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“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered; forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies; succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you; be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight; create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous; be happy anyway.

The good you do today will often be forgotten; do good anyway

Give the best you have, and it may never be enough; give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.”

~ Mother Teresa

My older sister read me this quote by Mother Teresa a few days back, and I was just thinking about it this morning. If there is any purpose in life worthy of living, it is to live a life as prescribed above. Every action a reflection of compassion formulated through forgiveness. All religions preach the same message and all purposes lead down this path of humility. What others think is important to society, but what we do when no one is watching is what makes the greatest difference between oneself and God. The thoughts, actions, motives, and desires which may be hidden from you or me, are very real and visible to the One who has created all. Without trust in ourselves, there is no need to look for success for even amidst mounds of wealth, sorrow and insecurity will devour one’s mind.

-GOD BLESS

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The 3HO Sikhs have inspired me for countless years as a Punjabi Sikh in the United States; however, a simple google search opens the door for heated controversy and debate. Is 3HO a cult?

“The 3HO Foundation is a Global Community of people who practice and share the teachings of Yogi Bhajan so that they may serve, inspire, and empower humanity to be healthy, happy, and holy. 3HO’s Global Community is comprised of people who are dedicated to living a life that uplifts and inspires. Over the past 40 years, 3HO has become a vibrant, dynamic community of leaders, teachers, students, and seekers practicing the time-proven technology of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation as taught by Yogi Bhajan grounded and centered in a philosophy of compassion and kindness. People from all walks of life and on every continent share this technology and are experiencing their potential, realizing peace in their inner world, and participating in a healthful lifestyle.” [www.3HO.org]

I have been well aware of the 3HO organization for years, and I have been inspired by the lifestyle as well as the authenticity. Living in California and attending the annual Sikh parade in Los Angeles, I would see the grace of the 3Ho community serving side by side with native Sikhs and non Sikhs alike. Many men and women have joined the Khalsa brotherhood which abolishes all caste, creed, and economic class. In reality there is no Punjabi or 3HO Sikh, because Sikhism is an experience for humanity and in no way exclusive to any one group, race, or people. Sikhism carries a universal message of compassion, service, and selflessness.

Yoga is an intrinsic pillar in the lives of most 3HO Sikhs as taught by Yogi Bhajan decades ago in America. Kundalini Yoga is a powerful experience with chanting, stretching, and breathing exercises which serve to increase both energy and self-awareness. Many people find peace, relaxation, and profound changes within themselves after such revitalizing yoga. I have not had the chance to partake in Kundalini Yoga as of yet, but I am waiting to experience it for myself. Today many “Sikhs” are blind sighted by anything that seems to have any relevance with Hindu practices after years of turmoil in India; hence, many are skeptical of the merging of Sikhism with yoga. However, they are missing a fundamental part of Sikhism in that analysis. Meditation and naam jaap are vital to reaching the gates of God in Sikhism. The balance of Miri Piri ensured by Guru Hargohind Singh Ji made a profound impact on the physical upkeep of the body. Spiritually, socially, mentally, and physically one must remain balanced.

Exercise releases endorphins which are just as powerful as many anti-depressants prescribed by doctors. In the book, Spark, Dr. John Ratey expands on amazing research showing how the brain is directly affected by exercise. Memory is increased, mental strain lessened, stress decreased, and neurological pathways strengthened. Exercise acts as a fertilizer to create new branches and strengthen old ones in the brain. In addition with all the mental benefits the physical ones are apparent and well known. Now combine exercise with mental discipline and you get yoga. Whether the person takes it spiritually or religiously is solely up to them, but the benefits are undeniable and should not be tossed aside with misconception and ignorance.

One Sikh cannot tell another that jogging or cardiovascular exercise is not apart of the Sikh religion or philosophy prescribed by the Gurus, and in the same way one Sikh cannot tell another that yoga is not a part of Sikhism. Both induce better health and have only positive effects on the body. Hence, yoga is a great vehicle to get in shape physically and mentally and should be given a chance and practiced with spirituality in mind.

Rick Ross has created an internet site where he cites the danger of various cults, and the 3HO is one of his “concerns.” Rick Ross himself has had a rocky life and has been arrested, sued, and indicted for many false accusations causing him to file bankruptcy in his latter career. Although these statements about the man may be personal, it is important to get his perspective of who he is and what he has been through to see where he is coming from. His advocation against “cults” began after his own religion, Judaism, was influenced by a church and many converted out of it. He felt that he needed to stop the church, and hence began his short lived career of “intervention.” Perhaps his narrow-mindedness can be found in his fear of losing what he finds himself so close to – his faith Judaism.

