The Power of Sadhana and Sangat Gurutej Singh Khalsa

Transforming Tragedy to Triumph

When we face challenge and adversity in life, the natural tendency is to find safety. Yet life is a sequence of challenges, each with its own sequence of failures or successes, tragedies or triumphs. It is the challenge that makes us grow, not the result. This is an important concept to understand. Challenge comes to us in life to make us grow by producing some change in the psyche of the individual. Once the change has occurred, then the need for the challenge has passed, and the circumstances change.

When we fail to rise and meet the challenge, then we are admitting defeat before the engagement, and that brings unhappiness and depression. How we respond to challenge can make the difference between improving ourselves or living with our weaknesses and failures.

True defeat is the defeat of the heart. In fact, we have the expression to "take heart," since it is in the heart that the spirit of the individual resides. True victory then, is when the heart prevails and the spirit does not bend. When the heart prevails and the spirit rises, anyone can recover from any situation anytime, but it is a conscious choice to do so.

The capacity to recover from tragedy, disappointment, and loss is both a power and a gift which, when managed and controlled, can transform the pivotal events of our lives into something that is positive. If we accept that life is about growth - growth as an individual, growth as a spiritual being, and growth as the evolution toward wisdom – then the ability to transform tragedy to triumph is an essential component that drives our growth.

In my own experience perhaps the most pivotal episode of my life was the death of my daughter, Nav Jiwan Kaur, who died in 1981 at the age of seven and a half. As a young parent I could imagine no greater dread than the loss of a child, especially a child as bright and beautiful as she. Still that day came for us. It is not possible to describe the impact of that experience, yet in the solitary shock of that moment I saw clearly that I had two options: I could accept it as the will of God and make a quantum leap in my own consciousness, or I could fight it, resent it, and end up old, miserable, and dysfunctional.

Two things made that transition possible for me. They were the guidance of my spiritual teacher, Yogi Bhajan, and the support of the community. These helped me in every way—inspired and uplifted me, gave me comfort and hope, and gave me the opportunity to pull the best out of myself. In fact, through that whole process I found many opportunities to comfort and elevate others who also mourned her loss and were trapped in that pain. It started though, with my Teacher who would not let me get depressed, would not allow me to be defeated by tragedy. He encouraged me to chant for her soul, to help her on her path home to God, and in that way I was able to transcend my own grief, so that my life changed. So committed was I to her making the transition, and so focused was I on succeeding, that depression and defeat could not get in.

Transformative Power of Sadhana

The will to overcome adversity has to be cultivated. We all want to live happily ever after, but the reality of day-to-day life can grind us down if we allow it to. I can recount many times in my own life when I simply gave in and allowed the circumstances to defeat me. I always hated that about myself, but had a hard time overcoming it. So, I asked Yogi Bhajan for a meditation that I could do for the 40 days prior to my birthday one year, something that would help me to develop the capacity to deal with adversity more effectively.

I expected that he would give me something to do for 31 minutes a day at the most. After all, I had Akal Security to deal with and was a very busy guy. What he gave me though, was a meditation to do for three hours a day! And after 40 days he told me to never stop. He gave me other meditations, and I practiced all of them faithfully. Still, I did not yet understand that I was giving defeat the license to drive my psyche. That was the change that I needed to make.

And ultimately things did change. Several years after beginning those meditations, I began to do Sat Kriya for two and a half hours a day. Yogi Bhajan had suggested it to me many times, but I always managed to avoid it. Finally, I got the inspiration to do it, and the experience was transformational. I started with an hour a day, and each week added half an hour until I was up to two and a half hours. Interestingly, it was not painful. After a short time I just got into a groove where the energy flowed, and I kept up. I did it for about six months, doing the two and a half hours each day in one sitting. Circumstances changed, and my presence changed.

Now, I have to maintain my sadhana, my daily spiritual practice, and I try not to let a day pass in which I don't do Sat Kriya. Yet, I am not suggesting that one needs to meditate for hours or do these long kriyas. But, since I am kind of a slow learner, it was the only thing that worked for me. Something in me opened up. The energy that I generated and exerted overcame the crush of defeat. Something changed in my psyche as well, and I chose to no longer give room to the effects of adversity.

