Monday, December 11, 2017
Gateway to Sikhism

THE SIKH RELIGION
ITS GURUS, SACRED WRITINGS AND AUTHORS
BY MAX ARTHUR MACAULIFFE

guru
guru

HYMNS OF GURU NANAK
SRI RAG


THE following was addressed to a man addicted to intoxicants:--

The Giver gave man a pill of the intoxicant illusion.
In his intoxication he forgot death and enjoyed pleasure for four days.
The abstainers[1] obtained truth to keep them in God's court.
Nanak, know the True One alone as true.
By serving Him man obtaineth happiness and proceedeth with honour to His court.
The true wine is that which containeth the true Name; it is prepared without molasses.
I am a sacrifice unto those who hear and explain this.
Man is known as properly intoxicated when he obtaineth a place in God's court.
Bathe in the water of virtues; apply the perfume of truth to thy body;
Then shall thy face become bright, and the One Giver bestow hundreds of thousands of gifts on thee.
Inform God, with whom resteth happiness, of thine unhappiness.
Why forget Him who owneth thy soul and life?
All clothing and food are impure without Him.
All else is false; what pleaseth Thee, O God, is acceptable.

A Sikh called Prema asked the Guru where God resided, in what. state He dwelt, and how He

[1. Sofiân. These must not be confounded with the Sûfis of Persia whose predilections are in the opposite direction. By abstainers are here meant the truthful.]

{p. 262}

could be found. The following was the Guru's reply:--

The virtues of the virtuous woman are blazoned abroad; she who is not virtuous regretteth it.
O woman, if thou desire thy Spouse, practise truth. He cannot be obtained by falsehood.
No boat or raft will take thee to the distant Beloved.
My Lord is perfect; His throne is secure.
He whom the perfect Guru maketh holy, shall obtain the True and unrivalled One.
God's palace is beautiful; it is adorned with bright gems, rubies,
Pearls, and diamonds; it is surrounded by a golden fortress, and is an abode of pleasure.
How shall I scale the fortress without a ladder? By meditating on God through the Guru I shall behold Him.
The Guru giving me God's name is my ladder, my boat, and my raft;
The Guru is the lake, the sea, and the boat; the Guru is the sacred stream.
If it please God, I shall go to bathe in the true tank[1] and become pure.
He is called the most perfect; He reposeth on a perfect throne.
His seat is perfectly beautiful; He fulfilleth the hopes of the hopeless.
Nanak, if man obtain the Perfect One how can his virtues decrease?

A man can only find favour with God by devotion:--

Accursed is her life who is separated from her Spouse she is ruined by mammon.
Like a wall impregnated with kallar she crumbleth down day and night.
She obtaineth no rest without the Word; without her Beloved her grief departeth not.
O woman, what are thine adornments without thy Spouse?

[1. The Guru is meant.]

{p. 263}

Thou shalt not obtain entrance into God's court; being false thou shalt be despised.
The Lord is wise and forgetteth not: He is true and a great husbandman.
He first prepareth the ground, then soweth the seed of the true Name.
From the name of the one God the nine treasures are
produced, and man obtaineth the marks[2] of His favour.
What shall be the condition of him who accepteth not the Guru's doctrine?
The blind[3] man hath forgotten the Name; the perverse is stone-blind.
His transmigration shall cease not; he shall be ruined by death and birth.
Woman may buy sandal, kungu,[4] and red lead for the partings of her hair,
Distilled aloe wood, sandal, betel, and camphor in great quantities;
Yet, if she please not her Spouse, all her preparations are vain:
All her enjoyments are vain, and all her adornments are useless.
Until she is permeated by the Word, how shall she obtain honour at God's court?
Nanak, blest is the woman who loveth her Spouse.

The Guru's idea of creation:--

From the True One proceedeth air, from air water,
And from water the three worlds; light was infused into every heart.
The Pure One becometh not impure: he who is imbued with the Word obtaineth honour.

Guru Nanak composed the following after a conversation

[1. That is, man's heart.

2. A reference to the thappâs, or marks, put on crops before being divided among the partners of the land.

3. That is, spiritually blind.

4. A red composition, principally of saffron, used by women to ornament their foreheads.]

{p. 264}

with Samangir, a Sanyasi, at Talwandi. The Guru maintained the excellence of his own system and the advantage of repeating God's name obtained from the Guru:--

If I turn myself into a woman, the Enjoyer will enjoy me.
Love not that which appeareth transient,
The Spouse enjoyeth on His couch the pious virtuous wife.
Having under the Guru's instruction obtained God's name as the water, quench the four fires.[1]
The lotus of the heart shall then bloom, and thou shalt be completely. satiated with nectar.
Nanak, make the true Guru' thy friend, and thou shalt obtain happiness[2] in God's court.

