Inner Transformation ~ 'Sau Chuhe Kha Karr Billi...'

SGGS helps us fully bloom into our authentic self like a fragrant colorful smiling flower.

Sau Chuhe Kha karr Billi Hajj Ko chali

(Bobby Bansal becomes Bhupinder Singh)

I shy away from directly sharing my personal life events and experiences to keep focus on timeless wisdom of SGGS. This article is an exception to the rule, as I felt the need to leverage my own transformation by grace of Guru to inspire those who are still window shopping about role of SGGS in their life. This article is supposed to encourage decision by those who are contemplating igniting their greater self through teachings of SGGS. This piece is also meant to inspire and support those who are already on Guru's path and might be challenged by glitter, glamor and pompous life of indulgences that they have not experienced, but very much tempted by it.

When I moved to North America in 1990s, I changed my name to Bobby Bansal. I was clean shaven and wore trendy clothes, hairstyles and emitted vibes of a modern, educated, successful and carefree lifestyle. Looking back, it was quite a ride. Weekends were the prime time for food, drinks, dance, boast full time to project my success. My hunger for applause and admiration was at core of such gatherings that grew day by day without any end in sight. There were very few and in between meaningful and purposeful conversations that added value to my life.

Life changing events in early 2000 threw my life upside down. I felt my cover was blown and I was vulnerable to reality of my own mind. My mind was manifesting itself in ways that I thought was not possible. It was telling me stories of justification to protect itself. I felt a war was waging inside me, between what was wrong or right and truth. It felt like Mahabharata inside. All this forced me to look inside as I seeked shelter from outside storm. After much struggle with life, I found solace in SGGS.

Let me share how the cover of my worldly things that represented was blown off. This was also death of Bobby Bansal for Bhupinder Singh to emerge from inside. I was disillusioned to believe that worldly things like great education, great job, great house, great family, great friends etc was my life. The truth was all these are parts of my life, but not my life. My life was inside me, source of life was inside me after all. I had to find life. 

I had exceled in first dimension of life called, Kirt Karo. I was successful measured by my possessions like education, house, car, vacations, influential friends etc. Though, more I had in terms of success and wealth, the less secure I felt. I was selective in sharing (vand shako) as there was always the fear of diminishing of my outward wealth and also an expectation of same or greater return. One day, my fear came true whereby my worldly gains took a setback. This filled me with anger, yet at same time set me on a trajectory to find purpose of life. I felt exposed, vulnerable and little in my own eyes. 

After much trials and tribunals, second dimension emerged into my life, known as Naam Japo. This dimension opened me to making my life successful, instead of “I” being successful. I realized purpose of life was realization of eternal truth or brahm Gyan by find my own mool. Since than I have been slowly finding solace in my inward journey and share with others. The most wonderful reward of Naam Japp is revelation of virtues like fearlessness and non-enmity. In fact, when one shares this wealth in form of revelations by aligning with eternal truth, it grows exponentially. I never knew by sharing how inner wealth of Gyan multiplies and really defies logical mind’s mathematics. 

When I started embracing teaching of SGGS in my life, I did not find many who encouraged me on this path. Rather, I found discouraging words of disbelief and sarcasm from many. They thought my changing appearance, habits and behavior were signs of depressive state. I knew it was the other way around. Such feedback served as a confirmation of my convictions about SGGS and it actually elevated me, fueled me to go further in the new direction of SGGS teachings. It taught me, when it comes to self-harming vengeance, bad mouthing people and cunning deeds people join without much reluctance. On the other hand, when it comes to self-betterment and Guru's path, not many were willing to walk with me. Most times, I would smile or keep quite. With time, I realized others can only offer what they have. I felt it was my moral responsibility now to offer my response as a means to inspire others. I will share couple of such examples that showcase societal abnormalities that we treat as normalcy.

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A friend of mine who was part and parcel of first leg of my journey, and is witness to inner transformation reflected as outward changes, said to me," Yaar, you remind me of popular saying - Sau Chuhe Kha karr Billi Hajj ko chali". Translated in English it means, "The cat after eating 100 rats is going to Hajj (holy pilgrimage at Mecca)".

With intent to inspire, I replied, "Yaar, this is the greatest compliment. Thanks." My friend looked bit perplexed to see smile on my face. Looking at my friend, I continued, "I am thinking of the cat that has eaten more than hundred rats and is still going strong"

To this my friend responded, "Yaar, come on. You know". There was a deafening silence after that. I had to break the ice by saying, "Remember, how we shared all the lavish indulgences together. In same way, I want to share and hopefully you will join willingly to explore the most expansive dimension of life. Well, way beyond all the happiness, joys and comforts you know so far."

