Photo of original text written by Guru Har Krishan, courtesy of Wikipedia
November – Gur Prasaad – Sri Guru Granth Sahib – Word as Guru!
The Naam is priceless; it cannot be taken. By Gur Prasaad, it comes to abide in the mind. p663
And the Shabd is the Gur Prasaad.
Gur Prasaad is commonly translated as Guru’s Grace. Implying that by the favour and generosity of the Guru one comes to know the Divine qualities announced in the Mul Mantra. Implying that to make the journey of alignment to, integration of, and merging with, those qualities there are two main elements:
Gur/Guru: The intervention, input, guidance of a being, and a method/technology, which achieves what the word implies: bringing one to the realisation of, identification with, and merger into, the light within, and beyond, the dark.
Prasaad: (This comes to one as a) Grace, Favour, Gift, Generosity.
However as the other terms in the Mul Mantra are descriptive qualities, or attributes, of God, and Godliness, then we may further understand Gur Prasaad in the same light.
Note: there are many passages in SGGS where Naanak confirms the equation that God = Guru = Shabd.
God as ‘Gur’ – the Enlightener; bringer of the light of consciousness to the inner darkness of our non-conscious ignorance.
God as ‘Prasaad’ – The One expressing its pleasure through abundant and spontaneous generosity.
Perhaps some further insight can be gained by the occurrence of Gur Prasaad after Saibhang : Only the ‘Self-Existent’ One can enlighten us, its creation, as to its own nature. Alternatively meaning that all the terms written until this point of the Mul Mantra, those words, are both the Enlightener revealing Its Self and the Gracious Gift of the Guru.
It also is written after ‘Sat’ in Ek Ongkar Sat Gur Prasaad.’ This is an important revelation that indicates how commitment to truthfulness, and love of truth (the truth of Ek Ongkar), already opens the door to enlightenment and solicits Grace, leading one to the state of liberation and realisation.
The number 11 is 10 + 1. Intimacy, likeness and unison between the Macro-Unity and the micro-unit. God and me, me and God. Otherwise it is 1 + 1 = 2, and that is duality. We only know the nature of the 1 when we transcend duality. Gur Prasaad is the means for that shift from duality through polarity to Unity.
11 implies ‘My will is Thy will’; to walk in harmony with The Divine. Non-acceptance of the Divine will, the will of the Unity of all, is to set your self apart and to create a duality. It is to say that ‘i am other than God’, rather than ‘i am of God’.
Setting one’s self apart is to identify only with the creation and not the Creator. Therefore one goes on in the rounds of created existence with its cycles of life and death. Gur Prasaad, the Shabd Guru, intervenes and guides us out of that karmic cycle.
The 11th Guru is the Word, the Shabd, Bani. It has been delivered through the mouth of the Guru; hence is written in Gurumukhi. It seems as though the Guru has transformed; no longer in a temporary human form but is now recorded with ink and paper. However, from the beginning, Guru Naanak already declared, to the Yogis, that the Shabad was his Guru. Guru Arjun also made it clear that Bani was the Guru, and the Guru was the Bani; when he compiled the Adi Granth (precursor the Sri Guru Granth Sahib). And finally Guru Gobind Singh gave clear instructions to the Sikhs to follow (respect and obey) the Guru Granth.
Gurbani, the Shabd, is the Gift of the Guru; it is the Guru’s Grace. It expresses the outpouring cries of the Soul’s journey of longing, climbing and falling, searching, finding, losing and returning, loving, serving, and slowly understanding, towards recognition and merging with the Infinite One. This sharing in poetic words of love is the Guru’s Grace, the Guru’s pleasure and the Guru’s abundant and spontaneous generosity.
Lovingly reading it, breathing it, feeling it, hearing it, aligning with it and becoming it, brings many benefits.
