It brought to mind the word "Courage", so I thought today I would try and convey my thought on being courageous. Ya see the word courage means different things to different people but I understand it to mean being scared but doing it anyway. I also know it to mean that you know what the consequences of that action may be and that you have decided that the risk you are going to take is worth the possible consequences. It's easy to pursue a course of action that requires little to no sacrifice but when that sacrifice could possible have the consequence of death then things start to get real.
Courage can be a reflex as a result of training and preparation. In the military we like to call it muscle memory when the fighting begins and fear is overridden by reflex as a result of training and preparation. We just act because we have trained our body and mind respond in a certain manner in response to a certain stimuli. Sikhi stresses this very thing through Nitnem, Simran, Seva, and Rehat. Things that we train our mind and body to do will come naturally when most needed.
I saw a T-shirt the other day that had the American Flag and a soldier on it, the stripes on the American flag were made of muskets and the shirt read "We are not a product of fearful men". To most Americans and especially those that have served in the military that is our legacy and what we strive to live up to.
As Sikhs we are not a product of fearful men! There is story after story of Sikhs that had the courage to stand when no one else would. Martyrs that would rather sacrifice themselves than violate the principles of Sikhi. Sikhs that stood up to insurmountable odds even though the end result would be their death.
In my opinion one of the most courageous souls in Sikhi is Bhai Mardana. As a convert I see how he served Guru Nanek, this is a man that was a convert from Islam and without fail served the Guru in every capacity that was asked of him. He left his family and traveled on every one of Guru Nanek's Udasi's because the Guru asked him to. Never leaving the Guru's side even when they were were face to face with lepers. I'm amazed by his courage.
There is the story of the Sava Lakh, 40 Khalsa and Guru Gobind Singh faced down 10 Lakh of Mughul soldiers. Without hesitation these 40 Khalsa fought for and protected their Guru. "Call me Gobind Singh only when each of my Sikhs will fight with more than one and a quarter lakh of enemy." We do call him Guru Gobind Singh.
There are so many more stories, so many more courageous siikhs even today. I guess all i really wanted to say is be courageous in pursuit of your faith, be courageous in the protection of the innovent and always remember:
"we are not a product of fearful men"