Author: Bhai Vijay Singh
I wanted to share a story with the Sangat about an opportunity I was blessed with when coming back from Denmark Keertan Samaagam on Sunday. I was sitting on the plane and it was not very full. There was only me and a Danish man sitting on the row. I noticed he was reading a very thick book, called the 'History of Europe'. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that occasionally he was looking in my direction so I thought I'd start a conversation.
I asked him about the book and he was really enthusiastic about it and started talking to me about the different parts of it. He mentioned he had met Sikhs before and then I saw it as an opportunity to talk to him about Sikhi. I started to discuss the appearance of a Sikh because I realised that was the most intriguing thing for him initially.
I talked about the dastaar being our crown of principles and our Kes forming our spiritual link with God. He seemed very impressed. I noticed that a number of people in the plane started listening too and turning around occasionally. He asked "How does one become a Sikh?" I talked very briefly about Amrit Sanchaar and how it is different to a normal baptism in terms of giving your head to the Guru.
ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਚਨੀ ਹਾਟਿ ਬਿਕਾਨਾ ਜਿਤੁ ਲਾਇਆ ਤਿਤੁ ਲਾਗਾ ||੧||
"I sold myself at Your store in exchange for the Guru's Word; whatever You link me to, to that I am linked."
I mentioned the commitment of refraining from the 4 bajjar kurehits (cardinal prohibitions) and a person who does one of these 4 is no longer a Sikh. I also discussed the qualities of a Gursikh mentioning:
ਨਿਵਣੁ ਸੁ ਅਖਰੁ ਖਵਣੁ ਗੁਣੁ ਜਿਹਬਾ ਮਣੀਆ ਮੰਤੁ ||
"Humility is the word, forgiveness is the virtue, and sweet speech is the magic mantra."
He said, "I have noticed that whenever I have spoken to Sikhs they are very softly spoken." This man then began complementing Sikhi saying how he didn’t know anything about Sikhs before and now I can see that a Sikh is an ideal person who has an ideal way of life to have happiness all the time.
Right at the end I asked him why he was coming to England. He said he works for the Danish Government in the area of Cultural Awareness and was going to UK to attend a course. I thought to myself Dhan Guru Nanak Dev ji has given this gareeb Sikh a chance to share knowledge about his wonderful path to such an relevant person. I said to him that he should always go up to Sikhs when he sees them and speak to them. I said they are all friendly and nice. I also told him to attend Gurdwara Sahib in Copenhagen.
An important learning point from this is that we should always be prepared to share knowledge about Sikhi with the world no matter who they are. We must first arm ourselves with information and then look for opportunities to educate. A candle does not lose anything by lighting another candle. But one point to note, only share this with the people who want to learn and hear about it otherwise we fall into the trap of:
ਵਿਣੁ ਗਾਹਕ ਗੁਣੁ ਵੇਚੀਐ ਤਉ ਗੁਣੁ ਸਹਘੋ ਜਾਇ ||"If virtue is sold when there is no buyer, then it is sold very cheap."(Ang 1086)
Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh