Kids Corner


The Whitney Houston Tragedy:
A Sikh Perspective





Whitney Houston's death is viewed as a tragedy because her great talents were overshadowed by her struggles with substance abuse. What does your faith teach about rising above such temptations and using one's talents to the fullest?

The following are some reflections by Kanwal Prakash "K.P." Singh, artist, author, interfaith and Sikh community leader, on this question:


According to the Sikh faith, the human body is the highest gift bestowed upon us by God.

Among the cycles of transmigration, human birth is our great opportunity to know and serve God. To know the Immaculate Supreme God, one must conquer the five powerful distracting hurdles: lust, anger, greed, attachment and pride.

Unchecked, this eternal struggle leads to much pain and suffering, violent and destructive behavior, temptations and self-centeredness that keep us away from God.

The Sikh faith reminds us, "The human body is a temple; the home of God-Light; a place of sacred pilgrimage."

Therefore, spiritual commandments include remembering God, and righteous conduct; keeping the body and mind clean; and abstaining from foods, intoxicants and temptations that harm our body, diminish our faculties and destroy our talents. We must honor our blessings and lead a full, happy and purposeful life.

Dangerous drugs are among the deadliest poisons to one's body, a grave threat to society and one's ability to see right from wrong.

We cannot fully know the formidable challenges and personal struggles that Whitney Houston faced in recent years, after her
meteoric rise as the singer with a golden talent and global acclaim.

Whitney's tragic death will not overshadow her music legacy; it will continue to enthrall generations to come. We can also imagine that Whitney is seated in the court of the Lord, among "countless accomplished singers with magical musical instruments," offering exalted praise.

Whitney's untimely passing is another jolt; the menace of rampant drug use in our society claims another star victim.

Families, faith leaders and health-care providers need to develop strategies and support systems for an early, vigorous and disciplined intervention to eradicate the menace of drug addiction that is devastating many lives.


[Courtesy: The Indianapolis Star]

February 26, 2012


Conversation about this article

1: Savera (U.S.A.), February 26, 2012, 12:48 PM.

Whitney Houston was not kiled by illegal drugs, but by precriptions that were given to her by a doctor mixed with alcohol. Yes, she did have addiction problems and went to rehab several times, but that doesn't take away from the fact that doctors are overprescribing dangerous medication to people all the world over. Benzodiazepines are dangerous and I hope that instead of focusing on Whitney Houston's past with addiction problems, the Sikh community will focus on the actual cause of her death and educate themselves and others about medications such as Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, commonly called Benzos. Someone in your own family could be taking these for simple issues such as insomnia or mild anxiety.

2: Panjab Singh (Yuba City, California, U.S.A.), February 26, 2012, 3:00 PM.

"Anxiety disorders now affect 18 percent of the adult population of the United States, or about 40 million people." - National Institute of Mental Health.

3: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), February 26, 2012, 6:31 PM.

Fame and fortune come at a cost! ... Ms Houston's legacy is a great one in that she brought so much joy with her extraordinary songs.

4: B. Singh (Canada), February 26, 2012, 10:58 PM.

As Savera (comment #1) states, prescription drugs can be very dangerous. People too often go to the doctor with the expectation of walking away with a prescription. I've heard some of our elderly discussing which doctors were better, based on who prescribed stronger drugs more readily. This is a dangerous way to approach your own health. A doctor who prescribes conservatively and instead tries to advocate lifestyle changes is actually doing a better job. It's important, especially for our elderly to embrace longer term health solutions and to be wary of quick fixes.

5: Harbans Lal (Dallas, U.S.A.), March 01, 2012, 6:27 PM.

Those who succumb to temptations and come under the overwhelming influence of their urges lose their seat in the court of the Lord, according to Sikh scripture. Our Guru asks us to stay away from even the shadow of their company.

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A Sikh Perspective"

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