Edited excerpts from a lecture given on January 6, 1988
The subject I’m going to discuss today is Anand and Sikh Dharma.
There are a lot of literary meanings of the stage of Anand. In English, you have an equivalent of it called bliss. Anand can be attached to any state where you momentarily feel satisfied. That’s why Guru Amar Das wrote Anand Sahib-the command, the domain of the Anand.
Anand Sahib is from the Guru and for the Sikhs. I’m going to go into the state and psychology of Anand.
There are ten trillion cells in the body. They change every 72 hours. The pranic body creates the physical body to live on. The mental body works it out in a negative, positive, neutral form. And there is a spiritual self-a Soul in it. But with all this creativity, why are we unhappy?
The problem with being unhappy is the prana.1 The breath comes in, but what goes out? The prana comes in. The pure energy, the life energy, what we call God comes in. But what goes out?
You must understand something. The law of equilibrium-it can never change. It’s a law of physics. When something comes in and doesn’t go out-it creates a block. It creates a rip.
You have gone to the ocean. You see the wave coming in. Then the water goes back-it’s called an undertow. If you get caught in the undertow, your head goes down, your legs go up, all your muscles go off balance.
So prana comes in. Apana goes out. But if there is no balance, life will not be balanced. Your existence, which is being nurtured by the part-energy of God, must be evaluated at the highest and purest level. When our performance on the earth in relationship to the earthly material things is not balanced, how can a person be happy?
What do we focus on? How good a house we have? How good a sofa we have in that house? How big the bed is? God knows, you can have one diamond, ten diamonds, a hundred diamonds or a thousand diamonds, but understand-it’s just pure carbon.
You want to show that you are superior. It’s a good idea. You want to show that you are well-contained. That’s a good idea. You want to show that you are in possession of yourself and you don’t need anything from anybody. That’s a good idea. Everything you want to work for or relate to is a good idea. But there’s one good idea you are missing.
Are you trustworthy? Can you be trusted? Is your word as good as gold? It will never be as good as gold if you do not understand Infinity and let Infinity come out of you.
You must be trustworthy unto Infinity. You must be dignified unto Infinity. You must be noble unto Infinity. You must be pure unto Infinity. Without Infinity, you cannot relate to Infinity. You are a part of the Infinity. And you do not relate to the Infinity. One who is a part of Infinity and cannot relate to Infinity cannot have that bliss.
A lot of people think, if we do good deeds, we will be in bliss. A lot of people say if we work hard we will be in bliss. A lot of people think that if they do A, B, C and Z they will be in bliss. But it will never work out.
Whenever you create an imbalance in your life, for any reason, there shall be unhappiness, because without balance there is no harmony and without harmony, there is no happiness. It’s a simple law.
Why do we want the Guru? What’s wrong with us? The Guru is a very consolidated, simple wisdom, which keeps our head in balance. That is why when we come to the Gurdwara,2 we bow to the Guru. We put our head down. We give the Guru that offering. This is one gesture we do so that things may not go to our head in a wrong way.
You don’t have any enemy. Your enemy is your own mind. When your mind controls you, and draws you out of you, and takes you where it wants to take you-you are going to default to dread.
The mind cannot be controlled by you alone. The mind needs meditation. The mind needs positive affirmations. And the Guru’s Word is that positive affirmation.
This is how it works. If the mind cannot see your own soul, and God appears before you, you are useless. Those people who have been told that they’re going to see God and that God will appear to them are totally being misled. God can never appear. It can’t. It has no capacity. God is confined and unconfined. And in confined form-God is you. Within you, your soul is that God. In unconfined form, God is the Ultimate Reality of which your soul is a part.
It’s very simple. All other approaches are to collect money from you. It’s the most deceitful spiritual nonsense, which has been taught to humanity that-we will show you God, we’ll show you this, we’ll show you that. There is no such thing.
We do things to please others. What day will come when we will do things to please ourselves? And which self? The passionate self or the compassionate self? A person has to take action to see his or her own soul within his or her own self. That is the purpose of life. And that is Anand.
I go to the bank and ask for money. The bank says, “No.” I say, “Well, please, I need it.” I give a proposal. The bank says, “No.” I do all the tactics and they say, “Absolutely no. No credit. Get out.” Then I come home and find there is a bar of gold in my own house. What do I care for that bank and that credit line? I have what I need. I have been wandering all around when there is a bar of gold in my own house. Similarly, your own soul is in you.
I’m not saying you should follow Sikh Dharma. I’m not saying to follow Islam. I’m not saying follow Christianity. Follow the whole universe! Follow anything or don’t follow anybody! But if you do not see your own soul within your own concept and conception, you have wasted your life. Whatever you have followed or not followed.
Guru guides you by the experience. What a beautiful religion Sikh Dharma is. The Shabad3 was the Guru of Naanak. Shabad is the Guru of the Sikhs today. There’s no personality to conflict with. It tells you in poverty you should have the grace of a king. It tells you in adversity you should have bliss. It’s a practical religion. This religion starts at 3 am and never ends4. It’s an endless religion because reality is always endless. Even if somebody tells you, “If you only do this thing, it will work,” don’t believe that person. Nothing will work except your own work. Work to see your own soul. Befriend your own soul. Have Anand with your own soul.
You want friendship with the whole world? If your soul is not your friend, what do other friendships mean?
Be reasonable. Be practical. Your word should be like gold. There’s one thing you all must understand. In Sikh Dharma, everything is forgivable, but when you say something, you must live by it, because you are a disciple of the Shabad Guru. You cannot make a yo-yo of yourself. It will reflect on the Guru.
The most graceful thing about a Sikh was when we were before an enemy. The enemy believed his words. So clear was the consciousness; so clear was the life and so clear was the domain of the Khalsa that whatever they said, they lived by it. And today it is not going to be any different.
Sikh Dharma is based on one fundamental. That at the cost of your life, at the cost of your comfort, even at the cost of you, you must understand that whatever you speak must be worthy of trust, even by the standard of your worst arch-enemy. And that is what a Sikh is about.
Therefore, please understand, Anand is not in too much money. Neither is it in too much power. Neither is it in too much beauty and neither is it in too much destruction.
There’s no joy except seeing your own soul within your own self with your Inner Eye. And what I am saying is not difficult.
Therefore please read Anand Sahib as an instruction. Understand its capacity and depth. It’s very educational. The easiest and most educational Bani, which a person can read and understand, is the Anand Sahib.
Follow its words. Ask yourself questions. Befriend it. Practice it and live it. You will not have to find anything else. You will realize what you have, and what Guru Amar Das gave you as the best gift.
It’s my prayer and my feeling that we who follow the path of the Shabad shall speak words which we honor. We who follow the word of the Shabad will honor what we do, and we who are the Sikhs shall honor our being, our existence and our Inner Self, so that the world around us can totally understand who we are.