The Father in Sikh Dharma

SSS and Harbhajan Singh as a boy

by Siri Singh Sahib Ji

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh.

Today is a very auspicious day, a national day. We call it “Father’s Day.” And I’m just explaining that aspect, “father” and the Gurmat — in the Sikh way of life what father represents.

Sometimes we have our own virtues and we have our own defects.

“Too meraa pitaa, too hei meraa maataa.”

Oh God, you are my father, you are my mother.

When this thing is said that way, mostly we understand it religiously, my inspiration and my experience, my social obligation, and my personal obligation towards my father. And the same way we relate to our mother. And when we relate to these aspects like they are our parents, it is with a feeling of love, protection, inspiration, nurturing, nourishment, and those kinds of things. Sometimes we do remember we have been spanked. Sometimes we have remembered we have been gifted. Sometimes we remember lots of things. But these are our “earthly chores,” I have called them.

The basic concept of “Too meraa pitaa, too hei meraa maataa” is a very simple concept. The human father is basically a seed, which is spermatozoa. Spermatozoa is father. And egg is mother. That’s the basic physical existence which nobody can deny — but you are only willing to accept it medically. You don’t even want to look at it spiritually. What is a father? Spermatozoa. Penetration in zig-zag way. Something to achieve is a father. Something to reach is a father. It’s a destiny. Reaching destiny with dignity is a father. Father is not what you think father is.

It is very shocking to me that the very concept of father is so hazy, so far-removed from reality. And mostly you hate father because you think it is a matter of authority. It is not a matter of authority. Father never is authority, never was, never will be. It’s a penetration. It is drilling through. It is making your way. And every man who walks on a path or trail will find a zig-zag trail. No human being can walk straight. So its basic desire is to achieve against existence.

Why do we penetrate? Why do we go in a snake-like manner? The snake doesn’t have a bone, but it travels very fast. It pulls up its energy by each muscle and that’s what makes the curl. It is that curl, the father, the Kundalini. It’s no different if you understand the very science of it. It is that penetration into the Infinity of destination. It’s going in the sun, the very eye of the sun. We call it “third eye,” the center of the light. That is father.

And mother is the egg, the circle, the completeness, the conception, the reception, the containment. It is that pregnancy, that having, that nurturing. If you look at all that, these are two polarities of God. Nothing is incomplete. So complete mother and complete father means you must achieve but you must be at peace. You must achieve but you must be in harmony. You must penetrate, shoot through resistance. Those curls in the walk of life is when you shoot through resistance. It makes it easy for you. It makes it longer, but it makes it easy.

So our concept of life is not authority. Concept of life is achievement, fulfillment, anand, bliss. It is just like a journey when somebody travels and travels and travels and travels through the desert, through the mountain, through the snow peaks and through the greens and jungle and flesh, himself out in the open, then find a pathway and reaches the city. He goes into a hotel, checks himself in, leaves the luggage, closes the door and falls on the bed, very relaxed, very achieved, very calm, very happy, extremely tired. He doesn’t want to move his muscles because it took all his strength to pave the path and come to where the destination was. It’s fatherly. The grit, the strength, the penetration and making a way through is fatherly. Calm, containing, nurturing, nursing, sweet, helpful, letting him grow, protecting, is motherly. These are the faculties on which humanity is based.

This morning when I arose, after all my usual meditations, I went to the altar, and I bowed. I bowed to the altar in respect, in reverence of my fatherly attachment. Yesterday we had thousands of people wishing us well, and sending us flowers and sending us gifts. And somebody found out a very beautiful carved pen and it was a fatherly gift. Some people send lots of other things. Gifting towards the father was not towards a man. Gifts to the father was that acceleration and determination and renewal of your faith and vow of achievement. Understanding of father is to feel God is my father, Infinity is my father, and the universe and it’s nourishment is my mother. It’s such a beautiful concept by itself. It can be reduced to the very physical existence of earthly mother and earthly father.

