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Elements of meditation in Gurbani


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Good stuff. That website has alot of interesting material.

Bandagi-Nama is well worth reading simply because it's a rare first-hand account of what one can expect on the 'path'. Now to try and apply it.....

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  • 9 months later...

Part 1

Elements of Meditation in Gurbani (1):

What Should Not You Seek 1

Dr. (Bhai) Harbans Lal 2

It is a common observation that many seekers take on meditation with a purely materialistic outlook on

life. Some wish to start it as an exercise so that their heart may beat slower and it may function for many more

years, that the digestive and eliminative organs function in a more comforting mode, or that their senility may

be postponed. Others wish that there be a victory in a criminal or a tax evasion case, that the check books

show ever increasing balance, that their business may produce much more profit, and that the business of their

neighbors be doomed. Still others desire a spiritual or occult power in order to enjoy greater harmony in life,

enjoy more and better earthly things, and to catch bigger and better fish in the nets. All of these seekers of

meditation go on believing that fulfillment can be found in the materialistic world, money brings satisfaction,

fame is the answer to their depression, or that fulfillment lies in good health. The purpose of this discussion is

to stress that one can never really benefit from meditation so long as one continue to seek it for the purpose

of demonstrating its worldly potency, that is, to gain occult or physical powers, or to achieve materialistic

gains. Any exercise of meditation to possess an automobile, more money, or a better position at work or in

society will only strengthen the grip of illusions and as such will be poisonous to any spiritual life.

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Without the wealth of (Lord’s) Name, consider all other riches as poisons.

The Guru tells us that only those will succeed on their spiritual journey whom do materialistic desires not

touch.

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The one who is not affected by greed, the love of illusions, the service of evil, and, affects of pain or

pleasure, is the embodiment of God.

Meditation is for the purpose of realizing God consciousness. Through meditation God’s kingdom is revealed.

God is realized as the apotheosis of all good. In achieving the experience of God, our problems of

human life are also resolved but only as a tangible. However, we are distracted to a wrong path if we desire to

gain any thing material that is separate and apart from Divinity. Any attempt of meditation that has within

itself any trace of desire to get something other than God’s gift of meditation, or to acquire something other

than love for meditation is no longer the meditation. Rather it is a means to further strengthen the grip of our

animal instincts.

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O my mind, those who forsake naam and take to the duality fall into the grip of the angel of death.

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Only by contemplating on the Lord’s Name one is emancipated and the rest is but a vain prattle.

If resolution of materialistic agenda is not the purpose of meditation, should we postpone the spiritual

journey until those agendas are completed. Desire for meditation can not be postponed until our materialistic

problems are resolved. Often we say: "If only this pain could be stopped, then I really could begin the practice

of meditation. I can't do it while I am in such a pain." “If I can afford a retirement sooner, I could devote

more time to meditation, or "if only my children get married, I could be free and at peace and would be able

to commit to meditation." In other words, people infer that the drive for meditation is hindered by some

physical, social or financial condition. Evidence is to the contrary. For example, those who do not undertake

meditation in youth, often do not do so when they are old.

1 The verses from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib are cited with the author, source, page and line numbers according to the Granth published by Shiromni Parbhandak

Committee, Amritsar. Each verse is followed by a brief commentary relating to the subject of this discussion and may be distinct from an exact translation.

2 Send reprint requests and address all correspondence to Dr. Harbans Lal, Ph.D., D.Litt. (Hons), Professor and Chairman, Department of Pharmacology, University

of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd. Fort Worth, Texas 76016.

3 Das, Guru Amar, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 664, l.2

4 Bahadur, Guru Teg, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 220, l.5.

5 Das, Guru Ram, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p.170, l.10

6 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 1227, l. 14.

Materialism and Nam Page 2 H. Lal

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One who enjoys not his union with God in youth, rarely does one so in old age. So, get in relationship

with your God right now, and turn a new leaf in your life!

