Obey, Serve, Love, Excel...

By SS Sangeet Kaur Khalsa, Espanola

The Golden Temple and Akal TakhatAfter the tragic events of 1984 Siri Singh Sahib ji instructed us to hold a wish-and-dish Gurdwara every 6th of the month and to sing the Narayan shabd.  He said that “when we’ll perfect (the shabd), Akal Takht will appear by its own force.”  In those early days, when Siri Singh Sahib ji gave a command it was (relatively!) easy for me to obey and serve, without questioning.  And so, for many years I dutifully participated on the 6th of the month, singing the Narayan shabd   From time to time I did wonder what it would mean to “perfect” the shabd.  As a musician, it was a daunting prospect.  To my mind the concept was remote, abstract, unattainable, much like the concept of becoming “10 times greater” than Siri Singh Sahib ji, as was his prayer and intention for us.

In preparing for the 25th anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Akal Takht, I happened to re-read his lecture on The Power of the Narayan Shabd and understood for the first time that Guru Arjan, as a suffering human, wrote the shabd in order to purify himself, so that he could bear his own death with grace, so that his son Hargobind might become Guru and construct the Akal Takht, the “longitude and latitude of the nerve center of the universe which keeps the central movement of magnetic rotation of the shield of the plant earth.”  Whew!  The Espanola sangat began chanting the Narayan shabd every evening for 40 days.  And the love for the shabd and the love to be together, in the company of the Holy, blossomed.  And then our sangat wanted to keep going for 90 more days, until the 25th anniversary.  And now, the concept of excelling and ‘perfecting’ the shabd is not so remote to me.  The Master gave us the recipe all those years ago:  “Come and do nothing but participate and sing.  Teach it to the children and let them sing. You sing.  Than you’ll become Singh!  Because your Akal Takht will reappear in its own glory.”  To obey and serve are not enough; to love brings us to complete the cycle in excellence.