Solstice Greetings, dear friends.

This Solstice time finds Elandra enjoying the Summer Solstice in New Zealand while I am experiencing the late sunrises and early sunsets of Winter Solstice in Hawaii.

So many times, the Solstice, particularly the Winter Solstice, has been a turning point for me.  Old energies fall away; new opportunities are presented.

As this Solstice unfolds, the American political situation is deeply affecting the US population; to some degree it has polarized the whole world.  This is not accidental. Whether you believe this has been deliberately manipulated or if it is merely circumstantial, people everywhere are very, very stressed.

At this point, we have to decide, are we going to live our lives in unconditional love?  Or is that love only for those who hold the same beliefs and ideals that we do.

It is written that Guru Nanak said: “There is no Hindu; there is no Moslem”, meaning that all Humankind is one. Indeed, his whole life reflected this philosophy.

From the time of Guru Gobind Singh ji (early 1700’s), there is a sakhi (story) of one man who personified this way of life.

During the frequent sallies and skirmishes between the Sikhs and the enemy around Anandpur, Bhai (Brother) Kanhaiya was often seen carrying a mashak (a goatskin water pouch), serving water to anyone who was thirsty, quenching the thirst of the dying and wounded soldiers.

He did this sewa (selfless service) with love and affection without any discrimination, giving water to both friends and foe. His acts of compassion stirred up stern criticism amongst his fellow Sikhs, who complained to Guru Gobind Singh Ji, pointing out that Bhai Kanhaiya Ji was even serving the fallen Hindu and Mughal attackers.

They were especially annoyed because the city had been surrounded, stopping the supply of food and water, and here was Bhai Kanhaiya sharing what little water they had. They had tried to stop him many times, but Bhai Kanhaiya would not pay them any heed.

Bhai Kanhaiya’s benevolent actions eventually led to a summon by Guru Ji who explained that he had received a complaint about his actions on the battlefield.

Guruji said, “These brave Sikhs are saying that you go and feed water to the enemy and they recover to fight them again – Is this true?”

Bhai Kanhaiya Ji replied “Yes, my Guru, what they say is true. But Maharaj, I saw no Mughal or Sikh on the battlefield. I only saw human beings. And, … Guru Ji, .. they all have the same God’s Spirit? – Guru Ji, have you not taught us to treat all God’s people as the same?”

The Guru was very pleased with the reply. Bhai Kanhaiya Ji had understood the deep message of Gurbani correctly. Guru Ji smiled and blessed Bhai Kanhaiya. Guru Ji said, “Bhai Kanhaiya Ji, you are right, you have understood the true message of Gurbani. He then told the Sikhs who had complained that Bhai Kanhaiya had understood the deeper message of the Gurus’ teachings correctly and that they all would have to strive to learn lessons from the priceless words of Gurbani.

Guru Ji also gave Bhai Kanhaiya Ji some medical balm and said, “From now on, You should also put this balm on the wounds of all who need it”’

Then turning to the sangat Guru Ji said, Saadh sangat ji, Bhai Kanhaiya is a God-fearing saintly soul. Let him carry on with his mission. Many more will follow in his footsteps in the years to come and keep the tradition of Nishkam sewa (Selfless Service) alive.”
At this time, when people are so divided, let us remember this fundamental truth:  We are born on this Earth to learn, to grow, to love and to serve.  Not just for those who think and believe as we do, but for everyone.

Wishing you the best of this Solstice time and the happiest of Holidays.