Sunday, November 09, 2008

30. Finding the Shabad Guru.

The first experience we have of the Guru is out of a tradition. The Guru that we surrender and bow before is Shree Guru Granth Sahebji whose outward look is of a revered big book. We observe the reverence and feel the devotion the Adi Granth Sahebji receives.

To the unaware the reverence appears like that given to the idols. This idea immediately begins to change on hearing the Shabad Kirtan recitation.Where there is Shree Guru Granth Sahebji there is Shabad Gurbani – the hymns recited from SGGSji.

The Gurbani Kirtan when heard touches the soul and the feeling surfaces in the conscious awareness. This starts the journey of meeting the Shabad Guru and living in HIS ever presence. This journey may be one where there are stops, rests and movement but the journey it is.

There are phases in our experience and understanding of SGGSji. The Gurbani first starts with correcting our perception of GOD whom the Guru’s Sikh (disciple) reverently speaks as ‘Waheguru’.

The ੴ Ek Ongkar is the first word of Shree Guru Granth Sahebji . This has been very simply translated as ‘‘One Universal Creator God” and also by some as ‘God is One’.
As the Sikh reads the gurbani this simple translation is found to grow in size . There are depths and depths to the description. This word is seen to symbolize Waheguru ji.

The gurbani begins to lead him towards a wondrous world. A journey that becomes his way of life.

The Sikh being a householder, a member of family, a member of society and a person involved in daily living has demands on his mind and time. The world he lives creates anxieties, concerns and fears. The persons he depends on fail to deliver. The expectations he has strangely take their own course. The body he prides on fails often. The gurudwara is the first choice where there is solace. But for solution he still keeps looking in the world. The world of gurbani is an inner world and he looks to it as a world of peace. The outer world is giving him living, the food, shelter. There are things in the outer world he desires and even covets. The Guru tells that Waheguru is the doer. HIS hukam (HIS WILL) is prevailing.

The life he Lives in the world is different. There are self identities. There are positions , aspirations and a mind and body that ever keeps him involved in its demands and desires. In this world are happy moments , joyous moments , but at the same time there are anxieties, fears, problems , diseases . There are births , a moment of joy and and deaths when sorrow prevails. How so powerful or rich he may be in the world there are moments with feelings of panic, the inadequacy times of feeling so limited , so weak, so short , so helpless.

Whom to turn to? A Guru in a body form would have been convenient. He can talk to him and he would listen to him. WAIT. He suddenly realizes that the Shabad guru has ever been guiding him inwards and that is where he can find the Shabad guru and talk to HIM. Frantically he reads gurbani. Mysteriously the Bani seem to know his mind. He finds before him the answers he seeks. He is led towards path he seeks. The gurbani the wisdom he seeks. Reading and listening to gurbani his heart is touched and a peace subtly settles. He wonders how the words in SGGSji are so different. The form is not of a Guru in human body yet the words are transformative. The words evoke a feeling of peace. The words are a wall of protective security. The words are of confidence and joy. The words evoke feelings of love. A love that is felt towards , all and everything.

The Sikh knows the first ten Gurus’ were in physical form in a human body. The tenth Guru than installed the Granth Sahib ji as Shree Guru Granth Sahebji .In this installation the Jyote was transferred. The Jyote which was there in the first Guru. The first Guru Nanak Dev ji transferred it to Bhai Lehnaji making him the second Guru Angad Devji. The same Jyote has been in the subsequent Gurus.

Right from the first Guru’s time the Sikh was introduced to Bani. His day started with Bani and ended with Bani. He accepted whatever the Bani said as truth. He obeyed and aligned his life as per Bani. He develops faith and accepts the truths of Bani above anything that someone else said and inspite of doubts that his mind conjured up.

The unveiling of truths is a matter of faith. The acceptance of what the Bani says is one of the biggest change in a Sikh. This is his first step to unshackle the bonds of maya and to enter into life of true freedom.
The Guru Himself has said:

O GurSikhs, accept the Bani, the Word of the True Guru,
as truth, absolute truth;
The Creator Lord Himself causes the Guru to chant it.
SGGS 308

The Bani is Guru, and Guru is the Bani.
Within the Bani, the Ambrosial Nectar is contained.
If His humble servant believes, and acts according to
the Words of the Guru's Bani,
then the ever present Guru emancipates him. 5
SGGS 982
As the sikh reads and accepts gurbani, he is informed that
The Guru is the Supreme Transcendent Lord God Himself.
SGGS 387
The Divine Guru is the True Guru, the Supreme Lord God, the Transcendent Lord Himself ; says Nanak bows in humble reverence to the Lord, the Divine Guru. 1
SGGS 262

