He’s almost like a myth, a legend. Such a great man, who followed the legacies of past 9 Nanaks, and a Nanak himself, it is unfathomable for this insignificantly small mind to grasp the greatness of Guru Gobind Singh. He’s a personality, who has 9 others and yet another one of his very own – in the visage of the tenth and last human Guru of the Sikhs. How does one even define such a man, let alone imagine him in flesh and blood, right before our very eyes? Spiritually, we all endeavour to connect to him, and through him, travel all the way back to Nanak. I have always believed, and still strongly do, that if we have not understood Guru Nanak, how can we understand Guru Gobind Singh? As Sikhs, we are all alike him, and the Guru has always inspired that. Many have not understood that the teachings of Guru Nanak and of Guru Gobind Singh bear no difference. The pen of Gobind was the sword of Nanak. I have no doubt about that. My only physical contact with the Guru on a daily basis is the big handsome portrait of Him that adorns my room, right above the bed. I always look up at his portrait when I get up in the morning, whenever leaving home and on entering my room. The only natural expressions that resound from the heart through the lips is ‘Dhan Guru Nanak! Dhan Dhan Sahib Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj! Dhan Dhan Dhan Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru!’ When I look at the beautifully crafted and soulfully portrayed visage of the Guru, my soul assures me that my Guru must have been like that. His works and life calculate to the image before my eyes. Looking deeper within the colours on his person, they come alive, as soon as I see my own reflection on the glass that is held in its frame. When I see myself in the mirror, the Guru’s portrait is reflected in it. Every single time I stand before the mirror, I see my Guru. The very form I have as a Sikh is a testimony of his Khalsa and of his form. As I tie my dastaar, I feel as through my Guru is dressing me. When I brush my flowing beard, I feel as though it is my Guru’s energy rushing through the kesh. Each day, he reminds me, through my very own appearance – of my heritage, history and of my great Gurus and of their loving GurSikhs. We take Sikhi for granted and are so liberal minded, filled with so much manmat, that we loose sight of the Guru. We fail him miserably, and yet he fought with all his might and spirit in defence of the Sikhi we are living today. He never failed us, and it brings me to tears to witness the very people who he fought for treat him like as though he did nothing extraoridinary . So much apathy! Even those who are GurSikh, and yet are not perfect in their rehat and Sikhi are guilty of tearing apart the Guru’s sacrifices.
‘Help me, O Guru Sahib, to not be like those who claim to be your Sikhs but are only there in name, and not in deed. Protect me from maladies that have inflicted such manmukhs. Bless me with your spirit and energy to the point that I feel there is no difference between yourself and your Sikh.’ I pray through my soul to him. He knows me inside and out, and he knows when I’m making up emotions and when I’m deep down sincere. He listens to the sincere ones, and I can tell you, he works them out in your benefit, and to the benefit of the Panth. To have the darshan of Guru Sahib is, for many of us, an unimaginable blessing. ‘Are we worthy?’ we ask ourselves. But the Guru says, ‘Try and make yourself worthy, I’m all ready waiting to reveal myself to you.’
So never underestimate your potential to connect to the Guru. He’s right before us, but we do not see him, because we hardly ever rise above our material senses. I believe that to see him, try through the eyes of the soul which has, who knows, seen him in a past life. Hear him, through the soul, which may have been in his sangat in his times. And feel him, through your very soul, which must have been a Sikh standing by his side in the battlefield.
Today, if I imagine a material witness of the Guru, in flesh and blood, my soul says it is possible. There will be those who doubt – but who didn’t doubt the Guru even during his times? I listen to the voice within, it could never be wrong, especially if it is guided by the teachings of our Gurus. With the Grace of the Guru, I have realised that the HE is not far, but for those who feel he is far, then he certainly is, based on our deeds. And what else do I need for spiritual comfort when I have my Gurus in the form of my Living Guru – Dhan Dhan Sahib Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj? I have the form of the Sikh, and of a Khalsa and the spirit of the Guru in Guru Granth Sahib. My Guru is right before me, every living moment of my life. But there does come a moment when the soul, which has been separated from him for so many ages, to seek just a glance of the source of it’s existence, and to have a heart-to- heart talk, like between a father and son.
I close my eyes, and my soul travels in search of his darshan . . . and there he is . . . seated in the depths of my soul . . . and we meet . . . ‘Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh, Khalsa Lakhvir-Singh! It’s so nice to see you today, it’s rare of you to pass by these days!’, Guru Gobind Singh greets me as I descend into the centre of my soul. Embarrassed, I hang my head, in bowed reverence and greet Fateh to Guru Sahib.