The following is a homily addressed to a trader called Ramu whom the Guru met at Kartarpur:--

Trade, O trader, and take care of thy merchandise.
Buy such goods as shall depart with thee.
In the next world is a wise Merchant who will be careful in selecting the real article.
O my brother, utter God's name with attention.
Take with thee God's praise as thy merchandise, so that, when the Merchant seeth it, He shall be satisfied.
How shall they whose wares are not genuine, be happy?
By trading in counterfeit goods the soul and body become counterfeit.
Like a deer shared in a noose, such a trader shall suffer great misery and ever lament.
The counterfeit shall not be received in the great God's treasury, and they shall not behold Him.
The counterfeit have neither caste nor honour; the counterfeit are none of them acceptable.
The counterfeit who do counterfeit work, shall lose their honour in transmigration.

[1. The four fires are--hinsa, cruelty; moh, worldly love; krodh, anger; and lobh, avarice.

2. Sach, literally truth, but in the compositions of the Gurus the word often means happiness.]

{p. 265}

Nanak, instruct thy heart by the Guru's word and advice.
They who are imbued-with the love of God's name have no load of sin and no superstition.
They in whose hearts God dwelleth are without fear, and great shall be their gain by repeating His name.

The omnipresence of God:--

He Himself is the Relisher; He Himself is the relish
He Himself is the Enjoyer;
He Himself is the robe; He Himself the couch and the Spouse--
My Lord, who ]is dyed with love, pervadeth everything--
He Himself is the fisherman and the fish; He Himself is the water and the net.
He Himself is the lead of the net; He Himself is the bait within it.
O my friends, my Darling is in every way playful.
He ever enjoyeth the virtuous wife; see what a state is mine![1]
Nanak representeth, Thou art the lake, and Thou art the swan;
Thou art the lotus and the water lily, Thou art pleased on beholding them.[2]

The following was a remonstrance to a Mulla and a Qazi who had entered on a discussion with the Guru:--

He is the Lord who hath caused the garden of the world to flourish[3] and grow green,
And who restraineth sea and land; hail to the Creator!
Thou must die, O Mulla, thou must die.
By all means fear the Creator.

[1. Who, not being virtuous, am divorced from God.

2. The lotus opens its leaves by day and the water-lily by night. God is the sun and moon which behold them by day and night alternately.

3. Maula, a name of God in Arabic, The Hindi verb maulna means to bloom or blossom. There is in the original a pun on the word.]

{p. 266}

Thou art a Mulla or a Qazi only when thou really knowest God's name.
Even if thou be very learned thou must depart; none may remain when his measure of life is full.
He is a Qazi who hath renounced pride, and made the name of God alone his support.
He is, was, and shall be: He was not born, neither shall He die; True is the Creator.[1]
Thou prayest five times a day, and readest thy Quran and holy books.
Nanak saith, when the grave calleth, man shall cease to drink and eat.

ASHTAPADI
The following was composed in a devotional paroxysm. Some suppose that it was uttered at Makka in reply to Qazis who had asked the Guru to tell them of the God he adored:--

Persuade thy heart to sing God's name with every breath thou drawest.[2]
How great is He to whom one playeth and singeth, and where doth He dwell?
All Thy eulogists continue to praise Thee with affection.
Father, God is inaccessible and endless.
Pure is the Name; pure is the place of the true Cherisher.
How great Thy sovereignty is cannot be known; no one knoweth how to describe it.
If a hundred poets were to be found, they could not describe a particle of it, though they sang their utmost.[3]
Nobody hath found Thy worth; every one as he hath heard describeth Thy glory.
Priests, prophets, saints, faithful men, martyrs,
Shaikhs, Strivers, Qazis, Mullas, Darweshes who have arrived at God's gate,

[1. True here apparently means abiding, eternal.

