Sheikh Farid Ji: His Devotion and Love for Waheguru

Farid Ji was a Muslim Sufi Darvesh (1173-1268; age 96 years.) born in Multan, Punjab (now in Pakistan).There are four Sabds (in Raag Suhi and Sorath) and 130 Saloks (including some supporting Sabds in M.1, M.3 & 5) credited to Farid Ji in the Guru Granth Sahib. According to Dharam Parchar Committee of SGPC, Amritsar, Guru Nanak Sahib went of Pak Patan to meet Sheikh Ibrahim Farid who was the follower of Sheikh Baba Farid Ji and from whom Guru Ji collected the Bani of Sheikh Baba Farid Ji. Later Guru Arjan Dev Ji entered this Bani in the Adi Granth Sahib.

Farid was proficient in Farsi, Arabic and Multani Punjabi languages. Farid Ji was a humble man full of total devotion of Waheguru and a votary for love and patience. He saw Waheguru in His Creation and found Him as the sweetest among all the sweet substances:-

– ਫਰੀਦਾ ਖਾਲਕੁ ਖਲਕ ਮਹਿ ਖਲਕ ਵਸੈ ਰਬ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ ਮੰਦਾ ਕਿਸ ਨੋ ਆਖੀਐ ਜਾਂ ਤਿਸੁ ਬਿਨੁ ਕੋਈ ਨਾਹਿ ॥੭੫॥Salok Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 1381-17).
Fareed, the Creator is in the Creation, and the Creation abides in God. Whom can we call bad? There is none without Him. ||75||

– ਫਰੀਦਾ ਸਕਰ ਖੰਡੁ ਨਿਵਾਤ ਗੁੜੁ ਮਾਖਿਓ‍ੁ ਮਾਂਝਾ ਦੁਧੁ ॥ ਸਭੇ ਵਸਤੂ ਮਿਠੀਆਂ ਰਬ ਨ ਪੁਜਨਿ ਤੁਧੁ ॥੨੭॥ Salok Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 1379-6).
Fareed: sugar cane, candy, sugar, molasses, honey and buffalo’s mil – all these things are sweet, but they are not equal to You. ||27||

– ਫਰੀਦਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਦੀ ਕਰਿ ਚਾਕਰੀ ਦਿਲ ਦੀ ਲਾਹਿ ਭਰਾਂਦਿ ॥ ਦਰਵੇਸਾਂ ਨੋ ਲੋੜੀਐ ਰੁਖਾਂ ਦੀ ਜੀਰਾਂਦਿ ॥੬੦॥
(Salok Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 1381-2).
Fareed, work for your Lord and Master; dispel the doubts of your heart. The dervishes, the humble devotees, have the patient endurance of trees. ||60||

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਕਾਲੇ ਮੈਡੇ ਕਪੜੇ ਕਾਲਾ ਮੈਡਾ ਵੇਸੁ ॥ ਗੁਨਹੀ ਭਰਿਆ ਮੈ ਫਿਰਾ ਲੋਕੁ ਕਹੈ ਦਰਵੇਸੁ ॥੬੧॥
Fareed, my clothes are black, and my outfit is black. I wander around full of sins, and yet people call me a dervish – a holy man. ||61||

Farid Ji in his humbleness puts all his hopes only in Waheguru and that too through meditation and Ardas:-

ਧਿਗੁ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਦਾ ਜੀਵਿਆ ਜਿਨਾ ਵਿਡਾਣੀ ਆਸ ॥੨੧॥ (Salok Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 1379-1).
Cursed are the lives of those who place their hopes in others. ||21||

– ਦਿਲਹੁ ਮੁਹਬਤਿ ਜਿੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਸੇਈ ਸਚਿਆ ॥ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਮਨਿ ਹੋਰੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਰੁ ਸਿ ਕਾਂਢੇ ਕਚਿਆ ॥੧॥ (Raag Asa Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 488-8).
They alone are true, whose love for God is deep and heart-felt. Those who have one thing in their heart, and something else in their mouth, are judged to be false. ||1||

ਰਤੇ ਇਸਕ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਰੰਗਿ ਦੀਦਾਰ ਕੇ ॥ ਵਿਸਰਿਆ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਨਾਮੁ ਤੇ ਭੁਇ ਭਾਰੁ ਥੀਏ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Those who are imbued with love for the Lord, are delighted by His Vision. Those who forget the Naam, the Name of the Lord, are a burden on the earth. ||1||Pause||

ਆਪਿ ਲੀਏ ਲੜਿ ਲਾਇ ਦਰਿ ਦਰਵੇਸ ਸੇ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਧੰਨੁ ਜਣੇਦੀ ਮਾਉ ਆਏ ਸਫਲੁ ਸੇ ॥੨॥
Those whom the Lord attaches to the hem of His robe, are the true dervishes at His Door. Blessed are the mothers who gave birth to them, and fruitful is their coming into the world. ||2||

ਪਰਵਦਗਾਰ ਅਪਾਰ ਅਗਮ ਬੇਅੰਤ ਤੂ ॥ ਜਿਨਾ ਪਛਾਤਾ ਸਚੁ ਚੁੰਮਾ ਪੈਰ ਮੂੰ ॥੩॥
O Lord, Sustainer and Cherisher, You are infinite, unfathomable and endless.
Those who recognize the True Lord – I kiss their feet. ||3||

ਤੇਰੀ ਪਨਹ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਤੂ ਬਖਸੰਦਗੀ ॥ ਸੇਖ ਫਰੀਦੈ ਖੈਰੁ ਦੀਜੈ ਬੰਦਗੀ ॥੪॥੧॥
I seek Your Protection – You are the Forgiving Lord Please, bless Shaykh Fareed with the bounty of Your meditative worship. ||4||1||

An Ideal Man of Farid Ji is a one who is a simple in his/her disposition and is always willing to share his/her possessions with others and does not use harsh words with others as Waheguru abides in all of us :-

ਮਤਿ ਹੋਦੀ ਹੋਇ ਇਆਣਾ ॥ ਤਾਣ ਹੋਦੇ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਤਾਣਾ ॥ (Salok Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 1384-16).
If you are wise, be simple; If you are powerful, be weak;

ਅਣਹੋਦੇ ਆਪੁ ਵੰਡਾਏ ॥ ਕੋ ਐਸਾ ਭਗਤੁ ਸਦਾਏ ॥੧੨੮॥
And when there is nothing to share, then share with others. How rare is one who is known as such a devotee. ||128||
……….
ਇਕੁ ਫਿਕਾ ਨ ਗਾਲਾਇ ਸਭਨਾ ਮੈ ਸਚਾ ਧਣੀ ॥ ਹਿਆਉ ਨ ਕੈਹੀ ਠਾਹਿ ਮਾਣਕ ਸਭ ਅਮੋਲਵੇ ॥੧੨੯॥
Do not utter even a single harsh word; your True Lord and Master abides in all. Do not break anyone’s heart; these are all priceless jewels. ||129||

ਸਭਨਾ ਮਨ ਮਾਣਿਕ ਠਾਹਣੁ ਮੂਲਿ ਮਚਾਂਗਵਾ ॥ ਜੇ ਤਉ ਪਿਰੀਆ ਦੀ ਸਿਕ ਹਿਆਉ ਨ ਠਾਹੇ ਕਹੀ ਦਾ ॥੧੩੦॥
The minds of all are like precious jewels; to harm them is not good at all. If you desire your Beloved, then do not break anyone’s heart. ||130||

Farid Ji was an extremely polite person who did not believe in Tit for Tat and even warns the writers as to how to behave before saying something to others in their writings. Fareed Ji was against any violence:-

– ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜੇ ਤੂ ਅਕਲਿ ਲਤੀਫੁ ਕਾਲੇ ਲਿਖੁ ਨ ਲੇਖ ॥ ਆਪਨੜੇ ਗਿਰੀਵਾਨ ਮਹਿ ਸਿਰੁ ਨੀਬ਼ਵਾਂ ਕਰਿ ਦੇਖੁ ॥੬॥ (Salok Baba Sheikh Farid,GGS. 1378-4).
Fareed, if you have a keen understanding, then do not write black marks against anyone else. Look underneath your own collar instead. ||6||

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜੋ ਤੈ ਮਾਰਨਿ ਮੁਕੀਆਂ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਨ ਮਾਰੇ ਘੁੰਮਿ ॥ਆਪਨੜੈ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਈਐ ਪੈਰ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਦੇ ਚੁੰਮਿ ॥੭॥
Fareed, do not turn around and strike those who strike you with their fists. Kiss their feet, and return to your own home. ||7||

Farid Ji advises us in his saloks against the use of slander language and wandering in jungle looking for Waheguru who resides in our hearts:-

– ਫਰੀਦਾ ਖਾਕੁ ਨ ਨਿੰਦੀਐ ਖਾਕੂ ਜੇਡੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਜੀਵਦਿਆ ਪੈਰਾ ਤਲੈ ਮੁਇਆ ਉਪਰਿ ਹੋਇ ॥੧੭॥Salok Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 1378-15).
Fareed, do not slander the dust; noting is as great as dust. When we are alive, it is under our feet, and when we are dead, it is above us. ||17|I
……
ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜੰਗਲੁ ਜੰਗਲੁ ਕਿਆ ਭਵਹਿ ਵਣਿ ਕੰਡਾ ਮੋੜੇਹਿ ॥ ਵਸੀ ਰਬੁ ਹਿਆਲੀਐ ਜੰਗਲੁ ਕਿਆ ਢੂਢੇਹਿ ॥੧੯॥
Fareed, why do you wander from jungle to jungle, crashing through the thorny trees? The Lord abides in the heart; why are you looking for Him in the jungle? ||19||

Farid was everready to meet Waheguru irrespective of any hurdles and that spirit he conveys in the following Salok:-

– ਫਰੀਦਾ ਗਲੀਏ ਚਿਕੜੁ ਦੂਰਿ ਘਰੁ ਨਾਲਿ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਨੇਹੁ ॥ ਚਲਾ ਤ ਭਿਜੈ ਕੰਬਲੀ ਰਹਾਂ ਤ ਤੁਟੈ ਨੇਹੁ ॥੨੪॥ Salok Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 1379-3).
Fareed, the path is muddy, and the house of my Beloved is so far away. If I go out, my blanket will get soaked, but if I remain at home, then my heart will be broken. ||24||

ਭਿਜਉ ਸਿਜਉ ਕੰਬਲੀ ਅਲਹ ਵਰਸਉ ਮੇਹੁ ॥ ਜਾਇ ਮਿਲਾ ਤਿਨਾ ਸਜਣਾ ਤੁਟਉ ਨਾਹੀ ਨੇਹੁ ॥੨੫॥
My blanket is soaked, drenched with the downpour of the Lord’s Rain. I am going out to meet my Friend, so that my heart will not be broken. ||25||

