It is easy to keep positive when our circumstances are supporting us, but how do we maintain our spiritual upliftment when times are hard?
There is a concept in Sikh Dharma called ‘Chardi Kala’ or Every Rising Spirit. It means that no matter the environments, circumstances or energies, our spirit remains high. The Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan explains that this comes from the practice of consciously seeing God in every situation, no matter how good or bad.
That sounds easy to do, right? But difficult in practice, especially when obstacles seem enormous or overwhelming.
The Siri Guru Granth Sahib offers a path forward through the sound current of the Shabad Guru. The Shabad Guru is based on the vibration of the soul: we go into the energy that we would like to be in (Chardi Kala) and keep our vibration strong from this point.
The Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan once had a serious heart surgery that carried a lot of risk. When he returned, everyone around him was very somber with downcast faces, as this was difficult to go through and witness. When he saw me, he told me to be happy; that this would serve him far better than my being somber or downcast. I thought about this further and saw that when we hold our vibration steady and high, it assists others to do so and offers us a chance to send our prayers from this space of Chardi Kala, rather than from despair. It’s very effective and a most rewarding practice.
How to get started
Each of us go through difficulties in different ways and challenges bring up different memories or programs for each of us. There are many shabads to practice, so find the ones that offer you the most comfort and relief. Ideally, they would open your heart, give you faith and allow you to come into a place of understanding that all is in God’s hands. From this place, you can then make your prayer for the energy of God’s Grace to expand to a particular situation or for yourself. Here is one that is helpful for hard times:
Shabad for Difficult Times ~ Aukhi Ghari Na Dekhan Day
This shabad puts us in a place of deep connection and trust so that our consciousness is absorbed with the Divine and we don’t need to experience challenges as painful.
You can recite this for 11 times per day or more (even 108 times!)
Singing or Chanting:
Sing along to a musical version in the links above or sing this yourself in any version. It can be done for 11 minutes, 31 minutes or longer, as you like.
You can sit down and meditate to this shabad for 11 minutes, 31 minutes or longer, as a meditation and go into the vibration, or you can keep it playing in your house or work to put yourself in the vibration of the shabad throughout the day.