text size

Top comments

{{ annotation.praises_count }} Likes
{{ annotation.creator_alias }}
{{ annotation.creator_score }}

There are no comments yet. Be the first to start comment or request an explanation.

The Guru then turned his thoughts towards Ceylon, and succeeded in reaching that country, where he took his seat in Raja Shivnabh's garden. [1. Sri Rag, Ashtapadi.] At that time it was barren, but it is said to have become green on the Guru's arrival. The gardener requested the king to go and see the faqir who had caused the withered garden to bloom anew. The king sent beautiful damsels to dance before the Guru and tempt him with their charms. The Guru, wrapped up in his own thoughts, neither spoke to them nor noticed them. The king came and inquired his name, caste, and whether he was a Jogi. The Guru replied as follows:-- The Jogi who is associated with the Name and is pure, hath not a particle of uncleanness. He who keepeth with him the name of the Beloved, which is ever true, hath escaped birth and death. The king asked if he were a Brahman. The Guru replied:-- He is a Brahman who hath divine knowledge for his ablutions, and God's praises for the leaves' of his worship. There is but One Name, One God, One Light in the three worlds. The king asked if he were a shopkeeper. The Guru replied:-- Make thy heart the scale, thy tongue the beam, and weigh the inestimable Name. There is but one shop, one Merchant above all; the dealers are many. The king again inquired if he were a Hindu or a Muhammadan. The Guru continued his enigmatical replies:-- The True Guru hath solved the problem of the two ways. It is he who fixeth attention on the One God, and whose mind wavereth not, who can understand it. [1. Brâhmans use sweet basil and bel (Aegle Marmelos) leaves in their worship, the former in the worship of Vishnu and the latter in the worship of Shiv.] He who abideth in the Word and ever worshippeth day and night, hath ended his doubts. The king then asked if he were Gorakhnath. The Guru showed no inclination to directly gratify his curiosity. Above us is the sky, Gorakh is above the sky; His inaccessible form dwelleth there; By the favour of the Guru, whether I am abroad or at home is the same to me; Nanak hath become such an anchoret.[1] When the Guru had ended, the king invited him to go to his palace and see his queen. He gave him an opportunity of expounding his doctrines to her. It was during Guru Nanak's visit to Ceylon that he composed the Pransangali, which contained an account of the silent palace of God, the manner of meditating on Him, the private utterances of the Guru, and the nature of the soul and body. The following are its opening verses:-- The supreme state is altogether a void,[2] all people say; In the supreme state there is no rejoicing or mourning; In the supreme state there are felt no hopes or desires; In the supreme state are seen no castes or caste-marks; In the supreme state are no sermons or singing of hymns; In the supreme state abideth heavenly meditation; In the supreme state are those who know themselves.[3] Nanak, my mind is satisfied with the supreme state. Saido and Gheho subsequently wrote out the Pransangali from memory. [1. Mâru. 2. The Greek {Greek koi^lon}, the Latin caelum, heaven. 3. The meaning of this expression is totally different from that of {Greek gnw^ði seauton}. To know oneself, in the Sikh sacred writings, means to know God who is within one.] On his return to India the Guru, having heard of the fair of Shivrat[1], went to Achal Batala[2] to preach his doctrines. The whole country crowded to see and hear him, and showered offerings on him. The Jogis on witnessing his success became very Jealous and determined to humble him. Bhangarnath, their superior, asked him why he mixed acid with his milk, that is, why he a holy man led a family life. 'When the milk becometh sour,' said Bhangarnath, 'no butter is produced by churning. Why hast thou doffed thy hermit's dress, and donned ordinary clothes?' The Guru replied: 'O Bhangarnath, thy mother was an unskilful woman. She knew not how to wash the churn, and so spoilt the butter in producing thee. Thou hast become an anchoret after abandoning thy family life, and yet thou goest to beg to the houses of family men. When thou doest nothing here, what canst thou obtain hereafter?' Bhangarnath made no reply to the Guru's question but broached another subject: 'O Nanak, thou hast exhibited miracles to the world; why art thou slow to exhibit them to us also?' The Guru replied: 'I have nothing worth showing you. Man hath absolutely no shelter except in the companionship of the hymns of the Guru. Were man to move the earth, that would not induce God to grant him undeserved favours. Hear the Word; I speak verily, I have no miracle except the True Name:-- [1. A festival in honour, of the god Shiv held on the 14th day of the dark half of Phâgan (February-March). It was usual for Jogis to congregate on the occasion of this festival. In the Aîn-i-Akbari it is stated that the Emperor Akbar used then to hold meetings of all the Jogis of the Empire and eat and drink with them. Under the influence of such carousals they used to promise him that he should live three or four times as long as ordinary mortals. 