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You Are Me, I Am You

Text & Photos by AMARDEEP SINGH

 

 

 

To my curious mind, a journey to understand the Sikh philosophical system and all the other schools of thought that exist on the subcontinent, has led me to the conclusion that the whole is too large and at best can only be seen in very small parts, through our own limited senses.

Non-duality between the Self and Divine is the pinnacle of spiritual wisdom but the journey to this stage of understanding requires the human mind to anchor on duality. It is for this reason that the seeker sees the benefit in visiting spiritual places and performing religious acts that provides solace.

While I am no one to say anything much about any belief system, one shabad in particular from the Guru Granth Sahib has been resonating with me for years.

Bhagat Ravidas the 15th century mystic whose verses are to be found in Guru Granth Sahib, questions in this shabad: “O Lord, if I did not sin, then how would you be called the Redeemer of Sinners?”

It’s a very powerful question.

A teacher may be well qualified with the best of degrees but if he has no students then how can he be called a teacher?

In the stage of duality, Bhagat Ravidas keeps his identity uniquely apart from that of the Divine and seeks an answer to this fundamental question, implying that the Divine is also dependent on the Seeker. While to the common mind, this question may not make sense, Bhagat Ravidas soon transitions into non-duality and says that in reality, “You are me and I am You”.

Who said fathoming spirituality was going to be easy?

During a visit to the Darbar Sahib in Amritsar, as I turned my camera to capture the other seekers, I heard the words of Bhagat Ravidas being sung from the sanctum sanctorum.

You are me, and I am You - what is the difference between us?

We are like gold and the bracelet, or water and the waves.

If I did not commit any sins, O Infinite Lord,

How would You have acquired the name, ‘Redeemer of Sinners’?

You are my Master, the Inner-knower, Searcher of hearts.

The servant is known by his Lord, and the Lord and Master is known by His servant.

Grant me the wisdom to worship and adore You with my body.

O Ravidas, one who understands that the Lord is equally in all, is very rare. 
[Bhagat Ravidas, GGS:93]


To view the complete exhibit of Amardeep's photos, please CLICK here.
[Edited for sikhchic.com]
May 3, 2013

 

Conversation about this article

1: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpuur, Malaysia), May 03, 2013, 5:47 PM.

Amardeep ji, your eye for the picture, combined with love of gurbani, adds a special dimension. Being a photographer myself, I see the man behind the camera. In the black and white days, I always said that the picture was made in the darkroom. Then came the Kodak colour films and I remember when I processed the first Ecktachrome films using the E-2 process way back in 1957. Now Kodak too has disappeared. My prized camera at that time was the Rollichord which I could barely afford in 1954 and graduated to a Rolliflex and finally settled for Nikons. All these have now been swept away by the digital wave. The most important ingredient still remains the same - the man behind the camera. I would love to meet you one day if you ever come to Kuala Lumpur and share my collection that did win me a number of prizes. This was more than a half century ago and the pictures have not faded. The rule was to wash the print out of the fixer for 10 minutes in running water. What a nostalgic trip that your pictures have brought. Bless you.

2: Amardeep Singh (Singapore), May 03, 2013, 7:39 PM.

Thanks, S. Sangat Singh ji, for your kind words. You have not recognized the "man behind the camera". A few years ago, I was invited by S. Autar Singh ji to present in KL at an external venue. I had presented the topic "Science & Gurbani". You were there too and in the night we went to the club for dinner with Bajaj veer ji. You and I talked about your passion for photography, hamming, etc. I guess your offer to show me the Hamming set up in KL is still on the offer :-)

3: Sangat Singh  (Kuala Lumpuur, Malaysia), May 05, 2013, 10:53 AM.

Yes, Amardeep ji, it all comes back and now I do remember our meeting. I remember the 'Wow' factor that you talked about. The invitation is still open.

4: Harman (Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India), May 06, 2013, 4:30 AM.

Very spiritual ...

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