In the immaculate water, both the lotus and the slimy scum (pellicle like stuff that grows in the water)
(Although) the lotus flower is with the slimy scum and the water, but, in their association,
untouched (i.e., ਉਸ ਨੂੰ ਕੋਈ ਦਾਗ ਨਹੀਂ ਲੱਗਦੇ). ||1|| (sggs 990). (If) Through the Gur-Shabad
Aatam-Giaan or Spiritual Wisdom of the Gurbani...), Heart-Lotus blossoms forth;
(only then) the Treasure of Bhagti
is obtained (sggs 950).
In the Eastern scriptures, the inner awareness, the Inner (or Spiritual) Heart is depicted as the lotus flower (Kamal). The feet of the Lord (or the Gur, Satgur...) are also portrayed as such. Obviously, there must be something
very special about the lotus flower to earn this honor and recognition! For
example, the Gurbani says:
Yes, there is something very special about the lotus flower by which it has earned
such unparalleled recognition in the scriptures. In fact, the Gurbani affirms
that until we mend our ways to be like a lotus flower, we would be unfit for linking
with the Mool within (Source, origin, Jot...).
- ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲ ਗੁਰ ਰਿਦੈ ਬਸਾਇਆ ॥੧॥: Charan
kamal Gur ridai basaaiaa ||1||: The Lotus Feet of the Gur (Giaan...) are enshrined within
the Heart ||1|| (sggs 202).
A bird flies in the sky without leaving any mark, a fish swims in the water
without making any footprints, and the swan swims across the stream without
getting wet. Similarly, although the lotus flower lives in the water of slimy
scum, but it remains untouched. In the same way, the scriptural texts urge us
to live amidst the so called impurities of the material world without being
affected. In this context, this Gurbani Reflection will attempt to reflect on
Uniqueness Of The Lotus Flower
- Uniqueness Of The Lotus Flower
The "Lotus Of The Heart"
The "Lotus Feet"
Anhata And The Heart-Lotus
The lotus flower is very unique indeed. As discussed before, the consciousness
— one's Effulgent Being or atomic power — can be depicted as a lotus flower.
In other words, if our consciousness can be visualized, then it would be through
a lotus flower. Similar to an individual consciousness, the lotus flower also
goes through many experiences before it blossoms forth into a beautiful flower,
untouched by the mud or water.
Everything exists in the Absolute Consciousness, rises from It, and finally merges
back into It. Just as all the pictures thrown on the screen are visible by the
light projected from a spot; similarly, the body and other objects are all visible
in the reflected Absolute Consciousness. Analogy of the lotus flower helps us
better understand this Reality.
- ਜਿਉ ਜਲ ਮਹਿ ਕਮਲੁ ਅਲਿਪਤੁ ਹੈ ਐਸੀ ਬਣਤ ਬਣਾਇ ॥ Jiou jal mahi kamaul alipatu hai aisee banat banaai:
The make of beings (who remain lovingly attached to the Lord's Feet) is like that of a lotus who remains untouched (ਅਛੋਹ) in the water (i.e., they remain untouched by Maya in the world). (sggs
Below the surface, down in the darkness, the consciousness of lotus flower
lives in a seed form. Connected with its dynamic central source of energy, then
it breaks out of its hard shell, and takes root in the slimy scum. Surrounded
by water, its stem grows upward toward the light and air. With conscious of
water all around it, finally the stem emerges above the water surface into fresh
air and sunshine. Its consciousness now has a small bud and green leaves. At
this time the consciousness is still limited because it has not grown into its
fullness. Fed by the energy of the sun, its consciousness expands until a delicate
lotus blossoms open into a beautiful flower. It then creates more seeds for
The Man's consciousness also goes through similar experiences. However,
in the case of a man, the mud can be looked at as the instincts, the hard
shell of the seed as the instinctive mind, the water as the intelligence,
the stem as the ego and the body, the air as the Absolute Consciousness,
the darkness as the spiritual ignorance, and the sun as the Intuitive Wisdom (Aatam Giaan, Divine Knowledge or Spiritual Wisdom).
First, the individual consciousness, the projected Light from the Absolute
Consciousness, is in a seed form. In the mud of latent tendencies, memories or impressions, this seed swells and then breaks out of
the hard shell of the instinctive elements and sprouts. In the darkness of the
ignorance, the consciousness grows as false ego, mind and the body.
