In the thirty-seventh pauri
, the thirty-seventh step on the ladder, Guru Amardas unveiled the profound connection—the ears are intricately connected to the body to listen to the eternal Bani
(Utterances of infinite wisdom). Moving on to the thirty-eighth pauri, the thirty-eighth step, Guru Amardas directs our attention to the subtle, hidden aspects of existence, stating Hari, having placed the being in the cave, played the air-instrument.
It evokes a sense of wonder and curiosity. What does this cave symbolize, and what is this mysterious air-instrument? The metaphor unfolds: the human body is likened to a cave, and the air-instrument represents the breath. Hari, the All-Pervasive, the 1-Light, infuses the body with life by placing the life-force and playing the instrument of breath, enabling the body to respire. Essentially, it is the 1-Light that imbues the body with the life-force to breathe, allow the eyes to see, the ears to listen, the tongue to speak, and all other bodily functions. Inside this metaphorical cave-body, the breaths, these internal wind-instruments, are intricately placed by the 1-Light. These breaths in the body make evident the nine sense organs—the nine doors attached to the body and function. Yet, the mysterious tenth door
remains concealed. Only through the Wisdom-Guru, with the Wisdom-Guru, and through the loving devotion to the Wisdom-Guru can a select few see the vision of this tenth opening, the tenth door. What awaits behind this mysterious tenth door? It’s the nine-folded treasure
, the Identification with the 1-Light. Those fortunate few who access this through the Wisdom-Guru receive the nine greatest treasures and witness countless wonders beyond measure. There is no end to these revelations. This hidden door, this opening within the cave-body, is unveiled to those who, with loving devotion, seek the Wisdom-Guru. The beloved 1-Light places the life-force inside the cave-like body and sets in motion the breath, which operates like a musical instrument within the body, enabling the body to move, play, sing, and function. Guru Amardas concludes this ladder step, affirming that the beloved Hari, having placed the being in the cave, played the air-instrument.
We reflect on the metaphor where the body resembles a cave, and the sensory organs serve as its openings. Two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, a mouth, and two excretory passages are visible. Yet, the tenth door, which cannot be seen or physically perceived, remains concealed. Within this hidden, non-physical realm, an intricate orchestration governs the functioning of breath within the body. We delve deeper into this "tenth door." In the cultural context of that period and the present, many individuals seek to understand and open this mysterious tenth door. Put simply, "gufa" translates to a cave, representing the human body; "pawan" refers to air, signifying the breath; "daswa" means the tenth; "duar" symbolizes the door; and "bhavani" is devotion. The Guru Granth Sahib describes this body as the "temple of the 1-Light." In this perspective, the body is indeed the cave, and the divine spark within, the "jiu," has been placed by the 1-Light. The breath serves as the symphonic instrument, enabling the different parts of our body to function harmoniously. But what transpires when this divine spark of 1-Light is extinguished? In that absence, nothing remains in play. The entire symphony relies on the 1-Light, the breath within the cave-body. The beloved 1-Light has bestowed this breath upon us, propelling our body into motion; without it, the body ceases to exist, and the cave collapses. In the Indic tradition, yogis
, sadhus, and various religious denominations, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Shaivite tradition, have sought to find a literal "gufa" or cave. They believe that by sitting in this literal cave, they can unlock the tenth door and access the nine treasures. However, Guru Amardas imparts profound insights— the sought-after cave is our very body, a labyrinth with hidden mysteries and ten openings. Instead of becoming entangled in the world’s discourse about the tenth door, we are invited to focus inwards—within our body; the Wisdom-Guru operates and guides us in aligning the visible aspects of our physical form to connect with the 1-Light within. Through loving devotion, the true nature of this experience is unveiled. It signifies a realization of something vast and the ultimate treasure of all, Nam, the Identification of the 1-Light is received. Thus, attempts to unlock this inner chamber, the tenth door, through intellectual, yogic, or physical means are futile. It transcends the realm of structured practice and scientific explanation, much like understanding the inexplicable phenomena of a mystical experience. We delve into the notion of the "nine treasures," much like examining the multifaceted attributes of a precious gem. In Hindu and yogic philosophy, they signify the qualities an individual can attain on their spiritual journey. Guru Amardas reveals that through loving devotion, we not only discover the tenth inner opening but also acquire these nine treasures and much more. As we reflect, it becomes apparent that perhaps we were not prepared to grasp these profound truths in the earlier stages of this journey. This is the anand
, the bliss attained through the Wisdom, and it is unveiled in the thirty-eighth step, much like a captivating climax in an epic tale.
We can ask ourselves: How does the metaphor of the "cave" and the "air-instrument" transform our understanding of the human body? What feelings and reflections arise when we consider the notion of a "hidden door" or "unveiled treasure" within the context of our journey? It’s evident that loving devotion is the gateway to unveiling this inner "tenth door." The question that beckons us is whether we are ready to transcend the worldly debates and distractions surrounding this profound revelation. Are we ready to discover the “hidden” within?