Rick Ross assumes many things about the 3HO organization, but has done very little to hinder the Sikh lifestyle in America. The attack leveled against the organization is pointed more strongly at Sikhism than the organization himself. His misunderstanding of the Sikh faith has skewed his perspective on what Sikhism is all about. It is not simply a religion, instead Sikhism is an intense voyage of experience lived through a discipline lifestyle. Sikhs believe in destroying the ego while surrendering to a merciful God who has created the entire Universe with love, compassion, honesty, and humility. Sikhs believe in prayer, mediation, faith, and One God above all. Sikhs believe in raising a family, and living in the world of possession with a great sense of detachment. Sikhs believe that the Khalsa is an order of brotherhood where Truth is to be upheld by justice. Sikhs are seekers of truth that walk a lonely path, not seeking approval by all, but only of the one and only Lord of all. Sikhism is open for all who are trying to find themselves within themselves. God = Truth.

A letter from John Smith of the Atheist Society expresses the universal appeal of Sikhism:

” Dear Ali, please help us. We were very impressed with your website and agreed that religion in general is no longer needed, we can all be humanistic and live in peace and harmony. We are in the process of making a website which will hopefully help to destroy the religious doctrines which divide humanity. We were doing great with knocking out Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Baha’i, even Buddhism but we have gotten very stuck with Sikhism. This religion is (to put it nicely) “a big pain in the <admin-profanity filter activated>” (Please pardon the language) We have only found one site which tries (very poorly) to argue that even this religion is not needed, but the argument is irrational and very unscientific unlike the very rational arguments you use.


When we read the following from your website, we found what you said to be amazingly interesting: “Doubt Everything Find Your Own Light.” “Last Words Dear friend, if you look for meaning in life, don’t look for it in religions; don’t go from one cult to another or from one guru to the next. You can expend all your life or look for eternity and will find nothing but disappointment and disillusionment. Look instead in service to humanity. You will find “meaning” in your love for other human beings. You can experience God when you help someone who needs your help. The only truth that counts is the love that we have for each other. This is absolute and real. The rest is mirage, fancies of human imagination and fallacies of our own making.” By Ali Sina Why is this interesting? Because we found this religion of Sikhism to be in agreement with you! This is why we have a problem. We tried to look at their holy text (Adi Granth) but didnt find the usual absurdities we found in the other religious books. In fact its refreshingly inspiring and very good!? Maybe you can have some better luck.

We tried to visit a couple of websites and got more of a shock. Did you know that they believed in Democracy, freedom of speech, choice, expression, freedom of religion, pluralism, human rights, equality between men and women, equality of all people regardless of race, religion, caste, creed, status etc. 300 years before the existance of the USA! Theirs is the only religion which says in their religious scriptures that women are equal in every respect to men. They even had women soldiers leading armies in to battle against “you know who” (The usual suspects – Muslims!) Their history is a proud one, they fought in both World Wars. Even Hitler praised them for their bravery and Aryan heritage! Dear Ali, this religion is hard for us to try and criticise but you are an expert and may find some faults overlooked by us. In their holy book, there is a round earth, water is made from chemical elements, there is even mention of the evoution process, big bang and life on other planets! This is pretty crazy and amazing stuff, who would have thought that these New York taxi drivers (There are lots of Sikh taxi drivers in NY) would have such an amzing faith? We read up some information of what Bertrand Russell had to say about Sikhism, this is the man who destroyed Christianity (same applies to Islam and Judaism) and exposed its absurdities, but even this great man got stuck when it came to Sikhism! In fact he gave up and said “that if some lucky men survive the onslaught of the third world war of atomic and hydrogen bombs, then the Sikh religion will be the only means of guiding them. Russell was asked that he was talking about the third world war, but isn’t this religion capable of guiding mankind before the third world war? In reply, Russell said, “Yes, it has the capability, but the Sikhs have not brought out in the broad daylight, the splendid doctrines of this religion which has come into existence for the benefit of the entire mankind. This is their greatest sin and the Sikhs cannot be freed of it.”

