Why are We Here? – 10
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What does Guru’s grace provide? Guru Nanak Dev Ji has answered this question by saying:
“Gur parasaadhee maeraa sahu milai vaar vaar hau jaao jeeo.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 157)
Meaning: By Guru's Grace my beloved (God) is obtained, I am a sacrifice to my Master. Again, and again, I am a sacrifice, a sacrifice.
When one is in a state of bliss nothing ruffles that person. No matter what the external circumstances may be, the grace has done its magic and peace; poise is not disturbed even in the midst of turmoil. The words from the mouth of those who experienced grace can only describe that experience. In Chapter IV we have seen how Guru Ji’s grace transformed Bhai Lehna. In this Chapter, first let us look at another transformation that was brought by Guru Ji’s grace. Although all the Gurus transformed thousands of lives by their grace and many volumes could be written on this subject still it would not be possible to fully document them. But let us concentrate on one incident of Bhai Nana Lal Ji now, from the times of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Bhai Nand Lal was born in Ghazni, Afghanistan in the year 1643. He was a gifted and talented child, who started composing Persian verses at an early age of nine. At Age of nineteen he lost both his parents, as he was quite young the Nawab of Ghazni did not want him to inherit his father’s position of the Revenue Minister. He was quite disappointed and decided to move to Multan and look for greener pastures there. In Multan, the Nawab of Multan was very impressed with Bhai Sahib’s abilities and appointed him as the Revenue Minister of his state. At age of forty-five Bhai Sahib decided to quit his job and spend remaining years of his life in search of truth by visiting various places of pilgrimage.
Bhai Nand Lal visited Anandpur as he had heard about Guru Gobind Singh during his visit to Amritsar and decided to settle there. He made up his mind that he will go to visit on Guru Ji only, when he is summoned by him. This way he thought he would know that Guru Ji can figure out what was in his mind and confirm to him Guru Ji’s spiritual greatness and also that Guru Ji was knower of minds. Some time passed by and there were no summons, and this period of wait felt like heart burn and setting his soul aflame to him, in his own words as gleamed through his Persian verses.
Finally, the much awaited call arrived and Bhai Nand Lal met Guru Ji, the very first glance was glance of grace. It opened the full spectrum of divine in him, dispelled all his doubts. When Guru Gobind Singh Ji uttered “Nand Lal Nihal” his heart was enveloped in divine love and was drinking the ambrosia. As it is difficult for us to gauge his feeling and emotions of this encounter, let us ask Bhai Ji to share it in his own words:
“Maa namae aaraem taabae gamazeae miygaan oo. Yak nighaahae jaa(n) phizaaeish bus bavadh darkaar ma.” — (Bhai Nand Lal; Ghazal No. 2)
Meaning: Oh! How can I bear the light shed by the piercing glance of his love from his eyes? A mere glimpse of the beloved is enough to enlighten me.
Let us ask Bhai Ji to share with us what this glance has done to him. Bhai Ji says:
“Baadhaa haaeae shauk mae naashadh dilae hoshiaar maa.” — (Bhai Nand Lal; Ghazal No. 2)
Meaning: My heart and soul drink his ambrosial sight.
Now this is a testimonial of highest order, as it is his own writings and has not been tempered with, nor was it composed by somebody else after a long-time gap after the incident. This is as authentic as it can get. Guru Ji’s glance blessed Bhai Ji with gift of Naam. Bhai Ji’s life was transformed and now contemplation of Naam was his daily practice. Guru Ji empowered Bhai Ji to inspire others to contemplate on Naam. Bhai Nand Lal was so overwhelmed in thankfulness that a song of Persian ghazal burst out from his heart. The concluding lines of the ghazal are:
“Hijarae maaraa aarzooai vassal bakash.
Ee khijaae jisam maaraa fazal bakash.
Har sarae mooyam zubaa(n) kun aaz karam.
Ta bagoyam vasphae hak raa dum baadum.” — (Bhai Nand Lal, Ghazal 458)
Meaning: To my physical separation bestow the longing of union. In the autumn of my life confer on me the joy of a perennial spring. And by your grace, give my tongue to every hair on my body; so that with each of these tongues I may sing your glory with every breath.
