Union with God

The stages one experiences in Union wth God, are adequately described in the Composition "ANAND", in Ramkali Reg in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee. In the first stanza of the Composition, "Anand", Guru Amar Das teaches us that one attains the Bliss or happiness by meeting with God abiding in oneself (His Light in all, called Sat Guru). Sat Guru in us is His Immanent Form. The Absolute God has the same qualities as His Light. It is through His Light we meet with the Absolute God. Guru Amar Das states that one's mind revels in jubiliation, when he meet with God himself.

The Guru stated in stanza 7, that all talk of Bliss (happiness), but their talks do not bear reality. The True Bliss comes only through reflection of one's mind on God abiding within us (Sat Guru). Meeting with God abiding within us (Sat Guru) is by His Grace. The person thus blessed meets with Sat Guru, and the Lord annuls his sins and, favors him with the wisdom and enlightenment. The person loves the Lord and he transcends himself from the earthly attachments and is exalted. This is the True Bliss or Happiness. However, it may be clarified here that the Gurus great stress on leading a house-houlder's life. They were totally against ascetism. The emphasis is that man should live pure amongst the impurities of life and ever strive to attain the purpose to life.

A seeker after Truth cultivates his mind by living with God within himself (Sat Guru), in complete devotion , listening to His Commands and lovingly obeying them. He thus attains excellences of consciousness, knowledge, remebrance of the Lord, poise in his mind, concentration, right thinking or sense of discrimination of choosing right from wrong, equality with all others, realization of the All pervading Spirit of God and the Bliss. The man thus attains maturity, physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. The Guru drove it home to the people that man's selfishness alone is the cause of his sufferings and pain, for it leads to formation of varied prejudices and his cravings for material things, which make him self alienated person completely withdrawing from his fellow beings. They are the people whose mind is self centered and they are led astray by varied passions and cravings of the flesh. The Guru clarified that it is not the desire, but the unchecked irrational and sensual desires of the radarless mind, leads to suffering, while controlled desires under the Divine guidance lead to joy and Bliss in life, as it is socially acceptable and honorable judicious compromise of Spirituality and Worldliness. It is God Who looks after the necessities of life and makes provision for them in that the devotee works for their attainment by fair and just means. This is the Doctine of "Sehaj" or poise, wherein meeting with the necessary needs of the body to exist and renunciation of too much indulgence in body comforts co-exist, conducive to the spiritual growth of man. A man of "Sehaj" thus attains the excellences of inner poise, super-consciousness, eternal wakefulness to evil, satiety, Bliss of concentration on God's Name, invulnerality to pain and pleasure, self consciousness and full control of his self. This leads to the state of bliss or Hapiness, which the world yearns. This is complete fulfillment of life, as stated in the concluding stanza 40 of the Composition "Anand".

Stanza 38 gives the summing up of the Composition as built upto 37 stanzas. God puts His Light in the body to give life and made the body to reathe air. The nine doors of the body have been kept open, these are, two ears, two eyes, two nostrils, mouth and two urino-genital and excretory organs. The Tenth Door is in the head, where God abides, this is kept hidden; the key for its opening is with Sat Guru in us - the Immanent God. The nine doors are the sensory organs of the body and reveal to us the world of matter, existing in space and time, the world of form, touch, taste, smell and hearing. The Guru teaches us that when by His Grace one reflects his mind on God's Light in him (Sat Guru) and submits to Him in love and devotion, the wandering mind is brought under control. With such meeting with the SAT GURU verily GOD, His WORD begins to sound and resuondautomatically (Anhad Sabad). This leads to restricted, controlled and rational use of the Nine Sensual Openings of the body. The Tenth Door is opened by the Lord, where He abides, and the mind is allowed to come in. There the mind gradually adopts the coloring of the Divine, as one lives with Him. The state of poise is achieved, and one feels contented and happy in union with Him, acting on His Commands. Man thus becomes the master of his complete self. Therefore it is taught, "Mastery of the Self is the Conquest of the World."

When the Tenth Door opens, the other nine doors are respectively used, to the extent necessary to have the rational existence. The cravings for the sensual pleasures, which were weakening the body and other irrationalities in character, are removed. One begins to lead a normal regulated life as ordained by Him.

As already stated that one is capable of hearing God's Commands, Who abides within us. This is generally called the Voice of Conscience. In other words, as one dies to the cravings of the sensual and other transitory material joys of the world, his devotion to God increases day by day. Sikhism is abhorrent to adoption of extreme paths of renunciation to kill the cravings of the flesh. That is an irrational approach. Merely by mortifying oneself, the cravings of the flesh do not end. Reliance on such means increases one's egocentricity, as holier than others. The pride in man is the root cause of all his indulgence in irrational behavior. The cravings in this manner are merely suppressed, and when the conscious control over them is relaxed, they rebound with the all the added force in strange types of indulgences in varied abnormalities. The basic cause of restlessness of the mind, is its craving for for superiority over others. Unless this is effaced, no positive results will be achieved by any means.

This Monster of Pride, can be effaced only, when mind turn to its Source, the Infinite Spirit of God, Who is not far off, but abides near it. The more one lives with God, the more he comprehends the staggeringing Infinity of the Creator and the Source of All Life and Virtues. Man necessarily feels his insignificance before his Creator and in His Vast Creation, and sheds off his egocentricity. As he lives with Him, he effaces his separate individuality and takes on His coloring. One comes out humble and sweet, and a rational being. He acts as God Commands him. He lives amongst the impurities of life, as detached and pure one. The nine doors of sensations given to the body are used, as He Coomands, in the service and usefulness of the self and the society. Rational use of nine doors of the body is absolutely essential for the spiritual upliftmnet. These nine openings of the body have to perform the normal functions of the day to day life in an acceptable way, which is helpful in realization of the higher aims of life. For example, who has not loved his mate and children, how can he love the Creator and the fellow beings in general. When his own family is inflicted with misery, he should have concern about it. This creates in him a feeling of sympathy and a spirit of service, when he sees others suffering.

