It's a Time for Compassion & ForgivenessFELICIA KAUR JODHKA
It is indeed the sign of the Dark Ages, the era of Kalyug, when walls of worship become a battlefield of war. It is the signs of our time when the Guru’s door is desecrated with blood spilt from the forceful, ear-piercing shots of hatred and indignation.
My Guru's Court is a place that imbibes the epitome of solace.
For the Sikh community in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, USA, it is now an infamous frenzy of chaos and insanity. As a result of one man’s heinous, self-righteous act, seven bodies lie lifeless in a place where the only destruction that is meant to occur is that of the mind’s ego.
A site established for connecting with God has ironically become the ultimate representation of what God is not -- bhau (fear) and vair (animosity).
And I think to myself -- My God, why? Why does such a benevolent entity allow for such a cruel and merciless act to occur? No, to reoccur? And at your door, at that! Could the irony and juxtaposition be anymore climactic?
However, I seek solace in Guru Nanak’s words from Japji Sahib in which he describes compassion as the foundation:
ਧੌਲੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਦਇਆ ਕਾ ਪੂਤੁ ॥
Ḏẖoul ḏẖaram ḏa▫i▫ā kā pūṯ.
The mythical bull which balances the earth is Dharam, the son of compassion.
Sikhism’s history, dense in compassion and forgiveness, has laid the foundation of the saint-soldier spirit and defines the role of a Sikh during times like these.
ਤੇਰਾ ਕੀਆ ਮੀਠਾ ਲਾਗੈ ॥
Ŧerā kī▫ā mīṯẖā lāgai.
Sweet is Thy Will, O Lord.
ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਾਂਗੈ
Har nām paḏārath Nānak māŉgai.
Nanak begs for the treasure of the Naam, the Name of the Lord.
These were the words that flowed from Guru Arjan’s mouth as he was tortured by the Mughal on a hot metal plate. His words and actions define him as a sacrifice rather than a casualty. No doubt, it is compassion that discerns a martyr from a victim.
And so, as saints, we will accept what has occurred with grace and dignity. We will act with mercy and we will forgive. However, the enemy has fired. And as our warrior roots are reinvigorated, we will fire back. We will fire not with bullets, but with tender words that pierce hearts and fierce actions that love souls. We will uphold the tenants of Sikhism – not unaligned with the American tenants of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
August 6, 2012
Conversation about this article
1: Derek Zary (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada), August 06, 2012, 6:56 AM.
I AM sorry for the hateful people out there ... I am guessing that they may be ignorant of what ALL good religion is about. Good religion is good and not violent at all. It is supposed to be about forgiveness and love, understanding, compassion for anyone who obeys God's laws. If this killer claimed he was a Christian, he was lying, for real Christians are like Jesus, not a killer. If he did (past tense) claim this, he was a false Christian and will be judged some day by the God, who can be merciful, but can also get judge and deliver justice. It is time for peace. It's time for the children to grow up and put an end to war and get along like the huge family God wants.