Political unconscious and Nanakbani
Dr.Tarlok Singh Kanwar
Nanakbani opens a new chapter in the word-culture of the Punjab. Many interpretations have been made by scholars in regard to its spiritual aspect but very little attempt has been made to read the revolutionary message lying deep therein. Marxist critics have gone into this aspect in the modern times. They have regarded the revolutionary aspect as a revolt against the Mughal feudalism and linked it more to the progressive outlook separating it from the spiritual aspect only. But this interpretation too appears to be incomplete from many angles because the learned scholars have tried to interpret Nanakbani in the light of their own conceptual understanding. Nanakbani, if viewed in the context of the Indian tradition or philosophy, certainly talks of spiritualism. There are many scholars who, based on this spiritualism of Nanakbani, regard it a new edition of the Indian spiritualism. All this means that spirituality cannot be put aside from Nankbani at any cost. But our scholars, while studying Nanakbani in its contemporary cotext, have placed the spiritual aspect on one side. It should, however, be born in mind that such an attitude netiher helps in critical analysis nor general consideration. What is needed is that the spiritual and political aspects found in Nanakbani should be viewed in their inter-relationship. Another aspect has also to be borne in mind in this regard that the creation of spirituality or divine aspect needs the use of language. Side by side with the process of creation of spirituality, lies the next point that spirituality too is conceptualized keeping in view the historical and political pressures. In such a condition, our scholars, who while trying to strain from Nanakbani the political aspect, do not make spirituality as the subject of their consideration and leave it unstudied, and their study remains incomplete and unacceptable.
When we think of building of political unconscious in the context of Nanakbani, our problem gets connected with the entire cultural system and the values thereof. When we study Nanakbani with this problem also in our mind, we come to know that Nanakbani, in every layer, while clarifying the direction which cultural development has taken, also goes deeper into the inner sights. To have a detailed evaluation of this aspect, while we have to study Nanakbani the uconscious aspect thereof has also to be defined in a detailed manner. Because unconsious is the basic point of our study, it seems to be proper to discuss this first of all. Although the unsconscious is the conept evolved by the western psychologists and thinkers, the Indsian tradition has its own highly developed concept also, which Guru Nanak Dev made use of in the cultural context from many angles and in this way the concept of unconscious has been taken to the deepest levels of the universe and then raised up to be used in the contemporary context in which exploitatioin of man by man was the order of the day. Therefore, before making Nanakbani the subject of study, it seems more approripatre to know what is unsconsious. In the twentieth century, the first concept of unconsious was that of Freud. Freud was doing the psycho-analysis of human behaviour. On the basis of his experimentation he came to the conclusion that the behaviour of a human being is primarily based on his unconscious. The conscious level of the behaviour of a person with which he meets us does not present his reality. Rather more often than not it conceals his behavrioural truth. Therefore to go deep into the behavioural truth, it is necessary that we should move from the obvious conscious to the unconsious and in this way the behaviour reality of the concerned person be determined. From the psycho-anlysis point of view this conclusion of Freud seems to be largely in order and it is a methodology also to study human behaviour. But Freud was desirous of studying, by applying this methodology, the sick state of mind and the resultant strange human behaviour. Thus his concept of unconscious was limited to the individual-centric behaviour. From Freued this concept of unconcious goes to the world famous psychologist Jung when it gets changed entirely. Jung, instead of the individual-centric unconsious, brings to the fore the concept of racial unconscious and presents his views in this way that the psyche of a person is not formulated by his personal, contemporary and close behaviour, but it has been under formulation for ages and ages in his mind adopted from collective unconscious.
