India has a strange hold on me. It is not my birthplace, But It is in my soul.
I hear the bell of Krishna; I hear the call of Muhammad; I hear the chant of Buddha; I hear the Shabad of Guru Nanak.
I have knelt on its soil; I have kissed its ground. I yearn To be mingled with its dust.
The Pogroms of 1984 Shattered this love. Instantly, I grew up.
I saw my mother-in-law, a strong, brave woman, crumble as images from India filtered through our television in Fairfield, Connecticut, U.S.A. Her memories of the Partition came rushing back. Memories that she had tucked deep within gushed out.
It was 1947 all over again for her. I heard her stories; I witnessed her tears; I thought I understood, but I was wrong. I could not have understood, because I did not experience it.
In March of 1985, I flew from New York to India, to be with my mother. She was visiting her sister in Janakpuri, a suburb of Delhi. Delhi was tense.
The mood was sombre. People stayed indoors. One evening at around 9 pm, there was pounding at my aunt's door. Her Hindu neighbours had heard that busloads of goondas (thugs) were being brought into Janakpuri to burn down Sikh homes.
What transpired after that was surreal. My grandmother and I were assigned to a Hindu home in the neighbourhood. My mother and her sister went to another Hindu home. The rest of the family was scattered in yet other Hindu homes.
That night will forever be etched in my DNA. My grandmother and I were put behind a tall steel cupboard in a pitch-black room. She was clinging to her large black handbag (into which she had stuffed her gold jewelry) and was saying her prayers.
I just sat dazed. From time to time, we would hear loud voices coming from the street. My grandmother would tense up and hug me even closer.
I can't remember saying much. But I remember vividly what happened next. My grandmother very calmly said: "Inni, if that door opens, I will kill you first and then I will kill myself."
She took out a knife from her black handbag and showed it to me. I never uttered a word. There was nothing to say. We sat quietly together and waited out the night.
The mob did not come. It was a false alarm. The next morning, my mother insisted I leave Delhi. I flew to Bombay that evening. Back home in Connecticut, I allowed myself to revisit my Delhi experience.
But it was too painful. I could not comprehend it and so, I kept silent. Years flew by. From time to time, the memories would awaken and tears would flow. I was still unable to grasp the depth of my emotions.
The 20th anniversary of the 1984 massacre: I started to write. More tears flowed. Many pages were filled. Finally, the piece was done.
I read it. Tears of gratitude flowed. The healing had taken place; I could see it in my writing. I sent the finished piece to my family and friends.
Their response astounded me: "Why are you going there? What is the use? Forget about it!" To say that I was shocked would be an understatement.
I felt that someone had stabbed me with a knife. I sent it to Sikh and Indian magazines. No one published it. I died a thousand deaths during this process. Every rejection was a stab.
Gurumustuk Singh from sikhnet was the brave one who put it on his website. My voice had found a place. They say: Do not write; Do not speak;
Forget about it. If I agree, Then In my silence Lies my guilt. As long as I draw breath, As long as there is strength within me,
I will write, I will speak. For I remember ... I Remember... The year is 1739.
Hindustan is in terror. The cruelty of the Mughals Is felt everywhere. Nadir Shah is in Delhi Looting the treasures,
Carting away twenty-two hundred Hindu women For his private harem. The news spreads like wildfire Across this great land. Helplessness and confusion
Reign supreme. Sardar Jassa Singh, Commander of the Sikh army, Hears of this atrocity, Vows to take a stand.
The Sikhs are a minority; The Mughals have the upper hand. Despite this disparity, A midnight attack is planned. The Mughal camp is asleep;
The Sikhs wait in silence. At the stroke of midnight, They begin the attack. Kirpans are in the air; The Mughals are caught off-guard.
The women are freed And safely brought back. In Hindu households, Sighs of relief are heard As the women rush back
To the arms of their loved ones. There are Sikh casualties, But there are no tears; To uphold a woman's honour Is the Sikh dharam.
From that day on, A pattern emerged: The Sikhs struck at midnight To free the captured women. Every night, the women prayed
For the safety of the Sikhs. Mothers told their daughters, "Trust only a Sikh." Hindu mothers, with love, Made their first-born sons Sikhs.
A sacred trust existed Between a Hindu and a Sikh. Through the centuries, This trust and love continued, Until the forces of evil
Raised their ugly head. The year is 1984, The unthinkable happened: Our Hindu brothers Turned on us.
Sikh women were raped; Their fathers, husbands, Sons and brothers Butchered in front of their eyes. The country was in shell-shock At the brutality of this massacre;
Yet, no voice rose To speak against this massacre. I ask my Hindu sisters: "Where were you? Did your hearts not bleed
At the rape of your sisters?" Twenty five years have gone by. The pain has not diminished. There are no answers To what happened in 1984.
To my Hindu sisters, I have one request: Tell your sons, husbands and brothers The sacrifices of the Sikhs. To my Sikh brothers,
I need not remind you: You are bound by our Guru To protect the weak. No Sikh hand will rise Against any woman;
Be she a Hindu or a Muslim, She has the protection of a Sikh.