Thanks to Gur Prasaad, God’s Enlightening Generosity, as given in the sound current of Shabd, Naad, and Naam, the impossible becomes possible. What was inaccessible becomes known within, at the very source of the seeker, and one is lifted up from the pit. What follows is a summary of the described outcomes of Gur Prasaad in the order they occur in the SGGS and presented as a current reality, which can serve to bring the possible future into the present moment: (There may be some repetition – but that is the Guru’s style)
By Gur Prasaad you obtain bliss and the supreme, transcendent state and status; ‘param pad’.
Dry wood flourishes again; the closed and inverted heart-lotus reopens and blossoms forth,
and Light shines forth in the darkness.
Contemplating on, and understanding, the Self, you make contact with the Inner Being.
The understanding of breath by breath meditation on God is implanted within your mind.
Through continuous and eternal meditation and remembrance you reach liberation from the cycle of reincarnation.
Drink the, thirst quenching, Amrit (Nectar of Har Naam) your speech becomes pure, like nectar. You speak of the One, describing the indescribable.
Entering the home of celestial bliss, darkness of spiritual ignorance is dispelled and the moon of wisdom rises in your awakened mind. You recognize the Divine Light within your own heart and see the One God with your own eyes.
By gur Prasaad the jewel of Har/God is known to dwell within your mind, and the feet/words (charan) of Har/God are in your heart.
Your bonds of Maya are cut away; you renounces corruption. You see the deception of Maya and her poison turns to Amrit. Therefore you easily cross over the terrifying world-ocean of time and space.
By Gur Prasaad your mind (consciousness) awakes and remains awake and attached to Naam. The unfathomable form is found in your own mind.
Entering the home of peace you find a place of rest, and enjoy contentment.
You practice raaj yoga; chanting the Naam continually and singing of the All-Pervading One.
By Gur Prasaad you give to charity and take care of your spiritual (dharmic) and Worldly (karmic) duties. Which results in you having a beautiful form, a social status and honour. You are respected everywhere.
By Gur Prasaad the Truth is told. The essence of all reality is understood; your understanding is transformed; you come to know everything.
You are cured of the disease of ego (ego is eliminated; pride and attachment are burnt away). And so you are accepted in the Divine Court.
By Gur Prasaad the fruit of your effort is obtained; the Name of Raam/God is one’s wealth. The One is known and the Divine Light shines forth. Hence all doubt is dispelled and God’s actions are all approved and accepted by you. By Gur Prasaad you see yourself as a guest in this world, and thereby gain honor in the Divine Court. Wherever you go you see God ever-present, permeating and pervading everywhere.
By Gur Prasaad you conquer the world. Meaning your coming and going cease, as you becomes stable through absorption in the Naam. In this way you shake off the fear of death.
By Gur Prasaad whatever you ask for, you receive; it comes to you. As your mind is satisfied with the Love of the Naam it does not go out, anywhere, anymore; all desires are fulfilled.
By Gur Prasaad you shall not have to go to hell. Being saturated with the Lord’s Love is what makes up your service. Your mind is purified and you obtain the joy of all joys
By Gur Prasaad you remain dead while yet alive, and you shall not have to die again.
With God/Prabhu ever dwelling in your mind, your affairs are all resolved; and whoever challenges you is destroyed (this includes inner conflict – your mind is reconciled with God).
You find the Door of Salvation (10th Gate), and no longer suffer or grieve; sorrow does not touch you.
By Gur Prasaad, like (Guru) Naanak, you look upon all the same. Your foolish mind has come to believe (and respectfully obey) the Guru’s teachings. You have found the path, the mansion where you will not be touched by doubt, fear, attachment or the traps of Maya. And you enter the deepest state of Samaadhi, through the kind mercy of God/Prabh.
You have obtained the ambrosial essence; you sing of this essence, and you reflect upon this essence.
”By Gur Prasaad, Nanak speaks; meditation on Har is the essence of spiritual wisdom. p1006
Looking alike upon pleasure and pain you see Raam (the All-pervading One) in each and every heart.
Dwelling deep within your heart – it becomes filled with infinite wisdom. The All-pervading and All-permeating One is revealed. You perceive how the Life-of-the-world nurtures, cherishes, and give sustenance to all.
