Thursday, August 28, 2008

Coming to a Foreign Land - The first month

Why did I come here? That's the question I'm trying to answer since I have arrived in US (almost going to be a month now). Ofcourse, there's an official purpose - education and a good career afterwards. But before coming here I had numerous other reasons for being here. Maybe after coming here, I've forgot most of those. One of them being to make myself stronger internally - spiritually, intellectually and emotionally. Also, somewhere inside me I wished experience a life without the leisurely comforts I have been used too; obviously it was very stupid to think so.

My first few days were really bad. It was a complete change of life for me. I had to do the daily chores which I hadn't done ever before. Adjusting to this was difficult and it took time to get used to it. Also, one of the most distressing thing was that I could not do my daily Paath and Hukamnama routine. I did start doing Paath after 2-3 days, but still there was something missing. I didn't had a laptop, so taking a hukamnama was almost impossible. I got my laptop after 5-6 days; but it took me around 12-15 days before I could get back to my routine. But... (I don't know what to say...) Still, I feel deprived of something; maybe my Gurdwara routine.

Another reason for my distress is my roommates. I guess, I have chosen wrong roommates to live with. They are not like me; and I can't definitely become like them. They drink and one of them was a surd who has cut his hair. I have friends who drink and had thought I would be able to live with people who do so. But the only thing they have to talk about is drinks, sex and none of their sentence is complete without a abusive word. I had wished companionship of 'Sat Sangat' (good people) and I had to live with people like these. I never even maintained acquaintance with people like these and now I'm in a situation where I have to live with them. There's nothing I can really do about it and was afraid that I don't take any of their bad habits.

But then, as always, there was the power of Gurbani to help me out. A katha by Prof. Darshan Singh Ji of the shabad 'Jo-Jo Dise So-So Rogi' came across my mind. I had listened to it several times, while driving. In this Prof. sahib metaphorically describes a Sikh's life as that of a sandalwood tree. He says that the poisonous snakes can never harm the fragrance of sandalwood, instead the sandalwood still spreads its aroma inspite of being surrounded by those snakes. Similarly, a Sikhs life can't be harmed by bad people, rather they spread their own fragrance. This one example gave me strength. I try to fill my inner mind with the chants of Waheguru whenever I hear a abusive word from them. Ofcourse, its not always possible; but still I try. Maybe that may help me keep-off acquiring some bad habits. Its not that I myself don't have any bad habits, I agree that I do have many - infact a plethora of them but am always (maybe, sometimes or maybe, a very few times) trying to improve.

One of the most disturbing thing while living here is the feeling of loneliness. Back home, I had a great support system of my family and friends. Out here, there's no-one with whom I can talk. Sometimes I feel that where have I come. There's nothing out here, just a laptop with which you have to hang out in your room. I do talk with my family almost daily, but can't share everything with them; else they may take tension. I do call up a few friends sometimes but the time-difference and their schedules usually restrict me of the opportunities I can get to talk with them. This feeling of solitude sometimes takes such a large toll that it haunts incessantly. I sometimes feel that, I should leave everything out here and go back "home". And yes, there's a certain positive thing about all this - I have suddenly become more obedient of the advice/suggestions of my family members, which earlier I sometimes wouldn't agree upon.

What I am overall experiencing out here is a miserable state of mind. "Miserable" also looks like a euphemism to describe it; it almost feels like I've come from heaven to hell. Here is a couplet which comes to my mind:
Jadon Na Kuch, Vikhe Agge
Taayion Banda, Vekhe Pichhe

(When the future looks unclear; only then a person looks back and relishes his past)

P.S.: I was in a deplorable state of mind when I started writing this post. (So, I really don't know what all have I written in it and where it came from. The post maybe incoherent and ungrammatical.) But, after spitting out everything I am feeling a lot better.


Sikhpath said...

Hi buddy I definitely understand where you are coming from and you and I have a lot in common. Living in another culture far from our own can be very difficult and frustrating at times. I have spent my whole life in the West, US, mainly yet I have managed to keep my faith strong in Sikhi. One must understand that the culture is a poisonous one here and people are often diluted by a sense of complete freedom and they unfortanetly forget the fate of death and the infinite power of God. I often talk about much of the same issues on my blog and I am sure I will be reading yours much more often.

My blog is

Drop by and stay strong, for the pursuit of truth is a unique and individual venture. We are alone as we were born in this sansar, and alone we must fight the battles in our minds and souls to reach Waheguru.

Tejinder said...

Khalsa ji,
You will excel. Your basics are right. You know from where to get the inspiration. Don't think much. Don't judge your roomates on their action or even don't judge them. I came to US for masters and graduated recently. Initial days are hard but you would love them afterwards. Just stick to the basics.

Rabbi Lars Shalom said...

hi, this is great, have fun

I wish my Gurdwara Programs were as exciting as said...

I wish my Gurdwara Programs were as exciting as

sat sri akal ji .../

I wish my Gurdwara Programs were as exciting as these...


does anyone know where we can get more recordings of this jatha ? how to invite them to our Gurdwara Sahib ?

Our youths are going away froom SIkhism because we do not communicate the great Gurbani in ENglish to them...

can someone please help me contact this jatha ? forward this message to all your friends and let us support English in Gurdwaras too !

thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Hey, look I'm in the same boat but understand how many bhagats left their families and gurus left their families.

One bhagat left home and would never spend the night under the same tree in case he became attached to it. As you grow stronger in your faith and naam jaap you will come to points in your life when there are 2 extremes, you'll be either unwillingly alone or too attached to people and wanting to be alone.

What I'm trying to say is that your time has come, it's NOW, do naam jaap for hours, forcusing on the guru because some people would give anything to be unattached like you, you've been given a gift, you can now focus soley on god, just you and him, you can find him and reach him.

Anonymous said...

Oh and sorry the roomate thing, yeh I'm in the same boat again, Take it as a test, be okay with them but I'd say don't get close, whatever you do don't be like them, subconciously they want o ruin you, they're kajlug.

If you naam japp with the guru in mind, you'll stay pure (like a lotus floating above water) because when you naam jap on god you become more like him (take on his good qualities), just remain mentally and emotionally detached from you're roommates, don't worry about them because i'm sorry to say at the moment they are filth(kaljug)and will end badly. Remember that GuruJi is always with you, just realise that every single time you think of him he's there, I promise.

He's your best friend and your family in this world and the next, anything bad you go through if you keep your faith it will be worth it in the end, you're being tested.