There are people with millions of dollars who have not discovered divine consciousness; there are people

in perfect health, or enjoying highest glory of public reclaim who have neither known spirituality, nor have

they found peace or fulfillment. Therefore, the Guru poses this question to answer our riddle.

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How shall I be in joy, O my sibling? How shall I find the Lord, the mainspring of my life? Due to the

love of Maya, my mind is not at peace, and my high mansions are just a beautiful shadow. In vain

have I wasted my life in greed. I am exulted at the sight of the horses, the elephants, the gathering of

the armies and the royal assistants. (But) they are like a noose of vanity around my neck. One may

have sway over the entire world, may revel in all kinds of joy, and enjoy many sensuous women. In

actuality, this person is like a king turned beggar in a dream. The True Guru showed me the way to

bliss. Whatever the Lord does must be pleasing to God’s devotees. Stilling one’s ego, one merges in

the Real. Thus is the Bliss attained, O my sibling. Thus is experienced the Divine, the supporter of all.

Whatever is achieved without the touch of God will not be right for us and it is the life experience of

meditation of God’s Name that makes one realize.

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O Nanak, as God wills, God makes things right. Without the Name, no one will receive approval.

We must be aware that when most of us start on the spiritual path, our state of consciousness is materialistic.

Only on the path of Gurmat, the Guru’s way to God, we are trained to reverse the picture. Then we

begin to inculcate the meditation in our heart instead; and in the process of meditation, we see the desire for

material goods, or relief from the worldly pains to disappear; lust, greed, and urge to worldly fulfillment

vanish. In the composition of Sukhmani, Guru Arjan spoke the following for those who do not know how to

stop nurturing their worldly desires.

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One, who desires for the four cardinal possessions, should commit oneself to the service of the Saints.

If you long to erase your sorrows, you must ever sing the praises of the Lord in your heart. If you seek

praises for yourself, learn to forsake ego by joining the society of the holy. If you dread the pangs of

birth and death, take refuge of the Saints. One who only seeks the vision of the Lord, Nanak is sacrifice

unto that person.

It is true that when we seek, we receive materialistic benefits from the meditation. Reduction of stress,

satisfying relationships with others, healthy body, abundant supply of materials, success in business, and

creativity in worldly endeavors, are some of the tangible benefits of achieving the Divine consciousness

through meditation. Guru Arjan described the tangibles that were given to him when he practiced meditation

on god’s Name.

7 Farid, Shaikh, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 1378, l. 10.

8 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 175, l. 19.

9 Dev, Guru Nanak. In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 25, l. 15

10 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), ,p.266, l. 4

Materialism and Nam Page 3 H. Lal

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I meditate continuously in remembrance of the Lord, and attain harmony; anguish and ailments are

dispelled from my body.

However, we must realize that the inner fulfillment must come first before the comforts of this world may

be added. When they are achieved, it is without asking, and more importantly, after satiating any hunger for

those. We do not ask for or desire for them. Rather, we learn that asking for any thing other than the gift of

God’s Naam, is asking for a Pandora box of troubles.

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To ask for anything or any body other than You, Oh Lord, is inviting the most miserable of miseries.

Kindly bless me with your Naam, which is the fulfillment, and make me content that way so that may

the hunger of my mind be satiated.

As long as we are merely trying to exchange physical discord for physical harmony, we do not have any

concept of what the spiritual riches are, or what the spiritual health is. Therefore, we must begin our meditation

with the recognition that neither physical health nor material wealth is the object of our search for Divine.

Any desire for things or persons will prevent, or delay our entrance into the spiritual kingdom. Only the

steadfast focus on the goal of seeking solely the God-realization will open the way to reaching the higher

consciousness. In that consciousness, we will find all things other than experience in divinity to be tasteless, or

to be more accurate, we will find all desires within us satiated. When we will no longer search for the satisfaction

that the outside world can give, but seek only eternal peace, we will open the gates to the spiritual life.

