(leer en Español) Earlier this year I was blessed to have become friends with a special person whose name is Satya Amrit Singh from Chile (South America). It saddens me hearing the news of his sudden passing today. I was shocked this afternoon when I heard that he had passed away in his room at Miri Piri Academy in Amritsar and the cause of his death is not currently known. He broke his wrist recently so the only thing I can think of is blood clot or maybe slip/fall.
I never actually got to meet him in person, but over this year I have gotten to know him virtually through his music, regular talks on Skype, text chats & email. He was a person full of smiles, enthusiasm, joy, and love for the Guru. From our conversations he was always sharing how much he loved to serve people and always wanted to do more. He taught Kundalini Yoga & Meditation to people in need and inspired everyone with his smile and his music.
One of the things he wanted so much was to come visit the sangat here in Espanola, New Mexico and join in the Summer Solstice celebration this past June. He was unable to get a visa so we were never able to meet. Later on he heard about a job opening at Miri Piri Academy and took this life changing opportunity to live in the land of the Gurus in Amritsar and be part of the MPA staff and teach the kids.
When he first got to India I remember him expressing his joy and excitement at being at Miri Piri Academy and in Amritsar. I’m sure for him coming from a small Sikh community in Chile (South America) it was such a joy to be with so many Sikh brothers and sister in the land of the Gurus. To have such a large sadh sangat must have been such a great feeling and like "coming home"! The kids at the school are so beautiful so must have been a wonderful experience.
Satya Amrit Singh I think took Amrit (or sikh vows) this past year and expressed so much joy for living this spiritual lifestyle. He always was full of excitement and enthusiasm. I remember the past weeks him being excited about taking part in the 40 day Amrit Vela Ishnaan seva at the Golden Temple. Early in the morning the kids of Miri Piri Academy and staff go to the Hari Mandir Sahib (the Golden Temple) and wash the marble floors that surround temple and where everyone walks. I think his last day was day 27 of 40. His Skype status message still says "Golden Temple 26 days Sewa" (as in Day 26 of 40). It was as if he did one day of seva at the Golden Temple for each year of his life.
Just last week he was asking me about getting help to buy a new iPod touch for his Birthday. He was just 2 days away from his 27th Birthday.
I haven’t had many people that I know personally pass away, so hearing sudden news of a friend passing away is a shock. It’s so sad, yet I know he must have payed off his Karma for this lifetime, finished what his soul needed to do, and is on his way back to the Infinite.
One day they are with you and the next they have returned to the creator. With family who is old and already having health issues you might be better prepared, but at the age of 26 he still had a whole life ahead of him. It is another strong reminder of how temporary life is and how our time on this earth can end at any time. Too often I think we take this life and time we have for granted. We feel like we will live forever. In reality tomorrow could be the last day. It’s a reminder to live each day to the fullest. We can waste our life away in just day to day things and never take the time to connect with our soul, which is the real purpose of life.
My prayers are with him, his family and friends as we remember this beautiful soul.
I made the below video of pictures of him from facebook in memory of his shining light.
ਕਬੀਰ ਜਾ ਦਿਨ ਹਉ ਮੂਆ ਪਾਛੈ ਭਇਆ ਅਨੰਦੁ ॥ਮੋਹਿ ਮਿਲਿਓ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ …ਆਪਨਾ ਸੰਗੀ ਭਜਹਿ ਗਬਿੰਦੁ ॥੬॥
Kabeer, on the day when I die, afterwards there shall be bliss. I shall meet with my Lord God. Those with me shall meditate and vibrate on the Lord of the Universe. ||6||
You can also read a related blog post from earlier this year about the "Sikhs of South America"
Please join in prayer with me to help his soul return to the Akal Purkh. You can recite the evening prayer of Kirtan Sohila to help him return home.
If any of you knew Satya Amrit Singh please feel free to add comments below to share with everyone the kind of person he was.
Quotes from the Siri Guru Granth Sahib on the topic of death
The day dawns, and then it ends, and the night passes away. Mortals do not realize that this life is diminishing. Each day, the mouse symbolizing death is gnawing on the rope of life (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 41).
O mortal, why are you so proud of small things? With a few pounds of grain and a few coins in your pocket, you are totally puffed up with pride. Even if you control a hundred villages with great pomp and ceremony. Even if you have an income of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The power you exert will last for only a few days, just like the green leaves of the forest. No one has brought this wealth with them, and no one will take it with him when he dies. Emperors, even greater than Raawan, passed away in an instant. The Lord’s devotees are steady and stable forever; they worship Him, adore Him, and chant the Lord’s Name. Those who are mercifully blessed by God are given the chance to join the company of holy. Mother, father, spouse, children and wealth will not go along with you in the end. Kabeer says, meditate on God. Your life is uselessly wasting away (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1251).
In an instant one is born and in an instant one dies. In an instant one come to this world, and in an instant one disappears. One, who recognizes the Shabad and merges into it, is not afflicted by death (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 58).
Why are you sleeping and forgetting Naam, O careless and foolish mortal? So many have been carried across by this river of life. O mortal, get aboard on the boat of God’s Feet and cross over. Sing the glorious praises of God in the company of the holy twenty-four hours a day. You may enjoy various pleasures, but they are useless without Naam. Without devotion to the Lord, you shall die in sorrow, again and again. You may dress up, eat luxury food, and apply scented oils to your body, but without meditating on God, your body shall surely turn to dust and you shall have to depart. How treacherous is this world; very few realize it! Salvation rests in the Lord’s Sanctuary; O Nanak, this is your pre-ordained destiny (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 398).
This day arrives and this day shall go. You must march on; nothing remains stable. Our companions are leaving and we must leave as well. We must go far away. Death is hovering over our heads. Why are you asleep? Wake up, you ignorant fool! You believe that your life in the world is true. The One who gave you life also provides you with nourishment. In each and every heart, He runs His shop. Meditate on the Lord and renounce your egotism and self-conceit. Within your heart, contemplate the Naam, the Name of God, every morning. Your life has passed away, but you have not arranged your path. Evening has set in and soon there will be darkness on all sides. Ravi Daas says, O ignorant mortal, don’t you realize that this world is the house of death? (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 793).