Excerpt from a Gurdwara lecture given on January 20, 1991.
There are certain things you have to understand. You are spiritual people, and you will have more impact on your life than anybody else. Intuition is a good idea. But intuition is extreme sensitivity over the unconscious, subconscious and para-conscious. You have never heard that word before. Para-conscious is that psyche which is called the alter-ego or “My alternative angel”; and it works for you. You must have heard something like this in the Catholic faith, “My angel guided me to do this.” The Guru has explained these circumstances to us in many ways; there are many realities and they each have their effect.
When the war was booming, our people had a kind of paranoia, a feeling of insecurity. Your sensitivity to feel negative comes from three aspects. Let us say half a million people are fighting at the front. Half a million people have at least fifty million relatives. The whole media, the whole world is talking about it. Wherever you go, this is the subject. Now the test of your spirituality, your positivity, and your prayer comes into play.
It can only happen if you fill your own inner self with Nirbhao and Nirvair; if you are without fear, and without vindictiveness; if you relate to the basic Sikh values: Sarbat daa Bhalaa – good for all. You can do it mentally. It will do good for you mentally. Otherwise as war proceeds, as war talk proceeds, as actions proceed, as our economy, our social life, and our situation proceeds, you will have difficult feelings. You must understand. The human mind has the most active impact as a parallel psyche. It’s not who crosses who. It’s a question of who affects who.
This whole world is a symbol. It’s not one unique world: my world or your world or our world. It’s a total world. We carry a lot of other people’s pain in ourselves and around us. But we do not share or elevate the other person’s pain. That’s why our pain becomes bigger and bigger.
Many of you are ministers. You look like rabbis. You look effectively holy. You may not be aware of it, or understand it. This is the time to voluntarily go in your neighborhood, and find out if somebody needs help, if somebody needs a visit, if somebody needs to share their fears, and if you can elevate them.
The Sikh religion has a very classical aspect to it. You do not understand yet what Sikhism gives you. Sikhism gives you a very unconscious experience. To be a Sikh is also a parallel psyche. You expose yourself in the name of the Guru. Just understand how methodically this religion works. You expose yourself as a Sikh to the whole world. You have no sense of denial. You have every sense to be put on the spot. You are a sensibility to be recognized or insulted or appreciated or communicated with. You have no control over it.
You go to the airport. A lot of people say, “May I know you? Please forgive me. Can I talk to you?” You invite people through your psyche. They feel attracted to you. They feel an unusual character in you. They feel you in your appearance, in your aura, in your psyche, in your personality, and in your reality. For that, you need extra strength.
This is the time where prayer really pays the dividend. All over, there are warnings about terrorism. There is a fury of war. There is fear. This whole world is in a cross-section, cross-reaction, and cross-psyche. You have to understand that. You have a very special role to play. You have to come out with a deep understanding. You have to be ready, and that is the greatest service you can do as Sikhs of the Guru.
I have been telling you all along. A time will come when people will knock at your door and you will not know why, or what the reason is. People see peacefulness in you. Even if you are disturbed inside. We are not lying to each other. We know ourselves. But to another person you are a saint.
There was an amazing experience for me. I was honored in the New Mexico State Hall of Fame. I didn’t know what it meant. But when I went, the entire hall was full. There was not any V.I.P. from the entire state who was not there. Nobody cared to shake hands with me. Everybody either kissed my cheek or kissed my ring.
I couldn’t believe it! Now, what should I do? I was standing there like a pure statue, absolutely motionless, letting people do it. What to do? You have to offer yourself. For them, it was the highest honor from the state of New Mexico that they could give to an individual. For them, I was very special. All of a sudden I realized, “Whether I am a special mister or not, at this time my action has to be special.” So I started hugging people. I am very shy. I can’t do it in my own life. But then I realized, I represent the Guru. I am a humble Sikh. I am a soldier. I have to represent myself. So I put myself together immediately. It was the most difficult task of my entire life to kiss those people. I have never understood how much it affected me.
