In the twenty-fifth pauri
, the twenty-fifth step on the ladder, Guru Amardas emphasized a crucial point: the Sabad
(a hymn-like stanza that embodies the word-sound of Infinite Wisdom) from the Wisdom-Guru, is the most precious and significant jewel, studded with the diamond-Nam
, Identification with the One. Moving on to the twenty-sixth pauri, the twenty-sixth step, Guru Amardas imparts a profound teaching: Having created Shiva and Shakti by Own-Self, the Creator by Own-Self manifests the command.
Let’s take a moment to dive into the essence of these terms. With the entry of the Sabad, this grand jewel of wisdom, into our consciousness, we encounter the terms "Shiva" and "Shakti." It’s important to understand these terms in Sikh thought and worldview, as they are well-known in Hindu belief. In popular Hindu belief, the union of Shiva and Shakti symbolizes the power that drives all creation. Interpretations range from Shiva representing Maya or his pairing with Parvati (Shiva’s wife) representing positive (Satvik) and negative (Tamsik) virtues. Another interpretation suggests that ‘Shiva’ represents a particular type of consciousness or a higher level of awareness, while ‘shakti’ is the power that allows one to experience and comprehend it. In essence, it signifies the origin of all things. Even the pairing of Shiva and Parvati symbolizes their control over everything in creation through their union. Let’s pause and absorb this. Guru Amardas clearly states that Shiva and Shakti are creations of the 1, the Own-Self, and the Own-Self Creator governs them through the Command, thereby challenging and disrupting prevailing thoughts and understandings. Essentially, the Creator places Shiva-Shakti under the Command after bringing them into existence. It raises the question: What is the Creator’s role after their creation? The answer lies in the Creator’s role as the Observer. Wisdom-oriented beings discern and comprehend this truth, breaking free from all entanglements and bondages and attaining complete liberation. How do they achieve this? Through Sabad residing in their minds. Oneself, by Ownself, fashions beings into Wisdom-oriented individuals, ensuring they maintain their connection with the One. In essence, Oneself is both the Doer and the Creator. The Creator and the Doer endow beings with the capacity to understand and decipher this through the Command. Guru Amardas concludes this step on the ladder by reiterating that the One by Own-Self is the creator, and by Own-Self causes one to realize the command.
We reflect on the absence of the terms "Shiva" and "Shakti" in the concluding line of this verse, which deviates from the pattern observed in previous verses where the first and last lines are identical. Is this divergence because Shiva-Shakti, the consciousness-power, is not a central focus here? Shakti signifies power; it symbolizes Maya
, the captivating allure of material possessions and relationships akin to the various dramas of life. The two crucial terms in this verse that warrant our attention are "Creator" and "Command." Consider Shiva-Shakti as an illustration. Many cultures have their own versions of Shiva-Shakti to explain things. We ought to avoid becoming entangled in debates or attempts to decipher its complexities because Shiva-Shakti, like all else, is created by the Creator and operates under the Creator’s Command. Therefore, everything originates from the Creator, the ultimate Doer, who grants us the ability to comprehend this through the Command. We cannot grasp the Command without the Creator enabling our understanding. We pause. Let’s take this further; it implies that we cannot access that realm until the precious jewel of Sabad resides within us. And Sabad can only find its place within us if we have sung the eternal Bani
(the timeless Utterances of the Infinite Wisdom). This illustrates why singing the eternal Bani is paramount in experiencing “anand
,” the bliss, joy, and freedom. Mukti,
freedom, is what everyone wants. It is widely discussed, and various paths are proposed to attain it. Many of us may perceive ourselves as free. Are we? Or are we caged and unaware of it? Guru Amardas imparts the wisdom that when Sabad permeates the mind, when we become Wisdom-oriented, the chains of bondage shatter, leading to the realization of genuine freedom. Those in whom Sabad has yet to find a home in their minds will struggle to comprehend the intricate relationship between the Creator and the Command. Consequently, they remain entangled in bondage and do not experience the profound "anand," the bliss, and joy that liberation offers.
We may ask ourselves: Does Sabad, portrayed as a precious jewel, hold significance in our lives? Are we ensnared in the complexities of life, trapped in a metaphorical cage? Do we genuinely desire the freedom discussed in this verse? If so, what changes can we initiate to facilitate this transformation? It is essential to recognize that comprehending the Command is only possible by acknowledging the presence of the Creator. How does this profound relationship resonate in our journey towards attaining "anand," a state of profound joy and bliss?