Know the Guru who is Supreme Lord God Himself, as ever near. 3
SGGS 193

These words of the guru have a meaning when acceptance is there. This is a relationship of faith, acceptance and affirmation. The gursikh ever recites and affirms that :
The Perfect True Guru is always with me.
SGGS 618
My Guru is always with me, near at hand.
SGGS 394

The realization and acceptance begins to seep in new meaning of words are revealed.
‘WAHEGURU’ is the guru mantra. Waheguru is the loving reference to the creator lord.
The Lord God Himself is in the form of the Guru , the Satguru and ever present with the sikh.
HE the formless one is all the forms . HE is ever present and ever accessible. As Satguru he is ever with the Sikh.
The Sikh on Guru’s advice accepts HIS presence ever within and near him.
The Sikh’s ardas (prayer) is to the Guru within.
The Sikhs talks to the Guru within.
The Guru arranges Sikhs affairs.
The Guru is his ever protector.
The Guru subtly guides.
The Guru’s presence can be felt any time.
The Sikh just knows that HE the karta HIMSELF as Guru roop is with him and everywhere in the creation.

One day the Anhad Shabad is heard by the Sikh and he realizes that the Shabad Guru in the text form has now being revealed in the form of celestial sound- the sound of creation.
The Shabad in the form of words having shaped the mind of Sikh made his surt (awareness) subtle enough to hear the sound of creation.
The Shabad creates and Shabad is in everyone and everything.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

29. Anhad Shabad : The celestial sound within

Listening to the Shabad within is the Surt-Shabad technique of Guru Nanak Devji enumerated in Shree Guru Granth Sahebji . Shabad in Guru roop is ever with the Sikhs . they only have to keep their surt (conscious awareness) within and listen to the Anhad Shabad . The intuitive guidance of the Shabad Guru is always available to them as HE is ever present.
The sehsa (doubt) a sikh has to remove during Simran efforts is that Waheguruji HIMSELF are shabad swaroop in SGGSji and as Shabad Guru are ever accessible within. Waheguruji is all around in the creation and are the substance of creation as well. HE is player on bothsides. We as jyote swaroop have to go across our ego to be one with HIM.
More has been written on this topic in the eBook titled “Anhad Shabad :the celestial sound within” in pdf form ,which is available for download at the ebook links space on this blog page.

The direct link to this free eBook is here Anhad Shabad :the celestial sound within

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

28. Blog Book 'Simran- Naam'

An e-book titled 'Simran- Naam' has been built from some earlier blog posts in pdf format for easy share and reading. this book is available for download from the link on this page.

Here is the introduction in this blog-book.


Path of spiritual life with ‘Sri Guru Granth Sahebji’ starts with surrender. A bowing before SGGSji when we touch the floor with our forehead is symbolic of surrender of our beliefs/thoughts/ideas of a spiritual life and openness to accept the Guru’s knowledge and changing our thoughts and living with new beliefs.
The Shabad Guru – an abode of Parmeshwar (GOD) lifts its disciple to the level where the devotee and the object of devotion are ONE.

The treasure house of spiritual knowledge SGGSji directs the Sikh (disciple) to seek Naam – the state when the sikh comes to what his origin (real nature) is starts to live life in Naam.

The path towards Naam is the path of Simran.

Simran in essence means remembrance ;
and we remember and keep remembering through repeated focus.

It is through regular recitation of bani from SGGSji , listening and singing of Shabads (hymns) from SGGSji that love of Waheguru (God) swells within. The meaning of Shabads begins to dawn and the state of mind/heart described in Shabads begins to be experienced.
The spiritual path of Shabad Guru understands through experiencing.

The Sikh then finds that the Shabad Guru is always with him ever giving intuitive guidance.
The Sikh then finds that the Shabad Guru and Waheguru (God) are one and same.
The Sikh also finds that he and Waheguru are same. In between them is his haume (ego) – an illusion of separate self existence. "

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

27. Miracle of Ardas (prayer) --Part II

Ardas ( prayer) is an important spiritual tool in the life of a Sikh. A Sikh is a house holder. He works honestly for living and in this world he faces problems like any other individual. An Ardas not only solves his daily life problems but brings him nearer to Waheguru. An Ardas is also a simran. Waheguru ji is ‘antaryami’ meaning already knowing our inner thoughts. HE does not need a prayer with a concentration to know our needs or desires but we need to do Ardas to be nearer to HIM.
An Ardas of a Sikh for his needs is heard and universal forces are activated for the fulfillment.
An Ardas which benefits many is heard.
An Ardas without involving ‘I’ or ego is heard.
An Ardas that reduces ego or haume and is spiritually uplifting is heard.

The life that we are to live as per guru’s guidance is that of living in the presence of Waheguruji. We know and are aware that HE the creator is ever present everywhere. HE is within and without. HE is the Guru within. HE is the only presence. The world is a maya and our separateness is an illusion. The ego perpetrates this separateness. The relationships with, other persons and objects in the world perpetrates this separateness.

