This is an excerpt from a gurdwara lecture by the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan on November 19, 1989 in Los Angeles, California.
There is a concept in Sikh Dharma. It’s a very unusual concept. Chardhi kala—rising spirit. If you want to have an equal literal meaning of this, it only means rising spirit. In other words, if you have a Christian background, it is called resurrection, continuous resurrection. Not just one, but all the time, every time, in every minute. And, if you have any religious faith or acknowledgment or touch with it, it’s a very simple concept. It has no duality about it. It means you rise to the occasion as it confronts you. Rise, be above it. If you look at it, there is no way that anybody can guarantee you that your life will not face with different non-tranquilities.
Nectar in life is tranquility, inner tranquility, inner peace, mental peace. We recite Gurbani as it is. Gurbani is just a permutation and combination of certain sounds that brings tranquility inside. Now, the people who want to make money out of it they say that you have to pronounce it right, you have to know it right, you have to have understanding, you have to know the meaning. They add so many conditions that a normal person will freak out. He will not understand why he should read Gurmukhi.
Why should he read Gurbani? Why should he understand? What is it in it? It is a simple, computerized, essential combination where you read in such a way that your tongue and your upper palate will touch the meridians and the hypothalamus will stimulate you to a certain state of strength. If it gets better, you shall have more tranquilized self-examining essence and individual strength to understand as you face the day or as you face the moment. That’s what life is about.
It’s a very practical way to look at life. If somebody says that they have life, and their life is full of problems—or full of no problems—both are wrong. There is no opportunity that you can decide that it shall be the way you decide it to be because 70 percent of things are other than what you know or what you plan. Realizing that part of life, let us understand what Guru says to us. It is that perfect symbol in our tranquility in ourselves.
Without tranquility of self, you don’t have a chance to face even an ordinary thing in your life. Forget about big deals. You need that tranquility, and you cannot force yourself from the outer stimulation to reach inside. The inside that reaches inside—which is created inside— remains inside. It’s a medical fact that anything you inject from outside into the body, the body resists. Actually, when they transplant an organ in the body, they use a heavy tranquilizer so that the body may not reject even a very healthy organ whose very existence is dependable. There is an automatic existence in the body to reject an outside influence.
It is not unusual, but there is a possibility that you can have inside influence within yourself to bring that tranquility that peace, that grace, which you will need in your life and that is what Gurbani is all about. If a man is a Guru, that man shall talk to you but you shall not be in a position to repeat the words of a Guru. This is one opportunity in the whole world where you can become the Guru by reciting the word of the Guru and making your inner life listen to it.
That is Siri Guru Granth. That is why we call it Siri Guru Granth. Not that it is a holy book. It is a stupid unconscious relationship that the man has not established a relationship between himself and the Guru. If you meet the highest man, the holiest man all you can do is listen to his speech. The eardrums will get the vibration and permutation and combination and then there may be something in your neurons of the brain that can be effective. That’s partially true and that’s all a personal thing means. High power, high frequency, theta projection a man can give; how concentratedly the theta projection of that man is [allows] you [to] receive and create [an] equal theta vibration. Let’s put it on the science. There is no big deal.
You sit behind the Guru and you read the words of the Guru. Your theta self becomes theta self to pronounce the Guru. I mean it’s so simple. It’s so direct. It’s so realistic. And the very effect is you need calmness and quietness and peace. You will find that people who read Siri Guru Granth will doze. That’s the bad part of it—we should be alert. But doziness will come automatically because inside the irritation, the subjection, the projection, the unnecessary, unwanted self-commotion will start leaving you and you will be calm, quiet. In this calm and quiet, you will say:
kaytia dukh bhukh
and then you will start going down.
People do feel they can’t read the Guru. This is the normal reaction. I can’t read the Guru because it puts me to sleep. It’s not that so many people will ask me. Yes, it will put you to physically sleep. Anything that can put you physically to sleep and awaken your mind is the way to see your soul. The question is how can the Siri Guru Granth be a Guru? It’s not a man. It’s not a person. It doesn’t talk. It doesn’t talk outside. It does talk inside and we need a Guru for inside not outside.
