How the World is today is the topic of this edition of The Sunday Sermon followed by a reading and English interpretation of a shabad by Guru Arjun Dev Ji in Raag Dhanasree.

This hukumnama is by Guru Arjun Dev Ji in Raag Dhanasree on page 677.

ਧਨਾਸਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥
ਜਹ ਜਹ ਪੇਖਉ ਤਹ ਹਜੂਰਿ ਦੂਰਿ ਕਤਹੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥
ਰਵਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਰਬਤ੍ਰ ਮੈ ਮਨ ਸਦਾ ਧਿਆਈ ॥੧॥
ਈਤ ਊਤ ਨਹੀ ਬੀਛੁੜੈ ਸੋ ਸੰਗੀ ਗਨੀਐ ॥
ਬਿਨਸਿ ਜਾਇ ਜੋ ਨਿਮਖ ਮਹਿ ਸੋ ਅਲਪ ਸੁਖੁ ਭਨੀਐ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਲੈ ਅਪਿਆਉ ਦੇਇ ਕਛੁ ਊਨ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥
ਸਾਸਿ ਸਾਸਿ ਸੰਮਾਲਤਾ ਮੇਰਾ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਸੋਈ ॥੨॥
ਅਛਲ ਅਛੇਦ ਅਪਾਰ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਊਚਾ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਰੂਪੁ ॥
ਜਪਿ ਜਪਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਜਨ ਅਚਰਜ ਆਨੂਪੁ ॥੩॥
ਸਾ ਮਤਿ ਦੇਹੁ ਦਇਆਲ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਜਿਤੁ ਤੁਮਹਿ ਅਰਾਧਾ ॥
ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮੰਗੈ ਦਾਨੁ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਰੇਨ ਪਗ ਸਾਧਾ ॥੪॥੩॥੨੭॥
[677, Guru Granth Sahib]

The Guru begins this hukumnama by emphasising the all encompassing trait of the Almighty. God is not an entity that can be denoted a specific form or be located to one place, despite his knowledge of all. Guru Nanak tells us that God is everywhere, wherever we might care to look. He resides even in the places that we are not looking in! He is never far from anywhere, he is near. This is then expanded upon by the Guru, when he says that the Almighty resides in everything. God is everything. He is the light of our very souls and of the souls of those we choose to call our friends or our enemies. He is the light of every heartbeat, be it animal, vegetable or mineral! Ours is then to remember him at all times, not to forget him ever. If we do that, then we eliminate such a thing as enemies, and strangely enough eventually even our friends. We look at all in the same light, we cherish the Lord inside our soul and as the Lord is in everything, we cherish all too. This is the doctrine of living harmoniously that Guru Nanak brought into the World over 500 years ago. From this basic ideal we gain a sense of humanism, environmentalism and efficient living, ideas expanded upon elsewhere in Gurbani.

The fifth Guru Nanak warns us in the rahau lines to awaken and recognise the worthless highs that we chase in our lives. Material wealth, chemical intoxication and so many other fleeting joys momentarily ensnare us into a false world of contentment. But these are inconsiderable, when contrasted to the contentment that comes from true realisation. Contemplation and meditation of the Lord leads us to truly understand and see the terrifying World ocean, to see reality for what it is and isn’t. There is no greater satisfaction than of having one’s desires fulfilled. If we are able to put ourselves into a place where desire itself does not exist then satisfaction is an understatement. The Almighty is timeless, there before time began and here after time ends. That spirit infused into us is with us individually from one life until the next. Surely this is the real high to be chasing and to reflect upon?

In the next lines we are made to better understand the infinite expanse of the Almighty. He is short of nothing, His resources, power and love never ends. It is infinite and he needs nobody, no entity to operate. It is by this infinite Divinity that we are all in existence. As parts in his play, we are dear to Him and he looks after our every needs. With every breath the Lord’s watchful eye is on us and all creatures. Think for a moment, not only of yourself and your kin, but of people you have not met in remote parts of this Earth, of people whom you care not for, of devouring creatures, men even perhaps, tyrannical and notorious. All are in his care. God is not a being who has a chosen people, nor has he blasphemers, kafirs or equals. It is truly humbling to think in this way and if we can put this thought into practise, imagine how wondrous our demeanour will become.

The Guru continues by depicting the Almighty as being outside of categorisation, beyond description. We cannot write a dictionary entry for God, it would not be complete. it cannot be complete because he is infinite. We could say God is represented by a symbol, as in mathematics, the letter x. But then what limits, what values can we put to x, again the dictionary entry is blank because there is no breaking down of his value. If we remember Him in every moment, come to contemplate the Lord, think of him, speak of him, read of him then we might be able to tune in to his frequency. We might not understand musical notation, nor might we be able to play a musical instrument, but we enjoy it no less than the performer. In this manner if we can become servants of the Almighty by tuning in to His Divine design then we can dwell in a content fervour, without care or want.

The Guru concludes today’s hukumnama with a petition to the Almighty, a prayer requesting His grace. Not for power, nor contentment itself, nor even knowledge really. The fifth Guru Nanak asks the Almighty to bless him with the wisdom that leads him to contemplate the Almighty always. We do not ask for the end result immediately, the graduate degree, the certificate of study, the grading from examinations. No instead the Guru asks for only that eye-opener, the alarm call that will set him on the path to realisation and enlightenment: the wisdom to contemplate Him always. This is an amazing source of guidance to us all. All that we need to reach the end goal, contentment, realisation, salvation, all that we need is to remember Him always; to think and reflect upon him. If we gain this, then we gain the congregation of the Holy, His saints, and we advance ever towards His light, towards merging with Truth.

Interpreted by Harwinder Singh Mander