A person who lives life as per Guru's given wisdom and understanding is a Sikh (Disciple). The Sikh moulds his mind to Guru's teachings.A Sikh lives life in such a way that the element of separation is gradually reduced and in this way the Sikh gets nearer and nearer to HIM. The Sikh is not a renouncer of the world and its objects but ever lives enjoying the world in a non-attachment way. It is like travelling in a train and knowing all the time that the seat does not belong to him at the same time during the journey it is for his sitting comfort. The Sikh’s relationship with the worldly relations and objects should be like that.

A Sikh also is an ever acceptance state of mind. He knows that what is happening in the world is a result of HIS Will. This WILL is creative force acting in accordance with thoughts and beliefs in collective consciousness. This world is ever changing one. There is cycle of life and death. There are many such cycles. A Sikh does not resists or feels angry at what has happened or is happening but knows that HIS prayer would be heard and the same forces would shift and bring about the desired change. The change brought about is within the ambit if creative pattern of the universe. The change is in accordance with the universal laws.
Take for example, a person who prays to heal the body from a disease .His body has become diseased because of his own karma consisting of negative thinking, emotions and behavior which affect the physiology and creates pathological changes in the body over some time. A prayer would not immediately change the body to a healthy state. The change initiated by prayer is in accordance with the universal laws. Regeneration and recovery is initiated through the removal of cause of disease. At mind level the proximity of divine and the state of surrender dissolves the mental blocks which are now positive emotions. At the ethric level the negative energy is disintegrated. At the physical level the body’s regeneration mechanism becomes operational. The external situations change and the medical intervention where needed is appropriate and effective with right persons involved.
For even such a desired change to occur, the prayer has to be in the right way.
The first requirement is the state of mind that stops struggles and surrenders. There is no resistance of the type ‘Why me?’ There is also no dependence on external sources like a medical system or medication. The medical systems and the medicines work in accordance with the universal forces of change and have nothing absolute about them. Fear and doubt about the effectiveness of the Creator or the divine towards whom the prayer is directed only results in that very fear being manifested. Here we are not allowing the Creator. In this world the rule is ‘what one sows so one reaps’. When we sow the confidence of effectiveness of creative forces then what we reap is the result of a successful prayer outcome. This is perceived as a miracle but in fact not a miracle but a manifestation as per laws. All that happens is within the Hukam (God’s will) .
Prayer is a method of moving forces of creation in a more powerful way than we do in the daily life. When we pray and allow the initiation of action by the higher creative forces without any doubt and fear in the mind and in full confidence and so it happens. The mechanism of ardas is a part and parcel of the design of this world created by Waheguru.It is part of path towards knowing our origin of being same as the creator. In prayer our awareness is focused within at a level of consciousness closer to subtle spiritual dimensions.
Way of the prayer is one of Love. We are in communion with the divine. We are in present eternal time of NOW without any anxiety towards outcome or failure. We pray and remain in a state of confidence.
After the prayer we should recite shabads only and should avoid repeating the prayer as it shows our lack of faith in the prayer and giving of appropriate result by the Karta (creator).The recitation of shabads when any doubt comes would keep us in a positive frame of mind.
Ardas shold be done preferably during amrit vela ( before 6.00 AM early morning) and if possible before SGGSji.During ardas keep eyes closed and the focus of awareness deep within. Feel the presence of Karta within. HE is ever present wether we are aware or not. The purpose of prayer should be genuine and for the benefit . The purpose which has element of raising the ego ( ahankar) or is harmful is less likely to be fulfilled. We can also put forward an arrangement whereby an assertion is made that as thankfulness a spiritually uplifting activity would be undertaken. Here thankfulness which is ritualistic or donation that does not raise ones spiritual level is less likely to be acceptable. In a prayer love relationship and spiritual advancementis of paramount importance.


Everyone begs from You, and all offer prayers to You each day. Those, unto whom You give, receive everything. You are far away from some, and You are close to others.

So offer your prayers to Him, the Giver of Peace, the Destroyer of fear.
Showing His kindness, the Kind Master shall resolve your affairs.

He is the Presence Ever-present; offer your prayers to Him. Pain and pleasure are in the Hands of Karta (creative aspect), the True Creator.
SGGS 352

When your soul is feeling sad, offer your prayers to the Guru. Renounce all your cleverness, and surrender your mind and body to Him. Worship the Feet of the Guru (touch of divine within), and your evil-mindedness shall be burnt away.
SGGS 519

You are our Lord and Master; to You, I offer this prayer. This body and soul are all Your property. You are our mother and father; we are Your children.

