Sunday, November 6, 2016

Lessons from Katha

I learned a lot yesterday and I want to share it, but first I have to give a bit of background.

A couple of weeks ago my mom told me that Bhai Dalbir Singh Ji Tarmala was coming to Vancouver to do Akath Katha. His father, Bhai Sewa Singh Ji Tarmala started the Gurdwara Prabh Milne Ka Chao in Moga Punjabi where hundreds of people live and do sewa while taking courses on how to meet God. They do Naam Simran and learn Gurbani. I’ve met quite a few people who have attended these courses and have met God. It’s really inspirational. After Bhai Sewa Singh Ji passed away, his son took over for him at the Gurdwara Sahib.  I got to meet Bhai Sewa Singh Ji’s daughter and son-in-law in Edmonton this summer and they did a great job of answering my questions and sharing their knowledge. When my mom initially told me Dalbir Singh Ji was coming to Vancouver, I told her I was way too busy to be able to go. I didn’t want to be stressed by missing a day studying and then be tired the next day from the traveling. I looked again at my priority list on my wall and the decision was easy- this was more important than a day of studying. We booked the flight. 

So I woke up at 4:30 am yesterday to get ready (to which my mom said- “you work overnight on call for 24 hours why can’t you wake up at 4:30 to go do simran?” Okay mom, good point…). We flew to Vancouver and did simran at the Gurdwara. I learned a lot from Bhai Dalbir Singh’s katha. I’m going to highlight a few points that he shared. (Bhul chuk maaf karni).

He started by explaining we read our 5 banis in the morning, but the mind that we are trying to give knowledge to and teach, is not getting that knowledge. The mind tends to run away and not pay attention. The “dirty” mind is one that has lack of knowledge and lives in spiritual darkness. In this state it slanders, gossips and lives in duality. To clean it we need to actually not just read, but understand Gurbani. We need to sit in sangat as well. In order to be able to hear the voice of God (Naam) we have to leave behind the three gunas of maya (rajogun, satogun, tamogun- see my old posts about these). Gurbani tells us God is beyond these three qualities “He has no form, no shape, no color; God is beyond the three qualities. They alone understand Him, O Nanak, with whom He is pleased” (p. 283 SGG Ji). We are unable to get Naam if we don’t go to the Gurdwara- this gurdwara is actually inside of us (the home of the mind- see my post “Where is the Home of the Mind?”). Amrit Sarovar (pool of nectar) is inside of us too and when we start doing more simran, we actually taste that sweet Amrit in our mouth. 

He went on to explain when we were in our mother’s womb, we did training about how to get out of maya. We didn’t get burned by the heat inside the womb because of Naam. This heat is the same as the heat of maya. We came to do one karam in this life so don't get lost in other tasks: “This human body has been given to you. This is your chance to meet the Lord of the Universe. Nothing else will work. Join the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy; vibrate and meditate on the Jewel of the Naam” (p. 1 SGG Ji). Worldly work is important to feed the body, but do not forget what we came here to do! He also explained that the family we are born into/who we marry and the kids born into our family have sanjog (union of souls). Based on many past lives, God decided to put you together because you are destined to do simran and reach God together so we should use the time we have together to support each other in fulfilling our purpose.  

I thank God for blessing me with the chance to go sit in sangat and listen to the Kathas and do simran. Changing yourself, your routine, how you live your life isn’t an easy task. Certainly I’ve had a really hard time- but I have to say it’s the most worthwhile and fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. It’s taking me time to reassess how to adjust my responses to situations and stay at peace not only externally but also inside. The simran is helping a lot. I am finding by listening to kathas I’m changing how I look at life, how I interact with other people, and how I solve problems. 

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