The impact of adversity can be life altering. The death of a loved one, the loss of love such as divorce or the break-up of a relationship, lack of success or financial loss, or the impact of disaster are all too real and impact us often. And often, these things come without warning, so there is no real way to prepare for them. Yet, I have found that with a steady sadhana and consciously being aware of my tendency to give in to defeat, which I think is simply a way of viewing the circumstances of my life, I have been able to make my way through numerous disappointments and times of adversity.

Choosing Victory

And that is where the projection of the mind makes all the difference. Positive projection doesn't necessarily mean that difficult or disappointing circumstances won't present themselves. These things will come as part of the ongoing flow of life. There has never been a mind more positive than that of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru. The circumstances he faced were horrific, yet he had the capacity to penetrate through those circumstances by the projection of his mind. And so have we. We just have to choose to use it.

And this, I think, is the key. All of these emotions are around us and in us all the time; the capacity to be as elevated as one can be or as base as one can be is always there. It is a matter of what we give space to. If I give space to my defeat, it will settle in and become cozy. Like a deadbeat tenant, defeat won't move out on its own, so it has to be evicted. If it is occupying the space, then there is no room for contentment. However, if I evict the defeat and let my victory prevail … well, you see where this is going.

Victory over the mind is the challenge. The flow of the mind is like that of water. It will settle in the low points first, then spread to any area where there is no levee to hold it back. And then our minds end up like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. But if I can control the flow of my mind, I know that my ability to prevail in any situation cannot be compromised. Then, the adversity can bring personal growth and transformation and elevation to the spirit.

I am convinced that victory over the mind starts with sadhana, a strong daily devotional practice. That is where the energy to prevail is generated. I have personally found Sat Kriya to be essential for my own survival, and I recommend it for anyone. It is also important to socialize and be with people at times when you are down. I will never forget how the community gave me the strength to get through the death of Nav Jiwan Kaur, and I will be forever grateful.

The victorious warrior is one who faces every situation, every challenge, and every enemy with the mental projection and commitment of heart that he will be victorious and the enemy will be overcome; that whatever the odds or circumstances, he will rise to the occasion and do his best. Then, he leaves the results up to God.

In the military, soldiers are trained to respond to an ambush by attacking it: to return fire immediately, take cover and assess the ambush, then attack, and fight through. Life is the same way. When you are attacked by time and space, respond immediately.

In truth we have no control over the outcome of things. We only have control over ourselves and how we respond to the circumstances we face. If I can control my fear, my self-doubt, my tendency to shy away from what I should do, then what power is there that can defeat me? I have already won. When challenges come, a superior person will respond rather than react. The greatest chance to succeed is when you act to meet the challenge.

Challenge as Blessing

As spiritual beings, we are growth-oriented, which means that the circumstances of life will change and how we respond to those circumstances will change. I don't mean to imply that one can't grow spiritually without disaster and tragedy, but I do believe that we cannot grow without being challenged. Challenges come in various forms, but they will always come. We will be challenged by time, by circumstances, by our own frustrations and limitations, and if we are truly blessed, by our Teacher. I am fortunate enough to have been a student of a great master, Yogi Bhajan, who out of his love for me and his deep desire for me to excel, challenged and tested me repeatedly.

I am grateful for those challenges because they have helped me to face the constantly changing and challenging circumstances of my own life. There has been no area of my life that has not pushed me one way, pulled me the other, and many, many times over caused me to stumble and fall. I think that it was at those times, when I was down, depressed, and defeated, that I grew the most. The reason, I believe, is because when the pressure of time and space is on top of us, we have to exert a force that is not only equal to that pressure but greater than it, so that we can get through and past the situation. By doing that, we change the paradigm, and the need for the test then passes. As Yogi Bhajan taught in his Five Sutras of the Aquarian Age: When the time is on you, start, and the pressure will be off.

