Shabad as Guru
Sangat Singh Syalee
The world is undergoing an existential anguish because of the mystery of life, its meaning, purpose and goal. Speculation about the nature of Reality and methods of propitiation in order to achieve inner peace, tranquility, and freedom, from suffering are endless. The human mind is constantly in flux, never under rest or peace. Faith based beliefs have been current in all cultures from antiquity but every new age brings new challenges and the mind is forced to reckon with new existential problems. All wars begin and end in the mind. There was no period of time when the world was not on the verge of chaos and precifice due to interfaith or intrafaith conflicts, values and disputes.
Teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib bring us face to face with all new dispensations which cause disharmony. Disharmony is contingent upon the beliefs people deem important and dynamics that feed them. Time has come for the dissemination of Perfect Guru’s teachings widely for bringing peace and harmony in the world.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib teaches knowing and experiencing One Ultimate Reality within our own self, which is all-pervading in the whole cosmos. This revelation transcends all the previous revelations with the objective of reconciliation between differences and disputes bringing humanity close to the Truth. The Creator of the universe is beyond all ethnic, social, national or religious divisions but all creation is subject to His Order. It is the duty and responsibility of every man to know his Creator, abide by His Will and lead life as per divine Laws ingrained in his conscience.
God had granted prophets to all nations in their own tongues. All religiously based faiths are valid but as children need age related knowledge, man needs age related new knowledge. A message received in the antiquity and middle ages may not work in the twenty first century. Growth of human intelligence and knowledge of the cosmos requires changes and modifications. All previous messages contain truth, but they may not be able to fulfill the needs of the period through which we are passing.
Every religion believes in its own superiority and also in its divine right to impose its version of truth upon others. Fundamentalists abound in every religion. There is no dearth of self serving corrupt elites in every society who cynically advance their personal interests and steal resources from common people. All revelations have to be interpreted with reason and logic. Blind faith in orthodoxy is not justified. Religions being esoteric in nature can easily be exploited by the politicians, clerics and despotic regimes.
Almost all major world religions believe that the universe had welled up from the sound of one word. This is held true by Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. All their prayers are invoked with this word. LOGOS (WORD) a term used in the Greek Philosophy is used to describe divine reason and will imply it) the order of the universe. It was adopted in later Judaism and used by Christian writers to define the role of Jesus Christ as the “Word of God” made flesh, the active will of God and an embodied revelation of it to mankind. According to Holy Koran God created the World by the Word “Kun” meaning Be.
The number of languages spoken on our planet is estimated to be more than four thousand but in the universe, they may be beyond any count. During the last two decades by participating in various Interfaith dialogues, and taking part in all the three Parliament of World Religions I have come to realize, that no faith is willing to accept any deficiency in their beliefs. Primarily it is due to the conditioning of their minds from childhood to these faiths and secondly to the political power accrued from it. They claim that their faith is built on the “Word of God” as revealed by their prophet or messengers of God. They are unable to realize that their faiths were based on the need of the time which was appropriate for the conditions prevailing then. As the people have moved from their original inhabitants to new environments they need a new orientation of their beliefs which can help them to live in peace and amity.
People are ready to give up their faith for money. Abuse of religion to dominate and gain more political power is rampant all over. It is not easy to comprehend God, the Father of the whole creation, One, Eternal, Incomprehensible, Formless, without physical features, who is Transcendent and Immanent, indwelling in every heart, manifesting in the whole Cosmos. Man is capable of knowing only by his mind and five sense organs, but God is beyond these two faculties.
As per teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, God Ever exists in His ‘Primal Void but whenever wants to manifest, He manifests as a brilliant conscious Light, known as Noor, Jyoti, Parkash. This Light permeates in all directions and forms the creative power of all Creation. All these three states are known as “Shunya”, “Nirankar” and “Ekankar”.
By the Word “Oankar”, God creates five elements of nature. The Jyoti (Light) of God and the Sound of the Word Oankar are the two ground substances of God known as “Yeda “ (Light) and “Nada” (Word) which pervade and vibrate in the creation. Our mind can only comprehend the physical or material component which is visible to the eyes and comprehensible by the Intellect. The matter can be converted to energy and energy can be converted to matter. God is Creator and Destroyer of the Universe as per His Will.
