Touchstone for Truth, Love and God
From pages 82-87 of the book, The Man Called the Siri Singh Sahib, published in 1979 and written by S.S. Gurunam Bhajan Kaur Khalsa, Washington, D.C.
When I first experienced the Yoga of Awareness, I felt the clarity and lightness that I had sought. No longer did drugs hold any appeal, for the Yoga gave me the insight, without the strange false cloud of drugs.
When I first saw the Siri Singh Sahib, I was a blue-jeaned, long-haired hippie with a two-year old son in my arms. It was Summer Solstice, 1970. I knew I was in search of “the Holy Grail” or “God”, or “Truth”. I did not know where or how to follow the calling, but I did know my life was changing. Drugs, meat, and wine held no interest for me. My then husband, still involved in those activities, was more and more a stranger. I was in limbo.
I loved my son. I hated myself. I thought “straight society” was a rotten mess, and I knew one truth, –that people like Jesus, Joan of Arc, Buddha, Mohammed, Lao-Tse, St. Teresa D’Avila, Rama, Krishna, Sarada Devi, and others, experienced a peace I longed for.
As I arrived at the site up in the beautiful Santa Clara mountains, a double rainbow appeared over the meadow, where people were gathering. People fell to their knees. I knew something was happening here.
That afternoon, the Siri Singh Sahib strode to his sheepskin and majestically began giving a Kundalini Yoga class. It brought me a sense of oneness with myself, a sense of oneness with the world. It was exhilarating, exciting, beautiful, and inspiring. I loved it. It was so right, so real, so beautiful!
After class, I went up to talk with him. I held in front of me my son, who, was at that time, my justification for living. I felt my son was holy and pure, thus my positive identity was that I was his mother. I wanted the Siri Singh Sahib to see this child.
He asked, “What can I do for you?” His directness, his serviceful attitude and his purity were so overwhelming, I immediately started crying. I blurted out, “I am so rotten, and my child is so pure. What shall I do?”
He spoke lovingly, yet ruthlessly, honestly, and bluntly. He gave me the answers, he played no games, he put up no facades. He spoke to my soul. He let me know, that a mother’s negative self-image will hurt a child more than anything. And in speaking to my soul, he gave me such joy because, for the first time in my life, someone recognized that I even had a soul. I wept and wept, partly because my old sense of who I was had been dissolved, but mostly because, here was someone, who spoke Truth – not circumstantial truth, but universal Truth, Truth with a huge capital “T”; something that, deep inside me I believed in, but no one in my intellectual past had ever acknowledged as real. Yet along with this highest Truth, he spoke very specifically to my situation. I knew he knew me better that I knew myself, and thus, I could trust his judgement, more than my own. I knew I was confused; I knew that he wasn’t.
Deep inside me, the inner bells of Reality, Truth, Love and Wisdom were all ringing joyously! At last! It was true! There is Truth! There is something beyond this physical world of matter and mind trips. Oh joy!
After Solstice, I returned to the mountain top, where I had been living. I slept under the pines and rose before the Sun to do my sadhana. Sometimes the deer and elk woke me. I did yoga until the Sun came over the hill, then I would sit in the golden rays of light and meditate.
The consciousness of the other people on the land, as I joined them for breakfast, seemed dead and boring, and petty. Once more, I tried drugs to see if I would be able to communicate with these people, with whom I had once felt so close. But all I wanted to do was to breathe, do yoga, and meditate. I would not talk, eat, touch, or even open my eyes. I definitely, no longer fit with the group on the mountain.
One day, there in the middle of the mountains, I received my first issue of Beads of Truth. My heart beat loud and hard. Inside, was a full-sized photo of the Siri Singh Sahib, staring straight at me! I stared at the picture a long time – It flashed on and off – he was with me- he was calling, “Come, my daughter” … Yes, I will come.
Soon, thereafter, I wrote to my parents, to tell them of the wonderful changes, that were happening in my life. When I had used drugs, my family was part of the huge square population, which I regarded as understanding nothing. But as I did the yoga, I remembered these people that I loved. I suggested that my son and I visit.
My mother, after the first message of this change in my life, went to the ashram in Washington D.C., to find out more. She then wrote to me, telling me of the dates of a course, that the Siri Singh Sahib would be teaching there. Why didn’t I come then? I with two pairs of overalls, and a few black jerseys, and my son, then two years old, not potty trained, having barely even worn a diaper. (My Mother should write her version of that visit!)
The course was great! When it was over, I didn’t know what to do. Should I go back to the mountain where my “husband” was living with another woman? Or should I stay at the ashram and go through God-knows- what? I knew staying at the ashram would be hard, and painful, too. I knew I had devastating realizations to make about how I had lived my life, how I had treated other people, and what illusions I had locked within. Maybe I could just let myself drop into the gutter.
“If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for your child”, he said. This I could not deny. I would do anything to save my child, from the pain I was in.
“What will I do with myself?” I asked him.
“I will stand by you, until I find you a husband who will.”
Many times, he received my emotions, took them, threw them into Infinity and returned calm peace,
“It’s okay, keep up, I love you, you’re all right, be great, Sat Nam.”
He even let me carry his name, for I no longer, could relate to either my maiden name or to my ex-husband’s name. He had really accepted me as his daughter. What an incredible blessing that was!