2. Also translated---As far as it can fix its attention.

3. Literally--even though they cried over it.]

{p. 267}

Obtain further blessings if they continue to recite God's praises.
He consulteth no one when He createth; He consulteth no one when He destroyeth; He consulteth no one when He giveth or taketh.
He knoweth His own might; He acteth and causeth others to act.
He beholdeth all men with favour, and bestoweth on those who please Him.
Neither His place nor His name is known, nor how great His name is among other names.
How great is that place where my Sovereign dwelleth!
None can reach it; of whom shall I inquire the way?
High or low caste influenceth not God when He maketh any one great.
Greatness is in the hands of the Great One; He giveth to whom He pleaseth.
He regenerateth man by His order without any delay.
Everybody crieth 'Give me much, much ', in the hope of getting it.
How great shall the Giver be called who giveth countless gifts!
Nanak saith, O God, Thy storehouses are full in every age, and never is there a deficiency.

It is said that a Qazi and a pandit asked the Guru how man could find God and be blended with Him. The following was the reply:--

All are wives of the Spouse and adorn themselves for Him.
In trumpery red dresses have they come for His inspection.[1]
Love is not obtained by hypocrisy; counterfeit gilding degradeth.
In this way God the Spouse shall enjoy the wife.
The good wife is pleasing to Thee, O Lord; of Thy favour Thou decoratest her.

[1. Literally-to be counted by Him.]

{p. 268}

She is decorated with the Guru's word; her body and soul are with her Beloved.
With hands clasped she standeth waiting on Him, and offereth Him true supplication.
She is imbued with the love of her Darling; she dwelleth in fear of the True One; and, when dyed with His love, her colour is the true one.
She is called the handmaiden of the Beloved, and answereth to the name of Lali.[1]
Her true affection is not sundered; the True One blendeth her with Himself.
Her soul is imbued and saturated with the Word; I am ever a sacrifice unto her.
She who is absorbed in the True Guru, shall not sit down a widow.
Her Beloved is an abode of pleasure ever voting and true; He neither dieth nor is born.
He ever enjoyeth His virtuous wife, and casteth true glances on her as she obeyeth Him.
She maketh truth the parting of her hair, and lovelier dress and ornaments.
She maketh the indwelling[2] of God her sandal, and the tenth gate her chamber.
She lighteth the lamp of the Word, and weareth God's name as her necklet.
She weareth on her forehead the jewel of love, and she is beautiful among women.
Her beauty and wisdom are charming, and true is her infinite love.'
She knoweth no man but her Beloved; it is only for the True Guru she feeleth love and affection.
But thou who art reckless on a dark night[3] how shalt thou pass it without the Beloved?
Thy bosom shall burn, thy body shall burn, and thy mind shall burn, O woman.

[1. The jewel or precious one.

2. Chit wasâia; also translated--mental restraint.

3. In spiritual ignorance.]

{p. 269}

When woman enjoyeth not her Husband, her youth passeth in vain.
Her Husband is on the couch; his wife sleepeth and knoweth not His presence.
While I sleep, the Beloved awaketh; whom shall I go to consult?[1]
Nanak, the true Guru, having taught me love, hath caused me to meet God, and I abide in His fear.

The mind is impure until it receives instruction from a true religious teacher:--

When the mind is impure the body is impure, and the tongue impure'.
The mouth is impure by uttering impurity; how shall it be made pure?
The heart cannot be cleansed without the Word; from the True One truth is obtained.
O girl, what happiness is there without virtue?
Brahmans read books aloud, but understand not their meaning.
They give instruction to others as a business matter.
They wander about the world preaching falsehood; while they who abide by the Word are the best.
How many pandits and astrologers study the Veds
They glorify battles and enmities;[2] but from quarrels resulteth transmigration.
However much they tell and preach what they have heard, man shall not be freed from his sins without the Guru.
All call themselves virtuous, but I possess no virtue.
Beautiful is the woman who hath God for her Spouse; that God pleaseth me.
Nanak, she who is united with God by the Word shall not be separated from Him.

The following was addressed to Hindu devotees whom the Guru met in his wanderings in the Himalayas:--

[1. That is, there is no remedy for my negligence now.

2. The epic poems Ramâyan and Mahâbhârat.]

{p. 270}

Though man perform lip-devotion, penance, and austerities, dwell at places of pilgrimage,
Bestow alms and perform acts of devotion, what are these without the True One?
As he soweth so shall he reap; human life is lost without virtue.
O silly one, happiness is obtained by being a slave to virtue.
She who under the Guru's instruction abandoneth evil, shall be absorbed in the Perfect One.

The following is a brief lecture against hypocrisy, with a few precepts to obtain future happiness:--

God carefully draweth the touchstone over men in order to assay them.
The counterfeit shall not be accepted; the genuine shall be put into His treasury.
Dispel hopes and fears, so shall thy filth be washed away.
Everybody asketh for happiness; nobody asketh for misery.
Great misery attendeth on happiness, but the perverse understand it not.
They who consider happiness and misery the same, and know the secret of the Word shall be happy.