Thus, the consciousness comes through the mud of the instinctive mind (Bikaar, Mayaic Budhi...): lust,
anger, greed, attachment, false pride, enviousness and stubborn mindedness (and
their numerous variations). After that it comes into the intellectual mind where
it becomes aware of culture, people, opinions, history, politics, future, all
sorts of systems, organizations, institutions, society, world, etc. Then it
creates more mayaic efforts or worldly entanglements.
After passing through the evolutionary process, when the Budhi (intellect) becomes purified
then it instructs the instinctive mind, which then comes into its delicate and beautiful bud state.
This bud then expands and begins the process of Spiritual Enlightenment (Aatam Giaan...). It
unfolds and helps those who are still caught in the mud (Maya's illusion). Upon
becoming a full flower (the Gurmukh), it remains untouched by the so called impurities of
the material world (Maya, body-consciousness...), just as the lotus flower remains untouched (unattached, uncontaminated, unaffected, etc., by Maya or body-consciousness) by the slimy
scum and the water.
The "Lotus Of The Heart"
- ਜਿਉ ਜਲ ਮਹਿ ਕਮਲੁ ਅਲਿਪਤੋ ਵਰਤੈ ਤਿਉ ਵਿਚੇ ਗਿਰਹ ਉਦਾਸੁ ॥: Jiou jal mahi kamalu alipte vartai tiou viche girah
oudaasu: As the lotus flower floats unaffected in the water, so does
(one) remains detached in his own household (sggs 949).
The Heart-Lotus is the
seat of the Infinite Consciousness. This is the Spiritual-Center, the Support
or the Adhaar of life (Praana) and everything else. Juts as the waves rise from
the ocean, subsist in the ocean and then merge back into the ocean; similarly,
the thoughts (mind) rise from this Substratum, on which they exist and where
they are dissolved. Thus, this Heart-Lotus is the Center of all centers.
After reading the foregoing verse, one may ask as to how a lotus plant can grow
deep within the Heart or the mind! Or, how the feet of Guru-God can exist in one's
mind or Heart? Here, neither the Heart is physical, nor the Lotus and nor the
Feet. They are Spiritual; without any feature or form (i.e., Niraakaar). Thus the "Lotus of the
Heart" mentioned in the Gurbani represents the Subtle-Center and not the physical
- ਚਾਰੇ ਅਗਨਿ ਨਿਵਾਰਿ ਮਰੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਲੁ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਕਮਲੁ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸਿਆ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਭਰਿਆ ਅਘਾਇ ॥: Chaare agani nivaari maru gurmukhi hari jalu paai. Antari kamalu pargaasiaa amritu bhariaa aghaai: Becoming the Gurmukh, through the Hari's Naam-Water, quench the four fires. (Thus) the Lotus blossoms within, and (your Heart) gets filled with the Amrit-Naam (sggs 22).
Man's language is limited. But the Absolute Truth the Gur-Shabad is trying to explain using
this limited human language is unlimited and infinite. When a truth that has not
been personally experienced is expounded by the Men of Light or the sacred texts,
one can not grasp it directly. However, with the help of illustrations, it becomes
relatively easier to grasp. Consequently, once the significance of such illustrations
is grasped, one comes to understand the real nature of one's Mool (Source, Jot...) and this material
- ਸਰੀਰ ਸਰੋਵਰ ਭੀਤਰੇ ਆਛੈ ਕਮਲ ਅਨੂਪ ॥ ਪਰਮ ਜੋਤਿ ਪੁਰਖੋਤਮੋ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਰੇਖ ਨ ਰੂਪ ॥੧॥: Sareer
sarovar bheetre aashai kamal anoop. Param joti purkhotamo jakai rekh na roop ||1||: Within
the Srovar (Pool) of the body, there is an incomparably beautiful Lotus Flower. (Within
it) is the Lord's Formless Supreme Light ||1|| (sggs 857).
We can look at it from an another perspective. The worldly truth is based on
relativity, however, the Absolute Truth is self-existence. Majority of us can
only appreciate relative knowledge. Why? Because we have confounded the Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...) with
the physical body-frame. As a result, we think we are the physical senses, mind, intellect,
heart, and so on; which gives rise to relativity. Accordingly, as most of us
can only grasp the relative knowledge, some place as Heart-Lotus is mentioned
by the Gurbani as the place of All-pervading Consciousness. Hence, this type
of instruction using variety of methods (analogies, similes, allegories, metaphors
and figurative or mystic representations, etc.) are meant for most of us who
can only appreciate the relative knowledge. However, being Infinite as well
as both Transcendental and Immanent, there is no particular place for the Lotd (i.e., the Lord is not limited to certain place). Hence,
in reality, the "Lotus of Heart" is not a physical place. It is the Spiritual-Center
connecting the whole Universe.
