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Bani, The Ultimate Guru

Discussion in 'Essays on Sikhism' started by Archived_Member16, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. Archived_Member16

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    Bani, the ultimate guru

    KULBIR KAUR, THE TIMES OF INDIA - Jul 10, 2010, 12.00am IST

    Bani, the Divine Truth, is the voice of God and is the manifestation of the Formless Lord

    Once Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, and his companion Bhai Mardana went to a village. In that village lived a thug in the garb of a holy man. Sajjan thug had built a mosque for Muslims and a temple for Hindus. He would serve travellers well by offering them food and shelter. But once it was night, he would kill them, taking possession of all their things.

    Sajjan thug welcomed Guru Nanak and Mardana and took care of all their needs. He waited patiently for nightfall so that once they fell asleep he could carry out his usual criminal operation. However, the thug found that Mardana was playing on a Rabab and Guru Nanak was singing a hymn, a sacred Bani. The melody was beautiful. Mesmerised by the sight of the two men engrossed in devotion, and overwhelmed by the lyrical offering, the thug was now beginning to feel liberated. He fell at the Guru's feet, asking for forgiveness. After that, Sajjan not only devoted his entire life to reciting the Holy Name but also turned his house into a dharamshala, a haven for pilgrims, thus becoming a true Sajjan. Such is the impact of Bani or the Divine Word.

    Bani or Gurbani refers to sacred compositions of gurus and devotees that have been compiled as the sacred Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Bani, the Divine Truth, is the voice of God and is the manifestation of the Formless Lord, says Guru Amar Das: “Hail, Hail, the Word of the Guru;/ Which is the Formless Lord Himself;/ There is none other, nothing else;/ To be reckoned equal to it.” Recitation of Bani or even listening to it with devotion brings about the possibility of enlightenment. Bani, in the form of Shabad, arranged in 31 ragas, is poetry of love and devotion and the source of ultimate happiness.

    Bani is also the spiritual and ethical guide. ‘Sarang ki Var’, Bani of Guru Ram Das, addresses the question: “What is the purpose of life?” Life is ridden with conflict - conflict between good and evil, worldly attachment and the pleasure of knowing the Supreme Being. But what are the causes leading to the conflict?

    The root cause of conflict is haumai or man's ego that can bring only suffering. Man takes pride in his achievements but in reality it is the Lord, the Creator of the whole Universe who controls and determines each action. To understand the Hukam, His command, remembering His Name removes haumai and brings humility.

    When you surrender to His Will, all doubts are removed and one gets answers to all the questions beyond human comprehension and control. The significance of Hukam or the Divine Order, is well expressed in the first Bani of the Guru Granth Sahib. The Japuji Sahib says: “All come within the Hukam, none beyond its authority. They who comprehend the Hukam, O Nanak, Renounce their self-centred pride.” To surrender to His Hukam is the only way to realise the Truth.

    The central theme of Bani is Nam simran, that is, the repetition of the Name of the Formless Lord which is Shabad, the Divine Truth. Shabad combined with classical music, Shabad-kirtan, creates a serene and a heavenly atmosphere, taking the devotee to the higher realm, allowing him to merge slowly in the Truth. Recitation of Bani or Shabad in the form of kirtan is an essential part of every Sikh's life. And why not, when Bani is the Ultimate Guru, both spiritual as well as moral.

    source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Life/Spirituality/Speaking-Tree/Bani-the-ultimate-guru/articleshow/6147523.cms
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