The master (Guru Gobind Singh) was always very pleased to hear the melodies of Bhai Nand Lal and occasionally he would be asked to recite them in the congregations. Guru Ji said to Bhai Ji you have understood how to cross this worldly ocean, and have dyed your inner with love, devotion and reverence of Supreme Lord. These are the traits that enable one to break the grip of ego and merge the awareness in the Supreme. Bhai Sahib was a very keen observer and his devotion to Guru Ji was nurtured by confirmation to him of Guru Ji’s greatness. Let us ask Bhai Sahib to share with us what he noticed about Guru Gobind Singh Ji? Bhai Ji has written:
“Nassaro mansoor Gur Gobind Singh.
Aezadhee mansoor Gur Gobind Singh.” — (Bhai Nand Lal, Tausfeeo Sana (105))
Meaning: Victorious, helpful, and helped by God is Guru Gobind Singh. Guru Gobind Singh is liked by God and accepted at his Court.
Bhai Nand Lal shares the character traits of Guru Ji in these words:
“Haak haak aaeenaa Gur Gobind Singh.” — (Bhai Nand Lal, Tausfeeo Sana (124))
Meaning: Guru Gobind Singh Ji is a mirror who shows the True God.
Bhai Ji has shared with us his feelings and love for Guru Ji, now let us ask him to tell us a little about himself yourself. What Bhai ji thinks about himself, he shares it in these words:
“Kamatharee z sagaan Gur Gobind Singh .” — (Bhai Nand Lal, Tausfeeo Sana (157))
Meaning: Nand Lal is the slave-dog of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Now this is the highest testimonial, coming from one who had been privy of Guru’s grace and how humble he became. Bhai Sahib experienced grace transformed his life and he has left behind his first hand legacy in form of ghazals to inspire us to emulate the experience. We can feel very high admiration for the master and a complete absence of ego in him. So, this is one of the benefits of grace besides getting out of cycles of birth and death.
In order to know about the benefits in details, now let us ask Guru Arjan Dev ji to share with us the benefits of grace in detail. Guru Arjan Dev Ji has said:
“Gur parshad maerai mun vasiaa jo maago so paavo rae. Naam rung eih mun tripataanaa bahur n kathehoon dhhaavo rae. 1. Humaraa thaakur sabh thae oochaa rai-n dinas tis gaavo rae. Khin meh thhaap outhhaapanhaaraa tis tae thujheh ddaraavo rae.1. Rehaao. Jab dhaekho prabh apunaa suaamee tao avareh cheeth na paavo rae. Nanak daas prabh aap pehiraaeiaa bhram bho maett likhaavo rae.” — (SGGS, Pg No. 404)
Meaning: By Guru's Grace, He dwells within my mind; whatever I ask for, I receive.
This mind is satisfied with the Love of the Naam, the Name of the Lord; it does not go out, anywhere, anymore. 1. My Lord and Master is the highest of all; night and day, I sing the Glories of His Praises. In an instant, He establishes and disestablishes; through Him, I frighten myself. 1. Pause. Wherever I behold, (I see) my God, my Lord and Master, I do not see anybody else. God Himself has adorned servant Nanak; his doubts and fears have been dispelled, and he writes the account of the Lord.
The very first words that Guru Ji starts with are Guru’s Grace. Guru ji has counted eight benefits and let us look at those:
1.By Guru grace, He dwells within my mind.
2.Whatever I ask for, I receive.
3.This mind is satisfied with the Love of the Naam.
4.It does not go out, anywhere, anymore.
5.(I know) My Lord and Master is the highest of all; (and) night and day, I sing the Glories of His Praises.
6.In an instant, He creates and destroys; remembering Him (in my mind), I frighten myself (to remain in awe of His Power).
7.Wherever I look I see Him, and I do not recognize anybody else.
