Love LettersINNI KAUR
“The whole of the Guru Granth is the voice of a wedded woman pining in love for the Beautiful. Her nobleness in Guru Granth is infinite, her freedom is of the highest. Both man and woman as sexes are forgotten in her voice. She becomes the supreme reality and a freed soul. In the freed soul alone is the subordination of one to the other effectively abolished and all disputes hushed.” – Prof. Puran Singh
For me, the entire Guru Granth is a collection of poetic Love-Letters, which I savor and read over and over. Something profound opens within me with each reading.
And when Guru Sahib says:
Blessed is the bride-lover who recognizes the divine
By renouncing ego follows the hukam
Colored in the beloved, exults bliss
[Guru Nanak, GGS:737]
... my head bows. Love fills me.
In this divine collection, the pangs of a lover yearning for the Beloved are revealed -- the Beloved that resides within us all. These love-letters are to be read with an open heart for only then can one feel the presence of the beloved.
Songs of love repeating the name of the beloved resound from this divine collection. Those who do not ache with this agony of love, will find them repetitive. But for those who suffer these pangs -- they will find joy and bliss in them.
I struggle to translate these love-letters into the English language. They are impossible to adequately translate for they flow from a place of exquisite beauty and sound. They can only be understood and sensed when sung by a heart that is immersed in the love of the beloved. Verses with images, symbols and metaphors flow effortlessly, raising our consciousness.
And when consciousness is raised:
And the lover stands before the beloved
Can anything be sweeter than this meeting?
Realization dawns …
Only when the lover merges with the beloved does the lover realize how much the beloved loves. Exquisite intimacy and tenderness flow throughout this entire love process.
For lovers, this divine collection is a treasure trove of infinite love and wisdom. Precious jewels reside within. Lovers yearn to adorn themselves with these jewels.
May we all yearn to experience this love process and be graced with perennial inspiration and inner illumination.
[Inni Kaur is the CEO of the Sikh Research Institute. She is also the author of ‘Journey with the Gurus’ series, ‘Sakhi-Time with Nani ji’, and ‘Thank You, Vahiguru.’]
February 10, 2017
Conversation about this article
1: Ajit Singh Batra (Pennsville, New Jersey, USA), February 11, 2017, 4:59 AM.
It is prayer which really means conversation with God. It is the human soul speaking to the Universal Soul. God and a person are ideal companions. Mind of a person unloads to the divine companion to whom all things can be poured out freely and with confidence. AGGS,page 713: "O Waheguru, I seek the gift of thy naam to forever remain in your company" - 'maango daan thakur naam' - GGS:713.
2: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), February 11, 2017, 6:48 PM.
Inni ji, the whole of Guru Granth Sahib is one long love song, and any translation would fall short to capture its pangs and yearnings of love. Despite these limitations they come out even for one born a gunga (deaf-mute). Thanks for translating some of these love pangs. "subb gun teray thakur meray kith mukh tud salahai" [GGS:576] - "All virtues are Thine. How shall I praise Thee."
3: Jatinder Sethi (Gurgaon, India), February 12, 2017, 12:17 AM.
I wish you had also given the actual Guru Sahib's words instead of just giving the English translations.
4: H Singh (New Delhi, India), February 13, 2017, 3:58 AM.
Inni Kaur ji writes - "For me, the entire Guru Granth is a collection of poetic Love-Letters ..." Bhagat Kabir says, "People believe that this is just a song, but it is meditation on God." Something profound opens within oneself when one reads Guru Granth Sahib.
5: Birendra Singh Huja (Honolulu, Hawaii, USA), March 29, 2017, 3:50 PM.
I enjoyed reading the Author's perspective and the comments thereunder. Guru Granth Sahib is the Guru and this Guru is like an elephant being explored by us, the blind people. We are amazed by the beauty of palpable poetry of all the Gurus. Everyone reading or hearing the shabads set to music, makes an image which changes every time one reads or hears the beautiful poetic expression, even when reading the same shabad again and again. It makes you a yearning love to be united with Waheguru, it sings the praises of the indescribable creator, attributes of the magnificent creation and even admonishes us for our behavior when under control of the five pervasive thieves. I am still at the tail thinking that it may be a rope connected to some thing really big. While I am savoring the Guru Granth Sahib, to me it is immaterial if I cannot comprehend the whole scope. Just read, try to comprehend, yearn or be at whatever stage you may reach, just do not let go of it.