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Sahaj in Gurbani

Sadhu Singh


Guru Sahiban contributed a lot for the ever forward march of civilization. They improved the society of the day and their teachings would continue to do so till human beings are human beings. They refined the rustic dialect and expressed their divine thoughts in the language of the people. Many new words were coined which enriched the Punjabi vocabulary. This way Guru Sahiban enriched the language and used it for preaching and writing. It was known as Sant Bhasa. The word Sahaj (shj-shju, sihj) comes to us from Buddhist scriptures. Its meaning was equivalent to Mokhash (salvation). The Budhist did not believe in the existence of God. For them the attainment of Sahaj was the summum bonum of life. After the eclipse of Buddhism from India, Sahaj lost its original meaning but in the everyday usage it conveyed the meaning of ‘slow’ and ‘spontaneous’. For centuries together many emotive words have been used which conveyed deep meanings in the social and cultural life of the people. Many of these have lost their original meanings because of the race for the materialistic achievements. The word Sahaj falls in this category.

The creator lives in the creation. Nature is an open book for the whole creation. There is no haste or hurry in Nature. Every living or non-living being, goes according to the divine law which we may call Sahaj. In living beings the cause of good health is Sahaj. The absence of Sahaj results in illness in human beings, unrest in the society and upheaval in the world. Every human being lives in his/her unique universe. The gateway to this unique universe is Sahaj. This helps us to understand the mystique of this world and beyond. The pilgrim on the Sahaj path never goes astray. Any one can experience this and realize the wonderful power of Sahaj.

In Gurbani Sahaj (shj-shju) conveys the meaning of ‘slowly’, natural behaviour, innate peace, bountiful, but it is especially used in the sense of self-knowledge or self-realization. The following quotations from Gurbani would illustrate different meanings of the word Sahaj:

In the sense of inherent or innate nature:
For, even if one waters the neem-treewith Nectar,
It changes not its nature.
In the sense of idea, good sense and discretion:
If the Lord's Praise comes out spontaneously,
It is accepted, else it is all vain prattle.
In the sense of enlightenment and spiritual knowledge:
Through mere deeds poise comes not to the mind, and,
Without poise, one's doubt is stilled not.
Says Nanak: "Thus, by the Guru's Grace,
Poise comes to the mind, and in it Cherish thou thy Lord.
Without the Guru, Poise comes not in the mind;
Ask the Wise ones if thou may
In the sense of bliss and delight:
(Enter thou) the Fourth State (of Bliss)
And like the God-wards gather it in thy skirt.
In the sense of supreme God:
They, the Ever-pure, Sing the Lor's Praises, night and day,
And merge in the Lord's Name the natural way.
In the sense of without making any effort:
Attain have I to my Lord, all-too-spontaneously
And,within my mind, rings the music of Bliss.
In the sense of natural way:
Yea, whatever happens, happens spontaneously, but one Knows not why?
(The God-man) sleeps in Poise; he is in Poise, even while awake.
In the sense of easily and leisurely:
Says Kabir: "The Door of Salvation is narrow
Narrower than one-tenth of the sesame seed.
In the sense of self-knowledge and self-realization:
O brother, there is no Poise without the Guru, it issues out of the word,
And one finds one's Lord, the True God.
What shall one read, dwell upon or utter, when one is led astray by God?
(Enter thou) the Fourth State (of Bliss)
And like the God-wards gather it in thy Skirt.
Through Equipoise is the unseen Lord seen,
And the Light of the Formless and Fearless God (burns in our hearts)
He is the blesser of all souls,
And the One to Unite thy Light with His.

All scriptures have a mystical aspect and this is revealed only in an inner language. The language is a matrix of Rhetorics, Metrics and Music. The language of every country goes on changing according to the geographical and climatic changes. Language has two modes (o{g) descriptive or Pronunciation (toDkswe iK T[ukosBkswe o{g) and Emotional (GktBkswe o{g). Guru Sahiban with their deep insight used Sahaj (;ji, ;fji, ;ji[) as an adjective and to form compound words. Thus the vocabulary of the Punjabi language was enriched, and altogether new meanings and messages were conveyed through it. The following quotations from Gurbani illustrate this very point:

shj smwiD - shj smwiD sdw ilv hir isau (Awsw mhlw 1)
shj suBwie - ijau pwvk dw shj suBwau (suKmxI)
shj suBwie imly gupwlw (s.rT m: 5)
shj Duin - siqguru syvy qW shj Duin aupjY (sorT mhlw 2)
shj Bwau - Bwie (sWiq suBwv, Awqimk pRym) - shj Bwie imlIAY suK hovY
(isD gost)
shj mqw (Awqm icµqn) - shj mqy bixAweI hY (mwrU s.hly m: 3)

Since ages the holy men of our country for their salvation were strictly following the Hath Yog of Patanjali Rishi. Guru Nanak Dev Ji proclamied a revolutionary thought and a practical way of life. It was shju Xog, rwj jog, q`q Xog - Bgiq Xog! Hath Yog is very difficult and requires very strict physical discipline. Sahaj Yog is very simple in comparison. It needs continuous recitation of Naam and living the life of a householder. Guru Sahiban preached Sahaj Yog as a way of salvation. This has been illustrated in the following quotations:
gur kw sbdu mnY mih muµdwR, iKµQw iKmw hFwvau [[
jo ikCu krY Blw kir mwnau, shj jog iniD pwvau [[ (Awsw m 3)

Let the Guru's Word be thy Mind's ear-rings, and Compsssion thy coat.
And submit thou lovingly to His will;
Thus wilt thou attain to the Glory of Sahj-yoga.
joog nw BgvI kpVI, jog n mYly vyis ]
nwnk Gir bYiTAw jogu pweIAY siqgur kw aupdyis (mhlw 3)

Yoga is not in the ochre robes, nor in the soiled wear.
Nanak: One attains unto Yoga at Home
Through the Wisdom of the Guru's.
AYsw koie ij duibDw mwr gvwvY ]
iesih mwir rwj jogu kmwvY ] (gauVI m: 5)

If there be one who kills his (Duality),
He, forsure, Enjoys the Bliss of Raja yoga.

gur mnu mwihE kir sµjog ] Aihinis rwvY Bgiq jogu ]
gur sµq sBw duKu imtY rogu ] jn nwnk vru shj jogu ] (bsµq mhlw 1)

Associating with the Guru-saint, one is rid of all one's Maladies.
Says Nanak:
"Thiswise (through the Guru) is one Blest with the Yoga of Equipoise.

Conclusion
Guru Sahiban’s nobility and supremacy often rests on the splendour of the language used to express Gurbani. They speak to mankind from mankind’s heart. They have distilled their experiences of divine life into common sense and uncommon wisdom. Gurbani carries persons to the brink of eternity and then restores them to the common humanity. This way every person in every age finds a reflection in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, which is a universal mirror. The poetry of Guru Granth Sahib echoes in the corridors of the mind and will go on echoing to the last syllable of the recorded time.

 

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