Guru Nanak Came to the World to Give a Message

Gurdwara Lecture in Los Angeles, CA on November 18, 1994 by Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan

Click here to view the original video of this lecture.

Five hundred twenty five years ago, Guru Nanak came to the world to give a message… What we understand about Guru Nanak conventionally, is not true. What we understand about Guru Nanak religiously is not true. And what we understand Guru Nanak as a messenger of God, is not true. The factual fact which we have been ignoring all these years about Guru Nanak and his teaching is, that Guru Nanak taught something, that at time your existence still belong to the non-existence. Guru Nanak was the first Guru of the Udaasi panth and that was that you have to be unattached while living, working and being in everything.  That Guruship was given to Baba Siri Chand and then to Baba Guru Ditta, the son of Guru Hargobind. The Guruship of Sikh Dharma was given to Lehna, which was Guru Angad, the part of Guru Nanak.  That bifurcation is the record, which we cannot separate today.

The basic teaching of Guru Nanak is that you are by grace, you are by virtue, you are by blessing. Time doesn’t exist.  Time only makes you to appear. So you have come from Akal Purakh, as Akal Moorat, go through the time as Akal Moorat and merge in Akal Purakh as Akal Moorat.   That is exactly what Guru Nanak said. His difference was not to create a new religion.  His difference was not to fight with other religions.  His difference was not to create congregation and try to be a great Guru… The basic Sikh Dharma, you still go, there are Gurdwara called Manjee Sahib. That mean a simple Guru sat on a cot and talked to people in a simple language and he talked from heart to heart; he talked to soul to soul; he talked to person to person, there is no difference.  And the very word, which when we chant, Akal Moorat, Ajoonee Saibhung, Gurprasad, stands as Guru Nanak words. These are the words.  It is an open challenge.  It is not that we who happens to be a Sikh can only have it.  There is no fanaticism in it.  There is a universal reality and truth, that Maha Akal, Siri Akal, what has created the universe and the time only measures the call. When Nanak addressed his Sikh in person, he called him Akal Moorat.  You are a pictorial, personified person of that infinite God.  That’s what he said. The Rehit, the way we live, the way we move, the way we understand Sikh Dharma was done by Guru’s in total, simple sequence. But consequential step was taken by the master, the father of the Khalsa, Guru Gobind Singh, when he said,

‘Rehit piare mohe ko Sikh piaaraa naaheh.’

And there he confirmed how the Akal Moorat will look.  He confirmed. Today there is a dispute. Today there is a mockery.  Had Guru Gobind Singh not got the knowledge of experience, in his own ecstasy, that Khalsa is ready, he would not have given us the Guruship to the Siri Guru Granth, Shabad Guru. He first found out, we are matured, we are ready, we have come to the understanding, we showed, Bhai Mati Das, Bhai Sati Das, and many Sikh, Bhai Taru and all that history for the Guru’s, showed that we are deathless.  We created a record.  Just to call yourself, I am a Sikh, and then it when come to forgiveness, you are uptight; call yourself Sikh and when it come to serve, you don’t have time; call yourself Sikh and then you runaway from simple things, which are just human.  That no, we were not normal people.  It is not a history or a story of normal people.  It’s the history and a story of people who surmounted death, face to face, who created a page of history where they were fearless, they were purely living sacrifice and they understood God in totality. That was the reality.  That was the religion.  That was Guru Nanak.

When I was very young, my governor was (Wellish) and she taught me about Guru Nanak.  This is her statement, which I never forget.  What you teach a child, it lives.  No say no when you have to say no, that is Nanak. Then I told her, “Make me understand in simple words.”

She said, “If you belong to Nanak, you belong to Nanak?”

I said, “Yeah, I belong to Nanak.”

She said, “If you belong to Nanak, you can’t say no to anybody.”

I said, “Why not? It is not right or wrong, it’s wrong to say no, when you don’t, should not, but when it should, you should say no.”

She said, “Na. That’s not right.”

I said, “Suppose you tell me, to steal, should I say yes?”

She said, “No. You can say, ‘it is not in the house of Nanak to steal’, but you can’t say no.”

