by SS Siri Gian Kaur Khalsa, Espanola NM
“The axe cuts the sandal tree, yet the sandal perfumes the axe.”—Guru Har Rai Ji
This is Guru Har Rai’s explanation of why he helped save the life of Shah Jihan’s son with the Guru’s special herbs when that emperor had been so cruel to his great grandfather, Guru Arjan and to his grandfather, Guru Hargobind.
The Guru demonstrated that the negative actions of others shouldn’t dictate grudges, blocking or retaliation from a Sikh. So, just as a sandalwood tree perfumes the axe which cuts it, the Guru returns good for evil. That is true compassion flowing from pure integrity. Compassion and peace pervaded his Guruship, even though he had to deal with so many vile situations!
COMPASSION! If someone were mean to you, would you have compassion to see the difficulties that have formed their meanness or their as yet un-evolved consciousness? Compassion springs straight from the deepest part of our unencumbered heart, and it goes way beyond the limits of our mind.
“The only beautiful thing which makes you human is compassion. Think about vengeance, lies, truth, God, greatness, think of anything, if you take compassion out of it, everything becomes bitter. Compassion is a value of life; it is power; it is God and meditation; it is truth. Compassion gives you the strength to go through suffering and yet, feel no pain. There is absolutely no grace without compassion.”—Siri Singh Sahib (July 11, 1986)
It flows from our holding steady in the neutral, expansive Consciousness of the Guru—of our Soul which is experienced as Cherdi Kala. Compassion is sourced from true love of the SELF within oneself as it naturally connects with everyone, regardless of what we believe they have done to us, to themselves or to others.
It is the opposite of narcissistic self-love. The Source of compassion knows the Real Truth behind every situation—far beyond what our mind can pick up. Compassion is pure, totally humble, neutral, often unemotional expansive love that does not expect a return, or to be rewarded—no “hooks.”
It is meditative-level forgiveness and non-attachment, and the compassionate perspective is from neither a high nor low position, but from the deep recognition that “the other person is you.” It is being fully Present in the Soul Space or radiant body; it is holding the actual healing space. In that “place” we just KNOW how we can best help this person, no matter how crazy that may seem to our mind.
Caring for Our Parents with Compassion
Dedication to caring for your parents through their elder years is truly an opportunity to build your compassion. Since Guru was guiding me to travel to teach and offer healing in 1993, I made a bargain with Him: I would go, but if my parents needed me I would be able to get home and care for them.
Typically, I traveled from one country to another without taking time off. Finally I became exhausted and scheduled myself to be at my parents’ home for a month of relaxation, plus a little teaching. But true to Guru’s word, three days after I arrived home after Baisakhi in Los Angeles, both of my parents became extremely ill on the same weekend. My mom was diagnosed with metastasized cancer, and my dad had a massive stroke that put him in a nursing home for the rest of his life.
Consequently, I quit my traveling to take care of them. My dad survived only the first two years, and my mom for nine years! It was definitely not easy, but I learned so much and am grateful that I was able to offer them that support over that time. I felt that no one should be unsupported in that weakened condition, so I did what I could.
If you are in a similar situation, you may find these resources helpful:
Typically, doctors will spend no more than 10-15 minutes with your elder, getting to know his/her health situation and determining the cause and solution of the current affliction. Most elders have a complicated medical history that would take hours to re-tell. So I developed a Comprehensive Health Chart to quickly and efficiently address all of the doctor’s questions. In five minutes, the doctor would comprehend my parent’s total health situation and therefore he/she was able to make an informed diagnosis and treatment plan, rather than an uninformed guess. It takes a lot of your attention to keep this Health Chart up-to-date, as well as stock and administer their medications and treatments, but it is really worth your effort!
About the Author
SS Siri Gian Kaur Khalsa is an ordained Sikh Dharma Minister. Her passion is truly connecting folks with their Soul, listening to and feeling Soul through their Self-Sensory System. She teaches, mentors, and helps folks heal their habitual blocks or Trances so they actually experience their True Self, their Sat Nam, their very Light. This is the profound practice of Sunniai and Mannai as described by Guru Nanak in Japji Sahib. Siri Gian brings extraordinarily experiential teachings by online TeleCourses, Baba Siri Chand TeleTalks at www.SoulAnswer.com, as well as webinars, and in-person events, and travels to teach and heal. She has been a Sikh since 1976.