Panj Khand – The Five Spiritual Milestones

Any process we follow to do construction work, office work, or any work need to be measured for effectiveness, repeatability, reusability etc. So, that we can continuously apply the process to more future projects. The spiritual process is no different than the worldly processes. We need to measure the effectiveness of the spiritual process, and our progress, on regular basis.

If we cannot measure the effectiveness of the process, we don’t know if the process is working or not? If we are marching towards our destination, or just wandering and lost? Just like the car journey, our spirituality journey also needs to be monitored and measured for progress. We need to know the answers to these questions. Where am I? Am I on the right path or just wandering? Is my destination near or far? Am I lost and need directions?

In path of Gurmat there are five Stages of Spirituality called ਪੰਜ ਖੰਡ (Panj Khand), which mean Five Stages. These stages are mentioned in the first bani (composition) Japji Sahib in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The practitioners can measure their progress by applying the yard stick of Panj Khand, to know what stage they have reached and what’s remaining.

1. ਧਰਮ ਖੰਡ (Dharam Khand) – Duties and Responsibilities

In the first stage, Sikh introspects to find the real purpose of life. Sikh learns to performs the duties according to Gurmat, with high level of integrity, love, humility, and respect for all beings of various types, names, colors and ways of worship, as we are individually responsible and accountable for our actions.

ਰਾਤੀ ਰੁਤੀ ਥਿਤੀ ਵਾਰ ॥ ਪਵਣ ਪਾਣੀ ਅਗਨੀ ਪਾਤਾਲ ॥

Nights, days, weeks and seasons; wind, water, fire and the nether regions

ਤਿਸੁ ਵਿਚਿ ਧਰਤੀ ਥਾਪਿ ਰਖੀ ਧਰਮ ਸਾਲ ॥

in the midst of these, He established the earth as a home for Dharma.

ਤਿਸੁ ਵਿਚਿ ਜੀਅ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਕੇ ਰੰਗ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਅਨੇਕ ਅਨੰਤ ॥

Upon it, He placed the various species of beings. Their names are uncounted and endless.

ਕਰਮੀ ਕਰਮੀ ਹੋਇ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਸਚਾ ਆਪਿ ਸਚਾ ਦਰਬਾਰੁ ॥

By their deeds and their actions, they shall be judged in the Court of God. God Himself is True, and True is His Court.

ਤਿਥੈ ਸੋਹਨਿ ਪੰਚ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥ ਨਦਰੀ ਕਰਮਿ ਪਵੈ ਨੀਸਾਣੁ ॥

There, in perfect grace and ease, sit the self-realized Saints. They receive the Mark of Grace from the Merciful Lord.

ਕਚ ਪਕਾਈ ਓਥੈ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਗਇਆ ਜਾਪੈ ਜਾਇ ॥੩੪॥

The ripe and the unripe, the good and the bad, shall there be judged. O Nanak, when you go there, only then you will see this. ||34||

ਧਰਮ ਖੰਡ ਕਾ ਏਹੋ ਧਰਮੁ ॥

This is righteous living in the realm of Dharma.

Kartar, the Creator established this earth for the human beings to live the righteous life. This is where human strives to achieve union with Kartar. Human, being the most superior species on earth, is also responsible for the welfare of all other species and utilize the resources wisely. Human is given the free choice to choose the right path. But the free choice comes with the responsibility to choose wisely, so that there will not be any regrets later.

ਇਹੀ ਤੇਰਾ ਅਉਸਰੁ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਾਰ ॥ ਘਟ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਤੂ ਦੇਖੁ ਬਿਚਾਰਿ ॥

This is your chance, and this is your time (to meet the Lord). Look deep into your own heart, and reflect on this.

ਕਹਤ ਕਬੀਰੁ ਜੀਤਿ ਕੈ ਹਾਰਿ ॥ ਬਹੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਕਹਿਓ ਪੁਕਾਰਿ ਪੁਕਾਰਿ ॥੫॥੧॥੯॥

Says Kabeer, you can win or lose. In so many ways, I have proclaimed this out loud. ||5||1||9||

ਐਸਾ ਕੰਮੁ ਮੂਲੇ ਨ ਕੀਚੈ ਜਿਤੁ ਅੰਤਿ ਪਛੋਤਾਈਐ ॥

Don’t do anything that you will regret in the end.

ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਕਾ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਸੁਣਿ ਤੂ ਹੋਵੈ ਤੇਰੈ ਨਾਲੇ ॥

Listen to the Teachings of the True Guru – these shall go along with you.

ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਤੂ ਸਦਾ ਸਚੁ ਸਮਾਲੇ ॥੧੧॥

Says Nanak, O beloved mind, contemplate the True Lord forever. ||11||

In the wondrous game of life, the mind has to struggle and win over the forces of Maya (creation) – Kam (lust), Karodh (anger), Lobh (greed), Moh (attachment), and Ahankar (ego). All worldly games also have opposite teams. Without the opposite team, there cannot be any game to enjoy. Similarly, without challenges, there will not be any enjoyment in life. The forces of Maya, is the opposite team we have to play with and win over. While enjoying the wondrous game of life, we also need to remember our real purpose. Sometimes we get so engrossed in the game of life that we forget our real purpose.

