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.