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Summary of Question:How Can I Help My Father?
Category:Other
Date Posted:Tuesday, 5/15/2001 12:09 PM MDT

Waheguru ji ka khalsa, waheguru ji ki fateh


Dear Friends

I hope you can help me. My father is a very devoted Sikh. He came to the west about 30 years ago. He is a well educated and knowledgable man, in terms of religion, culture and general education. He is a teacher by profession,when he first came to the west his education and experience was not valued and like many Indian immigrants he had to do many labouring jobs (which he had no objection to) before he was accepted as a teacher (after people began to accept us as a people).
11 years ago my father lost his job due to institutional racism, even the people who represented his views were against him. These people are not the issue, although I hope God bestows understanding upon them. My dad has never worked again because nobody would give him a reference. This has always hung over him, even though he is a good Sikh this experience has left him a bitter man and he often feels sad,useless and angry. It's difficult because as you know behaviour breeds behaviour and often these negative feelings rub off on the rest of the family. I know that we all have our Karm and we are paying for past deeds and I respect that. However my father visits the Gurdwara 3 times a day to read from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, at home he prays morning and night, he is not greedy and always gives to us before he takes anything for himself and he always has encouraged us to follow Sikhism (and after many years of ignoring him my brother and I have started to learn about our Sikhi, we've started doing

daily prayers and I have made a concious decision to work for a charity after I graduate).
The point is my dad is in his early sixties now and I just want him to be happy.
If I ever tell him to listen to what he is reading and apply it to his life, he doesn't take me seriously.

Even though these negative feeelings are consuming my dad and he sometimes says horrible things to us, I still care for him deeply because I know he is a good person and he is merely covering up all his hurt.
Please, please help me. How can I help him through prayer or any other means?
He would like to take Amrit in this lifetime but he knows this barrier is stopping him.

Your wise words could help transform our lives.
Thankyou for listening, God bless you and your families, may all your dreams
come true

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REPLY
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Dear One--

The most important thing you can do for your father is pray for him, that he be healed of his bitterness. Pray that he open to forgiveness and let go of his sense of victimization. Khalsa are not victims, but yes we have Karms.

The next most important thing you can do is practice forgiveness in God's name: Forgive him openly and conciously when he says negative things to you /your family. Forgive him for being bitter. The power of forgiveness is wonderful. Over time and with sincere practice, it will begin to affect him and in time and by Guru's grace he may grow a forgiving nature and release his hurt.

If possible, encourage your other family members to practice forgiving him when things get bad, or as necessary.

If you feel comfortable, talk to him about forgiving those who treated him unjustly. Karms are Karms, but sincere forgiveness can wipe out the karm so that it doesn't repeat itself in other forms in his life. Forgiveness in God's name is a kind of simran, because it must be practiced conciously and whenever needed. I have heard wonderful stories of (non-Sikhs) forgiving really old and nasty abuses, sometimes just by writing sincere apologies in a journal and the next day hearing from the other person after 20 years. Forgiveness erases the record, in a manner of speaking!

Guru bless you.

DK



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