Prayer in Sikh Dharma

Excerpt from Gurdwara Lecture 4/19/1987 in Los Angeles, CA, USA by  Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan

Prayer in Sikh Dharma has a very special meaning and I will just expound certain areas. I am not trying to explain to you or I am not trying to accept your admiration of the situation that I happen to be so and so. I am trying to explain to you the weakest moment of life and how prayer works, and why I am asking to share with me your concept of prayer and I am willing to share my concept of prayer with you.

It’s not untrue that I was a yogi, it was not untrue that I was a strongly very religious person and it’s not also untrue that I feel the blessing of Guru Ram Das in myself but I am not talking all that strength today, I am talking that most weak moment of life and now listen to this. I give you the profile, it was third day that I was hungry and in the house I was living was my relatives’ house and that night I called and I said I hope, “I will be coming back soon.” She said, “Come soon to the dinner time but don’t come very late,” and when I came it was late, no doubt about it. The door of the house was closed, there was snow all around and the person who brought me she said, “can I take you to my house?”

I said, “No, I can’t do that,” and I have to sleep outside . . . put the car heater on.

You understand how comfortable that can be and it was third day that I have not eaten anything whatsoever. The only food in those days for me which I used to feel safe was doughnuts and there was no decaf and coffee I do not like, so doughnut and water was my main diet but I was surviving. So early in the morning when the door opened, it was about 8 O’clock, I went in, the first thing I wanted to do is take bath and then I wanted to sit down and meditate and after that I went to the kitchen, black gram dhal was very well prepared and I can look at it, the most tastiest food in my worldly world in those days, I mean to say a rare treat and I looked at that and then I found there was a big meat chunk.

I have never forgotten that, never I will and I knew my relationship that day was not with the earth and my relative have put in that dhal that meat so I cannot eat it. I understood it how false these relationships are and how false these emotions are and how false these people who tell you they love you and how they insert their personality over your personality and when you are working for a government and for this earthly business what they treat you then. . .

I looked that dhal and looked that piece of meat, three thoughts came through me; one was that this meat has been put over the top of it but half of it is untouched, so half is pure, I can eat, I am just telling you what went through my mind, second was that I can take a something and scoop all this on the top and bottom is perfectly all right, I can eat that and third is hell with the whole thing, I can put . . . through it and make perfect and eat it what matters, this is the third day I have not eaten a thing. So there was three situations with me and a thought came to me after that,

I said ‘oh, God has put this piece of meat to let me know I am not supposed to eat, it’s also an attachment.’

I retire into my basement which used to, that house was for me, mind you, then they put my whole thing under the basement, so unwanted sometime you can be and sometime people present little signs and symptom to tell you out the door and you just think you love them and you still stick around with them and it happens, it’s called unconscious relationship, don’t misunderstand me when I say these things to you because these things cannot happen to me, they can happen to you too, and that’s a realism of life. This all relationship, that’s my son, that’s my wife, that’s my daughter, that’s my cousin, that’s, it’s all false. There is a great language underneath my mother and my daughter, it’s all false, this is all phony, this all surface, it doesn’t exist. Real language and real relationship when is come to deal and practical, it’s very painful. Sometime you are innocent, you are totally not aware what is under, undercurrent.

I retired, I went down and I took my gutka and I wanted to know what Guru wants. It was a hungry day of my life, three days for me hypoglycemic as I was, because I just made up my mind I am not going to eat doughnuts anymore and doughnuts without coffee don’t fit, you know, I am sorry, it goes together and I was sick and tired eating those doughnuts with water. I tried first with hot water, then cold water, nothing works. I was in Canada I didn’t know and I didn’t know how to do my laundry either. So sometime one shirt will go for two weeks. And you know how fussy I am about dress. I am telling you this is how God is realizing the practical form, it’s a prayer form I am just giving you a very concrete example. I went and I opened the gutka and Guru Gobind Singh shabad which this little child of mine is saying:

‘Prabhjee tho ku laaj hamari.’

You won’t believe it, I couldn’t stop my tears then, I can’t stop them now. Everybody since then who tells me they are my relative, they are not, they are my blood drinking bloodsuckers, they are not real at all, they are all take a chunk of my meat and my blood, they never stood with me for one day, one minute. How lonely I was, how lonely I am, that’s only my heart knows and I did cry. You know what stopped me crying? When my tears make the gutka wet and I had only one gutka, then I worried about that. I said it, this pages will go…

People love you so that they can take a chunk out of you, this all emotional relationship has no reality and I did see that dhal after when I didn’t eat was thrown away in the waste bin. It may not look to you but I am telling you, you do not understand the impact of it, it’s the greatest reality.

This is how people play emotionally and this is how people play with you and it’s all done in the name of relationship and love, I am just trying to understand. Anyway, I read that shabad myself and I, I do remember I didn’t have anything but one towel and I brought that towel and put the gutka in that and covered so that, that my tears may dry up, after that I got into a permanent trouble because whenever I take a hukum from the gutka, ‘Prabhji tho ku laaj hamarei.