But in Sikh Dharma a beautiful miracle has happened which has never happened in any religion before. The Guru became the father and most reached out to God who was in love..Look at the name, Mata Sahib Deva. Deva means transparently achieved. Angelic like. That most gracious, angel-like became the mother of the Khalsa. And Guru Gobind Singh became the father of the Khalsa. So the concept the mother and the father is there. Why it is there? It is there that nobody under all circumstances should feel like an orphan. Nobody’s an orphan. We have a mother, and we have a father, here and hereafter. And we have a concept to achieve and to contain. We have a history and we have a backing of it. And that is the conception of the mother and father. Subtle.

I do not feel that your grudge, your anger against mother and father is wrong. I see that some of you might be having a terrible experience with your mother and father and some of you have a beautiful experience with your mother and father. Sometimes I know the parents even do not know what a parent is.

And in America I have a great experience. When a man and a wife, man and a woman, husband and wife, fight, children are not considered in the play at all. Children are used as what you call the betting card, the most important card. Who will have the custody and who will ruin them? And who will overfeed them and who will not? Who will feed them and not? Who will play with them and not? Who will emotionally and sentimentally control them? That’s all it is about. But there’s nothing that will make both let their differences down and let go and be united because they have innocent children which they have to raise and which they have to grade them in life as perfect. Not at all.

And sometimes I feel how childish this world is where a child has no place. When I see grown up people fighting emotionally. Somebody said, “Yogiji, after ten years I have found out we do not have the same chemistry.” I said, “Thank God your watch is very slow. You work in a laboratory with him. I think you don’t have a good test tube. After ten years you have found you don’t have the same chemistry? Is it not that you are suffering because you are mentally not sharp enough to cut out the negativity?” And the majority of the people live the concept. They have become parents, they are mother and father, but they do not live it.

I was talking three days ago to somebody, and she said, “My father needs me.” Twenty years the father never called and told her never to come and see him. And now all of a sudden. So there is a concept, there is a gap, there is a flaw, there is an emptiness of a father in every life. And the same about a mother. To solve that forever, Guru Gobind Singh took a very plunging step. He totally took off the pain of the modern parenthood and gave us a permanent, beautiful, alive concept. Abstract of a father, of a mother, with which we can grow, with which we can go, always as happy as we could be. It’s a very relaxed and profound concept. It is not that we are worried about it. Sometimes in our work and in our busy-ness we forget about this concept. It doesn’t become a part of our everyday memory.

Exactly that is the way we do not have a real concept of a spiritual teacher. Spiritual is just an extension of your own very inner grit-consciousness. It is something which is beyond all your tattwas, chakras, environments and circumstances. But what is a spiritual teacher then if it is a grit-consciousness? It is a reflection. Do you have a good spiritual teacher or not? It can be seen from the one aspect. Around your spiritual teacher you can never forget one thing: your own inner grit and reflection. You cannot dodge it. You always will be pushed to the point where you should be, not where you are.

And sometimes it is a great fight. “Sir, I have done all except this little thing.” “You are right but, ‘that little thing’.” You can take all the vitamins in the world, but take one little pill of potassium cyanide; you’ll be dead in seconds. That little thing. That incompletion. That sensuality, that sexuality, that ego, that emotion, that commotion, that neurotic-ness and that syndrome of you is not going to ever let you be free. A square cannot fit into a circle until it is made small enough. Your incompletion, your security of the earth will create an equal balance of insecurity with heavens. That’s why our time is wasted and our life is wasted only considering one thing: how successful we are here, how successful we look to the people, how great we are. That’s our concept. Have we ever thought, “How do our parents recognize us, realize us, appreciate us?” And we do all that.

That’s also the father concept and the mother concept. It is called, “Parental Projection.” We all think, “How do our children look?” Even our teachers do that. “How do my students like me? How many ashrams have I got? How many things are right about me?” It’s totally ridiculous. There’s a basic concept, whether you like it or not, it will keep you pulling, it will keep you projecting whether you have a child or you don’t have a child, whether you are parent or you are not parent. Because that is your fundamental and fundamental must be complete fundamentally. That’s the law, nobody can avoid it.

