Looking at the Sun: YUKTANAND SINGH
The Way of the Sikh
Letter & Spirit # 30
Translated from Bhai Vir Singh's ‘Gurmukh Sikhia’
Someone, who is clever or tells lies, does so out of confidence in his own intellect and cleverness.
Someone who reads gurbani and does simran has self confidence too. This self confidence is not pride but a natural outcome of relying on the true Guru.
Pride is rooted in haumai, but when we continue to do simran, we start to grasp all the secrets and we can distinguish between pride and self esteem.
In the beginning a gurmukh can also show this difference to us.
There was a bhagat in Bengal who was widely known as Gauranga. His teacher told him to do the simran of ‘Hare Krishna - Hare Krishna’ for twelve years. “Do not come to me until then or ask me what to do next. After twelve years I will come to you and I will determine if you have learned this first lesson.”
We need to keep repeating naam by uttering ‘Waheguru-Waheguru’ verbally. By doing this, at first the dirt from our mind is washed off. Then, the heart lotus blooms.
“The inverted lotus blossoms forth” [GGS:254. Also, at 612].
When the heart lotus blooms then one is able to clean others’ hearts also.
What does ‘blooming of the heart lotus’ mean? Our attention, that used to rely on our own strength, starts to ascend higher by leaning on naam.
“Your naam has made me live like a king” [GGS:385.10].
The branches, leaves and flowers will spring naturally from the seed that we have sown in the ground. But we need to keep watering it. Similarly, by repeating naam, the heart lotus blooms by itself. Clarity of vision reigns then, and the ability to discern between good and evil arises in the heart. One then shuns evil.
We turn our attention to Waheguru through naam simran. Then we develop the ‘liv’ or unbroken attention, but this occurs at a later stage. Naam simran is difficult as well as easy. It becomes easy when we have learned how to occupy all our idle moments and intervals with naam simran and thus make them worthwhile.
When the soul is absorbed in God, our thoughts, feelings and understanding come to a standstill. The mind is not active in that place. It only remembers the afterglow.
People read philosophy and various books and then they start to regard themselves as divine. This is simply their imagination, not reality.
People ask, “What is the method of naam simran?” A boy and a girl fall in love. They both leave their homes. What method did they need?
Similarly, we need to fall in love with Waheguru. When our beloved is with us, then we enjoy his sight, but when there is distance, then we cherish the memory. Since we cannot see Waheguru, we need to keep remembering Him.
The remembrance keeps us in His presence. We need to establish this mental state, just the same as a fish that lives in water.
At first, we remember Waheguru. Later we will realize that He had been standing outside, calling us as he kept knocking on our door.
The coral is a small organism in the ocean. But with sustained growth it turns into a reef, even an island. Similarly, naam can do wonders but most people understand its worth only after they die. Simran requires continuity, not intensity.
In the beginning, naam simran is a path. Later the same naam turns into our destination.
Simran is not just a dry tasteless act. It is a path of love. “I cannot get the Lord out of my mind. This love is now so intense that it has burned all other desires” [GGS:1120]. The Lord is not forgotten because the love has now become so strong.
At first we utter the simran verbally. Then, by its own nature, it descends into our heart. Just as food that we chew, is swallowed naturally. Similarly, the naam that we repeat by mouth naturally becomes settled at the bottom of our heart.
“O Nanak, they alone are awake and aware, who utter the naam with their tongues” [GGS:1425].
Repeating Waheguru’s naam is difficult, but it is also easy. In the beginning it is difficult but slowly, it becomes natural. Then it is easy. The company of a gurmukh makes it even easier.
We cannot look at the sun directly, perhaps no longer than for a moment. Our eyes can be damaged even if we used dark lenses. But we can see its reflection in a cupful of water.
Similarly, when we see Waheguru in the cup of naam and never let go of its support, then we find success.
Waheguru resides inside us. How can it be difficult to meet someone who is already here? The way to meet Waheguru was very easy but the so-called sants, for their own benefit, make it appear difficult.
We need to repeat naam with zeal. This gift is obtained through His mercy. Once we have received it, then success lies in our repeating it.
Only someone who repeats naam can influence others to do so.
“Nanak begs for the dust from the feet of that gursikh who keeps repeating the naam, and inspires others to do so” [GGS:306].
“Dust from the feet” here means that one is assigned under the Guru’s command to inspire others to repeat naam. An officer may invite others to attend a celebration, but he is in fact acting under a command of the government.
Naam is power. A man is slapped if he looks lustfully at a lady who repeats naam. He will feel these slaps in his heart. At first, naam needs to merge with our breath. Naam is then seen everywhere, in all directions. Then, if one looks at the beauty, the moon for example, one senses God’s hand behind its beauty.
One who continues with tenacity will achieve the goal. A gurmukh can start the wave of naam in a seeker by simply fixing the gaze on his forehead. Such a seeker then ceases to have any further questions in his heart.
We are not stones. So we shed tears due to separation from those we love. But we need to offer these tears and this love to Waheguru. Then we cry only when we are separated from Waheguru.
Repeating the naam requires a personal effort and we need to do it for ourselves. Only someone who ate the food can be satiated from it. Food eaten by the wife cannot benefit the husband, regardless of how much they love each other.
April 24, 2013
Conversation about this article
1: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), April 24, 2013, 12:25 PM.
Interesting and extraordinary title for this powerful article! I recently saw an image of the Fireworks Galaxy on my lcd tv and was so shocked I nearly choked with emotion! And asked Waheguru how He could create something so beautiful! And so far away! Then remembered Guru Nanak's "gagan mein thaal ..." verses!
2: Manvinder Singh (Wilton, Connecticut, USA), April 25, 2013, 1:55 AM.
Dear Yuktanand ji: I have trouble with the term, 'so-called sants', as used in the piece. Because the Guru Granth refers to some who are truly revered and therefore described with respect as 'sants'. Therefore, a clear distinction should be made between the gurmukhs that we refer to as true sants, and the modern-day charlatans who call themselves 'sants'. This is the only line that I have trouble with in an otherwise nice article, ji.
3: Yuktanand Singh (USA), April 25, 2013, 4:48 PM.
Manvinder ji: Thank you for reminding us that there is difference between true sants and the "so-called sants". The Punjabi words in the book are "akhoti sant". Could you please suggest what the correct translation of these two words would be?