Fareed Ji was a votary of love for all irrespective of his/her worldly possessions and he advised that one should remain contented with his/her lot:-

– ਰੁਖੀ ਸੁਖੀ ਖਾਇ ਕੈ ਠੰਢਾ ਪਾਣੀ ਪੀਉ ॥ ਫਰੀਦਾ ਦੇਖਿ ਪਰਾਈ ਚੋਪੜੀ ਨਾ ਤਰਸਾਏ ਜੀਉ ॥੨੯॥ (Salok Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 1379-8)
Eat dry bread, and drink cold water. Fareed, if you see someone else’s buttered bread, do not envy him for it. ||29||

Fareed Ji was full of thirst for ‘Waheguru Milaap’ and this was the main theme of his Bani. He goes on to cautions us to utilise our time properly in advancing on the Spiritual Path:-

– ਬਿਰਹਾ ਬਿਰਹਾ ਆਖੀਐ ਬਿਰਹਾ ਤੂ ਸੁਲਤਾਨੁ ॥ ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜਿਤੁ ਤਨਿ ਬਿਰਹੁ ਨ ਊਪਜੈ ਸੋ ਤਨੁ ਜਾਣੁ ਮਸਾਨੁ ॥੩੬॥ Salok Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 1379-14).
Many talk of the pain and suffering of separation; O pain, you are the ruler of all. Fareed, that body, within which love of the Lord does not well up – look upon that body as a cremation ground. ||36||
………………
ਫਰੀਦਾ ਚਾਰਿ ਗਵਾਇਆ ਹੰਢਿ ਕੈ ਚਾਰਿ ਗਵਾਇਆ ਸੰਮਿ ॥ ਲੇਖਾ ਰਬੁ ਮੰਗੇਸੀਆ ਤੂ ਆਂਹੋ ਕੇਰ੍ਹੇ ਕੰਮਿ? ॥੩੮॥
Fareed, the hours of the day are lost wandering around, and the hours of the night are lost in sleep. God will call for your account, and ask you why you came into this world. ||38||

Fareed Ji gives his personal experience of his old age ; and of leaving behind all the possessions at the time of one’s death

– ਬੁਢਾ ਹੋਆ ਸੇਖ ਫਰੀਦੁ ਕੰਬਣਿ ਲਗੀ ਦੇਹ ॥ ਜੇ ਸਉ ਵਰ੍ਹ੍ਹਿਆ ਜੀਵਣਾ ਭੀ ਤਨੁ ਹੋਸੀ ਖੇਹ ॥੪੧॥ (Salok Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 1380-1).
Shaykh Fareed has grown old, and his body has begun to tremble. Even if he could live for hundreds of years, his body will eventually turn to dust. ||41||

– ਫਰੀਦਾ ਕੋਠੇ ਮੰਡਪ ਮਾੜੀਆ ਉਸਾਰੇਦੇ ਭੀ ਗਏ ॥ ਕੂੜਾ ਸਉਦਾ ਕਰਿ ਗਏ ਗੋਰੀ ਆਇ ਪਏ ॥੪੬॥ (Salok Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 1380-5).
Fareed, those who built houses, mansions and lofty buildings, are also gone. They made false deals, and were dropped into their graves. ||46||

Farid Ji stresses need for Nit-nem in prayers in order to meet with Waheguru. Farid Ji goes on to stress that the life time is running out fast. Farid Ji further cautions us by drawing our attention to remind us the episodes of passing away of our parents in old age:-

– ਆਪੁ ਸਵਾਰਹਿ ਮੈ ਮਿਲਹਿ ਮੈ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜੇ ਤੂ ਮੇਰਾ ਹੋਇ ਰਹਹਿ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਹੋਇ ॥੯੫॥ (Salok Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 1382-17).
God says, “”If you reform yourself, you shall meet me, and meeting me, you shall be at peace. O Fareed, if you will be mine, the whole world will be yours.””||95||

ਉਠੁ ਫਰੀਦਾ ਉਜੂ ਸਾਜਿ ਸੁਬਹ ਨਿਵਾਜ ਗੁਜਾਰਿ ॥ ਜੋ ਸਿਰੁ ਸਾਂਈ ਨਾ ਨਿਵੈ ਸੋ ਸਿਰੁ ਕਪਿ ਉਤਾਰਿ ॥੭੧॥(Salok Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 1381-13).
Rise up, Fareed, and cleanse yourself; chant your morning prayer. The head which does not bow to the Lord – chop off and remove that head. ||71||

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਕਿਥੈ ਤੈਡੇ ਮਾਪਿਆ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਤੂ ਜਣਿਓਹਿ ?॥ ਤੈ ਪਾਸਹੁ ਓਇ ਲਦਿ ਗਏ ਤੂੰ ਅਜੈ ਨ ਪਤੀਣੋਹਿ ॥੭੩॥
Fareed, where are your mother and father, who gave birth to you? They have left you, but even so, you are not convinced that you shall also have to go. ||73||

Farid Ji advises to resolve mental conflicts and avoid anger in order to keep healthy:-

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਮਨੁ ਮੈਦਾਨੁ ਕਰਿ ਟੋਏ ਟਿਬੇ ਲਾਹਿ ॥ ਅਗੈ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਆਵਸੀ ਦੋਜਕ ਸੰਦੀ ਭਾਹਿ ॥੭੪॥Salok Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 1381-16).
Fareed, flatten out your mind; smooth out the hills and valleys. Hereafter, the fires of hell shall not even approach you. ||74||

– ਫਰੀਦਾ ਬੁਰੇ ਦਾ ਭਲਾ ਕਰਿ ਗੁਸਾ ਮਨਿ ਨ ਹਢਾਇ ॥ ਦੇਹੀ ਰੋਗੁ ਨ ਲਗਈ ਪਲੈ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਪਾਇ ॥੭੮॥ (Salok Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 1382-1).
Fareed, answer evil with goodness; do not fill your mind with anger. Your body shall not suffer from any disease, and you shall obtain everything. ||78||

Farid Ji advises us to rise up early in the morning (amrit Vela) to do nit-nem and contemplate on Gurmat in line with the advice of Guru Nanak Sahib in Japji Sahib:-

– ਫਰੀਦਾ ਪਿਛਲ ਰਾਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਗਿਓਹਿ ਜੀਵਦੜੋ ਮੁਇਓਹਿ ॥ Salok Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 1383-15).
Fareed, if you do not awaken in the early hours before dawn, you are dead while yet alive.

– ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਵੇਲਾ ਸਚੁ ਨਾਉ ਵਡਿਆਈ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ (Guru Nanak Dev, GGS. 2-5).
In the Amrit Vaylaa, the ambrosial hours before dawn, chant the True Name, and contemplate His Glorious Greatness.

Farid Ji supports us to live in the Will of Waheguru as per the Gurmat message of Guru Nanak Sahib – “ਹੁਕਮਿ ਰਜਾਈ ਚਲਣਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ” ॥੧॥ (Guru Nanak Dev, GGS. 1-17).
O Nanak, it is written that you shall obey the Hukam of His Command, and walk in the Way of His Will. ||1||

– ਫਰੀਦਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਸੁਖੁ ਇਕੁ ਕਰਿ ਦਿਲ ਤੇ ਲਾਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰੁ ॥ ਅਲਹ ਭਾਵੈ ਸੋ ਭਲਾ ਤਾਂ ਲਭੀ ਦਰਬਾਰੁ ॥੧੦੯॥(Salok Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 1383-17).
Fareed, look upon pleasure and pain as the same; eradicate corruption from your heart. Whatever pleases the Lord God is good; understand this, and you will reach His Court. ||109||

– ਹਉ ਢੂਢੇਦੀ ਸਜਣਾ ਸਜਣੁ ਮੈਡੇ ਨਾਲਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਲਖੁ ਨ ਲਖੀਐ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਦੇਇ ਦਿਖਾਲਿ ॥੧੨੧॥ (Salok Baba Sheikh Farid, GGS. 1384-10).
I search for my Friend, but my Friend is already with me. O Nanak, the Unseen Lord cannot be seen; He is revealed only to the Gurmukh. ||121||

Kirpal Singh

Wellington, New Zealand

kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

Glimpses of Spiritual Elevation of Bhagat Ravidas Ji

Guru Granth Sahib contains Bani of 15 Bhagats including that of Bhagat Ravidas Ji, whose contribution stands at 40 sbads in 16 Raags. Bhagat Ravidas was born in 1376 around Banaras in UP, India and passed away in 1527. Bhagat was a disciple of Sant Ramanand Ji and a cobbler by profession and was contemporary of Bhagat Kabir Ji.

He was a hardworking and honest man and always willing to help needy through his meagre earnings as a shoe-mender. He had had total faith in One Waheguru and did not believe in empty rituals. He denounced prevailing discrimination based on caste and creed system. He stressed on Sadh-sangat and Sat-sangat. He was a Brahm-giani and yet a very humble who repeatedly claimed in his writings of his low caste and profession. He never boasted about his scholarship and always attributed due to grace (Mehar) of Waheguru obtained through Ardas to Him.

While he was a very humble about his lowly background but at the same time he was a staunch devotee of Waheguru. According to Bhagat Ji no one is high or low. Anyone who walks on the devotional path can gain spiritual heights:-

– ਮੇਰੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਕੁਟ ਬਾਂਢਲਾ ਢੋਰ ਢੋਵੰਤਾ ਨਿਤਹਿ ਬਾਨਾਰਸੀ ਆਸ ਪਾਸਾ ॥(Raag Malar Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 1293-6).
It is my occupation to prepare and cut leather; each day, I carry the carcasses out of the city.

ਅਬ ਬਿਪ੍ਰ ਪਰਧਾਨ ਤਿਹਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਡੰਡਉਤਿ ਤੇਰੇ ਨਾਮ ਸਰਣਾਇ ਰਵਿਦਾਸੁ ਦਾਸਾ ॥੩॥੧॥
Now, the important Brahmins of the city bow down before me; Ravi Daas, Your slave, seeks the Sanctuary of Your Name. ||3||1||

Guru Ram Das Ji captures the spiritual elevation of Bhagat Ravidas on account of his devotion to Waheguru:-

ਰਵਿਦਾਸੁ ਚਮਾਰੁ ਉਸਤਤਿ ਕਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਨਿਮਖ ਇਕ ਗਾਇ ॥ (Raag Suhi M. 4, GGS. 733-9).
Ravi Daas, the leather-worker, praised the Lord, and sang the Kirtan of His Praises each and every instant.

