Tuesday, November 14, 2006

How to love

The question was “How can one love creation and/or the Creator”. This was not a question for me to answer. It is a question that the mind (the entity that thinks) is asking itself. In the Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Nanak has addressed the mind and given example after example, and showered it with wise experience filled advice and observations. This poignant question and a hint at the answer is made clear by examples that only our great Master Nanak can be so thoughtful to, first of all, discern and then so eloquently explain.

I need not say more. I have done a meager job at transcreating this sabad. I hope I have kept to the original meaning and message. The only caution is the interchanging of the words “mind” and “heart”.


How can the mind break away from the entanglements of non-Truth without the feeling and action of love? As a matter of fact, the hearts of those individuals whose minds are Guru-focused are filled with love in the form of total surrender to Vahiguru, and as a result, they are blessed with the virtues and attributes of Vahiguru. (Central idea – a question worth pondering!).

Oh mind, learn to love just like the lotus flower loves the water. Despite the tossing and tipping as a result of the turbulence of the waves in the pond, the lotus flower is full of grace and continues to share its beauty. If it wasn’t for the life giving water, the lotus would die and wither away. Such is the intense relationship of love that Vahguru has blessed the lotus and water

Oh mind, learn to love just like the fish loves water. The contentment of the fish is as full as the vastness of the body of water. That is, the more the water, the more the fish is content and alive. What fascinating relationship the fish has with water. Only Vahiguru knows the real depth of this relationship.

Oh mind, learn to love just like the catrik loves the rain. There may be oceans filled with water at the catrik’s disposal and the whole world is blossomed green as a result of the bodies of water, but until and unless the drops of water straight from the clouds up above don’t quench the thirst of the bird, it has no use of the other water. But alas, it is only through Grace that one can realize the intensity of the relationship we are to have with Vahiguru. Otherwise, we sow what we reap and our life continues on.

Oh mind, learn to love just like water loves pure milk. Water ends up mixing into the pure milk and the milk transforms the water into its own form. When a pot of the milk-water mix is put to boil, the water takes all the heat. It doesn’t let the milk burn of heat. Similar is the relationship of creations with the Creator. Vahguru provides a union to the wandering mind and blesses the realization of Truth.

Oh mind, learn to love just like the cakvī loves the sun. After the sun sets at night, it does not sleep even for an instant and considers the sun to be close at hand. The experience of this feeling does not arise within those people that are individually focused, whereas the Guru-inspired person always feels the omnipresence of Vahiguru.

Oh mind, think about this: The individually focused person focuses on praising oneself for accomplishments, but the Creator is responsible for what goes on. No matter how hard one tries, one cannot completely fathom the vastness of the Creator. This vastness is understood and satisfaction is gained only by submitting to the wisdom of the Guru.

Oh mind, think about this: The bond of action-filled love for truth is only sustained by the Satiguru. Through the grace of the Satiguru one develops a deep relationship with Nam-Vahiguru who is the sustainer of the complete universe. If one becomes a customer of the virtues of Vahiguru, then the pure Nam relationship is further developed.

Oh mind, imagine the people of the world to be birds. They fly into this world, feed on their grain and seeds, and then depart from this world. It is like a game and all that arrive into the play field must eventually depart within a short period of time. Understand that the success factor of time spent on life is a matter of Grace. Focus on making the most of your time in the play field.

Oh mind, understand that without the Guru love does not manifest because individualistic effort inspired by haumai is impossible to conquer on your own. When the intuitive understanding is formed as a result of imbibing the meaning of the sabad (Infinite Wisdom), then one realizes that the self and Vahiguru are a merged entity. Only the Guru-inspired individuals can introspect and realize the self. The individualistic inspired individuals can try all they want, they will never succeed in self-realization.

Oh mind, those that have created a strong relationship with the sabad (Infinite Wisdom), they never have to suffer the frustration of separation. Those that follow an individualistic mindset are doomed to suffer separation because they have not understood the Guru-inspired concept of love. Nanak emphasizes the fact that once inspired by the Guru, the individual feels, sees and experiences no difference between the self and Vahiguru.

Revealed by Guru Baba Nanak in Siri Rag, Page 60 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib

