The Inner Pilgrimage

January 16, 2024

Vahiguru ji ka Khalsa, Vahiguru ji ki Fatih!

As the month of Magh unfolds its embrace (14 Jan – 11 Feb), we embark on a reflective journey.

The harsh winter is slowly releasing its grip, paving the way for the promise of a new season. It's a time of transition.

In the Indic context, this period often sees people undertaking pilgrimages to cleanse themselves, seeking external proximity to the Divine. It's seen as a virtuous pursuit – a belief that visiting specific places or immersing in particular waters will lead to profound encounters with the One. These external ritual cleansings are considered crucial.

However, in Gurmat, Guru’s thought does not endorse the idea that purity is achieved through bathing at pilgrimage sites. Instead, the essence of all festivals and pilgrimages lies in the company of virtuous beings and the remembrance of IkOankar, 1Force, the One, the Divine-Spouse.

Guru Nanak Sahib, as the seeker, the human-bride in Barah Maha Tukhari, says, The human-bride who understood the place of pilgrimage to be within became pure. Dearest Friend met her naturally because she, having acquired the virtues, enshrined them in the heart.

We pause.
We reflect.

The seeker realizes that the pilgrimage of IkOankar is within the heart and that purity is attained through immersion in the internal pool of pilgrimage and understands this sacred journey. This internal pool, which represents sangat or the companionship of virtuous beings, becomes a reservoir where the state of sahaj, inner wisdom, naturally develops. Here, the seeker effortlessly absorbs the qualities of the One.

As individuals engage in external ritual cleansings, the seeker, acknowledging the pilgrimage of IkOankar within the heart, uncovers sacredness within the internal pool of pilgrimage within the sangat. Within this space, Nam — Identification with IkOankar transcends mere practice, evolving into a living culture and a way of life that cleanses from within. This process is akin to acts of charity, alms, and worship. The seeker becomes endearing to the Divine-Spouse not through physical pilgrimages but by internalizing the virtues of the beautiful One, allowing these virtues to churn within and become synonymous with the beautiful One. Throughout this month, the seeker celebrates, experiencing the perpetual presence of the One.

As we traverse this month, may our yearning deepen, and may we feel the perpetual presence of the One in every heartbeat and breath.

May the Wisdom-Guru be with us!

Watch, Listen, Read

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