ਪਤਿਤ ਜਾਤਿ ਉਤਮੁ ਭਇਆ ਚਾਰਿ ਵਰਨ ਪਏ ਪਗਿ ਆਇ ॥੨॥
Although he was of low social status, he was exalted and elevated, and people of all four castes came and bowed at his feet. ||2||

Bhagat Ji himself admits that his spiritual emancipation was through Waheguru Naam Japna followed by Liv in Waheguru Naam, which he claims is higher than the acquired knowledge from all Holy Books. Bhagat Ji on achieving a close intimacy with Waheguru goes on to challenge the Redeemer role of Waheguru:-

ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨ ਜਪਹਿ ਰਸਨਾ ॥ ਅਵਰ ਸਭ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਬਚਨ ਰਚਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (Raag Sorath Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 658-14).
You do not chant with your tongue the Name of the Lord, Har, Har, Har. Abandon your involvement in all other words. ||1||Pause||

ਨਾਨਾ ਖਿਆਨ ਪੁਰਾਨ ਬੇਦ ਬਿਧਿ ਚਉਤੀਸ ਅਖਰ ਮਾਂਹੀ ॥ ਬਿਆਸ ਬਿਚਾਰਿ ਕਹਿਓ ਪਰਮਾਰਥੁ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਸਰਿ ਨਾਹੀ ॥੨॥
The various Shaastras, Puranaas, and the Vedas of Brahma, are made up of thirty-four letters. After deep contemplation, Vyaas spoke of the supreme objective; there is nothing equal to the Lord’s Name. ||2||

ਸਹਜ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਉਪਾਧਿ ਰਹਤ ਫੁਨਿ ਬਡੈ ਭਾਗਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਗੀ ॥ ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਧਰਿ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਭੈ ਭਾਗੀ ॥੩॥੪॥
Very fortunate are those who are absorbed in celestial bliss, and released from their entanglements; they are lovingly attached to the Lord. Says Ravi Daas, enshrine the Lord’s Light within your heart, and your fear of birth and death shall run away from you. ||3||4||

– ਤੋਹੀ ਮੋਹੀ ਮੋਹੀ ਤੋਹੀ ਅੰਤਰੁ ਕੈਸਾ ॥ ਕਨਕ ਕਟਿਕ ਜਲ ਤਰੰਗ ਜੈਸਾ ॥੧॥ (Sri Raag Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 93-15).
You are me, and I am You-what is the difference between us. We are like gold and the bracelet, or water and the waves. ||1||

ਜਉ ਪੈ ਹਮ ਨ ਪਾਪ ਕਰੰਤਾ ਅਹੇ ਅਨੰਤਾ ॥ ਪਤਿਤ ਪਾਵਨ ਨਾਮੁ ਕੈਸੇ ਹੁੰਤਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
If I did not commit any sins, O Infinite Lord, How would You have acquired the name, ‘Redeemer of sinners’? ||1||Pause||

Bhagat Ravidas Ji considers Waheguru Naam as the Shiromani act for one’s salvation by giving spiritual elevation of Bhagat Kabir Ji and Bhagat Nam Dev Ji:-

– ਨਾਮੁ ਤੇਰੋ ਆਰਤੀ ਮਜਨੁ ਮੁਰਾਰੇ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨੁ ਝੂਠੇ ਸਗਲ ਪਾਸਾਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (Raag Dhanaasree Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 694-13).
Your Name, Lord, is my adoration and cleansing bath. Without the Name of the Lord, all ostentatious displays are useless. ||1||Pause||

– ਰਵਿਦਾਸੁ ਜਪੈ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮਾ ॥ ਮੋਹਿ ਜਮ ਸਿਉ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਾਮਾ ॥੩॥੭॥ (Raag Sorath Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 659-9).
Ravi Daas chants the Lord’s Name; He is not concerned with the Messenger of Death. ||3||7||

– ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰੇ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਜਨ ਗਏ ਨਿਸਤਰਿ ਤਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ( Raag Asa Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 487-2)
The Lord, Har, Har, Har, Har, Har, Har, Haray. Meditating on the Lord, the humble are carried across to salvation. ||1||Pause||

ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਕਬੀਰ ਉਜਾਗਰ ॥ ਜਨਮ ਜਨਮ ਕੇ ਕਾਟੇ ਕਾਗਰ ॥੧॥
Through the Lord’s Name, Kabeer became famous and respected. The accounts of his past incarnations were torn up. ||1||

ਨਿਮਤ ਨਾਮਦੇਉ ਦੂਧੁ ਪੀਆਇਆ ॥ ਤਉ ਜਗ ਜਨਮ ਸੰਕਟ ਨਹੀ ਆਇਆ ॥੨॥
Because of Naam Dayv’s devotion, the Lord drank the milk he offered. He shall not have to suffer the pains of reincarnation into the world again. ||2||

ਜਨ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਰਾਮ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਾਤਾ ॥ ਇਉ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਨਰਕ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਤਾ ॥੩॥੫॥
Servant Ravi Daas is imbued with the Lord’s Love. By Guru’s Grace, he shall not have to go to hell. ||3||5||

The above claim of Naam by Bhagat Ravidas Ji is also substantiated by Guru Nanak Sahib, Guru Amar Das Ji, Guru Ram Das Ji, Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Guru Teg Bahadur Ji and Bhagat Kabir Ji:-

1. ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਜਗੁ ਧੰਧਾ ॥ (Raag Asa M. 1, 358-2).
Without the Name of the Lord, the world is in turmoil.

2. ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨੁ ਦਰਗਹ ਮਿਲੈ ਸਜਾਇ ॥੧੨॥ (Raag Bhaira-o M. 3, GGS. 1155-2).
Without the Name of the Lord, the mortals are punished in His Court. ||12||

3. ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਸੁੰਦਰਿ ਹੈ ਨਕਟੀ ॥ (Raag Dev Gandhaaree M. 4, GGS. 528-7).
Without the Name of the Lord, the beautiful are just like the noseless ones.

4. ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਸਭ ਝੂਠੁ ॥ (Raag Bhaira-o M. 5, GGS. 1151-12).
Without the Name of the Lord, everything is false.

5. ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਵੈ ॥ (Raag Bilaaval M. 9, GGS. 830-18).
Without the Name of the Lord, you shall only find pain.

6. ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨੁ ਕਿਨਿ ਗਤਿ ਪਾਈ ਕਹਿ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਕਬੀਰਾ ॥੪॥੧॥ (Raag Sorath Bhagat Kabir, GGS. 654-9).
Without the Name of the Lord, who can find salvation? Kabeer speaks the Teachings. ||4||1||

7. Guru Arjan Dev Ji lends support and further substantiates the significance of Naam in Sukhmani Sahib:-

ਬਹੁ ਸਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਬਹੁ ਸਿਮ੍ਰਿਤੀ ਪੇਖੇ ਸਰਬ ਢਢੋਲਿ ॥ ਪੂਜਸਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਹਰਿ ਹਰੇ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮ ਅਮੋਲ ॥੧॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 265-9).
The many Shaastras and the many Simritees – I have seen and searched through them all. They are not equal to Har, Haray – O Nanak, the Lord’s Invaluable Name. ||1||

Bhagat Ravidas Ji exhibits in his Bani his total faith and trust in Waheguru and traces his spiritual growth as well as those of some other Bhagats through Divine blessings:-

– ਸਾਚੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਹਮ ਤੁਮ ਸਿਉ ਜੋਰੀ ॥ ਤੁਮ ਸਿਉ ਜੋਰਿ ਅਵਰ ਸੰਗਿ ਤੋਰੀ ॥੩॥ (Raag Sorath Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 659-1).
I am joined in true love with You, Lord. I am joined with You, and I have broken with all others. ||3||

ਜਹ ਜਹ ਜਾਉ ਤਹਾ ਤੇਰੀ ਸੇਵਾ ॥ ਤੁਮ ਸੋ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਅਉਰੁ ਨ ਦੇਵਾ ॥੪॥
Wherever I go, there I serve You. There is no other Lord Master than You, O Divine Lord. ||4||

ਤੁਮਰੇ ਭਜਨ ਕਟਹਿ ਜਮ ਫਾਂਸਾ ॥ ਭਗਤਿ ਹੇਤ ਗਾਵੈ ਰਵਿਦਾਸਾ ॥੫॥੫॥
Meditating, vibrating upon You, the noose of death is cut away.To attain devotional worship, Ravi Daas sings to You, Lord. ||5||5||

– ਐਸੀ ਲਾਲ ਤੁਝ ਬਿਨੁ ਕਉਨੁ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਗਰੀਬ ਨਿਵਾਜੁ ਗੁਸਈਆ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਾਥੈ ਛਤ੍ਰੁ ਧਰੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (Raag Maaroo Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 1106-12).
O Love, who else but You could do such a thing? O Patron of the poor, Lord of the World, You have put the canopy of Your Grace over my head. ||1||Pause||

ਜਾ ਕੀ ਛੋਤਿ ਜਗਤ ਕਉ ਲਾਗੈ ਤਾ ਪਰ ਤੁਹੀਬ਼ ਢਰੈ ॥ ਨੀਚਹ ਊਚ ਕਰੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਕਾਹੂ ਤੇ ਨ ਡਰੈ ॥੧॥
Only You can grant Mercy to that person whose touch pollutes the world. You exalt and elevate the lowly, O my Lord of the Universe; You are not afraid of anyone. ||1||

ਨਾਮਦੇਵ ਕਬੀਰੁ ਤਿਲੋਚਨੁ ਸਧਨਾ ਸੈਨੁ ਤਰੈ ॥ ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸੁ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਰੇ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਤੇ ਸਭੈ ਸਰੈ ॥੨॥੧॥
Naam Dayv, Kabeer, Trilochan, Sadhana and Sain crossed over. Says Ravi Daas, listen, O Saints, through the Dear Lord, all is accomplished. ||2||1||

Bhagat Ravidas Ji further concludes that by meditating on Waheguru Naam one gets emancipation irrespective of the past deeds and actions:-

ਹਮਨ ਬੈਸ ਸੂਦ ਅਰੁ ਖ੍ਯ੍ਯਤ੍ਰੀ ਡੋਮ ਚੰਡਾਰ ਮਲੇਛ ਮਨ ਸੋਇ ॥ Raag Bilaaval Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 858-8).
Whether he is a Brahmin, a Vaishya, a Soodra, or a Kh’shaatriya; whether he is a poet, an outcaste, or a filthy-minded person,

ਹੋਇ ਪੁਨੀਤ ਭਗਵੰਤ ਭਜਨ ਤੇ ਆਪੁ ਤਾਰਿ ਤਾਰੇ ਕੁਲ ਦੋਇ ॥੧॥
He becomes pure, by meditating on the Lord God. He saves himself, and the families of both his parents. ||1||

Once Bhagat Ravidas Ji’s spiritual height reached at the level of an intimate love and romance (ik-mik/rangrattra) with Waheguru, he felt liberated and he saw Waheguru everywhere; and not only easily accessible but handy all the time:-

