Tuesday, May 04, 2010
'Guru Gobind Singh is my favourite'
COLUMN: SPIRITUAL MATTERS
By Shevlin Sebastian
When Punjabi businessman Manjit Singh Sethi gets up every morning, he recites the ‘Satnam Waheguru’ in Gurumuki:
Waheguru tera shukar hae’
(Praise God for his creation, which is eternal)
“I forget about the outside world and go deep inside myself,” he says. Manjit repeats this prayer intensely for a few minutes. “I also pray to God to make me a good son, brother, husband, father, and a businessman. I want the best to happen to my wife and daughter.”
So when Manjit closes his eyes, which, among the 10 Sikh Gurus does he visualise? “Guru Gobind Singh,” he says, without any hesitation. “There is a white falcon resting on his right hand. He is wearing a bright yellow turban, as well as a bracelet, and has a sword in his waistband. There is a vibrant smile on his face.”
Asked why he prefers Guru Gobind Singh, Manjit says, “He sacrificed his family for the sect. That made a big impression on me.”
Manjit became closer to Guru Gobind Singh, when for his arranged marriage to Sumitha Kaur in 2003, he had to go to Hyderabad. There, with his in-laws, he went to the 300-year old Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib Gurudwara at Nanded in Maharashtra, which was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
“It was out of this world,” says Manjit. “There was a huge gathering of Sikhs and they were all wearing so many colourful turbans. In Kochi there are so few Sikhs. The gurudwara is bigger in size than the Golden Temple in Amritsar. It was throbbing with life. After praying there I felt completely rejuvenated.”
Not surprisingly, the gurudwara at Nanded became his favourite place of pilgrimage. “Whenever I face problems in life, I always say to myself, ‘If I can overcome this, I will come to visit you, Guruji.” And when things do get sorted out, Manjit would go to Nanded. He has been going there every three months or so.
Manjit says that God sometimes talks to him. One day, in 2000, he dreamt that his father Harbans Singh was about to die. “In the dream, I am holding my father in my arms and saying, ‘Don’t leave us now.’”
Two days later, Harbans Singh fell seriously ill, but he was rushed to hospital and survived. “This dream was a message from God telling me that my father might be in some sort of danger,” says Manjit. His beloved father finally passed away in 2006.
After all these experiences, Manjit has no doubt about the existence of God. He tells a story: Once, during the construction of his palatial house in Jawahar Nagar, recently, a labourer fell from two storeys high.
“He missed a wall by a whisker, which would have meant instant death,” says Manjit. “Instead he landed on a few small coconut trees, which broke his fall and he survived. This proved to me that God exists.”
So, does man need God? “If we are not God-fearing, we will behave like barbarians,” says Manjit. “God enables us to be on the right track.”
(The New Indian Express, Kerala)
at May 04, 2010