by SS Mahan Rishi Singh Khalsa, Princeton Junction NJ
2021 (Second Quarter)
As I reflect on the decades of the 1980s and ‘90s, I observe a shift in the collective energy in the United States and possibly the world.
In the 1960s and ‘70s, many young people were breaking free from traditional belief systems. It was a time for both personal and planetary exploration, revolution, and awakening. For me, those two decades were a time of self-discovery, of shedding conventional perspectives, and of gaining a deeper understanding of my own individual needs.
In my assessment, the 1980s and ‘90s brought a return to a more materialistic period of expansion and change. Nevertheless, because of ashram living, I found myself more engaged with people, in both one-to-one and group settings. This experience unfolded naturally as I became more involved in the healing arts through becoming a chiropractor.
Our peace gatherings, as well as other community events, were growing and flourishing. My attitudes toward co-operative events were shaped not only by my Dharmic path but also by the community of people around us. Here in the Princeton, New Jersey area, there is a great deal of respect and support amongst the different yogic and spiritual traditions.
Inspired by Guru Nanak
What first drew me toward community and interfaith collaboration [and the Sikh spiritual path] were the teachings of Guru Nanak. It was under some unusual circumstances that I discovered the book, Guru for the Aquarian Age: The Life and Teachings of Guru Nanak by Parmatama Singh Khalsa (Yogiji Press).
While serving on jury duty in Newark, NJ, I came upon this book amongst all the other magazines during one of the breaks. At the time I had been studying other teachings that were complex and difficult to interpret.
I savored the reading each day, which revealed clear, universal truths that were easy to understand, yet sacred and enlightening—until one day the book disappeared. Through an experience of serendipity, my connection with Guru Nanak was rekindled when I entered the House of Guru Ram Das on February 20, 1975.
One of the most significant aspects of Guru Nanak’s teachings that inspired me to explore the path of Sikh Dharma was his acknowledgment and respect for all religious faiths.
His message of universality—Love and serve the Oneness in everyone—provided space for me to understand an expansive dimension of spirituality that is inclusive and recognizes the enlightened aspects of each path. This has always been an important value I hold strongly and seek to provide space for within our regional community and beyond.
Supporting the Journey
As people from many spiritual traditions and yogic paths continue to gather in our area, we learn from one another and support each other’s journey.
Our gatherings provide space for honoring the earth and the planetary beings with whom we co-exist.
This has become an important aspect of cultivating a more expansive relevance of Dharmic wisdom, and how we live in harmony with one another and the earth.
My spiritual journey continues to unfold with its many intricacies, joys, challenges, and humbling moments.
As time goes on, I hope to provide a greater sense of compassion, love, and support to all of my relations and the people with whom I have the opportunity to share this life. Sat Naam Wahe Guru.
About the Author
SS Mahan Rishi Singh co-founded the Khalsa Healing Arts and Yoga Center in Yardley, PA in 1989. He began studying yoga and meditation in 1973 and entered the Guru Ram Das Ashram in 1975. Having taught nationally and internationally, along with traveling numerous times to India, he seeks to bring the ancient wisdom and authentic devotional practices of yoga and meditation into everyday life. He has been leading retreats and yatras (spiritual pilgrimages) to India, Nepal, and Tibet over the past 30 years. His experiences of the kundalini and subtle-energy currents of the etheric body have led him to guide his students toward self-realization and illumination through Universal love and understanding. His vision is for each student to have an experience of vital energy, great joy, and liberating peace.