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May 1, 2022

Wisdom of the Mystics: Guru Nanak Dev Ji


In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses the wisdom of one of the greatest gurus of all time, Guru Nanak Dev ji. Born in the mid 1400s, he expressed so many beautiful ideas that became the foundation of Sikhism. His teachings were based on this Formless Oneness, He beautifully expressed the deep philosophy of the Upanishads through the Japji Sahib. This is only one episode but I think one day, we will have to revisit His teachings. Let me know if you would like to on www.thebeardedmysticpodcast.com

My apologies, I realized after uploading that I missed talking about 'Jap' from the Mool Mantar. Please forgive me.

In this episode, I go through  the Mool Mantar from the JapJi Sahib. This is truly the essence of all spiritual teachings and has incredible depth. If anyone contemplates on this, their life will be transformed. 

I recommend listening to Sant Satpal Ji's video on Guru Nanak Dev Ji's teachings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k28QyZXeEh4

I hope you enjoyed listening to the Wisdom of the Mystics series and if you are interested in listening to more episodes about Non-Duality and a deep-dive into the Bhagavad Gita , please follow/subscribe to this Podcast.

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Transcript

Hello and welcome to another episode of The Bearded Mystic Podcast. And I'm your host Rahul N Singh. Thank you for taking out the time today to either watch or listen to this podcast episode. If you would like to support The Bearded Mystic Podcast, you can sign up to our Patreon page, details are in the show notes and video description below. Also every Saturday, there is a free meditation class. That I hold via zoom. If you would like to join, you can find the details in the show notes and video description below. Last month as you know, we looked at the teachings of the great mystic J Krishnamurti, and today we will be exploring the teachings of the founder of Sikhism, which is Guru Nanak Dev Ji. We're going to be looking specifically at the mool mantra from the Japji Sahib. If you would like to let me know what you think about this episode, write down your comments on the YouTube video or you can leave a review on www.thebeardedmysticpodcast.com. So let's have a look. So the mool mantra begins with Ik Onkaar. 'Ik' means oneness in this context of what Guru Nanak Dev Ji wants to portray. The reason for this was he was establishing that Hindus really follow the one Supreme Brahman and the Muslims follow the same God that they refer to as Allah. So He wanted to get rid of this duality that was there. He wanted to establish that there is just this One. There's no need to call them separate or to see that there is a difference there. He wanted to emphasize that they're not separate gods, which if people really understood, they will be able to practice their own religion in their own right, without any conflict. The 'Ong' aspect in 'Ik Onkaar' is actually inspired from the Sanskrit word 'Aum' and as we know that word represents Brahman or ParBrahm. And 'kaar' means formless. So this Supreme reality it's formless, therefore establishing already that the Ultimate Reality that people refer to as God is formless, it has no image. It has no shape. It cannot be defined in any way. Even giving it a name doesn't do justice. Therefore when 'Ik Onkaar' is said, it's not said as in a name per se, but more as a principle that exists, that underlies all existence. Every time you listen to any Gurbani or from the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, any verse, any line, it must always come back to the mool mantra always come back to 'Ik Onkaar.' 'Ik Onkaar' meaning if it's without form in this aspect, this Reality, it has no gender, either. It is neither masculine nor feminine. This also shows that Guru Nanak Dev Ji's understanding was that Brahman is nirguna and he was part of the nirguna bhakti movement. It is without attribute, shape, form or image. In essence, 'Ik Onkaar' simply can mean that Formless Oneness and this is what it really implies. If we can understand the whole Guru Granth Sahib ji from this principle, then we can understand the deeper truths that are in there. But if we see that 'Ik Onkaar' is different to Aum or is different to Brahman or is different to Allah or to God. Then we have failed to understand the deeper message of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. For me Guru Nanak Dev ji was a non-dualist. He understood the essence of non-duality and it is just seen in the poems that are presented in the Guru Granth Sahib ji. That Guru Nanak Dev ji had incredible insight into the nature of human beings. This level of humility and humanity that was within him. And then also from the rest of the nine gurus as well, this was really the essence of their teachings. And even today, one of the most reliable people in the world, I would say is those that are from a sikhi background. They are always looking to help with the people, always looking to be there for people. We see them whenever there is a crisis anywhere they are there to help others. And another aspect is that they have their community kitchens open 24/7 in some places. This just shows their level of commitment to the teachings of the guru. And I think that's amazing. I think that's something to really applaud. But comes back to this same principle, that they see this 'Ik Onkaar' within everybody and they see it within everything. Every aspect of creation has this Oneness. So that's the beauty of this. Then it carries on to Sat Naam. So 'Sat' as we know means true or the truth and 'Naam' means name. So the name is based on the ultimate reality. And how is that? It is completely true because it is changeless. The name doesn't change in essence because it is the same oneness. So 'Sat Naam' the 'Naam' meaning 'Ik Onkaar' again, meaning Brahman or reality. Not that you have to name it in such a way, but it's the truest of