They open up there because that towel did the trick, no other hukum will come and for a longtime till that gutka remained with me the hukum was always ‘Prabhji tho ku laaj hamarei,‘ there was nothing I could do.

Because you have to close your eyes and you have to open the page and it, it may remind that, it, it made its own mind that it is going to open up there. Well, that was then and I said to myself,

‘Sehal pathar mein janthu paey, taka rajika thariya.’

Oh Guru you promised that in the stone if you have created a life then you provide food and what the hell you have forgotten your own words, now you call it it’s not a prayer, right but I tell you it worked telephone rang and somebody, “Hey Bhajan, telephone, telephone,” and I said okay and I came up and on the telephone there was a one yoga student of mine. She said, “Sir, where are you?”

I said, “Where I can be? I am in home.”

“Oh I understand they didn’t let you enter the house last night.”

I said, “Yeah, I slept in the car, it was pretty warm no problem.”

“But are you willing to move out?”

I said, “No, I don’t feel good because my whole body is stiffed and stiffen up and to be very honest I have not eaten and I feel very weak.”

And she said, “Food is not the problem.”
I said, “Not for you, as far as I am concerned, it’s the only problem at this time I am facing.” “Oh don’t you eat your doughnut.”

I said, “No, I told you that day, you told me they are so bad, you are the one who lectured me.” And I said, “I am all right, I won’t eat doughnuts from today and I said, I don’t know what to eat because you go out and you ask for a beans soup and they say well it is made with beef . . . made with chicken . . . fish and this is made with this, I mean, what you can eat.”

She said, “Tell me where you want to eat?”
I said, “I just want to eat through the telephone, you understand.”

She said, “Well I, I don’t want to bring food to that house, but we got the food, so can you make up to the yoga center.”

I said, “In other twenty five cents,” oh that subway used to charge twenty five cents between Church Road and where I was. And she said, “Well, everybody has found something which never ever will make you hungry again.”

I said, “All right, if this is the situation, I will come,” and then I said to her:

‘Prabhji tho ku laaj hamarei.

God has just listened somewhere and that prayer,

‘Sehal pathar me janthu paey, taka rajika thariya.’

At least God has awaken itself. So anyway I dressed up myself, drag myself into my lotus feet which you, I tell you not to touch and you still not obey and you do touch them, right, these lotus feet were so hungry they couldn’t take my weight.

And I dragged myself to the substation and the thing came twenty four cents that twenty five cents that was the last twenty five cents I had. I went to Church Road, drag myself up but I couldn’t go for the stairs.

It was cold, I was weak and I was a kind of dehydrated and my whole night was in the car and I think some gasoline or something got to my head, I couldn’t know where north and south is and I went to the ashram and when I opened the ashram they all jumped up and ha, great, great. You know there was nine type of pizzas sitting down there, all vegetarian and with different vegetables on it and everybody brought Mexican food which was totally prepared by their home, first time Canadians even went to the Indians’ houses and brought food because this story went out that where I am living I am not being fed and I am very weak.

I do not recollect and I don’t want to exaggerate but there was a kind of about twenty dishes I think minimum, believe me or not, I ate whole large pizza by myself.

Now that shabad was a prayer and that was a taunt to the Guru, eating pizza was in gratitude, accepting and that is a prayer.

People who are professional and they think that they can only pray professionally they do not know what prayer is.

Prayer is when your heart prays, not your head. When your head bows and your heart prays that is a prayer of Sikh dharma. Sikh dharma does not talk hanky-panky and rituals, Sikh dharma does not talk relationship. Our Guru and we, we read, Guru talks and talks the same thing again and again.

It’s a relationship between sun and moon, sun is stationary, moon weans and wax.

‘Ek Purkha sagli payi naar.’

There is only one sun and everybody is a female around it, that practical lesson which Guru has given is in demonstration in our life. . .

Agan granthi treh chala, Naad anad sabe hai. Karaj kaaj ke kaaj mey anh samay hai.

Now the in the scripture it says that this all molecules of element is all a psychic energy which produces and destroys itself and before the end comes, it keeps working whether you work or not . . .

Basically prayer is a very powerful aspect of Sikh Dharma, but not a special prayer. The most special prayer, the most special love, the most special understanding, the most powerful union, the perfect Yog in this dharma is, when your heart prays, when your stomach prays, when your lingam, sex lingam prays.

There are all these chakra, each chakra prays if you let it and this aspect has been taken away from Sikhs. The power and the science of Ang Sang Wahe Guru has been taken away, Wahe Guru has been put up on that ninth story and Sikh has been put up in the dungeon and they say create the relationship. Now there is no such relationship.

Every limb, every organ of the Sikh prays.

It is the prayer of the stomach which brings you food, not your prayer. I mean, your ego must not mistreat it. . .

