Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Training Day & Experiencing the Power of the Wind

Yesterday I went to a training course on domestic violence at St. Thomas Hospital, which I attended as part of being a Sikh volunteer for the Hospital's Spiritual Care & Chaplaincy department. It was a very interesting training, and discovered very GRIM and DEPRESSING statistics on domestic violence. Then in the training session the trainer played an audio recording of a lady who survived domestic violence (but was nearly shot-dead by her husband). It was FREAKY. The lady was given a SAFE HOUSE to live in. Next door was a derilect building. The worst thing was that the husband found out where his wife was living and he climbed through into the house through the derelict building. He came into the house through the LOFT and terrorised this poor lady. I just put my hands together and kept saying "WAHEGURU". No other word could comprehend what this woman went through. The man would HARRASS the lady and steal her clothes, house keys and food. She thought she was going mad. He then got a shotgun and forced her back home. Eventually (THANK GOD) she rang the police and the man was put into prison. Rab Rakha!

Later on the trainer mentioned an example of a Panjabi lady she came across. Apparently the man was from UK and he married from Panjab. He wanted power of his wife and wanted to control her life. When she asked if she could learn English, he would beat her. If she were seen asking English words from relatives, he would beat her. Apparently he didn't want her to pick up English so that she would remain DEPENDENT on him and he could do whatever he wanted to her and she would not have the confidence to tell anyone. Very sad! Rab Rakha.

The trainer pointed out that the main cause for Domestic violence is "POWER & CONTROL." Gurbaani time and time tells us the ill effects of HANKAAR (EGO):

ਗਰਬੰਤਿ ਨਾਰੀ ਮਦੋਨ ਮਤੰ ॥
garbant naaree madon mataN.
Those who are proud, and intoxicated with the pleasures of sex,

ਬਲਵੰਤ ਬਲਾਤ ਕਾਰਣਹ ॥
balvant balaat kaarNeh.
and asserting their power over others,

ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲ ਨਹ ਭਜੰਤ ਤ੍ਰਿਣ ਸਮਾਨਿ ਧ੍ਰਿਗੁ ਜਨਮਨਹ ॥
charan kamal neh bhajant triN samaan Dhrig janamneh.
never contemplate the Lord Waheguru's Lotus Feet. (For this reason) their lives are as worthless as straw, and deemed as cursed.

ਹੇ ਪਪੀਲਕਾ ਗ੍ਰਸਟੇ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿਮਰਣ ਤੁਯੰ ਧਨੇ ॥
he papeelkaa grestte gobind simran tu-yaN Dhane.
You are as tiny and insignificant as an ant, but if you have the wealth of Simran, the Lord's Meditation then (despite being tiny) you shall become great.

ਨਾਨਕ ਅਨਿਕ ਬਾਰ ਨਮੋ ਨਮਹ ॥੬੩॥
naanak anik baar namo nameh. 63.
O Nanak! Bow in humble worship to Waheguru, countless times, over and over again. 63.
(Ang 1359)

Guru jee explains the above shabad that person who does Waheguru's Simran (meditation) and keeps humility is better than the person who forgets Waheguru and shows power & control over others in ego. The solution is NAAM and SUBMITTING to Waheguru's HUKAM (Will). Unfortunately Man thinks that he is God. He may not say it, but he acts like it. We say "ITS MY LIFE" (you hear many children say this). However, we don't realize its NOT OUR LIFE, its WAHEGURU'S LIFE which is a GIFT TO US. Until we don't realize this, then we do not escape this intoxication of power & control, which we egotistically exercise over others and bully them. We have to realise we are NOTHING and Waheguru is EVERYTHING, we are INSIGNIFICANT and Waheguru is GREATEST, then we can truly enjoy peace, tranquillity and harmony in the household and everyday life.

