Sunday, March 04, 2012

42. Sikh Meditations: Relating with Shabad Guru

Sikh meditations are all about relating to the Shabad in various forms.  The Sikh meditates to know the Shabad, to live with Shabad and to be one with Shabad
The “Shabad” is common name for  known as hymns(bani ) in Shree Guru Granth Sahib ji and also  the “sound of creation” – the celestial sound vibrating in all the creation.
Shree Guru Granth Sahib ji is Guru and the bani compiled therein are the words of Shabad Guru.
All above is just only religious knowledge till the mind ACCEPTS and KNOWS.
The Sikh meditations are all about making the mind know and experience the truth. In fact the actual spiritual pursuits are simply reshaping the mind. Letting the truth come out and be part of experience.
How this can and is done is by relating to the Shabad in all its form progressively.
The Shabad shows the way, Shabad guides, and Shabad is the creative force of change.  Shabad is always with the Sikh as Shabad Guru. It is through the Shabad, that Sikh knows the Creator. The Creator is with the Sikh through Shabad.
The beginning of the journey is to relate with Gur-bani.
 The following are some pungtees ( lines) from Shree Guru Granth Sahib ji which explicitly state how  the Sikh changes through relating with Gurbani :

Gurbani is the Light that illuminates (the path) in the present world;
by karma (effort)  it comes to abide within the mind. || 1 ||

Through Gurbani, the Incomprehensible GOD is comprehended. || 1 ||
SGGS 366

Through the Guru’s Bani, (the reality of) SHABAD that gives self-realization is known. || 7 ||
SGGS 752

Whoever utters the Word of the Guru’s Bani – the GOD is enshrined in the mind.
SGGS 1238

There are several directions is SGGSji that enable the Sikh to relate and connect with Gurbani.  These keys unlock the hidden meaning and open doors.  Here is an important key

O GurSikhs, know that the Bani, the Word of the True Guru, is true, absolutely true. The Creator Lord Himself causes the Guru to chant it.
SGGS 308

Guruji categorically state that the Gurbani is to be accepted as ‘truth’ what Gurbani states is ‘true’ and that should be known as such.
This statement reflects the attitude that the Sikh has to have and should develop.  The Sikh accepts the statement of Gurbani as ’true’.  This means that the negation and doubts would deprive the Sikh from experiencing truth.  The ‘how’ and ‘what way’ direction of thought towards the statements is fine and part of ‘vichar’ that Gurbani encourages but negation in the form of ‘cannot be’ and ‘I don’t believe’ this keep the Sikh stuck in the level of spiritual growth.
Words of Gurbani are simple statement without any filler words.  These statements have simple deep meanings.  The meaning unfolds to make the Sikh grow spiritually.  The understanding gives direction to the effort (udham) that the Sikh does.

Here is another important key for an early state in Sikh’s life.

People believe that this is just a song, but it is a meditation on God.
SGGS 335

He understands the Bani of the Word, and he is absorbed into the True Lord.
SGGS 412

True is Your Court. The Shabad symbolizes (the court) .  Contemplate( and understand )this truth   and revealed through the Word of the Shabad. Meditating deeply on the True Word of the Shabad, I have merged into the Truth.
SGGS 144

He alone performs devotional worship, whom the Lord so blesses;
 he contemplates the Word of the Guru's Shabad.
SGGS 429

Here the key is the “vichar” or contemplation.  As long as the attitude is to take it as song (Geet) then the Sikh is relating to Gurbani at song level only. But as soon as the attitude shifts towards “Braham Vichar” then the shift occurs and   Gurbani reveals to the Sikh the meanings. Suddenly there are so many ‘Aha” moments with awareness of understandings that cannot be easily voiced.
Gurbani is not only “Braham Vichar” but is an aspect of  Waheguruji as Shabad Guru and as Shabad.
To appreciate this aspect let us look at this statement of Gurujee:

Waaho! Waaho! is the Bani, the Word, of the Formless Lord.
There is no other as great as He is.
SGGS 515

For  the Gurmukh , Bani is God Himself.
Through the Shabad ( Gurbani), we are one with Him.

How a written word is a Shabad Guru and waheguruji Himself is a key that the Sikh to learn , appreciate and use. The points below may give some leads.

-         Thoughts in the Mind and Words are interconnected. Any word read evokes a connection, meaning and even feelings in the person reading it. These thoughts are energies and can be said to be connected with consciousness. The language is simply a symbol.  While language can have existence outside a human being in the shape of written word, but these symbols are meaningless without the connection with the human mind. When several people read written words, each person has a different understanding based on the prior knowledge and experiences. Each people thus have different states of mind. With more experiences the state of mind changes.
-         What is mind? What is consciousness? The answer to this question is very difficult. Let us not get involved but rather look at how the Gurus words reveal. The Gurbani  tells us three points have to be understood together and interrelation seen..
-         The first and foremost statement is that there is oneness – all creation is” intelligent consciousness”. Ekongkar is the foremost and least understood reality. The second is that it is the Shabad that has created the world ( Utpat parlao  shabday hovai – creation and destruction is by the Shabad  – SGGS page 117.).The Anhad Shabad ( The Celistial Sound) is consciousness vibration , the creative force shaping the world. The third is that Guru is ever with us always and within. The Guru is accessed through Simran and contact is also so maintained (Gur Mere Sang Sada Hai Naley - sggs 394). The Shabad Guru within is accessed and contacted because of the Shabad in written form which has been voiced through the Saints and Guruji by the Shabad Guru.

We should understand that in the spiritual world we have to Believe first and Know later in contrast to the material world where we see first and then believe. The believe first approach when adopted without much qualms would enable the Sikh to then experience the spiritual realities. Know and believe that Bani is Shabad Guru. The Shabad Guru is ever with us within as Guruguide. As we keep on living life of ‘Hukam Razai ’( in awareness and acceptance of working of Hukam) our haume (self identity) begins to diminish taking us towards oneness.

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