Heroes are those who, before ever engaging an enemy or placing themselves in the face of danger, first overcome their basic human drive to protect themselves in order to fight rather than to flee. It is the first step to victory, the first step to success, and the first step to getting oneself out of trouble. Therein lay the true acts of courage; not with the deed itself but with the conscious effort to attempt the deed. It is in the attempt to master the thing that we gain control of ourselves, then our environments. The other achievements are secondary.

Positive projection is penetrating through the situation, both within and without. We project within to touch our regal nature, our courage and essence, and then we project out, through the situation, so that we maintain our perspective without losing our way. That is what positive thinking is all about. My identity is to be content. My identity is to maintain my stability and dignity no matter what the circumstances are around me. My identity is to prevail with my divinity at all times. And that, I believe, is what constitutes victory.

Gurutej Singh Khalsa is the Founder of Akal Security, Inc.

His moving historical novel, Rajni, will be published in 2010. His collection of poetry, Children of the Cusp, is available through or through Gurutej directly.


Gurutej Singh's Bio on this site

Mr SikhNet Gurutej Singh

Kundalini Yoga Sadhana - Our Daily Practice

Sadhana means daily spiritual practice. It is the foundation of all spiritual endeavor. Sadhana is your personal, individual spiritual effort. It is the main tool you use to work on yourself to achieve the purpose of life. It can be done alone or in a group. Sadhana is whatever you do consistently to clear your own consciousness so you can relate to the infinity within you. Before you face the world each day, do yourself a favor and tune up your nervous system and attune yourself to your highest inner self. To cover all your bases, it will include exercise, meditation, and prayer.

Ideally we are called to practice during the Amrit Vela , "ambrosial time" (the two and a half hours just before sunrise), when the sun is at a sixty-degree angle to the Earth, the energy you put into your sadhana gets maximum results. Your world is quieter. It's easier to meditate and concentrate before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.

NOTE: There is science behind it. As the sun comes over the horizon it activates the Ionosphere. The Schumann Resonance is the frequency of that part of the Ionosphere. It is the same frequency as the human magnetic field. Thus as it vibrates we vibrate and that is when the subconscious dumps. If we they are alert in meditation we process those inner thoughts otherwise they churn away.

“If you absolutely cannot get up early in the morning to do sadhana, then do it some other time! Doing sadhana at any time of the day or night will benefit you.” (Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power by Shakti Parwha Kaur)

Develop a regular sadhana and you take control of your life. Develop a deep sadhana and you open the doors of experience. Commit to meet your higher Self each morning and your decisions and your life become original; your life will bear the signature of your soul; your radiance will express the meaningful intimacy of the Infinite in each moment. Immerse yourself in the joy of victory that comes from starting each day with a powerful sadhana and every challenge becomes opportunity. (Sadhana Guidelines)

Start your day gently, waking up with a few stretches and pranayam in bed. Then bathe, preferably with a cold shower, purifying your body and preparing it for the day ahead. Wear comfortable clothes that were not slept in and cover your head with any sort of natural cloth scarf or hat. Create a sacred physical space for your daily practice, embellishing it with inspiring images, flowers, crystals, or whatever suits you. Have a shawl or sweater handy and sit on a sheepskin or natural-fiber blanket.

"What is sadhana? It's a committed prayer. It is something which you want to do, have to do, and which is being done by you. Sadhana is self-enrichment. It is not something which is done to please somebody or to gain something. Sadhana is a personal process in which you bring out your best." ~Yogi Bhajan

4:30 AM Reading of Banis which is Japji Sahib

4:50 AM Kundalini Yoga Kriyas(As taught by Yogi Bhajan)

Kundalini Yoga Warm Ups to prepare for meditation. You can listen to Sadhana chanted by different teachers at Spirit Voyage, Ancient Healing Ways and KRI.

5:15 AM How to Tune In before starting (Videos) These are the mantras that precedes ALL Kundalini Yoga practice.

Aquarian Sadhana Chants

This is a beautiful description of the flow of the Aquarian Sadhana Chants by S.S. Sangeet Kaur Khalsa on our Sadhana page. LINK

7 minutes:

Ek Ong Kaar, Sat Naam, Siree Wha Hay-G'Roo

The following is a way to pronounce this Adi Shakti Mantra. Research was done on how it is supposed to sound. There is a link to the source page where I got the information.

