The Destiny of a Gurumukh


This is a hymn of Guru Amar Das Ji, and He is saying that there is no greater good fortune that the opportunity to serve a Satguru. What is a Satguru?

He Who knows the Sat Purush is a Satguru; His company brings salvation; oh Nanak, sing the praises of God.

Complete freedom is gained through keeping the company of One Who has come to know the Lord Himself.

Seeing the Satguru, and taking His initiation, he gained the Inner Knowledge in full awareness.

What is initiation? It means to bring out that which is hidden in full revelation.

The Satguru is the image of Truth.

He has released His soul from the mind and senses and has become the mouthpiece of God. He who is asleep cannot awaken another. Everyone is sleeping at the level of mind and senses; all are lost in illusion and need the help of One Who is free. How many people remember God for His sake alone? We want Him to fulfil our worldly desires, or we hope for happiness in the afterlife. He resides in each being, and when He sees that a child cannot live without Him, then He makes the meeting with the Satguru possible – He in Whom He has Himself manifested. There should be no guile in the heart – one should have a True Desire to serve, and sincere humility – then,

The Guru Himself will come and meet him.

The Guru appears when the disciple is ready, and greatly fortunate are those who have contacted God within, during their lifetime.

What does service to Satguru mean? Mere lip-service, saying ‘Ram, Ram,’ or merely putting one’s head on His feet, is no service. It is a mockery. But he who takes his Guru as the ever-present Power of God within him, lives in awe of that, and knows that Power has constant observation over all his thought and action, will he ever sin? Furthermore, he will hold heartfelt respect for his Satguru’s words – words are the Satguru. This kind of devoted services will achieve salvation.

Christ says,

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

It is the Satguru’s wish that we make our lives pure and good: we should never squeeze the blood of other beings or cheat our fellow out of his share. Man should be of use to man. Truly speaking, a real man is one whose life is a service to others. If you love God, is not God everywhere? We are all brothers and sisters in God. How can you say you love the Master, and hate your brother? The cure to many problems of this world is a sweet tongue imbued with humility. Even if you follow the Satguru, yet have not served Him, you will not get the full benefit of His company.

If you obey the Satguru one hundred per cent, then you will realise what God is.

God is man minus desire. Man is God plus desire. If one can become desire less, through the silence of the heart, that very silence will sprout forth into Love. The same silence will become vocal. Many are fortunate enough to come to a Master, but they serve Him half-heartedly – with five, ten, or twenty per cent sincerity. You will rarely find one who serves one hundred per cent. After seventy or more years searching, Guru Amar Das received the priceless gift at the feet of Guru Angad, Who removed the veil of illusion from His eyes and revealed the Truth unto Him.

He Who is true, know Him to be the Truth.

The Lord is ever-existent. Truth, Naam and Shabd are the same thing, but you can say there are two meaning: Naam is the Truth itself, and Naam is also the name we call Him. Regardless of the number of names given to Him, nevertheless He is One.

Repeat, oh mind, but one Name.

So Naam-Power is One, for God is actually nameless, but when He came into expression that expression was called Naam or Name.

By the Naam, Khand and Brahmand are controlled.

But we have no awareness of that Naam without the Spiritual Operation performed by the Satguru. Naam is controlling not only each soul in each body, but the whole vastness of creation. It is know as Naam; it is also known as Shabd, the Word, Kalma, Sraosha, Nad, and other terms, but regardless, It remains the same Power. And He is the True Name to Whom all these names were given. A God-realised Person can rejoin you to that True Name, and then for twenty-four hours a day you can be with that God-Power.

Let anyone join me back to God!

Guru Amar Das said, when finally He arrived at His Guru’s feet,

I got very tired, earning these karmas; but then the Satguru came without my effort.

If we come to a Satguru, we should do our very best to serve Him – do something towards earning this rare gift He gives. He gives us the food for our soul, but we do not eat it; what are we doing with this precious gift? Joyfully we take it, but what do we do with it?

“The Giver of permanent happiness resides within: therein is the True Word.”

God resides in each being. It is the True Sound, the True Name – the single spoken Word. Those who are One with It overflow with its intoxication; so just as the flowers bloom in the spring, so any-one whose soul gets connection to the Naam will blossom forth with new life.

When you meet the Satguru, you sell the mind.

If you take the medicine He offers, your life will blossom into fullness; there will be peace, and Love.

“With His Mercy, you meet the Guru; the Lord’s Name permeates your being.”

After His long search, Guru Amar Das gives some indication of His feelings by saying,

Oh forgetful mind, why so sorrowful?

