Countless Paths: Which One to Choose? by Rajender Krishan SignUp
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Countless Paths: Which One to Choose?
by Rajender Krishan Bookmark and Share
 

Continued from “The Prominent Five and the Force – Japji Sahib – VII”

Guru Nanak’s Japji Sahib – VIII

Pauri – 17

Asankh Jap Asankh Bhau
Asankh Puja Asankh Tap Tau
Asank Granth Mukh Ved Path
Asankh Jog Man Rahe Udaas
Asankh Bhagat Gun Gyan Vichaar
Asankh Sati Asankh Dataar
Asankh Sur Munh Bhakh Saar
Asankh Maun Live Layee Taar
Qudrat Kavan Kahan Vichaar
Varia Na Javan Ek Vaar
Jo Tudh Bhave Sai Bhali Kaar
Tu Sada Salamat Nirankar


Countless chants countless devotions
Countless prayers countless atonements
Countless scriptures countless reciters
Countless Yoga to make mind detached
Countless devotees contemplate virtue knowledge
Countless pious countless benevolent
Countless warriors bear brunt
Countless silently meditate
Who can express Thy Powerful Nature?
Even offering of myself could never be enough
What pleases Thee, is goodness abound
Eternal and Immutable, only Thou are around

Countless paths to realize truth that have developed over centuries of man’s evolution under different environments and in different times. Each path has its own set of rigorous rules and intricacies. Also, each path seems to be trying to refute the other paths. Then which path is right and which one is wrong? (Pauri # 18 explicitly talks of wrong paths that make one go astray from the search of truth!) The question is not of choosing one from the options of many right paths; the question is how does one discriminate? What is the yardstick? What to choose and how? Now this is a serious problem for the Sikh – the student – who is in search of the truth. Pauri 17 through Pauri 19 deal with this issue.

In the medical profession, the diagnosis is done with the process of elimination; while scientific experiments are done by trial and error. However, with human life span being short and paths countless, one can hardly complete one path in one’s entire lifetime. Without the correct path, one would then keep wandering. Every time, the seeker would think he has reached somewhere, he will actually find himself nowhere.

Guru Nanak gives a peerless cure to this malady of confusion. He says it is worthless to wander in the crowd of countless paths. His solution:

Ju Tudh Bhave Sai Bhali Kaar
Tu Sada Salamat Nirankar


What pleases Thee, is goodness abound
Eternal and Immutable, only Thou are around

Guru Nanak says, “Thy will be done”. Whatever pleases you, O Lord, is best for me. I cannot choose for myself. I have no yardstick with which to determine as to what is right or what is wrong for me. The only way I know is that I surrender myself at thy feet with absolute conviction that in “Thy Will” whatever comes to pass is good for me and whatever does not come to pass is not good for me. In your will is my salvation. You are my protector; you are eternal, the formless, and the almighty.

Pauri - 18

Asankh Moorakh Andh Ghor
Asankh Chor Haraam Khor
Asankh Amar Kar Jahi Jor
Asankh Galvadh Hatya Kamahin
Asankh Paapi Paap Kar Jahin
Asankh Kuriar Kure Phirahin
Asankh Malecch Mal Bhakh Khahin
Asankh Nindak Siri Karhin Bhaar
Nanak Neech Kare Vichaar
Varia Na Javan Ek Vaar
Jo Tudh Bhave Sai Bhali Kaar
Tu Sada Salamat Nirankar


Countless fools spiritually blind
Countless swindlers thriving on spoils
Countless immortalize brutal force
Countless cut-throats “earn” murder
Countless sinners continue to sin
Countless liars imparting falsehood
Countless perverts just eating filth
Countless slanderers adding burdens yonder
Says Nanak
Pondering on the wicked and low
Even offering of myself could never be enough
What pleases Thee, is goodness abound
Eternal and Immutable, only Thou are around

Having expressed in the previous Pauri, the countless paths of various philosophies developed over many centuries under several schools of thought, now Guru Nanak lists the crowd of the wicked, sinners, murderers, liars, and perverts who have their own countless paths to dodge truth. Reading both together the corollary becomes clear: one can easily go astray by following the path of untruth and also by being unsure of which “good” path to move on.

Guru Nanak rejects all options. He opts to choose nothing – neither the right path nor the wrong; neither virtue nor sin. Obliterating all personal desires, he simply says,

Jo Tudh Bhave Sai Bhali Kaar
Tu Sada Salamat Nirankar


What pleases Thee, is goodness abound
Eternal and Immutable, only Thou are around

Guru Nanak says, “Thy will be done”. Whatever pleases you, O Lord, is best for me. I cannot choose for myself. I have no yardstick with which to determine as to what is right or what is wrong for me. The only way I know is that I surrender myself at thy feet with absolute conviction that in “Thy Will” whatever comes to pass is good for me and whatever does not come to pass is not good for me. In your will is my salvation. You are my protector; you are eternal, the formless, and the almighty.