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Says Nanak: “ One who sings the Lord’s Praise will alone be in harmony. The rest of the world is

lured away by illusions and attains not to the state of divine consciousness.â€

As a seeker, as we Sikhs are of spiritual wisdom, an important question is what is the motivation for persuasion

of our true spirituality? Is there an urge for God-realization, an urge that can be trodden here on

earth? Can it be achieved here on earth? Is there any short cut? The answer to all these questions is a yes.

Not only there is a way of accomplishing these objectives, but there are short cuts too. One short cut, so

simple and yet so very difficult, is to perform a bit of mental surgery on ourselves and reshape our materialistic

appetite. Let us take a sharp scalpel and cut out cravings for person, place, thing, circumstance, or condition.

Every craving must be cut away in order that only one remains. It is to reach divine consciousness and

to fall in love with it alone. We will reach the life eternal without cutting of any worldly activity.

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UZ.KX S<M TXPZU, @ 14

O’ the Restorer of what was taken away, the Liberator from captivity, the Formless Lord, the Destroyer

of pain, I do not know about karma and good deeds, I do not know about dharma and righteous

living, I am so greedy, chasing illusions. As I choose to go by the name of God's devotee; please,

save this honor of yours.

Awakening of Divine within is the main purpose of meditation. Thus, any objective or exercise for material

things or persons defeats the purpose of meditation. To experience Divinity itself is the only good that we

must seek from our meditation.

11 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 262, l. 10.

12 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p.958, l.1

13 Bahadur, Guru Teg, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p.220, l.12

14 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 624, l. 14

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Part 2

Elements of Meditation in Gurbani (2):

Self-Orientation is Hindrance 1

Dr. (Bhai) Harbans Lal 2 3

Self -oriented people are the citizens of this Aquarius age who listen to the human consciousness. They

are stuck in the duality and are deep in materialistic mud. In their desires they always want that their materiality

be made considerably better and richer. Sikh theologian, Bhai Gurdas, describes such a personality as:

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Manmukh, the self-oriented, conduct their life practices under the influence of an evil-consciousness

and they suffer on account of their attachment with the duality.

Scripture tells us that a self-oriented people can neither indulge in meditation5 nor be recipient of the Divine

Word, their indulgence is always in the ego.

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The self-oriented people ( manmukhs) do not know the Naam. Without Naam, they lose their honor.

They do not savor the Sabad and are attached to the love of duality.

It is because a self-oriented person is possessed with a egotistic and false selfhood, which prevent him/er

from knowing the meaning of meditation.

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The self-ward egotist knows not the essence of worship

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The self-oriented manmukhs are unable to meditate; they are psychotic, wasting away in their egotism.

Under a spell of the falsehood, a self-oriented person undertakes meditation to be stout or slim or to have

more money. The point is that the self-oriented people will indulge in meditation for an improvement or an

increase of that very materiality which separates them from the divine and such meditation will never serve the

purpose for which they are urged to practice it. Very often their human desires, when fulfilled, would leave

them more unsatisfied, because their self orientation deprives them from the wisdom to know what their real

needs are. The self-oriented person is ignorant of severe limitations of the human mind and all resourcefulness

of God..

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One who claims to know what is good for him/er is ignorant. The ignorant does not realize that God

knows all.

Only the Guru oriented knows that it is the Divine within who is all wisdom and may plan better for any

individual

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The God oriented person is given what is right and this person does not regret receiving it. God alone

knows what is in store.

1 The verses from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib are cited with the author, source, page and line numbers according to the Granth published by Shiromni Parbhandak

Committee, Amritsar. Each verse is followed by a brief commentary relating to the subject of this discussion and may be distinct from an exact translation.

2 Send reprint requests and address all correspondence to Dr. Harbans Lal, Ph.D., D.Litt. (Hons), Professor and Chairman, Department of Pharmacology, University

of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd. Fort Worth, Texas 76016. .

3 Editorial assistance of Drs. Kulwant Singh and Sardool Singh is acknowledged with thanks

4 Gurdas, Bhai, Var 30, Pauri 1, l. 3.

5 Term meditation is used interchangeably for Naam Jap and Simran. In reality Naam Jap is a behavioral skill and Simran is a state of mind.