After so many years of waiting, there should be no regrets for that, but only gratitude in the heart, that at last the search is over. The whole world is full of gurus – if you pick up a stone, most probably you’ll find a guru underneath, but we must remember that a True Guru is met only by those upon whom the Lord bestows His Mercy and Grace.

“If God’s name, the permanent Giver of Peace, resides within, the Shabd fills the mind with bliss.”

Only by a taste of the higher contact can the mind become content forever. It will leave the lesser worldly tastes –

Oh friend (mind), leave the tastes of this vast arena of lower desires; drink the Nectar of Naam.

It is the very Bread of Life –

Without tasting this Nectar, life is wasted, bereft of happiness.

And how does one find this Nectar?

Pride, force or strength of intellect availeth nothing; only serve the Sadhu.

You will get nothing by giving orders, offering cash, or trying to force the issue; you can receive by True Service to the Master, the manifested God in man – the Word, made flesh.

“If He shows Mercy, He will make the meeting; ego and attachment are burned in the fire.”

In the Gurbani, it is written,

The Guru’s pleasure is like a permanent springtime.

When we receive His gift, it is like an everlasting breath of spring to the yearning soul, which then revels in the Spiritual Sustenance. There are two kinds of devotion: one at the sense-level, and devotion of the Gurumukh.

Take the Lord’s Name through the Guru’s Word.

The I-hood is banished by the latter, not by the former, because

In the Gurumukh’s bhakti, the Sound is easily audible.

You cannot become absorbed into anything until all is stilled; for that the Naam is necessary.

In the heart, the Light is apparent when you are absorbed.

That Light, which is already within you, then bursts forth into brilliance. And into what should we become absorbed?

That intoxication of God’s Naam, through the Guru’s teaching.

That Naam will take you back to God; Light and Sound are the Way back to God. It is sometimes called mysticism, and it is also called the Surat Shabd Yoga, but it is a natural practice which either child or venerable adult can equally do. Other practices are far too lengthy for this age. In Patanjali’s yoga, for instance, one must transcend through six centres, one by one, before one can catch the Sound. So it is a wonderful concession that God has given in this age, that He has made it possible for anyone at any age to walk the Spiritual Path. In the olden days, a man had to spend many years at the Guru’s feet before he would be given anything – in these days, who can do this? The Guru must now first give something, and then the disciple learns to purify his life. You will be able to observe that the more the Kali Yuga – Negative Age – increases its force, the more Grace does the Guru bestow – to save any soul.

“He who is of one colour enjoys perpetual freedom; He has no fight with anyone.”

He has right understanding; He has full awareness of the Oneness of all the life. He remains unaffected through each passing phase, while the ripples on the surface of the ocean of life come and go. He works endlessly, tirelessly in the field of action – yet is above the effects of action. The meaning of the words neh karma is to do the actions yet remain actionless, so those who cannot see the true facts cannot become neh karma. Only by seeing the action of the Lord in everything can one attain this state.

He is neh karma who is connected with the Shabd.

No matter how we emphasise that we are not the doer, yet there is always something inside that says we are.

“Without serving the Satguru, there is dense darkness; without the Shabd, no one can cross it.”

No matter what practices are done, the darkness will remain; but in the Shabd there is Light, in the Shabd there is Sound. If a person is not connected, how will he see and hear? So only by meeting the Satguru and receiving His blessing can this darkness be dispelled. As long as the soul does not rejoin the Lord, it will have to continue coming and re-coming to the world of action.

“The True Profit from the Shabd is gained when he gets True Renunciation.”

He who follows this advice will lose all his attachments; his boat will be in the water, but the water will not be in his boat! He will live in the world, and yet out of it. He will see that the Power of God, you may call it the flowing pen of God, is writing out the destinies, according to the karmas: birth, death, poverty, riches, sickness, health, and so on. Such a soul has become God-intoxicated. His earthly family members go through birth and death, yet he experiences no exultation or sorrow. He who is truly connected to the Shabd gains these virtues without effort – he becomes the very abode of all virtues.

“All happiness and unhappiness is written from beyond; the higher life, He Himself gives.”

Life and death are automatically governed by God’s own laws. For instance, a person has to live within the laws of his country of residence. If I must visit America, I must live according to their laws while I am there. Those who come to stay in India must do likewise. So whosoever comes to this world, the Divine Law is: As you sow, so shall you reap.

“If He is Gurumukh, He is unsusceptible to the vicissitudes of life; Manmukh is undependable.”

The Gurumukh is:

He Who is One with the Guru.

And the Guru? He is the Word, made flesh.

He manifests Himself in the Guru, and distributes the Shabd.

