Sat Nam Dear Family,
Well, the Siri Singh Sahib’s birthday is upon us again. It’s always a beautiful reminder of the reverence we experience through obedience to his direction. I love everything about it. I love his birthday party for many reasons. Let me give you an example or so.
One of the classes run by KRI, the yearly Immersion Course ends just after the party. I enjoy walking around the party talking to students I’ve seen and interacted with over the past month. Without fail, each student has a look of amazement on their face, almost in disbelief, that expresses their experience. It’s hope, faith, relaxation, and elevation all in one expression.
When I ask each one what their experience is like, universally, they can't answer. The experience is so unique that they have no immediate words to express it. Finally, they get around to somehow, in some way, expressing their gratitude.
That’s it right there. And for me, I so enjoy hearing each unique individual expression of this gratitude. It’s one of my favorite things to do these days. You really don't get to find people being grateful very often. At his party there’s a whole flock of ‘gratitudites’ in one spot. It is a truly wonderful experience and I thank KRI for bringing this course and these students to our house, the Guru’s House.
The birthday reminds me of the royal way our beloved teacher would act. He threw this party for the whole state. Many came from far away. Many came to pay respects. Many came to gain respect. Many came to pay homage. Many came to gain support. Many came for many different reasons, but there was one common denominator. The Siri Singh Sahib treated all with respect. And, I mean all. He was a perfect Sikh. He treated all with an attitude of helping out only. He would never be the problem, only the solution.
It worked. He was loved and respected by New Mexicans from both red and blue parts of the state. He was a solid Democrat, but he got along with all. We went to many Republican parties as well. He became good friends with all governors, both Democrat and Republican.
Once I asked him, “Sir, what makes you get along with these Republicans so well? They are alway so happy to meet with you: actually they go out of their way to have relationship with you and are boastful of it! ”
“You’re right. First, I recognize that somewhere we have a common goal and that’s advancing the interest of this state. We share that projection. We may have a different opinion of how to get there, but we want to get to the same place. I go to Republican functions as a way of showing how we must work together if we want to get to our goal. Otherwise, we inhibit the process. Rather than calling each other names, why not sit down with one another and discuss which is the best method for achieving our shared goals. Both sides will benefit from this sacrifice. Greater still, the country will benefit greatly in making democracy work.” He was on the job for everyone, not just his students.
His birthday party conjures memories like the answer he gave above. He wasn’t just our teacher, he was a teacher to all he came in contact with. He became the “Padre” of the state. He never challenge their religion or lifestyle, he just helped them in a neutral way. Many in this state grew to love him like we did. Who knows, maybe more, after all, Christians know how to love.
Now, all that aside, these parties remind me of how much I do miss him physically. That thought takes my memory to a place of devotion, love for the time we had. I sound like a melancholy lover. Well, maybe I am. Anyway, these memories are priceless.
So, just like the students I mentioned in the beginning, this party allows me to also share in the gratitude for this lifestyle and the teacher who brought it to us. Naturally, I love the party. How many parties do you go to with a bevy of grateful students who bring out my own deep thanks for all the blessed memories I have? Only here, that’s where! I can tell you this, a party full of grateful people is an experience like no other. So it isn’t too late. GO grab a flight to Albuquerque tomorrow, Friday, or even as late as Saturday and joins us at the Siri Singh Sahib Ji’s exquisite Ranch for his Annual Birthday Party at 6PM! If not this year, put it on your calendar for next year. We will be honored to be your hosts. Stay tuned,
In the Humility of Service and Gratitude,
MSS Hari Jiwan Singh Khalsa
Chief of Protocol