What we have to have a Guru for outside? The whole world has tried outside Guru and outside Guru works in a very facade way. It’s a satisfaction: “I have a Guru.” We need a Guru that works inside us and when we read the Siri Guru Granth it is an affair within our inside. That is what very challenging to people and an ordinary person doesn’t understand why reading the Guru puts you to sleep. Why? The answer is very simple. You are not aware how irritated, how dissatisfied, how unqualified you are for the situation. Your mind is irritated. Your body is irritated. Your psyche is irritated. Your spirit is not functional to the point of your health and strength. You need strength. Chardi kala, phoenix rises from the ashes. Man rises from the adversity. This universe—our universe—is the university in which you graduate against adversities.
The problem is you think richness is the answer. Normally, we feel that if we will become rich that is the answer. Richness will have rich problems. Poverty will have poor problems. For a poor man his problem is in his food, water, shelter, little love, little affection. He doesn’t want to be disrespected and insulted. Have you seen the rich man’s world? A rich man wants the whole world. He wants 360 dishes, of which he cannot eat one. He wants wardrobes he can’t wear. He has to decide how many pounds of diamonds he needs on his crown and then his neck cannot carry it.
The rich man has rich problems. Poor man has poor problems. Meek man has a sneak way to reach his own happiness. That is why to be meek and humble is the way, which even Christ said, which Guru Nanak said, which everybody says. What is there to become meek? Meek doesn’t mean non-realistic. Meek means to be realistic but be very melty, very humble, very flexible. Anything that loses its flexibility is breakable and a man is supposed to be not breakable.
Within your life there is not supposed to be any moment in your life when somebody can break you. It’s not that you can be broken in your faith. You should not be broken in your thought. You should not be broken in your heart. You should not be broken in your head. You can’t have a cracked head. You cannot be neurotic. You can’t do a lot of things. You need in you that super strength.
Our answer to our relationship and our love is to create a drama. That’s how love is understood by mankind. It’s not that east is different from the west, or north is different from the south. Stupidity is stupidity whether it is on the North Pole or on the South Pole. It’s practiced in Siberia or it is practiced in Sri Lanka. Stupid is a stupid wherever you can find staidness. Stupid person is a very simple person you should understand. Stupid person has three qualities that you can recognize. His communication or his relationship, or we call it “bracket projection,” will be either based on a facade or a drama or trauma.
Normally we all deal with each other as a facade and when you deal as a facade it is all expected behavior. You profile your behavior, but this is your expected behavior, that is not your real behavior and somebody who is dealing with you is dealing with your facade. He is not dealing with you. That’s why later on you don’t even remember what the man said or what you said, because nobody really talks to anybody. When you even talk you are cautious, you are already protecting. You are already covering; you are already there. “We need a Guru that works inside us and when we read the Siri Guru Granth it is an affair within our inside.”
So Guru in his language tells you:
ay man mayriaa too sadaa rahu har naalay
and he pushes you towards totality. He asks you to be with totality. Sometimes when I used the word “totality” you think totality means the whole universe. No. Totality is you. You are the total totality that can be felt, seen, understood, and touched.
Today in the medical science they have found out having yoga and meditation you can totally reverse all your symptoms of disease to health. It’s a time to understand that the mental stink is much worse than physical. You do not know if you are filled with mental garbage and you are clogged and littered with mental garbage.
Mentally, you are not in a position to communicate. Mentally you cannot have tolerance. Mentally, you cannot explain. You do not have any chardhi kala, and then on a physical façade you can’t go very long. Somewhere it will break up. Somewhere you will spill the beans and that’s not what Nanak wants. Therefore, Nanak cautions that you are holy man.
You have nine holes and he deals with each hole in Anand Sahib—the Song of Bliss. In it, he deals with the ears, he deals with the tongue, and he deals with the eyes.
“O, tongue you are creating tasteless situation.” “O, my eyes without God see nothing else.”
So each organ, each hole in us is addressed in the Anand Sahib. This bani tells about life. It tells about soul. It tells about eyes. It tells about ears.
“O, my listening device, my ears, you have been made to sit there to listen to the truth, not to the lies.” “In this being, in this body, the sound of prana not of air, prana is being sung.”
So the praan pathi is playing the sound in the praan mathi. That’s how paathi and maathi accepted the pranic body. So Guru Nanak deals in that detail with that authentic self and reaches every man whether he is white, yellow, pink, black, short, small, deformed, or beautiful—whatever you want to call it. It makes no distinction.
We have to realize why we are reciting the protocol, the print of the Siri Guru Granth. It is important because it shall reprint in us the flexibility, the tranquility, and the spirit through which we can excel. It is the perpetual excellence through applied consciousness that makes you fulfilled a being— which makes you a sage. The facade, the drama, and the trauma will work for the time being. It shall work for one day. Tomorrow again we shall be empty.
