SHABD: ITS BLESSINGS
Shabd brings in untold blessings. It is the powerhouse of all energy or force in any form, from Pranas down to electricity and magnetism. Every form of life is the manifestation of Shabd. All that is, is of Shabd and nothing is that is not of Shabd-life-current pulsating in and out of space. Those who commune with Shabd and live in and by Shabd are verily the children of the Supreme One, the life of life and the light of light. Shabd is the very Bread of Life which comes down from Heaven for all those who hunger after righteousness and the very Water of Life for those who thirst after Self-knowledge and God-knowledge. True love, wisdom and power are the greatest gifts that one gets by basking in the sunshine of Heaven's Light.
1. Mind grows docile and is purified of the lusts of the flesh. There is no remedy to control the oscillations of the ever-restless mind. One may resort to all the known methods - to wit, penances and austerities, rites and rituals, fasts and vigils, pilgrimages and circumambulations, purificatory baths in the holy rivers, charitable and philanthropic acts - but cannot thereby achieve inner peace. On the contrary, all these help in developing the egotistic instinct which is the root cause of all evil. Sage Vashisht, while teaching Rama, told him that he could for a moment believe that one had lifted the mighty Himalayas, or had drunk the oceanic waters to the lees, but the sage would never believe it if anyone were to say that he had subdued the mind. But by listening to the Sound Current one is rid of all Karmic impressions of the past. The contact with the Shabd acts as a spark of fire that burns down all impurities of the mind as a heap of hay is burnt down to ashes in an instant. The storehouse of unfructified Karmas is blown off like a powder-magazine, and once released of this gigantic load, the mind and soul get attuned with the Heavenly Music, lost to the world around like a moth before a candle.
Mind runs after pleasurable sensations, most of which fall into two groups: forms and patterns on the one hand and sweet symphonies of sound on the other. The Shabd too has both these characteristics - the heavenly Melody and the divine Light - and once that Sound or Light principle
becomes manifest, mind is paralyzed, losing all faith in the transitory charms of the world that gradually lose their glamour and grow dull, insipid and lifeless.
With a draught of the Water of Life the mind grows still, for there is no other remedy to still it but that of communing with the Sound Current.
Without the Word of the Master, the mind remains restless. 111
Our restless mind becomes steady when engrossed in the Shabd,
And this is the highest worship and the greatest virtue. 112
By practice of the Shabd, ripples cease to float on the lake of the mind.
All the oscillations of the mind cease with the practice of the Shabd
and it gets pacified of itself. 113
GURU AMAR DAS
Mind keeps running in space - high and low - so long as it
does not come in contact with the Shabd. 114
Shabd is sharper than a two-edged razor and cuts asunder all attachments of the world, conquers the five passions and frees one of bondage from all that one holds dear; and the spirit when freed, flies unfettered toward her native Home in Heaven.
Being rid of the five deadly sins, one remains engrossed in the Lord. 115
2. Shabd is the remedy for egotism from which all the world suffers.
Egotism is the greatest ill oppressing all,
Without Shabd, one cannot get rid of this malady. 116
GURU AMAR DAS
Egotism is an age-old disease but it can be remedied by practice of the Master's Word.
Egotism is an age-old disease and its remedy too lies within,
Should the Lord so favor, one takes to the practice of the Master's Word. 117
The poison of egotism is rendered ineffective by the Shabd of the Master. 118
GURU AMAR DAS
O Nanak! Shabd burns away egotism. 119
Shamas Tabrez also prescribes medicine of Shabd to cure one of his egotism:
When thou shalt hear the trumpet-blast,
Thou shalt be rid of all pride and passions,
When the harmonious sound shall fall on thy ears,
Thou shalt be freed from the life of the senses.
3. Shabd brings in inner peace and satiety. Everyone is in a desperate search for peaceful rest and repose but does not get it. All the comforts of the flesh are but pleasures of an evanescent nature, floating like the clouds in the sky. The sensations which seem pleasurable for awhile are the result of our own fixity of attention and apart from that have no real and independent existence. Our case is like that of a dog who while munching a dry bone hurts his mouth, and his own blood trickles down his palate to his tongue giving him relish and he is deluded into the belief that all this is from the dry bone.
