Cultivating Faith

Why Are We Here? – 7

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If the faith is to be cultivated then there must be a lack of it, otherwise Guru Ji would not have advocated it.  Why is there a lack of faith? One of the reasons is that the mind is constantly in motion, jumping from one thought to another. We have a lack of self-confidence and at the same time we are skeptic as we do not have trust in others. The result is one is constantly struggling. What if this did not happen in this way? OK! Let me ask so and so for help. What if he/she does not help? What if he/she sabotages instead of helping, then I will fail. Thus, our entire life is swinging like a pendulum between faith and lack of faith or mistrust.

Guru Arjan Dev Ji cultivated faith and tells us how he did it. Guru Ji Says:

Sagal bidhhee jur aahur kareia tajiou sagal andaesaa. Kaaraj sagal arabhiou ghar kaa Thakur ka bhaarosaa.” — (SGGS, Pg. No.1266)

Meaning: I understood completely and gathered all devices together; I have discarded all my anxieties. (Now) I have begun to set all my household affairs right; I have placed my faith in my Lord and Master.

Guru Ji says first and foremost I clearly understood the objective and then what needs to be done to achieve the objective. He discarded all doubts and started to work on the house (mind and body). The work of transformation was initiated with full faith in God. Here Guru Ji is telling us that he eradicated all doubts and with determination cultivated complete faith. In order for this to take place first complete trust has to be created. The trust is created when it is realized that God is the Creator and the doer of everything. It is only with complete trust we initiate the loving relationship with Him, like a child with parents. Guru Ji shows us the way with these words:

Taerai bharosai pyarae mai laadd laddaaieaa. Bhooleh chookeh baarik too(n) har pita Maaeiaa.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 51)

Meaning: Oh, my beloved! With Complete faith I have indulged in a (childlike) loving relationship with You. I have made mistakes and have erred; but I am your child, O Lord-You are my mother and father.

Just as a child has a complete trust and faith in parents, Guru Ji says we need to develop such faith in God. Having complete faith anchors us in life even when one is in a middle of severe storms. It is a very encouraging and a reassuring feeling that my Creator is completely aware of the situation I am in, and he knows how the situation can be remedied and fixed. Instead of getting depressed and worried, one is now calm and confident that the higher power will help me remedy the situation. So, if the situation did not work out even after sustained effort, then it was not destined to be. There is not just reluctant acceptance but full embracement of the results. When the result is in complete alignment with what was planned for, there is thankfulness as it is God who made it happen.

Faith with enable us to see into our most subtle chambers in our inner being. Those lacking in faith do not even attempt to explore inner world, and they are constantly drifting. Faith builds courage and determination in us. Determination is that power that enables us to persist even in failures and bear through frustrations and obstacles. Why has such a faith in the Creator? Guru Ji describes it in this way:

Hau maan taan karau taeraa hau Jannau aapaa.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 51)

Meaning: I stand tall and take full pride in you because you are my strength, and I know You to be my own.

Here, we can see that the essential hallmark of this relationship is trust and complete faith. What is the result of cultivating this faith? Guru Ji says:

Bha-ae kirpal thakur rehi-ou aavan jaanaa.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 52)

Meaning: The Lord Master has become merciful, and my coming and going in reincarnations have ended.

Thus, Guru Ji is sharing with us the benefit of full faith that it liberates us from cycles of birth and death and unites with God. In the beginning the faith is an immature faith and from that position it has to be cultivated so that we can grow in faith. Forming a trusting relationship in God is a sign of grace, but it will have to be nurtured and brought to the stage of fruition. Once this apex of faith is reached, the disciple becomes not just faithful but fearless as well. Guru Ji has shared with us that:

Taa kau kahau parvaah kaahoo kee jeh gopal sahaa-ae.” — (SGGS, Pg. No.1266)

Meaning: To those who have Lord of Universe as their support; there is no fear of others.