2. Achal, about three miles from Batâla, contains the shrine of Sâmkârtik, son of Shiv. For a full account of Batâla see the Khulâsat-ul-Tawârikh, whose author was born there.] Were I to put on a dress of fire, construct a house of snow and eat iron; Were I to turn all my troubles into water, drink it, and drive the earth as a steed; Were I able to put the firmament into one scale and weigh it with a tank;[1] Were I to become so large that I could be nowhere contained; and were I to lead every one by the nose;[2] Had I such power in myself that I could perform such things or cause others to perform them, it would be all in vain. As great as the Lord is, so great are His gifts; He bestoweth according to His pleasure. Nanak, he on whom God looketh with favour obtaineth the glory of the True Name.'[3] In Batala the Guru vanquished in argument all priests who attended the fair, and obliged the followers of the six schools of philosophy to bow before him. The Jogis finally complimented him on his success and said: 'Hail, O Nanak, great are thy deeds! Thou hast arisen a great being, and lit a light in this last age of the world.' It was the time the Jogis took their daily wine, and the goblet was accordingly passed around. On its reaching the Guru he asked what it was. They said it was the Sidhs' cup. He inquired what it contained. They said molasses and the flower of the dhava[4] plant, of which Indian spirits are made. The Guru then uttered the following hymn:-- Make divine knowledge thy molasses, meditation thy dhava flowers, good actions thy fermenting bark[5] to put into them. Make the love of God thy furnace, devotion the sealing of the still; in this way shall nectar be distilled. [1. In Hindi apothecaries' weight a tank is equal to four mâshas, a mâsha is eight rattis, and a ratti is the weight of eight grains of rice. 2. As a camel is led. 3. Mâjh ki Wâr. 4. The Bassia latifolia. 5 This is generally the bark of the kîkar, or Acacia Arabica.] Father, by quaffing the divine juice the mind becometh intoxicated and easily absorbed in God's love. I have arranged to fix my attention on God day and night, and heard the unbeaten sound. God is true, His cup is pure; He giveth it to drink to him on whom He casteth a favouring glance. Why should he who dealeth in nectar feel love for paltry wine? The Guru's word is a nectar-speech; by drinking it man becometh acceptable. When man performeth service at God's gate[1] to obtain a sight of Him, what careth he for salvation or paradise? He who is dyed with God's praises never loveth the world, and loseth not his life in the game. Saith Nanak, hear, Jogi Bharthari, I am intoxicated with the nectareous stream.[2] The Jogis inquired if he lived by begging. The Guru replied, 'Why should he who is absorbed in the Formless go to beg alms?' They then asked if he were art Udasi or hermit. The Guru replied:-- He who taketh the sword of knowledge and wrestleth with his heart; Who knoweth the secrets of the ten organs of action and perception[3] and of the five evil passions; Who can knot divine knowledge to his mind; Who maketh pilgrimage on each of the three hundred and sixty days of the year; Who washeth the filth of pride from his heart-- Nanak saith, he is a hermit. [1. Sikhs and Moslems use the expression I Gate of God' for God's throne or God's court., The latent allusion is to a king who removes himself from his subjects' gaze. It is at his gate those who appeal to him for justice waft, and it is at his (rate when he goes forth his subjects can obtain a sight of him. 2. Âsa. 3 The organs of action are the mouth, the hands, the feet, and the generative and excretory organs. The organs of perception are the five senses.] The Jogis then asked the Guru if he were an Audhut. The Guru told them what an Audhut ought to be:-- He is a servant of the Guru who restraineth his sexual organs, Whose heart is free from worldly desires, whose words are true, And who receiveth as his alms the glance with which the Merciful One beholdeth him. Know him to be meek whose heart is meek, And whose instruction is the profitable Word. Nanak saith, he is an Audhut Whose mind is not fickle, who goeth not to spectacles, Or to gamble or play chaupar, Who attacheth not his mind to things bad or good, Who weareth on his body whatever is given by the Guru, Who, when he goeth to another's house, talketh not scandal, Who observeth the restraint put on him by the true Guru, And who receiveth the Guru's instructions--O holy man, Nanak saith, such a man is an Audhut. The Jogis then desired to know if he were a Jogi, and the Guru replied:-- To remain seated without support, To collect and restrain the five evil passions, To sleep little and take scant food, To keep guard over the saintly body, To be constant in devotion, penance, self-restraint, and remembrance of God-- Nanak saith, these are the marks of a