Interview with SS Karta Singh Khalsa, LeMartinet, France
Guru Arjan as an archetype is very much a leader. He is always very present as a part of my self-expansion and personal vision. Guru Arjan represents for me the archetype of the lover, because true love encompasses the fire of passion that is subjective and self-consuming. It is this fire that is the merger of Aad and Naad and that creates the ability to transform frustration and anger into the essence of the teaching.
Guru Arjan proved that he has transformed any sort of attachment through the expression of his love. That is how he withstood five days of being boiled and having hot sand poured over him. For Guru Arjan, it took five days to burn and purify the five elements.
In numerology, Guru Arjan is five; Guru Arjan is the teacher. The teacher accepts you and contains you while you are in the fire. He provokes and brings you into the fire, then contains you until you burn totally.
As long as we do not go through the fire to let go of the old, we will not be able to crystalize the new. In the fire we purify our metal; we temper our Self through the fire. If we do not go through the fire we do not–we cannot–even start anything. Provoking the anger and burning through it raises our consciousness to the level of the heart. This is the alchemy. This is the technique.
Guru Nanak installed a social system where we live without judgment. We are now creating seeds of community as Khalsa. This is not a religion; this is a way of living. We create avenues of participation. The essence of the teachings is the seed of Khalsa consciousness. We generate a sangat so strong that we attract those who long to belong. The more challenge we face, the more sangat we need. Our sense of family lets us face our reality. First, there is the “sangat at large.” This can be any student in a yoga class, a neighbor or anyone in the world.
Then comes the Sadh Sangat, where we create opportunity for those who are selected by their own soul to then embrace their responsibility to serve the sangat at large. Life is a self-initiation process. The minute you step into a committed life you enter the dharma where there is no karma. Then within the setting of normal life you can progress.
Any heavy metal has to be held in the fire to be purified. For us purification starts in the presence of the Sadh Sangat. The Sadh Sangat has been purified; they are crystal and ready. They are willing to die for each other. This is our initiation.
We are not claiming anything. We are not asking people to join the community. We are the community because we have qualified ourselves, because we have gone through the fire. From the sangat at large we become the Sadh Sangat.
When we start trusting each other as a committed group, as a Sadh Sangat, then we can take action. Then we can work together to carry a project. But before we attempt to deliver anything together, we must first build a committed group consciousness. When you project an objective, whether you achieve it or not does not matter. We are not here to be successful; we are here to be realized.
Psyche of the Golden Temple
The Golden Temple carries the silence; the shabad brings everything to silence. When we sit together and eat together we share our connection and our silence. We share our trust together. We resonate in that oneness; it does not matter what karma we have.
In our own life we each need to turn into a Golden Temple: to serve people, elevate them, feed them and give them a place to belong. If we are not there to help each other, to burn the karma is impossible. We help each other face the fire. The actual Golden Temple has four directions of karma, the four doors. Even with the worst karma in the world we are never dishonored as a human being; at the Golden Temple the lowest of the low is served.
Life is a self-confrontation. What solution do you find to integrate this teaching? We are equally facing our own anger. This humbles us. By sharing our experience we build a trust beyond weaknesses. When we can trust each other beyond weakness then we can start to build a Golden Temple.
Building a collective consciousness will ultimately free us. We give the values and leave a legacy, and are not limited by the earth. Guru Arjan taught us that together we build something bigger than ourselves that lives forever.
About the Author
SS Karta Singh Khalsa was ordained as a Sikh Dharma Minister and serves as the Founding Director of the Amrit Nam Sarovar Yoga School (ANS), teaching Kundalini Yoga in Europe. He studied with Yogi Bhajan and served as a member of the International Khalsa Council.