‘Come, sit by me. I was meditating on Akaal Purakh, won’t you join me?’ he asked, like a loving father. ‘See,’ he continued, ‘deep within you, I meditate with you. Isn’t that a deep connection with Waheguru? And it is true with every GurSikh. When GurSikhs meditate, recite Gurbani or sing Kirtan, they do it from the depths of their souls, because that is where I am, to help them connect to the Divine, our Husband Lord.’
Sitting by his right hand side, I shut my eyes and tried to experience the presence of my Guru, within whom resides the spirit enjoined in one, of Guru Nanak and the successor Gurus. There was so much peace that all I seemed to lose my own material existence, I felt merged in the Divine. When I opened my eyes to take a peek at what my Guru was doing, I saw him looking at me with a loving glance. I shied, and asked, ‘Guru Sahib, why do you look at me so?’
‘Chir bhayo darshan dekhe . . .’, he replied with a radiant smile. ‘Yes, GurSikha, how I’ve longed to see you, too! When I see you, I see myself and when I see myself, I see my Husband Lord. How I savour such a moment, to see you deep within your self and merging into the Light! Please do continue contemplating, let me enjoy the moment of seeing you . . .’
As I shut my eyes again, I wondered what Guru Sahib felt of the state of the world, especially of his Sikhs. ‘I am not worried about the world right now, I’m with you,’ replied Guru Sahib. I was dumbstruck. I hadn’t even uttered a word, and the Guru had heard my very thought. Opening my eyes again, I looked at Guru Sahib.
‘You are my Khalsa,’ he said, ‘you will fulfil my Hukams in this life. There is nothing wrong with the world when there is nothing wrong with you, my dear soul.’ ‘When you submit your soul to my Hukams you have verily placed your head on your palm and walked my Path. I know then, that my soldier, my Sipahi, is getting ready for me to bring a change to the world that is still on fire.’ Guru Sahib spoke from his depths.
‘You have nothing to worry because you have found the Path I left behind for my Sikhs to follow. Sadly, many have questioned the Path and have trusted their own intellect, rather than the Path I lovingly created for their safe passage to their Divine Source. They have questioned me, forgotten the sacrifices and chosen to be higher than the Guru. I have no issue with them. They are lost in their own self. Poor mortals, they hardly realise what injustice they do unto their soul, it will be lost for so many ages, looking for another opportunity to get a human body that will help them to reach Waheguru. Why have they still not realised that their body is like a boat to help them cross over the terrifying world ocean? Instead, they are digging holes in it, surely, they are going to sink, aren’t they?’
‘But your kind will show them the way back. I have in you the Khalsa I had in mind. You are on that Path. I may be gone physically, but through the roop I have also granted you, they will remember me. So don’t ever hide your identity, for you know that your Guru would never hide from the world. They will dislike you and call you names, but don’t lose heart. Even our Nanak faced the same challenges. Just be like Nanak – smile and move on with Waheguru in your soul, for He will ferry you across, if the others don’t want to. Once you are on the sure path of Sikhi, don’t falter, please, for my sake!’
‘You know what you mean to me? Khalsa meri jaan ki jaan!’ You are my very life! You are my strength and my solace and through Sikhi, you will save your soul. You will be over with this life, that is just temporary, just a life-night. When day breaks, you will be with me, holding my hand and leading you to your soul’s quest of reunion with your Husband Lord. So keep holding the helm of the robe of Gurbani, for that is where the answers are to all your questions which you initially came over to ask.’
Then there was silence. I looked upon my Guru’s visage, so radiant and full of selfless love. And he looked back at me with eyes, full to the brim with care. How could anyone ever do anything to hurt such a loving father by losing ourselves in manmat and vice? ‘Aisaey Gur Ko bal bal jaayiye!‘
Come, let’s take a little walk,’ Guru Sahib suddenly said, ‘I could do with a little fresh air!’ We walked through an endless landscape of brilliant Light. Guru Sahib didn’t say anything, he left me gazing around. I could see, all around me, my very life’s countless episodes. There were those episodes that brought a smile to me when I saw the times I spent in Gurbani and sangat and good deeds. Guru Sahib put his arm around my shoulder and said, ‘I’m proud of you, my son, those were the times I was always walking with you. But look! Look on the other side, there are the episodes of your life that bring tears to my eyes, you forgot me. I lost you in those times. Look, just look at those deeds that brought shame upon your soul , and upon me! Is that what a GurSikh is supposed to be doing?’
