'When the sun rises the moon leaves sight. When true knowledge illuminates ignorance is eradicated.' - Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee - Ang 791 SGGS

A) “Bhai Sahib Ji, how can one quickly reach the spiritual stage, so that Waheguru resides in one’s mind and salvation is achieved?”

I explained, “It takes the effort of many life times to reach this stage. After taking many births there comes a time when, through the grace of Waheguru, this stage is achieved. There is a need for a lot of simran.” Bhai Sukhdev Singh, “Bhai Sahib Ji, what should one do in this life?” I said, “To meet Waheguru, one has to give up three things:”These three things one must give up are: early morning sleep; another’s wealth and another’s body (i.e. extra-marital relations). “Rise at Amrit vela (early in the morning) and contemplate on the praise of Waheguru.” (Jap Ji Sahib: SGGS p. 2).”If one follows these principles, attends Guru Ji regularly and does simran early in the morning, then Guru Ji helps such a person. If one is unable to get up then Guru Ji sends Shaheed Singhs to wake a Sikh up. When the Shaheed Singhs come to wake up a Sikh, from that day his mind gets totally immersed in simran. When a Gursikh reaches this stage, then Waheguru is very close to him and saves him from the three things mentioned above. These are the first three steps to reach Waheguru. The one who passes these three steps reaches the fourth. Then Waheguru Ji shows many kautaks (unusual experiences) to such an individual. In this stage the physical body remains here and the ethereal body escapes through the dasam duar (tenth gate – see Glossary) to see numerous phenomena of nature and then returns into the physical body again.When the soul returns to the body, then the chant of Waheguru starts in the body in such a way that it is difficult to stop it. If a person reaches this stage then it is important to beware of haumai (ego-centricity or arrogance). “When I started simran, Waheguru made me experience many unusual phenomena. Many Gursikhs reach this stage, but cannot remain unaffected and humble. They tell others and the word spreads. Waheguru Ji is not happy when this happens. It takes a great deal of effort to reach this stage again.

“Indulgence in useless dramatic exhibition of magic, (From such practices) Godly people (refrain because they) are ashamed (to compete with God).” (Bachittar Natak Patshahi 10)

If Waheguru has blessed someone then one should not tell others. The same happened with me at the beginning; I would see kautaks and tell others about them. This was a great loss to me. Then it would take me many months of simran to reach that stage again. If you tell people then you cannot make further progress. Once Giani Amolak Singh Ji advised me, that just as someone who has wealth, will not talk about his bank balance; not even to his own family, so Naam is real wealth, the more silent you remain about it, the better. After that I did not talk to others about my spiritual experiences.

B) “Bhai Sahib Ji, what are the things which interfere with the path of bhagti (meditation on God’s Name)?”

I replied:-Firstly, Gursikhs must have complete faith in the Guru. When doing simran, a Gursikh should regard the Guru as ever present with him.

“My Guru is always with me, near at hand. Meditating, meditating in remembrance on Him, I cherish Him forever.” (SGGS P. 394)