6 Das, Guru Amar. In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 28, l. .8.

7 Das, Guru Amar. In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p 429, l.16.

8 Dev, Guru Nanak, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 1345, l. 13.

9 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 387, l. 1.

10 Das, Guru Amar. In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 1066, l. 18.

Naam and Manmukh Page 2 H. Lal

The Divine is within me and the same Divine is within you. That is revealed through meditation. The

presence of God and the power of God are within us but on account of our worldly desires we have become

self-oriented people. We have built up a state of consciousness that consists of layers and layers of the

material illusions. A self-oriented person does not succeed in breaking through these layers to reach the

altitude of God. Until we do so, we shall fail in our Meditation and miss the path to fulfillment.

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The ignorant and blind egocentrics are deluded by doubt and they do not see the veils of falsehood.

Ego closed the fortress of our body.

The self-oriented depends entirely on the human sense for guidance. To the human sense, the spiritual

way of life seems either impossible, or short-lived and intangible. Such a person does not realize that, in

reality, the most tangible thing in the world is the Divine Presence and all worldly objects are symbols of

God’s presence. Until that is realized, the things of this world are not outer symbols of the Divine Grace.

When one becomes the Guru Oriented, these symbols change their meaning and one understands,

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The world is the Abode of the True One and the True One abides in it.

As long as self oriented men and women live by bread alone, by the strife and struggle involved in human

activity; as long as they are dependent exclusively on outer symbols or effects, they will be misled. After

wasting many efforts they will end up as nothing and discover eventually that these worldly possessions are

transitory. We can see the effects of a dependence on material things as we look into the faces of the men and

women who are living by these effects placing their reliance only on the health of their bodies, the wealth of

their pocketbooks, and other things of this world. In those people, you will see a picture of a self-oriented

person. This type of mentality should be discarded under Guru’s guidance.

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O’ my mind, become Gurmukh, and extinguish the fire within. Let the Words of the Guru abide within

your mind; let egotism and desires die.

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I dedicate my mind and intellect to the Guru. By His Grace I am able to do what was impossible to do.

When we become the seekers, we pledge that we shall obey the scriptural injunction to let the Guru bear

our witness. We know not what we should seek, but the Guru makes the intercession for us.

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I offer my mind and body to the Guru, who has shown me the way to the God.

When we orient to the Guru to seek the skills of meditation, the Guru becomes our advocate and acquaints

us with the Divine way.

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The Guru united the seperted ones with God acting as an intercessor at the God’s Court.

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When the Guru becomes one’s intercessor, the ignorance, doubt, and suffering are dispelled.

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All over the boughs are green: but that alone is ripe-sweet which ripens in its own time. Meet Thou

me, O Lord, in the month of Asuj: yea, the Perfect Guru is now my intercessor.

11 Das, Guru Amar, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 514, l..9

12 Dev, Guru Angad, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 463, l. 13.

13 Dev, Guru Nanak, In: Guru Granth Sahib(1604), p.22, l.11

14 Das, Guru Ram, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 834, l. 17.

15 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 836, l. 3.

16 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 957, l. 1

17 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 708, l. 9

18 Dev, Guru Nanak, In: Guru Granth Sahib(1604), p. 1109, l. 1

Naam and Manmukh Page 3 H. Lal

The lesson is that to practice meditation successfully, we must discard the guidance from our own intuition

or from the devil within. Rather, we should hear the Word of the Guru.

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Shed thy self-willedness, and hear the Words of Wisdom (of the Lord).

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The self-oriented manmukh babbles on and on, but does not comprehend. One whose heart is illumined,

by Guru's Teachings, obtains the Name of the Lord.

19 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 814, l. 12.

20 Das, Guru Amar. In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 492, l. 5.

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Part 3

Elements of Meditation1 in Gurbani (3):

To Awaken Divine Within 2

Dr. (Bhai) Harbans Lal 3

The only purpose of meditation is to achieve the goal of our human life and that goal is to awaken our

consciousness to Divinity within us. In the exercise of meditation we pray that the purpose of our human life I

fulfilled.

