Friday, September 2, 2016

An Interesting Perspective on Kabir's "Avval Allah Noor Upaya"

I am singing Bhagat Kabir's "Loga Bharam Na Bhoolo Bhai" or "Avval Allah Noor Upaya," and I found a very interesting perspective on this shabad.  Enjoy ... 

Bibi Harsiimrat Kaur Khalsa​
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Bhagat kabir Ji (1398 to 1495 others say 1448 to 1518) composed: 292 hymns in the Guru Granth Sahib. He was born in a low caste of Julaha to a Brahmin mother who abandoned him, then he was raised by a Niru, a Muslim weaver who taught him the same trade. On the basis of modern research, it seems probable that Kabir belonged to a family of non-celibate yogis converted, not long before and to a considerable degree superficially to Islam Bhagat Kabir was a supporter of the Bhakti movement. He lived as a householder, despised the caste system and religious rituals. He was a saintly apostle of peace, love and unity, and he was a great poet. Bhagat Kabir believed in inward purity, and was highly respected by both Hindus and Muslims. The exact place of his birth is believed to be Lahore in Pakistan, although this is not widely accepted. Bhagat Kabir was a weaver by trade.

From the writings of Kabir it seems that his knowledge of Islam was slight, In his poetical Banis is a wealth of Hathayoga terminology and thought structure similar to Nath Yogis. Nath Yogis who say taught that all truth is experimental, i.e. to be realized within the body with the aid of psycho-physical practices, concentration, control of breathing and thus making the body incorruptible and the yogis immortal. Thus Kabir belonging to a low caste of Julaha had to go through immense tough time of preaching his idealogy. Kabir and his followers would gather at one place in the city and meditate. Brahmins ridiculed him for preaching to prostitutes and other low castes Shudrs. Kabir mockingly denounced Brahmins and thus won hearts of people around him. Kabir believed in self-surrender and God's bhakti. in ceaseless singing of the praises of God, prayers and a simple and pure life of devotion. He virtually suggests some withdrawal from the world. He is against all ritualistic and ascetic methods as means to salvation. It is true that Kabir refers to some yogic terms in describing the meditational and mystic methods of the yogis. he himself taught against the yogic path condemning ascetic or yogic methods, and says that yogis, in their meditations, become prey to maya. Kabir suggests inward worship and remembrance of God. For him, true worship is only inwards. Put on the rosary inward. By counting beads, the world will be full of light. He clearly suggests moral discrimination between good and bad deeds. What can the helpless road do, when the traveler does not walk understandingly? "What can one do, if, with lamp in hand, one falls in the well or goes astray with open eyes? Discern you now between good and evil." He rebelled against the way of resolving by the means of books or by way of authority, the mystery of human conditions and the problem of liberation (Moksha). He spent his last 40 days living in a place where people believed that if you die there, you will be born as a Donkey in next life. Kabir’s work consists of many short didactic poems, often expressed in brief, vigorous language in the form of Padas, Dohas, and Ramainis (forms of poetry in Indian languages). Besides his work recorded in Guru Granth Sahib, two other collections exist - Kabir Granthavali, and Bijak. In his poems, he was quick to tell the illustrations of moral and spiritual truth in the incidents of everyday life.