So in this concept Guru Gobind Singh gave that perfection of imagination, of realization, and a history. There’s a history to Sikh Dharma. It has never happened in any religion that an order has been established in a religion where the Guru has said, “I am the father, and you are the mother,” at the time of the start. When Mata Sahib Deva came and gave those sweet candies she put in the Amrit, he said, “Khalsa is yours as a mother. Khalsa is mine as a father.” Then he went beyond breaking all the barriers. He said, “I am the Guru and I am the disciple.”

Guru Gobind Singh has a great understanding of God, that he blended both polarity into the oneness. He completely gave the aspect of “Ik Ong Kar,” in practical reality. Look at Jap Sahib. Every two polarities are bowed to. “Oh God, you are the Disease, I bow to you. Oh God, you are the Health, I bow to you.”

And you might be thinking, “How can disease be God?” Yesterday I was talking to Guru Amrit Kaur, my Secretary General, and we started dictating the concept of life, realism of life, how the religious aspect can be included in certain lines, and we talked for about a couple of hours. And she was very pleased. She took the notes. Right from Aristotle to Communism to Sikhism, we discussed everything. Practically we brought the reality to that concept. And she said, “Wow, we have done a great day.” I said, “Thank you to my sickness.” She said, “How come?” I said, “If I would have been healthy would you have gotten a time to sit down and discuss all that, write it down and all that? This is only now that we can even find time to lay it all down with a pen in black and white so that the coming generations can take advantage of it.”

Similarly you felt when Guru Nanak said, “Oh Humble of the humble, I bow to You.” When he says, “Oh Poor, I bow to You; Oh Rich, I bow to You,” you do not understand the concept. The concept is, all up and down, all low and high, all negative and positive is the aspect of God, to which Guru Gobind Singh reminds you, that opposite polarity of polarization does not effect the reality of your sublimation of your consciousness.

So the aspect of father and that of the mother is very well engraved. And it is also very respectfully accepted that the parents on the earth may fail. They may have weaknesses. They may not come through. Maybe children also have same desire and that may not come through. When the forty beloved ones, the great sons of Guru Gobind Singh, gave to him in writing, that “You are not our Guru and we are not your disciple,” the Guru didn’t believe what they said. Normally the word of the Sikh should be acceptable. He said, “No, no, no. Jethadar, put it in writing. I want to have it on record.” Because Guru knew it. The knowing Guru knew it. But when these 40 stood and gave their life to defend the truth, Guru came and blessed everyone. But when he came to the Jethadar and at that time the prana left in his body were not very much, that very son of the Guru who had given in writing, “You are not my father, you are not my Guru, you are not my teacher, you are nothing to me,”
who walked out in betrayal, when Guru was blessing him for his bravery, for his sacrifice, for his offering, at that time he couldn’t do anything. He simply told the Guru with his eyes, “You remember that paper?” The Guru said, “Yes.” He took it and he said, “Tear it up, so that reconciliation of my destiny may be acheived here. Nothing should come in my way.”

And that was the concept of that ultimate father, that authority, that God, that central eye in the sun, the ray of the sun, the light on the earth, the prana. And this concept is not which we have difficulty about. The difficulty is only when we practice it.

I was very surprised that day, I called one of my daughters just in a helping concept, it was no big deal. I met such a resistance, such a rudeness and such a bitterness, I have never seen in my whole life. It took me about 30-40 minutes to remind her who she was talking to. It was unbelievable. And that is what we lack in this country today as a nation, as individuals, as people — the receptivity of the status of age, of higher self. Here idiots think everybody is an idiot, but he’s a super-idiot. The concept is not, “If I am an idiot, I should take some wisdom.” Taking wisdom here is not the concept. The concept is, “All right, everybody’s an idiot. I’m a super-idiot. Then what? Who are you to tell me? Why learn? I will learn from my idiotic behavior. If it won’t fit in the circumstances, time and space, I’ll be a nervous wreck, I’ll just be Mr. Failure, and then I’ll say, well, I was wrong.” Oh, are you going to speak from your graveyard? No.

