QMmu "PILLAR, SUPPORT ANCHOR, HOT IRONS, STOP" IN GURU GRANTH SAHIB
Harsimrat Kaur Khalsa
Guru Granth Parchar Mission of USA, Inc.
Pillars have been used in architecture and art by many cultures for thousands of years. They are used as support, decoration, or symbolism which denotes stability, beauty,justice, memorial, royalty, divinity, holiness, or protection. Discovery one of the most ancient pillar sites was uncovered in Turkey.
“Turkey's 12,000-year-old stone circles were the spiritual center of a nomadic people 25-acre arrangement of at least seven stone circles. The first structures at Göbekli Tepe were built as early as 10,000 B.C” http://www.archaeology.org/0811/abstracts/turkey.html
The word QMmu in Gurbani has several meanings (support, anchor, hot irons, stopping), yet it is used mostly as “pillars” or “support”. By analyzing Gurbani’s usage of QMmu, Guru Ji enriches our understanding of it. As we study these examples in Guru Granth Sahib, we appreciate more the significance and benefits of QMmu in our daily lives.
ijau mMdr kau QwmY QMmnu ] iqau gur kw sbdu mnih AsQMmnu ] (282, gauVI, mhlw 5)
“As a palace is supported by its pillars, so does the Guru's Word support the mind.”
If the mind has no stability for constuctive thinking, many things can go wrong with the body. The mind requires a healthy body, healthy habits, and a healthy physical, spiritual, and social environment. Ingorance of Guru’s wisdom causes failure in everything in life.
AYQY rhhu suhyilAw AgY nwil clY ] Gru bMDhu sc Drm kw gif QMmu AhlY ] (3202, gauVI kI vwr, mhlw 5)
“You shall dwell in peace and ease in this world; in the world hereafter, it shall go with you. So build your home of true righteousness, with the unshakable pillars of Dharma.”
Life never promises peace and ease without Guru’s instructions. We were created to have peace and ease no matter what hardships confront us; however, Gurbani offers us stable instruction in the unstable environment in which we inhabit. The huqam of God is stable, and part of that huqam requires the instability of the position of the tiniest particles of the universe which causes changes in front of our eyes. It is important not to overattach to that which comes and goes, but to attach to the stability of the Creator.
pkVy clwieAw Apxw kmwieAw mhw mohnI rwiqAw ] gun goivMd gurmuiK n jipAw qpq QMm@ gil lwiqAw ] (546, ibhwgVw, mhlw 5)
“He jmkMkir [Messenger of Death]seizes him [rhe ungrateful person], and leads him away, to pay for his evil deeds; he was imbued with Maya, the great enticer.” He was not Gurmukh - he did not chant the Glorious Praises of the Lord of the Universe; and now, the hot irons are put to his chest.”
iqsu ibnu dUjw Avru n koeI ] Awpy QMmY scw soeI ]1]
“Without Him, there is no other at all. The True Lord Himself is our anchor. ||1||”
Nothing can exist without the stable Creator. No function can a flawed machine. A healthy mind cannot concentrate on complex or demanding tasks, and a sick body will only more sick without the stable, and disciplined treatment.
hir hir nwmu myrw AwDwru ] krx kwrx smrQu Apwru ]1] rhwau ] (744, sUhI, mhlw 5)
“The Name of the Lord, Har, Har, is our only support. The Creator, the Cause of causes, is All-powerful and Infinite. ||1||Pause||”
God, only God’s name, the essence of who He is the only One who created, cares, and operates the entire universe to house us, love us, and treasure us. Why turn away from superior quality to go astray for sub-quality?
so bYrwgI ij aulty bRhmu ] ggn mMfl mih ropY QMmu ] (953, rwmklI, mhlw 1)
“He alone is a Bairaagi (unattached from the mundane), who turns himself toward God. “In the Tenth Gate, the sky of the mind, he erects his pillar.”
