by Siri Bhrosa Kaur Khalsa, Winter 2017, Anandpur Sahib India.
My personal approach to reading the banis has always been a very practical one. I feel that reading the banis in the vernacular (in English or whatever your native tongue) and pondering on the meaning of the words, either one line or one Pauri at a time, is critical to having a meaningful experience.
The entire story of how to live is illustrated in the banis, in some form or fashion. Throughout the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, we are reminded that this world is not real at all. We are all actors on a stage. To be able to live with that understanding at every moment requires that we first ponder on this thought as we read the words in the Sikh banis.
The Light of the Soul
In Japji Sahib, Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that basically as a person and an identity we do not exist. God is often referred to as the “puppeteer” and human beings the “puppets.” We are the soul and the self (which is God). We are not the body, mind, or the spirit. We are just the breath of God.
In Sukhmani Sahib, Guru Arjan Dev Ji emphasizes repeatedly that there is only God. In the second section of the 18th Ashtapadi he says:
“The disciple who lives under the guardianship of Guru…should meditate on the Divine Name in his heart. He should sell out his mind to the True Guru. Then all objectives of such a devotee will be fulfilled. He who serves without seeking any compensation, he alone finds union with God. He on whom is the Grace of God, O Nanak, he alone gets the guidance of the True Guru.”
Guru Teg Bahadur teaches that the world is all smoke—all Maya. Although we are God’s puppets, we are moreover the light of our souls. There is only God. The Guru says, when you walk one step towards God, God walks 1,000 steps towards you. He is just waiting there for you.
The Siri Singh Sahib Ji drew from the wisdom of our Gurus. He would constantly tell us to just be. God breathes us and speaks through us. We can do nothing. He reminded us to do the inner work of developing a relationship with the self and the soul.
The Siri Singh Sahib reminds us that all gifts come from God. A gift is a gift. You don’t own a gift. Gifts such as, fame, beauty, success, wealth, intelligence, titles, to be a teacher with lots of students, a musician, a poet, a writer, an athlete—if you own these gits as yours (not as something given by God) then you will be operating out of your spiritual ego, which is incurable.
The Siri Singh Sahib said, “God gave you the gift of the mind to make you God-bound. If you have your own mind, then you will be earthbound. You will suffer. It is certain that you will suffer. Your mind is not your mind; it’s God’s gift to recognize, to reconcile, to harmonize with God’s creation.” (August 8, 1977)
The Siri Singh Sahib designed the Aquarian Sadhana to take us to our destination, to apply to our everyday life. He reminds us: “In this time, Piscean values are giving way to Aquarian values. The difference between the two is very simple. Piscean values work from the ego, creating boundaries. Aquarian values have no boundaries; they are Infinite. Aquarian consciousness takes you into your soul so that you can relate to the soul in all.”—The Siri Singh Sahib (from Aquarian Times, Spring 2003)
Siri Bhrosa studied directly under the Siri Singh Sahib, serving as his personal nurse. He bestowed upon her the title of “Spiritual Nurse and Healer.”