Avil Alh nUru aupwieAw, kudriq ky sB bMdy ]
“First God created the Light; by His power he created all people equal.”
There is no beginning of the recycling of the universe because it has always been here, a countless eternal product of changes both seen and unseen. What is light, and what does the word create mean? How is it that all beings are equal? The definition of the word create means make or cause to become, bring into existence, pursue a creative activity; be engaged in a creative activity, create by artistic means, produce, or manufacture. The meaning of light is characterized by or emitting light, any device serving as a source of illumination; luminosity: emitting or reflecting light; an illuminated area; a condition of spiritual awareness; divine illumination; the visual effect of illumination on objects or scenes as created in pictures; mental understanding as an enlightening experience, having abundant light or illumination; public awareness; inner light: a divine presence that enlightens and guides the soul, cause to start burning; subject to fire or great heat; Light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength that is visible to the eye, or in a more general sense, any electromagnetic radiation in the range from infrared to ultraviolet. Light is a type of energy (and the tiny part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we can see). The fastest that light can travel is 186,300 miles per second. Visible light has a wavelength from 10 -7 m to 10 -8 m. LIGHT SPECTRUM Light can be broken up into its component colors (for example, by passing light through a prism) - this is a spectrum. The colors of the spectrum in order are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Light from the Sun can be broken up into these colors of the rainbow. These colors of the spectrum enable us to see color with the naked eye. Light is also a wave of light that, while invisible to the naked human eye, can be used to enhance visibility when using night vision devices. Light also means, the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, which can be seen by the human eye; also, the source of light or its use in painting such as the illumination of a subject or an aspect of a piece of work for emphasis. The portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye. Without light there would be no form, color, or texture. Light is also the energy source used by plants to form carbohydrates, an important biotic factor for plant food. Light is also a form of electromagnetic radiation composed of different wavelengths ranging from violet to red that are visible to the naked eye. Light is also a means by which energy can be transferred. This is a form of energy called radiant energy that travels freely through space. Light is also electromagnetic radiation that may be perceived by the human eye. 2. The sensation of perceiving light; brightness. A source of light, especially a lamp or electric fixture or illumination derived from such a source. How are all people created equal? No two people have the same genetic patterns, the same voice, the same skin tone, the same face shape, the same fingerprints, the same intelligence, or the same skills. since we all are created differently, and we are constantly competing with each other, they why does Bhagat Kabir say that all are created equal? God is one in essence, but He has show His infinite power in countless ways, as reflected in His creation. We should not be looking at the differences in us, but we should focus on the commonalities to bond with trust, cooperation, and compassion. The commonalities of us are first of all, the power of God in us, His light that caused us to exist and to function. We all hunger for truth, and God is that truth. Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji teaches us how to discover and experience this wonder of God. The glorious effects of this light is what Bhagat Kabir Ji understood that brought about his personal salvation experience. He is reporting to us of this great discovery and he left with us the legacy of this wonderful truth for all people, regardless of caste, race, or status.

eyk nUr qy sBu jgu aupijAw, kaun Bly ko mMdy ]1]
From One Light came the entire universe. So who is good, and who is bad? ||1||
There is only one light, but its amount of force and how it appears differs depending on what it is traveling to, through, and returning from. There is no limit to the power of light. A tiny spark of this radiant energy can move huge, heavy machinery. The power of light in magma causes gases to form an erupting volcano. The phenomena of a star becoming nova erupting into existence affects everything surrounding it within millions of miles. Everything that exists is a product of patterns of these vibrations interacting with each other. This is product of the hukam of God, the vibrations of light energy. Everything exists because of this, and everything has its equal right to exist, because it is the will of God that all things exist. All is part of His mysterious plan and game. Since God is one and complete, there is no room for anything or anyone to think they are more important than anything else in creation. We are all created to obey the natural hukam of God, to learn how to survive, to use God’s hukam to be happy, healthy, and successful. We are invited to participate with God in His creation that has no end. Natural disasters happen all the time. Good things happen to. People do bad deeds and good deeds. Everything that happens is only because of the power of this one light. Evildoers think they are completing their deeds by their own power. Little do they realize that it is the natural laws of the universe that even allow them to raise their hands to strike a victim to his death. Righteous people do much sewa deeds, but it is the same power of God that allows them even to lift a finger to help the needy. God’s natural laws, His hukam operates logically and equally for both the righteous and the wicked people. Evildoers are considered bad, but the only think bad about them is their mentality, their character. They chose certain patterns of energy to flow into their mind, then the ego controls them. Instead of remembering God and accepting God’s hukam, they allow themselves to become trapped in the lies of the five vices. They purposefully hurt others in order to receive gain. Candidates campaigning for an election will many times lie and find every clever trick to hurt their opponents, and sometimes even by Taliban style terrorism or brainwashing. Bhagat Kabir ji asks “who is good and who is bad?” He did not say “Some are good and some are bad.” Why does he ask this? Good and bad are concepts in the mind, determined by the norm of society. A doctor could be curing an ill person, and he may feel pain, but the patient may be a young child who thinks that the doctor is bad. He does not realize that the doctor is helping him. People do evil things because they are trying to deal with their emotions, fear, greed, uncertainty, and pride. Nobody is good and nobody is bad. All is according to the metaphysics of reality. Evil people don’t know any better. If they did, then they would change their lifestyles. People who do good deeds make mistakes, too, or are misinterpreted by others as in acts of offense. We cannot judge who is wicked and who is good, because we don’t understand enough about the whole universe. Everyone wants happiness, health, and success. If we lack the wisdom how to get these blessings, then we start to act illogically and start to abuse creation and each other, whether we realize or not. God is so merciful, and He allows us to make mistakes, but He also offers us the remedy towards self improvement. He provided us the perfect guru teacher. His whole essence is filled in nature for us to learn. We have difficulties in understanding this, but a few individuals in history have begun to understand. Guru Nanak has realized this and introduced this concept in the contemporary language of man.  ikv sicAwrw hoeIAY ikv kUVY qutY pwil ] “So how can one become truthful? And how can the false veil of illusion be torn away?” hukim rjweI clxw nwnk iliKAw nwil ] “O Nanak, it is written that you shall obey the Hukam of His Command, and walk in the Way of His Will.” If we follow the hukam of God as Bhagat Kabir Ji also realized, then we will recognize all people equal, we will promote peace, we will be more willing to help in compassion rather than for showing off, there would be no need for war or campaigning for elections, there would be no more deceptions for greed sake.