Thus Jung, by linking the concept of racial unconsious with the events of the past lives, turns the concept of unconscious into a mystery. The Theologians and the scholars of poetry have made ample use of this theory of Jung and based on this, they have come in opposition to science and technology. But after these psychologists, when the linguistics comes to the fore, the concept of sub-conscious gets highlighted in a distinct manner that it completely appeals to the human intellect. Freud’s unconscious goes deep into human mind. Jung’s concept of unconscious goes into collective backgropund but the unconscious of the modern linguistics takes it out of the strange and mysterious folds and draws it to the field of language. When the famous linguist, Saussure, observes linguistic presence in the entire social community, he says this conclusively that the entire culture of man is hidden in his language. It is the language which lends meaning and purity to human culture. There is nothing short of or beyond language. Therefore, he says that unconscious of human life and culture is made of language only and he links linguistic unconscious with the silent structure thereof. The structure ties together systematically everything that comes within the comprehension of man and goes on doing its work unconsciously. Therefore he calls it unconscious. When this concept reaches the well known cultural scientist Levi Strauss he lays it wide spread throughout the human culture and uses its as the basic methodology for study of culture. He is of the view that whatever becomes part of our experience at the upper level is not the reality. To get down to reality, one has to begin the journey of study from the upper level and go down to the bottommost level and its expanse. And in the deep expanses lies the relevant matter or the rules of achievement.
On the basis of these rules only any achievement can be evaluted in the real sense. As a matter of fact, Levi Strausse, in the process of his study, takes the position against traditionalism and says that the experience begins to work at the level of intricacies of life. In this context, experience and environment forge relationship with continuity. In such a relationship, instead of reality, only the upper level of activity is understood which is baseless from knowledge point of view. To reach the reality, according to Levi Strauss, one has to get across the state of experience-continuity and reach the deep expanse of creativity. To make himself understand properly, he keeps with him geology, Freud and Marxism. He says that geology never limits itself to the surface only and it goes down deep only where the reality lies under the lower layers of what is visible. Similarly, he learns from Freud that the outer and visible level of human conduct does not reveal the truth. In quest of this truth, one has to turn to the deep layers of human mind. In the same manner what he learns from Marx is that to know the social reality, the surface level knowledge is not enough. Rather to know the reality,it is essential to undertake the inward journey deep down where the essence of creativity lies. In this way Levi Strauss, in order to have an idea of the realitieis of earth, mind and society, regards unconsious as a methodology and says that he has been able to comprehend all this from Saussure’s science of language. This means that the search for the truth of creation of the universe, mental make up and social set-up through unconscious implies that it is made of the language of the unconscious. This further means that unconscious is basically linguistic. It would be something else also after this. To go deept into the creation of the universe the lingual system works in our help, even in psycho-analysis the language is at work and in the social analysis also the language plays its dominant role.
It should be borne in mind that linguist unsconsious does not merely analyse the level but it makes us aware of the principles at work. At the upper level of language many expressions are at work, but below it the grammar structure does its own work and after reaching the grammar structure, we reach the linguistic unconscious but this we do not call a collection of words or statements but regard this as a system and technology essentially seen to be working in a system. Technology, in its purity, remains affected by matter. It turns out to be a special kind of disciplined disposition. It becomes formless itself but it systematizes the entire gamut. It is necessary to keep in mind here that unconscious is not a fixed place, situation or a secret cell; it is a technology which, because of its mechanical nature, builds the entire culture. Therefore unconscious is such mechanical or a technological methodology which can eneable us to do anything and which has no determined existence of its own. In fact the world in existence is the world of experience, in which the limits of senses determine everything but the systematic technology cannot be attained without getting across the senses and the experiences.
In India the form of this achievement is called Brahm and the Indian traditon believes that Brahm gives form to the entire universe, builds it, sysmetises it but it has no form of its own. From the point of view of linguistics, when we try to take unconscious as a structural or a technological achievement, we come to know that in the course of the entire journey towards this end, the symbolized begins to disappear but the symboliser becomes highlighted in its role. When Saussure in order to explain symbol, divides it into signified and signifier, this assumption is also made that the signifier must have some signified also but when we see the use of language in the human culture, it transpires that when we try to look for some signified it gets lost like a nose-pin that is after the signifier, again the signifier shows up. This means that the signifier has no signified. It is just a mirage. To turn this mirage into reality it is very necessary to convert the signified into the signifier. Brahm is ultimate developed form of this signifier. This Brahm is extensively and intensively spread over the Indian culture and thought. That is why it is India’s unconscious.