I said, “Is there anything which you cannot say no?”  She used to sit down with me and teach like a child.  When things are gone wrong, you say in the house of Nanak, there is nothing wrong. So about two, three hours whole day she will remind me that I do not belong to the house of my father and my grandfather.  And she used to tell me, these are the individual karma. Your father is your karam pita; that is your karam pita. Nanak is your Dharam pita.  And if karam will not raise to the dharam, you do not belong to Nanak; then you are not a Sikh.  Now you understand this? And I say how to raise from karam to dharam?  That was my second question. She said,

“When there is a call of duty, in which a humanity has to be served and your life is just a sacrifice to it, that is a start of that karam being transferred to dharam.”

And when I grew up, when I heard,

‘Hone naal jho landhe matta Sikh acoman sohe, kahe bhar haas, haas ki hone anth mein mudmud roi.’

And then I understood the word of Akal Moorat and I want you to understand why Guru Nanak used that word. Actually it is very beautiful, to all the time to chant naam and call Wahe Guru.  It becomes our habit and even I, you, many of you, because you have that practice, you say Wahe Guru all the time.  But in practice Wahe Guru is a simple statement of fact. When you are challenged and when you ask if you are Sikh of the Nanak and you believe in Wha Guru, at that time call of duty has to be answered. A Sikh cannot judge right and wrong.  He is an everlasting, ever living, forgiveness for the entire humanity. That criteria of the Sikh; that general kindness of the Sikh; that grace of the Sikh, Nanak Naam Greebee… Here the word humility is considered in western world, like if you say, you are humble, you think oh my God, you know we are poor and humble and this and that. No, no, no, no, no, that’s not true.  It’s very difficult.  It needs more courage to be humble. It is very easy to be haughty.

Humble means for service; humble means to be kind; humble means to be clear conscious and this is what Guru Nanak was all about. In India at that time, there are two authorities, which were in rulership. One was the mulla, who was the interpreter of the God Allah and one was the pundit, who was the interpreter of the Brahma.  That’s how it is. And both were very qualified lying personalities.  They lied through their teeth. When the scriptures and the knowledge and the position and the clothing and the status and the statue becomes the authority, one thing leaves – service; one thing leaves – love. Then there is a status; there is a haughtiness.  When a grass root man starts looking to a man, that is what Guru Nanak in his generation changed and that’s why today a Sikh doesn’t not look to another man.  He looks to the Shabad Guru. The subtlety of knowledge, the concept and the projection of the power of the man, into the individual reality of the soul has been totally not only seeded but it’s sprouted and it became the Sikh and that is Nanak.  That has to be understood. Therefore, our talk, our walk, our existence, our bani, our bana, our seva and simran, has a unique projection. It’s not a matter of ethics, moral, rules and regulations.  It’s a matter of courage. It’s an attempt against temptation. The enemies within us; temptation leads us to weakness.

I was just talking to somebody that day, I said, “Oh, you are a Sikh of the Guru?”

He said, “Yes.”

I said, “You gave your word?”

He said, “Yes.”

I said, “How can you back off?  You have no option.”

And he was telling me, “That, that other person is no good, so with a no good person giving any word doesn’t mean anything.”

I said, “Wait a minute. With no good person, giving promise is no good for an ordinary person and a common person for a Guru Sikh whether he is no good or he is all good, it doesn’t matter.  It’s a Shabad of the Guru, spoken by a Sikh of the Guru.  You gave a word.” You gave a word and your word represents the Guru.  That is why we call ourself Gurumukh. And I said, “If you call yourself a Khalsa, then it is a very simple thing, Siri Mukh.  Then it is a total Shabad of you has to have the glow, the glory, the truth, the strength and the life in it.” Whatever your father Guru Gobind Singh said, it’s called Siri Mukh; that great infinite Mukh of that Guru of you.  You are the Sahibzada; you are the son of that Guru. I said, “Don’t do it, I am not asking you to do it, I am not asking you, sociology, psychologically or personally, I am not preaching you also. But I am just reminding you, that how deep your strength is, how deep your caliber is, how deep you route is, how deep your routine is, how much you are required to understand you before you.  Don’t wait that day of death and you will rise and the angels will blow the trumpets and you will rise for judgment day?” I said, “There is not going to be any judgment; judgment is right here.  It is your Shabad.  It’s your Guru, in testimony, in witness.”

“Now you have to understand.”