There are many friends and family of mine, who stand outside and wonder what happened to Bobby. In fact, one of my friend's father was standing with me next to a bar at a party. He was sipping his scotch on rocks and I was holding a glass of water. He said to me, "Beta, is everything all right". My spontaneous answer with a smile on my face was, "Uncle Ji, everything is all right now". I used to drink in past and did what a successful western protocol outlines as exquisite way of life is. There was not much dialogue after that as uncle ji, vanished into the room.

Few minutes later, uncle ji came back. This time his hands were empty. Uncle Ji said, "Puttar, what you meant by "everything is all right now." I could only smile, having realized profoundness in my spontaneous answer.

Well, there are many more such episodes that are related to both sides of the aisle. This includes those who fail to see beyond my outward appearance. Let me get to the central idea of this article.

I used to think scriptures are not of much significance as I had acquired great education, I am considered good by most people, I am kind and considerate, successful and law abiding citizen. I carried this conclusion for many decades Life changing events forced my hand to search for something greater and more than what I was.

My direct experience with SGGS brought to Surface Oceans of my ignorance. I realized in cocoon of my elite stature among educated, liberal, rich and modern circle of friends, I had a safe haven for endorsement of my non authentic information/conclusion about self.

SGGS as wisdom provided me tools to search my own mind to discover a new dimension, whereby love, humility, compassion, fearlessness, authenticity, honesty and pure intent arise from surrendering to Guru as eternal truth. Though I'm aware of only an iota of this dimension, I feel richness from knowing about my inner treasure, beyond the very limits of my own mind. Mind that dwells only in what it already knows, sees, thinks, speaks, feels, hears is in itself, a vast domain with limits though.

At same time, i became aware of my previous goodness, kindness etc., as a conformist to societal norm. I am aware societal norms are abnormalities that most of us conform for acceptance and love out of our needs or desire.

Information in SGGS is a tool. A tool is meant to help us fully bloom into our authentic self like a fragrant colorful smiling flower. I now also understand how manmade Dharma and God can be sweet escapes from reality more potent than drugs. At the same time, those who discredit wisdom of SGGS are intoxicated by drug of their own ignorance, like I was. Only way to know potency of a tool is by using it. No discussions about a tool can authenticate or negate its potency, purpose or reason. SGGS is tool for humanity. Reading translations of SGGS is not enough for a seeker of true about self. SGGS teachings are not a promissory notes after death. SGGS teachings have an instant reward, here and now.

I read interpretations of various scriptures. Yet, I remained empty. I felt burden of acquired information. My journey really started with understanding of self. SGGS as pure wisdom resonated so well at this time, that I dropped all else I was reading. I have read numerous poets and authors from east and west. People call me Sikh. I tell them I am human being first and then a Sikh. I learned how not to stoop down in conversations of believers and non-believers of SGGS where they quote Gurbani without self-reflection and practical application of their own. Such an approach is like eating an almond without removing outer shell. Gurbani's translations are the almond in a shell. When we apply teachings in our personal life, the shell is automatically removed and rewards of such a practice are insurmountable. Give it a try.

One has to dig their own well to quench their own thirst, in the desert of their ignorance. Answers as Braham Gyan or Naam will erupt from inside. Such a seeker is rewarded with ability to converse with conviction at work and outside with people of all walks, faiths and beliefs without any fear. Guru Nanak Dev ji is our role model who travelled to converse with Kajis, Mullahs, Siddhs, Pandits and Emperors. He tried to elevate humans irrespective of their faith. He saw same Noor in all and treated them as such.

Let's avail this opportunity at personal level to inspire, rather than preach, condemn and shrink ourselves in the process. I hope this will inspire those who are contemplating, those who have already chosen path of Sikhi and are faced with questions or wonder what is on the other side of the aisle. If you have chosen path of Sikhi and are faced with questions or wonder what is on the other side of the aisle, let me tell about the other side. On other side is fire. This side is water. Gurbani uses analogy of Bikh and Amrit. I can testify without tasting Amrit, ignorant me treated Bikh as Amrit. Do not settle for light of lamp when Guru offers bright Sun of Braham Gyan in form of Naam.

Light Warrior
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