logw Brim n BUlhu BweI ]
“O people, in doubt wander not, my brothers,”
Bhagat Kabir Ji addresses all of humanity here. He calls people his brothers. In a family, brothers and sisters are equally part of the family. They all have a right to live under the same house. They protect each other from outsiders that threaten their safety. Bhagat Kabir Ji is sharing this shabad because he does not want any member of his family to suffer. We are all part of his family. If we life in ignorance, governed by our five vices, then we will always wander. We will always doubt the very Divine giver of life. We will doubt the universe the way it truly exists and remain blinded in our stupidity and greed. If we wander, then we will not see the very blessing of life and truths that God constantly offers us. We learn all about this in Shri Guru Granth Sahib. If we refuse to learn Guru Ji’s teachings, if we refuse to obey, then we will always wander lost. ieknw hukmI bKsIs ieik hukmI sdw BvweIAih ] Some, by His Command, are blessed and others, by His Command, wander aimlessly forever. “This does not mean that God only blessed certain people who He felt deserved so. All of the natural elements of reality are His blessings provided for us. Accepting the natural laws of reality, and living by them will cause us to live truthfully, receiving the blessings of reality. God loves the whole world and wants all to be blessed. Do not be blinded by your limited perceptions. Do not weigh blessings by how much money you have, or how healthy you are. Remember, your physical state will not last forever, because you are also a part of the perpetual recycling of creation. If you never see that you are already blessed in this world, then you will wander aimlessly forever, until you understand and accept God’s hukam full of grace.

