Life gives each of us a unique series of experiences. In some cases these experiences are a possible “wake up call” to “reveal” a deeper level of Truth that opens up our perception of unity and love that surrounds us. These life experiences may be delivered as subtle tests (perhaps self tests) by the ONE Formless Creator residing within each heart. We might lose our job, huge amounts of money, personal possessions or even have an accident. These “shock effects” might simply be loving nudges from the Universe to redirect our attention on the spiritual path of life. If we do not learn the “hidden” lessons within the experiences, perhaps the same tests will repeat until we do learn. This has been my own personal experiential journey and I believe everyone has a unique outlook of life.
Below is a “test” that both my mother in law and I were subjected to. I share this candidly because my heart is urging me to. The invaluable lesson that this test taught me is to disregard all attachments and stay connected to the THING that IS permanent – the Formless ONE in my heart. Material possessions are not eternal; they are just like paper and sand – here today gone tomorrow.
Around November 2009 my mother-in-law realized after her morning walk that her two gold bangles had gone missing from her arm. There was no chance of her accidentally dropping them because they fitted tightly on her arm. She had absolutely no idea as to how they just disappeared off her arm. She was obviously quite shaken.
Couple of months after this ‘bangles-mysteriously-disappearing’ episode, we were making preparations for celebrating New Year (2010) at our home and were expecting quite a few guests and so a lot of food was to be cooked. While chopping up some cilantro I pulled my hand out of the food processor, and subconsciously held my hand to my face and suddenly noticed that my wedding ring was missing. I wore two rings on the same hand, my wedding ring and my late mother’s ring. I wore my wedding ring strategically to hold my mother’s ring in place which was a bit loose on my finger.
The day before this incident, at the gym, I remembered looking at the rings inadvertently holding up my hand to my face, while lying in the steam room. Why I did that, only ONE knew, because I re-enacted the same mechanical movements (like a robot) the next day when I realized that the wedding ring was no longer on my finger! It was truly amazing for the body motions being identical on the two occasions.
My husband was really upset with me for losing the ‘wedding’ ring. He was further annoyed at my shoulder-shrugging retort, “You don’t wear your wedding ring, so what’s the big deal?” I suggested to him that the ring was probably somewhere in the vegetable cutting waste as I had been cooking all day. I promised to look for it in the morning after our guests had left. I further went on to joke that if the ring turned up in the trifle (a British sweet dessert dish), perhaps our relatives would be good enough to own up and return it! He was not amused.
On the quiet side though, I did start to wonder what bad karma my mother-in-law and I had accumulated to experience losing gold within a few months of each other. But then I composed myself by realizing I do no harm to others and if anything I try to empower when the opportunity arises. So I put any negative thoughts and feelings out of my mind.
In the morning, without giving the ring any further thought my husband suggested we clean up the house and throw the garbage waste away. We drove to a waste site as he was throwing the garbage bag into the waste dumping area I was silently nudged within, “You did not check the bag for the ring.” I remember the experience almost in slow motion and instantly I realized it was a test. A test by my Inner Guru (Wisdom Teacher) to see if I was attached to the ring i.e. the gold. I responded aloud, “Guru I don’t need the ring I need you and you can have the ring.”
When my husband came and sat in the car, I told him I had forgotten to check the waste for the ring. He was dismayed again and once more I responded, “It’s only a ring, you don’t wear your wedding ring, so what’s the big deal. If I am destined to have the ring I’ll find it!”
A few days before our new year’s party, a friend had suggested that I read Asa Di Var – a Ballad of Hope that teaches faith and belief and that wishes can be realized. Here Guru Nanak sings the glory of the Creator while reflecting on “The Name.” He details the process by which an ordinary man can become an ideal servant of the Creator (Cosmic Surrender.)
By meeting the Guru, The Truth, is realized;
He banishes Ego from the mind of man;
He gives insight in to supreme Reality.
Only The Guru can grant the gift of “The Holy Name.”
