Why are We Here? – 9
Continued from Previous Page
In the previous Chapter we reviewed many relationships a being can have with God and we concluded that the husband-wife relationship is the closest and the most intimate of all different relationships. In this relationship God is viewed as husband and being is the wife. In order to become a wife, one has to be a bride and the bridegroom has to accept and approve of the relationship. So, the first thing we need to know is what are the attributes that the bridegroom is looking for, and what are the qualities that He does not like at all. But before discussing the attributes issue it will be pertinent to ask about consequences of not becoming the bride. Guru Nanak Ji confides to us in these words:
“Ank jalau, tan jaaleeau mun dhan jal bal jaaejoban jaa-ae. Jaa dhan kanth n raaveeaa taa birathhaa joban jaae.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 54)
Meaning: Her limbs shall burn, her whole body shall burn as well, and mind and wealth shall burn as well. When the husband-and-wife relationship is not developed then (bride’s) youth passes away in vain.
Thus, Guru Ji’s sharing with us the importance of developing this relationship and without it everything – mind, body, wealth, and youth will burn down and be reduced to ashes. Because all the attention and effort has been directed towards worldly possessions and mind is firmly attached to it. So, if we want to develop that relationship, Guru Ji says:
“Jae lorrehi var kamanee neh milleeai pir koor.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 17)
Meaning: If you long for your bridegroom Lord, you must realize that He is not realized by (attached to) falsehood.
Guru Ji tells us what is falsehood? Guru Ji says attachment to material possessions is falsehood has defined it in detail on Pg. No. 468 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. In short Guru Ji says, “Kooar sabh sansar” meaning the entire (material) world is false. Because everything in this world—power, position, wealth, relationships, properties, body, beauty, house, clothes and ornaments are all perishable. Either they wither away with time or we are fed up with them and want to change them. Guru Ji then adds what is not falsehood?
“Nanak vakhaanae baenatee tudh baaj koorro koor.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 468)
Meaning: Nanak prays; “O Lord! Except You, everything else is totally false.”
So, Guru Ji says give up attachment to the falsehood and to develop a loving relationship with Truth or God. Guru Ji also tells us what we should be doing. Guru ji says:
“Jae lorreh var baalarree-ea taa gur charanee chit laaae raam.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 771)
Meaning: If you long for your bridegroom Lord, O young and innocent girl then bring your awareness in your Guru.
Guru, who already has that relationship with God, guides us, coaches us to prepare to have same experience. Just as to climb mountains, coaching and guidance of experienced, accomplished mountaineer will be helpful same way Guru will train us to reach that pinnacle experience. As an enthusiastic beginner let us ask Guru Ji where should we start? Guru Ji’s lesson for starting on this journey is:
“Sun sakheeae prabh milan neesaanee. Mun tan arap taj laaj lokaanee.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 737)
Meaning: Listen, O my companions - these are the signs on the Path to meet God. Dedicate your mind and body to Him; stop living to please others.
But Guru Ji we have jobs, responsibilities and family to take care of. So, are we expected then to disconnect from everybody and everything else? Guru Ji’s answer is no. Then, let us ask Guru Ji to tell us how to develop that type of relationship. Guru Ji says this has to be done through constant remembrance while engaged in normal daily activities. They have shared how it is done through the activity of flying kite by boys:
“Aaneelae kaagadh kaatteelae gooddee aakaas madhhae bharameealae. Panch janaa sio baath bathooaa cheeth su doree raakheealae. — (SGGS, Pg. No. 972)
Meaning: The boy takes paper, cuts it and makes a kite, and flies it in the sky. Talking with his friends, he still keeps his attention on the kite string.
Guru Ji’s advice is no matter what activity one is engaged in the back of the mind the remembrance of the Creator should always be there. We will find that constant remembrance is quite difficult, as even if we allocate time for meditation, we find ourselves drifting thinking about things to do or dozing off. This is because we have equated selves with body and mind alone. On top of that we always want to look good in the eyes of others and gain their approval. We are always seeking approval, appreciation and accolades from others. Guru Ji is asking us why you are doing the thing which is going to bring down this life and this house of cards that you have built for myself. Guru Ji assures:
“Satgur shabadee milai vishhunee tan mun aagai raakhai.” — (SGGS, Pg. No.1111)
Meaning: The separated bride, who offers mind and body (to God) by following True Guru’s words, will meet God.
This is very interesting that Guru J is telling us to offer mind and body to God. In Chapter II, we discussed that human being have three constituents mind, body and soul, but we are not familiar with the soul part of it. Guru Ji is saying that offer your mind and body to God so we will be left with soul alone. What Guru Ji is talking about is not physical death of body or mind, because if these are dead then the being cannot be alive. What Guru Ji is talking about is change of perception about the self. Earlier the self was associated with mind and body, now the association is with soul alone. Mind and body are in the realm of time and space, but soul is free of these limitations. As soul is out of the boundaries of time and space, the new association of self with soul will mean association of the timeless God.
