content of your character
- satnaam ji - dandauth bandhana ji
What's more important? Looking like a good person or being a good person?
Once my student friend was stuggling with debt at University. I was working
at the time.
It was his own fault really, he said he was Amritdhari (initated Sikh) when
he went to Uni. When he got there he started a Sikh Students society.
But instead of making others like him, he became like them. He spent most
of his money on his girlfriend and now couldn't even pay his rent.
When he told me his story, I really believed he had learnt his lesson. He
wanted a loan and even though £2000 was a lot of money for me at the time, I
thought well firstly he is a Sikh brother, secondly he made a mistake and
has learnt his lesson, and thirdly he has promised to pay me back within a
year of starting to work. But one of my friends told me he had once lent
this Sikh brother some £35 and had got nothing back except excuses. I
thought, no, I can see he has learnt his lesson and will keep his word. He
is doing his prayers again and leaving his bad ways.
A couple of years later when he was earning lots of money with a top IT
company, getting sent all around the world for training and so on, I thought
he can afford to repay the loan now. That's when I encountered excuse after
excuse after excuse. I think for about one year I tried to keep reminding
him of his word, but he would always say he would pay. He did repay a
little bit and then stopped again. By this time I had also become a more
worldy-greedy person, less generous and thought I needed the money back as I
had my own bills to pay. So I was getting more and more frustrated and
angry with him as he avoided payment.
The final straw came when I received an email from his new email address, in
which he had changed his surname to KHALSA. I asked him to think about
whether he really was a KHALSA? Was he pure of mind and soul? Did his
actions match up to his name and his religious uniform that he wore with
great pride at religious programmes? He got offended by my reply and used
it as an excuse to break off contact with me.
I found the thought of getting MY MONEY back from him was consuming my
mind. That even when I got up early to meditate, these thoughts would
disturb me. On top of which my family would tell me that I had got used,
that I should go around his house and demand the money back.
What helped me so much was Baba Ji's wisdom. That the three things which
most people's mind's cannot break out of are:
So with Baba Ji's kindness, I let it go. It wasn't MY MONEY anyway, money
comes and money goes. The Divine wisdom set my mind free, I left justice to
KARMA. I got peace and was able to move on with my meditation. I asked
Baba Ji about this once. He told me that money does come and go, money is
not a big deal. But he also said that KARMA is a big deal. So if the other
person SAID they would repay the loan, then if they dont do it in this
lifetime, they WILL be reborn again and again until the debt is cleared.
That is how KARMA works. Everything, given and taken, has to be balanced
out before we can go to God.
So a few years went by and I got a phone call from him again, "O I've been
trying to track you down, I owe you some money, I want to repay it." I
recognised the same tone of deceit again and told him, "You can do what you
want but I have let it go." I never received the money ..as expected.
So what is this email all about?
Martin Luther King said, "Dont judge a person by the colour of their skin,
but by the content of their character."
I gave the Sikh brother the respect of a Khalsa because he dressed like one
and appeared repentent for his mistakes, I overruled the fact I knew about
his character that he did not repay my friend even a small amount. But
really, we need to look at the content of our own character and see what we
truly are. Not to keep deluding ourselves that we are something because of
the name and image we have created around us. Do we keep our word? How can
we possibly attain to the Supreme Truth by following the Divine Words of
gurbani, when we dont even honour the words that come out of our own mouth?
How can we be called Khalsa when we have no truthfulness in our character?
But does having a good character in this world have any value to anyone?
When money is the mark of success, then making money by any means necessary
is ok. My friend said was on a 3 month contract, he worked hard and
honestly and finished the job in 2 months, he even turned down a job offer
from another company which would have started after his current job
finished. He thought his employer would have valued his honesty and
character and renewed his contract and kept him longer. She didn't. He did
the job early she terminated his contract. His wife said to him, "You are
What will he do next time, do a slow job, betray his employer, go to the
highest bidder, became a slave to money? He sounded like he would. Why?
Because there is no financial gain in having a good character, of keeping
your word, of being honest and truthful.
So if you have made your god money, then say goodbye to character.
If you made Truth your God, then the content of your character and keeping
your word is paramount, and trust God will give you everything you need.
And the word of the saint is so full of Truth, that whatever they say become
true here and hereafter. Meaning even God honours the word of the saint.
"nanak das mukh te jo bolay , eehaa oohaa sach hovaay." ...Nanak : whatever
God's Servant speaks from his mouth, that becomes true here and
hereafter...Guru Arjun Dev Ji.
So forget about your image, your family, your wealth, your relgious pride
and ask within, "what is the content of my character?"
dust of your feet
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