Gurbani does not demand us to unattach from life like a Sanyaasi or Hermit. This unattachment means not to be over attachmed to things which come and go, such as a loved one, a bank account, jewels, our beautiful youth. Too much attachment to any one thing in this life only promises disapointment, depression, greed, fear, and hatered towards others.
ibswir hir jIau ibKY Bogih qpq QMm gil lwie ]1] (1001, mwrU, mhlw 5)
“Forgetting your Dear Lord, you enjoy corrupt pleasures, and so you shall have to embrace red-hot pillars. ||1||”
The usage of in this verse means pillars of suffering that will never go away unless you merge with God. The temporary pleasing fruit of corruption causes bitter suffering in the end.
suMnhu Driq Akwsu aupwey ] ibnu QMmw rwKy scu kl pwey ] (1037, mwrU, mhlw 1)
“From this Primal Void, the earth and the Akaashic Ethers were created. He supports them without any visible support, by exercising His True Power.”
Invisible here means beyond our capability to see in detail all the secrets of the Universe. Vision is the brain’s interpretation of light refracted throught the eyes which stimulates the nervous system to instructs the mind and body how to react.
iKn mih BYAwn rUpu inkisAw QMm@ aupwiV ] hrxwKsu nKI ibdwirAw pRhlwdu lIAw aubwir ]4] (1133, BYrau, mhlw 3)
“In an instant, the Lord appeared in a dreadful form, and shattered the hot pillar.
Harnaakhash was torn apart by His claws, and Prahlaad was saved. ||4||”
Guru Ji uses the example of Prehlaad’s suffering by his evil father, Harnaakhash inHindu religious folklure:
“There once was a great king named Harnakash. He was given a gift from Lord Shiva that he will not be killed inside or outside. He could not be killed by a man or by an animal. He could not be killed in daytime, or nightime. He could not die in heat or cold. He became a cruel ruler and made everyone chant his name instead of Ram (God). His own son Prahlad refused to chant his name, but rather he always chanted on Ram. Harnakash made many attempts to have his son killed, but every time the child was miraculously saved. He became evenmore angry and had a pillar lit on fire with a huge flame. He told Prahlad "You don't chant my name like everyone else, you say that God is in everything. Well if God is in everything than God is also in the pillar. Go over to the pillar and give it a hug if it is also your God." Prahlad made a prayer to God "Oh, my beloved, please save me. You are in my heart and I am always with you." Prahlad, with his pure faith, went over to the white hot pillar and gave it a hug. By divine grace he wasn't burnt at all, and hearing the prayer of this devoted child, God assumed a form and burst out of the pillar. God appeared in the form of a man lion called Nar Singh to release Harnakash. He told Harnakash "I will kill you now because it is not day or night, it is dusk. I am not a man or an animal, I am neither. We are not inside or outside, we are on the threshold." And so Nar Singh killed Harnakash for his treachery. Prahlad was saved. God always protects the honor of the devotees.” http://www.sikhnet.com/audio/prehlaad-and-harnaakash
QMm@ü aupwiV hir Awpu idKwieAw ] AhMkwrI dYqu mwir pcwieAw ] (1154, BYrau, mhlw 3)
“Tearing down the pillars, the Lord Himself appeared. The egotistical demon was killed and destroyed.”
The hot pillar that Harnakash set before his son was destroyed by God Himself. We all have hot pillars of difficult challenges in our lives that require us to adapt. If we do not know how to act or react in many situations, then we face failure. Running away from our problems will not help. We need to face life as it is, to embrace the reality of ourselves, our situations, and to take responsibility on ourselves to adapt. Without understandng and obeying Guru’s instruction, it would be impossible to escape the hot irons thrown in our path. ikv sicAwrw hoeIAY ikv kUVY qutY pwil ]hukim rjweI clxw nwnk iliKAw nwil ]1](1-7, jpujI swihb, mhlw 1) “So how can you function realistically? And how can the veil of illusion be torn away? O Nanak, it is written that you shall obey the Hukam of His Command, and walk in the Way of His Will. ||1||”
Awpy bCrU gaU KIru ] Awpy mMdru QMm@ü srIru ]3] (1190, bsMqu, mhlw 1)
“He Himself is the calf, the cow and the milk. He Himself is the Support of the body-mansion. ||3||”
The calf supports the mother in pain full of milk. The mother cow supports its hungry calf. Likewise, God supports us. Everything in the universe interacts to suport itself. This is done by the grace and power of God and His huqam.