The life and law of life is that you learn. Giaan, Maha budh hei. Knowledge is, people leave knowledge. People leave through their experience. Even in this country, this country started as an occupation of trappers, they went and they trapped and they passed the trails, they brought the whole thing under control. Even they laughed at trails. From their trails many people walked and many people learned. I do not understand why in America people cannot learn from other people’s mistakes. There’s a great pride here. If 20 people have committed a mistake and drowned to death the 21st wants to go and drown himself because that’s the only way he feels he has achieved something. Such a self-destructiveness is from the basic inherited anger. Anger against the father.

The ladies have become anything because they feel that they should have been a son to be able to do anything. That little piece of meat which God has not given them has taken them psychologically and logically away from the concept to have the grace of being a woman. I have never understood that how great a miracle happened when God made you a woman and you do not want to live the definition of that concept. God has made you a man, you do not live the concept of that. Here ladies are becoming men and men are becoming women. And both are in a mess. That’s why when two people come to counsel with me, they can’t handle each other. Actually problem is not counseling. Problem is they are both not hungry, they have both eaten, and they are both under one shelter. The problem is that the daughter, because of the wrong concept of the father image, is trying to become a man. And that man, the son, is trying to become a woman by the iron concept of the mother. Now this is a fundamental gene problem. That’s why there is so much insensitivity.

Situations occur, like you want don’t want to see your first born is a daughter. You always want first born as a son. There are two children who suffer the most. The first born and the last. Why? It is a simple thing. They are not being nurtured and nursed right and they are not being given what they should be given as fundamental values. The last ones are totally spoiled. Either the first ones are over-loved and over-spoiled or they are totally ignored. Because sometimes psychologically the fear of death and the concept of achievement, “well, this is the born out of me is going to take over from me.” One way or the other, I’m not discussing the whole psychology here. I’m telling you the Dharma.

But Guru Gobind Singh knew all that. He understood it well. He offered himself as a father of every Khalsa, Mata Sahib Deva as a mother of every Khalsa, so that imaginative in feeling, in respect, in projection, in understanding, there is a proper substitute. There is a proper understanding. There is something to inspire, go to, accomplish. Because principle of being a father is to accomplish. And the accomplishment is achieving and being the bliss. That’s why the line of the Anand Sahib says, “Anand Bhe-aa meree maa-eh, Satiguroo meh paaiaa.” I have found the True Guru. And Guru is the…Gu-Ru…Darkness and Light. Where darkness and light become united, become one, that is Guru.

So long we are in the duality of aspect and projection, rejection and acceptance, love and hatred, me and you, Thou and us, all that what we are doing in life does not mean
achievement. It does not give us reality of life. It’s not a concept we grow for. The knowledge to achieve is to know and to grow, and to understand.

Somebody said, “You don’t recognize the bad?” I said, “I not only recognize the bad, I recognize the rotten.” What should we do? When you see something rotten just bow, and thank God in gratitude that you are not the one. And when you see something very precious and good, then bow. Thank God that you have seen something very good and you can aspire yourself to be.

So life has a lesson and a projection, and father in the image of the Dharma, in the image of the Khalsa, in the image of our practices, is a very practical achievement. Right from that to that, this to this. It is well illustrated, well explained., and with us forever. That’s why on this Father’s Day we bow to our father, Guru Gobind Singh. We ask him for a Happy Father’s day. Thousands and thousands of us are now at Guru Ram Das Puri, doing exactly what we are doing here. But today even as we are, we are also celebrating that concept. The concept is very alive in Sikh Dharma. Minus that concept, a Sikh is not in a position to understand himself.