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It is through your Grace that I am given the human life form. Now it is my prayer that you bestow your

presence in my consciousness, O’ God.

Our true identity has been, is, and always will be the Divine identity. It has been hidden from sight during

this period of mortality in which we are sleeping as human consciousness. The only purpose of meditation is

to awaken this Divinity in our consciousness. Thus, when we exercise meditation with the Grace of the Guru

and God, its success shows up in an illumination of our mind and consciousness to that Divinity.

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Just as water loses its identity and acquires all colors, so does the spiritual person becomes one with

God. As many metals become gold upon a touch of the mystic stone and intoxicating smell of perfume

resides in sandal wood so does God comes to live in the heart of a devotee.

We cannot be separated from God, because there is no we. Actually, there is no such thing in the entire

world as ‘you’ or ‘me’. God is infinite and God is in everything. God constitutes you and me, our life, mind,

soul and being, just as gold constitutes the ring. Gold is the substance and the ring is a form. God is the

substance and the individual is the form. God is the essence of our being. Scripture illustrates this through

many examples.

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Why go out to search for God in the woods? God abides within us all unattached. As fragrance lives

in the flower and reflection in the mirror, so also God lives within you: search God within your heart.

Know God within and without you; this is the wisdom imparted by the Guru. Says Nanak, “Without

Knowing oneself, one is not rid of the smut of Doubtâ€.

It is the nature of the human being to be unaware of God within and to love self-indulgence: riches, desires,

animosity, greed, attachment and sensuality. The tendency of self-indulgence operates in our consciousness

as agent of the evil to separate us from the Divine consciousness. When beginning on the path of

meditation, we must recognize these influences and seek Guru’s assistance in over-powering them.

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Attractive women lure the soul of the man; emotional attachment to Maya is so sweet to him. His mind

has become attached to the pleasures of houses, palaces, horses and other enjoyments. The Lord God

does not enter his thoughts; how can he be saved, O my Lord? O my Lord, these are my lowly actions,

Treasure of Virtue. Merciful Lord, please bless me with your Grace and forgive me for all my mistakes.

|| Pause || I have no charm, no social status and no manners. How shall I show you my face

and speak to you? I have no virtue at all; I have not chanted Your Name. I am a sinner and can be

saved only by the Company of the Guru. This will be a boon of the True Guru.

The capacity for thinking of comforts for our pseudo-self is a function of the degree of our sense of separation

from Divine. As a matter of fact, this sense of separation is the legacy of humanoid. In Meditation we

realize that we are not simple human beings, as we seem to be; we are spiritual entities. It is only our human

nature that is entertaining a sense of separation from God. We cannot be separated from God, but we can

entertain such a sense. By Meditation that sense of separation begins to disappear. A metamorphosis takes

8 Ravidas, Bhagat. In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 93, l. 16.

9 Gurdas, Bhai, Kabit 133. In: Onkar Singh, Kabit Sawayye Bhai Gurdas, p. 36, Punjabi University, Patial, 1993

10 Bahadur, Guru Teg, In : Sri Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p.684, l.16

11 Das, Guru Ram, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 167, l. 12

Nam For Divine Vision Page 3 29.08.1999 H. Lal

place wholly within one's self due to the activity of consciousness. The moment one sets his feet in the

direction of the Meditation, one has begun a journey on the spiritual path to self-realization.

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Those who meet the True Lord are not separated again; they come to dwell in the home of the self

deep within.

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The Gurmukh is united with the Lord, while the manmukh is separated from Him. The Gurmukh reveals

the way.

Meditation is meant to take us to the stages of spiritual uplift consisting of heightened awareness, expanded

consciousness, and the divine wisdom. We meditate to unfold a vast land of eternal beauty within us.

