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The Morning Hukam:
A Meditation -
Sunday, January 15, 2017





Today’s Hukam, Darbar Sahib, Amritsar – Sunday, January 15, 2017

If only I could meet the true Guru, the primal being. Discarding my faults and sins, I would chant the divine’s praises. I meditate on naam. Continuously, I chant Guru‘s bani. Gurbani seems sweet; I have thus eradicated the sins from within. The disease of egotism is gone, fear has left, and I am absorbed in celestial peace. Through sabad, the bed of my body has become cozy and beautiful, and I enjoy the essence of spiritual wisdom. Night and day, I continually enjoy peace and pleasure. O Nanak, this is my destiny. ||1||

The bride is lovingly embellished with truth and contentment; her father, the Guru, has come to engage her in marriage to her husband lord. Joining with the humble Saints, I sing gurbani. Singing the Guru‘s bani, I have obtained the supreme status; meeting with the saints, I am blessed and adorned. Anger and attachment have left my body and run away; I have eradicated hypocrisy and doubt. The pain of egotism is gone, and I have found peace; my body has become healthy and free of disease. By Guru‘s grace, O Nanak, I have realized the divine, the ocean of virtue. ||2||

The ego-centered is separated, far away from the Divine; he does not obtain the mansion of divine presence, and burns. Egotism and falsehood are deep within; deluded by falsehood, one deals only in falsehood. Practicing fraud and falsehood, one suffers terrible pain; without the true Guru, one does not find the way. The foolish bride wanders along dismal pathways; each and every moment, is bumped and pushed. The great giver shows mercy and leads her to meet the true Guru, the primal being. Those who have been separated for countless lives, O Nanak, are reunited with the divine with intuitive ease. ||3||

Calculating the most auspicious moment, the divine comes into the bride‘s home; her heart is filled with ecstasy. The pandits and astrologers have come to sit and consult the almanacs. They have consulted them and the bride‘s mind vibrates with bliss when she hears that her friend is coming into the home of her heart. The virtuous and wise men sit down and decide to perform the marriage immediately. She has found her husband, the inaccessible, unfathomable primal lord, who is forever young; He is her best friend from her earliest childhood. O Nanak, he has mercifully united the bride with Himself. She shall never be separated again. ||4||1|| [GGS: 773]

Sung in Raag Suhi -- (suhi: the deep crimson color of crimson) -- by Guru Ram Das, the Fourth Master, today’s hukam touches me at multiple levels.

Eyes mist. It is difficult to fully capture the essence of what I am feeling. Yet, I try. Some words are too loaded to translate fully into another language. Therefore, I have kept them in the original. Their beauty is astounding.

Bal ram jio - a complete, fervent, willing, loving surrender to the One Universal Life, the Ultimate Love. In my world, I would translate it as - I adore You. I also feel that ‘bal ram jio’ is an invocation. 

Naam - the primordial essence that binds the entire creation as one integral whole. It is used to express the essence of all existence. Sabad and naam at times seem to mean the same thing. But Guru Nanak in ‘Siddh Gosht’ reveals that sabad is the medium through which the ego is destroyed, allowing the truth-oriented individual (gurmukh) to experience naam. Naam is also the manifestation of sabad. Therefore, it is impossible to translate Naam in a single word when it has so many dimensions.

Sabad - translating sabad as the sacred or divine word is very limiting. Sabad is the Guru, the eternal Guru or ultimate reality. Understanding, meditating on the sabad gradually increases one’s awareness. This leads to a gradual overcoming of ego which allows one to experience the ultimate teality - Ik Onkaar.

Other dimensions of sabad:

- It softens the heart and makes it a place where evolving spiritual knowledge finds a receptive home

- A necessary aid for the attainment of wisdom

- A revelation, which is experienced in the heart

- A means to realizing the divine inner reality

- The ultimate reality itself

Sharing my free verse translation of today’s hukam:

The divine teacher
Channels me to
The divine reality.
My faults, my defects, are sold.
Remain my virtues, my merits.
Bal Ram jio.
Ceaselessly meditate on
Constantly, incessantly enunciate
Bal Ram jio.
When sabad
Becomes eternally sweet
Transgressions disappear.
Ego, infirmity, disappears
Fear dissolves, in intuitive ease
In awareness (the experience) transpires.
Body cradled in sabad
effortless divine knowledge
The quintessence treasure transpires.
O Nanak,
Incessant peace emerges
Eternally merged.
The fount of purity unifies. [1]

Truth, contentment
Create pure love.
The divine teacher
Unveils engagement.
Bal Ram jio.
Realized beings (in) intrinsic congregation
Resound sabad.
Bal Ram jio.
Sabad permeates.
Highest Truth realized.
“I” pain disappears.
Perfect peace pervades.
Pain-free becomes being.
O Nanak,
With the divine teacher’s grace
The One is ascertained
- virtuous, infinite. [2]

Self-centered (beings)
(Experience) separation, distance.
True home unattainable.
Bal Ram jio.
Within (them)
- attachment
- falsehood
- duality
- trade.
Bal Ram jio.
Profiting (in)
Falsehood, duality
Colossal sorrow experienced.
Without the divine teacher
Destination unreachable.
Alienated (from the) path
Mystified fools experience
Continuous jostling.
The divine One
In compassion
The divine teacher
To present
The divine reality.
O Nanak,
Lifetime of separations end.
In intuitive reverence
The meeting transpires. [3]

The auspicious moment materializes.
The bride’s heart
Is imbued with a deep yearning.
Bal Ram jio.
Sages, scholars, emerge.
Blessings resound.
Bal Ram jio.
Hearing the blessings
Bride’s heart rejoices -
In anticipation of meeting
Her divine-husband.
Sages, scholars
Resolve to perform the
Wedding ceremony.
The unreachable
The unattainable
Eternally immaculate
Childhood mate
The ultimate reality
Realized within.
O Nanak,
Divine grace arranges this union.
United forever
Never to be estranged. (4)

*   *   *   *   *

[Inni Kaur is the CEO of the Sikh Research Institute. She is the author of ‘Sakhi-Time with Nani ji‘; ‘Thank You, Vahiguru’ and the series ‘Journey with the Gurus‘.]

January 15, 2017


Conversation about this article

1: Ajit Singh Batra (Pennsville, New Jersey, USA), January 17, 2017, 12:06 PM.

"Sabday hee na-on oopjai sabday mail milaaya" [GGS:644]. That is, "Reunion with Waheguru comes through the Word". Word is Guru's Word termed gurbani. Naam is not a mechanical process, it is nourished through the practice of gurbani. Gurbani is nothing but an expression of Naam in concrete form.

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A Meditation -
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