– ਸਰਬੇ ਏਕੁ ਅਨੇਕੈ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਸਭ ਘਟ ਭਦ਼ਗਵੈ ਸੋਈ ॥ ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਹਾਥ ਪੈ ਨੇਰੈ ਸਹਜੇ ਹੋਇ ਸੁ ਹੋਈ ॥੪॥੧॥ (Raag Sorath Bhagat Ravidas, GGS, 658-2).
The One Lord is pervading the many forms; He enjoys Himself in all hearts. Says Ravi Daas, the Lord is nearer than our own hands and feet. Whatever will be, will be. ||4||1||

ਜਉ ਹਮ ਬਾਂਧੇ ਮੋਹ ਫਾਸ ਹਮ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਬਧਨਿ ਤੁਮ ਬਾਧੇ ॥ ਅਪਨੇ ਛੂਟਨ ਕੋ ਜਤਨੁ ਕਰਹੁ ਹਮ ਛੂਟੇ ਤੁਮ ਆਰਾਧੇ ॥੧॥
If I am bound by the noose of emotional attachment, then I shall bind You, Lord, with the bonds of love.
Go ahead and try to escape, Lord; I have escaped by worshipping and adoring You. ||1||

ਮਾਧਵੇ ਜਾਨਤ ਹਹੁ ਜੈਸੀ ਤੈਸੀ ॥ ਅਬ ਕਹਾ ਕਰਹੁਗੇ ਐਸੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
O Lord, You know my love for You. Now, what will You do? ||1||Pause||
……………….
ਆਪਨ ਬਾਪੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਿਸੀ ਕੋ ਭਾਵਨ ਕੋ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਜਾ ॥ ਮੋਹ ਪਟਲ ਸਭੁ ਜਗਤੁ ਬਿਆਪਿਓ ਭਗਤ ਨਹੀ ਸੰਤਾਪਾ ॥੩॥ Raag Sorath Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 658-6).
The Lord, our King, is father to no one, except those who love Him. The veil of emotional attachment has been cast over the entire world, but it does not bother the Lord’s devotee. ||3||

Bhagat Ravidas developed a strong and unbreakable bondage with Waheguru as described by him in his Bani:-

ਜਉ ਤੁਮ ਗਿਰਿਵਰ ਤਉ ਹਮ ਮੋਰਾ ॥ ਜਉ ਤੁਮ ਚੰਦ ਤਉ ਹਮ ਭਏ ਹੈ ਚਕੋਰਾ ॥੧॥(Raag Sorath Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 658-17).
If You are the mountain, Lord, then I am the peacock. If You are the moon, then I am the partridge in love with it. ||1||

ਮਾਧਵੇ ਤੁਮ ਨ ਤੋਰਹੁ ਤਉ ਹਮ ਨਹੀ ਤੋਰਹਿ ॥ ਤੁਮ ਸਿਉ ਤੋਰਿ ਕਵਨ ਸਿਉ ਜੋਰਹਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
O Lord, if You will not break with me, then I will not break with You. For, if I were to break with You, with whom would I then join? ||1||Pause||

ਜਉ ਤੁਮ ਦੀਵਰਾ ਤਉ ਹਮ ਬਾਤੀ ॥ ਜਉ ਤੁਮ ਤੀਰਥ ਤਉ ਹਮ ਜਾਤੀ ॥੨॥
If You are the lamp, then I am the wick. If You are the sacred place of pilgrimage, then I am the pilgrim. ||2||

Bhagat Ravidas Ji in his emancipated state brought a new social awakening by putting forward a model of an ‘Ideal City’ (Baygumpura) for living a peaceful life while enjoying equality and freedom to move about with stricted borders:-

ਬੇਗਮ ਪੁਰਾ ਸਹਰ ਕੋ ਨਾਉ ॥ ਦੂਖੁ ਅੰਦੋਹੁ ਨਹੀ ਤਿਹਿ ਠਾਉ ॥ (Raag Gauri Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 345-12).
Baygumpura, ‘the city without sorrow’, is the name of the town. There is no suffering or anxiety there.

ਨਾਂ ਤਸਵੀਸ ਖਿਰਾਜੁ ਨ ਮਾਲੁ ॥ ਖਉਫੁ ਨ ਖਤਾ ਨ ਤਰਸੁ ਜਵਾਲੁ ॥੧॥
There are no troubles or taxes on commodities there. There is no fear, blemish or downfall there. ||1||

ਅਬ ਮੋਹਿ ਖੂਬ ਵਤਨ ਗਹ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਊਹਾਂ ਖੈਰਿ ਸਦਾ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Now, I have found this most excellent city. There is lasting peace and safety there, O Siblings of Destiny. ||1||Pause||

ਕਾਇਮੁ ਦਾਇਮੁ ਸਦਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੀ ॥ ਦੋਮ ਨ ਸੇਮ ਏਕ ਸੋ ਆਹੀ ॥
God’s Kingdom is steady, stable and eternal. There is no second or third status; all are equal there.

ਆਬਾਦਾਨੁ ਸਦਾ ਮਸਹੂਰ ॥ ਊਹਾਂ ਗਨੀ ਬਸਹਿ ਮਾਮੂਰ ॥੨॥
That city is populous and eternally famous. Those who live there are wealthy and contented. ||2|

ਤਿਉ ਤਿਉ ਸੈਲ ਕਰਹਿ ਜਿਉ ਭਾਵੈ ॥ ਮਹਰਮ ਮਹਲ ਨ ਕੋ ਅਟਕਾਵੈ ॥
They stroll about freely, just as they please. They know the Mansion of the Lord’s Presence, and no one blocks their way.

ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਖਲਾਸ ਚਮਾਰਾ ॥ ਜੋ ਹਮ ਸਹਰੀ ਸੁ ਮੀਤੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ॥੩॥੨॥
Says Ravi Daas, the emancipated shoe-maker: Whoever is a citizen there, is a friend of mine. ||3||2||

Bhagat Ji cautions us of our true cause of coming to existence but we waste our precious time in meaningless possessions and rituals:-

ਜਲ ਕੀ ਭੀਤਿ ਪਵਨ ਕਾ ਥੰਭਾ ਰਕਤ ਬੁੰਦ ਕਾ ਗਾਰਾ II Raag Sorath Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 659-3).
The body is a wall of water, supported by the pillars of air; the egg and sperm are the mortar.

ਹਾਡ ਮਾਸ ਨਾੜੀਬ਼ ਕੋ ਪਿੰਜਰੁ ਪੰਖੀ ਬਸੈ ਬਿਚਾਰਾ ॥੧॥
The framework is made up of bones, flesh and veins; the poor soul-bird dwells within it. ||1||

ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਕਿਆ ਮੇਰਾ ਕਿਆ ਤੇਰਾ ॥ ਜੈਸੇ ਤਰਵਰ ਪੰਖਿ ਬਸੇਰਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
O mortal, what is mine, and what is yours? The soul is like a bird perched upon a tree. ||1||Pause||

ਰਾਖਹੁ ਕੰਧ ਉਸਾਰਹੁ ਨੀਵਾਂ ॥ ਸਾਢੇ ਤੀਨਿ ਹਾਥ ਤੇਰੀ ਸੀਵਾਂ ॥੨॥
You lay the foundation and build the walls. But in the end, three and a half cubits will be your measured space. ||2||

ਬੰਕੇ ਬਾਲ ਪਾਗ ਸਿਰਿ ਡੇਰੀ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਤਨੁ ਹੋਇਗੋ ਭਸਮ ਕੀ ਢੇਰੀ ॥੩॥
You make your hair beautiful, and wear a stylish turban on your head. But in the end, this body shall be reduced to a pile of ashes. ||3||

ਊਚੇ ਮੰਦਰ ਸੁੰਦਰ ਨਾਰੀ ॥ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨੁ ਬਾਜੀ ਹਾਰੀ ॥੪॥
Your palaces are lofty, and your brides are beautiful. But without the Lord’s Name, you shall lose the game entirely. ||4||

ਮੇਰੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਕਮੀਨੀ ਪਾਂਤਿ ਕਮੀਨੀ ਓਛਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ॥ ਤੁਮ ਸਰਨਾਗਤਿ ਰਾਜਾ ਰਾਮ ਚੰਦ ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਚਮਾਰਾ ॥੫॥੬॥
My social status is low, my ancestry is low, and my life is wretched. I have come to Your Sanctuary, O Luminous Lord, my King; so says Ravi Daas, the shoemaker. ||5||6||

Bhagat Ravidas Ji beautifully sums up about our ignorance regarding reality of our existence simply as puppets in play in the hands of Waheguru:-

ਮਾਟੀ ਕੋ ਪੁਤਰਾ ਕੈਸੇ ਨਚਤੁ ਹੈ ॥ ਦੇਖੈ ਦੇਖੈ ਸੁਨੈ ਬੋਲੈ ਦਉਰਿਓ ਫਿਰਤੁ ਹੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥Raag Asa Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 487-5).
How does the puppet of clay dance? He looks and listens, hears and speaks, and runs around. ||1||Pause||

ਜਬ ਕਛੁ ਪਾਵੈ ਤਬ ਗਰਬੁ ਕਰਤੁ ਹੈ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਗਈ ਤਬ ਰੋਵਨੁ ਲਗਤੁ ਹੈ ॥੧॥
When he acquires something, he is inflated with ego. But when his wealth is gone, then he cries and bewails. ||1||

ਮਨ ਬਚ ਕ੍ਰਮ ਰਸ ਕਸਹਿ ਲੁਭਾਨਾ ॥ ਬਿਨਸਿ ਗਇਆ ਜਾਇ ਕਹੂੰ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥੨॥
In thought, word and deed, he is attached to the sweet and tangy flavors.When he dies, no one knows where he has gone. ||2||

ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਬਾਜੀ ਜਗੁ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਬਾਜੀਗਰ ਸਉ ਮਦ਼ਹਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਬਨਿ ਆਈ ॥੩॥੬॥
Says Ravi Daas, the world is just a dramatic play, O Siblings of Destiny. I have enshrined love for the Lord, the star of the show. ||3||6||

Bhagat Ravidas Ji was always humble and in prayer mode to ask the Compassionate Waheguru about his heartfelt desire to remain in His sanctuary:-

ਹਮ ਸਰਿ ਦੀਨੁ ਦਇਆਲੁ ਨ ਤੁਮ ਸਰਿ ਅਬ ਪਤੀਆਰੁ ਕਿਆ ਕੀਜੈ ॥ (Raag Dhanaasree Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 694-7).
There is none as forlorn as I am, and none as Compassionate as You; what need is there to test us now?