The Gurbani tells us to intuitively see the Infinite Consciousness as the lotus
flower within. To put it otherwise, the Heart-Lotus is none other than the Divine
Light within everyone. We are That Light (Joti Svaroop); which is the substratum
of all Jeeva, the individual consciousness. In order to feel the subtlety
within, we are asked by the Gurbani to visualize the lotus flower centered
right within the Center of the Heart, the place of the True Being (Moll). Thus, the Heart-Lotus
is the seat of Divine Essence or the Divine Essence Itself.
- ਪ੍ਰਭ ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲ ਅਪਾਰ ॥: Prabh charan kamal apaar: The Lotus
Feet of the Prabh are Infinite (sggs 837).
As stated earlier, the "Lotus-Feet" of Guru-Lord-Mool are not physiological
feet. They are Spiritual, therefore realized upon being thoroughly awakened
to the Pure Consciousness (untainted Aatam Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom) of the indwelling Reality. They are none other than
the Naam-Conciousness, the Shabad-Consciousness, Hukam, etc.
In other words, the "Lotus Feet" are the Shabad-Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom). In order to find or experience these "Lotus Feet", the
Gurbani directs us to "look within".
within" is to focus the attention on this Infinite Consciousness; which is the
cause of causes, and the source of the Bliss and real Amrit (Immortality).
In order to realize these "Lotus-Feet", one needs to link his individual consciousness
to his Mool within (Source, Jot...) through earnest Shabad-Vichaar.
- ਚਰਣ ਕਮਲ ਰਿਦ ਮਾਹਿ ਸਮਾਏ ਤਹ ਭਰਮੁ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ਨਾਹੀ ॥੧॥: Charan kamal rid maahi samaae tah bharamu andheraa
naahee ||1||: That Heart, within which the Lotus Feet are enshrined, suffers
no darkness (ignorance) or doubt ||1|| (sggs 499).
Hence, the Gur's or the Lord's Lotus-Feet are ever situated within everybody's Heart-Lotus.
However, it is the veil of our ignorance that inhibits us from experiencing them.
But, those who have roasted the seed of ignorance in the fire of the Divine Knowledge
(Shabad-Giaan), always see them in their the Inner Consciousness
— in their waking state, in their dream state, in their deep sleep state, they
are simultaneously connected to them. They also see them everywhere else. Thus,
the Lord, Mool, Guru, or Satgur is not apart from the seeker, and the seeker is not apart
from Him. Therefore, physical proximity is of no consequences; unbroken (Akhand)
mental communion alone matters. In other words, the mind must be connected to
the Infinite Consciousness — one must hold on only to the Mool within (Source, Jot...). Then the
seeker is guided from within, the Source of all Wisdom and the Knowledge.
- ਚਰਣ ਕਮਲ ਹਿਰਦੇ ਮਹਿ ਜਾਪੁ ॥: Charan kamal hirdai mahi jaapu: Within
your heart, understand the Lotus Feet (sggs 197).
- ਭਵਰੁ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਰਾ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਹੋਵਉ ਹਰਿ ਚਰਣਾ ਹੋਹੁ ਕਉਲਾ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਦਾਸੁ ਉਨ ਸੰਗਿ ਲਪਟਾਇਓ ਜਿਉ ਬੂੰਦਹਿ ਚਾਤ੍ਰਿਕੁ ਮਉਲਾ ॥੪॥੩॥੪॥: Bhavar tumhaaraa
ihu manu hovou hari charanaa hohu koulaa. Naanak daasu oun sangi lapataaiou jio boondahi chaatrik moulaa ||4||3||4||: Let this mind of yours be the bumble bee (bumble bee is known for its love for the flowers - it is the lover of flowers), and let the Hari's Feet be the Lotus Flower (for the bumble bee of your mind). Says Nanak, (the Lord's) servent remains attached to them (Hari's Lotus Feet - His Name, Giaan...), and blossom forth like the song-bird upon finding the rain-drop. ||4||3||4|| (sggs 496).
Anhata And The Heart-Lotus
- ਸਭੇ ਸੁਖ ਭਏ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਤੁਠੇ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਕੇ ਚਰਣ ਮਨਿ ਵੁਠੇ ॥: Sabhe sukh bhae prabh tuthe. Gur poore ke
charan mani vuthe: When Prabh is pleased, and the Feet of the Perfect Gur (Shabad-Giaan) abide
in the mind, then all Sukha are obtained. (sggs 106).
