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Summary of Question:I need urgent help.
Category:Love & Marriage
Date Posted:Wednesday, 7/14/1999 1:38 AM MDT

Sat Sri Akaal !

I am a 23 year old Sikh boy currently living in India. I have a problem and I hope that you will be able to suggest some remedy for it. It has been very difficult for me to seek any advice on the matter, so please do not fail me.
Before beginning, I will give you an idea of my family background. I belong to a Gursikh family with each member having a deep and unshakeable faith in Waheguru and His Grace. I share that faith. I am not very regular in Naam Simran but I try to keep life ordered according to Sikh tenets in other ways. I am the youngest in the family, born very late. My parents are both above sixty years of age.
I have two elder sisters, 38yrs and 34 yrs of age, both unmarried. The reason for this is slightly complex. My parents, though both extremely pious people, do not have a good relationship. My father's relatives have over the years so attracted his attention and so overworked him that he is unable to give any attention to home. In addition, my mother's immediate relatives have played false with her due to the usual reasons. Otherwise, as both my parents retired as earning officers and as we live very simply, we are financially extremely well off.

My eldest sister is jobless and suffers from physical ailments like gall stones (which lead to repeated attacks of jaundice). In addition, she has faced frustration in her carreer before and is quite depressed at times. Both my parents are quite worried about this but cannot act in concert as they never sorted out their communication channels. The younger sister has a secure job. Both my sisters also have a tiff and share some amount of mutual jealousy. Therefore, their relationship is almost non existent. My eldest sister, whether out of illness or some events very early in her life, is of a withdrawing disposition. She holds extremely backward ideas about the function of women and has difficulty in relating to strangers. She seems to resist any kind of change in her surroundings. As may be expected, the atmosphere at our home is often of tension or bitter verbal assaults. Academically, all three of us have/ have had very brilliant records. In short, we have almost all of Waheguru's bakhshish but not what

is required to provide sukh-thand : ittefaq.
In the past few years, I have been out of the house for most parts of the year as I was studying in an extremely reputed institution. I have now graduated and have come back home. I am next leaving for the US to pursue higher studies on a fellowship. My eldest sister recently became extremely sick and appeared to lose her reason as well. She tried all kinds of temper tantrums to stop me (possessive) but with the support of my other sister and father, I managed to convince mother to let me go on the proviso that I return. In such a situation, I can hardly do otherwise, considering that my family has made so many sacrifices for me. For no apparent reason, everybody in the house has been extremely tense and irritable. I have found this to be very strange as they do paath every morning and should act with a khirhia matha for the better part of the day.
I will now state what my problem has been : while I was at that institution, I became acquainted with a girl from our own state who belongs to a different community. We became friends as she helped me at a few very critical times there. She was an aspirant for the bureaucratic services of India and I used to help her prepare sometimes. Slowly, I started liking her very much but she either did not sense it or ignored it altogether. (Fact : this was the first time that I have had a friendship this close with a girl my own age.). I realized what was happening and started to try and keep my distance. More facts : she is a very decent girl, assertive but certainy *not* a anything even close to a flirt. She is also one of the most plain looking people I have met. So personal physical beauty is not a factor here. In fact I am one person she respects a lot and she is one person I respect a lot. She is a carreerist. It so happened that she passed out a full year before I did as she was in a different stream.
In my last year at that institute, we were in regular correspondence as she often turned to me for academic and emotional guidance. I was able to help most of the times. I can probably say what she feels for me is a friendly affection at best but certainly not love as I do. I haven't ever talked to her about it as I thought it would not be in good taste and I would probably risk losing even her friendship, whatver little value it has for me. We meet very rarely (in the past one year, we have met only twice), living as we do in different cities. The result of her competitive examination came out two months ago and she was successful. I tried to keep away and had succeeded in driving out thoughts of her to a good extent. However, she came to my place two days ago and she upbraided me about not congratulating her. I feigned ignorance and put the matter off.
However, one effect of meeting her has been that all the old feeling that I had suppressed, came alive again. I have been miserable for the past two days. I have given her my permanent email address and it is now certain that she would be contacting me in the future. I had hoped to avoid this and slowly forget her. I cannot talk about it at home as once I had showed them a photograph in which both of us were there and there was a big scene and I was almost accused of being ... (it was not true at that time). This, in any case, underlines the kind of attitude that my family has towards this, so I cannot do any kind of catharsis / seek sympathy there. (Another fact : I have started seeking sympathy from myself !).
Speaking in practical terms, it is impossible that I will stand any chance of marriage with her as she comes from a very different kind of a background. My home people are what I have described above. I am not willing to ignore their sorry state even if I were to talk to the girl and in the highly unlikely event that she would agree. Thus, all my dreams are mere fancies. It will be the best resolution of this issue if I can somehow contain my feelings, forget about it and continue as a corresponding friend. God knows how hard I have tried on my own. I am quite willing to take this sadness (one of the most dreaded moments in my near future would be the invitation to her marriage - which now cannot be far off) provided I know how to handle it. In the past, I have tried extremely harsh labour as a palliative but it has not worked much. In US, where I will be facing quite a bit of racism and loneliness, it might just be too much for even my hardened reason. Therefore, I am forced to ask you for some advice. I ha

ve tried Naam simran but my concentration wanders. Even, professionally, this kind of a thing could prove ruinous to me and I *cannot* afford to fail and add to my family's unhappiness. This is the first time I have revealed my inner turmoil and pain to anybody and for that, if not for anything else, please do *not* fail me. In case you can, please talk to me through email as well.

Congratulations. You have been trained very well. You carry a jail around on your shoulders and sleep in it every night.

If we translate Guru's wisdom, intelligence and compassion into our own cultural version of sikh-ism, what hope is there that the Guru or anyone else can break through the well layed barriers of our own assumptions? Drop your assumptions and talk directly with Guru himself. Drop your assumptions and listen to what He says.

You already believe that you know what will happen in the future. You assume you know how much racism you'll experience in the U.S. Your mind can create whatever future it projects. That's not racism, that's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you didn't have the Guru, I would never unplug your fantasies. In lieu of truth, people need fantasy. But you are a Sikh and your fantasies are separating you from the Guru. You can enjoy your fantasies or live in the Guru. Since the Guru is by your side, you can afford to drop the fantasy, He'll protect you. Lean on the Guru and don't be a 23 year old boy anymore. Be a young man, reach for your maturity, and recognize that Guru Gobind Singh is your Father. The other one is his surrogate. Take a load off your physical father by leaning on Guru Gobind Singh instead. Set the example and perhaps everyone can lighten up.

By the way, Guru Nanak did not discriminate between religions, he only saw humanity. Is the woman you love a human? Don't practice caste prejudice, not even <Sikh caste prejudice>. Guru Amar Das ji abolished it 400 years ago. Don't impose intellectual, cultural prejudices and call it Sikh Dharma. The Guru is your True Friend. Your other friends can be found associating with Him. And there is nothing to prevent your dear friend from experiencing Guru's love also. We don't proselytize or snatch souls. We only share Guru's love, for others to receive and accept in their own manner.

May Guru bless you and guide you to your right destination.

By His Grace,
Krishna Singh Khalsa
[email protected]
<You did not include your email address in requesting email contact.>

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