By Gur Prasaad your mind is attuned to the One forever. Then, seeing the True One everywhere, you become free of hope in the midst of hope (non-attached).
Obtaining the Naam, your coming into the world is certified and approved.
Your thirst is quenched, and your mind satisfied, with the sublime taste of the subtle essence of Har. It is the (eternal) spring season of the soul. You have found the Gate of Salvation.
Having found the Immaculate One (Niranjan); you contemplate the True Word of the Shabad.
Chanting the Name of Har/God doubt and fear are gone from your mind.
As God is revealed within the home of your heart you are intuitively, naturally, absorbed by that, then the fire within you is quenched. Now you are intuitively absorbed in Samaadhi.
Finally you have conquered death; the desires of your mind are destroyed. By Gur Prasaad, you have found God/Prabh, and your are released.
Note: Perhaps the above could be read again replacing ‘you’ with ‘I’. As when you read, sing or listen to, Gurbani it brings alive the meaning and this inhabits you; it is you, your journey, your pain, your awakening, your bliss, that you are referring to.
Note: space does not allow, but all benefits that are attributed to the Shabd can also be attributed to Gur Prasaad and vice versa.
The Guru points out the rarity of those who complete the journey across Maya’s ocean of time and space and become free of the cycle of reincarnation to merge with the One creator.
This can be read and heard in a pessimistic tone where we resign ourselves as lost and with no chance. Or we can take note that, by virtue of Gur Prasaad, a few do make it. Then lets recall that Gur prasaad is not only to be understood as an exceptional, random Grace that only comes to those who have a pre-recorded destiny. Gur Prasaad is also the word of the Shabd which can be lovingly recited and held on to in the depth of your heart. And in this way it will become a destiny written on your own forehead.
”Rare is the one who knows the medicine (of Shabd) to conquer the mind. p665
”By Guru’s Grace (Gur Prasaad), a few (will) people understand this. ||2|| p742
There seems to be a paradox: Love of god brings Guru’s Grace – Guru’s Grace brings love of God. The sangat (holy company) is found by Gur Prasaad – Sangat (holy company) brings Gur Prasaad. A pre-recorded destiny brings Guru’s Grace – Only Guru’s Grace can write such a destiny on one’s forehead.
If we remember that the Shabad Guru, Gurbani, is also Gur Prasaad then this paradox can be appreciated rather than downgraded to a contradiction and a conflict.
Guru’s Grace is not just a pre-given fact. there are circumstances that bring you into contact with it. there are things you can do:
”One who joins the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, and chants the Praises of God/Har, by Gur Prasaad their mind shall be purified and they obtains the joy of all joys. ||1||Pause|| P496
” O Nanak, believe in the One who is worth believing in. By Gur Prasaad, he is realized. p954
Here are more things to do that the Guru suggests as both a result of Gur Prasaad and to bring about Gur Prasaad:
– Breath the True Naam; do not speak falsehood.
– Chant the One Naam with your tongue.
– Dispel all your doubt once and for all.
– Join sangat and serve the saint in all.
– Meditate on the One, on the Unity of all.
– Listen to the True Teachings of the Guru.
– Dedicate and offer your body and mind to God, Guru, Sangat and Dharma
– In this way align yourself with the True Guru
The Guru is God’s servant. The Shabd Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, is the Guru’s service to the God in all. Lovingly reading and hearing the Shabd, Bani, brings the Guru alive and activates the Prasaad – the Abundant Generosity.
Hence the next stage in the Mul Mantra is the instruction ‘Jap’.
”By Gur Prasaad, please preserve Your humble servant;
O Har, Nanak stirs up this juice, and drinks it in. ||5||7||8|| p1127
Ek Ongkar Sat Gur Prasaad:
May our hearts be filled with the nectar of the Shabd Guru
May we hold that cup out to the world
Sat Gur Prasaad:
May Gur Prasaad prevail as the uplifting vibration
For a new humanity
In communion with each other
Through our common Oneness