by SS Guru Nam Singh and SS Sat Jivan Kaur Khalsa, McAllen TX
Life is a continuous succession of changes. There are changes in everything and everywhere. Humans are accustomed to these changes and we adapt naturally to them.
However, some changes have a greater impact on our lives than others. Moving the furniture around in a room of my house is a change, but it is a much more important change if I move from one city to another. Having a new coworker at the office involves change and adjustment, but if I have a new job this brings greater consequences.
The teachings of the Siri Singh Sahib help us deeply to understand and embrace change by guiding us into the cycles of life. Siri Singh Sahib taught us that we encounter major changes every 7, 11 and 18 years and that they involve our consciousness, mental beliefs and physical reliance. He taught us that these changes were real transitions because of their importance and that each one of them was intense and deep.
At the level of the whole of humanity there are also cycles, major changes and ages. We are now at the threshold of change, transitioning from the Piscean into the Aquarian Age. Change is coming at us fast. Examples of this are: natural phenomena that affect millions of people, economic, political and social conditions in all countries, value systems that are substituted for new ones, unstoppable technology, social networking, communication causing a phenomenon never seen before, etc.
No doubt the changes we are witnessing are of an inconceivable magnitude and in order to survive them, and do this with grace, humanity requires special techniques and extraordinary courage. The Siri Singh Sahib warned us and prepared us for this.
HOW DO YOU RELATE TO THIS CHANGE OF THE AGE?
For us as for anyone, this turbulence at all levels causes us alarm, disrupts our daily routine and forces us to be in a state of permanent alert. Yet it does not suffocate or paralyze us, because we know that it’s part of a natural evolutionary process.
We are committed to face these changes because we have an arsenal of tools for it, that together outline what the Siri Singh Sahib defined as a yogic lifestyle. Our lifestyle is not going to prevent natural phenomena from happening or social change in Arab countries, or social networking to cease to grow rapidly, but will help us address these changes with clarity of mind in order to go through them with grace.
HOW DO YOU BRING THIS CHANGE INTO YOUR BEING, YOUR WORK, AND YOUR DAILY LIFE?
We do not bring these changes into our lives, we rather simply accept them. We perceive the pressures and recite the Sutra: “when the time is on you, start, and the pressure will be off.” We believe that, thanks to the techniques of Kundalini Yoga, meditation, food, habits, etc., we can adapt quickly to new circumstances. We flow like water and follow the course of the stream without giving further obstacles that could be very painful. We live right on the border with Mexico. Things are not easy; we simply try our best to keep up, believing we will be kept up.
HOW IS TODAY DIFFERENT FROM YESTERDAY?
From a broad point of view we can say that today is very different from the past. Despite the great evils that we see in today’s society in many countries, it is also undeniable that the level of awareness has increased considerably. Youth are demanding democracy and justice; dictatorships are being overthrown; women are now more and more in command of many sectors of society; religion has given way to spiritual growth; communication is almost instantaneous now. This makes our way of dealing with life very different: now we must communicate more directly, lead by example and rely on facts rather than words. In short we must be more precise in following the teachings of Guru Nanak, whose concepts are more applicable now than ever before.
WHAT IMPLICATIONS ARE THERE FOR YOU PERSONALLY AND AS A MINISTER?
There are many implications that an environment of rapid change presents. Just as we see things so confusing and complex, we also have the capacity to perceive them in a simple and clear way. The change in the environment around us involves a change in our behavior. If changes are more rapid and profound, then we should also adapt in a more rapid and deeper way to be able to keep up with our own lives, to support our families and to better serve the social environment in which we develop.
As people, as Sikhs and as ministers, we find it today more important than ever to try to lead by example and to try to inspire others to dwell in God and have confidence in His plan. We feel very fortunate to be able to have the Guru Ji at our yoga center and to work hand-in-hand with our local Sikh community to have Gurdwaras and hukams in three languages: Punjabi, English and Spanish.
WHAT TOOLS ARE YOU USING THAT SUPPORT YOU IN MANTAINING YOUR CONCSIOUSNESS AND NEUTRALITY TO SERVE THROUGH YOUR MINISTRY?
The tools we are using are the ones that our teacher gave us. It is important to maintain a Yoga and Meditation practice, to rely on the guidance of Siri Guru Granth Sahib, to have a Sangat, to take care of our bodies and our food; in short, to follow the lifestyle of Sikh Dharma. Of particular high importance is the practice of Sadhana.
WHAT ARE YOU LEAVING BEHIND?
In an atmosphere of impermanence, what we believe we are leaving behind is our attachment. Life now gives us constant lessons that nothing is permanent and therefore being attached just creates a miserable life. We also think modern life teaches us to leave behind the pride that comes from our ego and the illusion of control.
Natural disasters, to mention an extreme example, show us that our level of control over this planet and over our lives is minimal, almost non-existent. We must be humble and adopt a proper perspective on life, do our work and feel part of God, trust in His absolute wisdom, in His absolute love and His absolute power.
Finally, we must say that living in these modern times should make us ever more grateful to God for the opportunity of this life and for the many gifts and blessings we receive every day. We must enjoy them in a deeper way, a more authentic, complete and honest way.
About the Authors
SS Guru Nam Singh is an ordained Sikh Dharma Minister. He worked for the Mexican government for 25 years and lectured on Public Administration at the University of Mexico. In 1980, after meeting Yogi Bhajan, he started an import/export business and helped create the first organization for Kundalini teachers and students in Mexico. He also helped Sikh Dharma become a recognized religion in Mexico.
He and his wife SS Sat Jivan Kaur have two children and four grandchildren. They run a Kundalini Yoga studio in the Rio Grande Valley (TX), where around 100 families attend gurdwara. He founded Nam Publishers, dedicated to translating and publishing books and manuals about Kundalini Yoga, Humanology, and Sikh Dharma. SS Sat Jivan Kaur gives lectures, courses and retreats and participates in the ongoing book translation projects. Currently, she is in charge of maintaining the official Gurdwara of the Sikh Society of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.