- ਚਰਣ ਕਮਲ ਉਰ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਧਾਰਹੁ ॥:
Charan kamal our antari dhaarahu (sggs 1004).
Anhata literally means "unstruck sound or melody". In the Gurbani (SGGS), this unstruck
melody is called "Anhataa Shabad", "Anhataa Dhuni", "Anhata Baaje", "Anhata Dhunai", "Anhata Naad", "Anhata
Run Jhun", "Anhata Beenaa", "Anhata Soor", and "Anhata Bain",
and so on.
- ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਸਦਾ ਮਨਿ ਦਾਸਾ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰਿ ਕਮਲੁ ਪਰਗਾਸਾ ॥ ਅਨਹਦੁ ਵਾਜੈ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸਾ ॥ ਨਾਮਿ ਰਤੇ ਘਰ ਮਾਹਿ ਉਦਾਸਾ ॥੩॥: Satiguru sevahi sadaa mani daasaa. Haumai maari kamalu pargaasaa. Anhadu vaajai nij ghari vaasaa. Naami ratae ghar maahi udaasaa ||3||: Serving the Satigur (through the Naam...), the mind becomes humble forever. (They) kill their egotism, and their heart-lotus blossoms forth. The Unstruck Melody vibrates, as they dwell within the Inner Home (their consciousness remains focussed on Naam). Attuned to the Naam, they remain detached (from Maya) in the midst of the household (life) ||3|| (sggs 161).
Inverted Heart-Lotus is the state of ignorance (the state of the Manmukh, Saaka, Mayadhaaree...). Simply put: It is the sense
of separateness between the Mool (Source, Jot...) and the Jeev (individual being). And the one who is separated from the Mool is
called Manmukh in the Gurbani. He is not interested in the Naam or the Bhagti (cultivating Gurmat-Aatam Giaan...). As such, a Manmukh is the person who
has forsaken or forgotten the Divine Essence. Hence he dose not understand the Naam,
Shabad, purpose and way of life and his relationship with his Mool As
he remains engrossed in materiality (Maya), his efforts are Mayaic, thus false. His consciousness
is stubborn, and the words from his mouth are insipid. He does not engage in the Shabad-Vichaar; because within him are Bikaar, falsehood, doubts, coruppt intellect (Durmat), hunger for Maya, etc.
As revealed in the Gurbani, the symptoms of those with
inverted Heart-Lotus are as follows: egoism, ignorance, duality, evil-mindedness,
falsehood, violence, untruthfulness, doubts, superstitions, uncontrolled senses,
identification with the feeling of "I, me, mine, your", lust, anger, greed,
attachment, self pride, self-conceit; jealousy and enviousness; stubborn mindedness,
hatred, fanaticism, selfishness, conflicts, lack of contentment, material hankering
and lamentation, lack of mental control and inner peace, self-centered, full
of quarrel and contentions, lack of faith, extrovert, ritualistic, unhappy,
always interested in taking instead of giving, affinity for bad association,
lack of self-discipline, mental agitation, unceasing wandering (rat race), begging
material things from God, complaining, finding faults in others, unable to bear
pains and sorrows of life, love for material world instead of the Naam (Aatam Giaan or Spiritual Wisdom...) or Mool within,
corruption, fraud, larceny and swindling, bribery, cheating, lying, plundering,
stealing, indulgence in mental speculations and material logic, attachment to
world objects, deceitful nature, fearful, unceasing desire for sense objects,
cynicism, hypocrisy, always wants to control the world, always wants to be appreciated,
unceasing hunger for name and fame, and so on. Opposite to these are the attributes
of Gurmukhs or Spiritual Beings.
- ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਊਧਾ ਕਉਲੁ ਹੈ ਨਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਨਾਉ ॥ ਸਕਤੀ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਵਰਤਦਾ ਕੂੜੁ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਹੈ ਉਪਾਉ ॥: Manmukh oodhaa kaoul hai na tis bhagti na naaou...:
The Manmukh is lthe inverted lotus; he has neither devotional
worship, nor Bhagti, nor Name. He deals in Maya; (thus) his efforts are false. (sggs 511).
- ਲੋਚਨ ਸ੍ਰਮਹਿ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਲ ਨਾਠੀ ਤਾ ਕਾਮੁ ਪਵਸਿ ਮਾਧਾਣੀ ॥ ਤਾ ਤੇ ਬਿਖੈ ਭਈ ਮਤਿ ਪਾਵਸਿ ਕਾਇਆ ਕਮਲੁ ਕੁਮਲਾਣਾ ॥: Lochan sramahi budhi bal naathee taa kaamu pavasi maadhaanee. Taa te bikhai bhaee mati paavasi kaaiaa kamalu kumalaanaa (sggs 93).
