Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sixth Form RE Day Talk (Part 2)


I then shared my personal experiences. I gave them a choice of three experiences to choose, which I had written down, (1) Dealing with school racists, (2) Being approached by the drunken tramp at McDonalds, and (3) Dealing with an ignorant security guard in the library. All the students choose option 2 for me to talk about.

Here is the story:

“In my first year at University, it was summer time and I was revising. I felt like drinking milkshake. So I thought I would pop by to the McDonalds at the Waterloo station (I dread the thought of going to McDonalds now!). As I passed the station I saw a DRUNKEN TRAMP, which is always there and usually shouts VERBAL ABUSE at passers by. I tried to ignore him and walkked passed but he caught a glimpse of me and started to shout “Oih mate! Come here”. I thought, “I just want a hassle-free strawberry milkshake” so I walked around to other entrance of McDonalds.

I thought I was free from the drunken tramp. I was standing in the queue and looked to side to find that the drunken Irish tramp was standing next to me STARING at me. He was looking in a rough state and was holding a beer can. He said, “SHAKE MY HAND.” I felt uncomfortable to shake his hands because I sensed he wanted to do something sinister, perhaps spill his beer can on me. I just smiled and waved 'hello' to him.

He then began to get AGGRESSIVE and started shouting. By this point the whole of McDonalds is staring at the tramp and me. He began shouting “I came to this country and look at me, how come you come from abroad but have everything.” He sounded jealous and angry at why foreigners have homes, clothes and jobs and he is a tramp. In a way I felt sorry for him and felt that he had problems, which he needed to get off his chest, but at the same time I didn’t want to give him a counselling session as I had just come to get a strawberry milkshake. I just kept smiling and trying to remain unbothered by the man.

He then started shouting, “I have a KNIFE. I am going to STAB YOU. I am going to KILL YOU.” At this point I am thinking, “Ermm… My smiling is not getting me far.” Everyone could hear him but everyone instead just stared and watched while munching their burgers (they probably thought its free entertainment). I then said to him calmly and politely with a smile on my face, “MAY GOD BLESS YOU.” As soon as I said that he FLIPPED and started SCREAMING and shouting. Well it was more like GROWLING. He couldn’t accept that I was unbothered by his aggression and that he said he is going to kill me and instead I replied, “May God bless you.” Eventually the Manager came out and asked the man to leave before he calls the police.

I explained the concept of a ROSE to explain how Guru jee see's humanity. I asked them, "which flower is usually given to one's partner or mother to show one's love?" They replied "ROSES". Then I asked, can someone please describe the physical features of a Rose? Everyone pointed out that the beautiful rose has THORNS:
"A rose plant is used to show love through it beautiful PETALS but it also grows THORNS. Touching thorns when can bleed or prick themselves.

If I were to say "Roses are full thorns, they are dangerous and they are ugly" then I would be doing injustice to the Rose as I am denying it of its beauty. Similarly to believe or to say someone is bad through and through is denying the fact that the Divine is within that person.

Some people have more thorns than others, and therefore one wisely chooses to not associate oneself with that person and keep their distance. However still, every single person has beauty within, even if it is a small amount or very minute. When you start seeing everyone has a rose, you realise that people have negative points but positives also, then the world view changes. How you approach your enemies and friends and general public changes. This is how the Divine Mystics, the Gurus, see the world.

To end with I used a quote from the Bible to explain the Guru's Wisdom of being in a state of "ChaRdi Kalaa" (High Spirits).

Matthew 5:39 says:
“But I tell you, don't resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

What does turn the other cheek mean?
* Let others trample over you?
* Never fight back?
* Keep quiet to injustice?

Make your PYSCHE and INTERNAL SYSTEM so strong that when someone strikes you with negativity, that you do not fall down but instead you are become so strong that you can turn you other cheek PENETRATE it and still into the face of the aggressor.

The feedback from the students was good. They enjoyed learning Sikh philosophy with the examples from Sikh history, relating to everyday life.


Anonymous said...

Sat Sari Akaal Manvir ji, nice post, you have a very nice way of teaching through examples and real life expericnes.
i was wondering what was the "(3) Dealing with an ignorant security guard in the library" episode. if u have time, please share it. Thanks
Satguru Ang Sang hovan.

Confused Khalsa said...

good work, more of the same ji

Anonymous said...

Good job!! Nice article. I guess it all boils down to one's avasthaa or state of mind/spirituality, someone can be at such an avastha where the attacker would not be able to touch the supposed victim because of their level, but everyone is not at that level.

Jab lag khalsa rahe nyaara tab lag tej diyo mai saara||

The word nyaara is one that invokes discussion, it means many things, to me it means separate or special.

I feel that a gursikh should be full of rus, bir rus, but on top of it should be naam/amrit rus.

Jabae baan laagyo tabae ros jaagyo||

So we must have this 'ros' as well, and not succumb to an oppressor. Rule of Sikhi is:

1) Teach with love/pyaar
2) If not doesn't learn teach with bal (strength)


tearful rose said...

its a shame to damage the rose while trying to cut off the thorns.
be careful. you could hurt your own hand with the sharp scissors.

