October – Saibhang – The Self-Existing One – Guru Gobind Singh
The 10th phase of the Mul Mantra is Saibhang.
Sai : Self, One’s own self. Self as Cause. By One’s own will.
Bhang : to be, exist.
Therefore Saibhang means to exist by One’s own volition; ”Self-Existing”.
After the 8th and 9th stages, or phases, of the Mul Mantra there is only one final quality and name of the Divine to be confirmed. Saibang, – the Unity of the Totality. The whole, or sum, which is more than all the parts that came before.
Being Akaal moort, beyond time and death, and Ajooni, not born of the womb, Saibhang describes, and refers to, an Existence that is not dependent on nature to give it birth or nourish it. Its prior and ongoing existence is Self-Established. It is an Absolute Reality upon which everything and everyone depends, while Itself remains dependent on nothing and no-one. It is ‘Sach’ – the transcendent quality of the Divine Creator. Before and after all time and space; further expressed in Guru Naanak’s words: Aad sach, jugaad sach, hai bhee sach, Naanak hosee bhee sach. Only the Self-Existing qualifies for such a description. (Note: ‘bhee’ and ‘bhang’ have the same root meaning = to exist.)
Through the Mul Mantra Guru Naanak has taken us full circle. Starting with the Ek (One) and finally, indisputably revealing it’s inherent perfection of wholeness; Complete in Itself. Only That which is without cause (Self-Originating) can be the cause of all else. Therefore we might use the expression ”The Self-Existing One”.
This equates with the ultimate realm of Reality, ‘Sach Khand”, where ”only the Formless One (Nirankar) exists” from where all creation comes and to which it returns.
Saibhang, the Self-Existing One, is the ultimate object and focus of true and pure meditation.
Tuning into the Self-Existent One requires deep listening, ‘suniai’ and a steadiness of consciousness through the zero of shuniya. We may be fortunate to even contemplate a nearness to that state, let alone to embody it. It is an immeasurably vast solitariness that is all embracing (All-One).
References from the SGGS suggest that it is state in which there is no need to eat, as one is not seeking anything to feel more whole, complete or satisfied.
So by meditating on the Self-existent One and emptying ourselves of all temporary and relative identifications, (becoming Zero), is to experience and enjoy nearness to Saibhang.
Being near to the Self-Existent One sets us free from the influences of the multiple levels of countless forces that prevail in the cosmos. This is the cultivation and development of that deep inner state by which we can be free of all attachments; as the Self-Existent One is.
The Self-Existent directs all. Nothing is beyond it and so nothing directs it.
It implies the Supreme Will. The Will of the One Creator.
Everything that comes to pass is under the will/directive of the Self-Existent. In other words all else is dependent on the One that is independent. Everything exists in the domain of the Self-Existent. Nothing is beyond the Self-Existent. This fact is inherent in the very nature of the Self-Existent. The Self-Existent is all containing.
Saibang is self-initiating. It does what it does through its own volition and will. Not by any pressure, opinion, advice or inspiration from any other source; essentially because there is no other.
God is the (only) Existence that exists by its own initiative; by its own cause.
When we self-initiate ourselves through our practices of meditation (simran), and dharma in general, then we confirm, through experience and manifestation, the micro-cosmic echo of the Macro-Cosmic Unity.
This is training and preparation for 11 (10 + 1); ‘God and me, me and God, are One’.
What is it about Guru Gobind Singh, his life and his writings that express the nearness to the Self-Existing One: That he was Guru from the young age of 7 years old; without mentor or Guide.
That the sword, representing the Self-Existing Primal Power of Pritham Bhagauti, was always at his side. That he initiated the Khalsa – the sangat/community of the Pure (unalloyed) beings; those that had no allegiance to any but the Absolute One. A sovereign Nation.
That he was a poet and a warrior, a householder and a hermit, a leader and a disciple.
That he found himself alone having lost his 4 children and his wife.
That he was the final, sum total, culmination of the living, humanly embodied, lineage of Guru Naanak and his predecessors.
That his writings stand apart from the SGGS; in a domain of their own.
That he begins and ends his most known composition, Jaap Sahib, with reference to the Self-Existing, Self-illuminating One. That he set alight his own funeral pyre through his meditation alone; without external help.
It is important to note that The Self-Existent One is described both as transcendent and immanent. As the number 10 is shown by two signs, the 1 and the 0.
The Self-Existent One is in a dimension of consciousness that may seem far away, up and out there somewhere; like the 1 of the number 10, where the unit stands outside of and beyond the circle of creation.
Yet the SGGS also describes the Saibhang as ever present, ‘whose Light is pervading everywhere’, (503), ‘the light in the darkness of the Kali Yuga’ (916), ‘seated in every heart’ (1212). Therefore, through the Guru’s guidance, Gurmat’, we can each obtain the conscious realisation, Darshan, of the Saibhang within ourself. (1042, 1082)