Nurturing the qualities of the Chaar Sahibzaade in our children
So we have just passed that time of year again, where we remember the mahaan (huge) sacrifices of the Chaar Sahibzaade. This time, it became even more real with the release of the immensely successful animation, Chaar Sahibzaade. Probably like most people who watched the film, it really struck a chord. Like an arrow piercing through my heart, I was there, I felt the pain of Mata Jito Ji and I felt so proud like Mata Gujri Ji. But it also made ME take a step back and think about how great a sacrifice Guru Ji made for us. What was I doing with my life to make those Sahibzaade proud? My 18 month old boy continues to watch the trailer over and over again and shouts out “Paaj!” in excitement, when he sees them. What steps can I take to help my child become worthy of being a younger brother of Baba Fateh Singh Ji? It’s a BIG ask, I know. Small steps, however, make a big difference. The Sahibzaade of Guru Gobind Singh Ji had so many qualities and I couldn’t begin to list them all – here are a few that, I thought, are important to focus on.
That’s it really. It is about slowing down our all so wavering mind. Here is a bit of flow to describe how to develop it.
- Focus on daily activities e.g centring the mind whilst doing something thus not letting it wander elsewhere
- Concentrating on breathing during the day
- Focusing on Mahraaj through Simran
This concept can then be used to tackle daily struggles that come our way. For example, rather than over-thinking something that has happened, instead see the situation for what it is and not let it affect us. Someone who practised mindfulness gave this example: They asked their child after a difficult situation at school, “So Penny, In this situation what do you see, the petals or the thorns?” She replied “Mummy I see both but I am holding the rose gently”, meaning that the child could see both the good and bad in the incident but was not letting it affect her emotionally. This was evident in the Chaar Sahibzaade as they could see what was to happen, however they remained emotionally stable in front of Aurengzeb. I feel this quality is important for both us, as parents and our children, so that they are able to step back, assess and in-turn, manage their emotions better.
Oh how beautifully the Sahibzaade showed this quality in the face of such tyranny. They were able to speak up and stand tall. How to develop this?
- allow your child to be who they are destined to be
- not using negative words/ shouting at your child
- allowing them to express themselves and ask questions
- get them speaking in front of people early on
- In Sikhi there are numerous activities which children can enjoy and learn from, which suit different personalities: A musician/a writer/a martial artist etc. Let them follow what they feel confident whilst doing.
The Sahibzaade did not waver from what they believed in. Once our children have nurtured positive qualities such as kindness, love and empathy it is now important for them to stick by their morals. To develop this quality it may be beneficial to have open discourse about difficult situations they may come across, and what they would do when faced with these situations and why.
From a Sikhi perspective we need to educate them about their history and also why we do things rather than ritualistically doing them. For example why we keep our kes/ why we do paath/ go to the Gurdwara.
Some may say that there is no point, and that destiny will shape a child into who they become. However I feel that we as parents do need to think about what qualities we would like to see in our children and put in place a system within our homes to help develop them. Most importantly do an ardaas to Mahraaj to do kirpa on these pure little souls to fulfil their potential, become an asset to the society we live in and be able to stand tall next to our heroes, the Chaar Sahibzaade.