SGGS 268

DHANAASAREE, FIFTH MEHL: He has extended His power in all four directions, and placed His hand upon my head. Gazing upon me with his Eye of compassion, He has dispelled the pains of His devotee. 1 The Guru, the Lord of the Universe, has saved the Lord's humble servant. Hugging me close in His embrace, the kind, forgiving Lord has erased all my sins. Pause whatever I ask for from my Lord and Master, he gives that to me. Whatever the Lord's slave Nanak utters with his mouth proves to be true, here and hereafter. 2 14 45
SGGS 681

Monday, January 07, 2008

26.The Miraculous Power of Ardas (Part I)

Ardas (Prayer) has been used to seek divine assistance during problems, difficulties and for healing since ages. While miraculous results have been recorded, it is also true that many prayers go unanswered. But when Guru Sahibji declares that

The prayer of the Lord's humble servant is never goes vain.
-SGGS 819

When it is declared that “No prayer goes unanswered” then we have to check whether the prayer conforms to the prayer preconditions. When done properly a prayer never goes unanswered.

All thoughts we have are in a way prayers as these create our reality. The all pervading creative force is ever creating our reality, the world, the universe. The reality that we are experiencing is in accordance to our present thoughts and belief pattern. These patterns are crystallized thought energy which acts on our body’s physiology and has produced pathological changes and result in diseases. These thought patterns activate universal forces and create our circumstances and situations.

Prayer is a method to go across and submit our intention to the creative force to initiate the changes at spiritual level that percolate and bring about healingin the body and change in the circumstances.Prayer is done before God, the lord. To be effective we must have a belief in the existence of the almighty. This belief is the first condition.HE before whom we address our prayer is to be understood, first at least intellectually.

Here is how Guru Nanak describes HIM. The words are in Gurmukhi script and cannot be properly translated so I have given brief explanations.

ik-oNkaar sat naam kartaa purakh nirbha-o nirvair akaal moorat ajoonee saibhaN gur parsaad.

ik-oNkaar - Ek ongkar symbolizes HIM. The EK which means one symbolizes oneness. There is only HE in the entire universe. Everything is HIM including us and the material world.
The Ongkar symbolizes HIS created universe. From the formless has come the form. From eternal void and the silence has come the creative sound (known as shabad), the vibration which is everywhere and in everything and so is universal consciousness. The created world is a maya – which means it appears real but is not real.

Sat naam – Sat means truth. Truth is that which does not change. Eternal Truth is His Name (identity).He is also our real identity. Our individual consciousness is simply HIS consciousness intermingled with (an illusionary) ego – that creates experience of separateness.

kartaa purakh - He is the Doer of everything. Karta Purakh means that HIS presence is the real creative force. Everything in the world including the physical laws work because of HIS presence .HE is the real karta ( the doer) the invisible creative force.

Nirbha-o - Without fear. Fear is not a part of HIM. Fear is an illusionary part of creation. A work of maya (the grand illusion).

Nirvair - Without vengeance or anger. These again do not symbolize HIM but is maya. These exist in the created world. The caste, creed, status, shortcomings, evil or good nature etc has no consideration before HIM.

Akaal moorat - Undying form (deathless).HE is eternal. Ever same. Has timeless existence. Death is there in the created world.ajoonee - Unborn. Birth and death is in the created word. He is ‘Akaal’ – meaning ever living and has not been born.

SaibhaN - Not begotten, being of His own Being. ‘Saibangh’ means exists as such and self-created. There is no other only HIM.

Gur parsaad. - By the Grace of the Guru, made known to mankind. We are so much in an illusion of separateness and our own identity that HIS knowledge can come only through Guru’s grace. Only a real guru in one with HIM can impart this knowledge and show the path of self- realization. This realization is of what our true origin is.We deep within our beings are one with HIM. All HIS creative force is available to HIS. The GODS or Avatars’ are those who while living in the physical body are ONE with HIM. They do not have the illusion of separateness and are the messengers. The saints are ONE with HIM but do not have the purpose which Avatars have.

The highest form of prayer is to address the prayer directly to HIM – the creator.

The prayer can be addressed before an avatar or saint’s image or without an image with a clear knowledge that it is actually directed at the creator.We keep the conscious awareness WITHIN during prayer. HE is within us too.

The conditions for a prayer are as under:

First – Belief in the existence of creator and HIS presence within us.

Second – Belief that the creative power acts and the material forces are aligned towards fulfillment of the intention in the prayer.

Third – Belief that the intention or purpose is right and we are actually ready to accept the outcome.

Fourth – Faith and belief that the prayers outcome would be positive. It would be fulfilled. We do not harbor any doubt.

Fifth – We express full faith and do not have a divided faith. Like we pray but at the same time are expecting that the result can or would be by so and so human means. His creative force is actually acting in whatsoever manner and through whomsoever as is right for the result.

The reliance on man is futile.

Others are in similar fear .
Our reality creation is due to our thoughts and collective consciousness.
The source of result is within where we approach the creator of the universe.