ਆਨੰਦੁ ਆਨੰਦੁ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਕਹੈ ਆਨੰਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਤੇ ਜਾਣਿਆ ॥:
Aaanadu aanandu sabhu ko kahai aanadu Guroo te jaania
Bliss, Bliss - everyone talks of Bliss (i.e., all say they have obtained Bliss)!
Bliss is known (ਅਸਲ ਆਨੰਦ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ) only through the Guroo (Shabad...). (sggs 918).

For lack of a better word in English, "Anand" (ਅਨੰਦ) is generally translated to mean Bliss. It is also translated to mean the Pure Joy - Ecstasy - of God-Consciousness, spiritual Experience, God Realization ...

We routinely utter and talk about Anand (ਅਨੰਦ). For example - before Ardaas (congregational prayer) - we all sing from the "ਰਾਮਕਲੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੩ ਅਨੰਦੁ" (Raamkalee Mahalaa 3 Anand).

But, what is the real Anand (ਅਨੰਦ) according to the Gurbani (not the dictionary!)? How and from where it can be experienced? What are the hindrances and obstacles remaining steady in Unbroken Anand? Do the Bhais (or Raagees) explain to the Sangat or does members of the Sangat ask Bhais questions or is the Sangat afforded the opportunity to put forward such spiritual inquiries to the Bhais (or Raagees) when they routinely sing "ਅਨੰਦੁ ਭਇਆ ਮੇਰੀ ਮਾਏ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਮੈ ਪਾਇਆ ॥..." (Anandu bhaiaa meree maae satiguroo mai paaiaa ...(sggs 917)?

The Gurbani provides precise answers to these inquiries.

First, From whom can we know what the Anand is?

Such real or true "Anand" known through the Shabad is called "Sahaj Anand" (ਸਹਜ ਅਨੰਦ) in the Gurbani, which alone is Permanent (Eternal, Everlasting, Absolute...). All other types of "An

The Anand (ਅਨੰਦ) that is known through the Guroo (ਆਨੰਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਤੇ ਜਾਣਿਆ) is the real or true Anand (ਅਨੰਦ). This real or true "Anand" alone is what the Gurbani calls "Sahaj Anand" (ਸਹਜ ਅਨੰਦ). Therefore, this "Sahaj Anand" (ਸਹਜ ਅਨੰਦ) alone is Permanent (Eternal, Everlasting, ਗਿਆਨ ਅਵਸਤਾ ਦਾ ਅਨੰਦ...). All other types of "Anand" (ਅਨੰਦ) are temporary or fleeting at best. Those who experience Sahaj Anand (ਸਹਜ ਅਨੰਦ) are called "Vadabhaagee" (Fortunate-ਵਡਭਾਗੀ) in the Gurbani (ਸਹਜ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਹੋਆ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਮਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਮੀਠਾ ਲਾਇਆ ॥: Sahaj anand hoaa vadabhaagee mani hari hari meethaa laaiaa, sggs 773).

Second, what are the signs of such Anand? Again, here is the Gurbani:

In other words, those who have Experienced real Anand within:

The Gurbani declares that "This alone is Bliss".

We all are entitled to Anand. But how can we experience it? Can we experience it by just sitting idle waiting for Divine Grace to dawn on us? It will not do the trick. That is, such empty and clever trick will not work. The Gurbani tells us:

What is "attachment to the Naam"? It simply indicates living a Divine Life (the Gurmukh Lifestyle). It is to constantly live by the auspicious, godly or Divine Qualities (ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦੇ ਗੁਣ). We have to take that responsibility. That is, by becoming the Gurmukh, we have to put self-efforts (Uddam -ਉਦਮ, Shabad-Vichaar...) to live the Divine Life. This is the Gurbani's edict.

Here is more on as to what we need to do on our part to realize Bliss (ਆਤਮਕ ਆਨੰਦ):

In nutshell, the Gurbani reminds us that the Eternal Bliss is to be Experienced within (Realized, etc.), while living in the body (i.e., before death). When the mind's all desires (Maya's thirst, hunger, etc.), restlessness (wanderings, thoughts or ਮਾਇਕੀ ਫੁਰਨੇ), and Haumai (false ego-sense) subside, then one experiences real Bliss within.

Thus, the Gurbani reveals to us the Essence of Bliss. It is to be found within indicates that our True Nature (Joti-Svaroopa, Mool... ) is the embodiment of Pure Consciousness and is in a State of Eternal and Infinite Bliss. It is something that far excels the state of joy that is attainable in the gross objects of the world. For worldly joys have many limitations: they are unsteady; they narrow one’s outlook; they make us their slaves; they are very unreliable; and any happiness attained from them is short lived and give rise to suffering; and so on.

