From Disappointment to Joy
A Sikh Story
I was born and brought up in a strict Radha Swami, Sikh family.As far back as I can remember, my mother had been a great influence on me. Many times I woke up in what seemed like the middle of the night and saw my mother sat with her legs crossed,eyes shut, unaware of her surroundings, praying to her Radha Swami guru. She always prayed at about two or three in the morning or any chance she got during the day.
Whilst praying, she would sit very still and all of a sudden start shaking uncontrollably moving from her Lotus position in an almost circular movement. The harder she concentrated, the more vigorous her movements became. Her hair, which was normally rolled into a loose bun held together with a few hair grips, would start to fall into disarray. Sometimes this would happen in a satsang and then all the women would pull me and my brother away from her saying that we should not disturb her as she was worshipping God.
My mother always told us that prayer to God required a lot of time, effort, concentration and sacrifice. One would have to concentrate in the middle of the forehead and continuously pray the nam you had been personally given. She said that there was a spiritual force who had created us and she respected all religions. Secretly, I started to long for the spiritual power that my mother had. I wanted to see God and to feel Him with me. Whenever I woke up and saw her praying, I would do the same but I couldn’t do it for as long as she could.
At this time, we were living in Delhi in India and my father was a strict Sikh. I was sent to a school above the Gurdwara to learn English and Punjabi. The Gurdwara would open at 4 am every day and the Sikh community would sing worship songs along the streets at that time. Anyone who wanted to could join the procession and end up at the temple. As my father had to start work at 6am, we were always up by 4:30 am and he would let me go and join the procession to the Gurdwara. It was only about ten minutes walk from our house and. I would really enjoy the music of the worship songs, though I understood very little of what I was singing.
When I came back, I would have breakfast and go down to our landlords, who were Hindus, and pray with them. At that time, I could recite all those Hindu prayers. My mother told me that it was important to live a good life and to pray to God or we would be reincarnated as an insect or an animal or go to hell. I was really frightened of hell as I saw various paintings in temples in Delhi showing a man with a big carved sword and red tongue burning some people in fire. Each Sunday and as we went to satsang, the Hindu cremations were taking place opposite the satsang and so death was always brought to my mind.
My family moved to England on a bitter cold day in December 1965 when I was nine years old. We saw snow for the first time in Southall where my dad rented a room for the four of us. At school in England, I started to learn about Jesus and Christianity. When I was fifteen years old, I started to help a hospital radio service and read prayers and Bible passages over the radio. My longing to know God began to increase. When I was seventeen years old, I visited India with my dad in the hope that I would receive a nam from his guru. I learnt however that this is not given to single girls in case they get married into non-religious families. I was very disappointed and wept when I didn’t receive the nam and I couldn’t think of anything else on the way back on the train. Where would I go if I died now? Whom did I belong to spiritually? What right did the guru have to stop me having that relationship with God?
When we returned to England, I went to college and started asking questions to girls from the Christian Union. They explained how anyone can be saved through Jesus and that they did not need to meditate on His picture. They seemed to be such happy people. Whilst I was at college, my younger brother Kuldip, who was nearly fourteen, became a Christian and he started to tell me what he had heard about Jesus. He was really excited. The more he talked, the more I wanted to know God in the same way.
Some girls from the Christian Union invited me to a Don Summer’s crusade and he preached about living a lie. He said that such double-living made a heavy chain around your neck and that Jesus Christ was the only one who could save us from that. He said that we could have a personal relationship with Jesus. This really attracted me because it meant that I did not have to go through gurus to have a personal relationship with God. I liked the idea that I did not have to disclose my personal feelings to another person but could go directly to God through Jesus and that the reincarnation cycle would not apply to me because it wasn’t really true.
As I sat and listened, my body felt a pleasant burning warmth and I felt compelled to get up and go forward to receive God’s forgiveness and salvation when the call came. They prayed with me and put me in touch with a couple from a Baptist Church. My parents stopped me from going out and I was glad to have a Christian friends and the support of my brother who told me what was being taught in the Church.
I still needed the assurance of knowing that I was saved and one of the girls told me that if I believed in Jesus, then He has forgiven me and come to live in my life. From that moment on, as I believed, I was on cloud nine for the next two or three weeks feeling God with me as I had never known before. I told everyone who would listen about Jesus. I have been a Christian now for over twenty five years and have seen so many wonderful miracles in my life and I always think back that God saved me from getting that nam . My relationship with Jesus has grown so much over the years and He has always been there encouraging me and guiding me. It is a real joy that all my children also follow Jesus.
” I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me “, (John’s gospel 14:6), and ” I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life “, (John’s gospel 5:24).
Jesus is the only way to God because He is the only one who can forgive our sins. He does this through the sacrifice of His death on the cross in our place and so deals with God’s condemnation and punishment of all that we have done wrong.
Without that forgiveness, we would all have to pay for our own sin in hell forever but Jesus paid the price for us and then rose to life again.
God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ is open to anyone who will place their trust in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
God loves us and has promised forgiveness and a new life to all who put their life in Jesus hands. This promise is for all who want to turn from evil, ask God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ, and ask Jesus to be their Lord and take control of their lives but the power of his Holy Spirit.
By this simple trust, we can be freed from any punishment on the Day of Judgment and find a whole new living relationship with the real God who loves each one of us, with His Holy Spirit living within us to help us to follow the right way.
Millions of people from every country in the world and every faith background have found that their lives changed beyond all recognition when they placed such simple faith in Jesus Christ.