Niranjan Singh, a Christian narrates his experience of how his life changed when he learnt about Sikhi. My first contact with Sikhi was in 2012. I was doing kundalini yoga as my wife’s cousin had told me she thought it might be good for my stress and me recovering from a smaller nervous breakdown due […]
Niranjan Singh, a Christian narrates his experience of how his life changed when he learnt about Sikhi.
My first contact with Sikhi was in 2012. I was doing kundalini yoga as my wife’s cousin had told me she thought it might be good for my stress and me recovering from a smaller nervous breakdown due to long term problems at the job I had back then. It was rather good for me, I loved the meditation in group, I loved the relaxation and to learn to fix my thoughts on one word: “naam”.
The man who made up kundalini yoga, as it was invented in the United States and is not one of the ancient yoga forms, was called Harbhajan Singh, better known as Yogi Bhajan. I started to read about him. The books said that he was a Sikh. That all male Sikhs were named Singh and all female Sikhs were named Kaur. The Sikhi was a religion. Sure, I had read just a little bit about Sikhi before, not very much at all, but I got really curious now.
I have always believed in God. I was traditionally baptized into Christianity as an infant, surely with no say in it whatsoever, however coming from a family that is not very religious at all, I think I make the exception in all my family. When I was 14, I was confirmed but now I protested. I didn’t want to, it didn’t feel right. I did not believe in Christianity, I didn’t buy their concept of God as a distant force that you only have one shot at uniting with, going to heaven as they say. It sounded very illogical to me. Already then I had a strong sense that there was this one great force behind everything and in everything, and it felt so strange that this force would make an effort, create you, expect military obedience – and the renounce you completely and cast you into hell for eternity if you wouldn’t do what is expected of you.
I reacted. For several years, I did my best to imagine I was this hardcore atheist. I must say I was obnoxious to people of faith, especially Christians. I am very ashamed of that today and I hope they will forgive me. But all the time, I had this annoying (at least I thought so then) feeling that God just smiled at me and said to me “don’t worry, one day you will be back”. I couldn’t shake it, it just wasn’t possible.
Anyway, I studied on Sikhi. I instantly loved that Guru Nanak dev ji renounced the caste system and preached equality. It got to me how he worked to enlighten the poor people in the subcontinent telling them not to pay the pandits to make the sun come back during eclipses. I really liked how he travelled around to the most distant places, preaching that no one is a Hindu and no one is a Muslim and that there is only one.The smile I always had felt was suddenly feeling warmer and closer. I decided not to cut my beard anymore, still I kept on shaving my head for a few months more.
I tied a turban for the first time in 2013, just a little while after new years. I sat in front of Youtube with the thinnest bed sheet linnen I was able to find. There are not many Sikhs in my country, and certainly no Sikh shops, so I had no one to ask. Looking at those pics now, I almost laugh, but it felt so right! After that I didn’t cut my hair anymore. There is a sangat in Gothenburg though, Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara. The man who led the yoga classes took me there. I was dead nervous! My palms were sweating and my knees were shaking as we walked the stairs up to the diwan hall.
But when I knelt before Sri Guru Granth Sahib Maharaj and my forehead touched the floor, the feet of the Guru, the nervousness was gone completely! Just like that. Instead, I had this experience that somewhere deep inside me, a huge key was turned in a equally enormous lock, and there was this clicking sound that echoed in all off me. I had never sat meditating longer before than I did that day, listening to the words of Maharaj. Of course, I knew no punjabi whatsoever, but it didn’t seem to matter, He still spoke to me. The Singhs were poking me to have me go down to langar hall and get some chaa and I did, but soon returned upstairs. I did no more kundalini yoga after that. “The yogi is blind and can not see the way” says the Guru, and yoga has no benefits for a Sikh, at least no spiritual. What Yogis can tell us that the Guru can’t? I stuck with doing martial arts instead and still do.
A saint soldier can not be caught off guard doing sun salutation or kriyas.
I was a Sikh from that day on. Keshdhari for two years until Visakh of 2015 when I was blessed with amrit in Guru Nanak dev ji Gurdwara in Oslo, Norway. Now amritdhari, I would never trade this life as a Sikh for my old one. Sometimes people ask me if I don’t feel held back with a full beard and a turban, but no way I do. Thinking of it, if anything I felt held back before. Denying your true self is to hold yourself back, but that is no more. I live my life as a Swedish Sikh, and yes people stare me down wherever I go someplace I am not known. But didn´t our father Guru Gobind Singh say “My Sikhs will be known among millions”
~ Source: www.sikhtrend.com