Guru Nank in his Bani has estsablished his very strong relationship with Brahm. In the entire Nanakbani Brahm is seen all pervading. In the Adi Granth, right from Ik Onkar and upto Mundavani – sabh Nanak Brahm Pasarau- Sayeth Nanak it is All Pervading Brahm-which means that the entire Bani makes Brahm its foundation stone. After cementing his relationship with Brahm, Guru Nanak tries to connect it with the contemporary problematic concerns. In this process all the administrative problems of the medieval times also join in. Through his Divine words, Guru Nanak creates a sanctuary for the downtrodden belonging to low castes and classes. By entering this sanctuary, the downtrodden become courageous enough to confront the feudal violence and injustice.This method builds up political unconsciousness. It therefore follows that the machinery of unconscious is at work even before we take form and begins to mould in us all our instincts from our birth in accordance with its structural and disciplined tendencies and we, by a particular age, become attuned to the unconscious language pattern of the cultural ethos, which means that adoption of such a linguistic unconscious is not within our control. We act like a servant or a slave to accept the subordination of the prevalent system. We should remember here that the human society is always divided between powerful and powerless classes and the latter depend on the former because they control the means. The powerful class builds such a structure of the system which makes powerless sections immune from awakening and they go on slaving unconsciously under the mastery of the powerful.
Sassure says in the Linguistics that the lingual system is unchangeable, that is, no change can be brought therein but Guru Nanak makes this unchangeable nature of language a topic of his discourse and says that the system is basically the attainment of higher state of mind and because this attainment is in the hands of the powerful classes, they do not make use of it for human development but to retain their powerful hold on the powerless for all time to come and to exploit people to the maximum. In the medieval times, was the feudalism of the Mughal rule. While this feudal rule has taken into its hands the administration of the wide regions around, it has also regimented the human mind. Guru Nanak through his spiritual exhortation tries to create an awakening in the minds of the powerless classes against such a regimentation. In this context, the first thing that emerges from his Bani is that he adopts completely the linguistic and cultural unconscious built by feudal culture. In this process, besides the Mughal feudalism, he takes with him the Indian feudal system also. In such a sub-conscious the first thing that comes to the fore is the slavery. Guru Nanak, taking the defensive stance, uses slavery as sign. In this way in the entire Nanakbani, the form of slavery stands before us in all its aspects like non-violence, etc. The reader of Guru Nanabani does understand that in this Bani the poor, humble, servant, low born, and helpless stands at the door of a master. This is explained as humility in our common parlance but Guru Nanak considers this mannerism as quite imperative in order to remain satisfied in this state of slavery inherited by him. We can cite many examples in this regard from Guru Nanakbani –
Ai ji na ham uttam neech na madhim
Hari sarnagat Hari kai log. P. 504
(We are not high class, nor low nor are we at the middle. We are
under Hari’s protection, and we are Hari’s people)
Neecha andar neech jati, neechi hoo ati neech.
Nanak takai sang sath wadyaan sio kya rees.
Jithai neech sammalian, tithai nadar teri bakhsis. (P.15}
(Lowest among the low in the lowest castes; Nanak is with
them, has nothing to do with the high and (mighty).
Mul kharidi lala gola, maira nao subhaga.
Gur ki bachin hati bikana, jit laya tit laga.
Tairai lalai kya chaturayee,
Sahib ka hukam na karna jaiyee.1. rahau.
Ma lali piyo lala maira, hau lali ka jaiya.
Lali nachai, lala gavai, bhagat karau tairi raya.
Piai ta pani aani mira, khahi ta pisan jao.
Pakha pheri pai malovaan, japat raha taira nao.3.
Loon harami Nanak lala, baksihe tudh wadyayee.
Adi jugadi, daya pati data, tudh vin mukati na payee. (p.991)
(I am the slave bought by paying the price, my name is Subhaga (Lucky one). I have been sold by Guru’s word; I do as directed. What cleverness can a slave have; except obeying the orders. My mother is a slave, my father is a slave; I am born of a slave. The slave mother dances, the slave father sings; all engaged in Thy service. I would fetch the drinking water; I grind the grain for food. I fan Thee and rub Thy feet reciting Thy Name. Sayeth Nanak, I have not been a faithful slave, but still I am blessed by Thy Grace. Thou art compassionate Lord throughout the ages and no one can attain salvation without Thee.)