I stopped in my tracks and looked. There I saw, all the moments I lost in sleep, missing my Amritvela and engrossed in worldly affairs. Remembering now, how I had wronged my Guru, tears welled up in my eyes. But before they could roll over my cheeks, my Guru soothed them away with his loving hands. ‘Let’s move on, Singha, those episodes have been written off for you, let’s move on. Forget them.’
‘What?’ I asked myself in deep surprise, silently within, ‘All those misdeeds? Written off ? Just like that? How can that be? After having wronged my Husband Lord and my Gurus, how can the Guru just write them off without a second thought? He didn’t even let me repent or feel the guilt.’
‘What good will that do, Khalsa Lakhvir-Singh?’ Guru Sahib asked. I knew by now that my thoughts were audible to my Guru, and I was no longer surprised at his knowing my inner thoughts. ‘Once you realise what you did was wrong, forget those episodes of your lost moments of life and move on. Don’t look back. ‘Aaagay samajh chalo Nandlala, paachay jo beeti so beeti.’ Concentrate on what is left of your life. Don’t waste your time in regret and self pity! Hurry, there’s no time!’
Having walked for a while, enjoying many moments of silence and savouring the moments of walking together, Guru Sahib desired some rest. ‘Come Singha, let’s sit awhile.’ he said. I took a deep breath and made myself comfortable as we chose a spot to sit on.
‘You know, Khalsa Lakhvir -Singh, I enjoyed your company. We will no longer be separated when you have worked your life in preparing for your marriage to your Husband Lord. You will find me there when your call comes. I will also reveal to you Guru Nanak, who awaits your company. My son, all the souls are loved by Waheguru, don’t you ever doubt that. But some souls become selfish and fickle-minded. They think that life is unfair to them. They think Waheguru does not even exist. Out of love, He sends them back to the world to start over again. If He really disliked any soul, He would have ended its existence the moment it strayed. But He wants every soul to return to its True Home. You see, man has been created as the most intelligent of all life forms, so he sometimes thinks that he doesn’t need anyone to tell him what to think or do. Waheguru Himself granted him that freedom to think like that, but man needs to correct his thinking. More often than not, he just does not think. Poor mortal!
‘I want you to live your life on example – an inspiring one, not a tragic one. Those who look at you, will have the capacity to pick some energy from you and become GurSikh, just like you, so don’t ever stop that energy from flowing. ‘Nanak Naam Chardikala!’ And when my GurSikhs gather in prayer and meditation and seva, it is Satyug for you, right here on earth, a taste of it for your senses, and for the moments awaiting you beyond this life.’
‘All right my son, you have to leave now and I have to attend to a task. Just remember, whenever you wish to be with me, just look deep inside your soul. Need I convince you on that!’ Guru Sahib said, with a twinkle in his eye. Not wishing to let go of Him, and I just felt that thought, he again looked at me, and then took me in his warm embrace. His spirit told me that he is never away from me, as long as I remained dedicated to his Khalsa. I felt all questions and worries evaporate in his embrace.
‘Now I’m ready for anything!’ I told myself while still in the arms of Guru Sahib. I felt my spirit speak to me, ‘Yes, Khalsa Lakhvir-Singh, my Khalsa is always ready for anything!’ Guru Sahib did not speak anything, but it felt as thought my spirit communicated with his, and there was no doubt that we had both become one spirit.
I opened my eyes and I felt like I had just been born – with new life and vigour, at the same time feeling as though I had lived my life and had been satisfied, and was ready to begin another day all over again! Glancing up at Guru Sahib portrait, I looked at his visage and his person as the colours of the impressionist came to life again. All that I had thought of my Guru was true, that the Khalsa, truly, is his very form. ‘Khalsa mero roop hai khaas.’ And that he lived in me, indeed – ‘Khalsa meh hau karu niwas’.
As I pen these last lines of an inner journey’s great moments with the personality that has blown me away with his ways, I close my eyes once again and imagine him what he would be saying now. ‘I have a question for you to ask the world, Khalsa Lakhvir-Singh, would you be of service to ask it for me?’ requested Guru Gobind Singh.
‘Please ask those Sikhs who still doubt the ways of the Khalsa – what is it that we have not done for them? Please tell them – that to protect their Sikhi we gave our all. We were there for them centuries ago, and now we need them to protect our honour, why do they hesitate? It took the Khalsa to protect their Sikhi, now will their Sikhi not protect the Khalsa, before the enemy strikes them from the back in the dead of night? Just ask them, and leave the rest to destiny.’