Man may escape from the dangers of this world by accepting the Guru and hearkening to his instructions:--

The fearful ocean of the world is dangerous and formidable; it hath no shore or limit,
No boat, no raft, no pole, and no boatman;
But the true Guru hath a vessel for the terrible ocean, and ferrieth over him on whom he looketh with favour.

Love for God is inculcated by familiar Indian examples:--

O man, entertain such love for God as the lotus hath for the water.

{p. 271}

Such love doth it bear it, that it bloometh even when dashed down by the waves.
The creatures which God created in water die without it, and therefore love it.
O man, how shalt thou be delivered without love?
God pervadeth the hearts of the pious, and bestoweth oil them a store of devotion.
O man, entertain such love for God as the fish for the water.
The more it hath, the happier it becometh, and the greater its peace of mind and body.
Without water it could not live for a moment; God alone knoweth the sufferings of its heart.
O man, entertain such love for God as the chatrik for rain:
Though the tanks be full and the earth drenched, it will not drink from either.
If so fated, it shall obtain the rain-drops, otherwise it is fated to die.
O man, entertain such love for God as water for milk.
The water alone is consumed in boiling and alloweth not tile milk to be consumed.
God uniteth the separated, and conferreth true greatness.
O man, entertain such love for God as the chakwi[1] for the sun.
She sleepeth not for a moment, for she knoweth that her mate is absent from her.
The perverse see not; to the pious God is ever present.
The perverse make calculations, but it is only what the Creator doeth that cometh to pass.
His worth cannot be ascertained, even though all men desire it
But it can be ascertained under the Guru's instruction by meeting the True One happiness is obtained.

[1. The ruddy sheldrake, called by Anglo-Indians the Brâhmani duck. Should the male and female birds be separated at night, for instance at different sides of a river, they are believed to call to each other until they behold the morning sun when they renew their conjugal acquaintance.]

{p. 272}

If the True Guru be met, true love shall not sunder,
And the wealth of divine knowledge of the three worlds shall be obtained.
If any one acquire virtue, he will not forget the Pure Name.
The birds which peck on sea and land have played and gone away.
Man must depart in a ghari or two; his enjoyment is only for to-day or to-morrow.
He whom Thou blendest with Thyself shall be blended with Thee, and shall take his place in the true arena.
Without the Guru love is not produced, and the filth of pride departeth not.
He who recognizeth God in himself, and knoweth the secret of the Word, shall be satisfied:
But when man recognizeth himself through the Guru's instruction, what more remaineth for him to do?
Why speak of meeting God? Mail hath met Him already,[1] but it is only on receiving the Word he is satisfied.
Tile perverse obtain not understanding; separated from God they suffer punishment.
For Nanak there is but the gate of the one God; there is no other refuge.

It is said the following was addressed by the Guru, during his pilgrimage to the east, to a Raja called Harbans:--

Man is led astray by the reading of words; ritualists are very proud.
What availeth it to bathe at the place of pilgrimage, if the filth of pride be in the heart?
Who but the Guru can explain that the King and Emperor dwelleth in the heart?
All men err; it is only the great Creator who erreth not.
He who admonisheth his heart under the Guru's instruction shall love the Lord.

[1. Because the soul has emanated from God.]

{p. 273}

Nanak, he whom the incomparable Word hath caused to meet God, shall not forget the True One.

God cannot be deceived and His merits cannot be described:--

By taking the protection of the Guru man shall be saved; counterfeit is the capital of the perverse.
The eight metals of the King are coined agreeably to His orders.[1]
The Assayer Himself assayeth the coins, and putteth the genuine into His treasury.
Thy merits, O Lord, cannot be ascertained; I have seen and tested everything.
Thy merits cannot be expressed by words; if man remain true, he shall obtain honour.
Under the Guru's instruction Thou, O Lord., art praised otherwise Thy worth cannot be described.

The Guru prefers the repetition of God's name to all other forms of devotion:--

My heart is penetrated by God's name; what else shall I reflect upon?
Happiness cometh to him who meditateth on the, Word; perfect happiness to him who is imbued with God.
Preserve me as it pleaseth Thee, O God; Thy name is my support.
O man, just is the will of the Master.
Love Him who made and adorned thy body and mind.
Were my body to be cut into pieces and burnt in the fire
Were I to turn my body and soul into firewood, and burn them night and day;
Were I to perform hundreds of thousands and millions of religious ceremonies, all would not be equal to God's name.