A lot of people came. “My name is Jackie So-and-So. I am from such town,” (which I don’t remember the name), “and I heard about you. I am glad to see you. Can I kiss your ring?” I said, “Please.” There’s nothing I can do. And some big lady came, quite big like a mother. She totally engulfed me and kissed this cheek and that cheek. I had no experience in my life like that. It was a humble submission of myself to people.
In the exact same way, so you may not misunderstand, you may feel that something is negative. It is not. It is what you represent, what your psyche represents. This is what a Sikh character represents — positiveness, charhdhee kalaa.
Understand our Mool Mantra. It’s very beautiful, the Mool Mantra. It’s something you can understand in lay language, and you should understand it now. “Ek Ong Kaar.” All is the Creation of the One. There’s no duality. There’s no opinion. There’s no argument. There’s no logic. There’s no rationalization. It is a statement. Either you can accept it or you can deny it. “Ek Ong Kaar.” If I am the creation of the Creator, then everybody is. Bad and good included. Our problem is we cannot accept bad experiences.
You should understand something. To become spiritual is a one-minute job. You know, there is a one-minute teacher. Today, America is in a fad of one-minute. So I will give you one-minute spirituality. It doesn’t take one minute. It takes about 30 seconds, but talking to you I’d like to give you a margin of one minute because that’s the thing that is going on.
Here’s one-minute spirituality.
In your life, all your memories come from serious negative experiences and authentic pain. I’m not saying that you made it up. But do you understand that you hardly ever remember the goodness of life? And you hardly multiply the goodness of life? Goodness of life is Godliness. Multiply it – you will be rich. Opportunities will come to you.
There is one thing that is the most beautiful thing in the Sikh religion. The Sikh religion is a practical religion. It’s not that you have to stand in some asana for five hours and do something just to become a Sikh. Becoming a Sikh is just normal, positive living against the bombardment of negativity. It’s a test of the grit of the soul.
Somebody once asked me, “What do you do?” I said, “I just elevate people. I’m an elevator.” “How do you do it?” I said, “I try it. I have a good wire, and a good machine at the top. I call on it, and it moves. And I carry the person. If I cannot carry all 18 stories, at least I carry one story. At least I try.”
“What do you get out of it?”
I said, “My own satisfaction. People come and tell me every pain of theirs. Their veins are filled with pain.”
Now understand the cross-section of it. They think I don’t have pain. They think I am free of it. Do you understand that? Isn’t that a wonderful recognition? I may be more bubbly and over-filled with pain than they are. It might be that my pains are so huge and large I cannot touch them. But to another person I have no pain.
Number two: the other person expects I don’t have pain, and I’m supposed to elevate all of his pain or her pain. That’s the relationship. Not only to be positive, but to give another person a positive experience is what the spirituality of Guru Nanak is.
The spirituality of Naanak is – elevate. If you chant Naam, “Naanak naam harhdhee kalaa.” — If you chant Naam and you are in ecstasy. You are elevated. You shake hands with God. You kiss Him and He kisses you. You tell Him to do this thing and God does everything for you, but Guru Naanak specifies it. With all the greatest miracles in the world, the highest miracle is, “Sarbat daa Bhalaa.” (Translation: Wishing good to all.)
It’s a qualifying line. There’s no diversion allowed in this. It’s a prescribed formula. If you happen to be a great sadhu, great yogi, great theologian, great saint, great human, great being, greatness of all greatness, what is the character expected of you? You will wish good to all. Even to the enemies.
I am warning you. You may not understand this. You say, “I wear a turban and I wear white. I am just a Sikh and that’s all I want.” That’s not going to work out. People are going to make demands on you. People are going to ask you.
We fought wars. Bhai Khanhaiya was a Sikh of the Guru. He did not discriminate between the enemy asking for water or his own soldier of war. The highest test of spirituality is, “Do good to those who have done wrong to you.” Spirituality is not a joke to crack. It’s a reality of life which we have to live.