The Gurus and Bhagat have used terms that were already within the use and within the psyche of people of the time. However, they have used these terms as examples (ਹਵਾਲਾ), but explicitly with new meanings and understanding to fit the new and unique spiritual paradigms of Sikhi or Gurmat (Wisdom of the SGGS); NOT to regurgitate what already existed before the Gurus!
This word ‘ANAND’ is derived from Sanskrit ‘Ananda’ (from ‘Nand’ meaning ‘to rejoice’ or ‘to delight’). For lack of a better word in English, ‘ANAND‘ (ਅਨੰਦ) is also seen translated to mean Bliss, Joy, ecstasy, tranquility, happiness, satisfaction, contentment, etc.
Nonetheless, since all human languages have their own limitations, ‘ANAND’ means differently to different people in the real world.
This Innermost blooming (‘Vigaas‘) is one’s unique experience! To say it otherwise, it cannot be made to an order, gifted, inherited, purchased or stolen.
- ਨਾਨਕ ਭਗਤਾ ਸਦਾ ਵਿਗਾਸੁ ॥: O Nanak! Bhagats (pious people –Daas, Jan, Gurmukh…) constantly stay in the mode of ‘Vigaas’ (i.e., growth-development-expansion of their intellect, Knowledge, Inner Blooming, Bliss, ਅੰਤਰ ਖੇੜਾ, ਚਾਨਣਾ, ਮਾਨਸਿਕ ਵਿਗਾਸ…). By listening to the supreme Wisdom, they remove their Dukh and wickedness (sggs 2-3).
The Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS tells us that until we know the reality or Satt (ਅਸਲੀਅਤ, ਤੱਤ, ਸਚ, ਸਤ), there can be no real Anand. Instead, the mind will remain restless and continue to wander around, experiencing repeated suffering, Here and Now!
We routinely hear about Anand in Gurdwaras, religious gatherings, etc. For example, before Ardaas (prayer), we sing from the ‘Raamkalee Mahalaa 3 Anand(u)’ (‘ਰਾਮਕਲੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੩ ਅਨੰਦੁ’) — Anand Sahib.
But, according to the Gurbani (NOT according to the dictionary or fool-o-sophy):
- What is the real Anand?
- How and from where it can be experienced?
- What are the hindrances and obstacles remaining steady in Unbroken Anand?
- Is it truthfully explained to the Sangat (congregation) by the Pujaaree groups — Ragi, Bhai, Kathaakaar, Deraa-Vaad, Baabaa-Vaad, Sant-Vaad, Jathedaar-Vaad, Takhat-Vaad, foolish religious scholars, etc.?
- Are members of the Sangat afforded the opportunity to ask the Pujaaree questions?
The Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS provides us with answers, IF one is willing to learn. Big ‘IF’ indeed!
From whom can we know what the true Anand is?
The Gurbani says that the state of ‘ANAND’ can be experienced through the Guru (Giaan or Wisdom).
- 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 Guru (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).
- 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 Satiguru (within). In conjunction with the realization of the Satiguru, (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).
Such real ‘Anand‘ understood and realized through the Gur-Shabad alone is lasting. Those who experience this real Anand through the Gur-Shabad are called ‘Fortunate-ਵਡਭਾਗੀ’ in the Gurbani (ਸਹਜ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਹੋਆ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ –Sahaj anand hoaa vadabhaagee…, sggs 773).
All other types of ‘Anand‘ (ਅਨੰਦ) are temporary or fleeting at best.
What are the signs of true Anand?
The Gurbani explains:
- 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 collyrium 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|| (sggs 917).
Those ‘rare’ ones who have Experienced real ANAND within are known as the Gurmukh in the Gurbani.
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਬਿਗਸੈ ਹਰਿ ਬੈਰਾਗੁ ਅਨੰਦੁ ॥: Who has become the Gurmukh performs deeds (as told by the Guru’s Giaan or Wisdom) and remains blooming (from within) (because within him) is divine love and spiritual Bliss or ANAND. (sggs 29).
In short, a Gurmukh (Bhagat, Daas, Jan…) is a Wise person, brave person, good person, virtuous person, fearless, blissful (Anand), pious, Joyful, abides in Jot Saroop, always positive, etc. (ਵਿਦਵਾਨ, ਬਹਾਦੁਰ, ਭਲਾ, ਨੇਕ, ਗੁਣੀ, ਖੁਸ਼, ਹਮੇਸ਼ਾ ਚੜ੍ਹਦੀ ਕਲਾ ਵਿਚ ਰਹਿਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਇਨਸਾਨ…).