Spirit or soul is a conscious entity. It cannot possibly derive or get any happiness from inert, material and life-less things - that is, things in which the life-principle is in a dormant or a latent state. It is only from the fount of higher consciousness that the spirit can get her food and sustenance. The Sound Current which the Master makes audible is an active life-principle (stream of life), and contact
and communion with It gives the soul real happiness and bliss.
The practice of the Master's Word grants immunity from all ailments,
And the devotee of the Master is freed from all sufferings. 120
GURU AMAR DAS
Shabd has an exhilarating and exulting influence which charms the body and mind, both of which acquire ineffable serenity:
The fires of lusts play havoc within but the Master lets in a stream
of refreshing Music,
Hearing which the body and the mind feel blessed
and are saved from all maladies. 121
GURU RAM DAS
The Master's Word is an ocean of serenity,
It is the Path of salvation and destroys all egotism. 122
When a soul contacts Shabd, it gets saturated in the Power of God and feels truly blessed.
The contact of Shabd with soul produces joy supreme,
A dip in the Power of God gives true happiness. 123
Day and night, an unceasing bliss descends,
When one remains devoted to the great Word. 124
GURU RAM DAS
The Word of the Master is a source of great happiness,
Blessed indeed is the bride (soul) that lives saturated with love of the Beloved. 125
4. In the Sikh scriptures, one reads of innumerable benefits that accrue from Shabd. Shabd kills, root and branch, all longings and desires, mental vibrations and subtle attachments.
Shabd extinguishes the fires of desires,
And quietly drives away all delusions. 126
Shabd singes all aspirations and cravings,
And one remains attuned with the Lord. 127
Shabd burns down all material longings and attachments,
The body and the mind live in eternal peace in love of the Master. 128
GURU AMAR DAS
When once the life-stream becomes audible, one never feels lonely; for he hears its reverberations wherever he may be, at home or abroad. The Voice of God keeps reminding him of the true home of his Father. The practice of the Sound Principle rids one of all troubles and afflictions, the five deadly passions, the lusts of the flesh and of the mind, leaving the soul in pristine transparency, detached from all that is of the world and worldly. Shabd is the supporting staff both in the journey of this life and of the life hereafter. With the experience of transcendence beyond the confines of the body, one becomes fearless of death; and when the allotted span of worldly existence comes to an end, he throws off, once and for all, the mortal coils of the flesh, as easily and happily as one does his old and worn out garments, and is freed from the cycle of births and deaths and goes openly and honorably to his home in heaven.
The practice of and communion with the Word brings in heaven's light and one feels divinely blessed. It gives intuitive knowledge of the Self and God and one experiences within himself the integral realization of the soul as one common life-principle extending everywhere, in and around him, without any barriers and limitations of time and space, for all life is one, from eternity to eternity, irrespective of the many forms and patterns through which it may manifest. The moment one rises into the Timeless, he himself becomes timeless. This in fact is true meditation and true devotion leading to the true love of God and His creation, his own self expanding and coinciding with that of his Creator. This is Jivan-mukti or salvation while living in the world, like a lotus flower, above and aloft in the muddy pool in which it stands, unaffected by the dirt or squalor of the water below. Woe betide those who do not get contact with Shabd, for they ever remain between the millstones
of God's negative Power and endlessly go up and down in the giant Wheel of creation, according to the merit and demerit of their Karmas whatever they be. Born in the gyres, they come and go in the gyres, with no way to escape until they contact some Master of the Word who may lead them to the Path of the Word, the Way out, and bring about their salvation.
The waters of life (Hauz-i-Kausar or Prag Raj) lie hidden in the deepest depths of the soul and the way thereto lies in utter silence through the Word. Living in the hustle and bustle of life, if we try for It at all, we seek It, like other things, outside us, and miserably fail in the endeavor. But those who search for It the right way and are put on the Path by some competent Word incarnate may drink of this elixir and taste of this manna and gain immortality.
I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger;
and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. . . .
