By Rai Kaur
In the early days of Khalsa Women's Training Camp, Yogi Bhajan would occasionally assign us "homework"—short papers to be written in our tents on a topic of his choosing. Imperfect student that I was, I would frequently avoid these assignments, finding myself too busy with karma yoga or with some other creative excuse. One evening though, he assigned a topic that intrigued me deeply, and so I set to writing, sitting cross-legged in the middle of my sleeping bag-covered army cot, in the glow of my battery powered camping lantern.
The assignment was to write a paper entitled, "How I'll Raise My Son and How I'll Give Him Values." I was at the time a mother of two young girls. I hand wrote the short paper straight through—one draft, no editing, no re-writes. I handed it in the next night at class and subsequently gave it very little thought. Years later, Yogi Bhajan alluded to me, sometimes publicly, sometimes privately, as, "the best mother." I often wondered why he said that. Maybe because I wrote this:
From long before my child is born, I will work on myself to become a conscious human being, capable of living largely in my neutral mind, so that when that child comes, I will be able to deal with him from my meditative self, rather than from my reactive emotional self.
From the moment of his birth, I will strive to accurately recognize the difference between his true needs and his unwarranted demands and respond to each accordingly.
I will never forget this concept until the day I die. I will expect to be tested and challenged by my child and always remember that raising a child of conscience is a creative process. As he grows, I will have appropriately high expectations for his behavior and always be just in allowing him to suffer natural consequences from his inappropriate behavior, explaining and guiding all the while.
I will never dole out arbitrary punishments, which would only serve to anger him. I will never, ever lie to him. I will be open, honest, and sincere in all our communication so that he will learn to trust me. I will tickle him often.
As he grows, I will share my wisdom with him in a way that he will be able to recognize it as wisdom. I will always be at least one step ahead of my child's development, teaching him about life issues before those issues arise in his life. I will provide him with challenges in every area of his life so that he can learn fearlessness and success.
I will provide a cozy home, because God lives in cozy homes, and so no matter what he may suffer on the outside, he will always know that his home is a safe supportive refuge. I will supply him with other environments of support until that time when he is self-sufficient and strong enough that he can take on the world. Then he is out of the nest.
His values will come simply by observing his father and me as examples of the bliss that comes from living a virtuous life. He will witness the joy that comes from living as a saint, a giver, a healer, a sage. He will see the positive effects that the adoption of our teachings has on the lives of our students.
He will see the positive effects of chanting the Name, of our constant service to the community, of our love of God and Guru. It will be real to him, on a daily basis.
He will never have any reason to doubt the value of values. He will be in the world enough to see the differences between our peaceful and pure lives and the painful and chaotic lives of those not firmly on a spiritual path. He will never have to question why he needs to be honest or kind or serviceful or chaste. He will be part of a living example of those virtues from the moment he enters the world.
Rai Kaur Khalsa began her practice of Kundalini Yoga in 1972 in Newark, DE. She and her husband Rai Singh opened the Guru Ram Das Ashram in Knoxville, TN in 1977. She has been an active yoga teacher there ever since. They have been sponsoring an annual White Tantric Yoga workshop in Knoxville for the past 24 years. Rai Kaur led the young women's program at the annual 3HO Women's Camp in Espanola, NM for many years, and she and Rai Singh together re-organized and led the teen program at Summer and Winter Solstices for over a decade.
They have also been guest teachers at Miri Piri Academy in Amritsar, India. They have two daughters, Gururas Kaur, 33, and Karta Purkh Kaur, 27, both of whom have embraced the 3HO lifestyle. She has also been blessed with two grandchildren who have already begun to build their lives around Solstice celebrations at the ages of 5 and 3. When Rai Kaur is not busying herself with ashram and family activities, she and Rai Singh are running the Fountain City Animal Hospital, where he is the business manager and she is the lead veterinarian. Rai Kaur is presently engaged in writing her first novel, as well as a book on child-rearing based on the teachings of Yogi Bhajan.