He is not separate from the Shabd; He joins others to It. But a worshipper of the mind and senses – the manmukh – continuously falls. What can be said of the rishis and munis of the past who perhaps fell only once or twice, when we stumble at each step we take. Whoever lives under the influence of the mind and senses will fall. You can compare it to the embers of a fire which, although they seem dead and are covered with ashes, yet will flare into life again with a little breeze. But if water is poured on the fire – then? This is what happens to the Gurumukh.

Once Guru Arjan sent one of His disciples to stay with another disciple in Gujrat, an Indian state near Bombay. – My Master also sent people to me sometimes, saying ‘Go brother, stay near him for eight or ten day.’ – So Guru Arjan gave this disciple a letter of introduction in which was written, Keep the bearer of this letter with you for a few days. At the same time he arrived and presented the letter, his host was busy preparing a funeral bier, so he asked him, What is this for? The host replied, Oh, it will be useful. After a few days a marriage was arranged for the host’s son, and after the ceremony at the bride’s house thy were returning home, when the son collapsed and died. When they brought the body into the house, the father went to his workroom and brought out the bier he had made. In amazement, the visiting disciple said, When you knew that your son was going to die, why did you allow him to marry? The host replied, It is the give and take of the karmas. The disciple considered carefully and realised that when the man had been making the bier, he had shown no sorrow, and when his son was married he had shown no rejoicing, Who then was he? He was a Gurumukh, the mouthpiece of the Guru.

Guru is the mouthpiece of God, and he who respects the Guru’s every word will assuredly gain salvation. But a Guru like this is found only through Great Destiny.

Now He tells of the manmukh:

“He is a manmukh who does not know of the Shabd; and does not fear the Guru’s greatness.”

The manmukh has no knowledge of the ever-existent God; but if you ever come to know what a Guru is, then there is nothing left to learn. The Guru teaches this with Love, with persuasion – after all, they are His children! If a child is covered with filth, he cannot kill it. Under the influence of the mind, the manmukh has little understanding; he does not obey the Guru, he does not live for the Guru’s pleasure, but he is concerned with his own will. The reason? He has little or no connection with the Shabd. When a person gets the connection, he should keep it intact and not break it; only then will all the virtues come, without effort. The precious attribute of True Humility will grow in his heart.

Just listening to the Shabd is a treasure of all virtues.

“Without fear, how can the fearless realisation of Truth come? The Lord of death has rule over such.”

We never stop to consider that the Guru is forever with us; he sees all our actions. We are under the impression that He knows not what we do, so we do whatever we feel like doing. We even tell lies in front of Him. If we could only know Him for what He truly is!

Guru is the Power; Guru is the Shabd.

There is no difference between Shabd and Guru, but we hold no value for Him. He will never say, ‘I am the Guru,’ but always says that the Power of the Lord is working in him, and that is the Guru. Sometimes we stand before Him and say, ‘No, Maharaj, that way is not right, it should be done this way.’

It is a pitiable state of affairs.

“The Lord of Death cannot take a disciple; he cannot come near the Guru’s Shabd; hearing the Shabd, he runs far away.”

Yam Raj, the Lord of Death, is so strong that no one can overpower him; but the Guru’s Shabd is all-powerful and so those who are connected to the Guru have full protection, and he cannot approach them. This shows something of the greatness of the Shabd. And yet Yam Raj was made by the same God-Power. Why did the Lord make him? For His own work. But it has been seen that if a Satsangi who has the real connection with Naam, in whom the Naam has manifested – has appeared –, sits at the deathbed of any person, even a non-initiate, while he remains there, the Lord of Death will not come to claim that soul.

“God is the Master of all; poor Yam, what can he do?”

So who is concerned with the Lord of Death? Those who do bad actions, and those who do good actions, for his duty is to reward the righteous and punish the wicked; but he respects and fears those in contact with the Naam, even though his own appointment is from God Himself. He is something like an appointed judge who declares, ‘In view of the fact before me, I order that you shall be hanged until dead.’

“He is tied with the orders, he works by the orders, he lives by them.”

He will go on punishing and rewarding until the people’s karmas are furnished – good or bad. But he who becomes the seer is free from this powerful Lord. So is it not a Great Fortune to meet a Satguru? But unfortunate we are when we take His initiation and then do not obey Him. Even then the Guru’s blessing is such that no matter how disobedient a child is, yet it will never come under the rule of Yam Raj again. What a concession this is!

When the soul realises, the records of Dharam Raj (another name for the Lord of Death) are burnt.

The back records of the individual are transferred from the Negative Power into the hands of the Positive Power – the Guru.

