Guru Nanak – God-Intoxicated

From a very early age, Nanak was fond of meditation. He would go to a forest and for long hours sit there in rapt silence. He would meditate on the great mystery of life – a mystifying mystery indeed. Where does life come from? How does it work in us? How does the Great Controlling Power sustain us from day to day? Is it possible to contact this Power? These were the vital questions that He posited for Himself. Nanak’s father tended to regard his son as insane. One day he called a physician to attend upon Him. As the latter felt the pulse Nanak said,

Oh physician! I am not mad. I am only smitten with the pangs of Love for God. They call me mad, but I am not. I am simply God-intoxicated.

Nanak was overflowing with the Love and Glory of God. He radiated Love of God to all who came in contact with Him. He was verily Word made flesh and dwelt amongst us. He opened the Inner Eye of those who came to Him and enabled them to witness the Light of God within them. He was the Light of the world as long as He remained in the world.

The Light manifested itself in Him and He guided the tottering humanity with that Light. This Light never vanishes but always remains in each one of us. We have to break the stone walls of our passions and prejudices, of separateness and sectarianism, in order to have a vision of the Divine Light in full splendor.

The Guru, like all other Masters, adviced:

Kindle the Light which is within you. Ye are the children of Light. Be ye lamps unto yourselves.

India and all other countries of the world need heavens’s Light for their guidance. This was the universal call of Nanak to the whole humanity.

He offered the Water of Life and the Bread of Life – the Light and the Nad – as food to the starving souls of the people, having which, nothing else remained to be had. God is Love, and Love is God, and the Way back to God is also through Love. He was Love personified, and inspired Love in everyone.

He always sang:

Teach me how to live immersed in Thy meditation, day and night. Grant, oh Lord, that I may never think of aught save Thee, and that I may sing of Thee ever and evermore.


Oh my heart! Love God as the lotus loves the water, the more it is beaten by the waves, the more its love enkindles; having received its life from water, it dies without water, oh my heart! Love God as the chatrik loves the rain drops, who even when fountains are full and the land green, is not satisfied as long as it cannot get a drop of rain.

And again:

Whichever side I cast mine eyes, there Thou art! Parted from Thee, I crack and die.

To reach God, teaches Guru Nanak, one must walk the way of Love. Love God alone, and if you love others – your children and friends and relatives, love them for His sake. Yearn for Him. Develop within you an intense longing for Him. And when you feel restless for Him, know that it will not be long before He will reveal Himself to you.

He was the Prophet of the Inner Life, and urged that the inner should be expressed, not in creeds and dogmas, rites and rituals, but in humble service of the poor and the lowly. And this service must be inspired by the Love of God and Naam – the Spirit and Power of God.

Nanak says:

Oh Man! How canst thou be free without Love? For the Word of God – the Naam will reveal to thee the Lord within thee, and grant thee the treasure of Love, Love-filled, let the seeker become the Bridegroom’s bride! Filled with Bhakti, the disciple be dyed in the true colour of Love. Such a bride shall never be a widow! For she abideth in the Satguru. On her free head is the jewel of Love! And except the Bridegroom she knoweth none. Awake! Awake, oh seeker, awake! Renounce the little wisdom of the 'ego'. Love-filled, think ever of His Lotus Feet! Do as He biddeth thee to do, surrender thy body and thy soul to Him! Surrender thyself, so mayest thou meet thy Lord!

Guru Nanak was a True Mystic, in communion with God, and perceiving His all-pervading munificent Grace. He exclaimed

Nanak sees the Lord in all His Glory.

Intoxicated with the Love of the Lord, He remained in a state of perpetual ecstasy.

Once Babar offered Nanak a cup of Hemp. The Guru politely declined, saying:

Oh Emperor, the intoxication of this substance is just of an ephemeral nature, but I am ever in a state of Divine Inebriation under the powerful influence of the Holy Naam.

For meditation, Nanak prescribed a regular course of Spiritual Discipline for without it one could not progress on the Path. The first is devotion to Naam.

In the opening lines of Jap Ji, the daily morning prayer of the Sikhs, the God-Power is termed as Sat Naam, or the Eternal Truth. It is in the Name that the life of religion is rooted.

Sow the Name. Now is the season to throw away all doubts and misgivings. Burn to ashes all your silk and velvet fineries, if they take you away from the Name of the Lord.

The Guru then sums up the qualities required of a devotee on the Spiritual Path. Purity of thought, speech and deed is the first prerequisite for the dawn of Higher Life.

Christ too said:

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Purity is verily the key that unlocks the door of meditation, leading to the mansion of the Lord.

Secondly, one must develop patience and perseverance to bear cheerfully whatever good or evil may befall, as a reaction to our actions.

Thirdly, one must have control over one’s thoughts, casting away all desires so as to ensure equilibrium of the mind.

Fourthly, a steady practice every day of the prescence of the Living God by communion with the Word in full faith in the Master-Power above.

Fifthly, one must live in Holy Awe of His presence, stimulating one to untiring effort to achieve Ultimate Union with Him.

And above all, one must love God with such an intensity as may burn up all dross in us, leaving us free to proceed unhampered to His Kingdom.