Let the winds be gentle; Let there be peace on this land; Let this shattered trust Be given a chance to grow. But ask me not to forget, For I remember...
On this 25th anniversary of the Pogroms of 1984, I reflect on the courage of the non-Sikhs who protected the Sikhs.
You are our unsung heroes. I salute your bravery; I salute your goodness; I salute your morality.
But ask me not to forget, For I remember...
As I read this poignant, soulful message..my heart welled up with tears...
3000+ People Died in the Sikh Massacre, A violent and murderous reaction by Goons of a Political Party, Hindus over the Murder of then Prime Minister of India by Sikh separatists.
25+ Years on..There is no shred of justice done..
Justice may never be done..for whats lost can not be undone..and whats salvaged will be so trival and small compared to this void in thousands of families...and all humanity..
but let's not ask ourselves to forget the pain...the wounds on the hearts of our sikh brothers and sisters in such casual disdain....
may we learn to understand what an impulse of hatread and indifference can do..how much far and wide fire that it can cast over this world...
may we walk in their shoes..to feel the fire still burning in their hearts..may it rinsed by the tears from our heart and from our love, by the genuine care and brotherhood.
We look at things always with old eyes. You come to your home; you look at it without looking at it. You know it â€• there is no need to look at it. You have entered it again and again for years together. You go to the door, you enter the door; you may unlock the door. But there is no need to look.
This whole process goes on robot-like, mechanically, unconsciously. If something goes wrong, only if your key is not fitting into the lock, then you look at the lock. If the key fits, you never look at the lock. Because of mechanical habits, repeatedly doing the same thing again and again, you lose the capacity to look; you lose the freshness to look.
Remember the last time you looked at your wife. The last time you looked at your wife or at your husband may have been years ago. For how many years have you not looked? You just pass, giving a casual glimpse, but not a look. Go again and look at your wife or at your husband as if you were looking for the first time. Why? Because if you are looking for the first time, your eyes will be filled with a freshness. They will become alive.
They say nothing is new under the sky. Really, nothing is old under the sky. Only the eyes become old, accustomed to things; then nothing is new. For children everything is new: that is why everything gives them excitement. Even a colored stone on a beach, and they become so excited. And everything is a new world, a new dimension.
Look at children's eyes â€• at the freshness, the radiant aliveness, the vitality. They look mirror-like, silent, but penetrating. Only such eyes can reach within.
Anything will do. Look at your shoes. You have been using them for years, but look as if for the first time and see the difference: the quality of your consciousness suddenly changes. This technique is just to make your eyes fresh â€• so fresh, alive, radiantly vital, that they can move within and you can have a look at your inner self.
If you are freed from the past and you have a look that can see the present, you will enter existence. And this entry will be double: you will enter into everything, into its spirit, and you will enter into yourself also because the present is the door. All meditations in one way or the other try to get you to live in the present. So this technique is one of the most beautiful techniques â€• and easy.
Serenity flows from the depths of my soul. I am immersed in peace.
Sitting beside a clear stream, I relax and watch as a slender fish faces the oncoming current head-on. Instead of struggling against the rushing water, the fish remains peaceful and calm, allowing the current to run past its body. Barely moving, it has become one with the stream.
This simple observation is a message of peace for me. I realize that I can escape the rush of daily activity. I become still and feel the quieting effects as serenity flows from the depths of my soul. Immersed in peace, I am one with God and experience a tranquility that restores me. Relaxing further into the presence of God, I am both recharged and refreshed.
I can reexperience this sacred moment at any time. Centered in the peace of God within my soul, I am calm and serene.
The power of miracles is available to us at every moment.
There are many practical steps you can take to connect with this power. They all involve finding excitement and beauty in the permanent and lasting gifts of the Creator.
a.. Begin the day with gratitude b.. Realize that life itself is a miracle. c.. Recognize the precision and wonder of nature. d.. Seek the Light in every person you meet. e.. Identify the Light in all things. Exercise these five steps today and you will have the power of miracles on your side. Create the unthinkable - for yourself, for your loved ones, and for the world.
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The Kabbalah Centre International 1100 Robertson Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90035, USA
When beingness is unfolding in a heart expanding to its full glory,
A heart embracing the light within;
Ceasing to limit itself
to the boundaries set by the mind
it does something.....
it does something to the many hearts that witness this glory,
Igniting the fire of spirit and the rhythm of love,
the wild, intoxicating fragrance of freedom is passed on from one heart to another
that dance in unison.
Thus; this dance from within a single heart is spread across the entire universe. inspiring every fiber of every being an awakened state of living,
It all stars with one heart... Its Your Heart's call.
About the Poem..
Its about how a single heart inspires the entire universe into being complete..(while everything is complete beyond the paramters of time it adds to the completeness, expanding it further, fuller, making it more wholesome..
Its a strange and weird concept..and you'd say.he is too naive...no but I am speaking from a certain knowingness of heart..
All things perfect and complete..do have a scope of being more so..and are inspired, channelled by the love and light thats realised in hearts.