Kabir Sahib says,

Oh Kabir, may I meet thousands of sinners, yet never one without a Guru.

All are sinners, yet to keep the company of those who have the Guru’s blessing is far better, for the Naam will finish up the sins. This is another indication of the value of Naam. So we should now begin to earn it: become the controller of who we are and what we are, and with this all fear of death will go. A child cries at birth, and when he leaves he should have good reason to rejoice.

“Gurumukh becomes one with the Shabd, which is creator of all; and all is His manifestation.”

All is the Guru’s or God’s play – inside and outside – for the Guru is the Shabd itself.

When Guru Nanak was asked Who His Guru was, He replied,

My Guru is the Shabd, which is the Creator of all.

“Only when you become a Gurumukh do you know the Truth; this is the gain from the Guru.”

Whoever sits before a God-realised Person in all sincerity, in His company he will come to understand what the Shabd is, and what is the True Gain from the Guru.

“Gurumukh knows the Lord of all karmas; in all four ages He proves the teaching of the Shabd.”

The Gurumukh sings the praises of Shabd in all ages. St John tells us that,

In the beginning was the Word.

All creation was made afterwards. Beware of those who declare themselves Gurus, for a True Guru will never say this; instead, He sees that God is the Doer. Sometimes it might be that an intoxicated man may murmur, I am God, I am God – that is something different, but there is no comparison between the Ocean and a drop from that Ocean. The Sun and its ray are incomparable. When the ray realises what it is, deep humility comes, and he is humble. Such realisation of the Lord is like an over-laden fruit tree, the weight of which bows the branches to the earth. He sees that some Power is working, and even if brickbats are thrown at him, yet he will give his blessing.

Shankara said,

There is no difference between You and me; but the wave is of the ocean, the oceans cannot be of the wave.

“Gurumukh does not die, He is not born; Gurumukh is One with the Shabd itself.”

How can One Who is One with the Shabd be born, and how indeed can He die? He returns to His Father’s Home, and does not come back to the world. If He does happen to return, it is not as a prisoner but as a doctor: a guide to humanity.

“Gurumukh defines the ever-existent, imperishable Naam.”

He gives the right understanding; he sees and then speaks.

Without seeing, an explanation is like a blind man’s knowledge.

“With one Name, salvation swept the four ages; that Name is called the Shabd.”

The Naam-Power, though one and the same, is know by different names.

Oh my mind, repeat the One Name.

When the Master gives the contact and opens the Inner Eye, what is outside will be the same as is seen inside.

“The Gurumukh is in permanent peace and bliss; in His heart does the Naam reside.”

So contact with Him will also give an Inner Peace and coolness. He is the Bread and Water of Life. He is saturated with the Love of God – is desireless. The ups and downs of the world may come and go, yet He never worries; even if His body breaks into pieces, yet will He be whole. Daily He leaves His body; He dies daily, and death holds no sting for Him. Christ told the people to take up the cross daily.

Mira Bai says,

My Beloved is resting on top of a scaffold – how can I meet Him?

How can those who are sitting at the sense-level meet the Lord? A hundred wise men will think alike, no matter what the difference in their language or mode of speech. He who has unravelled the mystery can give an experience to others, who by daily increasing it, will become as wise as He. Do not all loving fathers desire their children to be even more successful than themselves? And which child will achieve that success? He who keeps the father’s commandments.

“Gurumukh becomes conscious of the Truth itself; untouched by death, birth and re-birth.”

He lives on an elevated level, He finishes the give and take of the children, He is fully awakened and clearly sees the True Condition of this illusory word.

“Gurumukh bhakti (the devotion of the Gurumukh) is accepted at Court; He is absorbed in the True Shabd.”

God accepts His devotions, because He is drenched in the Lord’s colour. In Him, God has manifested; and He lives in God. His angle of vision is different from others: He has realised Truth itself.

“Night and day He sings, and goes with ease to His home.”

Constantly absorbed in the Love of God He can go to His True Home any time He likes. While singing the praises to God here on earth, yet when He goes home He is One with Him.

“The True Satguru reveals the Shabd; daily do the Bhakti, and keep your attention on Him.”

The Satguru makes audible the Inner Sound, which is above the five senses. Bhai Gurdas Ji says that if one wants to hear the Sound, one must rise above the five elements. And the more you transcend, the more will be revealed unto you.

Only he who goes high enough can know Him Who is the highest.

“If you sing the Song of the Lord, forever will the virtue of tranquillity reside in you.”

The Guru Sahib says that He is overflowing with joy to take His Name. By His Grace, everything blossoms.

He on whom rests the Guru’s Grace is perpetually in bloom.