By Dimple Walia
The author traces her journey from believer to non-believer to believer again
I was born in a Sikh family. My mother introduced us to ‘Japji Sahib’ and ‘Rehras Sahib’ early in childhood. My sister and I got into the habit of doing ‘path’ regularly. It became a sort of obsession with us (at least with me). I had to take out 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening from my schedule at any cost to perform my religious act, not because I understood the verses but for the fact that I was highly appreciated for this habit. I remember going to a wedding and in the evening desperately looking for some quiet place to do ‘path’. Even strangers were impressed by my dedication at such a young age. Apart from the praise and appreciation, I got a deep satisfaction of being a ‘good girl’. I did it until 20 years of age.
The turning point in my life came when at work, I was surrounded by atheists (tarksheels). As the name implies they looked for logic and evidence everywhere. They questioned my acts, my beliefs, and faith. I found myself being swayed by their rationalism. On top of that, I was highly influenced by a special friend who was a non-believer. I stopped doing all the ‘paths’. I even argued with my mother on the futility of religion. My parents did not like my change but they accepted it.
My life thereafter became a mess. I went through many emotional disturbances. I lost my self-esteem, and my life was in turmoil. The next turning point in my life was when I happened to attend a religious workshop called Sarab rog ka aukhad naam at a local gurudwara. It changed me. I felt I was divinely guided after that. I was somehow introduced to the world of books of which I am still a part and would like to be for the rest of my life. The first book I read was The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. This book showed me how faith could really move mountains. I was led to read all the books by this author. Then I read books by Napoleon Hill, Esther and Jerry Hicks, James Allen, Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra and many more. The books widened my outlook and changed me completely. Moreover, as I changed, the whole world around me changed.
Then I found myself inclined to watch the satsang, katha, or pravachan by anyone on TV. I listened to Anandmurti guruma, Pandit Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and many more. I came across the concept of ‘raj yoga’ taught by Brahmakumaris. This triggered me back to understand Gurbani, Japji Sahib, Rehras Sahib. It seems that life has come full circle. I came back to where I started from but with much more maturity, much more reverence, and respect. Now I do not feel the compulsion of performing any ritual. I just go with the flow.
Looking back, I understand that each phase was necessary to switch over to the next one. I have learnt that nothing happens without a reason. If we surrender before the Almighty, everything falls into place and we emerge much more evolved from every stage. I know there is much more to learn and I believe that we get everything we need at the proper time, at the proper place and through proper people. We just have to keep faith and go with the flow. I have learnt that when we are in harmony with the Higher Self, our circumstances change for the better, our relationships improve, and we create miracles in our daily life. Therefore, we do not have to change anyone. When we change, everything around us changes for the betterment of everyone.
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