According to the Gurbani Har-ras is a blissful state of connectivity with Waheguru (Naam). Guru Amar Das Ji explains the importance of Har-ras in Anand Sahib in Pauris 32, 37 and 38. Guru Ji says that all the worldly tastes/enjoyments lack the ras (essence of enjoyment) that one enjoys when one is enshrining Waheguru in one’s heart. The state of enjoyment of Har-ras comes only to those who first connect with a Guru in order to receive Waheguru’s grace and His Nad/kirpa in obtaining the ecstatic state of Naam.

ਏ ਰਸਨਾ ਤੂ ਅਨ ਰਸਿ ਰਾਚਿ ਰਹੀ ਤੇਰੀ ਪਿਆਸ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥ (Raamkali M. 3, GGS. 921).
O my tongue, you are engrossed in other tastes, but your thirsty desire is not quenched.

ਪਿਆਸ ਨ ਜਾਇ ਹੋਰਤੁ ਕਿਤੈ ਜਿਚਰੁ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਪਲੈ ਨ ਪਾਇ ॥
Your thirst shall not be quenched by any means, until you attain the subtle essence of the Lord.

ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਪਾਇ ਪਲੈ ਪੀਐ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਨ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਲਾਗੈ ਆਇ ॥
If you do obtain the subtle essence of the Lord, and drink in this essence of the Lord, you shall not be troubled by desire again.

ਏਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਕਰਮੀ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਜਿਸੁ ਆਇ ॥
This subtle essence of the Lord is obtained by good karma, when one comes to meet with the True Guru.

ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਹੋਰਿ ਅਨ ਰਸ ਸਭਿ ਵੀਸਰੇ ਜਾ ਹਰਿ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥੩੨॥
Says Nanak, all other tastes and essences are forgotten, when the Lord comes to dwell within the mind. ||32||

In order to obtain Har-ras (Har-Naam), Guru Ji recommends reading/studying and listening to Gur-sabd and Gurbani.

ਅਨਹਤ ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਾਣੀ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਭੋਗੋ ॥ (Raag Ramkalee M. 3, GGS. 921). a
I have come to know the unstruck sound current and the Word of the Guru’s Shabad; I enjoy the sublime essence of the Lord, the Lord’s Name.
ਏ ਸ੍ਰਵਣਹੁ ਮੇਰਿਹੋ ਸਾਚੈ ਸੁਨਣੈ ਨੋ ਪਠਾਏ ॥
O my ears, you were created only to hear the Truth.

ਸਾਚੈ ਸੁਨਣੈ ਨੋ ਪਠਾਏ ਸਰੀਰਿ ਲਾਏ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਸਤਿ ਬਾਣੀ ॥
To hear the Truth, you were created and attached to the body; listen to the True Bani.

ਜਿਤੁ ਸੁਣੀ ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਹਰਿਆ ਹੋਆ ਰਸਨਾ ਰਸਿ ਸਮਾਣੀ ॥ (Raag Ramkalee M. 3, GGS. 922).
Hearing it, the mind and body are rejuvenated, and the tongue is absorbed in Ambrosial Nectar.

Guru Ram Das Ji adds that blessed is the company of those who dwell in Naam i.e. in the bliss of “Gurbani eis jag mehi chaanan”.

ਧਨੁ ਧੰਨੁ ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਜਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਮਿਲਿ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਰਗਾਸਿ ॥੪॥੪॥ (Raag Goojree M. 4, GGS. 10-8).
Blessed, blessed is the Sat Sangat, the True Congregation, where the Lord’s Essence is obtained. Meeting with His humble servant, O Nanak, the Light of the Naam shines forth. ||4||4||

According to the Gurbani, the Har-ras can easily control all temptations of Maya and one can live a good life free from vices such as anger, lust, greed, attachments, ego; and one can easily abstains from the use of alcoholic intoxicants and uplifting drugs etc. A certain degree of Har-ras through the Gurbani is a sure remedy to bring the prevalent Punjab’s current problems of excessive consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other harmful drugs among the Sikhs. Nit-nem is a must prescription!

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand

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