Guru Nanak answers the questions. He knows the questions and he answers the questions.
Bani Guru, Guru Hai Bani, Vich Bani Amrit Sarey (Bani is Guru, Guru is Bani. All nectars contained in it.)
If there is nectar inside, then the outside shall be nectar. Every sector of your life will become nectar when there is no façade—only nectar. Those who do not produce any nectar inside are besieged by ambitions, temptations, desires, and adversities—just name it. Our fort is our own radiance and within that fort we need that radiation to just be alive and we need that nectar to be in excellence.
In my privilege, I would like to share something with you. If you ever have a misunderstanding that the outside world will be according to your control, it’s not true. It’s a wrong idea. The outside world is controlled by the outside. That’s why you call it outside world. You can’t control weather. Weather can control you. You cannot control earthquakes. Earthquakes control you. You cannot control outside love, which may be a flying kiss or it may be slap on the face. Outside force is outside force but you can control your inside. That is given to you and that is where we start.
Anand bhaiaa mayree maaay, satguroo mai paaiaa (O, my mother I have bliss inside.)
In this line from Anand Sahib, we are talking to the mother. Mother is the Dharthi Maa— Mother Earth. In Siri Guru Granth Sahib, everywhere that the word mother comes it is relevant to the fact of “Pavan Guru Pani Pita Maata Dharat Mahat.” Our mother is the Dharth, the earth. This word means “graceful.” Earth is graceful because it reflects the heavens. Planet earth is the one planet in the entire existence that is the reflection of the entire psyche of not only of the universe but of the universes of universes of the universe.
We have to live with the understanding of what [Guru Amar Das says]:
satgur ta paaiaa sahj saytee (I have found out in an easy way.)
Sahaj means very easy, very smooth and harmonious. My mind is in bliss. Why? Because within myself—my psyche, my being—within my radiant body I have my own nectar. I have created that. I have stimulated my tattvas. I have resolved the unity of my gunas. I have resounded and I have really re-processed my chakras and I find myself in absolute bliss and that is what Anand is about, that’s what bliss is about and that’s what the Song of Bliss is about. It deals with you in detail. It deals with you personally. It deals with you affectionately. Guru deals with you being as you are. A human Guru will have feelings in ecstasy but shall be a human. A subtle Guru shall have the feelings of a human but also the subtleties of the human. It is the subtlety of the human being that reaches us to the reality of being human.
I am apologetic today because yesterday I gave a long talk, though it was very good. It took a toll on my throat and I did defy my own rule of the Tantric day, but it was essentially to be done, so Guru will forgive me and Sangat will forgive me for being limited. I wanted to expand this thought with you the about the Siri Guru Granth.
Why is the Siri Guru Granth Sahib important? Why it is more realistic? Why it is being with us? Because it does what nobody else does. I do feel that majority of the people who read the Siri Guru Granth Sahib and do weekly paath, some of them even do not understand how good a return it can give you. Being alert physically is just being mentally super. It is the mental clarity we have to create. Mind is just like a person who has glasses. You don’t have to fight with that guy. Take away his glasses and leave him alone. What can you do? He won’t even see you. So he is blind. To remove mental blindness we need the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. We need to see the God, the totality, the essence. With these words and Guru’s grace and God’s blessings I hope everything will be all well.
Now as a nation you are facing the facts of life. Now you are you. Now you will be walking into the valley of prosperity where you will be tested while being prosperous, while being successful. You must keep the inner reality strongly with you so that life may not become insensitive, boring, and useless.
A period of prosperity is very dangerous. A period of calamity or adversity is very simple because that’s what you face and you grip yourself with all the force together, but in prosperity you sometime lose the inner sight. Anybody who has been invited to a dinner to somebody’s house will not think about what is in his own refrigerator, because he is forgetting that the next day he has to get up in his own kitchen and has to have his own breakfast. So prosperity does that. It creates Maya. It creates illusion. It creates a different understanding. Within that understanding of prosperity, if reality is maintained inside, if death is maintained inside then (as Guru Nanak says in Japji Sahib):
Jinee naam dhiaaiaa, gaay maskat ghaal, Naanak tay mukh ujalay kaytee chhutee naal.
Those who have meditated on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, and departed after having worked by the sweat of their brows, O, Nanak, their faces are radiant in the Court of the Lord, and many are saved along with them.
Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh