportunity." Therefore, claims Bibi Inderjit, we must remain alert to the danger and open to the opportunity. That is how, she confesses she herself meets the challenges that she has been faced with in her life. And each one, she explains, has been a gift, an opportunity for growth and change and expansion. Drawing inspiration from her husband yet again, Bibi Inderjit finally claims, "My husband used to quote from a book called "Fortitude," which he had read in college, and for many years he told his students over and over: "It's not the life that matters, its the courage that you bring to it. "

    - Reprinted from NRI Achievers Magazine - Volume 1 Issue 4, April-June, 2008

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