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Dear Simar2204, I read some of your old posts to understand your situation. I will summarize as: You are from a gursikh family in Canada who doesn’t agree to your marriage to your boyfriend, who is an international student. Their excuses include his looks, status, pandit predictions, etc. Pandit has even said don’t pray or go to gurdwara. Your grandma says listen to the pandit, and don’t do love marriage. You feel God isn’t listening to your prayers and therefore have given up faith.

From your parents perspective we can understand that they are looking out for your best interest and want you to be happy and they’ll do whatever they can to make that happen. I mean no disrespect to your family, but even though they are gursikh they are not practicing what we have been taught in gurbani. Your family is listening to pandits, which we do not follow in sikhi. The pandit has told you not to pray or go to gurdwara. This should put a red flag in your head that anything he is saying is obviously wrong. Did any religious person ever tell someone not to pray or remember God? Secondly, your parents are making excuses like “his looks” or “status.” We should see all as equals. In sikhi we do not judge by caste, creed, status, etc. We see all as God equally. (by the way you’re not alone. I’ve had problems with my parents believing in superstitions, talking about malwa vs. dwaba, black magic and stuff like that too and I’m Canadian as well. There are times I’ve chosen to stay quiet but lately I’ve been speaking up more that this is not per sikhi. They’ve come around on a couple of topics but its hard to change people’s thinking especially when cultural values that clash with religious teachings have been present for so long. Nonetheless its been useful to have discussions with them about things because they are, very slowly, changing. Sometimes I make them listen to kathas where they talk about stuff like that. Education helps! But it takes a lot of courage to assert yourself against your parents. took me a long time).

So now dealing with the issue of faith. I have gone through a period in my life when I gave up faith and found it again. I’m going to explain a little bit of what I have learned about God and prayer because I didn’t understand this until recently either. God created maya. Maya includes our thoughts (worries, anxieties, hopes, wishes, desires are called rajogun thoughts. Lust, anger, greed, attachment, and pride are called tamogun thoughts, and compassion, contentment, tolerance, humility, moral control are satogun thoughts) and everything physical in this world. Kaal is the entity that is the governor of maya and everything kaal gives us in life is due to past karma. When we pray for things in our life, we are praying to kaal not God. God gives Naam. God does not bargain. It is not that God is not listening, God always listens. But its is that God is not doing what you want. That is the conflict here. What you desire is not occurring. I recently heard a katha on anxiety from Sant Maskeen Ji. He explains that desire is a cause for pain because we want what we desire to happen, and what we don’t desire to not happen. We have no cause to worry because only what is meant to happen happens, under God’s will. It is our desire that is the problem, because we aren’t’ accepting God’s will. We are putting our own ego before that. Everything God does is due to karma. How we get rid of karma and ego is we meditate. We do simran. When we do simran, we reach a state of consciousness where our mind finds ultimate satisfaction and happiness, we meet God, we become one with God, we let go of our own desires and we accept God’s will. Gurbani tells us the sole purpose of this life is to meet God. Anand Karaj laavan are actually describing how the soul (bride) meets God (her groom). So that is our true relationship and the one that we should focus on. Your other relationships in this life are temporary unless you achieve mukhti, and your boyfriend does the same. Do not forget the real purpose in life by getting lost in maya. Focus on your soul’s relationship with God, and God will arrange all your affairs. Don’t be tied to the outcomes of your life, accept them as God has arranged. (I learned a lot about simran from if you are interested in learning more about practical application, how to actually do the simran etc.). Don’t give up faith. Let God be your anchor in this turbulent time. I know its difficult when we suffer emotional pain and hardship, but it is going to be okay in the end. you will survive this. God is actually giving you each breath to live. He is loving you even when you are angry at Him. He is waiting for you to get out of maya and find your way back to Him. To stop loving the things He created and love instead the Creator. Maybe it will take you time to find your way back to Him. Remember, God is not the one creating problems in your life. Issues arise from law of Karma. When we meditate on Him, past karma is destroyed and the decisions become clear. Prioritize your relationship with God over your other relationships.

Okay now for your practical options for your relationship besides incorporating simran into your daily routine. OPTION 1: Sounds like you parents aren’t agreeing to the marriage. You could try to convince them. Bring in someone knowledgeable like granthi of the gurdwara or respected elder who agrees that pandits are not to be believed in sikhi and try to convince your parents. OPTION 2 Go against your parents and say you are marrying no matter what. OPTION 3 leave your boyfriend and accept it’s not going to work out. OPTION 4 wait for things to settle and decide later. It’s up to you to decide what you need to do. It is possible you get married and it doesn’t work out. That’s an option for any marriage, in any relationship. It doesn’t mean the pundit is right. It is a possibility that you get married and things are awesome. Remember your parents are looking out for what’s best for you. (Maybe they are also concerned about his international student status too). No one wants their child to be hurt. Making decisions can be hard especially if we are making them against other people. We are afraid to make a decision to displease the people we love, and we are afraid to make the wrong decision and be told “I told you so.” You have to live with your life decisions. When you die, you have to be the one who lives with what you decided… other people are not going to be around to blame it on them, and other people are not around to regret either. Choose the decision YOU can live with. Some people can live with going against their parents and risking being wrong. Some people can’t. They might prefer to live with breaking up their relationship to please their parents, or might believe their parents are wiser and know better, or whatever. People value different things so think about what you value. It also depends on whether you are financially able to support yourself if this relaiotnship doesn't work out. If your parents will support you no matter what, or their love is conditional on you doing what they say. Things like that matter. Good luck.