by SS Manjit Kaur and SS Sat Want Singh Khalsa, Espanola NM
“Create dependable children, not dependent children. Give your children the basic values to face their own tomorrows, not be blinded by yours. Make them proper personalities, not helpless puppets. Position them for success; don’t paralyze them with the commotion of your emotions.”—The Siri Singh Sahib
Spiritual Parenting: Knowing that many have spoken, written and lived eloquently on this topic—best of all the Siri Singh Sahib Ji, as well as each of the living Gurus and the Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji—in this article we are humbly sharing a few thoughts on this weighty topic.
Guru Dev Mata, Guru Dev Pita: The transparent Guru is Mother and Father. A wonderful “parenting” Shabad was channeled by Guru Arjun Dev Ji in the Poota Mata Kee Asees shabad. He prays as Guru-parent, the light which illuminates the darkness, always, every moment, for each one of God’s beloved children.
When we sing these and other Shabads, we channel the divine energy of God, Guru, Adi Shakti, the universal mother/father. We may pray for a specific child, or simply radiate to all of humankind this divine Naad.
The Heart of Parenting
The heart of parenting is loving-kindness, to manifest Guru’s light through temporal and spiritual tools. Love and parenting is the verbal and nonverbal work of compassion, consistency, reliability, tender regard, respect, and truth in action.
Dharmically, it is nurturing the practice and realization of the treasure of Naam within. It is teaching, of the highest order. Parenting promotes being good to yourself, and claiming your birthright of happiness, to paraphrase the Siri Singh Sahib.
How does one feel and give love and light when stressed, exhausted, and challenged mentally, spiritually and physically? Hopefully we can stay swimming and afloat, in the river of Chardi Kala, the positive upward energy that somehow not only gets us through dark times but sees us shining more brightly than before.
Parenthood manifests in many inspiring ways, through fostering growth, maturation, change, or healing in a vulnerable person of tender years. In our 3HO community, this includes the energy and dedication put into such things as the 120th day of pregnancy, where Sangat participates in the sacred event to attract and welcome a tender new soul to the earthly plane.
We also support and teach through the sweetness and care of including the children in the Gurdwara music program doing Celestial Communication. It takes a Dharma to raise a child.
Particularly moving is to witness someone responding to special challenges arising in a young one’s life. Calling on that infinite but subtle inner strength, and dealing with their own problems, a parent tries to encourage this dear soul forward with the best possible outcome.
There are many ways to uplift a challenging situation. It may be through seva or prayer, manifesting as tirelessly cooking Langar or serving the Sangat in some way. It could be reciting a mantra, Shabad, or passage from the Siri Guru Granth Sahib each day for 40, or 90, or 120 days, or forever. It could be more “conventional,” spending long hours and untold funds to best help the situation.
Parenting is one of life’s greatest challenges, if not the greatest. We do ourselves and generations to follow great service through individual and community support of parenting, in any and every way. Our prayers are with these efforts. May God and Guru ever protect and support us all, and may we live to serve one another. Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh!
Dharmic Resources for Children
About the Authors
SS Manjit Kaur and SS Sat Want Singh Khalsa are long-time members of the Espanola sangat, where they raised three daughters. They are ordained Sikh Dharma Ministers, grandparents and beautiful examples of dharmic parenting.