So, faith is trusting in God, even in situation which is beyond our comprehension and of course not under our control. There will be always scenarios in life which will be outside range of our understanding and when we trust the Creator in all scenarios, we will feel free of stress and tensions. The situations will work out well, but with faith even when the outcomes are not what we had anticipated; still they become palatable, as those will be deemed to be as per His will, thus acceptable.

It is for this reason that when Guru Arjan Dev Ji was asked a question as to who has spiritual knowledge. Guru Ji’s answer was one who has unshakable faith (in God). No wonder that in Sikh Supplication, we always ask for boon of “Bharosa Daan” meaning boon of faith. This has two significances; one is a prayer that God bless me with faith; and second is that may I become trustworthy myself. Thus, becoming trustworthy and trusting others should become a second nature and it is the building block of cultivating faith. If one has faith in others the implication is that they can be trusted and they will keep their word and promises, then what is the quality of faith reserved for the Guru? The answer is total and complete, as it is Guru alone, who like a seasoned coach can guide the transformation process.

Earlier we had glimpse of Bhai Lehna Ji’s relationship with Guru Nanak Dev Ji and we can feel the bright light of complete faith. This light never dies; now let us see how this light was passed on to Shri Amar Das Ji who became third Guru.

One day early morning, Shri Amardas Ji overheard the following lines from his brother’s neighboring house:

Bhaeiaa manoor kanchan phir hovai jae gur milai tinnaeheaa.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 990)

Meaning: The mind that was turned into slag is transformed into gold again when Guru is met.

These lines sung melodiously by Bibi Amro, enkindled new hopes, aspiration into the old bones of sixty-three years old Shri Amar Das Ji. With Bibi Amro, Shri Amar Das came to visit Guru Angad Dev Ji. Enraptured by first sight of Guru Ji, Shri Amar Das Ji decided to stay in Khadur Sahib in order to serve Guru Ji, and not to return to his own village of Basarke. Bhai Amar Das Ji would get up in the ambrosial hour of fragrant dawn every day and taking a brass vessel he would walk to Beas River and bring water for Guru Ji’s bath. One frightfully cold winter morning in March 1552 Shri Amar Das Ji went to the river to get water for Guru Ji’s bath. Although it had been raining all night and it had just stopped, still the skies were overcast at dawn, as if a carpet of grey clouds has been spread over the area. The visibility was very poor and there was fog all around. Shri Amar Das Ji carrying the vessel full of water accidentally hit a wooden peg, which the weaver had driven into the ground, and he slipped into the loom pit. Hearing the loud thud, the weaver sleeping in his bed asked his wife who was awake, what the sound was? The weaver’s wife responded back from the warmth of her bed, who else could be it, other than the homeless Amru. Shri Amar Das Ji overheard the conversation and took umbrage and responded; “Silly woman! One whose house, shelter and protector is the Guru that Amru cannot be considered as homeless.” Shri Amar Das Ji got out of the pit without spilling the water, carried it for Guru Ji’s bath. Guru Angad Dev Ji had his bath, afterwards meditated and then went to Diwan Hall. Shri Amar Das went to his room, changed his clothes and joined the congregation.

After the Morning Prayer was over, Guru Ji called on Shri Amar Das and asked what happened last night. He humbly replied; “Guru Ji you know everything; what is left for me to say.” The master was deeply moved by the reply and also by devotion and deep faith of Shri Amar Das Ji. Guru Ji sent someone to bring the weaver and asked him to narrate the happenings of last night. The weaver narrated the incident and added that Shri Amar Das reply to his wife’s outbursts and his saying that she is silly, instantly made her insane. Guru Ji told the weaver that his wife was very disrespectful, what she said was uncalled for. The weaver begged for mercy. The master blessed the weaver and said she will be normal again. Now Guru Ji turned to Shri Amar Das and showered his Grace on him. He took him in his bosom and patted him affectionately. It was a magical meeting of two souls and a new soul was implanted in Shri Amardas Ji at the ripe age of seventy-three. Then Guru Angad Dev Ji said:

My Amardas! My Amardas! He will be home of the homeless; honor of unhonored, the strength of the strengthless, the support of the supportless, the emancipator of the captive.”

