A Gift Not To Be Squandered ... The Way of the Sikh:
Letter & Spirit # 23
Translated from Bhai Vir Singh's ‘Gurmukh Sikhia’
Someone who was never married can be an expert in self-restraint or be a yogi. But it is doubtful that he will ever taste love. Without tasting the worldly love, how can we recognize divine love?
Lust can be conquered only by a yogi or by someone who does naam-simran, and a depraved person often turns into an angry soul at old age. Just as no one else can benefit from food that you ate, similarly, you yourself have to conquer your lust and your anger.
Some signs of progress on the path of naam-simran are:
1 Saying ‘Waheguru’ once makes one want to say it again.
2 Faith in the worth of naam grows each day.
3 A peaceful spot emerges within the heart.
4 Lust, anger, etc. that make one miserable, start to wane.
When we utter ‘Waheguru’, each time we feel like uttering it again, we should thank Him over and over again for His gift, for giving us naam and for making it taste sweet.
A faqir (holy man) may possess hidden spiritual power, like someone who hides a heap of explosives. But the faqir is different because he is gentle, he acts ‘powerless while having the power’ [GGS:1384.17] and quietly endures the hidden prowess resulting from naam.
Until the teacher allows and says that the student is ready to teach others, a seeker must also practice restraint.
When someone shows us our faults, we dislike it. So we should constantly examine ourselves and remove our own errors. “Time and time again, he must hold himself back from maya and appraise his own mind against the inner measure” [GGS:857.16].
Sikhs did not mind criticism from their Guru. Rather they lived the words, “my Guru’s rebukes taste sweet to me” [GGS:758.7]. Even today, we need to have some gurmukh among us who can see our faults and teach us how to correct them.
Some people start feeling proud when they start to enjoy the taste of naam simran. Pride is a hurdle, a trap, on this path. We must guard against it.
Sometimes our mind is exalted and it makes us act virtuously. At other times the same mind can drag us down and make us do bad things. A man needs to thank God whenever his mind is inspired, and rebuke himself when the mind is in a corrupt state. Be sorry, and make an effort to rise above that state. In other words, pray for wisdom to conquer the corrupt side of our mind.
Pious individuals always guard against this slippery nature of the mind. Whenever they are in an exalted state, they do not feel proud but see it as God’s mercy.
The naam - Waheguru - can do miracles. Repeating ‘Waheguru’ creates a living force inside us. It quickens our soul, the same as an unborn baby starts to kick. There is a placenta also in there but it is not active and thus it shows no sign of life.
Just as a pitcher is made with clay and water, our mind is also made from a mixture of matter and spirit. The part that is inside - just as water is inside the pitcher – is the spirit that needs to become one with Waheguru.
When we immerse the pitcher in water, the water inside it is surrounded by the water outside. Similarly, when we are in Waheguru He is inside us. By doing naam-simran we become one with the Waheguru whose naam we repeat.
Simran of naam is a supreme act, higher than all the disciplines. When we repeat naam we surrender ourselves to God. We fall at His feet. He is then obligated to remove the obstacles from our path. Just as a man is obligated to protect someone who seeks his protection, when we take sanctuary of Waheguru, He feels responsible to deliver us.
“God feels responsible when Nanak lies at his door” [GGS:135.17].
Someone who practices naam needs to develop great patience and humility. Various spiritual powers surround us when we repeat naam. The seeker must not show them because such acts strengthen the seeker’s pride and haumai.
When the haumai takes hold of us, we lose the taste of naam.
“Haumai is opposed to naam, the two cannot dwell in the same spot” [GGS:560.12].
February 7, 2013 http://sikhchic.com/article-detail.php?id=4018&cat=12