Sit in Easy Pose, Hands in Gyan Mudra (The pads of the Thumb and Index Finger are touching with the other fingers straight.) on the knees, elbows gently held straight with the fingers pointing towards the floor. Eyes are closed focusing at the Brow Point, at the root of the nose. The neck is held in Neck Lock, straightening the back of the Neck with the chin level to the floor.

Following a Full Deep Breath, express EK powerfully, albeit momentarily, squeeze mul bandh - pulling navel to rectum, followed by ONNNNG, emphasizing nnnng, then KAAR stretch out aarrrrr, then...

Following a Full Deep Breath, express SAT (sounds like ‘but’) powerfully, albeit momentarily, squeeze mul bandh - pulling navel to rectum, followed by NAAMMMM (sounds like ‘mom’) stretch out mmmmm, lips touching, then SIRI, and is recited as a short-quick expression, then...

Following a 1/2 Breath, express WHAA powerfully, albeit momentarily, squeeze mul bandh - pulling navel to rectum, then a short-quick He, followed by a short but inunciated GU-ROO.
NOTE: Essentially, the first portion Ek Ong Kar is equal to the second section Sat Nam, Siri.

(ROOT LOCK aka Mul (Mool) Bandh, Root Lock is frequently used and closes off the lower 3 chakras, stabilizing the base of the and allows the kundalini energy to rise. To apply Root Lock: Contract the muscles of the rectum, the sex organs and the navel point ... Pulling in and up on the navel. NOTE: This entire sequence requires approximately 60 seconds to complete. (See MUL BANDH.) Best Description of Morning Call

NOTE: Pull the navel back sharply toward the spine during the expression of these 3 sounds, EK, SAT and WHAA. Observe all the sounds resonating like a gong throughout the cranium.

It translates to: One Creator Creation , Truth Identity, Great, What Indescribable Wisdom.

The cornerstone of morning sadhana is the Adi Shakti Mantra, also called Long Ek Ong Kars or Morning Call.

This mantra initiates the kundalini, initiating the relationship between our soul and the Universal Soul. Opens the chakras and energizes your higher awareness.

7 minutes

Waah Yantee, Kar Yantee, Jag Dut Patee, Aadak It Whaa-haa,
Brahmaaday Trayshaa Guroo, It Wha-hay Guroo

Great Macroself, Creative Self. All that is creative through time, all that is the Great One. Three aspects of God: Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh. That is Wahe Guru. This mantra is from the teachings of Patanjali. The practice of this mantra is the culmination of hundreds of years of prayer.

7 minutes

The Mool Mantra

Ek Ong Kar, Sat Naam, Kartaa-Purkh, Nirbhao, Nirvair,
Akal-Moorat, Ajoonee, Saibhung, Gur-Prasad, Jap!
Aad Sach, Jugaad Sach, Haibhee Sach, Nanak Hosee Bhee Sach

There is one Creator Creation. Truth Identity. The Doer of everything. Without fear nor vengeful, the Image of the infinite, unborn, self illumined, complete in the self. True Guru's Grace. Meditate! True before time began. True through time. True even now. Oh Nanak, forever true.

Mool means root. This is the root mantra that begins the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, the compilation of ecstatic poetry that is scriptures of the Sikh tradition. Mool Mantra is considered the condensed essence of the entire teachings of the 1400 plus pages of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib.

This complete mantra has everything in it. It is a technology, a description and a technique. It forms the basis of the consciousness that we wish to develop and that exists in our very soul. The entire Mool Mantra is known as the highest of all mantras, and it contains in it the root of sound that is the basis for all effective mantras.

Album: One Bright Morning Artist: Ram Singh Year: 2011 This is a truly special Aquarian Sadhana with the Kundalini Yoga morning meditations. Rise up early in the morning, be with yourself, practice your yoga, meditate and relax... tune in to the awakening day...