Guru Ji led Shri Amar Das ji to his seat and seated him there and anointed him as his successor Guru Amar Das.

So we have seen the emphasis on faith was laid by Guru Nanak Dev Ji and all the subsequent Gurus continued to preach this aspect. Guru Nanak Dev Ji has said that we should ask Lord for the boon of faith. Guru Ji has given us the words to ask for faith:
Mun chaao ghanaeraa sun prabh mera, mai thearaa bharvaasaa. Darshan dhaekh bhaee nihakaeval janam maran dukh naasa.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 764)

Meaning: My mind is filled with such an enthusiastic and great yearning; hear me, O God - I place my faith in You. Gazing upon the Blessed Vision of Your Darshan, I have become free of desire; and the pains of birth and death are taken away.

Now we ask Guru Ji as to what the benefit is of faith. Guru Ji tells us:

Jaa kai ridhai biswas prabh aaeiaa. Tat gyan tis mun pargattaaeiaa. Bhae tae nirbhau hoae basaanaa. Jis tae upjiaa tis maahae samaamaa.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 285)

Meaning: One whose heart is filled with faith in God the essence of spiritual wisdom is revealed to his/her mind. Coming out of fear, he/she comes to live without fear. He/she is absorbed into the One, from whom he/she originated.

Thus, we can see Guru Ji is telling that when firm faith is cultivated, then a true knowledge of truth (Absolute Truth = God) is born and if it is cultivated to perfection then one merges fully in the Creator. Then one enjoys the delights of ecstasy as Guru Ji also tells us:

Jih gur maan prabhu liv laaee tehe mahaa anand rus kariaa.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 613)

Meaning: One who has faith in the Guru, and who is lovingly attached to God, enjoys the delights of supreme ecstasy.

If we still are not fully convinced, then let us reinforce it with another quote:

“Mun parateet banee prabh thaeree. Binas gaee houmai mut maeree. Angeekaar keeaa prabh apanai jug mehi sobh suhaaee hae.” — (SGGS, Pg. No.1072)

Meaning: O God, I have enshrined faith in You within my mind. My egotistical intellect has been driven out. God has made me His own and now I have a glorious reputation in this world.

The realization of need of cultivation of faith opens the doors of admiration. The seeker becomes admirer and starts admiring everything that he/she comes in touch. As admiration grows, the admirer starts feeling the hand of the Creator in the creation. Now the creation is not just admired, but Admirable Creator behind the Creation is being admired. The evolution is taking place constantly and a new ingredient of admiration in complete faith brings a major realignment in the thought process. In this process the admirer becomes one with the admirable Creator. Now we can see that how this Purpose no. 3 has not only been achieved; but in the process of working on it even the Purpose no. 1 has also been achieved. As the ego is eradicated the mindset of attachment – me, mine etc. disappears as well. A feeling of closeness emanates within, and one gets respect in this world and is also honored in the world after.

Purpose # 3
Cultivating Faith

Thought: I have put my full faith in God and have discarded all my doubts and anxieties.

Quote:Mun chaao ghanaeraa sun prabh mera, mai thearaa bharvaasaa. Darshan dhaekh bhaee nihakaeval janam maran dukh naasa.”
Meaning: My mind is filled with such an enthusiastic and great yearning; hear me, O God - I place my faith in You. Gazing upon the Blessed Vision of Your Darshan, I have become free of desire; and the pains of birth and death are taken away.

Action: When I first get up in the morning, I will remind myself that I have full faith in God. Because my Guru tells me that You are my strength and my own, so I trust You completely.

Continued to Next Page 


More by :  Bhupinder Singh

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