ਸਿਰੀ ਰਾਗੁ ਮਹਲਾ 1 ॥
ਰੇ ਮਨ, ਐਸੀ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਉ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਕਰਿ, ਜੈਸੀ ਜਲ ਕਮਲੇਹਿ ॥
ਲਹਰੀ ਨਾਲਿ ਪਛਾੜੀਐ ਭੀ ਵਿਗਸੈ ਅਸਨੇਹਿ ॥
ਜਲਿ ਮਹਿ ਜੀਅ ਉਪਾਇ ਕੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਜਲ ਮਰਣੁ ਤਿਨੇਹਿ ॥1॥
ਮਨ ਰੇ, ਕਿਉ ਛੂਟਹਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਪਿਆਰ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਰਵਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਬਖਸੇ ਭਗਤਿ ਭੰਡਾਰ ॥1॥ਰਹਾਉ॥
ਰੇ ਮਨ, ਐਸੀ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਉ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਕਰਿ, ਜੈਸੀ ਮਛੁਲੀ ਨੀਰ ॥
ਜਿਉ ਅਧਿਕਉ ਤਿਉ ਸੁਖੁ ਘਣੋ ਮਨਿ ਤਨਿ ਸਾਂਤਿ ਸਰੀਰ ॥
ਬਿਨੁ ਜਲ ਘੜੀ ਨ ਜੀਵਈ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਜਾਣੈ ਅਭ ਪੀਰ ॥2॥
ਰੇ ਮਨ, ਐਸੀ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਉ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਕਰਿ, ਜੈਸੀ ਚਾਤ੍ਰਿਕ ਮੇਹ ॥
ਸਰ ਭਰਿ ਥਲ ਹਰੀਆਵਲੇ ਇਕ ਬੂੰਦ ਨ ਪਵਈ ਕੇਹ ॥
ਕਰਮਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਸੋ ਪਾਈਐ ਕਿਰਤੁ ਪਇਆ ਸਿਰਿ ਦੇਹ ॥3॥
ਰੇ ਮਨ, ਐਸੀ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਉ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਕਰਿ, ਜੈਸੀ ਜਲ ਦੁਧ ਹੋਇ ॥
ਆਵਟਣੁ ਆਪੇ ਖਵੈ ਦੁਧ ਕਉ ਖਪਣਿ ਨ ਦੇਇ ॥
ਆਪੇ ਮੇਲਿ ਵਿਛੁੰਨਿਆ ਸਚਿ ਵਡਿਆਈ ਦੇਇ ॥4॥
ਰੇ ਮਨ, ਐਸੀ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਉ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਕਰਿ, ਜੈਸੀ ਚਕਵੀ ਸੂਰ ॥
ਖਿਨੁ ਪਲੁ ਨੀਦ ਨ ਸੋਵਈ ਜਾਣੈ ਦੂਰਿ ਹਜੂਰਿ ॥
ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਸੋਝੀ ਨਾ ਪਵੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਦਾ ਹਜੂਰਿ ॥5॥
ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਗਣਤ ਗਣਾਵਣੀ ਕਰਤਾ ਕਰੇ ਸੁ ਹੋਇ ॥
ਤਾ ਕੀ ਕੀਮਤਿ ਨ ਪਵੈ ਜੇ ਲੋਚੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਇ ॥
ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਹੋਇ ਤ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਚਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥6॥
ਸਚਾ ਨੇਹੁ ਨ ਤੁਟਈ ਜੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਭੇਟੇ ਸੋਇ ॥
ਗਿਆਨ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣ ਸੋਝੀ ਹੋਇ ॥
ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਵੀਸਰੈ ਜੇ ਗੁਣ ਕਾ ਗਾਹਕੁ ਹੋਇ ॥7॥
ਖੇਲਿ ਗਏ ਸੇ ਪੰਖਣੂੰ ਜੋ ਚੁਗਦੇ ਸਰ ਤਲਿ ॥
ਘੜੀ ਕਿ ਮੁਹਤਿ ਕਿ ਚਲਣਾ ਖੇਲਣੁ ਅਜੁ ਕਿ ਕਲਿ ॥
ਜਿਸੁ ਤੂੰ ਮੇਲਹਿ ਸੋ ਮਿਲੈ ਜਾਇ ਸਚਾ ਪਿੜੁ ਮਲਿ ॥8॥
ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਰ, ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਨ ਉਪਜੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥
ਸੋਹੰ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣੀਐ ਸਬਦਿ ਭੇਦਿ ਪਤੀਆਇ ॥
ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣੀਐ ਅਵਰ ਕਿ ਕਰੇ ਕਰਾਇ ॥9॥
ਮਿਲਿਆ ਕਾ ਕਿਆ ਮੇਲੀਐ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਿਲੇ ਪਤੀਆਇ ॥
ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਸੋਝੀ ਨਾ ਪਵੈ ਵੀਛੁੜਿ ਚੋਟਾ ਖਾਇ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਦਰੁ ਘਰੁ ਏਕੁ ਹੈ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਦੂਜੀ ਜਾਇ ॥10॥11॥


  1. Anonymous6:52 PM

    Gurfateh ji!

    Could you comment a little more on the following please?

    "Through the grace of the Satiguru one develops a deep relationship with Nam-Vahiguru who is the sustainer of the complete universe."
    In particular, could you shed some light on Nam-Vahguru?

    Also, your writting suggests some difference between mind (mann)and heart (soul). Can you elaborate on that as well? From your article I gather one needs to work on our mind. One of Guru Arjan sahib's sabads on page 206 talk about "jeea ko kaaj na keeno kachuaa". Jeea according to prof. Sahib Singh is jind, which would mean mind (not soul) according to your article...........right? Soul is a separate entity then. Can you talk about soul from Gurbani angle please?

    Thanks for your time and clarification.