7 minutes

Sat Siree, Siree Akaal, Siree Akaal
Maahaa Akaal, Maahaa Akaal
Sat Naam, Akaal Moorat
Wah-hay Guroo

Great Truth Great Undying Great Undying Great Deathless Great Deathless Truth is His Name Deathless Image of God Great beyond description is His Wisdom

Yogi Bhajan called this the mantra for the aquarian age. When we chant it we affirm that we are timeless, deathless beings. This is one of the "Aquarian Sadhana" mantras. It is known for giving victory in all aspects of life.

It is said that when we are challenged in life there are three impulses we confront: One is to be alone/to withdraw, another to deny or fantasize about the future, another to live greedily or in scarcity instead of prosperously. This mantra is to help one overcome these tendencies and give courage and caliber.

7 minutes

Rakhay Rakhanahaar aap ubaariun
Gur kee pairee paa-eh kaaj savaariun
Hoaa aap dayaal manho na visaarium
Saadh janaa kai sung bhavajal taariun
Saakat nindak dusht khin maa-eh bidaariun
Tis saahib kee taayk Naanak manai maa-eh
Jis simarat sukh ho-eh sagalay dookh jaa-eh

Translation: Oh Savior Lord, save us and take us across. Falling at the feet of the Guru, our works are embellished with perfection. You have become kind, merciful and compassionate. We do not forget You from our minds. In the company of the holy, we are carried across the terrifying world ocean. In an instant, You have destroyed the faithless cynics and slanderous enemies. That Lord and Master is my anchor and support. 0 Nanak hold firm in your mind. Remembering Him in meditation, happiness comes and all sorrows and pains simply vanish.

Rakhe Rakhanhaar is one of the seven mantras Yogi Bhajan assigned in 1991 (to help us transition into the Aquarian Age) for our morning sadhana. This is a Shabad of protection against all negative forces which move against one's walk on the path of destiny, both inner and outer.

22 minutes

Wha-hay guroo, Wha-hay guroo,
Wha-hay guroo, Wha-hay jeeo

Wahe or Wha-hay is an exclamation of ecstasy like Wow! Gu means darkness and ru means light. Guru is the technology of conscious expressed that takes one from the darkness into the light.

Ideally, for the Aquarian Sadhana this Mantra is chanted in Vir Asan, sitting on the left heel, with the right knee pulled up to the chst, foot flat on the floor. The palms are together in Prayer Mudra at the Heart Center with the eyes focused at the tip of the nose.

Wah Hey Guru means ecstasy through consciousness, and works really well with repetitive actions like chopping food, walking and running or try to fall asleep.

Next time you are finding your thoughts overwhelming, just substitute the mantra and see how long you can refuse to be dragged away into obsessive thinking. Even if it is for just 3 minutes, the relief and calm that comes as a result is so wonderful. You gain perspective and decisions are easier, use the mantra to create a period of time where you do not think at all. Just turn the mantra over and over, refusing to enter into any thought that tries to hook you away from the simple repetition. It takes care of phobias, fears and neuroses, can remove unsettling thoughts from the past.

It can take a difficult situations in the present and release them into the hands of infinity and do it in 40 seconds.

5 minutes

Guru Guru Wahe Guru, Guru Ram Das Guru

This mantra is one of humility. It opens the Heart Center (4th chakra) so that we can feel and effortlessly radiate universal love. We call on Guru Ram Das in praise of his spiritual guiding light and protective grace.

This is a mantra of self-healing, humility, relaxation, protective grace, and emotional relief. It calls on the spirit of humility and grace of Guru Ram Das. The Guru Mantra is an ashtang mantra. Ashtang mantras have eight parts. They catalyze the kundalini energy to initiate through your own effort and devotion. The first part of the mantra, Guru Guru Wahe Guru, projects the mind to the Infinite, the source of knowledge and ecstasy. The second part, Guru Ram Das Guru, means "the wisdom that comes as a servant of the Infinite." This mantra projects the mind to the Infinite and then brings finite guidance on a practical level

May the long time sun shine upon you,
all love surround you,
and the pure light within you,
guide your way on.

Then: Long Sat Short Naam.

This is our ending Mantras for every class and practice.

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