(Guru Granth Sahib – 465)
I took my laptop computer to my bedroom and started to read Asa Di Var. The last words I recall reading from the Guru Granth Sahib were “Guru is cool like ice” and then fell asleep.
My comical son Amardeep came into my bedroom and woke me up a few hours later. This is how our conversation unfolded:
Amar – “Hey mum have you lost something?”
Me – “Yes”
Amar – “What have you lost?”
Me – “My wedding ring”
Amar – “Does dad know?”
Me – “Yes”
Amar – “Why are you not going crazy?”
Me – “Amar it’s only stuff, you know I’m not attached to material things like before”
Amar – “Guess What? I found it!”
Me – “Where did you find it?”
Amar – “In the ice cool box”
Me – “The one we used for our party?” (thinking it was the icebox I had left in the laundry room)
Amar – “No mum, the ring was in the Maple Leaf small ice cool box in the storeroom, I was about to put some drinks in the bag and found your ring in it.”
The mystery of the story is this. I DID NOT go in that storeroom, or open that ice box bag to put the ring in it!!! Can I explain this mysterious unfolding? No. I do know this though, when my mother-in-law lost her two bangles, she had started to negotiate with Guru. “If I find my bangles I will give some money to charity.” I did not say that, I simply stuck to my faith and said Guru you can take it I don’t need it. That is the only difference; one person was still attached to the material gold and was “negotiating with ONE,” perhaps not understanding the real hidden lesson.
Life operates under Divine Cosmic Laws (Hukam) and I have experienced many “self” tests. The main lessons I have learned are “don’t be too attached to the physical stuff it will not be going with you.” Yet many of us do not realize Dukh (pain) and Sukh (happiness) are the two sides of the same coin and pain does become the remedy because in the “lesson” the Love of the Creator and Creation grows exponentially. We realize THERE IS a FORMLESS REALITY surrounding our day to day activities. A retuning of the focus of life occurs with these tests that really are showering Wisdom and Love in all actions, if we see them through the eyes of ONE LOVE.
I believe we are tested for our strength of love and faith. If we love the Creator we love ALL the creation including every human being, animal and nature. Love is the highest energy vibration in the Universe and ONE (Ek) nameless and beyond any forms is the point of contact.
Guru returned my wedding ring with an exact evidence trail i.e. the word ICE in Gurbani linked to the ice cool box. I learned later that Guru Gobind Singh threw one of his bangles in the river, and when his mother asked why he responded that his father had taught him to treat Gold and Iron alike because there is no difference between the two. When his mother asked “Where did you throw the bangle (kangan)” he threw the second one in the river and said “That’s where I threw it,” thus losing the second one!
With regards to my ring I learned that Guru Nanak gave away his gold ring and bowl to saints and his father scolded him for doing so. Mysterious lessons indeed, but perhaps the same deeper spiritual messages are being delivered when we tune into the vibrating Energy Frequency of ONE. I did indeed learn that “worldly attachments” can be taken away or given back anytime in a twinkle of an eye!
Not long after I met another lady and while sharing my story, she mentioned she had recently lost eight gold bangles and could not find them. She instantly understood why we had met that particular day.
I realized Unite, Love and Share with all because there is only ONE Intelligence in our hearts watching the drama of life unfold where we are nudged gracefully towards ONE DIRECTION, just like the song!
The Vedas (knowledge) and the Scriptures are only make-believe, O Siblings of Destiny;
They do not relieve the anxiety of the heart.
If you will only center yourself on the Lord, even for just a breath,
Then you shall see the Lord face-to-face, present before you.
O human beings search your own hearts every day,
And do not wander around in confusion.
This world is just a magic-show; no one will be holding your hand.
Reading and studying falsehood, people are happy;
In their ignorance, they speak nonsense.
The True Creator Lord is diffused into His creation;
He is not just the dark-skinned Krishna of legends.
Through the Tenth Gate, the stream of nectar flows;
Take your bath in this. Serve the Lord forever;
Use your eyes, and see Him ever-present everywhere.
(Guru Granth Sahib – Kabir: 727)