Pauri - 19

Asankh Nav Asankh Thanv
Agam Agam Asankh Loa
Asankh Kahe Sir Bhaar Hoye
Akhari Naam Akhari Salah
Akhari Gyan Geet Gun Gah
Akhari Likhan Bolan Baan
Akharan Sir Sanjog Vakhaan
Jin Eh Likhe Tis Sir Nahin
Jiv Phurmae Tiv Tiv Pahin
Jeta Kita Teta Naun
Vin Naven Nahi Ko Thaun
Qudrat Kavan Kahan Vichaar
Varia Na Javan Ek Vaar
Jo Tudh Bhave Sai Bhali Kaar
Tu Sada Salamat Nirankar


Countless names, countless places
Beyond the reach are countless realms
Saying countless itself burdens the mind
By Akshara (imperishable Letter) (The Word)
is the name, the praise
By Word is knowledge, songs praising virtue
By Word is writing and speech
By Word is the ordinance of destiny
Yet the “One” who writes is beyond destiny
As He ordains so do we receive
Thou the Creation Thou the Name
Nothing exists without Thy name
What can express Thy Powerful Nature?
Even offering of myself could never be enough
What pleases Thee is goodness abound
Eternal and Immutable only Thou are around.

In this Pauri, Guru Nanak says that there are innumerable names for innumerable places; while beyond our comprehension are countless realms – and God pervades in all. Even to say, “countless” is to simply burden the mind and create confusion.

The question then obviously arises, which name (Naam) to choose, repeating which (Naam simran), as a seeker one will arrive. What name will reach the Supreme? To this Guru Nanak seems to suggest clearly that either all names are His or no name is His!

To this query, Guru Nanak says that His name is “Akshara” – the ‘Letter’ which can neither be written nor erased. “Akshara”, (literally ‘Letter’) is a Sanskrit term which means “imperishable, indestructible, fixed, immutable” (i.e. from a – “not” and kshara – “perish”). The mystical syllable Om, (as Guru Nanak says “Ik Onkar”) can be translated in English as “the only imperishable thing”.

That “Akshara” according to Guru Nanak is “Onkar” which resonates whether or not it is expressed or written. We all know that Life is the only constant that is forever changing, but one thing that never changes, is the vitality that propels life – the “Akshara”.

The Bible says, “First it was the Word, then it became God” and the Hindu thought says “Om Tat Sat” (Om is the eternal key element behind all existence). Thus, “Word” or “Om” or “Onkar” was the first expression in the beginning, everything else followed thereafter; and if everything will annihilate; the Word – being imperishable – will still be there.

Thus Guru Nanak says:

Akhari Naam Akhari Salah
Akhari Gyan Geet Gun Gah
Akhari Likhan Bolan Baan
Akharan Sir Sanjog Vakhaan

From “Akshara” alone came the Naam and praise to the Lord is also through it. All knowledge is attained from the Word and all songs of His virtue are sung through the words. All writings and speech, all destinies are expression of “Akshara”.

Next, the Pauri proceeds with

Jin Eh Likhe Tis Sir Nahin
Jiv Phurmae Tiv Tiv Pahin
Jeta Kita Teta Naun
Vin Naven Nahi Ko Thaun

Guru Nanak says that God is beyond destiny. As He ordains we receive. Whatever is in the creation is in His name – there is no place without His name. The expanse and magnitude of the entire creation has His signatures – His Naam. Isn’t this realization enough for one to be awestruck and amazed? How should then we praise Him?

Guru Nanak ends the Pauri with:

Qudrat Kavan Kahan Vichaar
Varia Na Javan Ek Vaar
Jo Tudh Bhave Sai Bhali Kaar
Tu Sada Salamat Nirankar


What can express Thy Powerful Nature?
Even offering of myself could never be enough
What pleases Thee, is goodness abound
Eternal and Immutable, only Thou are around

Guru Nanak says, “Thy will be done”. Whatever pleases you, O Lord, is best for me. I cannot choose for myself. I have no yardstick with which to determine as to what is right or what is wrong for me. The only way I know is that I surrender myself at thy feet with absolute conviction that in “Thy Will” whatever comes to pass is good for me and whatever does not come to pass is not good for me. In your will is my salvation. You are my protector; you are eternal, the formless, and the almighty.

Continued to “Washing with the Color of His Name”

Japji Sahib Links

6-Oct-2013
More by :  Rajender Krishan
 
Views: 1785
Article Comment I am really amazed to see the profundity of your wisdom. Yes, this article is an ever inspiring article for me. I felt so nervous but after reading this article I sincerely feel
What pleases Thee, is goodness abound
Eternal and Immutable, only Thou are around
Wonderful inspirational write up of yours sir
pooja
10/13/2013
Article Comment Be the person that you are. First go within and know thy true self. Once you come out of that dive, then what ever flows from you will be the new path, it will be your experience, and then live your experience. Religion on the other hand tells you to live by some body else's experience. Each individual soul's experience has to be unique as you have a different psyche. Live your true self, and for that you have to be bold, and challenge the very foundations on which some dogmas have been made. You should be ready to sacrifice your very own self for the purpose of living your true self and be the creative .....
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[Spirituality & Consciousness Group: Linkedin]
Dr. Sunder Srinivasan
10/07/2013
Article Comment A path is a dead thing. A path becomes a path, when it has been walked by millions on the same route. It has nothing new to offer. Each path becomes a university with rules and regulations, and dogmas., and control. Each university tries to show that it is the best to seek knowledge, and it is the best. While, if you walk on the virgin path, where there is no foot marks, then you will reach the summit, and it will then be your own experience, and not a hearsay, it wouldn't be a theory from a book. I tell you all, to be spiritual, and throw all religions to the dust bin.
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[Spirituality & Consciousness Group: Linkedin]
Dr. Sunder Srinivasan
10/07/2013
Article Comment Follow your own choice as all Paths are Best!
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[Spirituality and Consciousness Group: Linkedin]
Ananta Sinha Ray
10/07/2013
 
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