Kwilku Klk Klk mih Kwilku pUir rihE sRb TWeI ]1] rhwau ]
“Creation in Creator, and Creator in Creation, Totally filled in all places. ||1||Pause||”
God is the place in which all of creation exists. Likewise, God’s glory fills all of creation, yet He does not need anything in His creation to exist. Guru Arjan Dev Ji taught, srgun inrgun inrMkwr suMn smwDI Awip ] “He possesses all qualities; He transcends all qualities; He is the Formless Lord. He Himself is in Primal Samaadhi.” Awpn kIAw nwnkw Awpy hI iPir jwip ]1] “Through His Creation, O Nanak, He meditates on Himself. ||1||” (Sukhmani Sahib ang 290) Guru Nanak taught, Alwhu AlKu AgMmu kwdru krxhwru krImu ] (64, isrIrwgu, mhlw 1) He is God, the Unknowable, the Inaccessible, All-powerful and Merciful Creator. sB dunI Awvx jwvxI mukwmu eyku rhImu ]6] All the world comes and goes-only the Merciful Lord is permanent. ||6|| mukwmu iqs no AwKIAY ijsu isis n hovI lyKu ] Call permanent only the One, who does not have destiny inscribed upon His Forehead. Asmwnu DrqI clsI mukwmu EhI eyku ]7] The sky and the earth shall pass away; He alone is permanent. ||7|| idn riv clY inis sis clY qwirkw lK ploie ] The day and the sun shall pass away; the night and the moon shall pass away; the hundreds of thousands of stars shall disappear. mukwmu EhI eyku hY nwnkw scu bugoie ]8]17] He alone is the permanent place; Nanak speaks the Truth. ||8||17||? This is what Guru Arjan say about permanence in Shlok Seheskriti ang 1354 GtMq rUpM GtMq dIpM GtMq riv ssIAr nK´qR ggnµ ] “Beauty fades away, islands fade away, sun, moon, stars and sky fade.” They see that nothing is permanent. God’s creation is stable, but our perception of everything is false, because the stability of the universe naturally follows the path of recycling. Nothing is physically stable. GtMq bsuDw igir qr isKMfM ] “The earth, mountains, forests and lands fade away.” These are examples of how even the largest things have an end. Everything goes through molecular changes. GtMq llnw suq BRwq hIqM ] “One's spouse, children, siblings and loved friends fade away.” Those we are so attached to come to an end as well. GtMq kink mwink mwieAw sÍrUpM ] “Gold and jewels and the incomparable beauty of Maya fade away.” Without money, no one can live. Those that are too attached to it suffer more than the poor. nh GtMq kyvl gopwl Acuq ] “Only the Eternal, Unchanging Lord does not fade away.” If we attach to the Creator, He is much greater than gold, friends, family, health, etc. He is not affected changes in the universe. AsiQrM nwnk swD jn ]9] “O Nanak, only the humble Saints are steady and stable forever. ||9||” When we fall in love with God, them we see how we are a already part of God’s stable creation, not to be judged by our limited perceptions of birth and death. So who do people like to follow and what kind of house do they prefer to line in? They prefer the beautiful, the successful people, the wealthy, those who never fail. But all people fail and all of nature changes. They prefer to live in the most stable home. The larger the better ones are made of expensive, exquisite materials that last longer and have better insulation from cold and hot weather. God is always stable and true. The home of God never falls apart, it stands up to anything. Not even the powerful tsunamis can sweep it away. Look at how the people reacted to watching their homes being swept away, along with their loved ones. Many of them are destitute and have no hope. They feel that since their home is gone, so is everything else that God provided. The truth that God Himself is the home in which we all exist. We make our honest living towards building our home, providing food, and care. The building itself is not the home, because home is wherever one dwells. When you are born, your home did not come with you. Your parents took you into their home that they labored hard to make happen. No one is born with his own home. A home comes afterwards when one is grown up. It either comes by your own labor or by an inheritance. God has given us His inheritance, Himself as Home to us all. We all equally have access to dwell in His home. The universe displays all the structures and furniture and resources for us to decorate our dwelling place. We labor hard to grow the vegetables to eat. God has and is always doing His part by maintaining the cycles of nature. Our part is to participate in His hukam by obeying the laws of nature they way they truly are, and not by the way we thing they are.  khY nwnku scy swihb ikAw nwhI Gir qyrY ]3] “Says Nanak, O my True Lord and Master, what is there which is not in Your home? ||3||” It’s one thing to understand this experience only from hearing from someone else, but when you try it yourself, you agree even more. Why would anyone in their right mind wish to move out of the perfect home into a cheap, small house of inferior quality? Why not stay satisfied in God?

mwtI eyk Anyk BWiq kir swjI swjnhwrY ]
“The clay is the same, but various ways by the Fashioner.”
If you only dwell in one room of the house all your life and never step into another room or even go outside, you would feel lost. Some people are afraid of trying something new. Some people are afraid of traveling long distance for fear of getting lost. In God’s house, there is no such thing as getting lost. It is up to us to learn the different suites in His mansion. We live in His house rent-free. Our only responsibility is to use the resources He provided us with to help ourselves. Just as every room in a house is different, so is each piece of furniture. Every window in the house has a different view. Every room has its own function, but every part of the house is part of the whole house. Have you ever tried spinning object with clay? It is very difficult and requires lots of practice, patience, and precision. Every pot that is had spun is slightly different. Nothing is wrong with the person making these pots. They are all different because there are differences in room temperature, muscle agility, posture, hand and finger pressure, and coordination. For more exact productions machinery is used, but there will always be a microscopic difference with every pot. Even the clay will have slight differences, but the clay is the same clay. There are thousands of ways to form clay objects for various functions and looks. So what does the clay represent in this shabad? The clay represents

