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Coming Alive With GURBANI

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Coming Alive With the Gurbani

Joginder Singh

The profusion of spiritual writings and discourses by learned people tends to bewilder and intimidate an average individual. If we are to achieve peace of mind and establish a rapport with God, it is essential to visualise the path we want to follow. The simpler the path, the better, if we are to touch even the fringe of His glory in the short span of our lives. We must charter our own path within the ambit of the holy scriptures, looking to our own nature, our weaknesses and the divine flame in our hearts. This path should help us journey within.

There are five milestones on the path of spiritual awareness leading to peace, and this is expressed beautifully in the Gurbani. The foremost step is to develop faith in the existence and benevolence of God. Off and on, mysterious coincidences and sudden happenings occur which bring about the fulfillment of our desires and give a new direction to our lives. Blessed are those who recognize these small miracles as the voice of God. Awareness of such esoteric incidents fortifies one’s faith in Him. When faith is anchored, you completely surrender yourself to His will.

The silver salmon swims against the current of the stream, restless, flapping and leaping to grasp the illusory sunlight reflected in the sparkling waters. Alas, the salmon does not succeed and is hooked by the angler. The driftwood, on the other hand, moves on with the current of the river in good faith and succeeds in reaching the great ocean to become one with the whole "O Lord, what pleases Thee, is the right action" declared Guru Nanak.

Having developed faith in Him, the next step is to rein in the turbulence within. The surging ocean of passion and emotions must be stilled and inner quietness achieved. God can be felt and experienced only in the deepest of silence.

Having achieved inner quietness, one should meditate on one’s own self objectively, searching for faults within. For this, deep introspection needs to be undertaken. This can be best achieved when meditating in the morning ambrosial hours, sitting alone. The drawbacks in you will get projected before you. The misleading mind shall, however, intervene time and again to ask you to desist from this exercise of looking into your ugly negative. Be determined and recognize your evil side. The awareness of your dark side itself will give you relief as if you are liberated from the shackles of the mind, to know and understand yourself better.

After recognizing the undesirable and dark side, one could try to eradicate them from one’s system. When your faults become apparent and you try to oust them from your system, virtues like truth, love, compassion and detachment will automatically start blooming within. As virtues start blossoming in you, you become eligible for true meditation on God and His wondrous creation.

Amrit Vaila, or ambrosial hours, is when there is a stunning quietness and tranquillity, as if the whole world is asleep and life is virtually at a standstill. Human beings, animals, birds, plants in the garden, the traffic on the road, everything seem frozen in meditation. There is an awe-inspiring darkness all around. The mind and body are doing nothing while incessantly chanting the gurmantar, ‘Waheguru’ which means, "O Lord, you are wonderful.

Time rolls on, there is complete silence. The koel announces the arrival of dawn and soon the birds start chirping in the trees. A distant glow of light in the skies appears to be waking up all things, and the world comes alive. The movement of traffic is discernible. Early risers are seen going about on the road. The Qazi’s azaan and the sound of the temple bells beckon the believers. The plants in the garden with exquisite flowers in various hues are swaying in ecstasy. The tall trees look majestic. The joyful birds are flying about. A pretty butterfly is settled on a plant. The clear blue sky punctuated with a few white clouds looks heavenly.

The atmosphere is rejuvenating. One feels exuberant and it is as though one has come alive, gently awakened to the omnipresence of God. Such meditation then brings in its wake peace and bliss. Like the lotus which grows towards the heavens despite and mud and slush around it, one’s atman, or soul, then rises above the materialistic surroundings.

The rosary can be of immense help when crossing these milestones on the path of life. Just as the Persian wheel throws out the stagnating water from the well, the rotating rosary eliminates negative cerebrations, giving place to noble thoughts, leading to self-realization and attunement with God.

[Courtesy: The Times of India]

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