The above examples clearly show that Guru Nanak is presenting a person who has made humility, poverty, racial slavery as part of his mannerism. This behaviour is just in accordance with the feudal system of those times. But Guru Nanak makes this the basis of his exhortation while composing Gurbani, and presents the pitiable condition of the depressed classes in this type of image building. Our usual explanation comments on this briefly and that’s all but viewed a bit carefully, it transpires that Nanakbani not only brings to the fore the form of slavery present in the feudal society, it also connects with it an awakening which inspires the deperessed classes, when Guru Nanak says – we are neither high nor low, nor of medium level; we are under God’s protection and we are God’s people. Similarly when he talks of ‘A slave bought by paying the price’ it indicates that he places the slave under the protection of God Who has been Merciful throught the ages. When he says ‘Loon harami Lala gola….'(A disloyal slave) he means that there is a power who can bestow dignity even on a slave. In this way he inspires the down trodden to give up the slavery of ages and to strengthen his character and remain firm in his struggle (against it) and stand against the feudal injustice and tyranny. In these exploiting classes, the kings are included, the courts are included, the leaders of men who show the way to society are included and those controlling the relgion are also included. Guru Nanak uses very strong words in criticising them. But by doing so Guru Nanak sticks to the structure built around the concept of Brahm in the Indian tradition. He joins this structure to the problematic contemporary situation to lay down the path of human welfare.
What comes to the fore from the above is that Guru Nank determined Brahm as the basis paradigm of his Bani. It is necessary to bear in mind in this context that Guru Nanak, in order to prove the Purity, at many places in his Bani uses the suggestive language. Suggestive language refines the beliefs and concepts and presents them in a new form of clarity and unambiguity. Take the case of Guru Nanak Bani Japu. In this all the words in Mool Mantra determine the Purity of Brahm. In Sidhagoshta also the formlessness of Brahm has been presented in the most puritan form, when he says that Brahm rises from the unknowable state as free of any effect and assumes the form from the state of formlessness. Guru Nanak has made this clear in many of his contrary expressions. Avigat, Nirmail and Nirguna are contrary terms. Passing through three contrary states, Guru Nank has linked Brahm with the world of forms. The idea behind giving this clear and unambiguous definition is that Guru Nanak Dev wants to identify his paradigm. When he identifies this paradigm, he tries to attain Him. Passing through this process he comes to know that even the Brahm based paradigm was in the possession of the high castes and classes. Brahm was very far away from the low castes. Thus as the powerless sections were without the power of riches, they were also without Brahm. Brahmghyan was controlled by the feudal powers. Guru Nanak views this political situation with deep insight and explains here and there as to how the Brahminical system had controlled religion and even claimed the possession of Branhm. Guru Nanak wants to release all this from the stranglehold of the Brahmin. Guru Nanak has critically viewed the role of the so called religious institutions and religious leaders. He vehemently says that all these religious places were far away from religion (like near the Church farther from God) and engaged only in hollow rituals. It may be remembered when the rituals dominate a faith, the dominance of those encouraging it grows. From the cultural and linguistic point of view, it is working of the sick minds about which Guruji is quite awake.Therefore he tries to keep the purity of Brahm and the symbols connected therewith intact. Before Guru Nanak, Bhagatbani too feels strongly about it and says so. Bhagatbani mostly keeps a low profile. Just as the slave like condition of the depressed classes stands against the feudal oppression but keeps its stand in a low profile and covers all this under the wrap of ‘forbearance’. In the same manner the Bhagat also maintain a wordy silence. Guru Nanak gives a voice to this silent awakening. In other words the revolutionary tone gets louder in Guru Nanak Bani. In this way when Guru Nank brings to the fore his Brahm-based paradigm after adopting the silent and loud method, it becomes crystal clear that the role of political power is not limited to the governance of the country but it influences the thought process as also the language which builds the human character. In this way Guru Nanak perceives the political game working in the background of the spiritual heritage and talks about all this in a meta-lingual manner. Language tries to articulate a situation but meta-language covers the entire process of construction in scriptural idiom.
