Story - Moment of Clarity

How did I get here? It’s a good question, I ask myself often. And by here I mean this place in my life. I somehow found Sikhism, an incredible husband, a meaningful life in a world where meaning is hard to come by. How did it happen? At what point did my path point in this direction?

For most of my life I’ve wandered. never one to settle down, I’ve moved, tried different jobs, different fashion statements… couldn’t commit to a relationship, dabbled in philosophy and meditation… typical for an American of my generation I suppose.

I travelled, I read, I researched, I self educated. I used, I abused, and I spent most of my life confused.

I decided to be a Buddhist when I was 14. I wasn’t very good at it. I discovered alcohol at 16 and realized drinking was easier than meditation, and so I became a disaffected youth with a fake ID.

I tried being a Christian briefly, but I didn’t buy the pissed off God idea, so that didn’t last long.

I abandoned all hope for many years and drowned my pain in various useless ways.

I decided to be a Buddhist again when I was a bit older, after visiting Thailand. it went better this time. But the lack of God pulled at the back of my mind and so I kept looking. I studied Sufism and loved the music, the poetry, the mysticism… and hated the misogynistic Islamic bits. I thought to myself, Buddha was a Hindu originally, right? Maybe there’s something to it. I read and studied and fasted on Mondays. I meditated by candle light in front of a cheap metal statue of Durga Mata, begging for strength. she never spoke. I listened to bhangra and watched Hindi movies. I partied too much with the wrong kind of people. I drank. a lot.

I went to India.

I went to a Gurdwara.

I changed my travel plans, dropped everything, and went to Amritsar. I went to another Gurdwara. I went every day. At 4 AM.

I had… a moment of clarity. in one moment, I went from being a confused, disillusioned party girl to having a purpose in life.

I stayed in Amritsar for seven incredible days. I put everything else on hold. I threw away my razor and tweezers and bottles of hair colour. I was given a Kara and finally felt comfortable wearing it. I bought a Sundar Gutka and read from it every day. I threw away a bottle of wine I had been saving and never took another drink again. I changed my travel plans to include the major historic Gurdwaras and skipped the usual tourist stuff.

I came home. I read. Constantly, Books about Sikhs. Websites about Sikhs. Websites by Sikhs. Forums where Sikhs talked, discussed, argued, and occasionally left incredibly insightful bits of information.

I started to cover my hair. I read Japuji sahib every morning. I went to the local Gurdwara every Sunday. I stopped wearing jewellery. I met the man who would become my husband. I fell in love with my husband. I fell in love with my Guru. I started to wear a dastaar. I read more. I learned more. I attended my first Akhand Kirtan Smagaam. I fell in love all over again. The clarity continued. In fact, things became more clear.

I offered my head to my Guru. He accepted.

I offered my heart to my husband. He accepted too.

So here I am. My life is clear, defined, and purposeful. bani. simran. seva. Love. These are the things that define me now.

I look back and wonder who that other girl was. I shake my head in wonder.

All of this, from one moment of clarity.

raamakalee mehalaa 5 ||

Raamkalee, Fifth Mehla:

pavahu charanaa thal oopar aavahu aisee saev kamaavahu ||

Place yourself beneath all men’s feet, and you will be uplifted; serve Him in this way.

aapas thae oopar sabh jaanahu tho dharageh sukh paavahu ||1||

Know that all are above you, and you shall find peace in the Court of the Lord. ||1||

sa(n)thahu aisee kathhahu kehaanee || sur pavithr nar dhaev pavithraa khin bolahu guramukh baanee ||1|| rehaao ||

O Saints, speak that speech which purifies the gods and sanctifies the divine beings. As Gurmukh, chant the Word of His Bani, even for an instant. ||1||Pause||

parapa(n)ch shhodd sehaj ghar baisahu jhoot(h)aa kehahu n koee ||

Renounce your fraudulent plans, and dwell in the celestial palace; do not call anyone else false.

sathigur milahu navaI nidhh paavahu ein bidhh thath biloee ||2||

Meeting with the True Guru, you shall receive the nine treasures; in this way, you shall find the essence of reality. ||2||

bharam chukaavahu guramukh liv laavahu aatham cheenahu bhaaee||

Eradicate doubt, and as Gurmukh, enshrine love for the Lord; understand your own soul, O Siblings of Destiny.

nikatt kar jaanahu sadhaa prabh haajar kis sio karahu buraaee||3||

Know that God is near at hand, and ever-present. How could you try to hurt anyone else? ||3||

sathigur miliaI maarag mukathaa sehajae milae suaamee ||

Meeting with the True Guru, your path shall be clear, and you shall easily meet your Lord and Master.

dhhan dhhan sae jan jinee kal mehI har paaeiaa jan naanak sadh kurabaanee ||4||2||

Blessed, blessed are those humble beings, who, in this Dark Age of KalI Yuga, find the Lord. Nanak is forever a sacrifice to them. ||4||2||


  1. To add to your clarity:

    This is supposed to be a Sikh holy book too. Before you dismiss it, I know Punjabi sikh's very well personally and they use it to warn men against women.

  2. The Guru Granth Sahib is the only authentic source of Sikh philosophy. The Charitropakhyan comes from the Bachittar Nattik (aka: Dasam Granth) and historic sources point out that it was not written by the 10th Guru.

    I am a Sikh. Sorry to burst the other guy's bubble.