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Gur Panth Parkash

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

 

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Descent of Grace

A Review by Gurbachan Singh Makin

Author : Gajindar Singh
Publisher:  Singh Brothers, Amritsar
Price: Rs. 225/- Pages: 185+19

The attainment of Lord is the ideal of human life, which is possible only through the descent of Lord’s Grace on the individual. There are plenty of examples in Guru Nanak's sojourn in this world, where the individuals like Sajjan (Thug), Koda (Demon) or Wali Kandhai were bestowed with the Lord's Grace through the Guru's benevolence, without any  effort on the part of  the individuals. Guru Nanak Dev has remarked in Jap ji (Pauri 37) as follows:

      ਸਚ ਖੰਡਿ ਵਸੈ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ॥ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਵੇਖੈ ਨਦਰਿ ਨਿਹਾਲ ॥

And again in Pauri 38 of Jap ji, has said:
     ਜਿਨ ਕਉ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰਮੁ ਤਿਨ ਕਾਰ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਦਰੀ ਨਦਰਿ ਨਿਹਾਲ ॥

That shows the aim of human life, the attainment of unison with the Lord is possible only when the Lord's Grace is bestowed on the individual. In fact, the ultimate goal can be achieved only through the Lord's Grace which is showered on the individual through the Lord's Will (Hukm) or as ordained by Lord.

The topic, though very delicate and difficult to explain, has been dealt with by the author comprehensively by taking all aspects of life as explained by the Gurus through Gurbani (Guru’s Word) in the Holy Guru Granth Sahib.

For example, in the third chapter on “Of Carrots and Sticks”, the author has brought out the Gurmat view on human values beautifully by quoting from Guru Granth Sahib:
     
ਨਾਨਕ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਭੇਟਿਐ ਪੂਰੀ ਹੋਵੈ ਜੁਗਤਿ ॥
ਹਸੰਦਿਆ ਖੇਲੰਦਿਆ ਪੈਨੰਦਿਆ ਖਾਵੰਦਿਆ ਵਿਚੇ ਹੋਵੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ
(SGGS, p. 522)

Further about fasting, so prevalent in Hinduism and Islam, the Sikh thought that one cannot get Divine approbation and spiritual heights by suffering pangs of hunger, has been clearly dealt with. Then again, the quotation, "A swan or a crane, it matters not in the Grace, if He wishes a crane gets transformed into a swan (through His Grace)." Thus the author points out the fruitless efforts of Sikhs in blindly following the Hindu or Muslim conventions in the incessant reading of Guru Granth Sahib (Akhand Paths) for a consideration.

In the chapter, ‘Karma,’ the author has brought out Guru Nanak's views saying that the Guru has used this theory as a heavenly opportunity to perform righteous deeds. In the chapter on Sikh Identit- the Guru's version, “This world is the abode of the Lord who prevails in it and leads some to His pleasure, others He annihilate by His order, it clearly defines the Sikh thought (philosophy) to lead a virtuous life so sa to win Lord’s Grace.

The chapter on ‘The scope of Vision’ is really comprehensive in its detailed version about Guru Nanak Dev's vision, when he says:

ਅਜੁ ਨ ਸੁਤੀ ਕੰਤ ਸਿਉ ਅੰਗੁ ਮੁੜੇ ਮੁੜਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ 
ਜਾਇ ਪੁਛਹੁ ਡੋਹਾਗਣੀ ਤੁਮ ਕਿਉ ਰੈਣਿ ਵਿਹਾਇ ॥"
”(SGGS, p. 1379)
or

ਤਿਸ ਕਉ ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਜਿ ਵਾਟ ਦਿਖਾਵੈ ॥ 
ਤਿਸ ਕਉ ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਜਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੁਣਾਵੈ ॥ 
ਤਿਸ ਕਉ ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਜਿ ਮੇਲਿ ਮਿਲਾਵੈ ॥
(SGGS, p. 226)

or further,

ਵੇਲਾ ਵਖਤ ਸਭਿ ਸੁਹਾਇਆ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਸਚਾ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਇਆ ॥ (SGGS, p. 115)

So, Grace can descend on humans by following the Guru’s Art of living, as opposed to the philosophy of penance, visiting places of pilgrimage o fasting etc., which comprises singing the Lord's praises and reciting Lord's name. The author has further clarified how the Guru Granth Sahib begins with the doctrine of God as the Creator who has established the universe as a game plan spread to His pleasure and God permeating each and every movement in one's life and in shaping the events called Destiny.

In the chapter, “Is Faith blind?” the author has further pointed out the philosophy of the Guru Granth Sahib by quoting from page 1340 as follows:
     
ਨਿਤ ਉਠਿ ਗਾਵਹੁ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ॥ ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਹੁ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ॥ ੨ ॥ 
ਘਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਸਭਨੀ ਥਾਈ ॥ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਹਾਈ ਜਹ ਹਉ ਜਾਈ ੀ

or

     ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਨ ਪੜਉ ਹਰਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਹੋਰੁ ਨ ਪੂਜਉ ਮੜੈ ਮਸਾਣਿ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥ (SGGS, p. 634)

So, from all the above quotations from the Guru Granth Sahib, it would be evident that the author has clarified many debatable aspects of life through a better and clearer understanding of the Holy Guru Granth Sahib and the true meaning of the Guru’s Word as opposed to the literal study or traditional misunderstandings so that the Sikh followers of the modern age could benefit from this book.

Finally, in the chapter Vah(i)Guru let us clearly follow the Guru Granth Sahib where the Bhatts sang Vahu in long odes to the Gurus and Guru Amar Das sang thus:
     
ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਕਰਤੀ ਰਸਨਾ ਸਬਦਿ ਸੁਹਾਈ ॥ (SGGS, p. 514)

or
     
ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਹੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਜੇਵਡੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥ (SGGS, p. 515)

In the end, I would like to add that the author has brought out the directions of Guru Nanak Dev comprehensively as stated in Var Majh ki, Slok M-1,

“ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਆਖੈ ਏਹੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਸਿਫਤੀ ਗੰਢੁ ਪਵੈ ਦਰਬਾਰਿ ॥ ”

and in pauri,

ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਖੋਟਿਅਹੁ ਖਰੇ ਕਰੇ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਵਾਰਣਹਾਰੁ ॥ 
ਸਚੀ ਦਰਗਹ ਮੰਨੀਅਨਿ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਪਿਆਰਿ ॥ 
ਗਣਤ ਤਿਨਾ ਦੀ ਕੋ ਕਿਆ ਕਰੇ ਜੋ ਆਪਿ ਬਖਸੇ ਕਰਤਾਰਿ ॥ (SGGS, p. 143)

(Through His Grace)

I would like to congratulate S Gajindar Singh for this wonderful book as a gift (to attain the Lord’s Grace) to the Sikh Intelligentsia and also recommend this book to all the libraries in the country.

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ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2011, All rights reserved.