A Gursikh’s mental make-up should be so disciplined that he or she should remain even tempered (unaffected) by pain or happiness. Simran should be done with such conviction as if it is being recited to Guru Ji, Who is sitting right in front of the Gursikh. Some Gursikhs take Amrit but fail the first test set by Guru Ji. If they experience any sorrow they start complaining to Guru Ji. They do not have total faith in Guru Ji. Any good or bad life experience should be regarded as the Will (Hukam) of the Guru. The Will of Guru Ji should be accepted in total faith and gratefully[1]. Pray to Guru Ji:- “Satguru Ji, please spare us any trials (tests); we are not strong and may waver. Give us the strength to accept Bhana (Your Will)” Simran erases all bad deeds of past lives and this life. When they have been totally eradicated, one starts enjoying a state of bliss in simran (due to a clear conscience through repentance, humility and sewa). As Guru Ji says:-”But when the intellect is stained and polluted by sin, it can only be cleansed by the Love of the Name.” (SGGS p. 4) It is only through simran that dirt of sins is washed away from the mind. “The mind of the faithless cynic is like a crazy elephant. It wanders around the forest, distracted by attachment to Maya (see Glossary).” (SGGS p. 415) Guru Ji says, that caught in the vicious cycle of maaya (worldly attachment and craving for more), the mind is charging around like a mad elephant. It is important to control this mind. It is also important to take Khanday Baatay da Amrit (Ambrosial Water (Amrit) of the double edged sword (khanda) and the iron bowl (bata) and accept the Guru’s Hukam (Will and Order). One should follow the orders of the Panj Piaray given during the Amrit Sanchaar ceremony, to get up early in the morning and to recite the Five Banis. The Amrit vela starts at 1.00 o’ clock[2] in the early morning. At first, sleep will trouble the devotee; the cure for that is to sprinkle the eyes with cold water, or do simran aloud. It takes some years to overcome the problem of sleep. It took me 15 to 20 years. Secondly, the mind will wander while doing simran[3]. When some thoughts begin to trouble the mind then start a loud chant of “Waheguru, Waheguru” to bring the mind back to simran. When Naam resides in the swas (each life breath), then thought concentration is achieved. The tongue also stops and nothing is heard by the ears. The soul is enjoying the bliss of Naam (The God’s Being or Holy Presence). The body becomes light. Much simran is needed to reach this stage. It took me 15 to 20 years to reach this stage. That is my experience. Some Gursikhs expect this stage immediately on taking Amrit. Many unusual experiences are felt when doing simran, but it takes a long time to start enjoying the true bliss of Naam (feeling at one with the Divine Being). Thirdly, the five evil influences, lust (uncontrolled sexual desire), anger, greed, attachment and self-centred conceit (ego) trouble the mind. Lust troubles most. It poses a great challenge and it is very difficult to free oneself from this basic human instinct. I too have suffered from it for many years. At times my mind became very unsteady and troubled me. I would keep thinking, “I do simran, I get up early in the morning, but why do these thoughts and dreams trouble me so. Sometimes, I became depressed and would begin to doubt this path of bhagti (meditation on and devotion for Waheguru’s Naam); in great distress, I would pray to Waheguru Ji to free me from the bad dreams. When I became very distressed then a, achint Shaheed Singh (appearance of a martyr Singh outside my thoughts) would console and encourage me and ask me to rise for Naam simran. Then I would take heart again and felt the presence of Satguru with me. I have noticed that these days almost everyone is caught up in maaya’s net in the form of female attraction. Whatever true wealth (of Naam) they save, is looted by the Five bandits (the Five evils mentioned above). The spiritual credit of Naam simran – the true wealth – is lost.

(C) The meaning of subtle (or unseen) haumai(ego).

I explained, that people do not recognise the unseen haomai. After doing research of Bani I understood that sewa, simran, humility and charity (doing good deeds for others) are the four pillars of Sikhi. If the four supports of a bed get infected by woodworm, they become weak from the inside. The effect of unseen haumai is likethat. The symptoms are: to be jealous of someone; to condemn others and to gossip about others; to feel happy listening to own praise; and, to think bad about others. In this way the unseen haumai affects a person from the inside. The victim does not realise this until that person misses the main objective of life. This haumai is most dangerous. “Whoever I see is diseased. Only my True Guru, the True Yogi, is free of disease.”(SGGS p. 1140) Only the Satguru is without haumai. “Naam is the medicine for all types of disease.” (Sukhmani: GGS p. 274) There is only one way to save yourself from this disease of unseen haumai and that is through continuous Naam simran; do this as long as you can and say and pray to Waheguru Ji. “I run around in all directions, searching for the love of God. The five evil enemies are tormenting me; how can I destroy them? (Guru’s response:) Shoot them with the sharp arrows of meditation on the Name of God. O Lord! The way to slaughter these terrible sadistic enemies is obtained from the Perfect Guru.” (SGGS p. 1363) In this Shabad, Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji is praying to Waheguru Ji, “My desire is to recite Your Name, but the Five (lust and anger etc.) are so powerful that they prevent me from doing this.” Waheguru Ji replied, “To control these (evils) and to free yourself from these, shoot the sharp arrows of Naam.” A person should not give up in disappointment. Staguru Ji come to the rescue at times to ensure that a person does not waver. At times one hears kirtan and sometimes feels as if one is in the presence of Guru Ji. The mind experiences these positive aspects of Gursikhi and becomes steady again. Sometimes, one becomes proud about doing simran. Thus, this subtle form of haumai pollutes the mind, for you cannot have two swords in the same sheath. So where there is haumai, Naam cannot reside there. To get rid of haumai, one should go to the Gurdwara and do sewa (service in humility) of cleaning Sangat’s footwear.

