The divine soil of Bharat has been fertile with innumerable saints from time immemorial. Such rare gems have been born all over Bharat. Many of them sang the glories of the Lord and were a living embodiment of Bhakti (devotion). The remarkable aspect of this is that although many of these saints were born in different centuries, their sayings have been consistent. Their only preaching to mankind is to chant the Names of the Lord.
In this Bharata Pradakshina series, we periodically see briefly how every Indian state has been graced by ‘bhakta’ saints who glorified the easiest and the most effective path of chanting the Lord’s Names.
The Sikh Guru
The greatest relationship is that of a Guru and sishya. Even when God descends to bless humanity by taking an avatar, He becomes a disciple to a Guru. Lord Rama had Sage Vasishta as His Guru and Lord Krishna had Sage Sandeepani. This underlines the greatness of this concept called a Guru. The state of Punjab greatly celebrates not only this idea in full glory but also the divine words of the Guru. The great Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal of Kanchi Mutt has mentioned in his discourse that the term “Sikh” must have been derived from the Sanskrit word sikshaka which means a Guru. The foremost Sikh Guru was Sri Guru Nanak Dev. His teachings emphasize the importance of chanting the Holy Names. The following are verses from Sri Guru Nanak Dev’s Japji Sahib, which appears at start of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikhs highlighting the greatness of the Divine Name.
True Master, True is His Name – Meditate it with deep love. They (men) ask and beg (God) “Give, give” – The Giver gives in abundance.
What can we place before Him, by which the darbaar can be seen? What words can we utter, listening to which His love is gained?
In the ambrosial period, dwell upon His True Name and praises.
With good past karmas (actions), this robe is obtained, By His Grace, the Gate of Liberation is found.
Countless names, countless places, countless realms remote. Even to speak the word “countless” Is really just a joke. In primal sounds are Nam and praise. In primal sounds are knowledge and song. In primal sounds are words spoken and written. In primal sounds is your destiny written.
From one tongue there came thousands more, And millions came from them. Millions of tongues are turning and churning, Repeating the One Lord’s Name. On the Master’s Path are many steps.
-Aravind Thathachari, Orlando, FL