On the way back from the Hospital I went to the library because I had to return some books. I was crossing Waterloo Bridge and there was a GUSH of WIND. It was VERY WINDY. Everyone was feeling the POWER of the windy breeze. As I walking across the bridge I was doing Simran and repeating "VAAHE-GUROO... VAAHE-GUROO... VAAHE-GUROO." How amazing! God is Great! In Aasa Di Vaar it says:

ਭੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਪਵਣੁ ਵਹੈ ਸਦਵਾਉ ॥
bhai vich pavaN vahai sadvaa-o.
In the Awe of God, the wind and breezes ever blow.
(Ang 464)

I thought to myself that people don't acknowledge God's existence and say "PROVE IT, I CAN'T SEE GOD." However, I thought, "LOOK ITS WINDY. SHOW ME the wind!" You can't see the wind, but you definitely EXPERIENCE the wind. Waheguru is not sitting in Heaven (as believed by mainstream Christianity), sitting in the Seventh Sky above Earth (as believed by mainstream Islam) or dwelling in idols (as believed by mainstream Hinduism). Waheguru is here, EVERYWHERE and in dwelling amongst His Creation.
ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਧਰਤੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਣੀ ॥
gurmukh Dhartee gurmukh paaNee.
The Gurmukh sees the Lord Waheguru on the earth, and the Gurmukh sees Him
in the water.

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਵਣੁ ਬੈਸੰਤਰੁ ਖੇਲੈ ਵਿਡਾਣੀ ॥
gurmukh pavaN baisantar khelai viddaaNee.
The Gurmukh sees Him in wind and fire; such is the wonder of His Play.
(Ang 117)

The same wind and air which we CANNOT SEE, destroys homes, moves the waves in the river & seas, presses against people's face, and causes trees to shake. Look at the POWER and BEAUTY of Waheguru who CREATES, SUSTAINS and DWELLS within this magnificent NATURE and Universe. ਕਮਾਲ ਹੈ (Kamaal Hai)! VAAH (Wonderful) comes out of the mouth!
ਏਕੁ ਅਚਾਰੁ ਰੰਗੁ ਇਕੁ ਰੂਪੁ ॥
eik achaar, rang ik roop.
The One Lord Waheguru is in all actions, colours and forms.

ਪਉਣ ਪਾਣੀ ਅਗਨੀ ਅਸਰੂਪੁ ॥
pauN paaNee agnee asroop.
Waheguru manifests in many shapes through wind, water and fire.
(Ang 930)

It was beautiful. If you just become part of the EXPERIENCE and let your breath go with the breeze it's great! Deeply breathe in, and breathe out. You can hear the vibration of "VAAHE-GUROO... VAAHE-GUROO... VAAHE-GUROO" being whispered by the windy breeze! It reminds me of Michael Jackson's "EARTH" song, which came out in 1995 (Ps. I remember the song from my school days!). In the song video (according to what I remember) Michael Jackson is standing there with his arms up and facing the breezy wind and embracing nature.

Guru Nanak Jee captures this feeling of AWE and ECSTASY through experiencing the Creation of Waheguru in Gurbaani:
ਵਿਸਮਾਦੁ ਪਉਣੁ ਵਿਸਮਾਦੁ ਪਾਣੀ ॥
vismaad pauN vismaad paaNee.
Wonderful is the wind, wonderful is the water.
(Ang 464)

You can see the beauty of the GUR-MANTR, the Divine Word "VAAHE-GUROO" - ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ. It is an ecstatic expression of awe and wonderment - "WONDROUS DISPELLER OF DARKNESS." With each breath in and out, a Gursikh breathes this ecstatic expression (given as a gift by the True Guru), which attunes the Gursikh’s mind and consciousness to the Wonder and Glory of God.

As I was crossing the bridge I could see the worried faces of people as their hair blew up and across. It reminded me of when I had my hair cut. I used to keep a side parting. It would be a nightmare when sitting in the car and the window was down (especially in India), because by chance if I was sitting on the wrong side, then the wind would blow in opposite direction to my side parting, MESSING UP MY HAIR-STYLE. lol. It was humorous looking at everyone's hair being blown away and then thinking "Rab Da Shukar that I wear a Dastaar!" :)


S.K. said...