In other words, in order for the mind to become the Gurmukh, it should be imbued with the divine Virtues or thoughts — contentment (ਸੰਤੋਖ), Truth (ਸਤ), honesty (ਇਮਾਨਦਾਰੀ), mercy (ਦਯਾ), patience (ਧੀਰਜ), Sahaj (ਸਹਜ-Natural State of Being), Wisdom (ਗਿਆਨ), humility (ਮਨ ਨਿਮਾਣਾ, ਬੁਧਿ ਗਰੀਬੀ), sweet speech (ਮਿਠ ਬੋਲੜਾ), and so on.
- 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 are) Forever in bliss. (Through the Gur-Shabad) living the Divine Virtues day and night, (they) remain merged in Dive Virtues. ||1|| (sggs 122).
- ਮਨਿ ਚਾਉ ਭਇਆ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਆਗਮੁ ਸੁਣਿਆ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਮੰਗਲੁ ਗਾਉ ਸਖੀ ਗ੍ਰਿਹੁ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਬਣਿਆ ॥: If the mind has become established in Anand, (it means the mind) has realized its Mool (Jot Saroop or True Nature…). O my mate (mind, soul)! My (body-) House has become the Devine Temple, now sing in Joy (i.e., live every moment of life with Wisdom and Virtues…). (sggs 921).
The Gurmat’s real ‘Anand’ is everywhere!
Hence, two names are given to the same One Universal Energy. They are only different by figures of speech. For example, both the ocean and the waves are water. Although both the ocean and its waves are made of the same water, but for the sake of discussion one is called the ocean and the other is called the wave. Similarly, both the gold and gold-bracelet are the same thing; sun and rays are the same thing; Baajeegar (ਬਾਜੀਗਰ-acrobat) and Baajee (ਬਾਜੀ-acrobatic feat, etc.) are the same thing; Bandaa (human being) and Rabb are the same thing…
- ਜਲ ਤੇ ਤਰੰਗ ਤਰੰਗ ਤੇ ਹੈ ਜਲੁ ਕਹਨ ਸੁਨਨ ਕਉ ਦੂਜਾ ॥੧॥: From the water, the waves rise up; and from the waves, the water. They are only different by figures of speech. ||1|| ||1|| (sggs 1252).
- ਤੋਹੀ ਮੋਹੀ ਮੋਹੀ ਤੋਹੀ ਅੰਤਰੁ ਕੈਸਾ ॥ ਕਨਕ ਕਟਿਕ ਜਲ ਤਰੰਗ ਜੈਸਾ ॥੧॥: You are me, and I am You—what is the difference between us? We are like gold and the bracelet, or water and the waves ||1|| (sggs 93).
- ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਅਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੫॥: Thus says Nanak – O mind! You are embodiment of Pure Light (Pure Consciousness, Pure Nature, Original or Real Nature, Wisdom, Virtues – Jot Saroop …)! Recognize your Mool (ਅਪਣੇ ਆਪ ਦੀ ਪਛਾਣ, recognition of mind’s Original or True Nature – Jot Saroop…) ||5|| (sggs 441).
Hence, since the real Anand is everywhere, it’s NOT to be found only in Gurdwaras, or only in a particular Deraa, or only at any of the so called religious places.
Also, since it’s everywhere, we all can experience it Here and Now, IF WE ARE EARNESTLY WILLING TO experience!
All we need to do is tear down the veil, wall or curtain of the false ego-sense (Haumai), doubt, Bikaar (lust, anger, greed…), etc. that separates us from our Mool, and this inhibits us from experiencing ‘Anand’!
- ਖੋਲ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਭੀਤਿ ਮਿਲੇ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦਾ ॥੪॥੧੪॥: Tearing down the wall, I have obtained the Supreme Bliss. ||4||14|| (sggs 1206).
- ਕਬੀਰ ਜਾ ਦਿਨ ਹਉ ਮੂਆ ਪਾਛੈ ਭਇਆ ਅਨੰਦੁ ॥: O Kabeer! (By living the Divine Virtues) on the day when my egotism dies (bad influence of ego on my mind), afterwards there is Bliss within. (sggs 1364).
- ਹਉ ਭੀਤਿ ਭਇਓ ਹੈ ਬੀਚੋ ਸੁਨਤ ਦੇਸਿ ਨਿਕਟਾਇਓ ॥ ਭਾਂਭੀਰੀ ਕੇ ਪਾਤ ਪਰਦੋ ਬਿਨੁ ਪੇਖੇ ਦੂਰਾਇਓ ॥੩॥: (O my mother, I) hear this that (my Beloved) dwells near within (me but) the wall of egotism separates us. Like the wings of a butterfly, there is this thin veil (of egotism that separates us); without being able to see (due to the curtain of egotism, my Beloved), seems to be far away. ||3|| (sggs 624).
How can we all experience true Anand?
First off, everyone is entitled to Anand, ONLY if one is honestly willing to put forth sincere efforts (i.e., Shabad-Vichaar) to experience it.
