Home

  News & Views

  Journal

  Seminars

  Publications

  I S C

  Research Projects

  About Us

  Contacts

Gur Panth Parkash

Gur Panth Parkash
by Rattan Singh Bhangoo
Translated by
Prof Kulwant Singh

 

BACK

Bakshish – the edifice of Sikh Thought

K S Ahluwalia

I have been hearing the word Bakshish for years and yet couldn’t fathom what did it imply. Was it Lord giving in to my desires, my beggings or was it beyond the obvious, something where I ceased to be any body, be nobody and just desolate. I was confused and started thinking of how do I follow the Guru’s instructions. How could I be a better Sikh, how can I get liberation, how can I be there where He wanted me to be. So I tried tirelessly, and the cycle started – the more I forced myself the more I found I was getting more afar and in that process I was devoid of any meaningful experiences. Simply I was getting obsessed to do what I thought was right and had my self- styled interpretations that seemed logical and correct to support me and validate me.  Consequently my vision became myopic, my vocabulary was simply a mixture of verses- in fact I became a self parroting audio device, which never got inspired, touched and moved.

Was this what Sahib-e-Kamaal wanted me to do. I don’t know.  I was confused. Dejected and frustrated, I possessed a self increasing ego. I wanted to look good, be the one who was following the ethos in totality – a living example for all.  This, I realized was nothing but a bloated and smelly ego?

I wanted to improve, which stems from ego. Guru tells me to be first normal – accept myself in totality – and then I continuously watch what is happening. One month passes, nothing happens, two months pass, nothing happens, one year passes, nothing happens, two years pass, nothing happens.

And now I start questioning – is my effort wrong, or did I misinterpret the instructions, or was I being taken on a garden path.  Or the path shown is so arduous that one in a million can only get results and I am not that blessed one.  I decide to give up – yet will not accept that something was amiss. Now I parrot the experiences – by putting a mask of being blessed one on whom Guru’s bakshish has been bestowed, and am ready to share with others the path they need to follow. Interestingly I will get audiences who will hear me with attention. The world is full of those who want to ape, copy others rather than being open to their own experiences.

Amusingly it is one blind man telling the other blind man – what a beautiful sunshine!

Celebration and immersion cannot and will not happen because I am still looking for it, searching for it. It happens only when the whole idea has become simply foolish and I have dropped it. If the idea of improvement continues, no transformation is possible- because the very idea comes from ego. The ego only wants to improve.

Let’s understand the difference between improvement and transformation.  Sahib-e-Kamaal (10th Master Guru Gobind Singh) is here to help me to be transformed, transmuted, while I am here to improve myself – that’s why our languages are different. I am here to add more to some experiences of my life, to become more loving, to be more at ease. I am thus here to decorate myself a little more, to succeed in life, to have more pleasures. I am here to improve and not ready to die to the extent I am reborn.

Sahib-e-Kamaal’s effort is to destroy me utterly so that I can be recreated in a totally different new way. He creates a discontinuity in my life, while I want the same continunity. He wants to change my very self by giving me something new, something to which I am unaware, while I want to cling to the same. Hence transformation doesn’t take place.

Remember, even if I improve nothing will happen.  I would live and die in ego, eat, drink, breathe, breed and excrete, in ego I will be nothing more than ego personified. Haumain would be my only nature.  And I will be the same trying to fit in a new bottle. Nothing will change because here I am the driver.

And when what I want doesn’t happen with my own efforts – I start disbelieving myself, I look for someone who can make it happen. And surprisingly I get scores of them – they are scattered all over, they are of the sort only to which I belong – those who tried and didn’t get there and are now projecting themselves as the blessed ones.

So now I will do what they tell me to do. I will fast, meditate, do yoga, do everything which I am told; I did everything that was traditionally available. I will hop from one master to another- and I would be a great seeker- my search being honest and amusingly each of these masters want me to stay on – "be here, don’t go , you will be my successor and enjoy the opulence." They want to hold on to me, cling on to me. And then I find some one other. And this way this mad journey goes on and on.

Now I realize that nothing is possible, nothing ever happens, nothing ever has happened to anybody, that I have been searching in vain, and my whole search was futile.  This is not frustration, nevertheless this was not hopelessness; it simply is a great understanding. A light comes to me that nothing happens, whatsoever it is. What is, is, what aint, aint.

Hence I forget all my struggles, and that very moment – enlightenment dawns upon me. No tensions, no anxieties, nowhere to go, this moment is eternity, no desire is left, no nirvana no moksha is sought.  And then I rest – it’s a wakeful rest – a rest rooted in awareness, in totality, where everything is in equanimity, completeness, fullness, richness. It’s a deep sleep – a complete sleep- where effort ceases, where the doer has gone, utterly gone, ego banished.

It is like a bud which opens automatically in the morning on its own, because it is ready to open, no commands required. The last star in the sky also disappears and in its disappearing I disappear utterly, forever.

And now I laugh – simple, subtle, child like, innocent, celebrative laugh. It is so simple. And I made it so complex, so intriguing, by my efforts.

Sahib-e-Kamaal exalts me to come back to my roots, my origins; he tells me that I am already enlightened. It’s only my delusion that I am not enlightened. Thus I need to drop my idea of my being and my ego.

Consequently I realize, that there is no hope- its hopelessness – and that is good. Hope was illusory; this hopelessness is on the right track. If I really understand that nothing ever happens, that nothing ever happens in the nature of things, that all is already there, there is no improvement possible, it’s perfect.

Enlightenment means that one has gone beyond relativity, comparisons, more and less thus cannot exist now. It’s pure isness, pure existence, primordial innocence.

Sahib-e-Kamaal’s teachings need to come naturally, erupt like a spring,  it’s like standing in the sun, walking and watching one’s shadow - because if the body walks the shadow follows. The shadow cannot walk on its own, and even if you arrange for shadow to walk on its own, the body will not follow, there is no necessity.

When this happens, awareness engulfs me, and awareness is total. Complete, utterly complete, never comes in parts, its quality of my being, no degrees, total and in totality.

It’s me being in ecstasy – which isn’t mine – it’s His – its Him dancing in me- I cannot allow – it happens on its own, its spontaneous, it happens only when I am natural because He is nature,  the ultimate flowering energy- the celestial song, dance and celebration. And it’s His grace, His blessing that He thought I was capable of being in Him, with Him and for Him – till eternity.

 

¤


ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2014, All rights reserved.