The unisverse expands as we expand..in claiming our light and love..hence nothing is insignificant..every hug, every smile, every wave, every kind word spoken in openess, realistion of true love..adds to this expansion..(far simplistic view of love..although this expansion is more diverse and dynamic but stating the A, B, C. )
And whats expanded this way..adds new dimensions into our being.
I wonder if we everyone knew the power of love..and what a single step of love can do..to this wide universe.
Most terribly cold it was; it snowed, and was nearly quite dark, and evening-- the last evening of the year. In this cold and darkness there went along the street a poor little girl, bareheaded, and with naked feet. When she left home she had slippers on, it is true; but what was the good of that? They were very large slippers, which her mother had hitherto worn; so large were they; and the poor little thing lost them as she scuffled away across the street, because of two carriages that rolled by dreadfully fast.
One slipper was nowhere to be found; the other had been laid hold of by an urchin, and off he ran with it; he thought it would do capitally for a cradle when he some day or other should have children himself. So the little maiden walked on with her tiny naked feet, that were quite red and blue from cold. She carried a quantity of matches in an old apron, and she held a bundle of them in her hand. Nobody had bought anything of her the whole livelong day; no one had given her a single farthing.
She crept along trembling with cold and hunger--a very picture of sorrow, the poor little thing!
The flakes of snow covered her long fair hair, which fell in beautiful curls around her neck; but of that, of course, she never once now thought. From all the windows the candles were gleaming, and it smelt so deliciously of roast goose, for you know it was New Year's Eve; yes, of that she thought.
In a corner formed by two houses, of which one advanced more than the other, she seated herself down and cowered together. Her little feet she had drawn close up to her, but she grew colder and colder, and to go home she did not venture, for she had not sold any matches and could not bring a farthing of money: from her father she would certainly get blows, and at home it was cold too, for above her she had only the roof, through which the wind whistled, even though the largest cracks were stopped up with straw and rags.
Her little hands were almost numbed with cold. Oh! a match might afford her a world of comfort, if she only dared take a single one out of the bundle, draw it against the wall, and warm her fingers by it. She drew one out. "Rischt!" how it blazed, how it burnt! It was a warm, bright flame, like a candle, as she held her hands over it: it was a wonderful light. It seemed really to the little maiden as though she were sitting before a large iron stove, with burnished brass feet and a brass ornament at top. The fire burned with such blessed influence; it warmed so delightfully. The little girl had already stretched out her feet to warm them too; but--the small flame went out, the stove vanished: she had only the remains of the burnt-out match in her hand.
She rubbed another against the wall: it burned brightly, and where the light fell on the wall, there the wall became transparent like a veil, so that she could see into the room. On the table was spread a snow-white tablecloth; upon it was a splendid porcelain service, and the roast goose was steaming famously with its stuffing of apple and dried plums. And what was still more capital to behold was, the goose hopped down from the dish, reeled about on the floor with knife and fork in its breast, till it came up to the poor little girl; when--the match went out and nothing but the thick, cold, damp wall was left behind. She lighted another match. Now there she was sitting under the most magnificent Christmas tree: it was still larger, and more decorated than the one which she had seen through the glass door in the rich merchant's house.
Thousands of lights were burning on the green branches, and gaily-colored pictures, such as she had seen in the shop-windows, looked down upon her. The little maiden stretched out her hands towards them when--the match went out. The lights of the Christmas tree rose higher and higher, she saw them now as stars in heaven; one fell down and formed a long trail of fire.
"Someone is just dead!" said the little girl; for her old grandmother, the only person who had loved her, and who was now no more, had told her, that when a star falls, a soul ascends to God.
She drew another match against the wall: it was again light, and in the lustre there stood the old grandmother, so bright and radiant, so mild, and with such an expression of love.
"Grandmother!" cried the little one. "Oh, take me with you! You go away when the match burns out; you vanish like the warm stove, like the delicious roast goose, and like the magnificent Christmas tree!" And she rubbed the whole bundle of matches quickly against the wall, for she wanted to be quite sure of keeping her grandmother near her. And the matches gave such a brilliant light that it was brighter than at noon-day: never formerly had the grandmother been so beautiful and so tall. She took the little maiden, on her arm, and both flew in brightness and in joy so high, so very high, and then above was neither cold, nor hunger, nor anxiety--they were with God.
But in the corner, at the cold hour of dawn, sat the poor girl, with rosy cheeks and with a smiling mouth, leaning against the wall--frozen to death on the last evening of the old year. Stiff and stark sat the child there with her matches, of which one bundle had been burnt. "She wanted to warm herself," people said. No one had the slightest suspicion of what beautiful things she had seen; no one even dreamed of the splendor in which, with her grandmother she had entered on the joys of a new year.
This story is very close to my heart. I had read it as a child and I have cried so many times for this child. About the same time I had read about Anne Frank, the young girl who became a source of inspiration, idol for me..and will continue to be forever..in my journey of life..
I feel so lost..when I think of the many children who die..alone. on the streets..giving up by the world..and the Gods above..and the many dreams that die with them..I also resonated with the story..for just as our love unites us in our being..so does pain..
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