Please bear in mind that Bertrand Russell was a great philosopher and free thinker. We have been trying for weeks now to find a way to fairly and rationally criticize and find fault with this religion but have failed. We even found out that there are many people converting to this religion in the USA and Europe as well as Russia (Mostly well educated and affluent white people). We tried to find some of their literature and see what kind of claims they make, but unfortunatley they have no missionary material as they do not have missionsaries! People become Sikh by learning usually by chance or by coming in to contact with them. They are currently the 5th biggest religion in the world and growing quite fast in the west and Russia. Please help us as we are stuck, to give you an example of they are all about we found the following websites: http://www.sikhnet.com (This is a pretty good site and helpful) http://www.hope.at/sikhism (This site is very easy to follow, check it out, they have a Womans section and a Martyrs section, it looks like that you are not the only one trying to expose the falseness of Islam, Sikhs scholars did it hundreds of years ago and got killed for it!) http://www.sikhs.org (This is the site that was on CNN when Sikhs in the USA were mistaken for Arabs and Middle Easterners and were attacked by mindless morons)

Please help us out, we cant make our website about religion being the cause of war and disharmony when we have this one and only religion which makes a hell of a lot of sense! lol (I thought Atheism had all the answers but were kind of stuck now.) We look forward to hearing from you, we respect your great views and want to promote them to everyone, thank you for your time, take care.

Dr. John Smith “

Those who do not understand the basic tenets of the Sikh lifestyle and perspective cannot try to expose what they know nothing of. This is exactly what happened with Rick Ross and his blind-sighted plunge into defeating something that was different. These white people look different with turbans and beards. They get an overflow of energy from this yoga and chanting, so something must be wrong. There must be some kind of trance that is changing these people in such dramatic ways. Different does not mean wrong or weird, because to me difference is beautiful. In the Guru Granth Sahib, the Guru compares the religions and philosophies of the world to a gorgeous and vibrant garden. Each flower bringing uniqueness and beauty.

Some find so much happiness that others begin questioning how and why. Some find so much faith and love in God that people ask who has changed them into a different person. Some fall in love so much with life and surrender to His will that people ask if they were manipulated. Some find another path to lead them, so people ask if they were converted. Are we as humanity so limited that we fear for change in our own lives, but even more in the lives of those around us. Why can’t people be happy if people have found their happiness elsewhere. All paths lead to the One God, so what is there to fear.

Be open. love life. Accept Others. I believe the 3HO organization put it right when they came up with “Healthy, Holy, Happy” Its a great motto for a great life.

Those who do not understand the path will mock it, and call it oppressive to free thinking. They love their ego too much to see how it is suffocating their real soul which is infinite beyond life and death. Yogi Bhajan said that people do not rebel against religious institutions, but instead they rebel against self discipline in their lives. Religion gives us that self discipline, and those who cannot sit with themselves and realize this, run from religion outwardly but from themselves inwardly. Yogi Bhajan also said that religion is not for everybody, but it is for anybody. We all awaken at our own times in life, and we will be on different levels when we do. We all will march together toward the light as ONE.

-GOD BLESS

A Beautiful song that I really enjoy. Sung by the heart and it has translations although the words of Punjabi cannot be fully translated in depth.

Avil Alh nUru aupwieAw, kudriq ky sB bMdy ]

“First God created the Light; by His power he created all people equal.”

eyk nUr qy sBu jgu aupijAw, kaun Bly ko mMdy ]1]

From One Light came the entire universe. So who is good, and who is bad? ||1||

logw Brim n BUlhu BweI ]

“O people, in doubt wander not, my brothers,”

Kwilku Klk Klk mih Kwilku pUir rihE sRb TWeI ]1] rhwau ]

“Creation in Creator, and Creator in Creation, Totally filled in all places. ||1||Pause||”

mwtI eyk Anyk BWiq kir swjI swjnhwrY ]

“The clay is the same, but various ways by the Fashioner.”

nw kCu poc mwtI ky BWfy nw kCu poc kuMBwrY ]2]

“Nothing is wrong with the pot of clay – nothing is wrong with the Potter. ||2||”

sB mih scw eyko soeI iqs kw kIAw sBu kCu hoeI ]

“The One True Lord abides in all; by His making, everything is made.”

hukmu pCwnY su eyko jwnY bMdw khIAY soeI ]3]

“Whoever realizes the Hukam of His Command, knows the One Lord. He alone is said to be the Lord’s slave. ||3||”

Alhu AlKu n jweI liKAw guir guVu dInw mITw ]

“God is unseen; He cannot be seen. The Guru has blessed me with this sweet molasses.

kih kbIr myrI sMkw nwsI srb inrMjnu fITw ]4]3]

“Says Kabeer, my anxiety and fear have been taken away; I see the Immaculate Lord pervading everywhere. ||4||3||”

This is truly a gorgeous shabad song by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, one of the greatest punjabi singers of all time. Bhagat Kabir Ji composed the hymns, and they are presented in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Guru Nanak Dev Ji realized the most fundamental religious universal truth of all, God is in everything and within everyone. His presence and sweet nectar is found everywhere. We are all endowed with the light of God, so who is to say that one is right or wrong. We are God’s men and women. What a powerful message.