ਬਚਨੀ ਤੋਰ ਮੋਰ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨੈ ਜਨ ਕਉ ਪੂਰਨੁ ਦੀਜੈ ॥੧॥
May my mind surrender to Your Word; please, bless Your humble servant with this perfection. ||1||

ਹਉ ਬਲਿ ਬਲਿ ਜਾਉ ਰਮਈਆ ਕਾਰਨੇ ॥ ਕਾਰਨ ਕਵਨ ਅਬੋਲ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
I am a sacrifice, a sacrifice to the Lord. O Lord, why are You silent? ||Pause||

ਬਹੁਤ ਜਨਮ ਬਿਛੁਰੇ ਥੇ ਮਾਧਉ ਇਹੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਰੇ ਲੇਖੇ ॥
For so many incarnations, I have been separated from You, Lord; I dedicate this life to You.

ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਆਸ ਲਗਿ ਜੀਵਉ ਚਿਰ ਭਇਓ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਦੇਖੇ ॥੨॥੧॥
Says Ravi Daas: placing my hopes in You, I live; it is so long since I have gazed upon the Blessed Vision of Your Darshan. ||2||1||

ਚਿਤ ਸਿਮਰਨੁ ਕਰਉ ਨੈਨ ਅਵਿਲੋਕਨੋ ਸ੍ਰਵਨ ਬਾਨੀ ਸੁਜਸੁ ਪੂਰਿ ਰਾਖਉ ॥
In my consciousness, I remember You in meditation; with my eyes, I behold You; I fill my ears with the Word of Your Bani, and Your Sublime Praise.

ਮਨੁ ਸੁ ਮਧੁਕਰੁ ਕਰਉ ਚਰਨ ਹਿਰਦੇ ਧਰਉ ਰਸਨ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਭਾਖਉ ॥੧॥
My mind is the bumble bee; I enshrine Your feet within my heart, and with my tongue, I chant the Ambrosial Name of the Lord. ||1||

ਮੇਰੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿਉ ਜਿਨਿ ਘਟੈ ॥ ਮੈ ਤਉ ਮੋਲਿ ਮਹਗੀ ਲਈ ਜੀਅ ਸਟੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
My love for the Lord of the Universe does not decrease. I paid for it dearly, in exchange for my soul. ||1||Pause||

ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਬਿਨਾ ਭਾਉ ਨਹੀ ਊਪਜੈ ਭਾਵ ਬਿਨੁ ਭਗਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਹੋਇ ਤੇਰੀ ॥
Without the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, love for the Lord does not well up; without this love, Your devotional worship cannot be performed.

ਕਹੈ ਰਵਿਦਾਸੁ ਇਕ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਉ ਪੈਜ ਰਾਖਹੁ ਰਾਜਾ ਰਾਮ ਮੇਰੀ ॥੨॥੨॥
Ravi Daas offers this one prayer unto the Lord: please preserve and protect my honor, O Lord, my King. ||2||2||

Guru Amar Das Ji proclaims and confirms that the Bhagats of the like of Bhagat Ravidas Ji are unique and do exist in all Ages. They are detached from Maya and ego and always remain engrossed in Naam and Divine devotion/Bhagati:-

ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਜਿਨੀ ਆਪੁ ਤਜਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਵਾਸਨਾ ਸਮਾਣੀ ॥ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਚਾਲ ਭਗਤਾ ਜੁਗਹੁ ਜੁਗੁ ਨਿਰਾਲੀ ॥੧੪॥ (Raag Raamkali M. 3, GGS. 919-1).
By Guru’s Grace, they shed their selfishness and conceit; their hopes are merged in the Lord. Says Nanak, the lifestyle of the devotees, in each and every age, is unique and distinct. ||14||

Guru Nanak Sahib unreservedly admits that the Bhagats are always in bliss:-

ਨਾਨਕ ਭਗਤਾ ਸਦਾ ਵਿਗਾਸੁ ॥ (Jap, Guru Nanak Dev, GGS. 3-2; repeated four times).
O Nanak, the devotees are forever in bliss.
Kirpal Singh

Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

Story of Draupadi

My knowledge of Hinduism is limited to discourses on Gita Ji (by Mahatma Gandhi and K M Munshi) and some writings of Dr. Radhakrishnan. However as a Sikh I came across the best of Hinduism in a single story of Draupadi – a story of humility and Devotion to her Guru (Sri Krishna).

The story goes on to tell that when Draupadi was being undressed in the presence of her kiths and kins (Koravs and Pandavs), she prayed to Sri Krishna (her beloved God/Guru) for her protection, as a last resort. However, during her prayers she kept covering her naked body with her stretched hands to avoid humiliation. Her prayer was answered only when she surrendered completely and raised her hands. This was a moment when her mind was empty of any other support but was praying with humility and devotion – the God’s grace came to her to cover her naked body.

The episode surrounding Dropadi finds place in GGS as well and offers a lesson of humility and devotion prescribed equally in the Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism……

ਪੰਚਾਲੀ ਕਉ ਰਾਜ ਸਭਾ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਸੁਧਿ ਆਈ ॥ (ਤਾ ਕੋ ਦੂਖੁ ਹਰਿਓ ਕਰੁਣਾ ਮੈ ਅਪਨੀ ਪੈਜ ਬਢਾਈ ॥੧॥ Raag Maroo M. 9, GGS 1008))
Dropadi the princess of Panchaala remembered the Lord’s Name in the royal court.
The Lord, the embodiment of mercy, removed her suffering; thus His own glory was increased. ||1|| The Lord, the embodiment of mercy, removed her suffering; thus His own glory was increased. ||1||

Guru Arjan Ji – As a researcher, supervisor and editor of Guru Granth Sahib Guru Sahib reviewed various religious writings and granths, which were respected by other seers to guides us effectively about the importance of Naam and prayer to Waheguru in the Sukhmani Sahib:

ਬਹੁ ਸਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਬਹੁ ਸਿਮ੍ਰਿਤੀ ਪੇਖੇ ਸਰਬ ਢਢੋਲਿ ॥ ਪੂਜਸਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਹਰਿ ਹਰੇ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮ ਅਮੋਲ ॥੧॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS 265).
The many Shaastras and the many Simritees – I have seen and searched through them all.
They are not equal to Har, Haray – O Nanak, the Lord’s Invaluable Name. ||1||

Kabir Ji adds further to the importance of prayer in GGS:-

ਕਬੀਰ ਕਾਮ ਪਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰੀਐ ਐਸਾ ਸਿਮਰਹੁ ਨਿਤ ॥ (Salok Kabir Ji, GGS, 1373).
Kabeer, you remember the Lord in meditation, only when the need arises. You should remember Him all the time.

GGS Sahib talks about the state of mind of an individual who can possibly have necessary sahaj and anand to access Waheguru.

ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਮਿਲਿਓ ਸੁਖ ਬਾਲੇ ਭੋਲੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (Raag Kaanrhaa M.5, GGS 1307)
I have met God through innocent faith, and He has blessed me with peace. ||1||Pause||

Bal awastha – the awastha in which one is totally empty and innocent like a child. This moment is necessary to be One-with-Waheguru.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji reinforces this further by saying that one who single minded (with absolute humility and devotion) remembers Waheguru even for a second (or for less than that?) gets salvation:

ਸਭ ਕੋ ਕਾਲ ਸਭਨ ਕੋ ਕਰਤਾ ॥ ਰੋਗ ਸੋਗ ਦੋਖਨ ਕੋ ਹਰਤਾ ॥ (Dasam Granth, 36).
He is the Destroyer of all and Creator of all. He is the Remover of maladies, sufferings and blemishes.
ਏਕ ਚਿੱਤ ਜਿਹ ਇਕ ਛਿਨ ਧਿਆਇਓ ॥ ਕਾਲ ਫਾਸ ਕੇ ਬੀਚ ਨ ਆਇਓ ॥੧੦॥
He Who meditates upon Him with single mind even for an instant; He does not come within the trap of death. 10.

On the contrary in our daily life when someone in our family gets terribly sick, we go for Akand- or Sahaj -Path (by paid granthis) at home or in a Guruduara to seek Waheguru’s Divine intervention for the well-being of our sick relative. A gala ceremony is held to mark Bhog followed by paid-Ardas by the Bhai Ji. Rumalas and cash and kind are offered and the function completes with refreshments or even lunch/dinner (called langr). During social gathering followed by the Ardas, normally the guests comment before leaving that we hope that your such and such will soon be fine. The host answers ” we are doing our best to get the best treatment from the reputed doctors and we shall wait for the various tests of analysis etc. Obviously the faith is still in doctors in spite of mass prayers held a little while ago. How difficult is to put full faith in our prayers like Draupadi.

There are stories of faith, humility and devotion to Parmatama of other Bhagats including young Bhagat Prahlad mentioned in GGS – for us to take a lead from.

May Waheguru give us required humility and devotion.

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

Divine Nadr vs Ego

In Sikhi Spiritual Marg there is a crucial factor of nadr/kirpa. We cannot demand but pray to Waheguru to attract HIS attention:-

Guru Arjan Dev Ji emphatically supports the concept of nadr/kirpa:-

ਬਾਹ ਪਕੜਿ ਗੁਰਿ ਕਾਢਿਆ ਸੋਈ ਉਤਰਿਆ ਪਾਰਿ ॥੩॥ (Raag Sri Raag M. 5, GGS. 44).
Whom the Guru takes out, seizing by the arm he crosses the (Sea of Life).

With HIS nadr/kipa wonderous things can happen. Spiritual Exaltation by Guru Angad Ji in Raag Majh is self explanatory

ਅਖੀ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਵੇਖਣਾ ਵਿਣੁ ਕੰਨਾ ਸੁਨਣਾ ॥ ਪੈਰਾ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਚਲਣਾ ਵਿਣੁ ਹਥਾ ਕਰਣਾ ॥ (Raag Majh M. 2, GGS. 139).
ਜੀਭੈ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਬੋਲਣਾ ਇਉ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰਣਾ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਪਛਾਣਿ ਕੈ ਤਉ ਖਸਮੈ ਮਿਲਣਾ ॥੧॥

To see without eyes; to hear without ears; to walk without feet; to work without hands; to speak without a tongue-like this, one remains dead while yet alive. O Nanak, recognize the Hukam of Akal Purkh’s Command, and merge with your God and Master. ||1||

Guru Angad Dev Ji gives the advice about the understanding and singing of greatness of the Great Lord.

