ADI SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB
A GOSPEL OF DIVINE HUMANISM
Prof Gurbax Singh Shergill
At a time when whole world is in need of a composite spiritual scientific ideology to march towards a humanistic society where in, all the conflicting religious identities may willingly start coming together to facilitate the evolution of ‘Divine Humanism’; The Adi Guru Granth seems to be the only choice to become the focal point for this new global urge. Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion, acknowledged the contribution of all religions for the emancipation of mankind. He initiated an interfaith dialogue during his world-wide travels for the essential unity of God and mankind. Just before starting his worldwide travels, he had a long dive into the Holy Bein river and had a ‘spiritual encounter’ with the ‘Prime Divine Soul’ After having the intimate spiritual dialogue, he emerged out with a ‘Revealed Divine Message’< siqgur ……… proclaming nw koeI ihµdU nw muslmwn. The whole Adi Granth is the Divine exposition of this ‘Mool Mantra’ (Holy concept) and his ‘Divine Will’ to unite the humanity by revealing the essential unity of God and an religions. Much needed religious co-existence, mutual respect and tolerance can be achieved only if there is an interfaith dialogue for the Holy search of a common spiritual creative Prime Soul. Adi Guru Granth is the only religious scripture which contains the Holy Bani of other religious saints and Sufi Fakirs who believed in Oneness of God and its creation. It contains 4955 hymns of Sri Guru Nanak Dev and his five successor Gurus, 778 hymns of 13 Hindu saints, two Muslim Holy men, 121 hymns of Bhatts (Brahmins) and 17 of others in Guru's Court, in almost all languages of India. Thus the Adi Granth provides the true example of unity in diversity. Dr. Sarvapalli Radha Krlshanan one of the greatest scholars and President of India says, “We find in the Adi Granth a wide range of mystical emotions, intimate experiences of the personal realization of God and rapturous hymns of divine love in almost all languages of India including Sanskrit and Persian.” Adi Guru Granth Sahib has many English translations and one in French along with a special selective publication by UNESCO with foreword great historian Arnold Toynbee. It has its Hindi and Urdu versions also.
The main theme of Gurus is to affirm the fatherhood of one God and brotherhood of all mankind - eyk ipqw eyks ky hm bwrk, qU myrw gur hweI (M. 5-611 AGGS). Saint Kabir also said almost the same thing - i.e. All mankind is borne from one Divine source - Av`l A`lw nUr aupwieAw kudrq dy sB bµdy, eyk nU qy sB jg aupijAw kOx Bly ko mµdy (Kabir-AGGS). According to Gurmat, there is essential unity of all religions although they seem to look different and contradictory because of their different climatic, racial, and linguistic origin. The main concern of Gurbani is the alleviation of the suffering humanity through which so ever religion as the case may be. Guru Arjan the fifth Nanak says, jgq jlµdw rwK lyhu AwpxI ikrpw Dwr, ijqu duAwry auBrY iqqY lyhu auBwru - Oh God, save the burning world through anyway by bestowing your kindness.(M-5 ...AGGS). It is in this spirit that the Adi Guru Granth exhorts the followers of other religions to follow their religion in its true sense without wasting their time on meaningless rituals and dogmatic formulations. To the Mohammedans it says, that “Becoming a Muslim in true sense is difficult unless one is kind hearted and washes away the dirt of his mind .One can Call himself a Muslim only if he is the real one - muslmwn mom idl hovY….. muslmwn soeI mlu DovY (M-l,AGGS). In the same way a ‘Brahmin’ is also advised to call himself a ‘Brahmin’ only if he dwells on the thought of Prime creative soul - The Karta Purkh - i e ;' pqkjwD i' pqjw phuko? (M-l,662-AGGS). To the Yogi he says, that only that one can call himself a Yogi who knows the real way of emancipation of mankind and uniting with God ie iI'rh ;' i[rs gSkD?. The Guru in the Adi Granth, while addressing these ‘Priests’ as above, also exhorts them to shun from various malpractice which have crept in their life such as, falsehood, bribery and treacherous exploitation of human life. The erring 'Priesthood' is indicted ie, kwdI kUV bol ml Kwie ] bRwhmx nwv'IAw Gwie, jogI jugq nw jwxY ADUµ (M-l ,662 AGGS) .This indictment of the priesthood by the Gurus in the Adi Granth calls for a serious attention of all religious leaders of today.
