Saturday, February 16, 2013

Story of Bhenji Manpreet Kaur (London)...

Whoever’s reading this is probably just thinking “great one of those stories that pop-up on my news-feed every now and again.” However I really want people to read this so that they don’t make the same mistakes that I did! Growing up I was the typical Panjabi girl you see out there. I had my Kes but I had no idea why. I just kept my Kes because my parents made me from childhood. However, having Kes never really stopped me from going into the ‘maaree Sangat’ (wrong crowd).

At this point I didn’t even know who Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee was, so having love for Sikhi was far off! I used to go to the Gurdwara every Sunday, but only because my parents made me. I remember numerous days in Darbaar Sahib just confused and bored waiting for the raagis to do that Paatth they always seem to do in the end, (which I now know was Anand Sahib da Paatth) so I can go and eat.

Anyhow, High School came around and I got into an even worse crowd. Most of my friends were smoking, drinking and skipping school. I was the only Asian in that school, so for me to ‘fit-in’ was just impossible. I used to look at other girls, with their hair done up in different styles every day and remember wanting mine to be just like theirs, but I knew that that would never happen! In my sports lesson I couldn’t stand the Kes on my arms and legs, it made me look weird, so I decided to get them waxed (which I carried on doing for 3 years). At the time, I didn’t feel bad at all. I didn’t know how great the Khalsa was, in fact who Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee even was; remember I was just a typical Punjabi girl!

Anyway, one day my Bhua jee (aunt) rang me saying that a new Gurdwara had opened locally, and that there were many classes for children. So we started going there every Saturday. That was the first time I met young Gursikhs in baane (Khalsa uniform) and kirpans and damaalas (turbans). I admired them so much. I had never really met a true Singh/Singhni before, and I was so happy to see them that I didn’t want to leave their side. I used to look forward to these classes every Saturday. I would learn something new every week and then go home and tell my parents. Then one day I came to the Gurdwara and some people were doing Keertan (found out afterwards that it was Bhai Jagpal Singh Kanpur), and it was just so beautiful that I knew there was no way I would listen to some songs after this! That was where my love for Keertan started. These Saturday classes continued for about 2 years, the more I learnt the more Pyaar (love) I felt towards Guru jee. 

To cut everything down as much as possible, I realised that the path I had been on for so long was hard, painful and all I would do is go though chauraasee lakh joon (8.4 million reincarnation cycle) again and again. There had to be a purer and less painful way! Sikhi! Everything about it makes sense. Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee is a guide on how to live your life. I have read other holy scriptures and some of the stories seem so far-fetched when taken literally, and can come across as prejudiced. Sikhs sees all humans as equal. How perfect!

For me the hardest part was to stop consuming meat, eggs and fish and to stop cutting my Kes! But Guru jee is great! All we need to do is Ardaas (pray) to Guru jee. There is no point in rushing into Sikhi as the quicker we try to do everything, the easier it is for us to fall! I started tying a dastaar on New Year’s (my 2012 new year’s resolution!) and from there Guru jee has just continued blessing me with Sangat. Without the Sangat I have now, I would have fallen way back! Last Vaisakhi Guru jee blessed me to go to India and take Amrit from Sri Anandpur Sahib! I have never looked back at my previous life; there has never been a need to do so.

Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib, Sri Anandpur Sahib

Currently I’m trying my hardest to remain in Sangat, to keep my Rehit, and keep Amrit vela and Jap as much Naam as I can. When I look back into the past, I can’t believe how I lived without Guru Sahib.
ਮੂਰਖ ਮੁਗਧ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਅਵੀਚਾਰੀ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਆਸ ਮਨਿ ਧਾਰੀ ॥੨॥
O God! I am foolish, stupid, ignorant and thoughtless (but you keep the honour of your innate nature); I place Your Name is my mind's only hope (that when I came to your sanctuary you will look after me). ||2||
(Ang 388)



Note: Thank you to Bhenji Manpreet Kaur for accepting the request to write her personal story and sharing it with the Sangat.

Dhan Hai , Dhan Hai Teree Sikhee!


Anonymous said...

She's such an amazing person and an inspiration for our whole family, what with being first amritdhari. Glad to be her sister. Love you Manna.
From Amrit (Wolves)

Anonymous said...

Really interesting journey. I am pleased you have found something that gives you inner peace. I understand this is not for everyone but warms my hear to hear not of your interest in our faith, as this is a very personal thing, but how you appear to have grown as an individual.