Great work veerji, I'm very pleased that you are a volunteer, it is important that public spaces such as hospitals also understand the Sikh angle of situations. I think there is a need for more Sikhs in hospital, university chaplaincy departments...
*Vismaad Naaad*

Prabhu Singh said...

"being a Sikh volunteer for the Hospital's Spiritual Care & Chaplaincy department"
Whoa, back up...
Manvir Singh here casually mentions this. I'm not familiar with this kind of program, but it sounds excellent and I'm very glad to know that Manvir Singh has been doing this great seva!
Good job!
WaheGuru Ji Ka Khalsa, WaheGuru Ji Ki Fateh!

Anonymous said...

Another great post - its great to know there are Sikhs doing such important things.

On a side note, I was hoping that you could give the name and artist of the track that is playing on the blog? I've been listening to it all day!

(It may be a good idea to give the current song details in the side bar underneath the music player, so that people can download the track themselves - no doubt many people as I are being introduced to new wonderful music through your site.)

Keep up the good work!

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh

Anonymous said...


doing voluntary work during uni and summer holidays was perhaps one of the most humbling periods of my life so far, i recommend it to anybody, the buzz i felt working with kids and young adults with special needs was on another level altogether. it was tough, i remember being thrown across a room by a 15 yr old girl with down syndrome! it hurt! but thought wotever ur will maharaj, its sweet!

forgive me

dust ou ur charan

vaheguruji ka khalsa vaheguruji ki fateh

Manvir Singh Khalsa said...

Thanks for the comments.

Prabhu Singh jee - Daas is a volunteer for the hospital. I visit patients, have a chat with people, share their dukh sukh (sorrow and happiness) and also provide guidance and advise on Sikhi and Sikh patients to the hospital.

For those living in UK. Anyone can do this Sewa. There is training (3 months) plus loads of CPR checks. However, anyone can apply for the sewa. Contact your local hospital chaplaincy department and get them to interview you. If they think you have skills to work with the patients then there's no problem doing this sewa.

Anonymous 1 - I have carried out your request.

Anonymous 2 - Thanks for your sharing your experience :)

Manvir Singh

Satwinder Singh said...

Veer Jee!

glad to know all this!!

May guru jee be ang sang

Anonymous said...

Manvir Ji,

Great article makes you think alot abt different things. Love how u use Gurbani quotes with your stories. Its interesting nowadays many people complain that there isnt enough time in the day and still you make time for all this seva its a great example.

P.s Is any seva done while remember Naam ok in Sikhi i.e like u help in hospitals etc?

mandeep singh

Manvir Singh Khalsa said...

Mandeep Singh jee thank you for kind comment.

In regards to sewa. We should remember Waheguru not just in sewa, instead our whole life should be one big prayer, our life should be in the remembrance of God, and each & every action and breath should be in the consciousness of the Almighty Lord. This is what a Sikh of the Guru strives to accomplish in their life with the Grace of Guru Sahib).

Serving humanity and Waheguru's creation is not limited to the four walls of the Gurdwara Sahib, but extends to our wider life also; from standing up to the boy bullying someone in the playground, to helping to create awareness and promote harmany through education, to doing hands on sewa of distributing food.

See God in all and do as much as you can with Waheguru's Kirpaa. We are nothing, Waheguru is everything. Allow your body to become the vehicle for Waheguru to use and carry out the Guru's divine mission. This is the Ardaas of every Gursikh.

bhul chuk maaf.

Manvir Singh

Anonymous said...

wow, reading your article has made me feel so much happier, it makes you realise that all the petty things that bother you in life are just not worth it, Thanks Mr. Singh and i loved your theory on the wind, it's sooo true, you can't see it, but it's definatly there......wah-we-wah!