ਵਡਿਆਈ ਵਡਾ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੭॥ (Raag Asa M. 2, GGS. 467-3).
By singing His greatness, the Great Lord/Waheguru is obtained. ||7||

Guru Nanak Dev Ji clarifies in clear terms:-

– ਤੁਮ ਗਾਵਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਕਾ ਸੋਹਿਲਾ ॥ ਹਉ ਵਾਰੀ ਜਿਤੁ ਸੋਹਿਲੈ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (Sohila Gauri M. 1, GGS. 12-12 & 157).
Sing the Songs of Praise of my Fearless Lord. I am a sacrifice to that Song of Praise which brings eternal peace. ||1||Pause||

– ਹੁਕਮੈ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਹੁਕਮ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੁਕਮੈ ਜੇ ਬੁਝੈ ਤ ਹਉਮੈ ਕਹੈ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥੨॥ (Jap Ji Sahib, GGS. 1-9).
Everyone is subject to His Command; no one is beyond His Command. O Nanak, one who understands His Command, does not speak in ego. ||2||

To say that all operates under the Divine Hukam is not the same as accepting and believing with full faith and trust in the operation of ‘Divine Hukam’. When the latter stage comes then one loses personal identity/ego resulting in as Hazart Inyat Khan:-

No one has seen God and lived. To see God we must be non-existent.
( Bowl of Saki, January 5, by Hazrat Inayat Khan)

As long as we are conscious of ourselves (egoistic) we still speak ‘Dhur Ki Bani’ (full of toon toon mei mei) and moment one gives up houmai, then the ‘Dhur Ki Bani’ is full of a potential to serve others – “ਤਿਨਿ ਸਗਲੀ ਚਿੰਤ ਮਿਟਾਈ” – as given in the following Tuk:-

ਧੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਆਈ ॥ ਤਿਨਿ ਸਗਲੀ ਚਿੰਤ ਮਿਟਾਈ ॥ (Raag Sorath M. 5, GGS. 628-2).
The Bani of His Word emanated from the Primal Lord. It eradicates all anxiety.

Just to take examples – What about Bhai Jetha Ji and Har Kishan Ji who rose to Gurudom with humble beginning and as a child respectively. Where did they receive their educational qualifications (and that too in science) to become part of 10 Sikh Gurus?

Unless one accepts the various Gurmat terms in principle, their attempts to translate Gurbani or put forward twisted Gurmat Philosophies are simply futile and misleading the innocent masses.

There is need to elaborate, the meaning of the following verses and the arising consequences?:-

1. ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੈ ਸਿਮਰਨਿ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਸੁਝੈ ॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 263-2).
In the remembrance of God, all things are known.

2. ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਮਹਿ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰਾ ॥(Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 263-18).
In the remembrance of the Lord, He Himself is prevailing.

3. ਹਰਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਮੁਖਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ॥੧॥ (Raag Asa M. 5, GGS. 375-4).
Serving the Lord, the Ambrosial Naam comes into one’s mouth. ||1||

It is the qualification of Naam that makes all the difference!

“Prab ka simran sab te oocha” – does it stand on its own or there are strings attached?

I believe that a certain degree of anubhav of Gurbani is essential for correct interpretation of Gurbani as well as writing of Sikh History involving Sikh Gurus and Gurmukhs.

Such a prerequisite applies to the holders of Sikh Chairs in India and or on the Diaspora to capture the spirit of Sikhi through their works. In the absence of following a close direction of Gurbani, one is bound to make slips and mistakes here and there.

There is dire need for a single interpretation of Gurbani, which meets in its real perspectives – the true spirit of Gurbani. Any such attempt to bring clarity in interpreting the Gurbani will be a Divine Sewa (service) and this requires ‘Anubhav’ (intuition) on the part of those involved in this exercise.

In other words correct interpretations belong to first ‘Anubhavis’, who have experienced the Divine Truths in their daily lives. The role of experts in linguists follows. Interpretation is not the job of one person; it will be the collective efforts of all enlightened and dedicated Gursikhs. I am sure that there are Sikhs around who are enjoying Nadr/Kirpa/Mehr/Grace/Gurparsad of Waheguru to undertake this task.

Sikhi is all about connecting with Waheguru through our Gurus (Sabd-guru/Gurbani). So it is imperative for one to connect first with our Gurus in order to subsequently connect with THE GURU (Waheguru) of our Gurus. To be at a more or less same wavelength with our Gurus, an anubhav (a developed Gurmat intuition by experiencing the truths and promises in Gurbani) to pave way to better understanding the thought pattern of Sikh Gurus – essential for interpreting Gurbani or writing of History of Sikh Gurus.

For Example, in order to interpret the following verse, a number of interpretation can be offered by literary individuals:-

ਨਾਮ ਸੰਗਿ ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GSS. 281-11).
One whose mind accepts the Company of the Naam,

ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਨਹਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥੩॥
The Name of the Lord, O Nanak, knows the Immaculate Lord. ||3||

An Aunbhavi will interpret in the light of Naam, which one has actually experienced in order to have glimpse of Niranjan (Divine Sojhee).

Without anubhav (Divine Sojhee/Intuition), all interpretations of Gurbani and History writings shall lack Gurmat direction in one way or the other. Therefore, all the Sikh Chairs holders are called upon to first grasp Gurbani in real perspective before embarking on their respect Theses and Publications.

Many attempts have been made to understand the real meanings of Gurbani, Many such attempts are based on the varied use of ‘laggaans and mattraas’ in exploring the essence of Gurbani. Such translations are worthy attempts but fall short of capturing the true spirit in the messages conveyed through Gurbani.

Any further attempts to try to dig in Gurbani has to be by those who also have the ‘anubhav’ (self realization/experience ) of Gurbani by having lived the life according to Gurbani in order to make a real difference.

Let us consider further take two more examples:-

1. “Toon mera rakha sabni thaein” – a literal meaning will be somewhat like of that ‘Waheguru is there to look after us everywhere’.

An Anbhavi will be able to give instances to prove that how, when and where Waheguru was there with him/her to provide Divine Guidance and Protection. There could be endless narrations coming from a Guru-Sikh with Anubhav.

2. “Prab ka simrn sab te oochaa’ – a literal meaning is of the like of that ‘there is no act as good as remembering Waheguru’.

An Anbhavi will give detailed account of the ‘ras’ of simran of Waheguru and its blessings achieved in one’s transformation. Examples of all the Gurus, Bhagats and Mahapurakhs who enjoyed the blissful state of simran of Waheguru are there as guiding posts.

Guru Nanak Sahib’s advice in Asa Ki Vaar clearly gives guidance in terms of some prerequisites in understanding Divine Truths (Gurbani).

There is scope for such a possibility on contemplating of Gurbani with Divine Nadr/Grace/Gurparsad:-

ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰੇ ਜੇ ਆਪਣੀ ਆਪੇ ਲਏ ਰਲਾਇ ਜੀਉ ॥੧੪॥(Sri Raag M. 1, GGS. 72-13).
If Waheguru casts His Glance of Grace, He unites us with Himself. ||14||

The overall Methodology of Interpreting Gurbani falls in the framework as laid down by Guru Nanak Sahib:-

1. ਸਚੁ ਤਾ ਪਰੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਜਾ ਰਿਦੈ ਸਚਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ Raag Asa M. 1, 468-8).
One knows the Truth only when the Truth is in his heart.

ਕੂੜ ਕੀ ਮਲੁ ਉਤਰੈ ਤਨੁ ਕਰੇ ਹਛਾ ਧੋਇ ॥
The filth of falsehood departs, and the body is washed clean.

2. ਸਚੁ ਤਾ ਪਰੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਜਾ ਸਚਿ ਧਰੇ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥
One knows the Truth only when he bears love to the True Lord.

ਨਾਉ ਸੁਣਿ ਮਨੁ ਰਹਸੀਐ ਤਾ ਪਾਏ ਮੋਖ ਦੁਆਰੁ ॥
Hearing the Name, the mind is enraptured; then, he attains the gate of salvation.

3. ਸਚੁ ਤਾ ਪਰੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਜਾ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਜੀਉ ॥
One knows the Truth only when he knows the true way of life.

ਧਰਤਿ ਕਾਇਆ ਸਾਧਿ ਕੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਦੇਇ ਕਰਤਾ ਬੀਉ ॥
Preparing the field of the body, he plants the Seed of the Creator.

4. ਸਚੁ ਤਾ ਪਰੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਜਾ ਸਿਖ ਸਚੀ ਲੇਇ ॥
One knows the Truth only when he receives true instruction.

ਦਇਆ ਜਾਣੈ ਜੀਅ ਕੀ ਕਿਛੁ ਪੁੰਨੁ ਦਾਨੁ ਕਰੇਇ ॥
Showing mercy to other beings, he makes donations to charities.

5. ਸਚੁ ਤਾਂ ਪਰੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਜਾ ਆਤਮ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਕਰੇ ਨਿਵਾਸੁ ॥
One knows the Truth only when he dwells in the sacred shrine of pilgrimage of his own soul.

6. ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਨੋ ਪੁਛਿ ਕੈ ਬਹਿ ਰਹੈ ਕਰੇ ਨਿਵਾਸੁ ॥
He sits and receives instruction from the True Guru, and lives in accordance with His Will.

7. ਸਚੁ ਸਭਨਾ ਹੋਇ ਦਾਰੂ ਪਾਪ ਕਢੈ ਧੋਇ ॥
Truth is the medicine for all; it removes and washes away our sins.

8. ਨਾਨਕੁ ਵਖਾਣੈ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਜਿਨ ਸਚੁ ਪਲੈ ਹੋਇ ॥
Nanak speaks this prayer to those who have Truth in their laps. ||2||

From the above Gurbani Tuks, it is essential that in order to know the Sach (Divine knowledge of Waheguru) one must have Anbhav of Truth as a valuable support to be guided by in Gurmat path (Sacha Marg).

In case of doubt the easiest way prescribed is Ardas- “ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਨੋ ਪੁਛਿ ਕੈ ਬਹਿ ਰਹੈ ਕਰੇ ਨਿਵਾਸੁ”. Most of us do not ask Waheguru when Waheguru has created such a window of promising opening to tap from His abundant resources.

In most Gurduars Asa Ki Vaar, is sung before Nit-nem Banees. The reason being it guides us to understand the realities of life while staying awake to the Divine Truths of Waheguru.

Bhagat Beni Ji shares his experience in this respect:-

ਦੇਵ ਸਥਾਨੈ ਕਿਆ ਨੀਸਾਣੀ ॥ਤਹ ਬਾਜੇ ਸਬਦ ਅਨਾਹਦ ਬਾਣੀ ॥ (Raag Raamkali Bhagat Beni, GGS. 974-8).
What is the insignia of the Divine Lord’s dwelling? The unstruck sound current of the Shabad vibrates there.

‘ਦੇਵ ਸਥਾਨੈ’ – refers to the state with Anbhav of Gurbani where Gurbani produces of some vibrations of certain wavelengths that are identical in all those who enjoy Anbhav of Gurbani.

Efforts of some Gur-Sikhs are praiseworthy but without the involvement of those Gursikhs with Anubhav of Gurbani, the whole exercise could be scratching and re-scratching on the surface of Gurbani when the real ras is in deep layers of Gurbani.

