by SS Sat Sansar Singh Khalsa, Santiago, Chile
Becoming a Sikh Dharma Minister has been a long path of learning, practice, and growth for me. Guru Amar Das has been a central inspiration for my journey on this road, and his teaching of equality and inclusiveness has been ever present.
At that time I was living in a different country and culture and thus I did not always feel as personally included as I would have liked. Being married with a newborn baby also made life a bit more challenging.
In those days, the picture of Guru Amar Das brought me to a place of solace and tranquility. His unshakeable commitment to carry the water to his Guru, described so well in that picture, was a point of inspiration for my prayer.
When I returned home to Chile, I did my Level I Teacher Training practicum with a group of people who had been victims of political repression and torture during the 1970s. Most of them, if not all, came from a Marxist background, in which the idea of equality is fundamental.
Since equality was the main point of connection between the group of students and myself, I decided to seek guidance from Guru Amar Das. I carried a small image of him that I kept by my side in every yoga class, and I also prayed to him for guidance during the class right after the Adi Mantra. His spirit was very vivid in every class, and we had an extremely successful experience of togetherness and team building.
Guru Amar Das’ Example
Nowadays, in my life and work as a Sikh Dharma Minister, I often reflect on Guru Amar Das’ example and values to promote the growth or development of inclusiveness in my community.
In my personal practice I usually recite either Anand Sahib (Guru Amar Das’ Song of Bliss) when I want to connect with the most enjoyable side of life, or Jaap Sahib, when there is a challenge that calls for attitudes of firmness and setting limits.
I call on the sound current of Anand Sahib with a personal prayer to help me support everyone in the community to feel that their voices are heard and that their opinion/point of view is important and a contribution towards our shared destiny.
In prayer, I look to the teachings of Guru Nanak and the legacy of Guru Amar Das in building communities of equality. I look to be guided to facilitate the growth and blossoming of a community that reflects on the sound current of Siri Guru Granth Sahib as a focal point.
A central theme lately in our community has been inclusiveness of a growing Punjabi Sikh community. The example of Guru Amar Das has been a constant inspiration to focus on our shared values and mutual love for the Siri Guru Granth Sahib and Sikh way of life to expand participation into seva at the local gurdwara, creating an environment that is enriching for everyone.
About the Author
As a Sikh Dharma Minister, SS Sat Sansar Singh Khalsa works closely with the Sangat in Santiago, Chile, to sustain the needs of the local Gurdwara, promoting and encouraging participation in monthly gurdwaras, coordinating seva activities, and facilitating infrastructure. Sat Sansar Singh Khalsa is a certified MSc in Geological and Environmental Sciences and runs MAYCO Consultores, an environmental consulting business. Sat Sansar Singh Khalsa is the father of Amelia, age 18, and Julian, age 13.