[1. Man is composed, according to Indian ideas, of hair, blood, nerves, skin, bone, seed, flesh, and fat. These correspond to the eight simple or compound metals differently stated by Indian historians. Bhâi Gur Das understands the eight metals to be the four castes of Hindus and the four great sects of Muhammadans.]

{p. 274}

Were a saw to be applied to my head and my body to be cut in twain;[1]
Were my body to be frozen in the Himalayas, even then my mind would not be free from disease--
It would all not be equal to God's name--I have seen and examined everything--
Were I to make offerings of millions of gold, many excellent horses and excellent elephants;
Were I to make large presents of lands and cows, even then pride would remain in my heart.
The Guru hath given me the true gift that my mind is penetrated by God's name.
How many opinions, and how many interpretations of the Veds through obstinacy!
How many entanglements there are for the soul! the gate of deliverance is only obtained through the Guru's instruction.
Everything is inferior to truth; the practice, of truth is superior to all else.
Call every one exalted; let no one appear to thee low.
The one God fashioned the vessels, and it is His light that filleth the three worlds.
By His favour man obtaineth the truth; what He granteth in the beginning none can efface.
The holy meet the holy; by love for the Guru man obtaineth consolation.
He who is absorbed in the True Guru pondereth on the Word of the Ineffable.
He who drinketh the nectar of the Name shall be satisfied, and go to God's court with a dress of honour.
The strain of ecstasy[2] resoundeth night and day in the hearts of those who bear great love to the Word.

[1. Saws were kept at Banaras and Priyâg for the immolation of Hindu devotees. The operator applied the saw first to the head and cut through the body to the middle thus dividing it into halves. Devotees believed that all their sins should thus be forgiven, and they should immediately enter a state of bliss.

2. Kinguri is a musical instrument, originally composed of two gourds or calabashes connected by a frame on which there were four strings. It is now generally made of one calabash, a frame and one {footnote p. 275} string. The Jogis apply the word to the music heard in the brain by the practice of Jog.]

{p. 275}

Few there are who obtain understanding by admonishing their hearts through their guru.
Nanak, they who forget not the Name, and who act according to the Word shall be delivered.

The following principally inculcates the inutility of worldly possessions and the superiority of devotion:--

We see mansions painted and whitewashed with ornamented doors.
They were constructed to give pleasure to the heart,
and through love and regard for worldly things, but they shall fall to ruin.
So the body which is empty within and possesseth no love, shall fall and become a heap of dust.
O my brethren, your bodies and wealth shall not accompany you.
God's name is the pure wealth; God giveth it through the Guru.
If the Giver give the true wealth of God's name,
The great Creator shall become man's friend, and no inquiry shall be made of him in the next world.
If God deliver man, he shall be delivered; God alone is the Pardoner.
The perverse man deemeth that daughters, sons, and relations are his.
He is pleased on beholding woman, but, as she bringeth joy, so she bringeth sorrow,
Holy men are imbued with the Word, and day and night enjoy divine happiness.
The mind of the wavering infidel wandereth in quest of transitory wealth.
Men ruin themselves by their search abroad while the Real Thing is in their homes.
The pious obtain It, the perverse miss It through pride.
O vicious infidel, know thine own origin.

{p. 276}

Thy body made from blood and semen shall be brought to the fire at last.
The body is in the power of the breath according to the true mark on the forehead.
Men pray for a long life; no one desireth to die.
He is said to lead a happy life in whose heart God dwelleth through the Guru's instruction.
Of what account are they who are without the Name, and who therefore obtain not a sight of the great God?
As a man goeth astray at night in his sleep,
So doth he in whose heart there is pride and worldly love, and who is in the power of mammon.
To him who reflecteth under the Guru's instruction the world appeareth a dream.
As thirst is quenched when one findeth water; as the child is sustained by its mother's milk;
As the lotus cannot exist without water, and the fish would die without it,
So, Nanak, may I obtain divine happiness through the Guru's instruction and live singing God's praises!

Without the spiritual condition which is obtained by a repetition of the Name there is no salvation:--

I have become alarmed on seeing a terrible mountain in my Father's house.[1]
Steep is the mountain and difficult to ascend; there is no ladder which will reach it;
But under the Guru's instruction I have found the secret;[2] the Guru hath caused me to meet God and I am saved.
O my brethren, the ocean of the world is difficult and formidable.
If I have a satisfactory interview with the perfect true Guru, he will deliver me by granting me God's name.

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