To live in excellence and ecstasy

I've seen two very close ladies in my life face the biggest challenge of all, looking death in the eyes, with completely different perspectives to the challenge. One was fearful of what was to be after death, fearful of what was to be of her loved ones. The other accepted her situation and just went with the flow, much less fearful.

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Opinion | Malaysia | 15 June 2017 | Asia Samachar |

Every single day we hear it in our Ardaas as we stand before our eternal Guru asking for His guidance and His Grace: “Oh, Nanak! Those who know their True Identity live in excellence and ecstasy! Through the power of your Bani, may everyone in the world be blessed to live in this way!”

We even utter these words ourselves in our daily prayers within the confines of our warm homes.

To live in excellence and ecstasy! I’ve always been mesmerized with the idea that someone can live and breathe being in Chardee Kala all day, every single day of her life.

And I know it’s not something we just say or utter for the sake of it. I’m pretty sure every single one of us are almost directed to practice living our lives in full Chardee Kala. If not, then why say it in each prayer of ours every single time we pray? Would be an utter waste of breath, wouldn’t it?

But how does one live in Chardee Kala? There’s no pill that you can swallow to attain the magic to be in such a glorious state of mind for the rest of your life. There never will be too, I’m sure.

One facet to the answer is to be not fearful with the challenges that life will definitely throw at us. Challenges come in all shapes and forms. And let’s not kid ourselves, challenges will come at any point. Such is life. Challenges can range from facing death in itself to being doubtful about the outcome of your school exams. Each challenge can render your mental and emotional state in fear and doubt.

But can we alter our reactions to these challenges? Instead of being fearful, we be in the state of complete acceptance. We have to meet these challenges anyway, even if we aren’t fearful.

In fact, there’s an argument to be made that if we don’t react with fear, the challenge itself won’t be so daunting. Being fearful compounds the challenge. The challenge would grow because we now have to handle our fears and the actual challenge itself. Fear will now be a huge part of that challenge.

I’ve seen two very close ladies in my life face the biggest challenge of all, looking death in the eyes, with completely different perspectives to the challenge. One was fearful of what was to be after death, fearful of what was to be of her loved ones. The other accepted her situation and just went with the flow, much less fearful. In the end, the one less fearful met the same fate as the other, but her passing away was less painful, with what I thought was a very merciful of death. The fearful one was battling fear and never regained the little of life she had left.

Frustratingly, this lesson witnessed first hand, never did get learned by me. I understood it but my life never changed. Fear is still very prevalent in me every single day in my life. Fear of loss, fear of pain, fear of disappointment, fear of sadness, fear of death.

A very wise and weathered friend, almost a father to me, once shared his thoughts about fear. Like the way darkness cannot be destroyed but can be replaced with light, so can fear in our minds and our being be replaced with calmness  and ecstasy.

But this replacement requires change in us. And this is the tricky part. How do we constantly remind ourselves that we have a choice to face our challenges without fear further handicapping us? We have that choice to accept our circumstances and the ensuing challenges ahead, without fear, without doubt.

As the saying at the beginning of this article goes, “Oh, Nanak! Those who know their True Identity live in excellence and ecstasy!”.

We can only know our true identity and our true selves through constant introspection. And the process that helps this is meditation. Meditation, breathing, inward thinking, outward actions of calmness has been proven to help us  in our journey towards replacing our fearfulness to the ecstatic state of Chardee Kala.

Even so, meditation is only but the first step towards us being conscious of the choice we have when faced with our fears and challenges. It is easier said than done, and as I write this, I know I have this fear that I have a long way to go. I certainly have a long way to go with my change to confidently say that I can choose acceptance instead of fear. But oh what a state I will be in when it finally happens!

Jagdesh Singh, a Kuala Lumpur-based executive with a US multinational company, is a father of three girls who are as opinionated as their mother

* This is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.

 

ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE! Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com

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