The Light of God is totally invisible to man because it is eclipsed by the “Haumain”, “I am ness” or Egoism of man. It is only by the Enlightenment by the “Guru” that the darkness of the mind can be lifted by the Grace of True Guru. God’s light shines in the heart of all of us and is the indwelling spirit of all Creation. Nothing is hidden from God. He is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent in Creation. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva represent three Gunas (Powers) of the Lord as Creation, Sustenance and Dissolution. God is unattached but gazes at His Creation with delight. He wishes the Creation to live in peace and amity but rare are those who know this mystery. Our minds are obsessed with the illusory Maya (Play) of the World and our Egos with our selfhood. Ignorance of the Lord and intricacies of existence, meaning and goal of life allude us.
“Nada” is the Divine Sound of the Lord which remains vibrating and produces various words of Languages. This is how we express our feelings. All Scriptures are composed of words but couched in enigmatic, allegoric or metaphoric language. The Scripture of Sri Guru Granth Sahib is most comprehensive and contains mystical knowledge of the Creator, nature of existence, life’s meaning and goal. All knowledge of “Yeda” and “Nada” are contained in it, which can dispel all ignorance and show us the path of God realization.
This brings me to the subject of “Naam” which is the most fundamental and comprehensive system of meditation and of universal appeal. It is based on spared experiences of saints from many cultures. By this process a totally ignorant and blind person can become fully Enlightened, in complete harmony with himself, with others and with God.
The basic constituents of Conscious Light of God and celestial music of the spheres can be harnessed by contemplating on the “Word of the Guru” enshrined in Sri Guru Granth Sahib and drinking the Nectar of inner bliss when the inner soul unites with all-pervading spirit of the Lord during singing of the glory of God in the company of true saints in the holy congregations.
The constant repetition of a mantra has been used to concentrate the mind on an object of meditation in Hinduism and Buddhism. Many such mantras have been used in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. All the mantras are based on some attributes of the Reality. God in Sri Guru Granth Sahib has been defined either with numeral 1 or with Sat (Truth). This numeral is being wrongly interpreted as an adjective of Oankar. It is used in the whole text, indicative of the Unity of the Creator and as a Noun. Unmanifested God is nameless and formless and cannot be defined by any definition, being beyond any description.
Some Western theologians have defined God as “Unmoved Mover” or “Logical Uncaused Cause”. There are many other definitions suggested. In Sri Guru Granth Sahib the Mantra “Waheguru” has been used which is a unique term meaning “Lord of Wonderment” which creates a feeling of wonder, ecstasy, limitlessness and a vista of imagination of One manifesting in countless forms. This syllable is capable of illuminating the mind and can be accepted universally fostering unity and understanding the Prime Being.
The term “Khalsa” was used by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji when a new Panth (Way) was created as per the dictates of the Lord. This Word is very significant after the term - Waheguru. The Word “Khalsa” has been defined as Personal Property of the king, Lover of God or Pure of the Pure. The creation of the Khalsa took two centuries of great trials and tests. This is our sacred heritage.
The true Khalsa is one who has surrendered his body, mind and soul to the Guru. He has transformed himself from a manmukh state to become Gurmukh and shed off all vices by the practice of Naam and merged his soul with the Lord, by singing the glory of the Lord, in the holy company of the saints.
A manmukh is a person who is boastfull of his position, status, belonging to high caste or as a great Poet, Pandit, Yogi, Sanyasi or Gyani. He is dual minded and full of doubts, misgivings and having all the vices of lust, anger, deceit, greed, attachments and jealousy. Such a man has no true knowledge of his Creator or true purpose of life. It is only by coming in contact with a true saint of God or becoming a member of the congregation of perfect Guru. It is only after a Manmukh becomes a Gurmukh that he can call himself Khalsa. It is only from a True Guru that one can learn the process of contemplation and meditation when he partakes of true Love of God with celestial music resonating in his heart by listening to the holy hymns while uttering True Name of God.
True religiousness is based on controlling the mind. Without controlling the mind no body can follow this path. It requires Grace of God which is either pre-destined or received through the blessings of the Guru. Name is the path. Name is the Grace. With Name the inner mind blossoms like a lotus and when dyed in the love of the Lord the entire time one gets feelings of ecstasy and mind stops wandering.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib is an abode of God where His Name and glory vibrate in every word. When our mind is in tune with it, our consciousness gets illuminated with presence of God within and without. To share this experience with others and promote amity among people of other faiths is the serious duty enjoined upon true Sikhs of the Gurus.
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2009, All