(D) “Bhai Sahib Ji, what is the difference between doing simran at home and doing simran in Sangat at the Gurdwara!”

I explain: One has to make a special effort to go to the Gurdwara. If a person walks to the Gurdwara, his feet are purified. Those who go in a car, also spend their time usefully. If one decides to go to the Gurdwara, but is unable to attend, in the Age of Kalyug, even that intention is rewarded because the intention was good. When a person goes to the Gurdwara then the dust of the feet of Sangat touches one’s forehead. The spiritual fruit of cleaning Sangat’s shoes early in the morning is great. Eyes are purified by Guru Ji’s darshan (holy sight) early in the morning. The tongue is purified by simran. The resonance of Naam simran by the Saadh Sangat, increases the effect of simran many times. If one hundred Gursikhs are doing simran the impact on the soul, and, therefore, the benefit, will be multiplied one hundred times. Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji has given the Sangat the highest status.If one does Naam simran in the presence of Guru Ji in the morning then the sins of many previous life cycles are washed away. “The bumble bee is greedy for the flower’s fragrance; finding it, it traps himself in the flower. Just so, the humble Saints love the Lord; beholding the Blessed Vision of His Darshan, they are satisfied and satiated.” (SGGS p. 708) An insect loves the fragrance of flowers but meets its death in the bosom of the flower. However, look at the praise of the Guru, that a Gursikh sitting in His lap (presence) becomes immortal (i.e. is freed from the cycles of birth and death). Many people prefer to sit at home to do simran with own family. In that way they can redeem their own family only but cannot help others. Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji could have done the same, but His main aim was to connect every human being to the Guru’s Charan (holy feet of the Guru, symbolic of concentration on Guru’s Shabad in total humility). The people redeemed by Guru Ji included such sinners as Sajan Tthag, Kauda Rakhash, Vali Kandhari and many such evil doers. Guru Ji went to these people to redeem them. If we, the Sikhs of Guru Nanak sit aloof like yogis, then what is the difference between us and the monastic yogis.

(E) “Bhai Sahib Ji, is it important to live the life of a house-holder?”

Yes, if an individual is seeking salvation then the family life is important. If one attempts to do meditation without being married, then the mind will remain unstable.This is the Age of Kalyug and the unstable mind continuously runs towards worldly attractions and wasteful life style. It takes many years of simran to stabilise the wandering mind. Even then lust is a great evil force and will continue to trouble the mind. Most of the great avatars (saints and prophets) who came to this world, were married. Of the Ten Gurus nine were married (Sri Har Krishan Ji’s Light merged with Waheguru Ji when He was only 8 years old). Sri Ram Chandar Ji, Bhagwan Krishan, Shiv Ji, Mahatma Budh, Brahma and Muhammed Sahib, they all had families. So, it is important to get married. Akal Purakh (Waheguru) established all creation in two parts, for example, man/woman; night/day; birth/death; youth/old age; sunlight/darkness; earth/sky and sorrow/happiness etc. Akal Purakh has established this meaningful system. The day is for working and the night is for resting. Married life is for procreation, so that life may continue. Those saadhus and sants who say that one should not get married are breaking the Divine Law. However, there are other great saints who did not get married because they were sent for preaching religion; they have been sent by Guru Ji Himself. Examples of such holy people are: Sant Baba Atar Singh Ji Mastuanay-waalay, Sant Baba Karam Singh Ji Hoti Mardan, Sant Baba Jwala Singh Ji Harkhowal, Sant Baba Gurmukh Singh Ji Patialay-waalay, Sant Baba Isher Singh Ji Rare-waalay, Sant Baba Bhan Singh Jagraon, Sant Baba Nand Singh Ji Kaleran-waalay and many others; no one can equal their saintliness. They would recite Bani all night and do simran. It is my own experience how troublesome lust (sexual urge) can be when one engages in Waheguru meditation I too spent life as a family man for five or six years. I used medicine too to control this distracting force. From the day I was blessed by Guru Ji’s darshan, my mind did not waver. This was a gift of Naam. My life changed. For controlling this distracting influence, it is necessary to do simran for 10 to 12 hours a day. Then a stage is reached where lust cannot trouble a devotee. Some Gursikhs ask me, “Being family people, how can we do so many hours of simran?” The way this can be done is that if two members of a family sit together to do Paatths of Nit Nem and Sukhmani and simran, then it becomes a Sangat and the reward doubles. In the same way while doing daily chores one should keep reciting all the Bani one knows by heart. Proceeding in this way, with Guru Ji’s blessing, one achieves spiritual success while living a normal family life.”

