by SS Gurutej Singh Khalsa, Singapore
This creation is one of absolute perfection and within that perfection exists the miraculous human incarnation. Since time immemorial, human beings have been trying to understand the perfection, mystery, and purpose of the incarnation, and in fact, the creation itself. When I was young, I had to write a term paper about what I wanted to do when I grew up. I wanted to be a surgeon and as part of the research for the paper I had to interview someone in that line of work. A very kind surgeon agreed to allow me to interview him in his office, during office hours, and for no fee! I asked him why it takes so long to become a doctor (school, internship, residency, about 10 to 12 years). I will never forget his profound and eloquent answer: “Because you are dealing with the finest God-made thing in all creation and it takes a long time to understand it.”
Although I never became a doctor, I have always been fascinated by this finest God-made thing and all its aspects. This physical body is animated by the subtle body and in this “9” year it is important to know the Subtle Body. Also known as the Ninth body, the Subtle Body is effectively the vehicle of the soul.
One with a strong Subtle Body will have a refinement in manner, demeanor, speech, and actions. A strong Subtle Body brings a calm and intuitive nature. People with strong Subtle Bodies are quick learners and strong leaders, whereas those with weak subtle bodies tend to be weak-natured, naive, and easily misled, as well as awkward and often crude in speech and behavior.
As Ministers, it is our job to speak to the soul, and the path of that communication is through the Subtle Body. It is not about the words we say, but about our projection through the Subtle Body. It is our Ministerial duty to comfort, heal, inspire, and elevate others. The Siri Singh Sahib said that we must have what he referred to as “a penetrating projection” and that the power of our presence must elevate people.
Soldier and Saint
An understanding of Guru Teg Bahadur’s life gives us insight into the Subtle Body. When he was young he fought alongside his father, Guru Hargobind, and distinguished himself on the battlefield. After his father’s death, he moved to Bakala where he sat in deep meditation for 27 years. After the passing of Guru Harkrishan, the Guruship was passed to Guru Teg Bahadur. As Guru he traveled extensively, wrote Gurbani, and fathered Gobind Rai. Then when Gobind Rai was nine, Guru Teg Bahadur offered himself as a sacrifice to stop the slaughter of the Hindus by the Mughals. He was martyred in Delhi after seeing three of his devoted Sikhs tortured and executed before his eyes.
So the spectrum of the Subtle Body is broad and contains both sant and siphai, saint and soldier, a profound meditative capacity, and of utmost importance, the capacity to sacrifice for righteousness no matter the consequences. It is this combination of traits that makes the Subtle Body so powerful and the presence of one with a strong Subtle Body so penetrating. It is what makes us effective as Ministers.
Many of us were blessed to experience Siri Singh Sahib’s presence in his physical body while at the same time experiencing his Subtle Body. Now his beautiful physical form is no longer with us, but the power and projection of his penetrating and powerful Subtle Body is ever with us. When I tune in each morning, that presence is obvious to me. The Subtle Bodies of the ten Gurus are also with us to guide, inspire, and protect us.
Experiencing the Subtle Body
Over 20 years ago I had a profound experience with the Subtle Body of Guru Gobind Singh. It occurred when the Gurdwara in Espanola was being extended and work had just begun. It was a bright October day in Northern New Mexico, my favorite time of year. On that day, the trenches for the footing had been dug and the rebar laid, but when the concrete came it was too wet. We had to nurse it all day, working very hard and until very late, when it finally began to set.
I staggered home, exhausted, took off my boots and before I could take a shower, I had an overwhelming urge to just lie down on the bed. So in my dirty work clothes I lay down and closed my eyes. I felt myself drifting into a deep altered state. I felt myself rise up out of my body and return to the work site. In this state I stood there looking at what we had accomplished that day, when I heard what sounded like horses’ hooves behind me. I turned and the Tenth Master rode up to me. Multi-colored flames seemed to be radiating from his body. He leaned over in his saddle and said in a strong voice, “I have come for all my children!” Then thousands of points of light swept down and away toward the West. With sword held high above his head, he rode away calling Wahe Guru!
Slowly, I merged back with my physical body and was surprised to find myself lying on my bed, still in my work clothes. To this day the feeling from that experience has never left me. That is the power and grace of the Subtle Body. I recorded that experience in the poem “All My Children”.
SS Gurutej Singh Khalsa is a yogi, warrior, businessman, writer, healer, and teacher. He studied Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma with the Siri Singh Sahib for 35 years as his personal bodyguard in his world travels. Gurutej is a founder of Akal Security, Inc., the largest privately-held security services contractor in the U.S. and largest provider of protective services to the U.S. Government.
Gurutej Singh teaches Kundalini Yoga, the science of meditation, and the teachings of the Sikhs. In 2001, he published Children of the Cusp, a book of poetry about his experiences as a student under the guidance of a spiritual teacher. In 2014, his novel RAJNI was awarded the Gold Seal of Literary Excellence. Gurutej Singh is listed on the Sikh 100 as one of the world’s most influential Sikhs. He lives in Singapore with his wife and son, where he writes, teaches, consults, and is actively involved with the Asian Sikh communities.