How regal is the one who’s command holds so much power?. Guru Nanak Dev Ji states thus.. hukami hovan akar..hukam na kahaya jayee.. The rules of the universe, these are rules of nature, the rules of life itself, in all its forms be it the plant, animal or humans. Science even today despite its advancements has no clue as to how to create or make blood. That is why hospitals stock blood for emergencies. Creating life, creating a soul is too absurd a reality as with all our advancements in science we cannot even create blood as yet - which is nothing but a by product of the food that we eat. Guru Nanak Dev Ji states in this second pauree of japji Sahib thus ... Hukamee hovan aakar..hukam na kahaya jayee... everything is ingrained with this command. Nobody and nothing is left out. Everything by itself is complete, be it a mountain, river, lakes, oceans, planets, incest’s, plants or animals. Each one is complete in itself. The command is all encompassing and everybody and everything is ingrained in it. Guru Nanak Dev Ji states thus - hukam na kahaya jayee the command is too big for a small piece of his creation to describe completely. The core lesson that is being imparted in the second pauree of the Japji Sahib is that – all things are pre-ordinate, by the Almighty’s command. A man travelling in the train has a box that he carries on his head. His fellow travellers question him as to why he does not put the box on the floor. In reply the man states that he does not want to overload the train with the load of his box. But who is to tell this fool that the very fact that he and his box is on the train. It makes no difference if he puts it on the floor or his head – eventually the load is borne by the train. Why do we overlook the same then. We may like to believe that we do things whereas truth is something else. We boast about having done this, having done that – in life. Whereas truth is that - all things are pre-ordinate, by the Almighty’s command. What is religion? – Just understanding this command is true religion. What is a prayer? – paying homage to such command is a prayer. What is spirituality? - Just following this command is true spirituality. Not attempting to understand this divine command and feeding your own ego is being un-religious. Guru Nanak Dev Ji states thus - hukam na kahaya jayee ...the command is too big for a small piece, a speck of the Almighty’s creation to describe in all its totality. Hukami hovan jee, hukam milaee vadahiayee... The command is all encompassing and everybody and everything is ingrained in it. The feathers of birds - right down to their colours are so varied and complex. The shape of the fish’s body, the intricate nervous and complexity of a human being’s body - is proof of the power he holds over his creation. Be it small or big, low and high all are subject to his command. In the stone clan – marble is considered the most desirable. A diamond is a stone too. The highest that a simple stone can hope to achieve greatness is by turning into a diamond, or at the least – marble. How an ordinary stone is created from a simple rock is as per the laws laid out by our Maker. We cannot replicate the same. We cannot turn back a diamond to the stone that it was, nor can we turn a stone to a diamond. The only thing we know is that a stone turns into a diamond. So the zenith of the stone clan is a diamond and the low point is just a simple stone. In the plant kingdom similarly – the sandal wood is the zenith, at the peak. There are so many types of plants and creepers. Some have no fruits and no flowers too. The sandal wood is endowed with fragrance and that makes it one of the most desirable plants. Similarly, in the kingdom of flowers – the lotus has a special place. The rose has its own importance. We are akin to these flowers in the sense that we are all different and we all have our own place in the order of things as ordained by the Almighty. Like in the animal kingdom there are numerous species but the cow, lion and the elephant are considered to advanced state of consciousness. Whereas, the pig and the dog are considered backward as far as their state of consciousness is concerned. When one praises or glorifies another Human we generally refer thus – he is as humble as a cow or that he is as brave as a lion. But when we wish to insult someone then we refer to the person as a pig or a dog. So, thus – even in the animal kingdom there are some at a higher conscious level and others at a lower level. Similarly in the bird clan we have the swan, which is right there at the top and is the epitome of purity. The ultimate reference using the bird clan as a reference to a pious sage would be thus – he is like a swan. But truth is that the bird clan consists of crows and eagles too among numerous others. Guru Nanak Dev Ji states thus - phirde phirde reh disan, jal parbat ban rai...jitthe ditta mirth ko, ill baithe rahaiye.. The eagle flies high up in the skyover valleys, meadows and beautiful gardens and even palaces. But these places hold no interest of the eagle’s attention like the fresh remains of the carcass. The eagle swoops down as soon as it sights the dead remains. The eagle flies high but her vision is so low, her attention always on the surface of the ground. It is a mistake to presume that since the eagle flies high, her vision is higher too. Likewise it is not true a fact that a man whose vision and ideas are lofty will necessarily have a high character. Anyway, let us get back to the bird kingdom again. The swan is at a higher level than the others while at the bottom sits the crow and the eagle. Similarly in the insect kingdom we have the silkworm as well as earth worms. The silkworm produces silk which eventually is used by a person to protect oneself from the elements. While if you touch the earth worms you hands get dirty. Both are worms, one gives you silk and the other dirties your hands when touched. Hukami uttam neech.. by his command some are at a higher level of consciousness and some are low. Some lands are fertile and some barren since eons. In the same way some humans are prominentin a spiritual sense and others are low, way low. Guru Nanak Dev Ji states that some are high and some are low thus, by his command. Some of us are fair skinned, some of us are dark. Even if we try with everything at our disposal we cannot make a dark skinned man fair. Even the colour of our skin is dictated as per the command. Even our features are as per the command. Being grateful for what we have received is the only way to find peace, joy and contentment. Guru Nanak Dev Ji states thus - Hukami uttam neech.. hukam likh sukh dukh paiyee.. The command dictates our joy or sadness. The one who does not heed and adhere to his command – is engulfed by sadness and despair. While some heed, adhere and follow the command to find true happiness and bliss. The fact that we are free to choose, free will that is given to us – is also dictated by his command. The fact that we can choose to live by adherence to the right path is also a part of his command. Hence Guru Nanak Dev Ji states that some of the creation is happy and blissful and some are sad and full of despair. Ekna Hukami baksheesh, ek hukami sada bhawaiee yay.. We are fortunate to be blessed and to be sheltered by this command. We are fortunate that the Almighty watches and shelters us on the way to our salvation. But then, ek hukami sada bhawaiee yay.. We are however lost forever despite his command. Jam Jam marray, marray phir jammay…bhoath sadaiye payah, des lammay… we trap ourselves in the vicious cycle of life and death. Forever bhawaiee yay.. gwali, bhao - in a circle. We end up where we began from. We are born, we live and we die only to be reborn again. This is the vicious cycle of life and death. One who was born when one dies and is not reborn again – he has broken free of the circle of life. If we are reborn, then we end up where we were before. Therefore Janam Marran (life and death) is vartul (vartul is a circle). To break free of this circle, adherence to his command is the only way out. Guru Nanak Dev Ji states some of us find our salvation and some of us wander aimlessly as per his command - ek hukami sada bhawaiee yay. Hukami andhar sab ko, bahar hukam na koi.. The fish can frolicwithin the confines of the river from one end to the other. But if the fish states that she would like to roam about outside the confines of the river water. Is it possible for her to do so? No, that is not possible. We can only live within the confines that the Almighty has set out for us, not outside it. The power to see and perceive, the power of speech, the power to think, the strength to think and act upon, we can make use of any of these. The fish can swim with the flow or against it. The fish can swim from one end of the river to the other. Akin is the fact that we can do good deeds or bad, but only within the confines of his command. Like a fish that is helpless to do anything if it leaves the confines of the ocean. So man can only do things within the limits as set by the Almighty. We are bound by his command. The sky envelops everything. We are all sheathed by the sky, just as we all are sheathed by the Almighty. Yes, the fish sometime forgets and gets confused. A fish at times may disclose her curiosity to another fish – where is the ocean? I have heard so much about it, about its vastness. I have heard the ocean being referred to as the home of the pearls, where is the ocean? Like this fish, we too have similar questions in our minds. Where is God? This question – where is God is as analogous as the query raised by the fish, where is the ocean? Who is to tell the fish that she lives in the ocean that she has always been living inside the ocean, just like we are a within the Almighty. We are surrounded by God and we do everything within the Almighty’s confines. Like a fish that eats another fish, it does this within the ocean. Like a fish giving birth, this too is done within the ocean. Like if we do good deeds we do by and within the Almighty’s grace, we do bad deeds – this too is within the confines of the domain of the Almighty. Hukami andhar sab ko, bahar hukam na koi.. To understand this, we need to dwell deep into the recess of our minds. Everything is within this command. The ocean sustains the life of the fish - that is the truth. It is this same ocean that the fish pollutes too, raises her children in, feeds on other fish and does bad deeds as well as good deeds. Similarly, we do the same within the confines of the Almighty. The one who has the knowledge of God understands this. Such a person who understands this truth is forever drowning in true and eternal bliss. Guru Nanak Dev Ji states thus - Hukami andhar sab ko, bahar hukam na koi.. From a tiny grain of sand to the very sun, from the ant to the elephant – all and everything is within the confines of his Hukam, his command. Next Guru Nanak Dev Ji states thus – Nanak hukama jae bhujhe, tah hommai kahe na koi.. Guru Nanak Dev Ji states that if one can understand and comprehend the enormity of this Hukam, this command – he will be break free from the shackles of his ego. tah hommai kahe na koi.. ie - Then the ego will no longer speak in our lieu. The I,me,myself will no longer dominate and cease to be of any importance. Then one will state truly that this ocean is our life, we are born in this ocean, the ocean is where we will perish and the start as well as the