drops in waterThe Power of So Purkh in Harsh Economic Times


I rarely write about my husband because his private life is his own, but recently while reciting the So Purkh mantra for 40 days such an odd thing happened that I decided to put it down on paper. My husband is a classical musician, and lately he’s been very short on work. In fact, the orchestra with which he has played for nearly twenty-five years is on the brink of closing. The job which has sustained our family (and put three kids through college) is likely to end, or at least to be cut back dramatically.

The man whom I’ve watched grow from a fledgling musician to a seasoned professional no longer rushes out the door dressed in his tuxedo, en route to a morning rehearsal, an afternoon show, and an evening performance with only time for a quick bite in between. We are lucky, during these harsh economic times, if he has one or two gigs per week. Unemployment checks and my earnings as a writer fill in the gaps. But gaps are many and growing wider by the day. The arts, like so many professions, are suffering.

It was during this time that I had the good fortune to attend a workshop on the So Purkh Meditation with Ramdesh Kaur and Akalsukh Singh. At the workshop, Ramdesh explained that practicing this mantra for 40 days would result in many changes: Kundalini Yoga teaches that if a woman recites this prayer 11 times a day for any man it has the power to make him a saint (traditionally women chant this mantra to help up to three men in their lives at a time).

I set out to help several dear men in my life, but in the case of my husband, my mission was clear. You may think it was to get him a new job, but that was not my objective. What I wanted more than anything was for my mate to realize that his job does not define him, for him to know happiness and self-fulfillment even without a paycheck in his hand, for him to realize that he is the source of his own contentment.

And so I prayed each morning, and as I gazed at my husband’s picture I thought only one thing: “Please let this man be fulfilled.”

During my days of So Purkh, I noticed some changes. As Ramdesh predicted, I had many dreams, often about former boyfriends and lovers. The dreams were cathartic, and I felt I was taking care of some unfinished business. The mantra was having some positive effects, but when it came to my husband, I wasn’t sure. He seemed to spend more time sleeping than anything else; I suspected that he was (quite understandably) depressed.

On the last day of the meditation, after my morning sadhana, I set out for errands, meetings, and a Kundalini yoga class. I phoned my husband several times during the day, but he didn’t answer. I imagined, sadly, that he’d been sleeping away the beautiful morning and afternoon.

But when I got home he said he’d spent the entire late-summer day out walking, He told me that he’d bought a cup of tea and taken it to the park. On the way there his favorite panama hat (rather worn and shabby) had blown off and flown into a very busy intersection. “I guess that was the end of it!” I commented.

“No! All the cars came abruptly to a stop, and the drivers called out for me to retrieve it! They all waited patiently while I got my hat back.” Knowing that intersection, the hat rescue in itself was a bit of a miracle.

At the park, my husband said he talked to the birds, chatted with passersby, and had a “a blissful, peaceful afternoon.”

As he said these words, my eyes widened. “Blissful? Peaceful?” This was not the partner I’d known of late. I watched as he picked up my singing bowl and gently twirled the mallet, listening to the beautiful vibration. To my knowledge my husband had never touched that bowl before.

“Dad, you have to get out and chase some work down,” our 20-year-old son advised. “Make some phone calls. Go on Facebook! Tweet! If you walk around like a hobo nothing is going to happen.”

But my husband just smiled. “ In the beginning of your career you chase,” he said, “at the end of your career, you don’t. When you chase after something it runs away from you; when you turn your back on it, it calls to you.”

Was this my husband speaking? And was this the result of So Purkh? I could only believe that it was, especially when he added, “I’m really enjoying my free time. I had a magical day.”

The man truly seemed self-fulfilled, and on the last day of my meditation, holding my singing bowl and offering sage advice to our son, my husband resembled a saint more than anything else. The power of So Purkh was almost palpable, and I felt certain that new doors would soon open for him. In fact, the very next day he was called to sub at a Broadway show.

(Editor’s Note: Interested in bringing Ramdesh Kaur somewhere near you for a So Purkh workshop? Email her at ramdesh@spiritvoyage.com.)

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