Due to the influence of the forces of Maya, mind gets corrupted. Corrupted mind takes us on the wrong path, and we choose the convenient path rather than the right path. The convenient path may provide temporary relief, or short-term wins, but we lose the spiritual path and get distracted form our real purpose.

ਚੰਗਿਆਈ ਆਲਕੁ ਕਰੇ ਬੁਰਿਆਈ ਹੋਇ ਸੇਰੁ ॥

Corrupted mind is lazy to do good deed, but eager to practice evil.

ਨਾਨਕ ਅਜੁ ਕਲਿ ਆਵਸੀ ਗਾਫਲ ਫਾਹੀ ਪੇਰੁ ॥੧॥

O Nanak, today or tomorrow, the feet of the careless fool shall fall into the trap of death. ||1||

But always remember that our actions, good or bad are like seeds, which grow into trees and bear fruit. Everything we do is recorded in our record or Karma (deeds).

ਚੰਗਿਆਈਆ ਬੁਰਿਆਈਆ ਵਾਚੈ ਧਰਮੁ ਹਦੂਰਿ ॥

Good deeds and bad deeds – the record is read out in the Presence of the Lord of Dharma.

ਕਰਮੀ ਆਪੋ ਆਪਣੀ ਕੇ ਨੇੜੈ ਕੇ ਦੂਰਿ ॥

According to their own actions, some are drawn closer to the Lord, and some are driven farther away.

Living righteous and moral life is the stepping stone to the spiritual path. But, most of the people remain stuck in this stage because of the misunderstanding that living moral life is enough. People remain busy in the work, duties, responsibilities, without realizing that this is just the first stage. They don’t have time for the in-depth study of scriptures, and understanding the real purpose of life. Due to the ignorance of the upper level stages, they are just content performing their duties and responsibilities towards kids, family, and society.

There is significant danger of spiritual stagnation, without consistent efforts to learn and advance to the next stage. Spiritually stagnant person considers himself learned, and becomes hardliner and less tolerant towards the people having different opinions or beliefs. Spiritually stagnant people, are the ones who commit grave mistakes and crimes on the name of religion. To avoid the spiritual stagnation, keep doing efforts and remain in the sanctuary of the Guru.

ਸਾਜਨ ਤੇਰੇ ਚਰਨ ਕੀ ਹੋਇ ਰਹਾ ਸਦ ਧੂਰਿ ॥

O Friend, I pray that I may remain forever the dust of Your Feet.

ਨਾਨਕ ਸਰਣਿ ਤੁਹਾਰੀਆ ਪੇਖਉ ਸਦਾ ਹਜੂਰਿ ॥੧॥

O Nanak, say – O Dear Lord, I may remain in Your Sanctuary, and behold You ever-present. ||1||

2. ਗਿਆਨ ਖੰਡ (Giyan Khand) – Complete Understanding of Life’s Purpose

In this stage, Sikh gains the awareness of the limitless Lord, innumerable devotees, servants, deities, demons and creatures and their languages created by Him.

ਗਿਆਨ ਖੰਡ ਕਾ ਆਖਹੁ ਕਰਮੁ ॥

And now we speak of the realm of spiritual wisdom.

ਕੇਤੇ ਪਵਣ ਪਾਣੀ ਵੈਸੰਤਰ ਕੇਤੇ ਕਾਨ ਮਹੇਸ ॥

So many winds, waters and fires; so many Krishnas and Shivas.

ਕੇਤੇ ਬਰਮੇ ਘਾੜਤਿ ਘੜੀਅਹਿ ਰੂਪ ਰੰਗ ਕੇ ਵੇਸ ॥

So many Brahmas, fashioning forms of great beauty, adorned and dressed in many colors.

ਕੇਤੀਆ ਕਰਮ ਭੂਮੀ ਮੇਰ ਕੇਤੇ ਕੇਤੇ ਧੂ ਉਪਦੇਸ ॥

So many worlds, lands and mountains like Meru, for working out karma. So many devotees like Dhru!

ਕੇਤੇ ਇੰਦ ਚੰਦ ਸੂਰ ਕੇਤੇ ਕੇਤੇ ਮੰਡਲ ਦੇਸ ॥

So many Indras, so many moons and suns, so many worlds and lands.

ਕੇਤੇ ਸਿਧ ਬੁਧ ਨਾਥ ਕੇਤੇ ਕੇਤੇ ਦੇਵੀ ਵੇਸ ॥

So many Siddhas and Buddhas, so many Yogic masters. So many goddesses of various kinds.

ਕੇਤੇ ਦੇਵ ਦਾਨਵ ਮੁਨਿ ਕੇਤੇ ਕੇਤੇ ਰਤਨ ਸਮੁੰਦ ॥

So many demi-gods and demons, so many silent sages. So many oceans of jewels.