Manvir Singh Khalsa said...

Anonymous 2 Jee,

Thank you very much for your comment. It was very hard becoming a Sikh when my family are not practicing Sikhs and there are no practicing Sikhs in my town where I live. However, Guru Sahib did Kirpaa with blessing me with the gift of Amrit and becoming a member of the Guru's Family and becoming the child of Pita Guru Gobind Singh Jee and Mata Sahib Kaur Jee.

Thanks once again for the comment.

Guru Rakha

Prabhu Singh said...

The real origin of turning the other cheek has a different meaning. I've never liked the addage of turn the other cheek. If somebody slaps me I'm going to make sure they don't slap me again, to me that's Khalsa Raj. I don't mean I'll agress towards them, I mean, whatever means are necessary I will use to ensure they know it is not appropriate to slap me or others. We are not pacifists, we don't give a free shot to those who wish to hurt and destroy we stand up to them.
Anyway back to the original meaning. It was not something done to be humble, it was something done to be cheeky (pun fully intended). If you turn the other cheek they will have to use the back of their hand to slap you. The back of the hand was used only for slaves so it would be in thier face that they are about to hit you like a slave. That's the real origin of turning the other cheek. I don't think any Sikh should ever turn the other cheek, it has no meaning to us. We should remain humble and alert. It may be as simple as telling some one else not to slap you again, or it may be as complicated as using physical means to make sure they don't slap you again. Either way, nobody should be slapping the Guru's pyaray.
As far as the comment by the anonymous, you might want to take your own advice:
"I think you would be well advised to put your own house in order"
Give me a break! Manvir is supposed to 'Make' his family become Sikh?
The path of the learner, the Sikh, is an individual path. You cannot force inspiration on anybody. If his family sees his inspiration and still chooses to follow a different way, that is their choice. What the hell is Manvir supposed to do about it, really? Baba Siri Chand was a total master and it took until the time of Guru Ram Das for him to realize the truth of the Sikh Dharma. Meanwhile Guru Nanak did not force anything upon anybody, including Baba Siri Chand, and while his sons were following different paths he was still out in the world teaching others.

Confused Khalsa said...

What would have happened if somebody said such a thing to Guru Nanak Dev Ji?

“Your father is this, your sons are like this - what right do you have to preach to us?”

Where would we be now? The Sikhi plant would never have grown, we’d be doing rituals like so many other people in India.

Please think carefully before criticizing.

Anonymous said...

mr manvir i would just like to tell you that mcdonalds strawberry milkshake contains animal products


Manvir Singh Khalsa said...

Prabhu Singh Jee - Thanks for sharing your views. I agree with them. During explaining Guru Hargobind Singh jee and Guru Gobind Singh jee's jeevan, I explained that its righteous to raise the sword when all other means fail. The reason for using the Bible quote was because the majority of the class were Christian or could relate to Christianity. Sitting on hot plates, being crushed in rotating wheels, scalped alive, boiled alive, sawn alive and tortured, Guru Sahib and His Beloved GurSikhs remained unshaken as they were so strong and remained at peace accepting Waheguru's Will. Daas tried to convey this point rather than pacifism. However, I agree with what you are saying :)

Anonymous Jee - Thanks for letting all the Sangat know. With Waheguru's Kirpaa since going Pesh to Panj Piaare Daas doesn't drink milkshakes from McDonalds anymore and avoids eating from restaurants etc.

konfused kaur said...

paaji what is pesh??
one of my brothers went there n he didnt tell me either :S

he sed wen i get blessed i will find out?!

Manvir Singh Khalsa said...

Bhenji, going "Pesh" to Panj Piaare means presenting oneself in the "audience" of the Panj Piaare.

Some people have a stigma about going pesh. Some believe it is only done when a person goes to ask for Amrit and is questioned by the Panj Piaare. However, this is not true. Any person should be able to go to the Panj Piaare for anything at anytime. If you have a dispute, you can get the Panj Piaare to resolve it. If you have a question, doubt or need advice about Rehit then one can go Pesh to Panj Piaare. If you feel spiritually weak or seek spiritual advice about Simran, Naam etc you can go Pesh to Panj Piaare.

Panj Piaare are the Roop (image) of Guru Jee and are there to help us, support us and have authority to give tankhaah (punishment) & do Ardaas and forgive an individual for any lapse of Rehit.

When someone goes Pesh, it is between the individual and the Guru-Roop Panj Piaare. It is not a public affair, but a private affair where one can be honest and share anything with the Panj. Perhaps this is the point which your brother was trying to convey to you.

Hope that helps.

Guru Rakha.

konfused kaur said...

hanji thank you paji

Satwinder Singh said...

Veer ji, "...the drunken irish trump.." i think irish people have very bad repu in uk or elsewhere. was guy an Irish? or it was your wild guess? One thing I agree, Irish people are notorious for their drinking habits. you might have heard about "3W" about Irish, wine, and weather!
On weekends, people are just mad when they come out of pubs!

Manvir Singh Khalsa said...

Satwinder Singh jee - The drunken person was Irish - his accent was Irish and he mentioned migrating to UK.