Chardi Kala

We all have bad things happen to us. We all have levels of experience that could range from mild irritation to unspeakable horror. Can you imagine, though, that, regardless of your experiences or circumstances, you could find a place within you that is a true aspect of your being in which you could rest in perfect peace and joyfulness?

In the Sikh religion, there is a concept–or state of being, actually–called chardi kala. Diligently entering the state of chardi kala is a fundamental practice of Sikhism. No matter how lousy your life circumsatnces are, you can always access this state, where your sense of peace and well being is constant.

I learned about chardi kala from Valarie Kaur, civil-rights activist and founder of the Revolutionary Love Project. Kaur tells the story of Baba Punjab Singh, a revered elder in the Sikh community. Papa Ji, as Kaur refers to him, was the victim of a mass shooting by a white supremacist at the Sikh place of worship in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Despite becoming completely immobilized by his injuries, except for his eyelids, he was able to signal to visitors that he, indeed, was constantly able to go into the state of chardi kala and find peace in his being. It’s a remarkable story and a remarkable practice. Check out chardi kala. There are a number of videos on YouTube that deal with it.

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