We recognize deep within our souls, an awesome mystery of God of which we are a part. Simran is a journey

towards illumination and the joyous existence in the greater space of inner consciousness. It begins here on

earth, in our more loosely defined home. Then it expands all over to the Divine energy. This energy extends

to the heavens and the stars, who become like friends, with special messages of God’s manifestation. The

great message is delivered in the simplest spiritual experience that reveal the inter connected truth. We begin

to know deep within that a shift is taking place: we are becoming part of divine energy. We have finally learnt

the lessons to arrive at the stage where we are enter into the everlasting fold of God. That is the promise of

Meditation and simran.

Most people who pretend to follow the path of Meditation are, in actuality, following their humanoid

tendencies guided by the evils in their mind. In contrast to these, a few will stand out, who have an inner light

and glory by which they live. This spiritual light is easily detected in them. You see it in their eyes, hear it in

their voice, and observe it in their spiritual vitality. You also see and hear the same in guru’s Shabad. Although

this Presence is invisible, It is within the shabad and with every person; no one in the world is without

it. It is available to everyone who has ears to hear and eyes to see, who is receptive to Divine knowledge.

The meditation is a path to the Inner Light and to experience it is the only reason for meditation.

As meditation is to enlighten our consciousness, only the mind is the appropriate modality to exercise it.

It is the surat or consciousness with which the meditation ought to be practiced. Therein lies the secret. How

different that is from any mental gymnastic, making wishes or affirming that this or that of this world shall be

achieved from meditation. The true attitude with which to enter the path of meditation is to open our consciousness

to the Divine presence and let it fill itself within our consciousness. During meditation let the Guru

speak His Word to our sub-conscious. We shall find that Word has permeated into our consciousness.

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My consciousness has awakened to the Word. Now I feed myself upon the Lord’s Nectar to my fulfillment.

Meditation does the work of illumination through the Grace of God, not by your or my wish. The true

aspirant on the spiritual path has no desire other than the experience of the Divine, the realization of God and

the experience of the higher consciousness. The Guru teaches us that there could not possibly remain any

unfulfilled need if the Guru’s Word is operating in our consciousness. One desire alone is legitimate and that

is the realization of meditation activity to implant the Divine Word in our consciousness.

The gist of our discussion is to "leave your nests," and to leave your search for more and better humanoid

comforts. Instead, strive to open your consciousness to the spiritual realities. Many of the things of this

world will come your way, but what comes to you in the outer world, will be a bonus of an inner illumination.

A state of inner silence, a state of inner awareness and receptivity will only attain the fulfillment. Therefore, it

is necessary for us to prepare ourselves exclusively for the experience of receiving that enlightenment. This is

the purpose of meditation.

12 Das, Guru Amar, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 27, l. 2.

13 Das, Guru Ram, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p . 131, l. 11

14 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Sri Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 1074, l. 11.

Nam For Divine Vision Page 4 29.08.1999 H. Lal

In brief, we must realize that we have no objective other than the achievement of the Divine consciousness.

We have no demonstration to make except that of our spiritual consciousness. This we must do first for

our own development and secondly, as a witness to the world that purpose of this life is the Divine Consciousness.

And this consciousness may be attained by all those who are ready to give up the world, not by

removing themselves to some remote corner, but by giving up their memes15 which separate you from the

Divine.

For true results of meditation, set your whole heart, soul and mind on the awakening of God rather than

any attainment of any form of goods. As we gain that awakening, we enjoy all the good things of life which

come forth, without becoming their slaves or becoming attached to them as well as without fear of losing

them. No one can ever lose his wealth, health, or life once a person he has the touch of the Divinity.

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Part 4

Elements of Meditation1 in Gurbani (4):

Indispensability of Divine Grace 2

Dr. (Bhai) Harbans Lal 3

During the posture for Meditation we should find ourselves seated and seeking the grace of the Guru

and God to be our savior. This grace is essential to acquire the technique that will produce any outcome of

our effort.

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The one is blessed by the Guru’s Grace alone knows the way to fulfillment. Says Nanak, “That one

merges in God, as water mingles with waterâ€.

