Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How a Swedish person found Sikhi... (Part 2)


The Swedish Bhenji took Amrit during the Vaisakhi Smaagam in Sweden. The Panj Pyaare instructed her that she must marry a Sikh as per Gurmat Maryada (code of conduct). Bhenji accepted the Hukam (instructions). In the past she had boyfriends but they had moved away from her as she got more into Sikhi. Taking Amrit sealed things. However, Bhenji began to worry how she will find a marital partner living on a Swedish island that had no Sikhs! Furthermore she didn't know of any Sikhs who could find her a suitable partner. Someone in the Sangat advised Bhenji that she should try and find a suitable Swedish man who she is normal friends with and gets along with, and if the man agrees to happily become a Sikh then they should get married.

Bhenji shared that many of her male friends distanced themselves from her because they didn't find her "fun" anymore. She had stopped drinking, stop eating meat, stopped going to nightclubs and adopted a spiritual lifestyle.  However, one friend took an interest in his friend's transformation into a Sikh. That friend was the Swedish man who came with the Bhenji to the camp and is Bhenji's husband-to-be.

I asked the Swedish Veer jee, how he came into Sikhi. He said, "My journey to Sikhi was not over night. It was a slow process. I used to smoke over 20 cigarettes a day, drink, cut my hair, eat meat and go to night clubs. I didn't give this all up suddenly. Guru jee slowly changed me and transformed me." Veer jee shared that he was very inquisitive why his friend had began to tie a turban and live differently and he was impressed and moved with the responses he got from her. Bhenji decided to give Veer jee a copy of Japji Sahib in romanized and English. "When I first heard Japji Sahib, I found it so peaceful and beautiful. I started to recite and chant it every day in the morning. I still smoked, drink and ate meat, but read Japji Sahib every morning. As I recited over and over Japji everyday, I gradually realised that I had cut down on the amount of cigarettes I was smoking, I had cut down on the meat I was eating and was slowly giving up alcohol. From 20 cigarettes, I went to 15, then 10, then 5 and eventually I stopped. I got over all my bad habits by reciting and chanting Japji Sahib. I stopped cutting my Kesh, started to tie a Dastaar and now wear all the Panj Kakkaar." Veer jee now daily recites Panj Banian Nitnem (complete daily prayers) in the morning, Sodar Rehraas in the evening and Sohila Sahib before sleeping. He has a romanized Gutka Sahib that he keeps with him. During the camp Bhenji and Veer jee had a one-to-one lessons learning how to read and write Panjabi with one of the local sevadaars.

I asked Veer jee, "Have you taken Amrit?" He replied, "No. Unfortunately, there is only one Amrit Sanchaar in the whole year in Sweden and that is during Vaisakhi. I have sadly missed it. However, whenever the next Amrit Sanchaar is I wish to take Amrit. I may travel to Delhi some time soon to take Amrit. She will re-take Amrit with me and we will get married in accordance to the Sikh religion."

Dhan Hai Guru! Dhan Hai Teree Sikhee!

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