by SS Kulwant Singh Khalsa, West Midlands UK
2022 (First Quarter)
“Come and join together, O my Siblings of Destiny; dispel your sense of duality and let yourselves be lovingly absorbed in the Lord. Let yourselves be joined to the Name of the Lord; become Gurmukh, spread out your mat, and sit down. ||1|| In this way, throw the dice, O brothers. As Gurmukh, chant the Naam, the Name of the Lord, day and night. At the very last moment, you shall not have to suffer in pain. ||1||Pause|| Let righteous actions be your gameboard, and let the truth be your dice. Conquer sexual desire, anger, greed, and worldly attachment; only such a game as this is dear to the Lord. ||2|| Rise in the early hours of the morning, and take your cleansing bath. Before you go to bed at night, remember to worship the Lord. My True Guru will assist you, even on your most difficult moves; you shall reach your true home in celestial peace and poise. ||3|| The Lord Himself plays, and He Himself watches; the Lord Himself created the creation. O servant Nanak, that person who plays this game as Gurmukh wins the game of life, and returns to his true home. ||4||1||19||,”, (SGGS, 1185).
Upholding Core Values
Guru Arjan (the Fifth Master) teaches us the importance of sitting together to disperse any disagreements which we may have. Practically these may be in our organizations, or even at home with our family.
Values are the underlying beliefs that guide our decisions and actions and ultimately shape our communities. Leadership values are a subset of those values that positively influence one’s ability to lead effectively.
As a Minister of Sikh Dharma, it is important to uphold core values. Values such as compassion, truth, humility, contentment, and love for all are ideals we should live by. We need to be strong in our practice by waking in the Amrit Vela, contemplating on the Lord through our daily Sadhana, chanting Gurbani, and maintaining values in everything we do. It is vital that we help ourselves in this way, as it is only then that we will be able to truly support others.
At a personal level, I like to take stock every now and again, just to check in with myself and ask, “Am I truly living up to the vows and promises I made when I was blessed with Amrit, and when I became a Minister of Sikh Dharma?” And if not, I need to do something about it. After all, everything we have pledged to is practical, and we know it is value-driven. However, we are human and become lazy from time to time and just need gentle, graceful reminders.
Coming Out Stronger
The events leading up to the martyrdom of Guru Gobind Singh’s younger sons and mother come to mind. During the time when they were being hunted by Mughals, the elderly Guru Mother and her grandsons sought refuge at the home of their personal cook.
Although he had lived with and served the Guru’s family for many years, he took this opportunity to steal money from the Guru Mother, and informed the authorities about where they were staying, in order to receive a hefty reward. But no matter what, those young children and their grandmother didn’t give an inch. They stood their ground, upheld the values given to them by the Guru, and happily gave their lives.
Over the past year or so, I have felt that these core values and principles have diminished. Challenges come and go, and this is a truth of life. But from these challenges, we need to come out stronger, rather than weaker.
There is a need for us to go back to how we started. We need to sit together, chant together, laugh together, even cry together. But most of all, we need to open our hearts, talk, and listen to each other. Remember that we are the sons and daughters of Guru Gobind Singh, who traded his whole family for us to have his legacy.
It is my humble prayer, that we may all be united once again and come together under the shelter of Guru Ram Das. May we be healed, so that we may heal others.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa! Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
About the Author
SS Kulwant Singh Khalsa was born into an Indian Sikh family and took Amrit at the age of 10. He was ordained as a Sikh Dharma Minister in 2011. Kulwant Singh had the opportunity to be in the presence of Siri Singh Sahib Ji during his tours to the UK and at Solstice in the 1990s. These experiences have inspired and guided his life ever since. He has served in professional childcare and education for almost 20 years and manages a Sikh school for young children. He works extensively in the Sikh community, serving the Guru and Sangat through Kirtan and seva. Kulwant Singh is a loving husband to Jagdip Kaur Khalsa and a grateful father of three girls and one boy. He lives to serve as a son of Guru Nanak through Guru Gobind Singh and is grateful for being able to live as a Sikh in this lifetime.