Getting the Guru’s Advice

Here is another excerpt (story) from the upcoming book on Sikh Dharma by Shakti Parwha Kaur and Sikh Dharma International.

Taking a Hukam – by Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa

“Although Yogi Bhajan had assured me many times that it was not my fault, as a mother I felt terribly guilty and responsible for the way my son James’ life had turned out.

After a fifteen-year separation from James, I was shocked when I saw him again. He had gained a huge amount of weight, and even worse, when I visited his apartment and saw the conditions in which he was living, I was horrified. I saw paper bags full of newspapers strewn around all over the place as well as other signs of an abnormal situation.

He had met his wife, Lucille, at an outpatient rehab center shortly after he had been discharged from the Army. Although he had gotten well, she hadn’t. His wife was a mental patient. He was her legal Conservator. James told me that frequently in the middle of the night she would try to commit suicide, and he would have to call 911 and get her to the hospital for treatment. When I visited their apartment, she was away on one of those occasions.

When I got home, I was terribly upset. In tears, I phoned my dear friend, Dr. Sat-Kaur Khalsa the Secretary of Religion for Sikh Dharma International who is a professional Marriage and Family counselor. I told her what I had just seen and how disturbed I was about James.

She suggested a procedure I could follow if I wanted to get clarity and guidance about the situation. She said, “Write down the whole story about your son, your relationship with him, and how you feel about it. Then when it is all down on paper, go to the Gurdwara, say an Ardas, and then take a Hukam.

On my next day off, I remember it was a Thursday; I sat down at my typewriter (this was many years before I had a computer) and started writing. I typed and cried, and typed and cried. I kept on typing with tears streaming down my face until I had written pretty much the whole scenario: my marriage at 18, James’ birth at 20, divorce at 22, James taking drugs at 18 while I was in India, his enlisting in the Army where he attempted suicide and went AWOL, then my receiving his letter saying he was planning to go to Canada.

Siri Guru Granth Sahib

It was at that point in time, December of 1968, that I had met Yogi Bhajan who said to me, “Your son’s in trouble isn’t he?” When I said, “Yes,” he said, “I can help you.” And so he did. He told me “There’s nothing more powerful than the prayer of a mother for her son, and if you will chant this mantra (EK ONG KAR SAT NAM SIRI WHA GURU) for one hour every day for forty days, before sunrise, your son will be all right.”

And of course that worked, it actually only took about 10 days before I heard from James, and he came safely, if not sanely, back to LA.

Then after a few days, James left town and there was the fifteen-year separation during which I didn’t hear from him. When I did see him again, and met his wife, and then had just seen how they lived – well, I needed a way to deal with my feelings. So I did what Sat-Kaur suggested.

As soon as I got it all down on paper, I went to the Gurdwara, made an offering, said a prayer, and then I took a Hukam.

The Guru absolutely spoke to the situation. The words confirmed what Yogi Bhajan had told me years ago! The hukam said that even in the mother’s womb, it is God who is responsible for the life of every soul. I wish I had written down the exact words, but the message was quite clear. It was sufficient to ease my guilt (it certainly verified what Yogi Bhajan had told me), and demonstrate that the Guru’s words can supply whatever answers we need, whenever we need them. I went home and burned the document I had typed. No need to go over the past again.

Siri Guru Granth Sahib


Anyone can take a Hukam. A Hukam is the “order of the day.” It is the Guru telling us what to remember and understand in order to guide our lives and put our circumstances into perspective. The procedure is that after washing your hands (of course your head is covered), stand and offer a prayer, make an offering, and bow your forehead to the ground, then go and sit behind the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. After chanting a few lines of an appropriate shabd, or mantra, meditatively asking for guidance, you open the pages of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib at random. Read the first words you see on that page, they are the Guru’s message to you.

At Guru Ram Das Ashram we write down the first and last lines of each Hukam taken at every Gurdwara, so that anyone can later locate the full passage. The Hukam should be read out loud and clear with the understanding that you are conveying the Guru’s powerful pronouncement. It is the Guru speaking directly to the sadh sangat (congregation) giving an order, an instruction to be meditated upon and taken to heart. So the reader sharing the Guru’s words needs to speak with firmness and conviction.

9 Responses to “Getting the Guru’s Advice”

  1. manvir singh says:

    Eloquent mysteries of life realised by our Spiritual Selves when allowing our True Selves to surface. A message that we can all relate to.

  2. Very much true. Thats why we call Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as our living Guru. He knows what is going on in our life and offers His advice accordingly.