nw kCu poc mwtI ky BWfy nw kCu poc kuMBwrY ]2]
“Nothing is wrong with the pot of clay – nothing is wrong with the Potter. ||2||”
When things don’t happen the way we expect, we tend to judge the whole situation as bad, then we tend to blame God. When we reason faults in creation and faults in the natural laws of the universe, we tend to misjudge God. Our evidence is only based on our illusions, our misunderstandings of anything. We become lost in our perceptions which are blinded by our ignorance and five vices. Instead of procrastinating sin, we tend to rush into it and put righteous living in truth to the side. We rush to make a mistake without thinking twice. Before an object is formed from the clay, the clay is just a dry lump of soil. It is first purified then moistened with water, then it is broken down and stirred into a thick muddy substance. Then the potter grabs a handful or more of the clay and rolls out the extra moisture on a dry surface for the perfect consistency. They he places the clay on the most central part of the spinning wheel, holding the clay firmly with equal pressure. If the hands move slightly, the object will not be symmetrical, but crooked. All of nature is a product of exactness which is balanced in the entire universe. It takes a precise, exact skill to maintain perfection in anything. This requires a miracle to always be exact. Only God is exact but what goes off coarse is our inaccuracy, ignorance and blindness.

sB mih scw eyko soeI iqs kw kIAw sBu kCu hoeI ]
“The One True Lord abides in all; by His making, everything is made.”
The only way things can exist is by God abiding in them. What does it mean for God to abide in things? The presence of God is in all places at the same time, because reality is everywhere. Nothing can exist without God, because everything and everyone that exists is the result of the presence and hukam of God in operation. It is impossible to hide or run away from God. People commit wicked acts by not being seen. There is shame in sinning in public, but they tend to forget that dishonesty and acts of hate can never be done in secret, because God is always watching. All of nature surrounding us testify to all our acts. shs qv nYn nn nYn hih qoih kau shs mUriq nnw eyk qouhI ] (13, DnwsrI, mhlw 1) You have thousands of eyes, and yet You have no eyes. You have thousands of forms, and yet You do not have even one.  qUM Gt Gt AMqir srb inrMqir jI hir eyko purKu smwxw ] (11, Awsw, mhlw 4) You are constant in each and every heart, and in all things. O Dear Lord, You are the One. Qwn Qnwey srb smwey ] (1307, kwnVw, mhlw 5) In the places and interspaces, He is All-pervading. mnih pRgwsu pyiK pRB kI soBw jq kq pyKau AwihE ]1] My mind is enlightened, gazing upon the Glory of God. Wherever I look, there He is. ||1|| sB qy prY prY qy aUcw gihr gMBIr AQwihE ]2] (1299, kwnVw, mhlw 5) You are the farthest of all, the highest of the far, profound, unfathomable and unreachable. ||2||

hukmu pCwnY su eyko jwnY bMdw khIAY soeI ]3]
“Whoever realizes the Hukam of His Command, knows the One Lord. He alone is said to be the Lord's slave. ||3||”
hukim rjweI clxw nwnk iliKAw nwil ] O Nanak, it is written that you shall obey the Hukam of His Command, and walk in the way of His Will. Guru Ji answers this first question with sound advice. God reigns with hukam, yet many people misunderstand its meaning. Hukam governs the unchanging, natural laws of the universe. Unchanging means that nothing or no one can change the fundamental functions of the metaphysical universe. We may cause certain things to happen, such as laboratory experiments, but we are not changing the natural laws. Some examples of natural laws are: birth and death, mathematical facts, and all matter in the universe is constantly being affected by something else. Everything becomes recycled. Heat, coldness, wind, gravitational forces, radiation, dryness, and molecular reactions to various stimuli are among the intricate details occurring within the universe. The false veil is caused by ignorance and ego. Understanding God’s Hukam and living by it is the only way to remove the false veil. Living truthful means living by God’s Hukam. When one realizes this, he become devoted as a slave to living truthful and learning such.

