by SS Subagh Kaur Khalsa, Sao Paulo Brazil
In Memory of Guru Sewak Singh Khalsa
My greatest moment of darkness came in 2001 when I received an evening phone call from my husband Guru Sewak’s surgeon, informing us that the result of his biopsy had returned and it was malignant.
The feeling was like falling down an elevator shaft, spinning through time. Everything in our lives changed with that phone call. Medical exams, blood tests, medication, hospital stays, surgery–all of which had been previously personally unknown–became an ongoing undercurrent in managing our daily lives.
We had broken ground in 1999 on the Gurdwara project which involved building a yoga center and Gurdwara. At the time we received the diagnosis, the first floor was nearly finished. We took some breathing space to rethink the project.
The first floor was the housing and clinic to serve the second floor, the yoga center and Gurdwara. It didn’t make sense to build the first floor without the second. In 2003 there were clinical signs that the illness was advancing.
The thought of tackling the construction without Guru Sewak’s vision was unthinkable. So we decided to move forward on the second floor, the heart of the project.
As the yoga center/Gurdwara was taking shape, Guru Sewak’s light was dimming. On June 6th, 2004 we inaugurated the Gurdwara. Guru Sewak did the Ardas. With the impending loss, there was a strong mixture of feelings of celebration and sadness.
During those years I gained my most profound lessons. There’s nothing like a fatal illness to help us shift our awareness of what is really valuable in life. I realized that, even though I had been teaching about non-attachment for years, I was very attached to my husband, to the family unit, to being together and working as a team, to having him present.
Over the course of those years, disbelief slowly evolved into acceptance. I discovered that the disease in itself brought its own gifts. Relief from suffering helped to alleviate my attachment. I perceived that the canyons created by tears serve as channels for compassion.
I found that the moment of death has the very same flavor as the moment of a birth and is a profound transformer for all present. I had uncountable examples of how the Divine was taking care of us through it all. So from the depths of darkness, the light of living continues to sustain me.
Life is flowing…
Moment to moment…
Flow with it,
And be sheltered from the hassles
Of time and space.
Life is full of Power…
Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji
(from Furmaan Khalsa)
About the Author
SS Subagh Kaur Khalsa is an ordained Sikh Dharma Minister. She is a North American living in Brasil since 1986, when the Siri Singh encouraged her and her husband to settle there. She lives in a beautiful ashram / Yoga Center / Retreat Center in the mountains just outside São Paulo, 45 minutes from the GRU International airport hosting Level 1 and 2 KRI Teacher Training courses, pre-natal yoga training, specialty courses in Kundalini Yoga for people with special needs.