You can feel the powerful gravitational pull of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan singing from the heart. I was moved when I heard this shabad by him. He came to a gurdwara to pay his respect to a great message of peace and love by the Guru Granth Sahib. There is no Sikh, Hindu, Christian, Jew, or Muslim because we are all one in the same. No barrier exists in the creation of such immaculate love and beauty.

Everyday I find a new jewel in the vast mounds of Sikhism’s infinite treasure chest. This video and the symbolism it brings of Muslims and Sikhs coming together to praise God in peace really brings a settling reason to hope. Enjoy the video; there are two more parts that are on youtube.

My senior year in high school was almost over as I stood in line with my friends to receive my yearbook. We all laughed and recalled the good old days of high school and how quickly it all happened. Faster than the blink of an eye we had all grown up so fast. Together we stumbled through elementary school and survived the volatile years of high school. Everyone was heading off to college in separate directions, a day that once seemed so far and distant a thought.

While we talked we failed to notice that we had almost made it to the front of the line. I walked over to the alphabetical section containing the first letter of my last name and waited. The PTA mother attending to the yearbooks took my name and scanned the list with her finger flying up and down the pages. Her eyebrows closed in together as she strained her forehead in confusion. She looked up past the rim of her glasses and exclaimed, “I am sorry but your name is not on the list.” I was shocked because I was pretty sure that I had paid for the yearbook in advance. Before I could say anymore, I was directed toward the vice principal who took my name once again and double checked the master list. My name was not on that list either, and I had no receipt from the beginning of the year.

I may have forgotten to reserve my yearbook, because I have always been known for my inability to take care of mundane tasks. Frustrated, angry, and annoyed I walked over to the student activities office to buy a new yearbook if there were any extras leftover. However, I was soon told by the office secretary that there may not be any extra yearbooks this year due to the overbooking of sales. I could not believe it, I had won the senior class best award for my car in the yearbook, and I wanted all my friends to sign it for future reference and memories. The last high school yearbook of my life and I would not have it. I was shot down and could only blame my own laziness and procrastination for not reserving it on time. The secretary said that the only way to try and get one was to arrive early in the morning before the other students arrived to buy an extra remaining yearbook out of the few left.

After school, I slumped down on the sofa while my mom was in the kitchen cooking food for dinner. She looked at me sitting there with a blue face and asked, “Kee hoya saara khush teeka?” (Whats wrong, is everything alright). I told her about the yearbook and how I somehow forgot to reserve it. Before I could even say a word more, my mom was already calling my Nana, grandpa, to go with her to the school to get me a yearbook. Although I told her what the secretary had said, she still decided to head off and have a talk with her. If anyone could save the sky from falling in my life it was always my mom.

Eagerly awaiting my mom’s return, I was confident that my mom would find a way to get it. She returned with my grandpa without a yearbook, but reassured me not to worry. “Just go to sleep and let me worry about the yearbook,” she told me before I went to bed. Sure enough I woke up the next morning with a yearbook on my side table. I could not help but feel moved.

My mom woke up at 4:30 in the morning to wait in line with my grandpa for my yearbook as I slept. My Nana and my mom waited for two hours in the blistering cold for a yearbook that meant so much to me. I sat in my bed speechless for the type of mother God had given me. I was never going to forget the story that went along with this sentimental yearbook. Twenty years from now when I show my kids my yearbook and the best car page with me on it, I will tell them most importantly about the story of how my mom and Nana ji did so much for me.

I am the luckiest son in the world to have had such a generous woman as a mother. Never has she complained about all she has had to put up with, all she has done, all she has sacrificed, and all she has worked so hard to accomplish in her life to make ours better. She is a mom who would rather think a million times before doing something small for herself, while never thinking twice when it comes to others. One in a trillion is the chance of having a mother like mine in a million births and deaths. For all she has done for me, I can only be embarrassed for the little I have done for her. We have been very close all my life and I admit without an ounce of doubt that I am, indeed, momma’s little boy to this day. No matter how old I will be, I will always be a little boy in the eyes of my mother and I love her for that. Some memories last a lifetime, and some people impact your life for all of eternity. I am forever in debt for all my parents have done for me throughout my life. Big or small I do my best to remember all, and I pray to God that one day I can follow in their footsteps. A huge task to accomplish to say the least.