(F) “Bhai Sahib Ji, tell us something about cult and yogic powers.”

Any Gursikh who does simran early in the morning (Amrit Vela), earns the credit of Guru’s Shabad, he or she certainly acquires spiritual powers (which cannot be explained by worldly science). The first indications of these are through dreams when one sees unusual sights and get some advance knowledge of a future event. For example, one gets to know beforehand of some sad or happy event in the family. If one wants to go and see someone, one knows beforehand if that person is likely to be at home. This has happened with me on occasions. At the next stage many kautaks (unusual happenings) take place and one is not left in any doubt. If a Gursikh, who does regular Nit Nem does not get up in time, the Shaheed Singhs encourage the Gursikh to rise and do Nit Nem. Then Guru Ji makes one experience other kautaks. When a Gursikh is awake and alert, he suddenly starts doing the Paatth of Mool Mantar, Gurmantar (“Waheguru”) or Sukhmani. One experiences a strange pleasant sensation at such a time. Sometimes one is witness, in a dream, to the Prakaash of Guru Ji; the Sangat is there and one can hear kirtan. Ordinary people acquire spiritual powers. However, Gursikhs, after taking Amrit should control such powers. One should not gain worldly benefit from such spiritual powers. One should pray to Guru Ji in order to aspire to the next stage by controlling, and not misusing or announcing such spiritual achievements. Boasting to others about such powers detracts from the spiritual attainment and a great deal more effort is required to reach the same stage. A Gursikh should remember the Guru’s Order. You can impress people with spiritual powers, but suffer a great loss in the wealth of Naam, and you would be turning away from the Guru. It is the Guru’s Order that Gursikhs must not use cult powers. They should rise high above these and attain salvation during this lifetime. Once I decided to go to India. I was staying at Bhai Amrik Singh’s house at that time. Bhai Sahib said, “As you are going to India, do go and see Bhai Bhan Singh Ji. He is a true Braham-giani (one who knows all by being at one with The One ). I went to Bhai Amrik Singh’s village and told his brother, “I would like to do darshan of Baba Bhan Singh Ji.” We both started off for Baba Ji’s darshan. As we were travelling in the bus, Bhai Amrik Singh’s brother told me, “One day Baba Ji said to the Sangat that his time to go to Sach Khand was near.” Braham-gianis know about such things beforehand. Baba Ji wanted to know the views of the Sangat. The Sangat asked, “Baba Ji, if you go to Sach Khand, who would you appoint in your place? If someone is appointed, the sewa and simran will continue.” Hearing this, Baba Ji fell silent. There were two sewadars doing sewa at Baba Ji’s dera (establishment) for many years. Baba Ji decided to make one of them the main sewadar. He decided to test both. The one who had started doing sewa first, had acquired certain powers from Baba Ji. He became too arrogant, got upset with Baba Ji and went and settled in another village. He started using his powers there and the villagers were impressed. They started looking after him. However, after a few days, whatever he tried to do with his powers, the opposite would happen. He lost face. No one bothered about him and stopped serving him food even. He returned to Baba Ji, who smiled and said, “You have come back empty”, meaning, he had lost all that he had earned spiritually. The second sewadar was humble and never displayed his spiritual powers. Baba Ji decided to appoint him in his own place. I was very pleased to do darshan of Baba Ji and we discussed Gurmatt. One who goes beyond yogic displays of power will get closer to Waheguru Ji. This is the first sign that one is on the right path to meeting Waheguru Ji. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s life is like a light-house regarding acceptance of Waheguru’s Will (Bhana). He, gratefully, regarded the “loss” of his four sons as the safe return of what had been entrusted to him by Waheguru Ji. His Ardaas at the time, was an Ardaas of thankfulness! That is Guru Ji’s guidance by example, for us regarding acceptance of sorrow or pain as Waheguru’s Hukam.