sBu ko BirAw PUik AwKix khix n QMm@IAY ] nwnk vyKY Awip PUk kFwey Fih pvY ]2] (1244-18, swrMg, mhlw 1)
“The mind and body experience pleasures; one loses, and another wins. Everyone is puffed up with pride; even after they are spoken to, they do not stop. O Nanak, the Lord Himself sees all; when He takes the air out of the balloon, the body falls. ||2||”
The word “QMm@IA“ means “stop”. Our body is compared to a balloon full of air. We gain nothing from our bodies other than neuro stimulant pleasures that always sooner or later come to an end. People do not consider the hour of death or defeat. Nature by God’s huqam always is the winner. If we side with the victorious Lord, then we will not suffer defeat, even at the hour of our death.
jIA jMq sBu jgu hY jyqw mnu folq fol krIjY ] ik®pw ik®pw kir swDu imlwvhu jgu QMmn kau QMmu dIjY ]1] (1324, kilAwn, mhlw 4)
“The minds of all the beings and creatures of the world waver unsteadily.
Please take pity on them, be merciful to them, and unite them with the God; establish this support to support the world. ||1||”
We instinctively react according the the cravings of our five vices which were given to us to guarantee our desire to be happy, healthy, and successful. But our lack of Guru gian makes us fall into the traps of these vices. The concept behind gur pRswid means that although we make mistakes, God in His compassionate mercy patiently offers us a solution through His Divine Word in Guru Granth Sahib
igrMq igir piqq pwqwlµ jlµq dydIp´ bYsÍWqrh ] bhMiq Agwh qoXM qrMgM duKMq gRh icMqw jnmM q mrxh ] Aink swDnµ n isD´qy nwnk AsQMBM AsQMBM AsQMBM sbd swD sÍjnh ]17] (1355, shsik®qI, mhlw 5)
“You may drop down from the mountains, and fall into the nether regions of the underworld, or be burnt in the blazing fire, or swept away by the unfathomable waves of water; but the worst pain of all is household anxiety, which is the source of the cycle of death and rebirth. No matter what you do, you cannot break its bonds, O Nanak. Man's only Support, Anchor and Mainstay is the Word of the Shabad, and the Holy, Friendly Saints. ||17||”
Awpy jlu Awpy Qlu QMm@nu Awpy kIAw Git Git bwsw ] (1403, sveIey, mhlw 4)
“He Himself is the water, He Himself is the earth and its support. He Himself abides in each and every heart.”
Just as water is precious to the fish, so is God and His message in Guru Granth Sahib precious to the Gurmukh. That which supports the earth cannot be seen with the human eye; yet God is infinitely almighty, abiding everywhere, and choses to emphasise his dwelling place in the heart of each and every man.
In conclusion, we are the pillars of our family and society when we acknowledge the throne of God in all of us. We are not a huge slab of stone or concrete without a brain, but a complicated machine gifted with a soul, intellengence, and reasoning. Whatever decisions we make, along with our actions and attitudes, determine whether or not we fulfill our destiny. Everything in the entire universe reacts to each other and responds to this (cause and effect). We are not much different than the rest of creation, since we, too, all are affected by each other. It is our decision what kind of pillar to represent – a stubborn hinderance or a stable asset to ourselves and humanity. God in His mercy has given us the option to chose by means of education of what Guru Granth Sahib represents – God, His greatness and mercy, wisdom, stability, peace, victory, and success. If we do not study Gurbani and only stick to recitations, tantras, and useless rituals, then we are preventing ourselves from functiong the way God intended for us to be created.