When Guru Nanak, after determining the Brahm-based paradigm, brings it at his mental level in the most comprehensive manner covering the entire humanity, the next stage for him is to mould this paradigm into syntagm. To mould paradigm into syntagm is like making it fertile to be productive. Unless a paradigm becomes the fertilizer of the next attainment, it has no significance. We can understand it better by putting it into the idiom of language. A lingual sentence has two parts. The first part is related to the ‘subject’ and the second to the ‘object’. In this way the subject and the object join, in accordance with the grammar of the concerned language and build a complete unit of meaningfulness. This complete meaningufulness is called a sentence. Absence or disorder of one or the other part from the sentence, becomes the cause of its distortion. In this way paradigm is related to syntagm.When paradigm is determined as an acceptable concept, the problem of its meaningfulness also arises side by side and this probem is solved when proper context is added to the paradigm. The noted linguist, Saussure in order to determine the meaningfulmess of a sentence, has used paradigm and syntagm. Roman Jakobson who takes further the linguistics of Saussure strengthens it in his own way and makes use, in this context, of words like metaphor and metanomy and says that the creator of meaningfulness picks up similar words from the storehouse of language. This selection (picking up) according to Roman Jacobson is that of metaphor. Then begins the problem of linkage of the selected word. The creator, links the selected word, keeping in mind the rules of grammar, with the appropriate words and in this way a complete meaningfulness is built.
When Guru Nanak determines is Braham-based paradigm and metaphor, in order to formulate it in a meaningful manner, he tries to link it not only with the linguistic field but the cultural field also in its different perspectives which means that Guru Nanak tried very consciously to link the Brahm-based spirituality with the social-based meanings and in the process his thinking takes the direction of enabling the down trodden, helpless, and depressed classes have the appropriate expression, that is, language. Under the traditional and perpetually feudal system, the common man has been suffering all sorts of oppression for ages and accepting meekly the language it was made to speak and accepts the subordination of language also and bears the slavery of the traditional values. In order to make the Brahm-based paradigm meaningful, he formulated the traditional mannerism to highlight the powelessness of the people and their suffering. Then he tried to take the people out of the traditional and unconscious tendencies, and inspired them to tread the path of freedom. Although Guru Nanak takes Brahm from the traditional Indian spiritualism, when he links it with the contemporary problematics and formulates it, a revolutionary thought process is born which challenges the prevalent system in many ways. To view this more clearly, we take some examples from Nanakbani. Guru Nanak has presented in the most articulate manner such details in his compositions ‘Assa di var’ and ‘Majh di var’. Guru Nanak’s time is called the time of Mughal ascendancy. The Mughal invasion had taken under its control the entire tradition of the Hindus. Guru Nank relates this pitiable state in these words –
Nau sat chadeh teen chaar, kaj mehlat char bahali.
Charai deevai chahu hath diai, eka eka vaari.1
Meharban madhusudhan mado, aisi sakat tumhari. 1 rahau.
Ghar ghar laskar pavak taira, sharam karai sikdari
Dharti degh milai ik vaira, bhag taira bhandari.2.
Na saboor hovai phir mangai, narad karai khuari.
Lab andhera bandikhana, augan pair luhari.3
Poonji mar pavai nit mudgar, pap karai kotwari.
Bhavai changa bhavai manda, jaisi nadir tumari.4
Adi purakh kau allah kahiai, sekhan aayee vari.
Deval devtiyaan kar laga, aisi keerat chaali.5.
Kooja bang niwaj musalla, neel roop banwari.
Ghar ghar miaan sabna jiaan, boli avar tumari.6.
Je toon mir mehipat sahib, qudrat kaun hamari.
Charai kunda salam karehge,ghar ghar sifat tumari.7
Tirath simrat punn daan kichh, laha milai dihari.
Nanak Naam milai wadyayee, meka ghadi samali.8.