  2. Thanks for the sabad and its explaination! And looking forward to the answer for the question asked above!

  3. I usually ignore comments by people who refuse to identify themselves (even if it is a nom de plume - that is fine...but anonymous sucks!!). But I will let this one go, because it is obvious that "it" is looking at a single tree rather than the whole forest. The whole sabad is about Love and what it really means to Love. Yet anonymous has picked out "Nam-Vahiguru" and "mind" and "soul" as obviously those are confusing concepts for "it". But that is not the point of the sabad. Please re-read the rahao line. I don't mean to say it is an insignificant question(s)...it just doesn't add to the topic.

    BTW...I say "it" because I don't know if it is a Kaur or a Singh. :-) - sorry no offence.

    Okay. So

    1) Nam-Vahiguru - this was my interpretation of "gian padarath". Literal meaning is the "knowledge entity". If I said "knowledge entity", then that completely does not make sense. In gurbani whenever "knowledge" is used, it is more than likely used like "wisdom" and is associated with wisdom of realizing Vahiguru. This wisdom is attained by the Satiguru and is developed through the three cardinal pillars of Sikhi - nam japna, vand chakna, kirt karni. I consider that to be the pursuit of self-realization - Nam-Vahiguru, Vahiguru, Creator, Infinite, (Fill in blank here for your favorite name for Vahiguru).

    2) Mind and soul - My comment in the beginning was please don't take "mind" literally. It can mean "mind", it can mean "heart". I never use the word "soul" because it has too many Christian/Judaic connotations. Jia - as you mention from Prof. Sahib Singh...cannot be properly translated into English. It is heart, mind, thought process, life, consiousness within the body...etc. etc. Furthermore, depending on the sabad it could mean different things too. In this sabad I simply like to use "mind".

    3) I cannot explain "soul" from a Gurbani perspective, becasue I don't think there is a good translation for the Christian concept of soul...which is believed to be separate from God.

    Hope that helps.

    A more interesting question would be: "How do I manifest Love as described by the Guru, while I am at work in my IT job, or medical profession, or retail store manager job". Or "how do I Love, in my community of friends and relatives, or when I am on a plane and people look at me funny.".

    We are missing the point that Love is not a feeling according to Gurmat. This is the traditional way that people have interpreted the concept of Love. When Guru Nanak said "jo tou prem khelan ka cao..." he re-interpreted the concept of Love into an "action" word, rather than feeling - "prem = give me your head". On the other hand, things like "soul", "heart" are words that connote feeling.

    Okay...gotta get back to work.

    Carhdi kala!

  4. Anonymous11:34 PM

    Gurfateh Ji!

    Thanks for sharing your viewpoints on requested questions! Apologies for not asking article related question. I went ahead and asked questions that came to mind as I was reading your article. I'll be caution in future.

    As for accepting comments from anonymous......it was not apparent that you unwelcome them. Since you are an IT person, perhaps you can make that option unavailable for anonymous to leave comments.

  5. So Guru's love was the highest form of love cause in it, he not only annihilate (am I using the right word) his own physical form (by giving shahedi) but also encouraged his own sons to go and fight for the right of others..may be that's why even though we have many bhagata/sufi bani in Guru Granth Sahib (cause they talk about Love), but we bow only and only to the Guru for he even in the physical form showed us on how to bring love in our actions!
    I just found this word on Wikipedia and posted on my blog, but can we say Fanaa is the highest form of love?!


  6. Fanaa is to "annhilate the self". I think in Sikhi we are to "realize the self". Develop it to a super state so that self and Vahiguru are one - "Man tu jot sarup hai, apna mul pachan."

    "Giving our Heads" as an act of Love is indeed giving our worldly life "if needed". But it can also mean something simple as refusing to be enslaved by modern day western concept of beauty (like hairlessness).

  7. Anonymous2:23 AM

    Gurfateh Ji,

    Your explanation was very helpful. When I was saying soul, I was more thinking of aatma (ruuhu) and was seeking explanation of that from gurbani perspective. Your response gave me a sense of direction ..........because even according to mahan kosh, aatma is "gian da aadhar roop" or "jis dauara janiea". In any case, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  8. Anonymous (Singh or Kaur) - a humble suggestion if you don't want to reveal your Guru given name is to make up a name. It is only a personal pet-peev when I see Sikhs hiding their identity. If there is something wrong, nasty or evil I can understand hiding one's identity. But if the questions are genuine and open minded...then what is the reason to hide.

    And, I am not an IT person. I am a technologist. And one of my early posts in my blog made sure to point out that the weakest part of my technology background is web based applications. So I am sure there is a way to disable anonymous comments...but then I can't poke fun at them by calling them "it)! :-)

  9. Anonymous7:59 PM

    Well... Guru di preeti te pai jandi hai, then rest is nothing... "Har ras peevai al mast matmaro, aan rasaa sab hochhe re"

    But "so jaane jin chakheya..."

    Eh preeti guru di kirpa naal hi paindi hai... Just happens... And you have ample reasons to Love The God...

    And I apologise for anonymous in all my comments as I require to mention my web page and I do not have one.

    - Preet Kaur

    (Sorry about my wrting the shabad, I have no knowledge of writing gurbani in English script)