Last January during the Monday evening Simran programme at Leamington Gurdwara Sahib, Daas was asked by a member of the Sangat to speak to a non-Sikh visitor who had some questions she wanted answering. I approached the Gori and asked her what made her come to the Gurdwara Sahib. She replied, "I have been driving pass this place for a while and I have always felt like going in. Last week I decided to come in and I found it so peaceful that I decided to come back again. I really like what the children sing and find peace when they do their singing (i.e. Vaheguru Simran)." Looking at the lady she seemed to have something on her mind and didn't seem at peace. So I asked, "Please don't mind, but you don't look right. Is there something bothering you which we can help with?" The Gori replied, "You have all been kind enough to welcome me to the Gurdwara, I don't want to bother you with my problems." I said, "Coming here, you a member of the Sangat, congregation, so we regard you as a sister and we are your family. It doesn't matter that you a Christian, you are still part of our family here, so please share your problems." The lady's face lit up and she was so grateful that the Sangat was so kind to her.
She sat in the Langar hall and ate langar with the rest of the Sangat. Whilst sitting down she shared her problems. She stated that is a Christian but feels drawn to coming to the Gurdwara and sitting in Guru jee's Darbaar. She said that she feels depressed with the world and that when she sees and hears suffering in the world she gets saddened and it affects her mind. Bhai Gurdaas Jee's bachan (words) come to my mind and shared it with the lady:
ਦਰਪਣ ਵਾਂਗ ਧਿਆਨ ਧਰ ਆਪ ਆਪ ਨਿਹਾਲੈ ॥
"Humans are reflected (in the mirror of the world) in exactly the same way as their inner nature."
(Vaar 9, PauRee 6 - Bhai Gurdaas jee)
Similarly Guru Arjan Dev jee says:
ਸੁਖੀਏ ਕਉ ਪੇਖੈ ਸਭ ਸੁਖੀਆ ਰੋਗੀ ਕੈ ਭਾਣੈ ਸਭ ਰੋਗੀ ||
sukheeeae ko paekhai sabh sukheeaa rogee kai bhaanai sabh rogee ||
To the happy person, everyone seems happy; to the sick person, everyone seems sick.
Daas attempted to explain what Guru jee says to the lady and how if one is peaceful and happy inside then they will see the world as happy and peaceful. Hearing this lady started to think and she said "That makes sense to me. It is true, I am not happy inside. I don't have peace inside of me... How can I do that?"
Daas asked the lady, "Please don't mind, do you drink alcohol? Because alcohol affects the mind, body and spirit and is bad for you." She smiled and said, "No I don't drink alcohol. I used to - but I decided to give it up 6 months ago. I don't go to nightclubs anymore either." Then I asked, "Do you eat meat? Because the body is the temple of God and not a graveyard. Meat disturbs one's spiritual energy." Again, the lady smile and said, "I used to eat meat but I am now a vegetarian. My father is ill and he cannot process meat, so I have to give him vegetarian food. 6 months ago I stopped eating meat." I thought this is really strange and how this lady is following basic Rehat already. The lady added that she hasn't cut her hair for a long time also.
Daas explained Mool Mantar to the lady and advised that it may help to wake up early, do ishnaan (bathe) and then practice Mool Mantar for 10 or 15 minutes. I realised that there was nothing to write down Mool Mantar so that the lady could keep it with her so I asked her to practice one word till next week and then I would give her a print out of Mool Mantar. She said that she found "Sat Naam" easy to remember and say. So Daas said anytime you feel sad or down just say "Sat Naam" and think God.
A week later, the same lady attended the Monday Simran programme. She sat listening to the children doing Simran on the Vaaja from the beginning to end. After sukhaasan aand smaaptee the lady approached Daas and was smiling. She seemed to look very happy and her faced seemed to have colour now. She said, "I am sorry, I didn't wake up early like you said and do meditation however I recited 'Sat Naam' every time I felt low and it worked wonders. When I said 'Sat Naam' I began to feel happy." I don't know much about Guru Nanak, but whenever I hear his name or read his name I get an inner peace and happiness."
Dhan Hai Guru, Dhan Hai Teree Sikhee.