We must abandon all our previous concepts of our own efforts to bring about the change in our

consciousness. We must rise above our humanness, leave behind all thoughts, people, and activities of the

illusory self. We should surrender to the Divine for the gift of Naam. Let no one consider capable of being

on the spiritual path on its own. Were it not for the grace of God, one would not be reaching out toward

Meditation.

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Rigorous practice or clever tricks have not worked for me; I shall act according to the instructions of

the perfect Guru. What ver acts he makes us perform constitute the chanting, the intense meditation,

austere self-discipline and rituals of purification.

It is the nature of the human being to love self-indulgence: riches, desires, animosity, greed,

attachment and sensuality. These operate in our consciousness as agents of the Devil to separate us from the

Divine consciousness. We must recognize these influences and seek Guru’s assistance in over-powering

them.

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Attractive women lure the soul of the man; emotional attachment to Maya is so sweet to him. His mind

has become attached to the pleasures of houses, palaces, horses and other enjoyments. The Lord God

does not enter his thoughts; how can he be saved, O my Lord King? || 1 || O my Lord, these are my

lowly actions, O my Lord. O Lord, Har, Har, Treasure of Virtue, Merciful Lord, please bless me with

Your Grace and forgive me for all my mistakes. || 1 || I have no beauty, no social status, no manners.

With what face am I to speak? I have no virtue at all; I have not chanted Your Name. I am a sinner,

saved only by the Company of the Guru. This is the Generous Blessing of the True Guru.

The Divine grace to meditate is not found in the human intellect, nor is it found in such peace as the

world can give. Participation in discussions, reading statements or books about Meditation do not bring it

forth. These may be of assistance in leading us to a point where we are prepared in the silence to receive the

grace of God, but it is Meditation which lifts us to a state of spiritual apprehension where divine grace may

be bestowed.

1 The term meditation means different things to different people. We use it to refer to traditional Sikh meaning interchangeably for Naam Jap which is a

behavior and skill to recite the gurmanter or verses from scripture and Naam Simran which is a contemplative state of mind to experience divinity. These

meanings often may not be the same as prevalent in the Western vocabulary.

2 The verses from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib are cited with the author, source, page and line numbers according to the Granth published by Shiromni

Parbhandak Committee, Amritsar. Each verse is followed by a brief commentary relating to the subject of this discussion and may be distinct from an exact

translation.

3 Send reprint requests and address all correspondence to Dr. Harbans Lal, Ph.D., D.Litt. (Hons), Professor and Chairman, Department of Pharmacology,

University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd. Fort Worth, Texas 76016.

4 Bahadur, Guru Teg, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 633, l. 19.

5 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 915, l. 19.

6 Das, Guru Ram, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 167, l.12

Naam and Grace Page 2 H. Lal 08/29/99

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When the Lord extends grace to some one, all doubts vanish and the Sabad begins to abide in this

seeker’s mind. Both body and mind are rendered pure and the Name comes to reside in the

consciousness.

In the state of Meditation the whole purpose of our existence must be made a fitting instrument

through which God's glory may be revealed. We shall never fulfill ourselves in Meditation by trying to

express our individuality, fulfillment lies in letting the Infinite Invisible bring Itself through into expression

by His Grace. Here we do not strive and attempt to glorify ourselves, but every time we meditate, we

continue to remind ourselves as the Guru said,

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Says Nanak: “It is my prayer to Thee, Father, make me dwell only upon Thy Nameâ€

It the Grace of God that is a very crucial ingredient in success of Meditation and we must continue to

pray for that in our meditation posture.

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O Lord, bestow Thy Grace on me so that I may dwell on Thy nectar Name.

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When Thou so will, I contemplate Thy Name, and it is Thou alone who blesses me with bliss.

In our meditation posture we must find ourselves saying:

My Guru, "I am here to seek your Grace. I can do nothing on my own. My body, soul and

consciousness are not mine. You bestowed them upon me as an opportunity to realize you. I have no wisdom

or ability of my own. I have no understanding; and I have no initiative of my own. I am sitting here as a

humble seeker of your blessing so that your infinity may flow through me by your Grace. You have started

me on this path through your teachingsâ€.