When my sister and I were finally all settled in after a week of unpacking at SGU in the Caribbean, the time had come to say goodbye to my parents at the bus stop. I was preparing myself for what was about to ensue. My mom had not shown even the slightest sign of emotional anxiety in the last few months before our long medical school venture thousands of miles away from home, because she did not want to show us  weakness. She encouraged us by insisting on Waheguru’s powerful kirpa, and reassured me as she joked that after I made friends at SGU I would forget all about home. However, throughout this I failed to see the sadness of losing a son to time and studies in her eyes. There was a pain deeply embedded in her voice and eyes, which was subtle then, but very apparent to me now. She had to accept that her youngest boy was now becoming a man off to study and become what he had always wanted to become, a doctor. Time had not spared my youth.

I tightly hugged her with the Caribbean moon feebly lighting her thinning hair, and soon the silence turned into the harsh hurt and pain of separation from somebody I loved so much. I fought the lump in my throat with thoughts of me coming back home after midterms. I had prepared myself. I am sure my mother had too, but then she couldn’t hold it inside anymore. She began crying in my arms as I held her while she struggled to take a breathe. How could I comfort my mom who had raised me since my birth with insurmountable love? A mother who tossed and turned in bed if I stayed out too long or was away from home. She had every right to hold on to her little boy who unfairly grew up too soon. I could not solace her for the lump in my own throat now hindered my ability to speak. I looked over at my always calm and settled father for help, but was soon surprised to see a tear slipping down his face in the moonlit night as he quickly turned away. My father was no stone, but he was always ready to accept the inevitable with a face of reassurance, a symbol of strength and composure. However, that night he too was broken. It hit him hard seeing life fly by so quickly as he stood now an older man with graceful white hair not knowing where all the time had gone. He had listened to my crazy proposals of how much I would do for the world when I became a doctor soon before I had even received a junior high diploma in my hand. He always listened with a smirk, knowing the reality of life had not yet hit me. He stood there when I messed up in life with a stolid face of disappointment which was enough to make me shudder, but that night of our separation he was weaker. He lost that strength and composure as I hugged him. I reassured both my parents that I would see them soon and that time would fly by real fast, but inside I knew otherwise.

It has been a month since they left, and now I live a new life. My sister and I get into petty fights daily, and a night ago I decided that I had had enough of all the conflict. I told my sister in a heated conflict that I did not want to see her anymore for the remainder of the semester, and I left the room with my dinner in hand. I walked outside my dorm by the ocean to cool my thoughts and settle my anger. Soon enough my sister came jolting out of the dorm looking for me, and when she spotted me near the ocean she yelled out from the stairs, “Hey I’m real sorry, come back okay.” I did not want to accept it, and walked off into the darkness of the night with my frustration guiding the way. After sometime when I thought she had finally gone back to her own dorm, I retreated back to my dorm building. As I walked up the stairs, she startled me by jumping out of nowhere. She tried hugging me while apologizing but I just pushed her aside. She looked up at me helplessly as she was thrust backward with utter fear on her face as my anger surfaced an ugly face of its own. Inside I was still angry, but now I just felt guilty; however, my ego would not let this guilt stop my egocentric perception of events. I stormed back into my room as my sister furiously left for her own dorm room. We went our separate ways. Then at about three in the morning I sent her an email addressing all my grievances and how I felt about the whole situation, and stated why my anger was somewhat warranted. Although I love you so much, I told her, I need my space. She wrote back apologizing and understanding where I was coming from, and reassured her love for me too. We had a truce. Then I wrote her back and told her that I didn’t need “my space” anymore, only my ego did, and I could do without my ego. The next day she said that she had cried after reading my email as it made her feel ashamed that I had felt so negatively about her. Our bond grew a lot stronger that day after talking and listening to each other.

I told my mom the whole story when she asked how everything was generally going. I recounted the whole story of our feud and how selfish I can self-admittedly be at times. After reciting every detail, I could not hear anyone on the other line. I thought the phone had lost connection. “Mom are you still there.” No answer. I was about to hang up when I finally heard my mom respond after a while with a voice faint with emotion. She could not speak because she was overcome by emotion, because she was proud of how her little kids were growing up so quickly into mature young adults. We fought like every other close sibling in the world, but we could come together and respect and love on another so much more after it all. I understood my mom that night as she sat their with tears of happiness running down her face for she had raised two kids that were certainly human, but more importantly compassionate and loving people.

Emotions are an intangible stirring of feelings within each and everyone that occasionally take physical form to ensure that everything is not always kept to ourselves. Others need to see and feel others every once and awhile to remember that emotions are not individual but rather universal. We feel as humans because true life is the weakest numbing agent in the world.

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