(The universe with nine regions, seven islands, fourteen countries and four aeons has been created. The maya (illusion) has its three dimensional pervasiveness. The four Vedas have been given like four lamps (of knowledge) in four ages. Thou art the compassionate Lord benefactor with such a power!. Thou hast given the fire energy to everyone and the god of justice serves Thee faithfully. The earth is like a big cauldron cooking food which is distributed to everyone under Thy Command. But no one is content and begs for more and more and in this way faces disgust. They suffer incarceration in darkness and their misdeeds become their shackles. They are punished with a club for their sins. People become sinners or virtuous under your command. The Prime Lord is now called Allah and in this dark age (kaliyuga) the Sheikhs have their day. The Hindus and their places of worship have been taxed. Such is the order of the day. The bowl, ablutions, prayers on a mat and blue dress have become the common sight. The language too has been changed to conform to the Muslim custom and Mia is the address now for everyone. If thou hast done all this to suit Thy Will, what can we do? Salam, the Muslim salutation is now heard in all the four directions and the praise of the (foreign rule) is heard in every home. The rituals like pilgrimages, charities are all for personal gain and to please Thee to make a show of a virtuous living. Sayeth Nanak the true greatness lies in Thy Name which ‘I may recite every moment’)
In these lines Guru describes in a beautiful manner how far the Muslim culture influences the local Hindu tradition. The entire discourse is cultural in nature and political insight is the underlying idea thereof. The decline of the Hindu civilization, Mughal ascendancy and in this pitiable state the rise of the humble Sikhs who realize the importance of His Name and seek their own identity, have all been explained very meaningfully. But in the background of this description, Guru Nanak has kept with him the unonscious of Indianness and he has stated all that had happened had been under His Will. But it is very important to remember here that Guru Nanak like a matured Social Scientist, while keeping with him the spiritual aspect, tries to highlight the problems in the contemporary scene. Moving towards this is Guru Nanaks’s revolutionary faith. He paints a very dismal picture of the decayed conditions prevailing then –
Kal nahi jog nahai, nahi sat kka dhab.
Thnast jag bharisht hoye, doobta iv jag.1
Kal mahi Ram Naam saar
Akhi ta meeteh naak pakreh Thaggan kau sansar.1 rahau.
Khatriya ta dharma chhodya, malechh bhakhya gahi.
Srisht sabh ik varn hoyee, dharm kee gati rahi. 3.
Bin Naam Hari kai mukt nahi, kahai Nanak daas. (p.662)
(Such a bad time has come and there is nothing like the condition prevailing in the Satyuga (the age of Truth). Neither Yoga nor truthful living is possible and falsehood rules supreme. There is overall decline of values and the whole world seems to be falling in a huge abyss of falsehood and ignorance. In this dark age only the True Name is of any worth. Otherwise all the acting is going on like holding the nose, closing the eyes, etc. to deceive the world. They show as if by doing so they attain awareness of the three worlds, without actually knowing what lies behind them. What a mockery is this show off! The valiants have given up their duty and they blindly ape the rulers. All the people are trying to take to the ways of the rulers without regard for their own faiths. Though they have studied thoroughly their scriptures and practiced the teachings, without The True Name, no one can attain salvation, sayeth Nanak the slave.)
In this way Guru Nanak describes the pitiable state of affairs prevalent in society in such a way that everything becomes crystal clear. He says that the administrative conditions have gone so bad that honesty has taken to wings and there is no spec of holiness therein and people are in a state of the worst type of moral decay. Guru Nanak places before the people his own Naam-sabhyachar (Name Culture). Name Culture is a concept which is based on two aspects of language and thought process which awakens the boldness among the people to adopt their own faith and conduct. The famous Historian Surjit Hans says the same thing in his book ‘Sikh kee karaan?” ( What should the Sikhs do?) in his own way by saying that in Guru Nanak’s time the Kaliyuga (The dark age) had prevailed in the real sense but this Kaliyuga did not affect Guru Nanak’s faith and those who take shelter in Guru Nanak’s sanctuary also remain unaffected by it. Guru Nanak says about these conditions in greater detail –
Soyee chand charhai se tarai, soyee diniar tapat rahai.
Sa dharti sa paun jhularai, jug jia khailai thav kaise.1.
Jiwan talab nivar. Hovai parvana kareh dhingana,
kali lakhan vichar. 1. rahau.
Kitai des na aiya suniai, tirath pass na baitha.
Data Dan karai the nahi, mahal usaar na baitha. 2.
Je ko sat karaai so chhijai, tap ghar tap na hoyee.
Je ko Nao laye badnavi, kali ke lakhan soyee.3
Jis sikdari tiseh khuari, chakar kehai darna.
Ja sikdari pavai janjiri, ta chakar hathahu marna. 4.
