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Go the Guru's way

A mystic experience of Alakh Niranjan or the invisible one without a second beyond all dualities of delusion shaped the ideals and precepts of Guru Nanak.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2011 23:47 IST
MN Kundu

A mystic experience of Alakh Niranjan or the invisible one without a second beyond all dualities of delusion shaped the ideals and precepts of Guru Nanak. The ultimate reality is sagun, possessing all attributes as well as nirgun, beyond all attributes and all pervading. Hence he sings, "You are the ocean, all-knowing, all-seeing. How can I, a fish, perceive Your limits? Wherever I look, there You are."

The ephemeral world owes its existence to cosmic will and it reveals the Omnipresent. He is also revealed through shabad or cosmic vibration, the onkar. Hence chanting forms an important part of his teachings as it is divine expression through which the truth is revealed. We find in him a perfect synthesis of dualism of bhakti-cult with absolute non-dualism at the backdrop of essential singularity of the ultimate Being. From this depth of realisation sprang his non-sectarian creed. He stood for the essential divinity expressed through humanity. Sectarian beliefs and rituals create man made barriers and unending hypocrisy to which he was tirelessly critical with probing humour. He spread divine humanism with all-embracing love.

Guru Nanak never wanted his followers to be theoretical theologicians. Truth is highest but higher still is truthful living which consists of continuous meditation, sincere work and sharing the proceeds. One should continuously focus on essential divinity, work sincerely to the best of capacity and give something generously away for others. Nanak also advocated association with other followers of truth for mutual benefit and inspiration.

Nanak noticed that human mind follows two directions manmukh or gurumukh. Manmukhi or follower of ones own mind falls prey to egoism associated with lust, anger, jealousy and materialism. The gurumukhi or follower of the teachings of the guru lives life with deep divine anchorage, without much wavering by the delusive reality. Hence he stressed the need for a guru to overcome the ocean of delusion.