ONE THING IS CERTAIN: Anand cannot be made to an order, gifted, inherited, purchased or stolen.
Now, according to the Gurbani, how can we ALL experience it? Longing for experience of Anand is inherent in all human beings, but only a ‘rare’ can experience it
Can we experience it by just sitting idle waiting for some grace to dawn on us from somewhere up there? Or, can we experience it wandering around from one Gurdwara or Deraa to the other?
Anand will not happen that way. 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‘?
We have to take up that responsibility — we need to put self-efforts (Uddam-ਉਦਮ = Shabad-Vichaar…). The Gurbani’s edict is:
- ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰਤ ਆਨਦੁ ਭਇਆ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਸੁਖ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: By making effort (Shabad-Vichaar…), Bliss happens; contemplating (Naam), Essence of Happiness (is experienced). (sggs 815).
Intellectual cleverness, deceptions or ploys of the crooked mind as propagated by the illiterate and crafty Pujaaree-Vaad will not do the trick. The divine Virtues and covetousness do not go together: the former lead to inner blooming or Anand; the covetousness keeps one embroiled in the relativist consciousness.
- ਚਤੁਰਾਈ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਕਿਨੈ ਤੂ ਸੁਣਿ ਮੰਨ ਮੇਰਿਆ ॥: Listen, O my (fickle) mind! Through cleverness (worldly cleverness, tricks – ਚਲਾਕੀਆਂ ਨਾਲ), no one has attained (ਕੋਈ ਪਰਾਪਤੀ ਨਹੀ). (sggs 918).
However, we can change ONLY if we want to change. In other words, we can experience ANAND if we want to experience it!
- ਕਬੀਰ ਸਾਚਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਕਿਆ ਕਰੈ ਜਉ ਸਿਖਾ ਮਹਿ ਚੂਕ ॥ ਅੰਧੇ ਏਕ ਨ ਲਾਗਈ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਂਸੁ ਬਜਾਈਐ ਫੂਕ ॥੧੫੮॥: O Kabeer! The Satguru (ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ-True Wisdom) can’t do anything if there is a lapse or fault in Sikhs (learners, ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ). (The Satguru’s Knowledge, Giaan…) can’t affect or change the (arrogant or mentally) blind person (if he does not want to change); it is as useless as the bamboo (flute) of begins to play when blown in (but the blow passes through one end and goes out the other way, similarly the Gur-Giaan or Wisdom passes from one ear and escapes through the other ear without affecting an arrogant person who does not want to change. ||158|| (sggs 1372).
Source and way to the ultimate Anand
The Gurbani also reveals to us the Source of Bliss and Way to the ultimate Bliss.
- ਮਹਾ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: Reflecting on the Gur-Shabad, Great Joy (is experienced…). (sggs 370).
- ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੈ ਮਨਿ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦ ॥: Within the mind of the Brahm Giaanee (a person of Wisdom, Bibek, Truth…) is the Supreme bliss. (sggs 273).
- ਚਿਤਹਿ ਚਿਤੁ ਸਮਾਇ ਤ ਹੋਵੈ ਰੰਗੁ ਘਨਾ ॥: If (a person’s) mind (or thinking) is absorbed in the mind (or Wisdom of the Satguru), then (within that person) great Bliss is realized. (sggs 1362).
- ਗੁਰ ਪਾਰਸ ਹਮ ਲੋਹ ਮਿਲਿ ਕੰਚਨੁ ਹੋਇਆ ਰਾਮ ॥ ਜੋਤੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਮਿਲਾਇ ਕਾਇਆ ਗੜੁ ਸੋਹਿਆ ਰਾਮ ॥: The ‘Gur‘ (-Giaan or Wisdom) is the ‘Paaras’ (philosopher’s stone) and we (mortals) are like iron (deluded or ignorant mind, Bikaaree…), as the iron gets transmuted into gold by the touch of (‘Paaras’, similarly), by merging our Jot (or mind or thinking) in the Jot (or Mind or Wisdom of the of ‘Gur’), the mind-fortress (of us beings) becomes beautiful. (sggs 1114).
To realize enduring and untrammeled Anand, one has to make a leap from the gross and the physical (Manmukh-Saakat-Mayadhaaree lifestyle) to the metaphysical and the spiritual level (Gurmukh Lifestyle).
- ਸਦਾ ਅਨੰਦਿ ਰਹੈ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਕਰਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੫॥: Who has become the Gurmukh always remains engrossed in spiritual Bliss or Anand day and night, he always Practices Shabad (Upadesh, Giaan, Wisdom…). (sggs 129).
- ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਪਾਏ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦੁ ॥੩॥: Through Bhagti, Anand is obtained. Through the Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh or Way of the SGGS), Supreme Anand is obtained. ||3|| (sggs 154).