12 Months by Nanak


The Guru’s meditation, celebration and revelation of the 12 months as a gateway for the divine mystical relation between the soul and the Absolute One. 

The cycle of the year is a microcosm of the cycle of our life.
Each year is a chance to reformulate the overall shape of your life. To reinterpret your past, to rededicate your present and to reorient your future.  With this in mind Kabir addresses himself saying:

”Kabir, plant the seeds of such a plant, which shall bear fruit throughout the twelve
months, with cooling shade and abundant fruit, upon which birds joyously play.” SGGS ang/p1376

The cycle of a year includes: preparing/turning the soil/ground – a receptive base; sowing the seeds -new ideas and intentions;  watering and nourishing;  taking out the weeds/obstacles/toxins;  Praying for grace and clarity – so that your personal intentions and invested actions are in alignment with the Universal will and design: and, finally, collecting, and sorting, the harvest/fruit/results.

It is a cycle that very well represents the most basic teachings about the karmic and natural law of cause and effect – ‘as you sow, so you shall reap/eat.’

Therefore it is not surprising that Guru Naanak and Guru Arjun both wrote beautiful passages (Shabds/Hymns) using the months of the year as a meditation on the soul’s passage in the cycle of life. A cycle that we will repeat, year after year, life after life, until it’s purpose is complete. For their introduction the Guru refers, in both passages, to ‘kirat karam’ – the karma/consequences of happiness, sadness, separation and union, that we experience as a result of past actions.

In addition to the influence of our own action, the Guru reminds us that this takes place in the context of God’s will and therefore to call on Divine Grace, Mercy and Sanctuary. The Guru states that the suffering we endure is by the lack of relation to, and awareness of, God: The God within (soul), which is known through personal experience. The Transcendent One, which is  to be remembered. The ever present God in all creation around us; people and nature.

Without this remembrance the Guru says our life is  comparable to a cow without milk, or a crop without water.
When we meditate on God’s (Har, Nirankar, Prabh) presence in the manifest creation and all of nature we will find peace. It can be inferred that living a life that honours and obeys the laws of nature (within and without) is equal to honouring and obeying God.
Decorating the body is not the way to meet God. Crying out to the beloved is the way. And this is exactly what the Guru does through expressing the mystical journey though the 12 months.
The first version of the 12 months is given by Guru Arjun (ang p 133) Where he starts by emphasising the suffering we go through when God is forgotten.  Guru Arjun goes on to pray for God’s mercy to bring us back into the conscious relation, and unity of spiritual identification, with God = Naam.
The second account of the 12months by Guru Naanak (ang p1107) begins by highlighting the joy of merging with God, and continues with celebration and praise for the beloved.
In that 2nd Shabd/Hymn the longing for, and achievement of,  merging with the Divine is described through the voice of the song-bird that is deeply in love. Nature and its seasons become a reflection for  finding the Beloved deep within the temple of the Body. The song-bird becomes filled with nectar, embellished with the word of the shabd, drenched with love, absorbed in dwelling on the beloved.
There is a moment when the song-bird feels forgotten and abandoned. However she does not give up. She maintains and asserts her love. And in this way returns again to the state of delight and grace, feeling ravished by the beloved:

”In each and every home, the Husband Lord ravishes and enjoys the happy soul-brides;
so why has He forgotten me?
The sky is overcast with heavy, low-hanging clouds; the rain is delightful, and my
Beloved’s Love is pleasing to my mind and body.”

Lets walk through the year with the Guru (the Guru’s Word) a
And perhaps be blessed to taste a tiny drop of that nectar
To feel a fragment of that bliss
To share a little breath more of that love in the world

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Post navigation