Image by Sewa Singh Khalsa

Written by SS GuruJivan Kaur Khalsa, Victoria, Australia in 2009

Fortunately, or unfortunately my life has been full of challenges, which have all helped to make me who I am, GuruJivan Kaur (“One who lives as the Guru,” according to Yogi Bhajan when he gave me the name 37 years ago). I believe that a woman who, when challenged, digs deep into her very soul to keep up and face whatever the situation may be with (hopefully) grace, integrity and courage.

Someone recently told me that I am the most courageous person that they know. This surprised me considerably because I would never have thought of myself in that light, but rather one who relies on the strength of mantra and a deep faith that “I” do not do anything. There is One, Ek Ong Kar, who takes care of everything, and I am just an observer.

When told a couple of years ago that I have stage 3 liver disease and should consider a chemo-type treatment to try to “cure” my liver, I thought long and hard about undergoing such a difficult treatment. Finally, after meditating and consulting with my close family and friends I agreed; 2007 ended up being a very challenging year.

The treatment meant going to the hospital once a week for an injection into the belly, and two daily doses of a very toxic poison. Because my body tends to be so sensitive, I could not handle the full dosage of any of the drugs so was on what they called baby doses of everything. Still my white and red cell counts slumped dangerously low.

My vitamin D was so low that I could barely walk 10 paces without feeling breathless and light-headed. I lost much of my hair, had so many mouth ulcers I could barely eat, was anemic, had terrible pain in all my joints and the list goes on and on. I also had to give blood once a week to make sure I could continue on the treatment, from which the veins have still not recovered.

During all of this, I kept teaching, traveling to and from Sydney to lead the Level 1 Teacher Training there as well as one here in Melbourne. I remember vividly sitting on the teachers mat, with my fists on either side of me and arms straights so that I could be upright for the day. Praying to God and Guru to allow the students to get what they needed in the course, as my mind was not as alert as it would normally be.

I worked my treatments around classes and traveling as best I could and had some wonderful women helping me along the way. My “guardian angels,” I called them, and may God and Guru bless them forever for their loving kindness throughout this ordeal. Wahe Guru.

Relying on God and Guru

That is the general background of why I was asked to write this article. Now how did I keep up? To put it quite simply, a belief that God and Guru were with me throughout it all.

No matter what, I knew I could rely on them, call on them with my constant chanting and know that they would cover me and often times carry me physically through.

My mala was in constant use, allowing the Name of God to reverberate through me with each moment. So even though the treatment did not work as we had hoped, my closeness to God and Guru has grown beyond measure.

I KNOW that They are there, protecting, guiding and helping me along each day with each breath no matter what. That alone is a very comforting and elevating gift from a difficult year, which I have been able to carry with me day in and day out.

Wahe Guru, Wahe Guru, Wahe Guru!