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Ik Onkar
23 November 2018 IST
Ik Onkar

Sri Guru Nanakji was the first of the ten great Gurus revered by the Sikhs. During his lifetime, he not only directly realised the Truth, but also tirelessly spread knowledge about Absolute Reality and the path that leads to It. He was in every way a saint of the highest order.
 

 
 

There are two types of saints: One is the type who become silent upon realising the Truth because that state transcends all experiences and, therefore, cannot be expressed in words. The other type consists of those rare ones who, having known the Truth and experienced total self-satisfaction, still do not consider their lives fulfilled until they have set others too, on the path of Truth called Dharma, and made them aware of the ever-existing, all-pervasive Reality which is the true essence of every being.
 
Says Krishna in the Bhagwad Gita: “O Arjuna, I myself first propounded this knowledge to Surya devata, the deity governing the Sun, at the beginning of Creation”, which means the parampara or ‘flow’ of knowledge started with Bhagvan himself; the Lord is the Adi Guru, the ‘first Teacher’. Krishna also says that whenever adharma, ‘unrighteousness’ increases and dharma,‘ righteousness’ needs to be revived, he takes an avatar, that is, he takes up a form.
 
Divine Incarnations
 
With the passage of time, as with all things in this ever-changing world, there is a regular decline in dharma and knowledge of the Truth is lost. It is at such times that saints and sages take birth. When there is an unbridled growth of adharma and materialistic and diabolical forces become too strong, then almighty God Himself takes avatar. But in every age, this work of the Lord is aided by saints and sages. They, indeed, are the nitya avatar, the perennial incarnations of the Lord.
 
When knowledge of the Truth is lost, even though people may be religious, they are not spiritual. Many a time it has happened that the Truth which is the essence of religion is forgotten, and people become trapped in the outward practices of rites and rituals. Considering these rites and rituals to be the true end of religion, they mechanically go through the motions, never discovering, or even seeking to discover, something deeper and more significant… something which helps in the unfolding and evolution of their personality.
 
History has shown that whenever a saint appears, he endeavours to explain the true inner significance of these practices. In every age when orthodoxy increases and the pundits and priests involve blind followers of religion in outward practices of worship such as pujas, pathas and pilgrimages, but fail to reveal to them the essential Truth, at all such times a saint arises to show people the path of Truth.
 
‘IK ONKAR SAT NAM KARTA PURAKH NIRBHAU NIRVAIR AKAL MURAT AJUNI SAIBANGH GURPARSAD’
 
The 15th century BCE was one such period, when Hindus were steeped in orthodoxy and kings of northern India were fighting among themselves. The Moghuls later attacked the country and became rulers of India. They then tried to convert Hindus by force.
 
It was against the turbulent backdrop in the history of Bharata that Guru Nanak took birth. He searched for the Truth during his very childhood and discovered it during his youth. Not satisfied with only his own salvation, however, he moved from place to place, imparting his knowledge to one and all. He went as far as Mecca and Medina, demonstrating that there are no boundaries to Truth…that the Truth is there in all religions and does not belong exclusively to any one religion.
 
Truth is the essence of all religions. It is when people do not recognise this fact that they become fanatics and start fighting with one another in the name of religion. The religion of Truth is only one and the basis of it is prema bhakti, that is, love and devotion. The essence of all religions is love and that is what Guru Nanak taught.
 
 

 
 

‘Fill you hearts with love; stop fighting with each other. Fighting is not the basis of any religion. On the surface religions may appear different, but the Truth which is the basis of all religions is one and can be known only through love. Paramatma, Ishvara, Allah, all are names of that one God. Therefore, worship that one God with devotion. Love all and come to know Truth, which is one.This alone is the goal of human life.’ Therein lies the substance of the teachings of Guru Nanakji.
 
The teachings of Guru Nanak are found in the Guru Granth Sahib along with the works and compositions of many other saints. The Guru Granth Sahib begins with the mul mantra: ‘Ik Onkar Sat Nam Karta Purakh Nirbhau Nirvair Akal Murat Ajuni Saibangh Gurparsad.’ This mul mantra, which is chanted by even little children in devoted Sikh, Punjabi and Sindhi homes, is also considered to be the mangalacharan or ‘invocation’ which is chanted before reciting or studying the composition of Guru Nanakji, especially the Japji Sahib.
 

 
 
 
 
 

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Shibu Chandran
2 hours ago

Serving political interests in another person's illness is the lowest form of human value. A 70+ y old lady has cancer.

November 28, 2016 05:00 IST
Shibu Chandran
2 hours ago

Serving political interests in another person's illness is the lowest form of human value. A 70+ y old lady has cancer.

November 28, 2016 05:00 IST
Shibu Chandran
2 hours ago

Serving political interests in another person's illness is the lowest form of human value. A 70+ y old lady has cancer.

November 28, 2016 05:00 IST
Shibu Chandran
2 hours ago

Serving political interests in another person's illness is the lowest form of human value. A 70+ y old lady has cancer.

November 28, 2016 05:00 IST


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