losing my religion
ik oankar satgurprasad||
Losing My Religion
When my first daughter, H Kaur, was born it was an amazing experience, to behold a life coming into the world. I felt that wondrous feeling. Holding her in my arms barely a few minutes old and looking into her ebony eyes and imaging the whole universe inside them. Where had her soul come from? What had she seen in past lives? Where will this life lead her? There were tears of joy in my eyes and praises to the Creator for this amazing gift of life. And a reminder that I also had the same amazing beginning although I now took my life for granted. I whispered into her ear the mool mantr and all of the Gurus names, so she may have a life of love in the Naam.
"You are born and you come out,
and your mother and father are delighted to see your face.
Remember the One, O mortal, to whom the child belongs.
As Gurmukh, reflect upon God within your heart." SGGS 76
When H Kaur was just three weeks old we rushed her to hospital as her soft spot had risen and she was diagnosed with meningitis. "UNBELIEVABLE!" , "How could God do this to us?" , "I�ve done so much prayers and meditation on naam, so why did God let this happen?" Throughout the pregnancy we went to the Gurdwara in the early hours and sang "Waheguru Waheguru" on the harmonium for an hour. So if anything, all of those prayers should have erased any illness and disease and problems.
So at a time when I should have been praying to God for H Kaur though her difficult time, something inside had died � I had lost my religion, my faith in God. I still knew God was True, but for the first time in my life I just couldn�t call upon Him. My parents prayed, my wife prayed but although I went through the motions it was not from deep down.
We spent the next six weeks in and out of hospital and what little tiny H Kaur had to endure no adult should ever have to never mind a baby. Injections into her spine , feet and hands. Twenty-four hour drips attached to her, medicines at all hours waking her from her sleep, side effects like rashes and diahorrea. The Muslim lady in the opposite room had a ten day old son who was diagnosed with the viral form of meningitis. The doctors had told her that he would be paralysed and have learning difficulties and maybe even have to have an amputation. In her grief she said to my wife, "I don�t believe the doctors, Allah would not do this to me."
"Kabeer, the mortal loses his faith, for the sake of the world,
but the world shall not go along with him in the end." SGGS 1365
At night you could hear babies crying, but their parents had gone home to look after the other kids, and the nurses let crying babies cry to sleep. My mum once said to me when I was growing up that pain on your own body is bad enough, but seeing your own child in pain is unbearable. Now I knew what she meant.
The consultant and nurses where brilliant, H Kaur had the bacterial form of meningitis and the antibiotics cured her 100%. She was a fighter and made it. The reason we take birth is that we all have unanswered actions and unfillfilled desires left over from our last lives that have to be balanced.
"Through desire, people are cast into the womb and reborn" SGGS 61
The only thing I could say was that H Kaur actions from her last caused her to nearly die, but God was merciful and saved her due to all the Naam meditation and prayers.
"God, the Creator, saves us." SGGS 623
However, until the birth of my next daughter my faith didn�t come back. For the next two years I couldn�t concentrate on my daily prayers (nitnem). I struggled to do them. I had no desire to go to the Gurdwara. I wanted a bigger house. I started thinking of making money and business. I started thinking of ME. But nothing came to fruition and I ended up frustrated and angry , snapping at my family. Jealous of others who had those things I had started to desire. And in my mind blaming anyone and everyone for my unhappiness.
Just from having one hope of a bigger house, how my mind had spiralled down into anger, jealousy, bitterness, selfishness and no peace of mind. I used to wonder why people never went to the Gurdwara, or if they went why they couldn�t sit and concentrate. And why they spent their time socialising and talking even inside the prayer hall. Now I understood � because of all the hopes, desires and worries on their minds. I was now in that boat too.
"Hopes and desires always attract his mind
and being guided by evil propensities he never attains peace." BG Var 15
When my next daughter T Kaur was born all I hoped for during my wife�s pregnancy was that she should be healthy and happy, although there was the cultural pressure of having a boy, I really didn�t care about that. I just didn�t want to be in and out of hospital again. T Kaur entered the world and it was a joyous occasion. I was busy text messaging and phoning all the relatives to tell the good news. Most were happy for us, but there were quite a few of the elders who disgusted me as they were disappointed with another girl,
"Hi Uncle, we had a lovely baby."
"That�s great, was it a boy?"
"It was a girl"
A couple of days later, we got the news that my cousin had died. He was a year younger than me and we had grown up like brothers. It was devastating news. I ran to the prayer room at home and sitting infront of Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Ocean Of Peace, I sang and sang (out of tune) on the harmonium , crying and praying and pouring all my emotions into the Word. And even being the most useless person on this earth full of desire, hopes, jealousy and pride, God was merciful and I felt the warmth of the light of God on my forehead and peace and calm. I knew my cousin�s soul was with God. That woke me up, it shook me up and reminded me that no one is guaranteed a long life. One day tomorrow will not come, tomorrow is not a good day to start remembering God. I only have today and this present moment for sure. Make the most of it. Nothing else mattered to me except making this life successful by meditating on SatNaam , living a totally selfess life for the uplifment of God�s creatures and God�s creation. To thank God for every breath, for my family and and home , for every little thing I have. Instead of being ungrateful by only thinking of the things I do not have whch just lead to unhappiness.
Two weeks later, there was an accident at home. Every parent says that when the second child comes, the older one gets jealous as they get less attention. But in addition the older child does not know how delicate a new born baby is. H Kaur thinking of T Kaur as a doll pulled her and somehow T Kaur landed head first on the hard kitchen tiles. There was screaming and shouting I came racing downstairs. Her head had swollen up, my wife fainted to the floor. We rushed to the hospital straight past the other patients. The doctors and nurses examined her and took x-rays. My wife kept crying and asking "Will she be OK?" "Will she be OK?". The doctors and nurses only said they had to wait for the x-rays. But inside me I knew God was great and God was looking after T Kaur just as God had looked after H Kaur, so I said with total belief to my wife "Yes, she will be fine."
I just had a feeling to put my hand on T Kaur�s head and focusing on naam just imagined all the light flowing from my forehead down my arm into T Kaur�s head. It was very deep meditation and I really believe I could feel God�s naam light massaging and healing T Kaur�s swollen head.
The Doctors came and said she had a fractured skull , but also that it would heal fully by itself. We stayed in hospital for three days just for them to check. The nurses from our previous visit with H Kaur welcomed us again � and my worst fear came true � we were in hospital again! That night was very difficult, my wife was in shock and needed reassuring and couldn�t breast feed. So just lay down trying to sleep but just crying. Little precious T Kaur wanted to sleep but her head hurt too much in the cot. So I picked her up in my arms and made her comfortable. In the old days I used to stay up all night at rensbhaee kirtan�s singing God�s praises. Now God kept me up as a family man doing seva of his child , meditating on naam all night long with T Kaur in my arms.
The nurse came in and seeing the state my wife was in said, "Kids are strong, its us adults that cant cope. You have to be strong for your baby."
By God�s great kindness T Kaur made a full recovery within a couple of weeks.
And God was so kind that he totally restored my faith even though I was an unworthy and ungrateful person.
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