Total renunciation and asceticism creates a sense of apathy and rigidity in him toward others. He remains self absorbed only, and thus is not able to remove his egocentricity. The Gurus preached the Path of Sehaj as is developed by living with Guru-God and by obeying His Commands lovingly. Thus the blessed man as a matter of course develops the desired balance of devoting his attention toward the nine doors and the Tenth Door. That is the Path of living among the impurities of the world and transcending them. That is the way in which a swan swims across the pond, without soiling itself with water, or the lotus flower stands in a pond, having its roots in the mud, while keeping its body above the level of the pond water. All this change is brought about by meeting with the Guru (God within us), which is entirely by His Grace. No one by his cleverness or of his might can bring about this change.

When His Grace dawn upon a man, he realizes that the Matter is not the lasting reality, but only a passing show; while the Spirit is real and eternal. All this realization comes, felt and believed, the secret of Bliss (Anand), that the Path of happiness lies in the way of Sehaj, the way of the swan or the way of the lotus flower. One needs the use of nine doors of the body, as is directed by the Guru, nothing more, and nothing less. One then easily annuls his egocentricity and the abnormal material desires and the carnal joys, and experiences Spiritual Bliss. Thus a right balance is struck between the terrestrial and the Spiritual. The development in man's character takes place entirely by His Grace.

The theme closing or opening of the ten doors of the body, has been discussed, both explicitly and implicitly, quite comprehensively in the composition "Anand". The explicit references are included in stanzas 30 - 37. The implicit references are found in the remaining stanzas of the Composition.

In stanza 30, we are taught complete surrender of our self (mind) to the Guru (God present in Man). In this way one completely sheds off his egocentricity. The Lord is Infinite and Unfathomable, in His Presence, one feels himself tiny and insignificant in His vast creation. By His Grace, one obtains the wealth of Lord's Name. This pious and peace giving attachment to the Lord's Name is so Powerful, that one forgets other attachments. This is the opening of the Tenth Gate and rational use of other nine doors of the body.

Stanzas 31 - 33 are in confirmation of the preceding stanzas. The Guru states in stanza 31, that God, is the capital, to be gained by mind, the merchant. By His Grace, one begins loving Him day and night. This strengthens his attachment to the Lord and he forgets the other pleasures of the body. In stanza 32, it is stated that the thirst of the tongue is quenched, when it tastes the Elixir of God's Name. The other pleasures of the body die away by repeating the Name of God. In stanza 33, the Guru states that by His Grace one comes to know of the Reality of the things that except Lord's Light all material things are merely the passing show, a play, something purely transient.

In stanza 34, the Guru states that the union with the Lord has come about and one's mind is filled with Joy. Now he leads the Spiritual life and the bodily pleasures and pains and have no meaning for him. In stanza 35, addressing to the body again, the Guru asks about his acievements, since his coming to the world. Here, the Guru stresses the need for opening of the Tenth Door. Similarly, in stanza 36, he exhorts the right use of eyes to see the All Pervading Spirit of God in all. In stanza 37, the Guru teaches to hear Truth with our ears. By hearing the True Word, one's body and mind blossom forth. Thus all the nine doors of the body are to be set for the creative work and not waste away in meaningless pursuits.

Our consciousness or the mind must have an object. If that object be body (its nine doors), it shall be wholly engrossed with the material self. It is very likely in such a state of mind that it may produce dis-orders and certainly it is not profitable state of mind. Too much attention to the body invariably produces trouble. While it should have reasonable care, if pampered it readily induces a false consciousness and the material self becomes a tyrant usurping the place of true and better selves.

When we live with God, with His Blessings we choose our objects of consciousness; that is, we elect that plane upon which we shall dwell in thought. The one, who is blessed by God, is a sane person, as he directs his mind to distribute its energy, ignoring no plane but giving most attention where it is most worthwhile. Such a man will give less thought on the body. Certainly we are not like animals, concerned only with eating and reproduction. We are fitted normally for an intellectual and spiritual life. We must rise, as far as is expedient, above a purely material consciousness and acquire a habit of dwelling upon higher planes of thought, starve out false ideas by giving them no attention (close the nine doors for unnecessary indulgence), while we cultivate the true and beautiful. There is always an evolution going on in the normal mind, a slow spirtualization of the faculties, a tendency toward Truth and away from error, provided we are blessed by God with His Love.

Man prays to the Lord to Bless him that his conscious mind be ever attuned to His Light within him as the normal object of perception, that it may more and more bring the Truth into manifestation, and a sickly or unprofitable self consciousness be replaced by a sane and wholesome God-consciousness. Our true self, verily God's light (Sat Guru) may be reflected in our mind, thus it may lead to the opening of the Tenth Door. In stanza 22, Guru Amar Das clearly states that without meeting with the True Guru (God's Light in us) and getting His Blessings, none can attain to Transcendent Absolute God and get Liberation. We should, by His Grace, reflect our mind on Sat Guru present in us, sumit to Him, live with Him, carry out His Commands and completely identify with Him. Our mind should bring out as much Truth in manifestation in our stream of consciousness as possible. Through the Sat Guru's Word we attain to the Transcendent Lord.

Union with Sat Guru banishes all darkness or ignorance. Sat Guru and Knowledge are synonymous. Sat Guru is the Giver of right Knowledge or Wisdom. Knowledge is the first requisite for the acquisition of the state of Bliss. The other ingredients for the Bliss being, love of God's Name, attainment of state of Sehaj (Poise) and Internal Harmony.