8.God Himself has adorned servant Nanak
Now let us briefly discuss the benefits:
1. By Guru’s grace, He (the Creator) dwells within my mind. The net result is that the constant flow of thoughts, worries, and anxiety is completely ebbed. The mind that was constantly swinging like a pendulum is at rest now in the center position, completely subdued.
2. Those who have experienced grace realize that whatever they ask for is provided. So, this realization in itself is a great stress reliever, taking out all the worries making one completely carefree. All our worries originate from our desire of self-preservation, when that worry has disappeared, along with it a tremendous weight that pulls the mind into worry has been lifted. Now the weights that were keeping the mind anchored down are no longer there, so mind can soar high like a free bird. There is no desire to hoard or save future, retirement or the rainy day, because there is this firm faith that if Lord has provided me for today then He will provide for tomorrow as well.
3. The mind is in a state of contentment, as it knows that all needs will be taken care of — (See No. 2 above) and allurement of worldly possessions or status has departed. This has happened as the being has been dyed in the color of Naam.
4. The mind does not wander anywhere, anymore, it has become very still. Still mind like a rock can brave even the severe storms, the weaker mind will be swept aside like a small rock.
5. How all this has been achieved? Guru Ji says that it was because of grace and now my mind is in state of adoration, and I sing His praises day and night. Adoration only starts when no desires are left; the flow of adoration is from the spring of contentment. The adoration charges us with positive energy, while complaint or lack drains energy making us feel weak, and it also produces lack of confidence.
6. I am in awe of Him. I can feel, visualize and experience His (Creator’s) tremendous power of the Creator to create and destroy in an instant. I use this as tool to keep myself in check. Because most of the times our ego takes charge, and we develop a sense of self-importance that without me the work or success would not have been possible.
7. Wherever I look I see God alone, and I don’t see anybody else. This is a tremendous perspective as we always see other, another viewpoint, different, weird and so on. In other words, after the experience of grace there is a loving acceptance and appreciation for all, even when the alignment in thoughts, on viewpoint or appearance is in not there, still there is no fight to impose or change others viewpoint.
8. Since God has dressed his servant Nanak with the robe of honor, all doubts and fears have been dispelled and on the slate of my mind I write praises of God. Now this concluding statement is not a declaration of achievement to the world, but acknowledgment of the power of grace. This finer distinction should not be lost as this signifies a complete absence of ego and pride.
Summing up, it can be said that fears, worries, stress, anxiety all depart when grace is received and mind is calmed and it sees God in everyone, everyplace, and it is constant state of adoration.
So how do we become qualified to receive Guru’s grace? That first pre-requisite is we need to realize its need, feel its significance and then pray for it. Because grace of Guru is such a unique product, that it is not available in the marketplace and nor it has price tag on it. Thus, first the need has to be felt, and effort has to be directed in the direction. Need will be felt when we listen to Guru’s teachings and understand what Guru is trying to convey. When the deficiency is experienced the search will begin, on how to fulfill it. After a thorough search it will down on us that it can only be obtained by prayer for grace.
Thus, the seeker will first realize that I may have intelligence, but with that intellect and intelligence I have only acquired an expertise of a field, it has made a specialist of that field, but higher understanding is missing; greed, desire, lust, anger and other lower traits are still present in me. Guru Ji has captured that feeling inadequacy in these words:
“Nanak vin satgur mut bhavee” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 1092)
Meaning: Nanak! Without (understanding) Guru’s (teaching) the mind is always perverted.
Thus, Guru Ji is implying all our efforts are in wrong direction. In the next part of the sentence Guru Ji defines how it can be changed:
“Satgur no milai ta shabad kammae.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 1092)
Meaning: It is only on meeting Guru that one tries to incorporate (Guru’s) words in one’s life.
This will be the catalyst for change, which will chisel the mind and make it beautiful, attractive, and ready for Guru’s grace. The transformation takes place by incorporating Guru’s teachings and constantly asking for grace. Once Guru’s grace is obtained:
“Gur parsaad rahai liv laa-ae.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 352)
Meaning: With Guru’s Grace one remains drenched in the divine love.
