THE FIRST QUESTION AND ANSWER IN GURU GRANTH SAHIB Bibi Har Simirit Kaur Khalsa Gurbani Prachar Mission of USA (510) 432-5827 What do you think should be the first question in the Guru Granth Sahib? Should it be, “What is God?” or, “What is the purpose of our existence?” The first question and answer is the main focus and teaching of Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Mool Mantra (the beginning of Jap Ji Sahib ek oankar, sat naam, etc) is the brief introduction line of his teachings on the science of truth and reality, which is presented in more detail in the remaining body of Jap Ji Sahib. The compilation of the hymns in the Guru Granth Sahib, which follow the Jap Ji Sahib focus on the teachings of Jab Ji Sahib. In otherwords, Jap Ji Sahib explains Mool Mantra, and the rest of the Guru Granth Sahib explains Jap Ji Sahib. The entire Guru Granth Sahib starts with a number, rather than a letter, because only God is complete one and true, After Guru Nanak explains that we can never fully understand about the True Eternal God, He then proceeds to the second line, which is the first question in the Guru Granth Sahib: ikv sicAwrw hoeIAY ikv kUVY qutY pwil ] So how can one become truthful? And how can the false veil of illusion be torn away? Guru Ji’s first question immediately follows the brief introduction of God’s trueness and man’s failing attempts to attain salvation, and purity. Since God is truthful, then we should respond from the understanding of this teaching and instinctively examine ourselves. Have we heard his message of reality? Do we understand it? Are we living truthful? What does it mean to live truthful? What is this veil of falsehood that prevents us from living truthful? Without the wisdom of Gurbani, it is impossible to live truthful. hukim rjweI clxw nwnk iliKAw nwil ] O Nanak, it is written that you shall obey the Hukam of His Command, and walk in the Way of His Will. Guru Ji answers this first question with sound advice. God reigns with hukam, yet many people misunderstand its meaning. Hukam governs the unchanging, natural laws of the universe. Unchanging means that nothing or no one can change the fundamental functions of the metaphysical universe. We may cause certain things to happen, such as laboratory experiments, but we are not changing the natural laws. Some examples of natural laws are: birth and death, mathematical facts, and all matter in the universe is constantly being affected by something else. Everything becomes recycled. Heat, coldness, wind, gravitational forces, radiation, dryness, and molecular reactions to various stimuli are among the intricate details occurring within the universe. The false veil is caused by ignorance and ego. Understanding God’s Hukam and living by it is the only way to remove the false veil. Living truthful means living by God’s Hukam. hukmI hovin Awkwr hukmu n kihAw jweI ] By His Command, bodies are created; His Command cannot be described. The reality of the universe operates beyond our control and perception. The way things are is what we must accept. Many times we waste our time trying alter reality. The sun, moon, and stars all came about by the action and reaction of all the items in the universe. The natural laws of the universe operate in such a way, that everything is constantly changing. The creation of the planets is a reaction of natural science. This does not mean that God had a human desire to create for self-entertainment. He does not need to do anything to be happy. He is self-sufficient. The universe eternally operates these natural laws of metaphysics. Gurbani says that God loves us and always provides, even when we do not ask “Wadi wadiayi, ja puch na data” (Ung 463). This is a figure of speech. The term “God” is a filler name for His Divine Majesty, which we cannot explain. Rather than trying to understand God, we are better off accepting the natural laws of reality and living by them. We need to understand where we are, why we exist, and how to get a clearer insight into reality. Having a clear perception of reality is the path to finding yourself. One’s limited capabilities prevent him from finding God. Accepting God means to accept the natural, unchanging realm of reality, and not to rely on our clouded minds that get flooded with a veil of ignorance and ego. We have five physical senses. We see color, but that is only our biological perception. We touch, but we only feel what our nervous system allows us to. Everything seen by the naked eye appears to have a texture and form, but if you magnify anything billions of times, there would be nothing to see. All that was visible becomes invisible. They are all just a bunch of electrical molecular patters vibrating. Now, one can understand how easy it is to get trapped in this world of illusion. hukmI auqmu nIcu hukim iliK duK suK pweIAih ] By His Command, some are high and some are low; by His Written Command, pain and pleasure are obtained. What is high, what is low? Everything is in God’s order. It is only our ignorance that deceives us. What is pain, what is pleasure? We interpret pain and pleasure in reaction to our understanding of what our nerve tissue senses of things that happen around us. We react according to our primitive desire for survival and understand of reality. Reality is beyond what we perceive, but we can open our minds and consider improving our character with the help and grace of God, naturally and eternally provided for all. ieknw hukmI bKsIs ieik hukmI sdw BvweIAih ] Some, by His Command, are blessed and others, by His Command, wander aimlessly forever. This does not mean that God only blessed certain people who He felt deserved so. All of