Alhu AlKu n jweI liKAw guir guVu dInw mITw ]
“God is unseen; He cannot be seen. The Guru has blessed me with this sweet molasses.”
Why is God invisible? Why can’t we see Him? There is nothing to see when it comes to God. Everything that our naked eye sees is only light reflections of the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. Everything is composed of invisible molecular vibrations governed by God’s hukam. If we accept the realm of reality the way it truly is and not be blinded by our ignorance and five vices, then we will begin to see God. The closest we can get to seeing God is only done with the third eye. The third eye is the eye of understanding of Guru Gian wisdom.

kih kbIr myrI sMkw nwsI srb inrMjnu fITw ]4]3]
“Says Kabeer, my anxiety and fear have been taken away; I see the Immaculate Lord pervading everywhere. ||4||3||”
When we wander around in darkness, governed by our ignorance and five vices, we start to doubt the existence of God. We start to blame Him when we suffer. We argue with Him asking, “Why didn’t You protect me from this evil, if You are God. When we deny God, when we run away from reality, then we begin to suffer the consequences. We start to feel loneliness and anxiety. We start to worry more and be more insecure. Why are people afraid? People are afraid of the disturbance of the entire universe. One act out of place will destroy the universe. Since God is in complete control of everything, nothing on our part or anyone else’s part can disrupt the universe. One’s foolish actions and attitudes will distort one’s view of the universe to the point where he feels that his world is falling apart. He feels like he is sinking in the ocean of troubles. He starts to think that everything is out of control and that there is no God to control it. He begins to deny the very reality in which he lives. When Bhagat Kabir Ji accepted the hukam of only one supreme God, his sufferings ended. He realized the darnkess he was in and submitted himself the light of God. When he reached this high spiritual state, he saw all people are created equal by that light.

I conclusion, I would like to tell you a story I composed. Once upon a time there was a great king who decided to make a pot of subjee. He carefully designed his plan to build the preparation room and till the land to sow the seeds to grow the vegetables. He lovingly cared for his garden, constantly pulling out the dangerous weeds and providing the water. When it was time for the harvest, he picked all the different vegetables and brought them into the kitchen he built. He even hand made all the pots and pans. The great king put the pot on the fire then poured the clear oil. Then he tossed in the chopped onions which boasted, “We are the best part of the subjee.” Then the masala showered in saying, “Wow, look at us, the main part of the subjee.” Next, the tomatoes jumped in claiming, “We are beautiful and red. There is no good subjee without us.” Then the sliced carrots rolled in yelling, “Get out of our way, we are nice and orange color. We are better then you all. And those onions stink.” Then the peas bounced in one at a time singing, “As we roll into the subjee, there is no other as great as we.” It appeared as if the subjee would never turn out good, because all of the ingredients were too busy arguing and refusing to blend in. But when the great king added water, then all of the ingredients were absorbed in its bliss. Then this pot of subjee became in the land, the pride of the great king.

Here is the meaning of the story. The great king represents, Ek Oankaar, God, the creator of diverse things. The pot represents the world, and the room and farm land represent the vast universe. The different vegetables represent the different races of humanity with their own uniqueness of equal value in God’s eyes. Carrots were not created to be green like peas, yet peas do not smell like onions. The arguing of the ingredients represents the prejudices of the races enslaved by greed, over attachment, ego, passion, and anger. The water represents the Amrit of God. If we focus on the relish of Naam, then there will be no need to argue or compete. The commonality of the presence of God in each and every one of us will cause us to blend in for the benefit of humanity for peace on earth. All of the different ingredients in the pot of Sujbee are equally important, because they are created not to compete, but to compliment one another. We humans are created for the same purpose.

The reason I told you this story is to make this Subjee harmony happen here in our Gurdwara Sahibs. I speak every week on this radio station to encourage you to explore with me the valuable goals I hope to make to empower our sangat with the gian of Amrit Bani, Shri Guru Granth Sahib for the benefit of the Sangat. I want to see gurdwaras helping the local needy, establish scholarships, provide free medical services for the poor, visit the sick, and promote the message of the love of God to all races