Once, one is drenched in that divine love one will experience bliss and without that experience it will create wretched feeling. All our life we have made effort to find bliss in life. When we are kids, we think that schoolwork is tedious and boring, when we finish school and go to college, we will be happy. Because we carry a load of bags to school and have homework to do in the evening and in our perception when these would not be required, we will be happy. Then we enter college we face new set of challenges and again imagine when this is over, we will be happy. But even that becomes evasive, we think marriage, house, children will fill us with happiness. Then we go through this experience but still find lack of happiness. Without Guru’s diagnosis we do not know that the cause of unhappiness is ego, when we are cured of it, we can experience happiness, bliss, now today. The ego is cured when Guru’s grace is obtained. Guru Ji has put it elegantly as to who obtains Guru’s grace:
“Gur parasaadhee soee jan paaeae jin ko kirapaa thumaaree.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 506)
Meaning: By Guru's Grace, that humble being obtains You, Lord, upon whom You show Mercy.
What is obtained by Guru’s grace? We have discussed that it in detail but in conclusion of this Chapter let us get it reaffirmed. Guru Ji says:
“Gur kirapaa thae param padh paaeiaa.” — (SGGS, Pg. No.1128)
Meaning: By the Guru's Merciful Grace, I have obtained the supreme status.
So, the grace can elevate us to Supreme status. In our lives we are constantly pursuing our worldly dreams of name, material possessions, recognition and position but still they leave us feeling empty and supreme status is out of question. But what about those who are not privy to Guru’s grace, what is their fate? Guru Ji says:
“Nanak nadharee baaharee sabh karan palaah karaee.” — (SGGS, Pg. No.1128)
Meaning: O Nanak! All those who lack this Grace, are searching for compassion.
Guru Ji is sharing with us the mental state of those who are lacking grace. They are looking for compassion i.e., they are looking for approval, acceptance and recognition and they cry and wail because of the emptiness inside. Thus, we can see that grace is going to provide us with fulfillment and supreme status, making our lives comfortable in this life and honor in the world after as well.
For the skeptics, a question remains in the mind; that since Gurus are not in the physical form at this time then how the grace can be showered? Well, the answer is:
&mdash Gurus are still with us in form of living Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
— Gurus may not be physically here in this world, but their spirit is still here to help us, strengthen our faith and provide us with grace.
— Even the glance of blessed Gurmukhs can shower grace.
Because through the enlightened Gurmukhs the heritage of Gurus is passed from generation to generation, as Guru Ram Das Ji has shared with us:
“Jug jug peerree chalai satigur kee jinee gurmukh naam dhhiaaeiaa.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 79)
Meaning: Age after age, the Family of the True Guru shall flourish through Gurmukh, who meditate on the Naam, the Name of the Lord.
But a word of caution would be pertinent. A seeker should not be deceived by the outward appearance charlatans posing as a Gurmukh. The seeker should be intelligent enough to verify the qualities of Gurmukh before asking from him, otherwise the seeker may find that he/she has been taken for a ride. Even Bhai Nand Nal satisfied himself about veracity in Guru Gobind Singh Ji before seeking Guru Ji’s grace. Gurus have not left us in dark on what we should be looking for in a Gurmukh. Guru Ji says Gurmukh is:
“Gurmukh ghaalae gurmukh khattae guramukh naam japaaeae.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 753)
Meaning: The Gurmukh works, and the Gurmukh earns; the Gurmukh inspires others to chant the Naam.
So, casting all doubts let us make a beginning with folded hands and prayer on our lips for Guru’s Grace. We know that our Guru is compassionate, and he will never deny a request that is not for material gain but for own spiritual upliftment.
Purpose No. 5 : Guru’s Grace
Thought: By Guru’s grace my beloved God is obtained
Quote: “Gur parasaadhee maeraa sahu milai vaar vaar hau jaao jeeo.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 157)
Meaning: By Guru's Grace my beloved (God) is obtained, I am a sacrifice to my Master. Again, and again, I am a sacrifice, a sacrifice.
Action: I pray to my Guru to grant me his grace so that I can meditate on Naam and meet God, obtain contentment, poise and come out of cycles of reincarnations.
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