We need to start first and foremost with the exercise of understanding and acceptance of Basics (fundamentals) of Gurmat before embarking on translating/interpreting Gurbani. For evolving or developing a Methodology, I give here under a brief for consideration:-

Gurbani is Divine poetry and to comprehend it one needs to bring oneself to a wavelength as close as possible to the composer. So there is need to evolve a methodology for translating/interpreting Gurbani with a clear guideline out of Gurbani by embracing acceptance of some Basics of Gurmat (Fundamentals) in order to stay in a well defined Gurmat boundaries:-

1. Ik Oankaar – there is one and only one Waheguru (Lord/God). – “IK Toon hee” – though known by various names.
2. Acceptance of Concept of “Dhur ki Bani”.
3. “Nanak ke ghar kewal naam”. (Tera ek naam tare sansar, mei aiha aas eiha aadhaar and Houmai naave naal virodh hei doe na vase ik thaine).
4. “Bani Guru Guru hei bani, vich bani amrit sare”. (Sabd Guru as the guiding vehicle in life).
5. “Gur sikh sikh guru hei, eko gur updesh chalaie”. (Gurus have one Jot).
6. Bani of Bhagats, Bhatts and other Mahapurakhs is at par with Gurbani in quest for spiritual path.
6. “Toon ghat ghat antar sarab niranthar jee, Har eiko purak samana”.
7. Experience of Importance of “Naam Japna” (Waheguru Jaap) and Simran (Prab ka simran sab te oocha).
8. Need and hunger for “Gobind Milan” through Naam.
9. Rising to a state of unflinching (Blind) faith in Gurus and Waheguru accepting that the Gurbani is a collection of guiding Divine Truths for shaping/leading a purposeful life of as a Gurmukh.
10. Significance of Gurparsad/Nadr/Kirpa/Bakhshish/Grace in Gurbani.

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand

kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

Datta Karta Aap Toon (ਦਾਤਾ ਕਰਤਾ ਆਪਿ ਤੂੰ )

According to Guru Nanak Sahib, Akalpurakh Waheguru is a self creator of Himself and His entire Creation; and He resides in His Creation. The important point to note here is that ‘ਦਾਤਾ ਕਰਤਾ ਆਪਿ ਤੂੰ”. Waheguru is first Caretaker and then a Creator i.e.that He puts all the necessary instruments in place to look after His Creation before even creating the Creation:-

– ਆਪੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਆਪੁ ਸਾਜਿਓ ਆਪੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਰਚਿਓ ਨਾਉ ॥ ਦੁਯੀ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਸਾਜੀਐ ਕਰਿ ਆਸਣੁ ਡਿਠੋ ਚਾਉ ॥(Raag Asa M. 1, GGS. 463-4).
He Himself created Himself; He Himself assumed His Name. Secondly, He fashioned the creation; seated within the creation, He beholds it with delight.

ਦਾਤਾ ਕਰਤਾ ਆਪਿ ਤੂੰ ਤੁਸਿ ਦੇਵਹਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਪਸਾਉ ॥ ਤੂੰ ਜਾਣੋਈ ਸਭਸੈ ਦੇ ਲੈਸਹਿ ਜਿੰਦੁ ਕਵਾਉ ॥
You Yourself are the Giver and the Creator; by Your Pleasure, You bestow Your Mercy. You are the Knower of all; You give life, and take it away again with a word.

ਕਰਿ ਆਸਣੁ ਡਿਠੋ ਚਾਉ ॥੧॥ ਆਪੇ ਕਰਤਾ ਆਪਿ ਕਰਾਏ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਸੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Seated within the creation, You behold it with delight. ||1||

Recognizing the above attributes of Waheguru, I wonder if we have any degree of Free Will or that we are simply instruments in hands of Divine Akalpurakh to perform in His play? Guru Nanak Sahib is votary of prevalence of Waheguru’s Will only.

– ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾਰ ਨ ਕਥਨੀ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਕੀਤਾ ਕਰਣਾ ਸਰਬ ਰਜਾਇ ॥੨॥ (Raag Asa M. 1, GGS. 463-12).
O Nanak, His actions cannot be described. Whatever He has done, or will do, is all by His Own Will. ||2||

According to Gurbani, Waheguru is all powerful and merciful and is beyond comprehension. However, the Divine awareness comes only on contemplating on Gur-Sabd and by removing one’s ego/houmai:-

– ਕਰਣ ਕਾਰਣ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਏਕੁ ਹੈ ਦੂਸਰ ਨਾਹੀ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਸੁ ਬਲਿਹਾਰਣੈ ਜਲਿ ਥਲਿ ਮਹੀਅਲਿ ਸੋਇ ॥੧॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 276-18).
God alone is the Doer of deeds – there is no other at all. O Nanak, I am a sacrifice to the One, who pervades the waters, the lands, the sky and all space. ||1||

– ਜੇ ਕੋ ਕਹੈ ਕਰੈ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਕਰਤੇ ਕੈ ਕਰਣੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਸੁਮਾਰੁ ॥ (Jap Guru Nanak Dev, GGS. 3-12).
No matter how much anyone tries to explain and describe them, The actions of the Creator cannot be counted.

– ਨਾ ਹਉ ਨਾ ਮੈ ਨਾ ਹਉ ਹੋਵਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥੧॥ (Raag Maajh M. 1, GGS. 139-12).
I was not, I am not, and I will never be anything at all! O Nanak, I dwell only on the Word of the Sabd. ||1||

It is our egoism that builds a wall of ignorance and misguides us to assume the role as a doer/’karta’. The wall of ignorance created by Houmai/Ego can be removed by contemplating on Gurmat and it becomes clear that Waheguru is the DOER:-

– ਜੇ ਕੋ ਨਾਉ ਧਰਾਏ ਵਡਾ ਸਾਦ ਕਰੇ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਣੇ ॥ ਖਸਮੈ ਨਦਰੀ ਕੀੜਾ ਆਵੈ ਜੇਤੇ ਚੁਗੈ ਦਾਣੇ ॥ (Raag Asa M. 1, GGS. 360-15).
One may give himself a great name, and revel in the pleasures of the mind, But in the Eyes of the Lord and Master, he is just a worm, for all the corn that he eats.

ਮਰਿ ਮਰਿ ਜੀਵੈ ਤਾ ਕਿਛੁ ਪਾਏ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਖਾਣੇ ॥੩॥੫॥੩੯॥
Only one who dies to his ego while yet alive, obtains the blessings, O Nanak, by chanting the Lord’s Name. ||3||5||39||

– ਮੂਰਖ ਗਣਤ ਗਣਾਇ ਝਗੜਾ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਹਥਿ ਨਿਬੇੜੁ ਝਗੜੁ ਚੁਕਾਇਆ ॥ (Raag Maaajh M. 1, GGS. 139-18).
The fools try to account for their misdeeds, and argue uselessly. The judgement is in the Hands of the True Guru, who puts an end to the argument.

ਕਰਤਾ ਕਰੇ ਸੁ ਹੋਗੁ ਨ ਚਲੈ ਚਲਾਇਆ ॥੪॥
Whatever the Creator does, comes to pass. It cannot be changed by anyone’s efforts. ||4||

– ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਤੂੰ ਏਕੁ ਹੈ ਤੁਧੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਖੇਲੁ ਰਚਾਇਆ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਗਰਬੁ ਉਪਾਇ ਕੈ ਲੋਭੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਜੰਤਾ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ (Raag Maajh M. 2, GGS. 139-5).
Forever and ever, You are the only One; You set the play of duality in motion. You created egotism and arrogant pride, and You placed greed within our beings.

ਜਿਉ ਭਾਵੈ ਤਿਉ ਰਖੁ ਤੂ ਸਭ ਕਰੇ ਤੇਰਾ ਕਰਾਇਆ ॥ ਇਕਨਾ ਬਖਸਹਿ ਮੇਲਿ ਲੈਹਿ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਤੁਧੈ ਲਾਇਆ ॥
Keep me as it pleases Your Will; everyone acts as You cause them to act. Some are forgiven, and merge with You; through the Guru’s Teachings, we are joined to You.

ਇਕਿ ਖੜੇ ਕਰਹਿ ਤੇਰੀ ਚਾਕਰੀ ਵਿਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਹੋਰੁ ਨ ਭਾਇਆ ॥ ਹੋਰੁ ਕਾਰ ਵੇਕਾਰ ਹੈ ਇਕਿ ਸਚੀ ਕਾਰੈ ਲਾਇਆ ॥
Some stand and serve You; without the Name, nothing else pleases them. Any other task would be worthless to them-You have enjoined them to Your True Service.

ਪੁਤੁ ਕਲਤੁ ਕੁਟੰਬੁ ਹੈ ਇਕਿ ਅਲਿਪਤੁ ਰਹੇ ਜੋ ਤੁਧੁ ਭਾਇਆ ॥ ਓਹਿ ਅੰਦਰਹੁ ਬਾਹਰਹੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੇ ਸਚੈ ਨਾਇ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥੩॥
In the midst of children, spouse and relations, some still remain detached; they are pleasing to Your Will. Inwardly and outwardly, they are pure, and they are absorbed in the True Name. ||3||

Guru Ram Das Ji clearly brings out from his personal Anubhav/experience that the Divine Will prevails in all circumstances without any control of one’s own doing:-

– ਕੀਤਾ ਕਰਣਾ ਸਰਬ ਰਜਾਈ ਕਿਛੁ ਕੀਚੈ ਜੇ ਕਰਿ ਸਕੀਐ ॥ ਆਪਣਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਕਿਛੂ ਨ ਹੋਵੈ ਜਿਉ ਹਰਿ ਭਾਵੈ ਤਿਉ ਰਖੀਐ ॥੧॥(Raag Suhi M. 4, GGS. 736-3).
All that happens, and all that will happen, is by His Will. If we could do something by ourselves, we would. By ourselves, we cannot do anything at all. As it pleases the Lord, He preserves us. ||1||

ਮੇਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਤੇਰੈ ਵਸਿ ॥ ਅਸਾ ਜੋਰੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਜੇ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਰਿ ਹਮ ਸਾਕਹ ਜਿਉ ਭਾਵੈ ਤਿਵੈ ਬਖਸਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
O my Dear Lord, everything is in Your power. I have no power to do anything at all. As it pleases You, You forgive us. ||1||Pause||

ਸਭੁ ਜੀਉ ਪਿੰਡੁ ਦੀਆ ਤੁਧੁ ਆਪੇ ਤੁਧੁ ਆਪੇ ਕਾਰੈ ਲਾਇਆ ॥ ਜੇਹਾ ਤੂੰ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਕਰਹਿ ਤੇਹੇ ਕੋ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਜੇਹਾ ਤੁਧੁ ਧੁਰਿ ਲਿਖਿ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥
You Yourself bless us with soul, body and everything. You Yourself cause us to act. As You issue Your Commands, so do we act, according to our pre-ordained destiny. ||2||