Most of the religions lay undue emphasis on the other worldliness and exhort them to abandon the working world to become ascetics or unwilling parteners. The Gurbani in Sri Guru Granth is life affirming and advocates the spiritual emancipation right in this world, while carrying on the industrious activities of earning livelihood, enjoying good living as a fruit of the labour with a smile, devoting the mind to true Guru, and abandon all worries -nwnk siqgur BytIAY BUrI hovY jugq, hsµidAW pYnidAW KwvidAW ivcY hovy mukq --- audm kryidAW jIau qUµ kmwvidAW suK Buµc iDAwvidAW qUµ pRBU iml nwnk auqrI icµq (M-5, 422-AGGS). This unive!se being the creation of the Almighty ‘Kartapurkh’- the prime creative power is considered His Holy abode in the Adi Sri Guru Granth and not a place for suffering penalty for being born. ieh jgu scY kI hY koTVI scY kw iv`c vws(M-2-493 AGGS). The God - ‘Kartapurkh’ Himself is conceived to be part of his own creation. Gurbani in the Adi Granth reminds the man about his being the most intelligent and powerful and an overlord of the earth where in all other forms of life are subservient to him, ies jg my qyrI mihqwrI, Avr join qyrI pinhwrI[[ (AGGS) Again the Gurbani reminds him that the human body bestowed on him is the most sought after, even the gods are longing to have this body. -ies dyhI ko locY dyv (Kabir-AGGS) In view of his unique position in this universe the man is called upon to avail this opportunity to realize the God in him, i.e., achieving divine perfection and liberate himself from the lower instincts.
Every human being is ordained to live a family life qw ky mUl n lgIAY Bwie, Gwil Kwie ikCu hQau dyie nwnk rwhu pCwxY syie (M- 1-1245, AGGS). It was in this context that Guru Nanak preferred to stay and eat with his poor host Bhai Lalo who earned his livelihood with his own labour, rejecting the delicious feast offered by Malik Bhago, the and earn his livelihood with his own labour sharing his earnings with other needy persons. Guru Nanak called upon all Yogis and saffron clad, so-called ascetics, to earn their livelihood and not to go begging for food and clothing. It is notable that Guru Nanak himself settled in Kartarpur after his missionary voyages and worked himself in his fields. Hence his injunction to every individual to earn his livelihood and share with others, ie. guru pIr sdwie mµgx jwie chief of a large estate, whose earning was based on exploitation of poor labourers and peasants. Guru Nanak while refusing to join the feast of Malik Bhago explained that his delicious food smacked of the blood of the poor land simple food offered by Bhai Laalo was like sweet milk. This explains Gurbani's proper emphasis on sharing, only the earnings from one's own hard labour with other needy persons and not wealth accumulated through exploitation of the poor masses. The Guru clearly differentiates between an industrious person who earns through his labour, which may be physical, intellectual or organisational, giving every work partner his due and the other one who makes money through exploitation and illicit means. Such a person is termed as a "Mayadhari" a blind and deaf person who does not care for the divine word and accumulates wealth for wealth sake without any social or ethical relevance ie mwieAw DwrI Aiq AMnw bolw, Sbd n suxeI bhu rol Gcolw .. (M-3, 313- AGGS). Gurbani in Adi Sri Guru Granth while preaching, sharing of wealth with the needy and poor, refrains the giving of alms with a sense of pride of being rich. When the rich giver insults the poor recipient, he is reprimanded in strongest words -grIbw aupr ij iKµjY dwVI, pwr bRhm sw Agin mih swVI (M-5, 99, AGGS) .