I said, “There should be no bell ringing early in the morning ambrosial hour. No, don’t get up at the morning at all, doesn’t matter. Guru Sat Guruka jho Sikh, these are the words of your Guru. You have no option. So Palke hutarna naam theave…these are your options.  And if you have option between you and Guru, then death has option between you and you.  And then you shall die in disgrace, because you did not take the path of grace. Don’t blame.  Sikh Dharma does not judge anybody tomorrow.  There is no judgment.  It’s a simple living identity, in reality of the self of the spirit.  Death doesn’t mean a thing. You die with your own consciousness, before your own intelligence, when you cannot keep your word, when you do not look like as God made you to be.  And these are the words of Nanak, so simple, so elegant, so straightforward.  It was never an idea to create another religion. And those of you who are in the western world, Guru knew better.  You want to look at anything negative; worst slander you want to read about your Guru.  Take Trump, read him.  Do you have the guts?

If you want to know the truth as it was. Because you speak English and you have born in English language, then read Mukalaf.  It happened so, that for every Sikh, a factual statement of that time consolidatedly was recorded as a guideline. In the background of that, you have Siri Guru Granth. Now read it yourself.  It’s not very difficult to understand it and there is no aspect or facet of life on which he shall not talk to you. The problem is when you go to a personal guru, sitting a big one, fat one with his situation, you know how they look like and then you go with lot of money and you can convince. Human is subject to convention and convincing and argument and reason and all those things can be done. But what you can do with Siri Guru Granth? The Siri Guru Granth is simple thing. Hukam-lai – or you can take an order.  Open it up.  It’s between you and your Guru.  Guru shall speak to you. It is another difference, your trick – you say, I don’t understand this. Or this hukam is not right; it doesn’t fit in the occasion and in circumstances.  That’s your logic.  That’s your logic. I know in a one person case, I got a telephone call and the lady said, “This is eighth time I am opening for the Hukam, it is coming the same Hukam.”

I said, “Well you do it one time more.” One time the same hukam came.

She said, I said, “But don’t you understand Guru is speaking to you”… “But this time I try to open some where else, how come the same page got open?”

I said, “I am not there.  You are telephoning me, I am not telephoning you. So what I am saying, Guru is telling you something straightforward.”

She said, “But this is a very harsh hukam.”

I said, “You, you must be doing something terribly wrong and as a father of the infinite universe and matter of master of your heart is telling you, Oh stupid child don’t do this thing, that’s what it is. It’s the Third Guru spanking left and right.”

I said, “I can’t change the language, I am sorry. There is a lot of sweetness in it, but also there is a lot of spanking and you are very afraid.

“Moment”, she said, “it was Mela Teja was just absolutely gone sour, I knew it.”

I said, “Well, it’s a very straight talk, Mela Teja talks flat.  There is no bubbliness in it. You can’t get out of it.”

“You mean to say what I have decided and Guru says, I took the hukam I should not do.”

I said, “Why don’t you do me a favor, do it.  I will vouch for it.  See what happens.  I am sorry for saying it and she is sorry for doing it.   Cost was humongous, but still life was saved.”

In our reality of life, sometimes in our childishness, we do not understand the Shabad Guru can speak to us direct.  We start babying with it, arguing with it, logicing with it, trying to understand – ‘Oh it’s a harsh’… No.  For a Sikh, hukam is hukam.  Guru commands and Sikh obeys.

And somebody once said to a Sikh, “Where is your Guru?”

He said, “Here.”

And somebody said, “Where?”

He said, “Here.”

He said, “I see you.”

He said, “No.  He sat down and started saying, Ek Ong Kar, Sat Nam.”

He said, “This is Guru Nanak.  Which one you want to hear?”

And he started saying, he said, “Oh now I understand.”

He said, “You have anything about your tenth master.”

He said, “Rogan thear, sog anthere, or joganthere, bagwan beja.”

He said, “Oh, okay, okay, okay, now I understand how you understand the Guru.”

He said, “I understand all of them, they are all in me in one person, I am just a living unit of the Guru.”

“Who you want to hear?”

He said, “How you guys remember all this?”

He said, “How you guys remember all that?  If you remember all that, we remember all this.  What is the big deal?”

He said, “Question is that and this. Bhuleyara abda ke pana, edno putkev uttar lana, bundeye – what you found of the God, pluck it from there, post it there.” If you remember all the nonsense of the world, we can also remember some sense what Guru gives us and what Shabad Guru is, it can be with you.  Without form, but it is just to inform. On this day of Nanak, birthday, I have only one line to inform you. Guru Nanak is very sweet and kind and very, very, calculating. Guru Nanak doesn’t have any form.  It is just to inform. And person who can be informed and doesn’t get up, is called lazy. So you can be lazy, crazy and leery, or you can be just alert, active and real. Guru Nanak’s words are just that you should be in your heart. Bani kanth paisa gant – money is right in your pocket and bani, is which you remember. And one thing more and I ask your forgiveness, about shabad Guru, about Siri Guru Granth.