. . .Please understand you are a combination of a teamwork which is called human body, it’s not practical that your one self is total oneself. If that is not true then why you sleep on the steering case and make an accident? You want to drive, you want to reach, you think you can make it, in the middle of everywhere you sleep and the car goes out of the curb and you are falling on other freeway and one car I saw once, fell from one freeway, sit on the . . . bed of another truck . . . going in different direction. And all that happened, the guy was still asleep, ha, ha, you don’t misunderstand me, it’s true what I am saying because we couldn’t believe it.

So something is beyond you within you which sleeps, something beyond you within you which awakens. Recognize it, that is real, you are the shell of it, you are not real, you are atman, your soul is real, its being and its frequency is real, that’s why in Siri Guru Granth, Guru talks with the mind, Guru talk with ears. . .God speaks to you through people, God speaks to you through your limbs, God speaks to you through your ego, God speaks to you through your consciousness, God also speaks to you through intelligence, God has many channels to speak to you but you are sleeping. You are like that king who slept on his throne and saw a dreadful dream, when woke up he was king again.

Ek narpath, baithey soye singhasan. That shabad which Ravi Das has sang, came also as a hukam. So please wake up, wake up every part of you, wake up your being and if God has blessed you to be Sikhs, learn one thing to be awake, consciously be awake, there is only one relationship between you and light, the awakened self is enlightened self, otherwise it’s the darkest self.

People who are angry and they are in love, they better not be in love and not be angry. If you are nagging, you are bitchy, you are stupid, you are wasting the most precious . . . flow of life, you are scared, you are afraid, you are in paranoia, you are in emotions, you are in commotions, it’s all waste of that most beautiful light of life which is called soul. It is Ajooni, Saibhung, it is by itself in you and it emits its light in you by its own grace.

How you will recognize- Guru Prasad; through Guru’s word you will recognize and if you do not keep that relationship with Guru’s words and your understanding you will be far away from reality. Though with your ego you can say I know which I know, which I know, which I know, then you still sleep, that I knew that you can drive at night and you can make it but your sleep didn’t care, it took over.

So if in your rational self you have decided to enjoy life to be healthy, to be happy, to be holy, to be the Sikhs of the Guru, stop playing games and wasting the most precious time which is called life. You know you are just like those people who waste the entire time and then say well, what should I do now. I have found out that all this anger and environments and all this is a pure simple waste of time. Desire makes no sense, you may desire anything but if the other person is desiring the same, frequencies are individual, they may connect, they may not connect and while connect the frequency . . . of life will be lost. God has given you life, it is your process . . . it is your progress, please keep it going that way and that all is called prayer.

Prayer is when from the heart without camouflage, you say something, that’s why Guru says “Manne kee get kahee naa(n) jaa-e, Je ko kahai pichai pachutaa-e.” The one who obeys, his description cannot be given. If somebody even cares to describe it, he will be sorry, he will be sorry afterwards and power of obedience is power of consciousness . . .

If your teacher is saying, are you a student, if your lover is saying are you a beloved, if your man is saying are you a woman, if God is saying are you His creation that decides. It’s not decided the way you want to decide it and it is tested and understood at every moment of life, it cannot be decided the way you want to decide it. . .

What I am telling you is the relationship of obedience of command is established law of nature, it will not change, you have to understand and adapt it. What are you and whatever it is, if that frequency is the same frequency you will have the strength to obey. If you are a Sikh your Guru is saying it, is it done and understood, relationship is established . . .

The steering wheel is in the hand of the great master, nuk nat ksam hat, kirth takey dey, jaha dana taha khana, nanak sache.

These are the words of Guru Nanak which is our Guru, nak nat, kasma hat, like a camel has a nose string, that’s in the hand of the master, nak nat ksam hat, kirth takey dey, our, our vibrations, kirth here means, our creative vibration in our life, takae means puts us, jerks us from here to there, there to there,

Jaha dana, taha khana-Wherever that food is written, there you are going to eat, Nan ka sacha, Nanak says this is the truth.

So what I am trying to reach to you is, prayer is the power and prayer is the project and prayer is the projection and prayer is the purity of life.  But why then prayer doesn’t work?  Because Ang.  We have so many Angs.  We have ten trillion cells, each cell has three parts of it.  So let us say in body there are ten trillion cells.  They all have to join in your prayer.  Otherwise, your ego makes no sense and that’s the work to be done; that’s the job to be done.  So if you belong to the master, then obey the master and master is the consciousness; master is the words of the Guru; master is that which has no mystery around [it] . . .

The law of life is obey, serve, love and excel, and this is the law of life of the Guru’s ward.

‘Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa.’

Copyright:  Teachings of Yogi Bhajan


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  1. Iqbal Singh says:

    Prayer…so simply explained .I have been praying and so is everybody praying but not with every cell of body.When I pray,”Nanak naam chardhi klaa Tere bhane sarbat da bhalla” from heart it resonates in me.Thank you for sharing such a beautiful talk of Master Harbhajan Singh Yogiji,

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