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, rejoicing, tranquility, happiness, beatification…

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 according to 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?

  • ਆਨੰਦੁ ਆਨੰਦੁ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਕਹੈ ਆਨੰਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਤੇ ਜਾਣਿਆ ॥ ਜਾਣਿਆ ਆਨੰਦੁ ਸਦਾ ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਕਰੇ ਪਿਆਰਿਆ ॥: Bliss, Bliss – everyone talks of Bliss (i.e., all say they have realized Bliss)! Bliss is known (ਅਸਲ ਆਨੰਦ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ) only through the Guroo (Shabad – Giaan, Bibek, Wisdom). O Dear! Eternal Bliss in known only through the “Gur” (Shabad-Giaan, Bibek, Wisdom), when (one from within) shows mercy unto himself. (sggs 918).

Such real or true “Anand” known through the Shabad is called “Sahaj Anand” (ਸਹਜ ਅਨੰਦ) in the Gurbani, which alone is lasting (Natural, spontaneous, Giaan-Avasthaa or the State of Wisdom…).

All other types of “Anand” (ਅਨੰਦ) are temporary or fleeting at best. Those who experience Sahaj Anand (ਸਹਜ ਅਨੰਦ) are called “Fortunate-ਵਡਭਾਗੀ” in the Gurbani (ਸਹਜ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਹੋਆ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ –Sahaj anand hoaa vadabhaagee…, sggs 773).

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

  • ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਕਿਲਵਿਖ ਕਟੇ ਗਿਆਨ ਅੰਜਨੁ ਸਾਰਿਆ ॥ ਅੰਦਰਹੁ ਜਿਨ ਕਾ ਮੋਹੁ ਤੁਟਾ ਤਿਨ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਸਚੈ ਸਵਾਰਿਆ ॥ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਏਹੁ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਹੈ ਆਨੰਦੁ ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਜਾਣਿਆ ॥੭॥: With the Grace (of the Gur-Wisdom from within-“ਧੁਰਿ ਕਰਮਿ”)  transgressions are cut away (Maya’s thirst or hunger from within); and obtain the collirium of Wisdom (in the Inner Eyes of Vichaar). Those who eradicate attachment from within themselves, are adorned with the Shabad (Shabad-Giaan, Wisdom). O Nanak! This alone is Bliss – Bliss which is known through the “Gur” (Shabad-Giaan, Wisdom, Bibek). ||7|| (shhs 918).

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

  • Live a Pious Life – Divine Life or the Gurmukh Lifestyle. Which is free of trangressions or Bikaars – lust, anger, greed, etc.
  • Their Inner Eyes of Vichhar (ਵਿਚਾਰ-ਅੱਖਾਂ) are wide open. They understand the pious Life (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ) and live it.
  • They are full of Wisdom.
  • They have driven away worldly love (ਮੋਹ) from within.
  • They are embellished with the Shabad Consciousness. They live by the Wisdom, Bibek…
  • They Practice Virtues in daily life — Truth (ਸਤ), honesty (ਇਮਾਨਦਾਰੀ), contentment (ਸੰਤੋਖ), mercy (ਦਯਾ), patience (ਧੀਰਜ), Sahaj (ਸਹਜ-Natural State of Being), Wisdom (ਗਿਆਨ), humility (ਮਨ ਨਿਮਾਣਾ, ਬੁਧਿ ਗਰੀਬੀ), sweet speech (ਮਿਠ ਬੋਲੜਾ)….

The Gurbani declares that “This alone is Bliss”.

We all are entitled to Anand. But, according to the Gurbani, how it can be experienced?

Can we experience it by just sitting idle waiting for Grace to dawn on us from somewhere up there? It will not Happen. The Gurbani tells us:

  • ਇਕਿ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੂਲੇ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਦਹ ਦਿਸਿ ਇਕਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਲਾਗਿ ਸਵਾਰਿਆ ॥: Some deluded by doubt, wander in the ten directions (ਅਸਲ ਰਸਤੇ ਤੋਂ ਭੁੱਲੇ ਹੋਏ – lost from the Divine Life); some are bedecked (have bedecked their lives) with attachment to the Naam (Giaan, Wisdom, Virtues Truth…). (sggs 918).

What is “attachment to the Naam”? It simply indicates living a Divine Life (the Gurmukh Lifestyle) of Wisdom, Virtues, Truth, Hukam, etc.

We have to take that responsibility — by becoming the Gurmukh, we need to put self-efforts (Uddam -ਉਦਮ = Shabad-Vichaar...). This is the Gurbani’s edict.

  • ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰਤ ਆਨਦੁ ਭਇਆ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਸੁਖ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਜਪਿ ਜਪਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਕਾ ਪੂਰਨ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥੧॥: By making effort (Shabad Vichaar…), Bliss happens; contemplating (Naam), Essence of Happiness (is experienced). (sggs 815).

Clever tricks of the crafty mind as propagated by the illiterate Pujaaree groups — Ragi, Bhai, Kathaakaar, Deraa-Vaad, Baabaa-Vaad, Sant-Vaad, so called foolish ‘scholars’, etc.):

  • ਚਤੁਰਾਈ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਕਿਨੈ ਤੂ ਸੁਣਿ ਮੰਨ ਮੇਰਿਆ ॥ ਏਹ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਣੀ ਜਿਨਿ ਏਤੁ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਇਆ ॥: Listen, O my (fickle) mind! Through cleverness (worldly cleverness, tricks – ਚਲਾਕੀਆਂ ਨਾਲ), no one has attained (ਕੋਈ ਪਰਾਪਤੀ ਨਹੀ). (sggs 918).

In nutshell, the Gurbani reminds us that the Eternal Bliss is to be Experienced within the mind, while living in the body (i.e., before death).

  • ਅਨੰਦੁ ਭਇਆ ਮੇਰੀ ਮਾਏ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਮੈ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਤ ਪਾਇਆ ਸਹਜ ਸੇਤੀ ਮਨਿ ਵਜੀਆ ਵਾਧਾਈਆ ॥: O my mother! I am in Bliss (because), I have obtained or realized the Satiguroo (within). In conjunction with the realization of the Satiguroo, (I have also realized) Sahaj Avasthaa (Natural State of Being, Intuitive Ease, the State of the Divine Knowledge, ਗਿਆਨ ਅਵਸਥਾ, ਅਡੋਲ ਅਵਸਥਾ…), and now within my mind resounds Happiness (sggs 917).

Thus, the Gurbani reveals to us the Essence of Bliss. It is to be found within our True Nature (Jot Saroop), which is the embodiment of the Untainted Consciousness and is ever in a State of Bliss.

The Gurbani also reveals 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.

  • ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੁਖ ਸਹਜ ਅਨੰਦਾ ॥ ਖੋਲ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਭੀਤਿ ਮਿਲੇ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦਾ ॥੪॥੧੪॥: Says Nanak – (within, now I abide in) Happinesss, Sahaj and Anand. Tearing down the wall (of greed, attachment, doubt – egotism or Haumai, I have) met the Supreme Bliss (Mool, within). ||4||14|| (sggs 1206).
  • ਤਿਨਾ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੈ ਜਿਨਾ ਸਚੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਆਧਾਰੁ ॥: They alone are in Anand, always in Happiness, who have made the True Naam the support (of their life). (sggs 36).
  • ਸਦਾ ਅਨੰਦਿ ਰਹਹਿ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤੀ ਗੁਣ ਕਹਿ ਗੁਣੀ ਸਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੧॥: (Bhagat-devotees are) Forever in bliss. (Through the Gur-Shabad) uttering the Divine Vrtues day and night, (they) remain merged in Dive Virtues. ||1|| (sggs 122).
  • ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਪਾਏ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦੁ ॥੩॥: Through Bhagti, Liberation and Anand are obtained. Through the Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh or Way of the SGGS), Supreme Anand is obtained. ||3|| (sggs 154).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੈ ਮਨਿ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਸਦਾ ਅਨੰਦ ॥: Within the mind of the Brahm Giaane (a person of Wisdom, Bibek, Truth…) is the Supreme bliss. There is everlasting Joy in the Heart of the Brahm Giaanee (sggs 273).
  • ਮਹਾ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: By contemplating / Reflecting on the Gur-Shabad (Shabad Vichaar, I am) in Great Bliss. (sggs 370).
  • ਸਤੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਸਭੁ ਸਚੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਵਿਤਾ ॥ ਅੰਦਰਹੁ ਕਪਟੁ ਵਿਕਾਰੁ ਗਇਆ ਮਨੁ ਸਹਜੇ ਜਿਤਾ ॥ ਤਹ ਜੋਤਿ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ਅਨੰਦ ਰਸੁ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਗਵਿਤਾ ॥: By becoming the Gurmukh, (one become the embodiment of) all True Contentment and purity. Deception and wickedness departs from within (who become the Gurmukh), and he easily conquers his mind. (As a result) Divine Light and Bliss are manifested there in his mind, and he loses his ignorance (sggs 512).

2 replies on “Anand”

thank you for sharing your reflections and understanding of Gurbani. may Waheguru ji bless you. Can you please reflect on a shabad that pertains to ninda and how to live peacefully, not letting others actions and behavior affect your peace of mind?

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