Kali kalwali sara niberi, qazi Krishna hoya.
Bani Brahma Bed atharban, karni keerat lehya.5
Pati vin pooja, sat vin sanjam, jat vin kahai janeyoo.
Navahu dhovahu tilak charhavahu, sach vin soch na hoeyee. 6.
Nanak Naam milai wadyayee, eidoo upper karam nahi
Je ghar hodai mangan jaiyai, phir olama milai tahi. (SGGS, p.902 3)
( The same moon and the same star and the same hot sun and the same earth as also the same winds blew in all the ages. And this dark age too is passing through the same phenomenon and nothing else. Let’s not ask for longer age. The signs of this dark age are indicative of ‘might is right’. It has not been heard that this dark age is pervading in any country or is sitting near the holy places nor at places being run on charity. The signs of this are that if someone tries to lead the life of truth, he suffers and if someone wants to sit in meditation, he cannot do so. And if someone recites His Name, he is ridiculed. A person who attains high position, faces defame and the worker has no fear of any one. But when the high positioned one is chained for some offence, he is done to death by the servant.
In this dark age, the black laws are in force (sinful actions) and those charged with doing justice are taking bribes. Even the scriptures are being misinterpreted. Worship without honour, restraint without truth, and sacred thread without purity of character, bathing, putting vermillion mark on the forehead; nothing becomes purified without truth.……Sayeth Nanak, the true greatness is attained through His Name, and there is nothing above it. When someone goes for begging, though he has got everything at his place, whom can he blame (for being ridiculed)?
In all these lines Guru Nanak has tried to picturise the state of change and decay and fixed his attention on the political conditions. In his criticical explanation, Guru Nanak names his time as that of Kaliyuga and has made it clear that only he, who takes shelter under Guru Nanak’s Name-based faith, can get across this ocean of problematic life. This way, in the above lines, Guru Nanak has built up his Brahm-based paradigm in the context of contemporary conditions, in the same way he has cited some examples in Assa di Var and Majh di var.
From the above we can come to the conclusion, in accordance with the method of our study, that in Nanakbani an attempt has been made to use the tradtional language and thought process of the powerful section of society in favour of the powerless in the changed sense. This can be presented in more clear words that Guru Nanak has challenged the moth eaten values expressed in the language, thought process or culture of the powerful section. He has made a strong attack on the traditional beliefs held for ages and the cultural unconscious. We should remember that the entire system operating in the language and throught process of cultural unconscious is built up from the point of view of the ruling class and this works continuously to use the people’s power in serving the ends of the ruling class. In the first instances, Guru Nanak assesses in greater details this unconsscious and tries to deeply study the mind of the working classes. In this way he enters the depths of the unconscious and after this entry, he concludes that the powerful section of society has subordinated the powerlelss sections of society. All this arrangement is aimed at keeping the people enslaved for all time to come. This is what the political game is, he concluded. It is for this reason the language under this system or for that matter the culture or mannerism are all anti-people. But man has been at collective level in unison with this system for ages.
Guru Nanak tries at conscious level to change this unconscious through his critical explanations. That is why he stsands against the branhminical and feudal system and creates his own master-servant context. In this context, he offers a sanctuary to the low and down trodden. This sanctuary seeks to free Brahm from the political overlordship and makes it available to the people, and secondly, as opposed to hollow ritualistic worship, he presents the symbolism of the Word-Culture and in this way draws the people towards his faith and inspires them to fearlessly tread the path to freedom. The entire situation is thus termed as the building of political unconscious.
Guru Nanak sifted the purity of Brahm from the Indian tradition and linking it with the contemporary problematics, prepared such a discourse as makes people aware of the need to initiate the process of human build up. The political aim as exhorted by Guru Nanak in his Bani that the traditional postures build up society from anti-people point of view whereas the human build up necessarily has to based on symbolic freedom. Guru Nanak says in the entire Bani how the human life becomes meaningful in the transformed cultural ethos. Between humanity and life works the system of meaningfulness of language. If the politicis of this system is understood, the developmental path of the human values can be made secure. In this direction an attempt has been made to build the political unconscious of the Punjab. A further in depth study can lead us to many more revolution based conclusions.