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Without the Guru’s Grace, one’s strivings bear no fruit.

In the effort to Meditation, there will come a certain moment when the seeker is penetrated by a ray

of God, when a touch of God breaks through into his consciousness, not because of himself, but in spite of

himself. From the moment that ray touches him, the goal is inevitable: he will be imbibed in Meditation find

his way right to the Divine consciousness.

The amount of illumining force and power of Meditation that flows through us is determined by

divine grace. Whether or not we reach the final goal of Meditation is not our problem. Some will seek and

strive until they exhaust themselves and yet will not attain it; others will go along easily and steadily; and a

few will spontaneously burst out all over with the springtime of the Sabad-consciousness.

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He alone worships the Lord on whom His Grace bestowed.

Here we are rewarded and we recognize that reward by our humility and continuously being

thankful.

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He on whom is His Mercy gathers the Treasure of Devotion.

The point of this discussion is that the experience of the Divine that we seek in Meditation is one that

is achieved purely through grace. In whatever degree it comes, it comes as the gift of God. It does not come

7 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 944, l. 14.

8 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604) , p. 216, l. 13.

9 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 46, l. 11.

10 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 749, l. 9.

11 Dev, Guru Nanak. In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 932, l. 8.

12 Das, Guru Amar. In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 28, l. 11.

13 Das, Guru Amar. In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 36, l. 11.

Naam and Grace Page 3 H. Lal 08/29/99

because we earn it; it does not come because we deserve it; it does not come primarily because we are good

men or women. In fact, it is often likely to come to the sinful one, because the inner struggle of the sinner

may be greater than the struggle of the good man, and such a struggle is often highly preparative for

receiving the Grace. But the Grace comes unrelated to our efforts. Guru said,

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He, our Lord, Meets not through (forced) effort, nor (show of) service, but Meets He all-toospontaneously.

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When the Lord is in His Mercy, He makes us contemplate His Name.

The only responsibility that we have is that our desire be for the Divine-experience, and that desire

be shown forth by the sincerity of our effort and the depth of our devotion for Meditation. That is the extent

of our responsibility. The experience of Meditation is purely the gift of God. No one earns it; no one

deserves it; and no one knows why it comes to some and why it does not come to others.

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Says Nanak, I encountered God spontaneously.

Assuring fact is that in the experience of every earnest seeker, there comes a period of the Grace. It

may be achieved through something that is heard, something that is read, or more often, it comes through a

direct contact with the consciousness of a spiritual teacher like the Guru Granth Sahib. When it comes, the

student needs no further help from sources outside of himself. His entire grace is received from within and

his entire illumination, equipoise, and regenerative power come from within.

From that moment on, the seeker becomes a blessing to others along the way, bringing inspiration to

them. As this person goes deeper into the meditation, he/she awakens in others this same Grace. In

proportion as any individual receives the grace, that grace becomes a light unto those who are within their

orbit. Everyone who has ever received an inspiration has been the light to others, and it was the light in some

one’s consciousness that brought about the Grace to others. Whatever degree of Grace we realize, it

automatically makes us, in that degree, a help to all those who touch our consciousness.

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Dwells he on the Lord’s Name and makes others to follow the Way of the All-powerful God, the

Emancipator of all.

Saint Kabir compared God and the realized person and concluded that both deserve our offering as

each one has a contribution to make.

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Kabir: Serve only the Saint and thy God, for God emancipates thee and the Saint makes thee cherish

thy Lord.

It is the purpose of Meditation: that each one may attain a degree of that Grace through the

experience of the Meditation and once one has achieved the Grace inspires others to Meditation.

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He meditates himself, and makes others dwell upon the Lord’s Name.

14 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p.672, l.12

15 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 1256, l. 11.

16 Das, Guru Amar. In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 555, l. 7.

17 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 1157, l. 4.

18 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 1206, l. 9.

19 Kabir, Bhagat. In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604) , p. 1373, l. 6.

20 Dev, Guru Arjan, In: Guru Granth Sahib (1604), p. 274, l. 9.

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