ਪੰਚ ਤਤੁ ਕਰਿ ਤੁਧੁ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਸਭ ਸਾਜੀ ਕੋਈ ਛੇਵਾ ਕਰਿਉ ਜੇ ਕਿਛੁ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੋਵੈ ॥ ਇਕਨਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਲਿ ਤੂੰ ਬੁਝਾਵਹਿ ਇਕਿ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਸਿ ਰੋਵੈ ॥੩॥
You created the entire Universe out of the five elements; if anyone can create a sixth, let him. You unite some with the True Guru, and cause them to understand, while others, the self-willed manmukhs, do their deeds and cry out in pain. ||3||

ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਵਡਿਆਈ ਹਉ ਆਖਿ ਨ ਸਾਕਾ ਹਉ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਮੁਗਧੁ ਨੀਚਾਣੁ ॥ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਉ ਹਰਿ ਬਖਸਿ ਲੈ ਮੇਰੇ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਸਰਣਾਗਤਿ ਪਇਆ ਅਜਾਣੁ ॥੪॥੪॥੧੫॥੨੪॥
I cannot describe the glorious greatness of the Lord; I am foolish, thoughtless, idiotic and lowly. Please, forgive servant Nanak, O my Lord and Master; I am ignorant, but I have entered Your Sanctuary. ||4||4||15||24||

Guru Nanak Sahib highlights the Characteristics of Karta in the following verse:-

– ਨਾਨਕ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਰਮ ਬਿਰਖੁ ਫਲ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਫਲ ਵਿਸੁ ॥ ਸਭ ਕਾਰਣ ਕਰਤਾ ਕਰੇ ਜਿਸੁ ਖਵਾਲੇ ਤਿਸੁ ॥੧॥ (raag Malar M. 1, GGS. 1290-14).
O Nanak, the tree of actions done in Maya yields ambrosial fruit and poisonous fruit. The Creator does all deeds; we eat the fruits as He ordains. ||1||

Guru Angad Dev Ji reinforces further the Gurmat Philosophy of Guru Nanak Sahib in his Gurbani the commands of the Karta hold in all circumstances:-

– ਸਿਰਿ ਸਿਰਿ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਬੇੜੁ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਚਲਾਇਆ ॥ ਤੇਰੈ ਹਥਿ ਨਿਬੇੜੁ ਤੂਹੈ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਇਆ ॥ (Raag Malar M. 2, GGS. 1290-17).
He judges each and every being; by the Hukam of His Command, He leads us on. Justice is in Your Hands, O Lord; You are pleasing to my mind.

ਕਾਲੁ ਚਲਾਏ ਬੰਨਿ ਕੋਇ ਨ ਰਖਸੀ ॥ ਜਰੁ ਜਰਵਾਣਾ ਕੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਚੜਿਆ ਨਚਸੀ ॥
The mortal is bound and gagged by Death and lead away; no one can rescue him. Old age, the tyrant, dances on the mortal’s shoulders.

ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਬੋਹਿਥੁ ਬੇੜੁ ਸਚਾ ਰਖਸੀ ॥ ਅਗਨਿ ਭਖੈ ਭੜਹਾੜੁ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਭਖਸੀ ॥
So climb aboard the boat of the True Guru, and the True Lord will rescue you. The fire of desire burns like an oven, consuming mortals night and day.

ਫਾਥਾ ਚੁਗੈ ਚੋਗ ਹੁਕਮੀ ਛੁਟਸੀ ॥ ਕਰਤਾ ਕਰੇ ਸੁ ਹੋਗੁ ਕੂੜੁ ਨਿਖੁਟਸੀ ॥੨੬॥
Like trapped birds, the mortals peck at the corn; only through the Lord’s Command will they find release. Whatever the Creator does, comes to pass; falsehood shall fail in the end. ||26||

– ਕਾਚੇ ਭਾਡੇ ਸਾਜਿ ਨਿਵਾਜੇ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮਾਈ ॥ (Raag Raamkali M. 5, GGS. 882-18).
He creates and adorns the earthen vessels; He infuses His Light within them.

ਜੈਸਾ ਲਿਖਤੁ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਧੁਰਿ ਕਰਤੈ ਹਮ ਤੈਸੀ ਕਿਰਤਿ ਕਮਾਈ ॥੨॥
As is the destiny pre-ordained by the Creator, so are the deeds we do. ||2||.

– ਜਬ ਕਛੁ ਨ ਸੀਓ ਤਬ ਕਿਆ ਕਰਤਾ ਕਵਨ ਕਰਮ ਕਰਿ ਆਇਆ ॥ ਅਪਨਾ ਖੇਲੁ ਆਪਿ ਕਰਿ ਦੇਖੈ ਠਾਕੁਰਿ ਰਚਨੁ ਰਚਾਇਆ ॥੧॥(Raag Suhi M. 5, GGS. 748-14).
When nothing existed, what deeds were being done? And what karma caused anyone to be born at all? The Lord Himself set His play in motion, and He Himself beholds it. He created the Creation. ||1||

ਮੇਰੇ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਇ ਮੁਝ ਤੇ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਆਪੇ ਕਰਤਾ ਆਪਿ ਕਰਾਏ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਸੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
O my Sovereign Lord, I cannot do anything at all by myself. He Himself is the Creator, He Himself is the Cause. He is pervading deep within all. ||1||Pause||

ਗਣਤੀ ਗਣੀ ਨ ਛੂਟੈ ਕਤਹੂ ਕਾਚੀ ਦੇਹ ਇਆਣੀ ॥ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਕਰਹੁ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕਰਣੈਹਾਰੇ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਖਸ ਨਿਰਾਲੀ ॥੨॥
If my account were to be judged, I would never be saved. My body is transitory and ignorant. Take pity upon me, O Creator Lord God; Your Forgiving Grace is singular and unique. ||2||

ਜੀਅ ਜੰਤ ਸਭ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀਤੇ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਤੁਹੀ ਧਿਆਈਐ ॥ ਤੇਰੀ ਗਤਿ ਮਿਤਿ ਤੂਹੈ ਜਾਣਹਿ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਕੀਮ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ॥੩॥
You created all beings and creatures. Each and every heart meditates on You. Your condition and expanse are known only to You; the value of Your creative omnipotence cannot be estimated. ||3||

ਨਿਰਗੁਣੁ ਮੁਗਧੁ ਅਜਾਣੁ ਅਗਿਆਨੀ ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਣਾ ॥ ਦਇਆ ਕਰਹੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵੈ ਮਿਠਾ ਲਗੈ ਤੇਰਾ ਭਾਣਾ ॥੪॥੬॥੫੩॥
I am worthless, foolish, thoughtless and ignorant. I know nothing about good actions and righteous living. Take pity on Nanak, that he may sing Your Glorious Praises; and that Your Will may seem sweet to him. ||4||6||53||

Guru Amardas Ji highlights the doer role of Karta as His Hukam in Anand Sahib.Strictly speaking the entire Bani in the Guru Granth Sahib depicts the Hukam of Waheguru. In order to understand the Hukam, Guru Amar Das Ji has indicated the direction/procedure in the Anand Sahib:-

– ਹੁਕਮੁ ਵਰਤਾਏ ਆਪਿ ਵੇਖੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕਿਸੈ ਬੁਝਾਏ ॥ ਤੋੜੇ ਬੰਧਨ ਹੋਵੈ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਮੰਨਿ ਵਸਾਏ ॥ (Raag Raamkalee M. 3, GGS.920).

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਆਪਿ ਕਰੇ ਸੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਏਕਸ ਸਿਉ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਏ ॥ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਆਪਿ ਕਰਤਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਬੁਝਾਏ ॥੨੬॥

Guru Arjan Dev Ji also emphasises on Divine Hukam in his Bani against any control of our own:-

– ਮਾਰੈ ਰਾਖੈ ਏਕੋ ਆਪਿ ॥ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਕੈ ਕਿਛੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਹਾਥਿ ॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 281-4).
The One Lord Himself destroys and also preserves. Nothing at all is in the hands of mortal beings.

ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਬੂਝਿ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਰਖੁ ਕੰਠਿ ਪਰੋਇ ॥
Understanding His Order, there is peace. So take His Name, and wear it as your necklace.

ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਘਨੁ ਨ ਲਾਗੈ ਕੋਇ ॥੧॥
Remember, remember, remember God in meditation. O Nanak, no obstacle shall stand in your way. ||1||

– ਜਿਉ ਜਿਉ ਤੇਰਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਤਿਵੈ ਤਿਉ ਹੋਵਣਾ ॥ ਜਹ ਜਹ ਰਖਹਿ ਆਪਿ ਤਹ ਜਾਇ ਖੜੋਵਣਾ ॥ (Raag Goojree M. 5, GGS. 523-4).
As is the Hukam of Your Command, so do things happen. Wherever You keep me, there I go and stand.

ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੈ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਧੋਵਣਾ ॥ ਜਪਿ ਜਪਿ ਤੁਧੁ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਭਰਮੁ ਭਉ ਖੋਵਣਾ ॥
With the Love of Your Name, I wash away my evil-mindedness. By continually meditating on You, O Formless Lord, my doubts and fears are dispelled.

ਜੋ ਤੇਰੈ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਤੇ ਸੇ ਜੋਨਿ ਨ ਜੋਵਣਾ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਇਕੁ ਨੈਣ ਅਲੋਵਣਾ ॥
Those who are attuned to Your Love, shall not be trapped in reincarnation. Inwardly and outwardly, they behold the One Lord with their eyes.

ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਪਛਾਤਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਰੋਵਣਾ ॥ ਨਾਉ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਖਸੀਸ ਮਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਪਰੋਵਣਾ ॥੧੮॥
Those who recognize the Lord’s Command never weep. O Nanak, they are blessed with the gift of the Name, woven into the fabric of their minds. ||18||

Guru Nanak Sahib sums up beautifully the Play of Waheguru in the following verses of Gurbani:-

ਜੈਸੇ ਹਰਹਟ ਕੀ ਮਾਲਾ ਟਿੰਡ ਲਗਤ ਹੈ ਇਕ ਸਖਨੀ ਹੋਰ ਫੇਰ ਭਰੀਅਤ ਹੈ ॥ (Raag Parbhati M. 1, GGS. 1329-12).

The buckets on the chain of the Persian wheel rotate; one empties out to fill another.

ਤੈਸੋ ਹੀ ਇਹੁ ਖੇਲੁ ਖਸਮ ਕਾ ਜਿਉ ਉਸ ਕੀ ਵਡਿਆਈ ॥੨॥

This is just like the Play of our Lord and Master; such is His Glorious Greatness. ||2||

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com