Japjeet Kaur is a Yoga Teacher who became a Sikh after a series of spiritual experiences that saw her travel from Belgium to the Golden Temple in India, to find home.
Below is a write up of the interview.
I never saw any Sikhs when I was growing up. My first exposure to anything related to Sikhi was through my first Kundalini Yoga class. In that class we did Mool Mantar as part of our practice.
Next day after that class I kept vibrating Mool Mantar inside. I would wake up in the middle of the night and Mool Mantar would be in my mind.
It was different from a song being stuck; it was vibrating, it was doing something inside. Second class, a week later, Gurumantar, some Waheguru Simran, same thing would happen.
A couple of weeks later she introduced us to Jap Ji Sahib, as practiced in Kundalini Yoga. So I started doing that as well, but I was leading a completely different life. I wasn't religious, but I was really being touched by Gurbani without even knowing what tradition it came from. I had no idea it was from a Sikh tradition.
I flew to Delhi, took a train to Amritsar because for some reason I wanted to be there and I arrived in Amritsar on the eve of Guru Nanak Dev Ji's GurPurb. I walked down the steps onto the Pakarma and I put my head down and everything changed.
I don't know how long I was with my head down but I was heavily crying when I lifted my head. I felt that my skin stopped existing, sort of merged into something. I don't know how to describe it.
I felt very lost with it, because I didn’t know where I was. I was there with a friend and as I lifted my head up and they saw what was happening, my friend said "you've come home, this is where you belong".
We spent about a week in Amritsar and I spent most of my time In Harimandir Sahib. I spent a lot of time sitting on the rooftop, trying to figure out what was happening.
I knew that somehow this was home but I never believed in reincarnation. I never believed in past lives - so I couldn’t really make sense of what was going on, even though I had memories of something coming up before that.
When everybody was doing Rehras Sahib, I felt very much that was something I knew. As we walked out in the evening, in the shopping street, an old Sikh gentleman came up to me and started talking in Punjabi, I had no idea what he was saying. He calls his son and they gave me a Kara and said it was written on my forehead “you’re a Sikh of the Guru”.
He called me into his shop, gave me every single English book on Sikhi he had, made me pay for it - he didn't give them. That was the rest of my trip through India, we were there for a month and I just read all I could. Flew back home, about two months later I started wearing a Dastar, looked for Sangat near me in Belgium and there was a Gurdwara Sahib. A friend of mine said come to England with me, go to a Sikh retreat - you’ll meet Sikhs and that's what you probably need. I think with that retreat things got really established for me. Coming back, after three/four days going back to Belgium it was “okay, I need to move to England, I need to be around Sangat, I need to start giving up my life in Belgium and just really put Sikhi first”.
Mahraj blessed me with Amrit on Vaisakhi 2012, so it's been an ongoing journey ever since. Interesting journey. Definitely not ended yet.