The Opposite of Manmukh is the Gurmukh
(Mool-realized being...). Therefore, the state of upright heart-lotus means to be situated
in the Transcendental Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom, Divine Knowledge...). And the one who is linked to his Mool within (Source, Jot...) is called Gurmukh in the Gurbani. Based
on the qualities outlined in the Gurbani, a Gurmukh is a person in Shabad-Consciousness. As such, he is a Divine Being who has taken shelter in the Lotus-Feet.
Internally, he has fully surrendered his falsehood to his Mool within through thee Shabad-Vichaar.
Nothing can be contained in a vessel turned upside-down. Similarly, the state
of inverted Heart-Lotus (the way of the Manmukh - a Mayadhaaree) is unconducive to experiencing
Spiritual Realization. Therefore, to become a Gurmukh, one has to turn
the inverted Heart-Lotus upright. But how can one turn the inverted Heart-Lotus
- ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਕਉ ਆਪਿ ਲਏ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਮੇਲਿ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਕਉ ਕਾਲੁ ਨ ਸਾਕੈ ਪੇਲਿ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਰਹਹਿ ਪਿਆਰੇ ॥ ਜਿਉ ਜਲ ਅੰਭ ਊਪਰਿ ਕਮਲ ਨਿਰਾਰੇ ॥੨॥: Jinh kaou aapi lae prabhu meli. Tin kaou kaalu n saakai peli. Gurmukhi nirmal rahahi piaare. Jiou jal ambh ooperi
kamal niraare ||2||: Those, whom God unites with Himself, cannot be crushed by (the fear of) Kaal. (Those) beloved, by becoming the Gurmukhs, remain pure (in the midst of Maya) like the lotus in
the water remains untouched ||2|| (sggs 353).
For the inverted Heart-Lotus to turn upright, the Gurbani
asks us to cultivate Naam or Shabad-Consciousness through the earnest Shabad-Vichaar, and then live it.
- ਹਰਿ ਚਰਣੀ ਤੂੰ ਲਾਗਿ ਰਹੁ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਸੋਝੀ ਹੋਈ ॥: Hari charnee tu laag rahu Gur sabadee sojhee hoee:
(O Pandit!) With the Gur-Shabad, abide in the Hari's Feet (Naam, Shabad, Hukam...); you will come to Understand (Spiritual or Divine Life-Aatmik Jeevan).
The means to attain the Divine Knowledge (Aatm-Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom) or Divine Virtues are through the true understanding of
the Gur-Shabad, which requires earnest Shabad-Vichaar.
- ਉਲਟਿਓ ਕਮਲੁ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: Ultio kamalu Brahmu Vichaari: The inverted Heart-Lotus
turns upright (i.e., becomes detached from Maya...) by engaging in Vichaar (Reflections on the Gurbani, Naam...) (sggs 153).
- ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਕਮਲੁ ਬਿਗਸਿਆ ਤਾ ਸਉਪਿਆ ਭਗਤਿ ਭੰਡਾਰੁ ॥: Gur kai Sabadi kamalu bigsiaa taa saoupiaa bhagti
bhandaaru: (If) Through the Gur-Shabad (Shabad-Vichaar, Aatam-Giaan or Spiritual Wisdom of the Gurbani...), Heart-Lotus blossoms forth; (only then) the Treasure of Bhagti
is obtained (sggs 950).
- ਅੰਤਰਿ ਹੋਇ ਗਿਆਨ ਪਰਗਾਸੁ ॥ ਉਸੁ ਅਸਥਾਨ ਕਾ ਨਹੀ ਬਿਨਾਸੁ ॥: Antari hoi giaan pargaasu... (sggs 278).
- ਸਾਚਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਨੁ ਲਾਗਾ ॥ ਲੋਗਨ ਸਿਉ ਮੇਰਾ ਠਾਠਾ ਬਾਗਾ ॥੧॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਸੂਤੁ ਸਗਲ ਸਿਉ ਮਉਲਾ ॥ ਅਲਿਪਤੁ ਰਹਉ ਜੈਸੇ ਜਲ ਮਹਿ ਕਉਲਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Saach naam meraa mann laagaa. Logan siou meraaa thaathaa
baagaa. ||1|| Baahar soot sagal siyu maoulaa. Alipt rahaou jaise jal mahi kaoulaa ||1||Rahaaou|| (sggs 384).
— T. Singh
Friday, March 29, 2013 3:35 PM