That winter, he took eighty students to India, including myself and my son. Every time I saw the Siri Singh Sahib, I wept. I was still in the middle of divorce – legally, emotionally, and psychically, the “me” I had been, was definitely dying, but I was not yet very sure who I was on the path toward Truth.
The sweetness, the goodness, the wholeness and the wisdom of the Siri Singh Sahib made me realize very acutely what a sad state I was in. One day, he said, “What are you crying about now?” I said, “I feel like I am the lowest of the low.”
He became totally serious. He said, “There is no one on this earth lower than me.” I felt chagrined at having caused him to return, even for a second, to the lowest place within himself. My depression was totally selfish, and in fact, a negative influence for others. I had to get out of it as soon as I could.
Knowing this, I hated myself terribly, when I became depressed. He never scolded me. He just would give me a wave, a smile, a loving pat, and take my son, hug him, talk to him, feed him, and give him some cheerful times.
When he saw me chanting, smiling, or working, his eyes and smile would give me such encouragement and support. I knew he was with me, waiting patiently until someday I could really be with him.
A year later, I was impatient for a husband for myself, a father for my child. He put an end to my impatience.
“Would you like to marry him?” he asked. “He’s a good boy from a nice family.” The young man was a foot shorter than me. I had a clear vision of walking down the street, with my husband tucked under my arm. “It’s okay Yogi Ji, there’s no hurry.”
I didn’t ask him again until …
One evening I was meditating. I called upon my beloved teacher at my third eye point. He was there, clear and smiling. Then he moved back, became smaller and dimmer, and ushered forth, a man living in the ashram. I quickly interrupted the flow, and said,” Oh no, Yogi Ji, you’re my teacher,” and again, I called forth his face, and once again, it disappeared, in order to make way for this man, whom, I then knew, was to be my husband.
As it so happened, this man and I kept finding ourselves in the same place at the same time. I found myself wanting to serve him. It became clear, that we were supposed to be together. We asked the Siri Singh Sahib if we should marry.
He said, “Why not?” and soon thereafter he wed us, amidst joyous relatives, beloved sisters, and brothers, honored guests, sunshine and hail.
After marriage, the Siri Singh Sahib encouraged us, more and more, to make our own decisions. We could ask him questions, but he would often throw the ball back.
He continued to give us techniques and practical advice, but the personal decisions were up to us. My husband understood, and rose to his place, as head of our family.
Every bit of love that I gave to the Siri Singh Sahib, would come back to me, multiplied manyfold.
Greatness, that I saw in him, would awaken awareness of greatness, within myself.
Sometimes, I longed to be one of his secretaries, so that I could be in his presence more, but, when I would look at his picture, and think of him, I was reminded of his words: “We are not separate. You are always with me, if you miss me, when I am gone, you have understood nothing. If you love me, then be ten times greater than me.”
I began to realize that Yogi Ji is much more than a man. He is a vessel for the Infinite Energy, and as such, he is the Siri Singh Sahib, or energy that belongs to Infinity – eternal, untouchable, omniscient, and omnipresent.
Yet, even though the scope of this man is so vast, he gives us the most specific and exact guidance for our lives, – what to eat, how to cook it, how to care for our bodies, how to relate as husband and wife, how to raise our children, how to be a “woman”, in the fullest sense of the word. He gives us a whole way of life, including, ways of breathing, ways of speaking, ways of moving, ways of praying, ways of being.
Years have passed now. The Siri Singh Sahib remains the touchstone for Love, Truth, God. In a world of flux, insecurity, economic and social instability, revolution and atomic threat, he remains a fountain of wisdom.
He speaks of the eternal unchanging reality of the universe, he shows us the security, and happiness of God consciousness. He prepares us for the times ahead. He gives us techniques so that we can become strong and positive and be able to “maintain”, no matter what chaos is happening around us.
He has passed on to us a way of life, that fulfills all dreams – a big, living family of people, who will help each other in times of trouble, a technique of generating such love and joy that only song and dance can express the exuberance, a family that has homes all over the world, where we are welcome. Work rather than being a drudgery, becomes a blessing, thus bringing joy and gratitude into each moment of our lives.
What can I say? God is great and his blessings are manifold. This, I never knew, even though I went to churches and temples in search of this level of understanding of reality. But, this man of God, the Siri Singh Sahib, tuned me into the realization of the greatness of God ad His creation.
Now the world and my life take on a different light. Do I thank God for sending the Siri Singh sahib into my life? Or do I thank the Siri Singh Sahib for bringing God into my life? Either way, thanks.
I never knew love.
He gives us love.
I never knew Truth.
He speaks truth.
I found little humor.
He makes me laugh deep and free.
I knew no trust
He trusts God.
And I learn,
Through trusting him,
To call on God,
And God is right here,
When he comes to visit,
Our homes look the way
They always could.
When you call him,
You speak directly and with reverence
The way we always should.
When you write him a letter,
You always feel better.
You share that which you never
Dared to express –
The essence of your very strife, joy, and life.
And so he calls upon
The real us with no defense.
Our games and shells
And we can be
What we most need to portray –
Our fears –
He listens, he speaks
And what he says is gold –
It goes straight to the heart and soul,
Bringing light and behold –
He speaks of God and lets us know,
God is not far, but within us all.
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