That’s why sometimes you understand why we are very achieving. Achieving principle is that father principle, reaching to the central eye of the sun. And what reaches that s-u-n, is s-o-n. That’s why both words are spelled differently but they sound the same. Son reaches to the sun. The ray of light reaches back to the supreme light, the sun. And it is that achievement of that circle, that calmness, that containment, that territory of compassion, kindness, love and Infinity, that is the mother. And this aspect we have grown, we have achieved, we have realized.

Sometimes we do feel that life is as it is. Guru Gobind Singh as a Father of the nation of the Khalsa has an answer to it. He said, “Believe in your higher self, and believing in your higher self is achieving your higher self.” And in that penetration, that walk, he did not use kirpan to make Amrit. He used the double edged sword, he used the Khanda. He said, “Negative and positive is the same. How you handle it, that matters. With what strength you handle.” It’s not how you handle it, but with what strength you handle it, that matters. And this is the achievement through which we grow. That’s why the realization that we are Sikhs of the Guru, the realization that we are the Khalsa, the realization that we are born to be Khalsa, all that is understandable only if we understand, “Too meraa pitaa, too hei meraa maataa.” This concept. And recognizing this concept, not that you are having a quarrelsomeness with your father and therefore with every father, the principle, whole thing. You are not fighting with this earthly father. You are fighting with an ideological principle and that is painful in life. You are not fighting with your mother. You are fighting with the ideology of that concept.

That’s why Guru Gobind Singh gave you a new concept that he is the father, he is the mother, of the very concept of the Khalsa. It means the purity. Khalsa means the pure one. The purity is based on the concept of that reality to which the imaginative practical and adoring father is needed. The penetration and the achievement of the penetration to the reach of that of what it is said to be the destiny is that of Gobind Singh, the Guru. Go-bind, who nurtured the “Bind.” Spermatozoa is the bind. That ultimate nurturing principle of that “bind,” that beeja, that self. You think the names came and everything just came out of this, just as you call yourself something. That’s not true.

And Mata Sahib Deva, the perfect one, the circle, the egg, the circle, and the transparent Goddess of perfection and the perfect container, sustainer and achiever, the two met together to give the parenthood to the Khalsa. And Amrit came from the Double-edged sword. So there’s nothing good, nothing bad. That’s why Guru said, “To the Sickness of the sickness, to the Death of the death, to the Worst of the worst, to the Best of the best, to the Health of the health, to the Achievement of the achievement, I bow.” I bow, I salute. This achievement of philosophy is a practical reality which must be looked at.

And my idea was, today when we are celebrating Father’s Day, we are celebrating summer solstice, and we are having a great day in the House of Guru Ram Das, I wanted to share with you a Happy Father’s Day which was in my heart, which I understood as a Sikh of the Guru, which I understood as a son of Guru Gobind Singh and Mata Sahib Deva, which I understood in the concept of that projection, with which this other earthly handicaps of father and mother couldn’t touch, because when you are ready for a sacrifice, you are ready for a walk, you are ready for an achievement, then you say, “It’s a glory who you belong to, carry you through.” And if you belong to low parenthood, low concepts, you cannot achieve higher concepts.

And that handicap Guru Gobind Singh and Mata Sahib Deva took away when they gave us the concept of the Khalsa. Then Khalsa became the reality, we became the reality, they became our mother and father, here and hereafter and that’s why I wish to my father, your father, the father of the Khalsa. Can you believe you belong to a path, you belong to a Dharma where we can practically say,”Happy Birthday, Oh my Father, Guru Gobind Singh,” and instead of Guru, you can also understand that he is also your father? And you can also understand that Mata Sahib Deva is your mother, and on mother’s day you can help play that concept. What I’m saying is, you are fortunate to belong to a path where there is no handicap, because nothing has been left out. It is well-detailed. Why? Because the totality of polarity has been brought into unisonness of that affection so that each one can achieve a realism in life through purity, through divinity, through dignity and through grace.

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh!

© YB Teachings, LLC 1987

In honor of fathers everywhere and our spiritual father Guru Gobind Singh, please enjoy these beautiful songs written and sung by Guru Dass Singh.

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