By Jugat Guru Singh Khalsa and Saraswati Kaur Khalsa, Miri Piri Academy, as shared in October, 2018.
Yogi Bhajan told us that we should make “God” a part of our child’s life, but what does that mean? For some people, the concept of God is rooted deep in the dogmatic instruction of their youth. And while many have rejected that simplistic view, it is sometimes difficult to give voice to exactly what we think God is. The concept of God, as Yogi Bhajan shared with us, is not the concept of a magical-man in the sky. It is a Generating, Organizing, and Destroying energy that pervades the universe and all creation, including you and me. It is not something outside of us, but inside and all around us. “There is no God outside of you. Neither was, nor is, nor shall be. It is all in you. The very breath of life is divine.” ~Yogi Bhajan, 8/22/1986
This concept of God, of the Divine Energy, is not exclusively a Sikh concept. It is a universal understanding that speaks to the vastness of the spirit and the divinity of every living being. Young children intuitively understand this, because they feel the flow of Divine Energy within themselves long before they can verbalize it. When you bring words to the experience, it is grounding and validating for them. By giving our children a relationship with God, the Divine, in whatever form or language preferred, we introduce them to the attitude and the altitude that will carry them through any challenge. “Guru says raise your caliber, raise your altitude, go higher, look at things from the heavens. From up high, when you look at the world… you’ll find that things are very small, and they are not worth the attention [you give it].” ~Yogi Bhajan, Gurdwara Lecture, 10/15/1995, Espanola, NM
Give them that altitude, to see life from an exalted perspective. When they understand their own divinity, they connect to the Creative Energy that can manifest change and profoundly impact the people and the world around them. Give them that awareness, to see that they are connected to all living beings, to see that their thoughts, their words, and their actions have an impact and an effect on others. This is an important step towards understanding the credo, “Recognize that the other person is you,” one of the five sutras of the Aquarian Age. Give them the humility to understand that life flows beyond the boundaries of their own ego and that all powers, talents, and riches in life are a gift. Even the power to teach and to serve is a gift easily given and taken away. Give them the habit of prayer so that they can relate to the Divine Self, beyond mind and body, and rise above their challenges to live in the spirit of Cherdi Kalaa (the ever-rising spirit). Give them God. God will never let them down. How do we do that? It seems like a complicated and difficult task, but it can be the most simple thing. Tell them who they are… Give them an experience of it… Repeat.
“I was with the children in New Mexico and one child asked me ‘Where is God? How can I meet Him? And what is the best and the easiest way?’ Now, when a child asks you this, you have to come out with an answer whether you like it or not, and you cannot tell the small little children who trust you to wait one month… I said, ‘Son, it’s very easy. When you breathe in, God comes in you. When you breathe out, you go into God. And if there is anything more than this, then there is no God and neither there is you.’” ~Yogi Bhajan, Gurdwara Lecture, 2/12/1989, Espanola, NM
When my daughter was two years old, she made up a song and repeated it constantly in the interminable hours we spent together at the swing-set. “1,2,3, God is with me, 1,2,3 God is with me” she used to chant over and over again. This is still my fondest memory of her childhood. This simple mantra wasn’t a reflection of her advanced understanding, or of my exceptional parenting; it was just a product of her surroundings. At Miri Piri Academy (MPA), God – the Divine Energy, is a tangible part of everyday life. We experience it in seva at the Golden Temple, Japji Sahib in the morning, Ardas (prayer) before school, Kundalini Yoga in the afternoon, meditation and chanting together in the evenings, and stories before bedtime. This is our life at MPA, and you can create this simple routine no matter where you are. Breathe in. Breathe out. Make God a part of your life together.
Saraswati Kaur Khalsa served as the Assistant Principal of Miri Piri Academy from 2007 to 2019. She has been a student of Yogi Bhajan since birth and completed her Level One Kundalini Yoga Teacher training under his guidance. Saraswati holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and has been working with children and schools since 1998. Her daughter also attended Miri Piri Academy as a student. Jugat Guru Singh Khalsa has served for many years as the Principal of Miri Piri Academy in Amritsar, India and a KRI Certified Lead Teacher Trainer. From his childhood, he was guided by Yogi Bhajan and has dedicated his life to serving the mission of Yogi Bhajan by helping to shape the next generation into leaders and teachers of this amazing technology. Jugat Guru Singh is a member of the Chardi Kala Jatha, which travels around the world teaching and performing Gurbani Kirtan, including local performances at the Golden Temple.