Jogi. When he speaketh, he uttereth divine wisdom He day and night waketh in the contemplation of God He attacheth a string to the vacant sphere,[1] And by the Guru's favour never dieth. All the gods do obeisance to him [1. That is, he fixes his attention on God.] Who in this way performeth the Guru's service, And who alloweth not his tongue to taste dainties- Nanak saith, these are the marks of a Jogi. He who effaceth wrath, avarice, and greed; Who quencheth the fire of the five evil passions within his heart; Who day and night flieth the kite By which divine knowledge is produced and evil inclinations depart; Who cherisheth holiness, restraineth his evil passions And repeateth no spell but the Guru's-- The habits of that good man are the best-- Nanak saith, these are the marks of a Jogi. He who maketh his body the vessel, remembrance of God his milk, Who putteth pure truth into it as his acid, Who by contrivance and effort easily curdleth the milk-- Without contrivance it would be spoiled-- Who useth divine knowledge as his churning staff and the Name as its string; Who in this way repeateth only the Name, And who by rolling and rolling extracteth the butter-- Nanak saith, these are the marks of a Jogi. The Jogis wondered if he were a Bairagi. The Guru defined the word for them:-- He is a Bairagi who is sold to God, Who in the presence of God subdueth mammon, Who performeth the work of God and mammon,[1] Who beareth an unbearable and intangible thing, Who hath abandoned wrath, avarice, and pride-- Nanak saith, such a man is a Bairagi. He who abideth lonely in the house of enjoyment, And dwelleth in the house of worship-- [1. That is, who performs his worldly avocations and thinks of God at the same time.] Where the cat fleeth at the sound of a mouse[1]-- Nanak saith, is a Bairagi. He is a Bairagi who embraceth contentment, Who reverseth his breath and is absorbed in God, Who subjecteth to himself the five senses-- Such a Bairagi shall rise higher than Shiv. He who renounceth evil ways and fixeth his attention on the one God, Nanak saith, is a Bairagi. Upon this the followers of Gorakhnath pressed the Guru to adopt the style of a Jogi. The Guru asked them to describe a Jogi. They replied:-- A Jogi weareth earrings, a patched coat, carrieth a wallet, a staff, And a deer's horn which soundeth through the world. The Jogis were proceeding to give a further description of their sect when the Guru interrupted and offered spiritual substitutes for all the externals of a Jogi:-- Put the Guru's word into thy heart for the rings in thine ears; wear the patched coat of forbearance; Whatever God doeth consider as good; in this way shalt thou easily obtain the treasure of jog. O father, in this way the soul which hath been a pilgrim in every age, uniteth with the Supreme Essence. He who obtaineth the ambrosial name of the Pure One, and maketh reflection his Jogi's cup, Divine knowledge his staff, and the Omnipresent the ashes he smeareth on his body, shall enjoy the great elixir of divine knowledge. Make God's praise thy prayer, the Guru's instruction thy sect of Atits,[2] The renunciation of desires and quarrels thy sitting in contemplation in God's citadel[3]-- [1. Where hypocrisy flees before humility. 2. By Atîts here is meant a sect of Jogis who consider themselves liberated from worldly restraints. 3 The brain.] From the sound of thy horn a melody shall thus be produced which day and night shall fill thee with music. In everything is Thy light contained, O God, and many and various are its colours. Saith Nanak, hear, Jogi Bharthari, the Primal God is the sole object of my love.[1] During his residence in Batala the Guru composed the Sidh Gosht, a treatise from which the Jogis are said to have derived spiritual consolation.

read all comments

1 Ben N = "All religions are the same in that their aim and goal is to know God and be united with Him. The True Guru, the Divine teacher, the Holy Spirit, makes use of the stories, symbols, methods and practices of all religions to bring the true seekers unto God. Those who keep focused on the goal, keep the mind fixed on God, see all religions as one, all paths as equal."
2 Ben N = "The supreme state is being at One with God. "Those who know themselves" are those who have awoken from the dream of the separate ego-self, and realized that they are the One, the Divine consciousness, at One with all that is."
3 Ben N = "Guru Nanak teaches that we should not put our trust in miracles, or follow those who demonstrate spiritual powers. The only way to God is to constantly remember Him and seek Him, and meditate upon the True Name."
4 Ben N = "The only sign of the true spiritual master is that he is absorbed in God, at One with Him, and in constant meditation upon the "True Name." Being in the presence of such a perfect saint is to be in the presence of God."
5 Ben N = "Those who are drunk on the Presence of God have no need for wine, or other intoxicants. They dwell in the highest bliss, quenched by the constant outpouring of God's Love from within their own hearts."