| Sarjit Kaur | Roti for the Soul | Asia Samachar | 28 Feb 2015 |
Mother Theresa says that the real problem in this world is hunger. Not hunger of the belly, but hunger of the heart. The only thing that can satisfy the heart’s hunger is God’s love. She sees it among the richest and most powerful people in the world. They are starving in their hearts, because their lives are superficial. She sees a spark of hope and truth in the eyes of the poor, the same people who die in her arms. The greatest service to humanity, she says is to feed the heart by giving God’s love. But we have to be pure – to give that love.
I was at the florist to get my sister a bouquet of flowers for a belated birthday celebration. It was Valentine’s day, the only available date on her calendar. I could only get half the regular number of flowers due to the economics of demand and supply that day! People thronged to his shop non-stop. While dissecting some lilac roses from India, my eyes travelled to his cold room. I peeped. Like a child seeing candies and lollies on the rooftop in Hensel and Gretel, here I was, Alice in Roseland thrilled at the sea of roses before me, neatly stacked in pails of water. The beauty and lingering scent just blew me away … Roses after all is a symbolic expression of affection and love.
We gathered at the Chinese Restaurant in Royal Selangor Club KL for dinner. My sister turned 71! Three generations were in attendance. We started with our prosperity chopstick toss of the yee sang with a great many wishes. Long life and happiness – came first. Then it was promotion and good bonuses by the second generation. “Good grades in exams!” said the third. “A grandchild,” softly uttered my other sister.
It was rare yet heartwarming to get the family together on Valentine’s day. We had an almost full turnout. The reason for the celebration was so compelling. This was no ordinary individual. A person who’d been our pillar of strength, our family-gelling factor, our source of inspiration, Chief Adviser, Master Chef, the one with a direct line to God and the list goes on. My sister had also devoted much of her life to community work. For all her goodness, she is loved by her family and friends. Family is our first foundation of love.
What is love? Wikipedia describes it as a deep feeling of affection. It is also referred to as human kindness and compassion. We know that the meaning of love evolves as we journey through life. Our first and everlasting love is parental love. We then grow up and experience puppy love during adolescent. We go steady in college and then decide to marry the love of our lives. We learn that love ascend to a state of being there, agreeing to disagree and celebrating our differences and uniqueness. As we mature in our relationship, love becomes an unconditional commitment, it means learning to let go and aging gracefully together.
We have an operator employed in our company who is visionary challenged. Her spouse is partially impaired. Every day, he would diligently send and pick her up from work. From their back, I would see their silhouette, holding hands and walking together. My emotional lens always captured it as a wondrous picture! I have seen this same pattern over the years. This is love. Love is growing old together.
In her New York Times bestseller book Dying to be Me, Anita Moorjani describes how she suffered four years from cancer, slipped into a deep coma and crossed over into after-life. She miraculously came back to share her near death experience. Her body healed from the end stage lymphoma and within months was cancer-free. During her coma, her doctors said that her organs were shutting down and they were losing her, conversations which were amazingly audible to her. She relates how during that time, her ‘state’ travelled to see her brother in India who was boarding the plane to visit her before her last breath. And then her encounter with her late Dad and best friend, who told her that it wasn’t her time yet. And the ultimate experience was the feeling of unconditional love encompassing her. For the first time in her life, she felt no discomfort, only bliss and wished she could stay in that state forever. After that ‘spiritual connection’, she knew that her soul was healed and it was a matter of returning to her ‘body capsule’. “The medicine to illness is love. Learn to love yourself unconditionally. Live a life of fearlessness”, she advises.
For some, as we progress in life, the love for worldly possessions or maya become stronger and apparent and the love for God slowly go downhill. Be aware when your cup is overflowing. When that happens, it is payback time. Time to share with the people; causes; and circumstances that got us, where we are. As one wise friend say, “There is just so many meals that we can eat and just so much that we can take with us on our final day.” Hence, it’s worthwhile to reflect and prioritise on our love list.
I was awed at Jai Jagdeesh’s melodious vocals at her recent Festival of Radiance in Chayo Studio, Kuala Lumpur. Her signature song was calming and touched our souls. It was ‘Aad Guray Nameh, Jugad Guray Nameh, Sat Guray Nameh, Siri Guru Dayvah Nameh’ which means, I bow to the primal wisdom, I bow to the wisdom throughout the ages, I bow to the true wisdom, I bow to the great divine wisdom. We sang with our hearts. Knowingly or unknowingly, we were expressing our love for our Creator by singing his praises. God is love – true, pure and infinite.
We must first love ourselves. We can’t give love, if we don’t have love inside. Love should cost nothing. Love is about being unconditional, with no strings attached. Rich or poor, black or white skin, beauty or beast, healthy or sickly, we all deserve to love and be loved. That is our birth right, when we were brought into this world. We are here to spread love.
How do we eliminate the opposite of love which is hate and anger? Do good to those who are bad, and anger will not exhaust the energy of the mind. Even if they are bad, do good anyway. Forgive all the people we are not fond of. Peace can only be attained from within. It takes patience, perseverance and years of practice, but it’s worth the conditioning.
When we maintain a state of spiritual consciousness; when we become aware of our universe; when we practice virtuousness in our everyday life; we will gradually have a sense of connectedness to our divine soul. In our path, we will be touched and we will touch souls. And will reach that day where we experience divine manifestation. Where God and us are one. Love takes us there. It moves us and it heals us. – ASIA SAMACHAR (28 Feb 2015)
Roti for the Soul is a column on life and its quirks. Sarjit Kaur is a wife, mother and an official at the Malaysian stock exchange.
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE! Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
FROM THE SAME AUTHOR:
Rebuilding a New Nepal – ROTI FOR THE SOUL (Asia Samachar, 6 May 2015)
Colours of the Wind (Asia Samachar, 13 Apr 2015)
Students share their winning secrets (Asia Samachar, 17 Mar 2015)
Sri Dasmesh students score well in SPM (Asia Samachar, 5 Mar 2015)
Love Moves and Heals (Asia Samachar, 28 Feb 2015)
Slow down and smell the roses (Asia Samachar, 4 Jan 2015)
The Secrets of Dreams and Gratitude (Asia Samachar, 19 Dec 2015)
The Steps of Life (Asia Samachar, 3 Dec 2015)