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 Anubhavi 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 respective 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 Anubhav 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 Anubhav of Gurbani where Gurbani produces of some vibrations of certain wavelengths that are identical in all those who enjoy Anubhav 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.
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