end of it all is the ocean. The ocean of his domain - that we dwell in. But if we don’t understand and comprehend his command then our ego dominates and overshadows us. I live for my family. I do good deeds; I give alms to the needy. I sin and so on. Unfortunately we don’t realise that living in the – I, me, myself is not true religion. Egoless existence is true religion. The one who can conquer and erase his ego is truly religious and the one who cannot control, conquer and erase his ego is not religious. The one who lives in ego is a worldly person and the one who lives egoless is a true saint, he is truly religious. Guru Gobind Singh Ji while dictating the grant to Bhai Mani Singh Ji who was writing stated – Tu hi, tu hi, tu hi. Like Guru Nanak Dev Ji while holding the weighing scale in his hand began to say – Tera,tera,tera(yours, yours, all is yours). The Guru’s were so deep in the Almighty’s thoughts that they even forgot their own existence. The smallest trace of ego in them was washed out, disappeared. When thoughts of the Almighty is all that remains in one, when the self – the ego completely disappears, that is the pinnacle of religion. And on the contrary where the I, me , myself dominates and grows – nothing but despair and sadness dwell. Thus ego is reverse to happiness; one reduces as the other grows. Guru Nanak Dev Ji states thus – Jab lag meri, meri kare..tab lakh kaaj ek nayi sahaee... jab meri, meri mit jayee..tab prabh ka – sawar aie... where there is no ego, that is where true devotion for God prevails. Bhaghat Kabir states thus – Tu Tu, katrha tu bhaya...mujh mein raha na hu....jab appa parkha mit gayaa, jat dekha tata tu.. (when I was full of myself you were nowhere near me but when I finally cast aside my ego – all I see is you everywhere...) a renowned urdu shayar(Poet) has stated a beautiful imaginary couplet thus – the sheep bleats in their voice mein, mein, mein. (mein means me). Their life is spent bleating thus – mein. Tragically, the highest slaughtered animal in the world is also the sheep. The ‘Me’ is against nature not acceptable by it. So the poet states thus – Fakhar, bakray ne kiyaa...bus mere siwaii koi nahi.. mein hi mein hu, bus jahan mein.. doosra koi nahi.. jabna mein mein taraq ki.. bezarab bebaq ne.. pheer de jab jal ke gardun pur...choori kasab ne.. ghosth haddi, jo tah chamada..jo tah jisme jaar mein, kuch lutta, kuch dis gayaa, kuch bik gayaa... bazaar mein..reh gayee taate fiqat, mein mein mannay ke liye.. le gayaa nadak se... dhunki banana ke liye.. zarab ki zoto ke kis dum, daanth gabara ne lagee.. mein ke badle tu hi tu ki, bus sadaa aane lagi.. The moment the ego is vanquished, that is the moment that true devotion is born. When ego is vanquished, truth is found, the one who lives in ego is restless, unhappy, sad and pitiful. The egoless one is an epitome of peace, satisfaction and bliss. Guru Nanak Dev Ji states thus – Nanak hukama jae bhujhe, tah hommai kahe na koi.. the one who understands this command, ego and the self no more exist. This life is not chosen by us. We don’t even get to choose our parents. Our bodies are not shaped as per our whims and fancies. Our facial features are not chosen by us. We were just given all of this, this just happened. The Almighty just gave all of this to us and we just have to receive it. The only way to thank the Almighty is to be grateful for whatever we have received. If one says thus – I don’t want these parents who have been given to me, I will choose my own parents. Who is to tell such a person that the choice of who your parents are is not yours, has never been a choice to begin with. It just happened. The Almighty made it happen. The realisation of this truth as soon as it dawns that the way my parents were chosen, everything in the world is pre ordinate. A sublime peace is experienced as soon as this truth is understood. As soon as the full implications of the fact that everything is pre ordinate is understood, one breaks free of the vicious cycle of life and death. When we build a house, we don’t ask the house if it wants to be built. When we demolish a house we don’t ask the house if it agrees to be demolished. Our fate is somewhat similar and so the Almighty does not ask us if we want to be born or are ready and willing to die. Eh teh jor na jiwan, maran na jor..janam maran humare bus nahee..These are the two biggest moments of our existence – birth and death. If the choice of birth was given to us, we would pick the parents of our own choosing and try to get a happy start by picking our own parents, make a demand of the features that we find most attractive and choose a mansion instead of our present homes. And if we had control over our death, we would certainly live forever. But sadly, our own birth and death is not in our hands. When the most important events of our life are not in our hands then we must humbly admit this – nothing is in our hands, everything is in the hands of the Almighty. As soon as this is understood this Guru Nanak Dev Ji says one has conquered his ego. Nanak hukami je bhujhe, tah homaii kahee na koi.. You are the truth, I am the lie. When the ‘I’ is erased the ‘lie’ is erased along with it and when the ‘lie’ is erased, the truth prevails. Kiv sachayara hoieyee, kiv kuday tutahay paal.. How do we become truthful and shatter the veil of illusion and worldly attachments? How do we break through this veil of illusion - this wall? Just realising and accepting that everything is pre ordinate and not being done by us is enough to shatter this veil and break this wall. One who has understood and realised this will state thus – hukmai andar sabh ko baahar hukam na ko-ay.Everyonein Within Your Command, None is outside the Almighty’s Order.