the natural elements of reality are His blessings provided for us. Accepting the natural laws of reality, and living by them will cause us to live truthfully, receiving the blessings of reality. God loves the whole world and wants all to be blessed. Do not be blinded by your limited perceptions. Do not weigh blessings by how much money you have, or how healthy you are. Remember, your physical state will not last forever, because you are also a part of the perpetual recycling of creation. If you never see that you are already blessed in this world, then you will wander aimlessly forever, until you understand and accept God’s hukam full of grace. hukmY AMdir sBu ko bwhir hukm n koie ] Everyone is subject to His Command; no one is beyond His Command. No one can stop the universe from operating. We have limited control over our lives as well as over people and other elements of the universe. It is all a part of God’s hukam, what we can and cannot do. nwnk hukmY jy buJY q haumY khY n koie ]2] O Nanak, one who understands His Command, does not speak in ego. By understanding and accepting Guru Ji’s lesson of the reality of truth and grace of God’s hukam, one begins to ascend spiritually by living truthfully. Living according to the natural laws of reality, as Gurbani teaches, will allow him or her to live a more productive, fulfilling live. He will then realize that there is no more reason to boast. Everything in the universe is equal to each in existence. Nothing is a more better a part of the universe that the other. We are all a product of these infinite vibrations of matter. The path to salvation entails freedom from the five vices of our animal instincts controlling our lives. All sins are a result of our being overly engrossed in ourselves to the point that we lose picture of the reality of God’s grace and hukam. We become blinded and think we must violate the natural laws of creation (sin) in order to survive. We have yet to understand the meaning of living and survival. Although we have a biological obligation to fulfill to maintain our health and happiness, there lies within each of us a soul, which also comes from God. Our spiritual welfare is just as important as our physical well-being. Living truthful is a learned natural behavior, which Gurbani conditions into us through our daily contemplation of the Mool Mantra. Jap is the method of simiran where one tries to learn the meaning of the teaching Mool Montra, concentrating on it’s meaning, and applying it to all aspects of ones, life. As a result of this experience, one will express, “Wah” (Wow, how awesome, it’s greater than I am) and “Guru” (I now recognize God’s hukam, the natural laws of the universe teaches of His glory and truth, Guru Nanak has perceived this and is sharing this truth to mankind, God, truth, and His royal hukam. Because of Guru’s teaching, I am enlightened from the darkness of my limited perception and have entered Sach Kand. I have blossomed qnu mnu QIvY hirAw). This is the first taste of the Amrit Naam illustrated as a plate throughout the universe offered indiscriminatingly which teaches truth for all that humbly thirst for it. This savor of reality brings peace to the individual, to the home, to the city, to the country, and to the whole world. The Guru Granth Sahib concludes with the availability for everyone to relish Gurbani’s teaching of God and truthful living that bring happiness. The Mool Mantra teaches this in the beginning of Guru Granth Sahib, and Mundaavanee at the end: muMdwvxI mhlw 5 (1429) Mundaavanee, Fifth Mehl: (1429) Qwl ivic iqMin vsqU peIE squ sMqoKu vIcwro ] AMimRq nwmu Twkur kw pieE ijs kw sBsu ADwro ] jy ko KwvY jy ko BuMcY iqs kw hoie auDwro ] eyh vsqu qjI nh jweI inq inq rKu auir Dwro ] qm sMswru crn lig qrIAY sBu nwnk bRhm pswro ]1] Upon this Plate, three things have been placed: Truth, Contentment and Contemplation. The Ambrosial Nectar of the Naam, the Name of our Lord and Master, has been placed upon it as well; it is the Support of all. One who eats it and enjoys it shall be saved. This thing can never be forsaken; keep this always and forever in your mind. The dark world-ocean is crossed over, by grasping the Feet of the Lord; O Nanak, it is all the extension of God. ||1|| slok mhlw 5 ] (1429) Shalok, Fifth Mehl: (1428) qyrw kIqw jwqo nwhI mYno jogu kIqoeI ] mY inrguixAwry ko guxu nwhI Awpy qrsu pieEeI ] qrsu pieAw imhrwmiq hoeI siqguru sjxu imilAw ] nwnk nwmu imlY qW jIvW qnu mnu QIvY hirAw ]1] “Oh Lord, what You’ve done for me, I cannot fully know. Only You can make my worth known. I am unworthy, with no value, true compassion is only from You. Showing pity on me, you shower me with grace to meet the True Guru, my Friend, face-to-face. O Nanak, by Naam, life I find, blossoming forth body and mind. ||1||” In conclusion, I wish to answer, “Why are we created? We will never know completely why we were created. This entire universe has always been here. We are merely a minute part of the universe. We are all designed with certain skills, which we use to survive. We are also given a strong desire to live, and this is why we crave for certain things, such as: food, fame, possessions, affection, etc. All we need to do is to behave the way we were created, living by truth as taught in Gurbani, and not dominated by our instinctive greed, lust, anger, ego, etc. It is very important for us to understand the message in Guru Granth Sahib, so that we can learn how to live to fullest of our potential. My prayer is that all mankind would study Guru Granth Sahib to discover this truth , so they can remove their veil of blindness and ego, by seeing God’s hukam to live truthfully. This is the key to world peace.