In the twenty-sixth pauri,
the twenty-sixth step on the ladder, Guru Amardas emphasized that the origin of everything is from the Creator, the ultimate Doer, who grants us the ability to understand this through the Command. Moving on to the twenty-seventh pauri, the twenty-seventh step, Guru Amardas imparts a profound insight: Smritis and Shastras reflect upon sins and charities; through this understanding, the reality cannot be known.
We delve into these terms for clarity. Smritis refers to a collection of Hindu texts rooted in human memory and authored by individuals, in contrast to the Vedas
, which are considered revelations. Shastras represent the six schools of thought in Hindu philosophy. We pause to recognize that these religious texts and philosophies are engrossed in discussions of sins and virtues, but they cannot discern the essence of reality. Guru Amardas reiterates that this
essence remains beyond reach without the guidance of the Wisdom-Guru. Caught in the cycle of pleasures, pains, and indifference, the world slumbers in doubt and ignorance. It’s as though the night is spent in this state of obliviousness. How, then, can we awaken from this slumber? Guru Amardas provides us with a path: through the grace of the Wisdom-Guru, individuals awaken from their ignorance and become aware. Those whose minds Hari
, the All-Pervasive, the 1-Light resides, they recite the immortal-like Bani
(the Utterances of the Infinite Wisdom). They are awakened, free from the debates of sins and virtues. Those who maintain a loving connection with the 1-Light day and night grasp the reality and access the essence of existence. They remain awake even during the night, meaning they live in a state of awareness. Guru Amardas concludes this ladder step with the statement: That being finds the reality, to whom the loving connection of Hari is always attached, and their night is spent while being awake.
We reflect on the ongoing debates within religious texts and various philosophies, like travelers seeking guidance in a vast, ancient forest. These discussions, much like the intertwined thoughts in our minds, prompt us to question our purpose in this philosophical journey. While these texts and philosophies provide us with diverse trails to what they define as an ideal life, we can’t ignore the feeling that something profound, the very heart of what we seek, still eludes us. The answer to this enigma emerges—the presence of the 1-Light. The inner spark needs to be acknowledged and allowed to radiate and illuminate our mental pathways. These literary, philosophical, and religious works operate within the realm of mental constructs and intellectual exercises. They offer knowledge but fail to establish a direct, heart and mind connection with the 1-Light, nor can they empower us to express the timeless wisdom found in the Utterances. It’s crucial to emphasize that we’re not dismissing or disrespecting these texts and philosophies; they remain valuable sources of knowledge. However, if we genuinely aspire to lead lives infused with profound awareness, instead of staying entangled in the darkness of ignorance, we ought to carry the constant remembrance of the 1-Light, experiencing the 1-Light. But what does it mean to experience the 1-Light? It means that the 1-Light ought not merely to linger within our thoughts but shine forth in our words and actions. Our expressions ought to resonate with the utterances of infinite wisdom, much like the purity of a clear stream descending from towering mountain peaks to nourish the land below. This wisdom, this inner light, is akin to the sunlight filtering through the forest canopy, nurturing every life form below. Without this awakening, we remain in the shadows, like ancient trees overshadowed by towering giants. Yet, once we awaken, our alertness extends even into the darkest moments of life, like the gentle moonlight illuminating the forest on a tranquil night. However, if we have not grasped the essence of the Command, we won’t comprehend why these religious texts and philosophies falter in guiding us toward the essence. And what, precisely, is this essence we seek? It’s anand
, the bliss, the profound joy that transcends fleeting happiness. To truly grasp and follow the Command, we need Sabad
(hymn-like stanza that exemplifies the word-sound of Infinite Wisdom) in our lives. It enables us to discern the distinction between Smritis, Shastras, literary texts, and the eternal Bani, which is vast and all-encompassing. A recurring theme in this five-line verse underscores that these religious texts and philosophies "do not understand the essence, the reality." Why is this the case? Because these texts and philosophies aren’t seeking the path to bliss. It prompts us to ponder: What are we truly seeking? To experience bliss, we ought to awaken and establish a deep connection with the 1-Light, much like explorers guided by the North Star through the wilderness. Otherwise, trapped in pleasure, pain, and indifference cycles, we will persist in slumber, irrespective of our philosophical system. Doubts will continue to cloud our understanding. Only by perpetually maintaining our connection, unwavering attention, and complete immersion in the 1-Light can we be awakened. We must ask ourselves this: Do we genuinely desire to live in such an awakened state, where every step is guided by the radiant presence of the 1-Light, much like travelers who cherish the beauty of the forest with every breath they take?
We may ask ourselves: Are we entangled in religious and philosophical debates? How can we transcend these debates to attain a state of bliss? Are we ready to adjust our lifestyle to embrace bliss, or are we content to remain trapped in the cycles of pleasure, pain, and indifference? Do we genuinely desire to live in an awakened state graced by 1-Light?