      Once I had a question in my mind “What is money and how much is its importance in our life ?” I was riding a bike and this question came into my mind. I went to a Gurdwara nearby and took a hukamnama. The hukam answered my question. There was a full paragraph devoted to money. I was so happy.
    Sometimes, if the Hukam is not relevant, then don’t lose your trust in Hukam.  Probably that is not the right time of answer.  Don’t even think that Guru Sahib does not want that thing.  He is silent. Eg you go to make a deal and take a Hukam.  If the Hukam is not relevant, don’t lose heart.  Guru Sahib knows our full life (life starts when our soul first enters our first body, this body may be different from present one) and He knows how to take you out of cycle of birth and death. If anything goes wrong, it is possible that Guru Sahib is clearing debt of your past deeds.

    Guru Sahib’s Hukamnama has taken  Khalsa Panth out of most difficult times in the history and will continue to do so ALWAYS.
    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh…

  3. Daya says:

    Is this the same practice as what is known as Bibliomancy?  I believe some Christian Churches refer to the practice as “Bible Cracking”?

  4. Ranjit Kaur says:

    yes i totally agree. Guruji is right there to guide us through everything. it has happended with me most of the times. even in the times of happiness, guruji is there to share ur happiness and in the times of sorrow, he is there to guide you and comfort u. he is the ultimate and the only one with him u can share everything that u cant share with anybody. waheguruji ka khalsa waheguruji ki fateh!!!

  5. Jatinder Pal Singh says:

    I have myself experienced the power of Hukam. Guru Ji do “Talk” to you. Just ask him any question & it will be answered.

    But it is sad that many Granthis in India & especially in Punjab make a mockery of Hukamnama. Hukam should be taken randomly but they “take” hukamnama according to the situation. They are practised enough to take out the page which contains relevant hym. Like during weddings & other celebrations, mostly the “Hukam” would be “Lakh Khusian Paatshaian” & during bhog ceremonies of the deceased, the “Hukam” will be mostly from hyms of Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib, which contain more of “Bairag”.

    They openly support this practice saying that people will offer less money & couls even assault them if any “Bairag” shabad comes up during happy occasions & same would be the case if “Lakh Khusian” comes up during bhog ceremony.

    This is biggest insult of our Living Guru & we should raise voice to get this stopped at once

  6. Vishavtej singh says:

    Hukamnama is how Guru Sahib speaks to us. I ve experienced it many times. First time when my Grandmother passed away. At the funeral I was doing Ardas that she gets Mukti since she had done so much paath in her life and had kept Rehat all her life, even till her death. Just after the funeral we went to Gurudwara for the Ardas. I was praying that Guru Sahib please give me any direction or signs that BIBI is alright and she is now MUKT. As we got to the Gurdwara, I was the first one to read the Mukh Vaak or Hukamnama on the wall. And I got the answer. Guru was around me when I was praying for the directions. The Hukamnama in English meant that you should now come God, your real home, come to your home happily. And I knew she was home. Guru had assured us.
    And then recently at my sisters Anand Karaj , the Hukamnama was” Satgur apna KARAk SAFAl hamare”.
    Both the times Guru Sahib spoke so directly. I was just amazed and excited.
    “Aise Gur Ko Bal Bal Jayiye”
    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji Ki Fateh”


    dats truely right, I do agree with it..but the thing is you should have faith in it, from the deep of ur heart you shld do ardas nd ask guruji’s permission nd his guidance,,he is dr to help us alll…in the form of Hukmnama he will guide us, alwyz imagine as if our guru is speaking Himself, then all ur things will go rite..

  8. akk47 says:

    We all talk about marriage as part of sikhi but what do some of our sikhs do? I have heard of a recent case where a sikh guy just messed around with a gursikh girl from Uk and gave all false impressions and then went and married a girl from india. The young gentleman in question is in the picture below holding the ‘khalsa flag’. Apparently this gentleman kept telling the girl that he did not wish to undertake the marriage but did it for his family. Even after the marriage,the girl from here and the guy from above were together or talked and the gentleman above told the girl that he will be with her and not the person from india but in the end it was lies from the gentleman as he seems to be just letting this girl on.It seems the girl from here just fell for this or was the girl in so much love that she could not distinguish between truth and lies?

    What I don’t understand is why youths like him are allowed to led a double life. On one hand he has broken a heart and lied to someone and on the other hand,the sikh community seems to be showing him as a role model when in reality he is not a role model. I think we sikhs need to wake up and not just choose a role model just because of their looks but their characteristics as well.
    It seems guys like him just get away with breaking a heart and happily enjoying themselves.

  9. Nav Sandhu says:

    god is da one who kwn very sec of ur life …
    My god will help…