There is a question, which I faced very painfully once, that a Sikh gentleman looking so beautiful, I, I wish I should look that pretty – his whole thing was A-one condition.  He sat down behind the Siri Guru Granth and when he was interpreting the Siri Guru Granth, all he was saying is that until there is a person to interpret the Guru, you are not going to understand it. Tolerance is also the way of the Sikh, so we tolerated. But when it comes to paying respect to the Siri Guru Granth, he took all the coverings like one, two, three, four…I was weak in those days myself physically, but it was so horrible for me to see that happening. Now this is off now, this is off.  Do not let anybody who does not have a respect of the Guru, come before you in a camouflage and insult your Guru.  That’s not real.  And I called the Espanola Sangat, and I called them on this, immediately.  Then Guru’s service was done properly.  Five beloved one came with the swords, nagara was played, Maha Akal Mantra was sung and Guru’s procession was taken and it amazed me, shockingly, that all our Sangat bowed, except those who were actually there doing the kirtan the whole day. And then I asked the Jathedar.  I said, “What is this? You sing the hymns of my Guru, but you have no honor and respect in self you, that you can honor it.”

He sat down and he asked me one simple question.  He said, “Yogi Ji without a man, without you, how this all could have happened?”

I said, “Wait a minute, sit down, sit down.  Without all this, I would not have been. It is Guru’s grace.  How much one can be blind?”

He said, “How you can interpret the Siri Guru Granth can give you a knowledge?”

I said, “It’s a very simple thing.  It’s a permutation or combination on the entire life of you.  Go to any doctor, understand the frontal lobe is nothing but personality and hypothalamus controls the automatic, then the tongue rotates on the hypothalamus meridian points, eighty four meridian times, the hypothalamus opened up and all this kamal bagassey what you are talking about happens.  Man doesn’t need another man.  Siri Guru Granth, if cannot give the knowledge, what you are talking about?”

I said, “Blind can read with a touch and with a touch of this tongue, you cannot open up your whole system of knowledge?” Do you understand Siri Guru Granth, correctly speaking? That’s why last time in Los Angeles I warned, those who must speak, speak little, just read one Shabad, but read correctly.  Don’t start typing A instead of E. If it is paave, then just see paave.  It means something.  Siri Guru Granth is very clear.  There are three (sodhers) there, different combination, different (mug), little difference.  You might be thinking that while somebody was writing, he wrote it wrong.  No my dear.  It’s a permutation and combination to stimulate the stimuli of the psyche of the energy of the hypothalamus.  The entire science of Japa is based on it.  Therefore, don’t hesitate at all. Learn WaheGuru, learn Wahe Guru, Guru mantar hai. Say it, say it, if you don’t know anything just say it. Now the vibratory information is like this and let us record it for two thousand years from now. Then the vibratory interpretation of the psyche of that projection which a man speaks through the Pranic energy with the combination of the tattvas and as time is a tie between the person self and the tattvas, classify the person into the reality and breaks the tie of the time into the tattvas, all knowledge of the universe dawn on such individual. And Siri Guru Granth holds the key to it. Therefore, we respect with heart and with head.  That’s why our head bows and our heart is filled with love and joy and in essence. We understand the science of the Shabad Guru, Sha Bad, Wahe Guru Gur mantar hai, jap ommey kohe. Sha means ego, which kills the ego.   When there is an ego killed, God becomes your amigo; life becomes universal; Sikh becomes in ecstasy, can serve all in that criteria. And that as it is the beginning of the Age of Aquarius, that’s what Sikh Dharma is meant to be. I like to share with you, to congratulate and I like to share with myself the kindest regard of my Guru, that gave us twenty-five years to serve, to be in the Sadh Sangat. It’s the kindest regards of our heart. Our head bowed, we find ourself virtuous that we have walked twenty-five years together, in His grace, under His protection and singing together, Ang Sang Wahe Guru and any other time, when you will call, you will walk and your children will walk and your grandchildren will walk, it will be what you said today. May Guru Nanak be with us forever and guide the humanity with love, affection, compassion, kind and care.

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa


Copyright:  Teachings of Yogi Bhajan

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