By Kulbir Kaur
The Supreme Being is Karta Purakh, the Creator, transcendent and All-pervasive. Creation is His manifestation. "True is He and true is His Creation, All has emanated from God Himself", says fifth Sikh Guru Arjan.
Nature has all attributes of its Creator. Vaheguru, the wondrous Master, is the data or giver as well as karta or doer. Nature is but His creation and cosmic play. Nature teaches us humility. You are humble when you are satisfied with yourself, your life and the world around. In all religions, humility is regarded as the first step towards Self-realisation. Lack of humility leads to 'haumai' the feeling 'i am', that is, ahankar, egoism or self-centredness which is considered not only as an inner disease but as root cause of all evil impulses. A man full of haumai or ego, manmukh, is oblivious of the interests of others. He asserts his own needs, and this makes him selfish and arrogant, separating him from other human beings. Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith, gives the example of a Simal tree which is very tall, symbolising an arrogant man, but this tree bears no edible fruit, and so is of no use to other life. He says, "The Simal tree is tall and straight/ But if one comes to it with hope of gain, what will one get?/ Its fruit is without taste, Its flowers have no fragrance/ Its leaves are of no use/ O Nanak, humility and sweetness are the essence of virtue and goodness/ Readily do we all pay homage to ourselves,/ Before others we refuse to bow."
Haumai is a major block in the way of realisation since it is not compatible with the practice of simran or remembering the Lord's Name, the two cannot coexist.
What is the way out, then? How to get rid of ego, the biggest hurdle to spiritual development? The first step is to realise and acknowledge the presence and power of God. Compared to the vastness and scope of God and His Creation what we are, but tiny specks on the Creation canvas? Guru Nanak regards Nature as both the manifestation and abode of God. He feels the presence of the Supreme Being in every object of Nature hills, mountains, valleys and oceans. Nature is a source of joy and peace. He says, "In Nature we see the Lord/ In Nature we hear His speech/ Nature inspires the divine awe/ In Nature is the essence of joy and peace."
Guru Nanak reminds us that each one of them is an embodiment of the divine light, which He again explains with reference to Nature, "The drop of water is in the sea,/ And the sea is in the drop of water, who shall solve the riddle?" Man is, therefore, a part of Nature and God, his goal being to merge in Him. A journey from being a manmukh or ego-centric person to a gurmukh or God-oriented one liberates you from ahankara or ego and all suffering.
Gurmukh meditates upon Nam or Sabda, bani in the form of kirtan, living life as a householder, earning an honest livelihood and sharing it with others. Therefore, it is not surprising that community service is at the very core of Sikhism, entirely relevant in current times.
October 20 is the day of the installation of the Guru Granth Sahib as the Eternal Guru.
Source: Times of India