The Gurbani instructs all of us to discriminate through Bibek Budhi between the Joti-Svaroopa and the body-mind-intellect instrument, which is mere transitory appendage to the Joti-Svaroopa (Mool-Source, Origin, Jot...). If we identify with the gross instrumentality, we are missing the butter for the milk or forest for the tree. While all else is bound to perish, the Joti-Svaroopa alone remains everlasting.

The Gurbani also revealers to us the Source of Bliss and Way to the ultimate Bliss.

To realize enduring and untrammeled Anand, one has to make a leap from the gross and the physical to the metaphysical and the spiritual level. Possessiveness (towards oneself, one’s relatives, etc.) have to be renounced. The Gurbani urges us to submit Haumai or false ego-sense to the Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad instead of Maya's deception; accept the Divine Will (Hukam); take support of Naam, and thus live Divine Life (the Gurmukh Lifestyle); engage in Bhagti; give up trickery; listen to the Teachings of the Gur-Shabad (Gurmat-Aatam Giaan ) and apply them to day-to-day living (or live by the Divine Qualities - ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦੇ ਗੁਣ); Cultivate Brahm-Giaan; keep the Holy Company; constantly engage in Shabad-Vichaar (Reflections on the Gurbani...); become desireless; hear Truth; burn evil passions from within; remove duality (likes and dislikes, etc.); become Jeevanmukta (dead while alive - death of ego, death of the love of Maya, death of the love of this world, etc.), eradicate Bikaars (lust, anger, greed, etc.), practice humility, humbleness...

And thus be in Anand.

All the Instructions indicated in the above verses require self-efforts (Uddam -ਉਦਮ, Shabad Vichaar). That is, real Anand or Grace cannot be made to an order, given to somebody as a mundane gift wrapped up in a readymade package!

The Gurbani also helps us understand the hindrances and obstacles remaining steady in Unbroken Bliss.

Haumai or the false ego-sense is the greatest roadblock, which gives rise to all sorts of obstacles. These obstacles may be lumped up in these headins: ignorance, doubts, and mistakes (error).

Ignorance is the forgetfulness of one's True Nature as Joti-Svaroopa: forgetfulness of the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...) that we all are True Image of the Divine Light (i.e., God).

Our Joti-Svaroopa - is always full of Bliss. This is the reason it is said that Bliss is not something to be gotten or found. Because we are always That Bliss. In other words, Awareness of Joti-Svaroopa (i.e., to know one's Real self is Joti-Svaroopa) is Bliss, and to forget It is suffering.

Doubts consists in doubting the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...), wondering that we are Joti-Svaroopa. This doubt (Bharam) gives rise to all other sorts of doubts such as wondering about our experience if it was of the Real or unreal; doubts about the meaning of the Gur-Shabad; and so on. Deluded by doubts, we search sublime thing such as the Lord, Mool, Divine Grace, or the Bliss outside.

We make mistakes (the error). Our error consists in confounding the physical body with the Joti-Svaroopa (Mool). And thus rises Haumai (false ego-sense) as a wave on the Ocean of Pure Consciousness. This mistaken identity, in turn, gives rise to all sorts of notions, fancies, concepts, ideas, duality, illusion, hallucinations, Bikaars (lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride ...), and so on. As a result, we see the mirage-like world as real (permanent).

But, in reality this body is in the Joti-Svaroopa, not other way around! Beings are of different types but the Essence of every being or Jeeva (individual beings) is the Joti-Svaroopa that is Pure Consciousness, Effulgence, Eternal, Infinite, Unchanging ...

It is only with the Divine Knowledge (Aatam Giaan or Spiritual Wisdom Understood through the Shabad-Vichaar) the basic distinction between the physical body and the Joti-Svaroopa becomes meaningful.

In nutshell, as indicated by the Gurbani, every soul, by nature, is the essence of Bliss, but this truth is hidden from its perception when it is caught in the bond of Jagat (material world, Sansaar, Maya, desires...). Our True Nature (Joti-Svaroopa, which is the embodiment of the Divine Light) is full of Bliss. But our bondage with Jagat interferes and prevents the flow of Bliss.

And they (soul, the Lord, Jagat...) all always coexist!

— T. Singh

Updated on Sunday, October 26, 2014 7:16 PM (PST)

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