By Dr. Harbans Lal
Can there be religious fervour without Love? Can one love God and His creation without Love? How is Vaisakhi as a song of love a major contribution of Guru Gobind Singh to the Sikhs and humanity at large? The learned author authoritatively answers all these queries for the seekers of truth and godly love.
Look at Vaisakhi as a drama of LOVE; Love that the Guru used to mesmerize his audience when he asked for a head and the love that the Guru inculcated among those who came forward to offer their heads. To them he prescribed a Rehat, a specific life style.
Was this the reason that our 18th century’s writers name the path of the Guru as Prem Sumarag meaning the sacred Path of Love? To appreciate this event you have to go into the Guru’s lifelong teachings. It was Guru Gobind Singh, who said,
Sach kahon sun leho Sabai jin prem kio tin hee prabh paio.
Listen to this eternal truth. Those who practice life of love, they alone will realize the purpose of this life, that is, to experience divine within and relate the divine to all creation with active expression of love.
The vision of love is always followed by the acts of love that join us to the reality that we intrinsically yearn for, but we do not know how to reach or how to realize, it remains a mystery without a specific path. According to our Guru, the path of love is the path to that mystery.
Secondly, with the practice of love comes a change that leads us into the dimension of spirituality. That is: Your eyes see because in spirit you become the witness to everything. You have newly expanded thoughts because in spirit you begin to know all. Similarly, you feel love toward another person because in spirit you are infinite love.
Connecting the spiritual dimension of human vision to love means abandoning the notion of limited self with its limited ability to act in love and regaining the Self with its unbounded ability to achieve and serve. These are the changes because of the spiritual vision that the Guru incorporated into his injunctions of Five Don’ts.
When the Guru created the Order of Khalsa, he defined Khalsa in the terms of this vision.
He is the true Khalsa (Sikh), who awakens the awareness within of divine light and divine creativity and lives the life of its practices, without permitting inroads to any thoughts of “otherness”
Absolute and unconditional LOVE and its “perteet” meaning full comprehension, full grasp, full understanding of the meaning of love, then becoming embodiment of love, never again to believe in the illusions of the past.
Through the practice of love, Guru Gobind Singh made us aware of pure creativity and pure spirit. Through the vision of love, he made us free from all memories or images from the past. His Love was beyond all illusions.
Connecting the spiritual dimension of human vision to love means abandoning the notion of limited self with its limited ability to act in love and regaining the Self with its unbounded ability to achieve and serve.
Like the tiny spark of fire that consumes a forest, his spark of love was all that was needed for his followers to experience love in its full power and glory, in all its aspects -earthly and divine. To them love became spirit, and all experiences of love, however insignificant they seem, were actually invitations to the sacrifice to uphold the truth and justice. Within every story of their sacrifices was a love story hiding the wooing of the creation by the Creator.
The expression – path to love – is not simply a metaphor; it reappears throughout spiritual history and cultures in many guises. On the day of Vaisakhi, Khalsa became the guise in 1699.
Thus Guru Gobind Singh created Khalsa to raise awareness within, awareness of the creator and the creation, meaning nature and the world order consisting of laws of nature, awareness of society’s problems followed by solutions to society’s problem and problems of its environments through pro-active resolution of them using the armor of love.