Are we lost in yoga and meditation?
Bilaval Sovereign 10
How can That One be said to be in one human form?
The Siddhas could not see That One, lost themselves in perfect consciousness and intense concentration. Pause-reflect.
Likes of Narada, Vyasa, Prasara, and Dhruva concentrated with intense concentration.
Vedas and Puranas lost and left after stubbornness; even then, they could not concentrate on That One.
Even demigods, deities, spirits, and ghosts call That One infinite and infinite.
That One is recognized as the finest among the finest; That One is labeled as the greatest among the greatest.
That One created all — land, sky, and nether regions — the One is known for many forms.
Only that person is free from the noose of death who takes refuge in Hari-1.
Bilaval musical mode invokes mood and emotions of happiness and devotion.
Samadhi and Dhyana are very popular Sanskrit terms used in many religious traditions and philosophies of South Asia, especially Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. Samadhi is “to bring together to receive,” and it's Hindu and yogic interpretation is “perfect consciousness.” Dhyana is “contemplation or mediation,” and its yogic interpretation is “intense concentration on one object.” Dhyana prepares a yogi to practice Samadhi.
Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, the Sovereign, asks: How can That One be said to be in one human form? The Siddhas have exhausted their Samadhi and still couldn’t see That One. The Siddhas, the proven yogi masters with their philosophy, methods, and techniques, couldn’t visualize That One. My Sovereign tells me not to call anyone in the human form the 1 and not to get fixated or fascinated by the yogic establishment.
My Sovereign explains to me: The great ones in Indic systems like Narada, Vyasa, Prasara, and Dhruva did intense concentration. In Hinduism: Narada is the supreme Vaishnavite deity and is mentioned in multiple texts; Vyasa is the compiler of multiple texts; Prasara is the author of multiple texts and father of Vyasa, and Dhruva was an ascetic devotee of Vishnu. The great texts in Indic systems like Vedas and Puranas also exhausted their search and explanation and eventually let go of their stubbornness. Even then, they still could not concentrate on That One. My Sovereign tells me to make my Samadhi a profound and utterly absorptive connection with That One, not just an abstract idea of perfect consciousness. My Sovereign also tells me to make my Dhyana an undisturbed intimate connection with That One and not just a methodological discipline of intense concentration.
My Sovereign explains to me: The demigods and the deities, as well as the ghosts and the spirits, call That One infinite and infinite every day. In Hinduism: Danavas are a hundred demigods; Devas are thirty-three main deities; Pishachas are a type of Yaksha spirits demon-like, and Pretas are ghosts. That One is the finest and the greatest. My Sovereign tells me That One is fathomless and endless, way beyond the constructions of mythology or imaginations of the supernatural, fiends, and goblins. I must not get caught up in the minute details of the so-called spiritual or divine beings and their opposites. They are ploys of men caught in desire, anger, or other ego-generated thoughts and emotions. None of them are That One!
My Sovereign explains to me: That One is known in many forms, as seen in the creation of everything, from the earth to the sky to nether regions. That One creates and decorates all things visible and invisible, all things perceivable and imperceivable. Those who enter the sanctuary of Hari — All-Pervasive, Fear-Eliminator, the Force, the 1— are free from the noose of death, the pain, and suffering due to fear of death. My Sovereign tells me to witness the magnificent and limitless creation. I must transcend my mind and intellect; then I will see That One manifested everywhere and in everything, the formless in many forms. My Sovereign doesn’t want me to be lost in yoga and meditation, seeking perfect consciousness and intense concentration. My Sovereign wants me to be in Samadhi of absorptive connection via Dhyana of intimate connection, where I maintain my incessant connection with That One.
Note: We are very finite; our understanding is finite too. We aspire to deepen our relationship with the Guru. In this translation and commentary, we focused more on meaning, context, and message and less on literalism and poetics. We aspire to learn and live the message to end our separation from the 1.
This artwork, inspired by Guru Gobind Singh’s composition, illustrates the institutional and intellectual powers that seek to understand the ੧/IkOankar/the One. The gazebo structure blends into the rock caves on the right side of the piece, symbolizing the joint perspectives of scholars and academics who might converse in a garden and Yogis and Siddhs who would do so in a cave or in a natural environment. The figures underneath are absorbed in their disciplines, methods, and postures, all incapable of encapsulating the ੧. I chose to depict only men as these institutions of authority and power are often only accessible to men. There are books beside them, symbolizing religious texts, philosophies, and conventional wisdom that are incomplete without understanding the ੧. Black-cloaked rakshas, demons, and ghosts are depicted as dark and light shadows, contributing to the conversation. The three worlds are shown with the three shades of brown that appear in the background of the piece: the bottom third is darkest, where all these conversing parties are, there is a middle mid-tone section, and the lightest and brightest segment at the top with the ੧ shown. The ੧ is depicted directly above the roof structure to indicate the Truth of the ੧ is out of sight and not visible to these figures.
Note: Where there is greenery, there is ‘natural life.’ I situate the readers, the learners, and seekers, those engaging with the composition there. In every artwork, I have placed ੧, a reference to IkOankar, the One, without limiting it to an object-based depiction such as a sun or a moon. The colors are chosen intentionally to evoke a particular interpretation or adhere to a cohesive color palette to show the relationship between the ten compositions of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib.
ਬਿਲਾਵਲੁ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੀ ੧੦
ਸੋ ਕਿਮਿ ਮਾਨਸ ਰੂਪ ਕਹਾਏ॥
ਸਿਧ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਸਾਧਿ ਕਰਿ ਹਾਰੇ ਕ੍ਯੋ ਹੂੰ ਨ ਦੇਖਨ ਪਾਏ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ॥
ਨਾਰਦ ਬਿਆਸ ਪਰਾਸਰ ਧ੍ਰੂਅ ਸੇ ਧਿਆਵਤਿ ਧਿਆਨ ਲਗਾਏ॥੧॥
ਬੇਦ ਪੁਰਾਨਿ ਹਾਰਿ ਹਠਿ ਛਾਡਿਓ ਤਦਪਿ ਧਿਆਨ ਨ ਆਏ॥੧॥
ਦਾਨਵ ਦੇਵ ਪਿਸਾਚ ਪ੍ਰੇਤ ਤੇ ਨੇਤਹਿ ਨੇਤ ਕਹਾਏ॥
ਸੂਛਮ ਤੇ ਸੂਛਮ ਕਰਿ ਚੀਨੇ ਬ੍ਰਿਧਨ ਬ੍ਰਿਧ ਬਤਾਏ॥੨॥
ਭੂਮਿ ਅਕਾਸ ਪਤਾਲ ਸਭੈ ਸਜਿ ਏਕ ਅਨੇਕ ਸਦਾਏ॥
ਸੋ ਨਰ ਕਾਲਫਾਂਸ ਤੇ ਬਾਚੇ ਜੋ ਹਰਿ ਸਰਣਿ ਸਿਧਾਏ॥੩॥੧॥੮॥
bilāvalu pātisāhī 10
so kimi mānas rūp kahāe.
sidh samādhi sādhi kari hāre kayo hūṁ na dekhan pāe.1. rahāu.
nārad biās parāsar dhrūa se dhiāvati dhiān lagāe.1.
bed purāni hāri haṭhi chāḍio tadapi dhiān na āe.1.
dānav dev pisāc pret te netahi net kahāe.
sūcham te sūcham kari cīne bridhan bridh batāe.2.
bhūmi akās patāl sabhai saji ek anek sadāe.
so nar kālphāṁs te bāce jo hari saraṇi sidhāe.3.1.8.