Awe (Bhae) and Affection (Bhav)

What are called Bhae and Bhay in Sanskrit are described as Bhae and Bhav in Punjabi. These confer great benefits. By having them as an embellishment, one is able to return to one's original Home. The Gurus direct that these should be acquired.

Oh Yogi, awe and love are like two spheres attached to the staff of the body; if you are beloved of the Master the music is struck and in this way the cravings are destroyed.

Ramkali M3, 608

The soul that has awe and affection as its embellishments always enjoys the happiness of her Lord. How are these embellishments acquired? The soul uses the collyrium of awe and puts it in the eyes of affection, shows love for her Lover and becomes the ever happy wife of her Lord.

Oh Nanak, she who embellishes herself with awe and affection adorns the bed of her Lord at all times.

Asa M1, 357-8

With the collyrium of awe she adorns the eyes of love; she is indeed the ever happy wife, who loves her husband.

Tellang M1, 722

When the soul, decorating herself with awe, tastes the juice of the betel leaves of affection and surrenders body and mind to her Lord, it becomes indistinguishable from Him.

When the soul, decorated with awe, tastes the juice of the betel leaves of affection and surrenders body and mind to the Lord, she is ever in happiness, oh Nanak.

Suhi War M3, 788-10

Kabir Sahib says that if one has only a little of this affectionate devotion, it is then no wonder that he meets the Lord. Just as water blends with water and cannot be separated, similarly, the soul that is embellished with awe and affection is drawn by the magnet of the Lord and merges in Him.

To a person conversant with the practice of love and devotion, it is no wonder that just as water mingles with water and does not separate, so the weaver (Kabir) unites with the Lord.

Kabir, Dhanasri, 692

It is truly said that the drop by blending with the ocean becomes the ocean.

What a beautiful picture has been drawn of awe and affection in the Jap Ji (prayers in the Sikh holy book, the Granth Sahib).

Guru Nanak Sahib uses the illustration of a goldsmith's shop. He says that in the shop of purity of body and mind the devotee should patiently beat the anvil of wisdom with the hammer of knowledge. He should kindle the fire of the practice of austerities with the bellows of awe. He should then make nectar in the crucible of affection, distilling it by constant remembrance of the reality of the Lord. That is the real factory in which the Shabd is generated.

There the goldsmith patiently hammers the anvil of wisdom with the hammer of knowledge, kindles the fire of austerities with awe, and moulds the reality in the vessel of love.

Jap Ji, 8-7

Guru Nanak Sahib further illustrates the necessity of love by another metaphor. When the time of ultimate union arrives, the tiller should cultivate the land with the plough of humility using contentment as the bullocks. In other words, he should engage in practice and irrigate the ground of love with the water of purity. The crop of spirituality will then sprout.

Let Love be the ground, purity the water, truth and contentment the bullocks, humility the plough, mind the tiller, remembrance of the Lord the soil, and the harvest, union with the Lord.

Ramkali M1, 955-4

Awe and love are mentioned together as well as separately by the Gurus. One always thinks of and remembers the one he loves. When one loves a beautiful and divine Being, the remembrance of this Being always attracts him and remains present in his inner mind. Such love, which is tinged with awe, becomes true affection. When there is such love, affection grows.

Oh Nanak! when there is love, there is affection.

Asa War M5, 463-14

Guru Amar Das Sahib says that there can be no devotion without awe. Without awe there can be no devotion, and there can be no love for the Name.

Suhi War M3, 788

Without awe no one gets love, and without love no one gains salvation.

Tukhari M4, 1116-1

Both awe and love go together. Just as the sky is above the earth and day follows night, similarly, owing to one's awe of the Master, fear which is filled with reverence and affection is born. The Master is an incarnation of the Lord; therefore awe and affection for him are awe and affection for the Lord. We should strengthen our devotion through these qualities.

He turned earth and sky into His dwelling place, and passed his days and nights in fear and love.

Belawal M1, 839-4

Always think of the Master with love and affection, and strengthen your devotion with awe.

Majh M3, 112-16

There should be awe and affection for no one else. The store of the Lord's devotion is limitless and inexhaustible and it is through His Grace alone that one can have awe and affection. Only that person to whom the Lord is kind can be dyed in this colour.

Oh Nanak, he alone has awe, love and affection on whom You have mercy. Your store of devotion is inexhaustible. He whom You love receives it.

Tukhari M4, 1116

He Himself dyes the devotee in His own colour. Through the Shabd of the Master one is dyed in the colour of the Lord. The mind and body are dyed, as is the garment. Awe helps in the dyeing process.

Majh M1, 114-5

But he who has perverse vision cannot have awe and affection. If vision is perverse, there is no awe and love; if you kill the ego, you can realise the Name.

Gauri M1, 153

All the desires of the mind are fulfilled through awe and affection. Man is dyed in a beautiful colour, and the false colour of the world cannot affect him. The melody of the Shabd or Naam is heard, and he attains salvation. Without awe and affection, death and rebirth continue.

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