true names. It goes back to the whole Dao Te Ching when we say the Dao that can be named is not the Dao. Same thing here. When we give a name to this 'Onkaar' which is a principle, let's understand this, it's not a name, it's a description to help us attain to that lofty height. Therefore, if you did give a name, it would be subject to an object and this one cannot be an object at all. It's the truth. It is changeless. We know from our Bhagavad Gita podcast episodes, that Brahman is Sat. It is changeless, self existent. It has no beginning. It has no end. However 'Asat' is something that is always changing and subject to modification. Then the next line is Karta Purakh Nirbhao Nirvair Akaal Murat Ajooni Saibhang (Sat) Gur Prasad so we'll break that down. So in my opinion, if you can just remember 'Ik Onkaar Sat Naam', if you can remember that. That is enough. Guru Nanak Dev Ji really emphasizes these things in all of his poetry. It's an expression from that. It's an extension from that. It's not something to just say, or to read or to listen to, it's something to really contemplate on within. Contemplation is key here. So let's look at Karta Purakh, which means creative principle manifested. So what we understand here is that this Formless Oneness is a creative principle. It is suffused within the cosmos. Whatever we see this whole cosmos is this one Formless. This whole cosmos is this Formless Oneness. Within all forms, we are to perceive this Formless Oneness as that is the creative principle. Only something that is Formless can have forms appear from it. Forms can give rose to form, but the thing it's always reliant on something. With the formless there is nothing to rely upon. The Formless can create or destroy. It is beyond those descriptions and it is manifested meaning that we see manifested as the cosmos, as the universe. We see it everywhere. What Guru Nanak Dev Ji intuited, which is really beautiful, is because here he is saying that this formless is also manifested in this world. See it and perceive it everywhere as Oneness. Don't divide it in any way. This is an incredible insight by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, and one that really, really need to understand. By seeing the formless, by seeing that oneness in everything, we get a natural respect towards others. We are naturally humble. We are naturally kind. We are naturally content. We are naturally full of humanity. This is what Guru Nanak Dev Ji is implying here. And then we go on to 'Nirbhao' without fear. How can this Formless Oneness have any fear when it is the only thing in existence. All manifestations are from this one. So why should it fear anything? There is no other, so there is going to be no aspect of fear. Fear is there because there's conflict, there is separation, but here, how can one even experience fear? It's impossible because we see all as one. Friend or foe, friend or enemy. It doesn't matter. The thing is we do not fear anybody. And therefore the next line in a minute, we'll go into that, which is 'Nirvair' which means without enmity. But before that, when 'Nirbhao', we have to remember that this can be related to Sat-Chit-Ananda, Truth-Consciousness-Bliss and how can this one ever be in fear? Because it's always in bliss. How can consciousness ever feel fear or awareness feel fear? It cannot because it's absorbed in bliss. It's absorbed in Itself. Therefore there's no need to fear. Now when it comes to 'Nirvair' without Enmity if there is only Oneness. Where is the other to even hate or despise. Once we understand that we are this one, we cannot hate at all. Who are we to have enmity towards? Who are we to despise nobody? How can we despise anybody? This oneness is full of love because it is full of bliss. Whenever we feel ecstasy, we want to hug the world. We feel happy in the world. Therefore, we feel content. We feel like we can embrace the world. And this is a difference between someone who lives without enmity and without fear, they're able to live a much more freer life than someone who is within conflict or knee deep in conflict. Akaal Murat, which means a timeless form of the witness. As the observer, the saksi, the witness, it is beyond time. Therefore, it cannot be destroyed. The form is not physical in any sense or even subtle, but it is that awareness that we call saksi. The witness has always been here. It is beyond time. Therefore it will remain forever. So this is what we know about the Akaal Murat. Akaal meaning beyond time, Ajooni Saibhang beyond birth and self existent. Guru Nanak Ji emphasizes that this Formless Oneness has always been here. It has never not existed. It is beyond birth. Therefore it is beyond death. And 'saibhang' means self existent. It doesn't need anything for its existence. Nothing powers its existence, other than its own self. We have the appearance of many forms in this existence, but it is only truly this Formless Oneness that exists. That is here. That is right now. And this is the beauty of Guru Nanak Dev Ji his message. Very clear, very concise, very to the point. Guru Prasad - the grace of the guru. Only with the guru's grace can this Truth of our own reality, be known. The guru takes us from ignorance and brings us to the reality of who we are. We are roaming in the dark and the Guru is the one that turns on our inner light and we finally see things from the sock sheet, from the witness. The only way we can understand this is when we accept intellectually that there's only the Formless Oneness. So there has to be a fundamental acceptance of this one message. As now we can understand and live as this Formless Oneness, we now see the magnificence of this One. We do not see it through the lens of the ego. We see everything as magnificent. We internalize this realization and expand it everywhere. When you, wherever you look, the offering of seeing this Formless Oneness is there. It's always going to be there for you. And this is the grace of the Guru. The grace of the guru is your realization of this Truth. Your realization of