This is the final stage in the five realms or domains discussed by Guru Nanak in the final stages of the first bani in the Guru Granth Sahib called the Japji Sahib. "Sach" means "true" so "Sach Khand" means "the realm of Truth". The final stage of spiritual ascent, i.e. "Sach khand" (the realm of the Truth), defies description. “Hard as steel is the story of this state to narrate.” Described as the abode of the Nirankar, the Formless One, sach khand is not a geographical spot, but the final state of the evolution of human consciousness.
Says Guru Nanak
This is the realm of God, the Nirankar. Since this plane cannot be described by the language of the world of three dimensional forms, Guru Nanak Dev Ji refers to it simply as Satch Khand – the realm of Truth. This is where Nirankar himself dwells. Satch Khand is huge and the whole creation including other 4 Khands are within Satch Khand. Satch Khand surrounds the whole of creation and is inside the whole of creation. In essence Satch Khand is Waheguru himself. It is futile to write anything about it. Guru Nanak Sahib has written that to describe Sach Khand is like chewing iron (Nanak, Kathna KaraRaa Saar).
The Five Realms described in the Bani are:
- 5. Sach Khand: the realm of Truth (pauri 37).
“Satch khand vasai Nirankar, kar kar vehai nadhar nihaal
Tithai khand mandal varbhand, Je ko tathai ta ant na ant
Tithai loa loa akar, Jiv jiv hukam tivai tiv kar
Vekhay vigsay kar vichaar, Nanak kathna karara saar”
Nirankar dwells here and looks upon his creation with benign attention. There are countless universes, planets and continents, all of which He sees and watches over. Al these are beyond one's power to explain, for how can formlessness be described through forms?
It follows that a man of desires will never be able to reach the level of pure intellect, which is Saram Khand. The desire to renounce desire is also a desire, though of a higher kind, so long as even this exists one cannot spiritually evolve. The action of a man's desires is always motivated. A man of desire has always fixed a goal which he wishes to accomplish. After fixing the goal, he lays down plans and schemes to realise this goal. This plan is the result of his own reasoning based upon his memories and experiences. No two persons will approach a situation in the same way they will each judge it from their own viewpoint, no one will be able to comprehend the truth in its totality.
Under such circumstances whatever plan one lays for the realization of a goal, will be layed inside the 'box' in which one lives (pesonal memories and experiences) outside of which one will not be able to see. So long as one is possessed of the subtlest desire, understanding in totality will be impossible for an individual to comprehend.
After all desires are calmed, one is transformed into a higher Khand. In order to attain God, desire and intellect themselves need to be renounced. But a man who renounces desire in an attempt to cultivate thoughtlessness, is very much a victim of the desires and thoughts he is trying to renounce. Renunciation will not come by consciously cultivating it. It will come only one when one neither wants, nor not wants.
Guru Nanak Dev ji explains: (SGGS page 8)
|ਸਚ ਖੰਡਿ ਵਸੈ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ॥ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਵੇਖੈ ਨਦਰਿ ਨਿਹਾਲ ॥|
|Sacẖ kẖand vasai nirankĝr. Kar kar vėkẖai naḝar nihĝl.|
|In the realm of Truth, the Formless Lord abides. Having created the creation, He watches over it. By His Glance of Grace, He bestows happiness.|
|ਤਿਥੈ ਖੰਡ ਮੰਡਲ ਵਰਭੰਡ ॥ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਕਥੈ ਤ ਅੰਤ ਨ ਅੰਤ ॥|
|Ŧithai kẖand mandal varbẖand. Jė ko kathai ṯa anṯ na anṯ.|
|There are planets, solar systems and galaxies. If one speaks of them, there is no limit, no end.|
|ਤਿਥੈ ਲੋਅ ਲੋਅ ਆਕਾਰ ॥ ਜਿਵ ਜਿਵ ਹਕਮ ਤਿਵੈ ਤਿਵ ਕਾਰ ॥|
|Ŧithai loa loa ĝkĝr. Jiv jiv hukam ṯivai ṯiv kĝr.|
|There are worlds upon worlds of His Creation. As He commands, so they exist.|
|ਵੇਖੈ ਵਿਗਸੈ ਕਰਿ ਵੀਚਾਰ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਥਨਾ ਕਰੜਾ ਸਾਰ ॥੩੭॥|
|vėkẖai vigsai kar vīcẖĝr. Nĝnak kathnĝ karṛĝ sĝr. ॥37॥|
|He watches over all, and contemplating the creation, He rejoices. O Nanak, to describe this is as hard as steel! ॥37॥|