Vahiguru ji ka Khalsa, Vahiguru ji ki Fatih!
The world is searching for truth. What is truth? How do we know if something is true?
Guru Nanak Sahib, in the second stanza of Asa Ki Var, Song of Hope, focuses on Truth and its various forms. It is about things being “True” with a capital T. When we think of something as being True, we are saying that it will remain forever, unwavering and unchanging despite the passage of time or any change in context.
The Guru says:
True are the different parts of Your cosmos; True are the universes.
True are Your worlds; True are Your forms.
True are Your deeds; True are all thoughts of wisdom.
True is Your rule; True is Your court.
True is Your command; True is Your instruction.
True is Your grace; True is the sign.
True are those who speak of You, the hundreds of thousands and tens of millions.
All exist with the support of Your true power and with the support of Your true strength.
True is Your praise; True is Your glory.
True is Your creation, O true Sovereign!
Nanak! Those who remember the Truth are true. Whoever takes birth and dies, that person remains unripe, absolutely unripe.
The Guru’s Truth points to eternality. It begins with the realm of the tangible, the physical spaces we witness with our own eyes, the things that we see in front of us, the things that are evident to us — the cosmos, the forms that make up creation — these are all manifestations of IkOankar, the Eternal One. Every space we tangibly and intangibly witness and are aware of is because of the Eternal One — it is eternal and is an embodiment of the eternal.
In the latter part of the verse, the discussion moves from the tangible to the less tangible, or the things that are not necessarily evident. These less tangible things are Wisdom (or Guru, the one who brings enlightenment-light by dispelling ignorance-darkness), the idea of an Eternal Court, and Eternal Command. There are other courts in the physical world, but they are all subject to time, to the coming and going. There are other commands in the physical world, but the Command of the Eternal One is constant and timeless, moving all creation.
We move into the esoteric: millions of millions praise Your Eternal nature. The Eternal One is constant and permanent, manifesting everywhere. We may come and go, living our human lives. But the Eternal One will forever be remembered.
Those beings who are focused on and consumed by the Truth, those who feel it — can also become true (eternal). Yes, we are small and live finite human lives. However, it is through the understanding that we are not separate from the Eternal One that we, too, become eternal, removed from the phenomena of living and dying. Those who become in sync with eternality are no longer worried about living or dying, for they understand that they are a part of it and that we all have the potential to be a part of this eternality.
May we yearn for eternal Truth.
May the Wisdom-Guru guide us!
Asa Ki Var is an awe-inspiring composition that mentors an ordinary person to become Divine-like (an enlightened being full of Divine-virtues).
Sabad is Infinite; we are very finite. This is our understanding at the moment, which was different yesterday and may evolve tomorrow, as we deepen our relationship with the Sabad.
A new translation and brief essay on the eighth ghazal from Bhai Nand Lal’s Divan-i-Goya.