Only those who have loved shall attain the Lord
Guru Gobind Singh in the Dasam Granth in verse number 9 of Tav Prasad Saviaye puts a seal on the concept of Love leading to salvation. Tav Prasad Saviaye is one of the five Banis of a Sikh's daily Nitnem routine of reciting of the Guru's words.
In this Bani, the tenth master covers many aspects of human living which one needs to inspect on a daily basic but the central message is the concept of "Love for the Lord and his creation" and the "constant remembrance of His Name".
|ਸਾਚੁ ਕਹੋਂ ਸੁਨ ਲੇਹੁ ਸਭੈ ਜਿਨ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਕੀਓ ਤਿਨ ਹੀ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਪਾਇਓ ॥੯॥|
|Sach kahon sun leho sabai jin prem kio tin hee prabh paio.|
|I tell the truth; listen everyone. Only those who have Loved, will realize the Lord. (9)|
The message of Love and longing is evident on all the pages of the Sikh scriptures. The Love for God and His creation is easy to see in Gurbani; the Lord is referred to as "Husband Lord", "Beloved", "Immaculate", "Great", "Merciful", etc. all affectionate words for a tender, caring and powerful being.
However, God is not an external entity; God is said to be in all places; in every living things; literally everywhere. Gurbani tells us, "The Lord Himself is within the self, and outside as well...; the Lord Himself is fully pervading everywhere" and also "You are the Great Giver of all souls; You are the Life within all living beings."
Why waste your life in hatred?
The ten Sikh Gurus and the other Sikh bhagats in their compositions in Gurbani, explain over and over again their dedication and their love for the Almighty Lord. Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru explains his love for the Lord thus "Without the Lord, I cannot live for a moment, even an instant; I love Him, like the camel loves the vine" (GGS 369).
"Why waste your life in hatred, vengeance and conflict?" (GGS 1176) It is clear that if one harbours hatred in their heart then they cannot be treading the path of Sikhi and one cannot evolve spiritually. The way of the Gurus shows us a path of affection and mercy; or compassion and tenderness; of caring and service. Without Love there is no salvation; hatred leads one to constant reincarnation.
Guru tells us "Do not harbor hatred against anyone." (GGS 259) Hatred moves the person backward spiritually. Only when you can remove hatred from your heart and mind can you get closer to the path of the Gurus. "Hatred is gone - I have no hatred at all; I see the One Lord in all." (GGS 1077)
Life in this world is full of anguish and pain and the only way to "have peace of mind and stay positive and happy" is to be in love - not with another person but with God, the creator; the sustainer; and yes, the ultimate destroyer. If one can dis-engage from worldly entanglements just for a while and focus on the Supreme Soul - only then can one realise the ultimate reality.
The fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan tells us, "If you remember the Lord in meditation for a moment, even for an instant, then your life will become fruitful and prosperous." (GGS 107) So, if we desire to improve our life, then we need to remember the Lord and cultivate His remembrance in your heart..
The beauty and magnificence of God
If we look around us, we see the vast number of "miracles of God"; there is magic everywhere; the sun; the earth; the wind; the sky; the plants and vegetation; the animals; these are all miracles of God. Without God the sun would not be there; the earth could not orbit for millions of years. His drama is indeed most wonderful! "Like the straw figure of a female elephant, fashioned to trap the bull elephant, O crazy mind, the Lord of the Universe has staged the drama of this world." (GGS 335) Many weak ones are trapped by the illusion of the drama; the strong overcome the illusion.
Now look at what he has given us all; just look at the eyes; the ears; the hands; the body and mind.... What wonderful technology! We are nothing compared to the Creator. If we are required to make just one part of the body, say the hand; we are unable to make it. So, compared to the Lord, we are nothing. Now, with these magnificent features we can do so many wonderful things; we can walk, talk, communicate, think, manufacture, etc. These are all marvellous gifts from God! Don't you just want to hug and thank that Almighty who loves us so much to have endowed us with these amazing and wondrous gifts?
Sikhi: Path of Devotion and Love
Sikhi emphasises Bhakti marg or the "path of devotion". It does, however, recognizes the limited value of Gian marg (Path of knowledge) and Karam marg (Path of action). It also lays stress on the need for earning God's Grace in order to reach the spiritual goal. Gurbani emphasises the need for love and affection thus: "Here and hereafter, He is our Helper and Companion; embrace love and affection for the One Lord." (GGS 405). The Gurus and proponents of Sikhi expressed their intense affection for the Lord in very clear terms - "My inner being is filled with love for my Beloved Husband Lord. How can I live without Him?" (GGS 1113), referring to God as the Husband and themselves as the brides.