I am the living bread which came down from heaven:
if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever . . . 129
Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst;
but the water that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of water
springing up into everlasting life. 130
Word is the panacea for all ills. 131
SHABD: ANHAD (LIMITLESS) OR ANAHAT (SELF-EXISTING)
Shabd is of two kinds: Ahat and Anahat. Ahat is that sound which is produced when two or more things contact each other. All the outer sounds, all the world over, fall in this category. Anahat is that Sound which does not depend on "hat" or contact of two or more things; It does not depend on anything whatever. The Muslim divines call it Anhad, meaning unceasing, eternal or limitless as the term literally means. Shah Niaz speaks of It thus:
Hear thou one continuous and unending Music,
A music that is eternal and beyond the confines of death.
When It has no beginning and no end,
It is therefore called Anhad or endless.
The Absolute Truth is both imageless and soundless, for all images and sounds lie dormant in that state of complete fullness within the eternal seed.
He is the Ruling Power over all that exists,
The unstruck Music too is His manifestation. 132
With no form and no lineaments, His Music doth flow ceaselessly,
Shabd or the Sound Current is the creative life- principle
of the Immaculate One. 133
In the Shabd there is light giving rise to music:
Sit steadily in the cave of the mind and then shalt thou witness
the sounding fire within. 134
There the unending melodies float,
And the mind drinks the nectar thereof. 135
This Anahat Dhun (self-existing Music) is going on all the time and is eternally endless:
The self-existing Music is eternal and continuous,
Be ye saturated in the ineffable sweetness of the Sound Current. 136
Night and day the ceaseless strains float down. 137
The melodious strains of the unceasing music are ineffably sweet and charming:
Countless are the notes in the unending Melody,
The charming sweetness whereof is ineffable indeed. 138
Innumerable are the melodies that are going on before the Court of God:
The sorrows and afflictions of the ages are blown away,
The endless Music plays continuously at His Court. 139
What is there to indicate the abode of God?
There plays the heavenly Music all the time. 140
The All-pervading Music is going on everywhere,
In the heart of all, the Divine Music flows. 141
Its reverberations are heard in the Gagan,
And charmingly sweet is the eternal Music. 142
One can contact the Heavenly Music only when he transcends body-consciousness:
When the soul currents withdraw from the sensory plane
in the nine outlets and get concentrated at the still point in the body
in the tenth door at the back of the eyes,
It is only then that one, with the guidance of the Master,
is able to contact the heavenly Music that plays interminably. 143
GURU AMAR DAS
Close thy outgoing faculties,
And hear the eternal Melody. 144
Bhai Gurdas Ji says thus:
When the soul is absorbed in the Word,
It gets lost in the sublime Music.
When the soul is engrossed in the Word,
The unending Music floats down. 145
The communion with the Anhad Shabd is the only source of perfect knowledge, true devotion and the endless Song that glorifies God and man.
For perfect knowledge and devotion and the story of the great God,
Listen ye ever to the Anhad which is the food of the devotees
and destroys all their fear. 146
Anhad Shabd can be contacted beyond the plane of the senses; none can reach It by his own unaided efforts, without the grace and guidance of the true Master. Its manifestation comes as a pure gift from the Master (Gur Parsad).
Anhad Shabd is very exhilarating,
But one gets to It by the Master's grace. 147
O Nanak! one who has access to a perfect Master,
He alone is enabled to contact the eternal Music. 148
The Anhad Shabd is the only way that leads to God and one begins to relish and enjoy God-intoxication only after the eternal Song is manifested within.
The eternal Song becoming manifest within,
one is united with the Beloved,
The lowly Nanak is now in perfect bliss,
for he has found the merciful Lord. 149
It is only a devotee of the Master in whom the divine eternal Melody may become manifest.
The worldly wise cannot reach It.
The Creator has ordained it as a fundamental law,
The eternal Song can be heard through communion with the Word,
It is made manifest in the devotee of the Master and in no one else,
In the mighty swirl of the mind one forgets It and the Godman reminds of It,
This Law has been in operation throughout the ages. 150
GURU AMAR DAS
With the practice of the eternal Sound Current, one is purified of all sins and lusts and is washed clean of the karmic impressions of all previous births, and with the light of Self-knowledge and God-knowledge he rises into Brahm and Par Brahm and reaches far beyond into the Kingdom of God, his eternal heritage. The "Lost Word" comes back to light and life only through the grace of a competent Master, as a free gift to whomever He may choose to grant it.