In fact, our Guru Jis have demonstrated this in their lives. Let us look at what Guru Nanak Dev Ji has said:
“Laal bahu gun kaaman mohee. Taerae gun hohae na avaree.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 359)
Meaning: Oh, My Love! I, the bride, am fascinated by your virtues. These virtues I do not see in others.
We can see the picture of relationship of Guru Ji with the Creator. If Guru Jis has experienced that relationship, then only they are extolling us to develop this relationship. Let us ask Guru Ji to share with us how this relation is nurtured, because this relation is not in our understanding or in our personal experience. So, Guru Ji please shares with us as to how we should get decked up so that we would be attractive to God? Guru Ji’s reply is:
“Mun motie jae gehanaa hovai paun hovai soot dhaaree. Khimaa seegaar kaaman tan pehrai raavae laal pyaree.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 359)
Meaning: Make your mind like pearls, and with a thread of breath make the jewelry (of pearl string) to wear (around the neck) and make compassion for others becomes the make-up, then (by becoming) beloved one relishes His Sweetheart.
Here Guru Nanak Dev Ji has beautifully shared intimacy of his personal relationship with God and also divulged the techniques to be developed to become attractive. Guru Amar Das Ji, the third Nanak says:
“Mai kaaman maeara kant kartar.” — (SGGS, Pg. No.1129)
Meaning: I am wife, and my husband is Lord Creator.
Now this is a relationship that needs to be developed by us. But we are so focused on maintaining our worldly relationships that we do not think outside of it. Since this most crucial relationship of all because when this relationship develops then all other relationships will become good and healthy. Now let us look at how Guru Ram Das Ji’s portrayed the relationship:
“Ab hum chalee thaakur pehi haar. Jub hum saran prabhu kee aaee raakh prabhu bhaavai maar.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 527)
Meaning: Now, I have come to my Lord totally exhausted. When I have taken your sanctuary, Lord, now it is up to you to kill me or keep me alive.
So, in this one line Guru Ji shared what he himself did. In this subsequent line Guru Ji says he has put others opinion, accolades into fire. In other words, they are of no significance to me. Now let us see what Gayand Bhat, who spent time in Guru Ji’s court says about Guru Ram Das Ji:
“Prathakh deh paarbraham swami, aad roop pokhan bharnan.” — (SGGS, Pg. No.1401)
Meaning: The Lord of all beings, root of all creation, only truly existing, nourishes all and cherisher is visible in form of body (of Guru Ram Das Ji).
So now let us ask Guru Ji to share with us what is fate of those who do not develop this relationship. Guru Ji says:
“Dhohaaganee kiaa neesaaneeaa. Khasmahu ghuthheeaa fireh nimaaneeaa.
Mailae vaes tinaa kaamanee dhukhee rai-n vihaae jeeo.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 72)
Meaning: (Question) What are the distinctive marks of abandoned brides? (Answer) They miss their spouse and wonder around dejected. Their clothes (body) are coated with filth (of avarice) and their night (of life) passes in distress.
Guru Ji can you please help us, guide us so that we can reverse the downward spiral in avarice. Guru Ji says that we should pray to almighty and Guru Ji even gives us the words:
“Tudhh gun mai sabh avgunnaa eik nanak ki ardas jeeo. Sabh raatie sohaganee mai ddohagan kaaee raat jeeo.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 762)
Meaning: In You! My Lord are all virtues and I am totally without any virtues. This alone is the prayer of Nanak, that all the nights (of life) are for those virtuous soul-brides, please grant the unchaste one (me) a night well.
So, Guru Ji is telling us that in order to develop this relationship first a realization of inadequacy and a prayer for grace comes out the heart. It is with the realization that grace can obtained through Guru. The seeker asks:
“Kiya maagau, kiya kahe sunee, mai darshan bhookh pyas jeeo. Gur shabadee sahau paaeiaa, such Nanak kee ardas jeeo.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 762)
Meaning: What else should I ask for; what should I say that you may hear me? I have hunger and thirst for your Blessed Vision. By (following) Guru’s instructions the Lord is obtained. Please grant my prayer.
The unfolding of the intricate working towards Purpose no 1, becoming one with God has been quite mesmerizing. We have realized that door to God can only be approached when we have Guru as our guide and have a complete faith. Now we are finding that we have to develop a personal close relationship with God to gain entry into Lord’s mansion, and we need to get Guru’s grace. That implies Guru’s grace is like the key that opens the door of the mansion. In next Chapter, we will discuss how to obtain Guru’s grace.
In conclusion, let us ask Guru Jig to give us pen portrayal of the virtuous bride who has established the relationship of wife with God. Guru Ji says,
“Achaaravant saaee paradhhaanae. Sabh singaar banae tis gyanae. Saa kulwantee saa sabharaaee jo pir kai rang savaaree jeeo.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 97)
Meaning: She is well mannered, distinguished and of high character. Her ornaments are her wisdom and spiritual experiences. She is truly from high caste (respectable family background), has brothers (of virtues) she has groomed herself with the love of Husband Lord.
To be Continued