Pain Is Inevitable, Suffering Optional

Jaskaran Singh, California

I was in Delhi in 1984 when anti-Sikh riots broke out. I was fortunate in that I was safe, and shielded from the bloodshed. I did not see much, though what I did see was bad enough.

I used to read this shabad written in big letters on the outer wall of a house in Punjabi Bagh and it had always comforted me. I was a small town kid, away from home for the firs time, staying in a college boarding house, being ‘ragged’ by seniors, had been hurt in a road accident etc. etc. But whenever I read these words, I felt I ‘belonged’ (to my Guru), that He was watching over me and therefore no serious harm could come to me.

Then the prime minister was assasinated and the carnage soon started. Many houses, businesses and countless vehicles belonging to Sikhs in the neighborhood were burnt during the riots. But miraculously, this house was spared.

The owners of the house had hung a blanket over the words, so people won’t identify the house as belonging to a Sikh. Now, whenever I walked by, I would expect the blanket to be gone, but somehow I thought of the hidden words more. I did some research (we didn’t have access to computers and the Internet) and learnt what the shabad meant. It was the same shabad, but instead of saving me from minor irritants, that’s what my troubles of a few days ago seemed now, it had now saved my life.

When He protects you, nobody and nothing can harm you. There was really no question in my mind that He protects us all the time. In return we have to be true to Him and to ourselves. This is what I have continued to believe since then.

We change as we go through life, our needs change and so do the prayers that provide us with strength, comfort and guidance.

I know what I write is nothing new or profound, but I felt it strongly and it is therefore of great significance to me.

The blanket was taken away after a few weeks and the shabad is still there for all to see.


Taati Vao Na Lagaee Parbrahm Sarnaee

Sukirat Kaur believes people of different faiths can live together in harmony while staying true to their beliefs.

tati vao na lagae

Taati Vao Na Lagaee Parbrahm Sarnaee is my favorite prayer because of many reasons.

My mom used to recite it every night before my brother and I went to sleep, so it became a habit. Whenever I’m sick or in pain it just comes into my mind naturally, it provides comfort and gives me strength. The meaning of the shabad is that nobody can harm you when you’re under the protection of God; he’s always by your side to help you out.

It’s the reward of the journey, not the destination, that I seek

He who is outside the door has already a good part of his journey behind him.  – Dutch Proverb.

At some point in our life we realize we have strayed from the kind of individuals we wanted to be. Perhaps we see how unfair we’ve been, how we have hurt those who love us and those we love.

That is when we are ready to recover, make amends, become most spiritual. It’s a lifelong journey and we never reach a point where we can stop growing.

It’s not about reaching the destination; it’s all about how we keep going. It’s not so much about winning or losing, but about how we play the game.

Moolmantar and WaheGuru

Gurjas Singh is a grade five student, who plays basketball, is learning taekwondo and loves the outdoors.

I do moolmantar five times every morning and say
Jai Prasad Chatee Amrit Khai,
Tis Thakur Kau Rakh Man Mahe

before breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Before a test, a basketball game or a Taekwondo sparring match, I do WaheGuru WaheGuru. Sometimes, when I wake up at night, I do WaheGuru WaheGuru and then I don’t feel scared anymore.

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