who you are, the realization of what's going to happen to you when you die. The realization of how temporary life is. The realization of how temporary wealth and material possessions are, all these things are helped by the Guru. The Guru takes it on. The Guru doesn't take our money. Doesn't take our possessions in any way, or even at intellect. What the Guru's Grace is, is just a realization of who we really are. And that is it. Nothing more, nothing less. Then Aad Sach this Formless Oneness is the truth beyond the beginning. This is also establishing that we understand that 'Aad' may mean beginning. If we understand that this is Self Existent and isn't born, therefore it is the truth beyond the beginning. So beyond what we think is the beginning of time. Jugaad Sach. Primordial Truth. This has always been the Truth. There's never been a time when this has never existed. And as far as we know, in terms of history, this Formless Oneness was there. And beyond that too. Then Hai bhi Sach. The Formless Oneness is the Truth here and now. Again, getting us to the directness of realization. This shows how this Formless Oneness is present right now in this very room, in the very room that you're in or in the very place that you're in. It is accessible right here. You do not need to do any practice. You can access this Inner Oneness, this Formless Oneness always. It's always there. We don't need to fool ourselves to think that this truth is somewhere far or somewhere over there. We don't need the false idea that the truth was easily understood in the past compared to today. You know, if the truth has always been, then its acceptance and how it has been accepted has been the same. It has not differed in any way. Therefore we can understand here that we don't need to say, oh, in the past it was a lot easier to be spiritual. No, if you make the right choices today, we can be spiritual as well. So there's no reason why we cannot achieve that. This reality of the Formless Oneness can be realized as what we are right here and right now. And then Nanak Hosi Bhi Sach. O' Nanak this Formless Oneness is forever true. There will never be a time when this Formless Oneness will go. It covers all time and the timeless, therefore, this is our real existence. This 'Sach' is what we are. This 'Naam' is what we are. It is only when we offer our ego to the Guru, to the Light of the wisdom, that our darkness of duality, is eliminated. And we understand this non-dual Ik Onkaar and this is the mool mantra. If there's anything you need to remember, the Japji Sahib, it's this, and this will always bring you back to the realization of who you really are, because this isn't about some God up there or out there. It's about what is within you. And this is something we have to understand with a lot of clarity. Now Guru Nanak Dev Ji has numerous poems and maybe one day we'll go through some of those poems and even elaborate more on the Japji Sahib, and if you do want me to elaborate more on the Japji Sahib, let me know in the comments and maybe we can look at how we can do that. Maybe through Patreon as extra content. This is something we can explore even further. There is a lot to even unpack here with the Japji Sahib, especially with the mool mantra. But the one thing you need to remember is Ik Onkaar, the more you remember Ik Onkaar, the more you will be in that radiant bliss, the more you will be connected to the divine. The more you understand the principle of Aum that is beyond those three states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep. It is that fourth state, that Turiya state, that state where it is beyond all known time. It is beautiful beyond measure, and this can be attained by anybody. All you need is a sincere heart and this is what Guru Nanak Dev Ji's whole message is, is that be a seeker and be a sincere one at that. There's no need to claim that you have achieved something, if you have not. Just be content of where you are. Today, I don't think I'm realized and I'm working towards it. I'm happy in the walking towards it. There's so much to enjoy about the journey, be a seeker. And you know, the beauty of the gurus, they have one quality, not just a Sikh Gurus, but gurus in general, the genuine ones, of course, that they always, always, never say that they have reached somewhere. They will always be very humble. And even if they do mention their experience, you know that they're doing it so you can be helped, so you can be inspired so you can continue on this path towards self-realization. The whole point of Guru Nanak Dev Ji's message was for self-realization. For society to uplift itself, to get rid of the caste system, because how can somebody, when they are this Formless Oneness have a caste at all? How can they have any deep longing for a desire? They don't, they simply are. They simply be. A lot to contemplate upon, a lot to understand that this Truth was beyond time, It's timeless Itself. It's self existent. It doesn't rely upon any one's existence Although Guru Nanak Dev Ji uses the word 'Ik Onkaar', let us not be confused that it is talking about that same Aum, but in a different way. The whole point is to go beyond the words, but to go towards meaning of the words and to rest in that being. Until we rest in that being, we will not move forward in our spirituality. This is the end of the episode. A new episode is uploaded every Sunday. You can follow me on social media to keep getting updates, details are in the show notes and video description below. If you would like to support The Bearded Mystic Podcast, there is a number of ways to do so. Like I mentioned earlier, you can utilize the Patreon to get more content. And again, the linktree will have those details. Please rate and review the podcast. If you have any reviews that you would like to post, you can do so on my website, www.thebeardedmysticpodcast.com. Thank you very much for listening. Take care, see you soon and we'll end with the Shanti mantra again. Aum Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. Namaste.