Exploitation in any form is condemned by the Guru as worst sin - h`k prwieAw nwnkw aus sUr aus gwieuu….(M-l,313-AGGS). According to Gurbani, the real cause of the difference and strife between the rich and the poor, low and high is socio-economic and religious exploitation -iksI pY vwd Gwt iksI pY dono lr lr mUAw (M-5, AGGS). The Guru stands for common wealth of equals where in nobody is low or high, - sBy swJIvwl sdwiein qUµ iksY n idsih bwhrw jIau [[ (M-5, 97, AGGS). Bhagat Ravidas Ji, whose divine poetry is part of Adi Sri Granth Sahib, visualized himself as a citizen of such an ideal city state where there was no discrimination, no pain or worry and every body is alike and friendly under the sovereignty of God - bygm purw shr ko nwau dUKu Aµdohu nhI iqih Twau [[ KauPu n Kqw n qrsu jvwlu [[ Ab moih KUb vqn gh pweI [[ aUhW KYir sdw myry BweI . This vision of a Holy Commonwealth of equals, where there is no exploitation, discrimination, misery or social pain, is only possible, where according to Guru every body earns his livelihood through his or her honest labour and ready to share with his fellow beings without a feeling of pride or false superiority, devoting his thoughts for the praise of the Karta Purkh, the divine creative' Prime Soul '. In this way Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib exponates a divine formula of earning with honest labour, sharing the wealth with fellow beings and contemplating on 'Holy Name' of the True One - the divine creator prime soul. To put it in a simple language, this divine formula of successful holy life is 'kirt karna' 'vand chhakna' and , Nam japna (ikrq krnw, nwm jpnw, vµf Ckxw`)
The keynote of Gurbani teachings in Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib is meditation on the 'Holy Name' with total submission to the 'divine will' the Hukam - hukmY bUJih qw sUJih (AGGS). The basic principle of 'Nam Japna' is best explained through Sri Guru Amar Das's famous Shabad - gurmuK gwvih gurmuK bUJih gurmuK Sbd bIcwrY (M-3, 743 - AGGS), along with his another famous couplet - ey mn jYsw syvih qYsw hovih qyhy krm kmwie [[ Awip bIij AwpY hI Kwvxw khxw ikCU n jwie (M-3, AGGS). As such 'Nam Japna' is the basic principle of Sikh way of life. It is not a one time or five-time recitation, it is a process as part of daily living of a Gurmukh - ie 'swas swas japna'- remembering the Prime Holy Spirit with each breath. No doubt it precedes with regular recitation and lap ultimately becoming a part of thought process- Ajapa Jaap, one may be doing any thing, his mind will automatically remains tuned up with the 'Prime Soul'. This is the stage when the mind acquires super divine energy and becomes most creative. The main problem at this stage is to acquire equipoise (;ji) and avoid lapsing back. This is possible only when one rises above three proverbial stages ie., rajo, tamo, tapo and acquires the fourth stage of 'Sahaj' Third Nanak, Guru Amardas says Oh mind rise above the three to the fourth stage 'Sahaj' so that the Divine creative". Power remains in your heart and you may keep immersed in singing 'His' praise mn rY qRY gux Coif cauQY icqu lwie [[ hir jIau myry min vso BweI sdw hir ky gux gwie (M-3, 603-AGGS) shj And Anhd Duin bwxI bhuir n pey ibKwd (M-3, 1224-AGGS). This stage of spiritual equipoise is the result of constantly dominant divine thought which erases the impact of previous ill thoughts and bad actions. The impact of the uninterrupted dominant divine thought is so much that it washes away the DNA effect and creates a new awareness, making the man real master of his body and mind.
Human body has evolved over millions of years to its present stage with its physical parts to almost to their perfection. Human mind is now the Prime force in further evolution and revolution of his own self and human environments. The principle of the survival of the fittest is now predominantly in favour of human mind to play the prime role in its own evolution to bring revolution in human environments. So it is the divine evolution of mind which is the most important agenda before the human being now. An individual being is concerned with his own evolution i.e., betterment, right here in this life and that so, immediately. Mental peace and poise is his daily need. Nam-Simran-the meditation on divine name is the only way. Sri Guru Ramdass 4th Nanak shows the way: -gurmuiK Aµqir swiq hY min qin nwim smwie [[ nwmy icqvY nwmu pVo nwim rhY ilv lwie [[ nwmu pdwrQu pwieAw icµqw geI iblwie .. (M-4, 653-AGGS). It took millions of years to evolve from ape to man but the Guru turns the men into gods without any delay: - Guru Nanak says - bilhwrI gur Awpxy idauhwVI sd vwr [[ ijin mwxs qy dyvqy kIey krq n lwgI bwr (M-l, 462-AGGS).