ਕੇਤੀਆ ਖਾਣੀ ਕੇਤੀਆ ਬਾਣੀ ਕੇਤੇ ਪਾਤ ਨਰਿੰਦ ॥

So many ways of life, so many languages. So many dynasties of rulers.

ਕੇਤੀਆ ਸੁਰਤੀ ਸੇਵਕ ਕੇਤੇ ਨਾਨਕ ਅੰਤੁ ਨ ਅੰਤੁ ॥੩੫॥

So many meditative people, so many selfless servants. O Nanak, His limit has no limit! ||35||

When the storm of spiritual wisdom comes, the thatched huts of doubts are blown away, the bonds of Maya are shattered, the pillars of double-mindedness and the beams of emotional attachment are torn apart. The mental fog is cleared and actions are guided by the spiritual wisdom, firm faith, selfless love and purpose of life; not by rituals, fears or superstitions.

ਗਿਆਨ ਖੰਡ ਮਹਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਰਚੰਡੁ ॥

In the realm of wisdom, spiritual wisdom reigns supreme.

ਤਿਥੈ ਨਾਦ ਬਿਨੋਦ ਕੋਡ ਅਨੰਦੁ ॥

The Sound-current of the Naad vibrates there, amidst the sounds and the sights of bliss.

In this stage, mind understands that the whole creation is created by the same Creator, and everybody belongs to One Big Family. The mind stops differentiating between we and others, as everybody is part of us. Before it was narrowly focused on the small family, now it focuses on the larger family. It starts loving everybody and serving everybody. Due to this understanding, the narrow-mindedness gives way to the universal brotherhood and love. Mind becomes calm and filled with bliss due to continuous remembrance of the Lord through Guru’s Shabad (hymns) and Naam.

ਨਾ ਕੋ ਮੇਰਾ ਦੁਸਮਨੁ ਰਹਿਆ ਨਾ ਹਮ ਕਿਸ ਕੇ ਬੈਰਾਈ ॥

Due to remaining in the Sadh Sangat, No one is my enemy, and I am no one’s enemy.

ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਸਾਰੁ ਪਸਾਰਿਓ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਸੋਝੀ ਪਾਈ ॥੨॥

God, who expanded His expanse, is within all; I learned this from the True Guru. ||2||

Being Giyani (expert) in something is of no use if the Giyan (expertise) is not utilized to do something useful. The old habits don’t just go away. Gurbani Vichaar (deeper contemplation of Guru’s hymns) motivates and inspires the mind to utilize the wisdom to break away from the influences of previous habits; and do efforts to establish new habits, work ethics, and Nitnem schedule according to Gurmat, to move higher on the spiritual journey.

In this stage, if the Sikh starts thinking that I have become Giyani, without living the life style according to the Gurmat, there is the danger of falling into the trap of ego. The mind stops learning and starts behaving as learned. Gurbani is the ocean of wisdom, we can’t have enough of it. Just having bookish knowledge without the practice and loving devotion is of no use.

ਕੜਛੀਆ ਫਿਰੰਨਿੑ ਸੁਆਉ ਨ ਜਾਣਨਿੑ ਸੁਞੀਆ ॥

The ladles cruise through the food, but they do not know the taste of it.

ਸੇਈ ਮੁਖ ਦਿਸੰਨਿੑ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਤੇ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਰਸਿ ॥੧॥

Those faces are beautiful, O Nanak, who are imbued with the essence of the Lord’s Love. ||1||

ਬੇਦ ਪੜਹਿ ਪੜਿ ਬਾਦੁ ਵਖਾਣਹਿ ॥

The Pandits read and study the Vedas, and indulge in arguments;

ਘਟ ਮਹਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਤਿਸੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ॥

God is within their own heart, but they don’t try to understand with Guru’s wisdom.

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੁ ਤਤੁ ਬਿਲੋਵੈ ਰਸਨਾ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਤਾਹਾ ਹੇ ॥੧੧॥

One who becomes Gurmukh churns the essence of reality; his tongue savors the sublime essence of the Lord. ||11||

If somebody gets stuck in this stage due to the ego of Gian. It’s really difficult to get out of this stage. If the crop is burn by fire, there are still chances that the crop may bloom again if we soak the roots in water. But if the crop is rotten by the water itself, then soaking in the water will not make it bloom again. Similarly, if the mind is burn (corrupted) by the forces of Maya, there is the possibility that it will bloom again, if its soaked in the water of Naam according to the Guru’s wisdom. But if the mind is rotten by the Gian itself, then there is no chance for it to sprout again, as the mind will not accept anybody’s teachings.

ਤਤੀ ਤੋਇ ਨ ਪਲਵੈ ਜੇ ਜਲਿ ਟੁਬੀ ਦੇਇ ॥

The crop which is rotten with water will not bloom, even if we soak it in water.

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜੋ ਡੋਹਾਗਣਿ ਰਬ ਦੀ ਝੂਰੇਦੀ ਝੂਰੇਇ ॥੬੨॥

Fareed, she who is forsaken by her Husband Lord, grieves and laments. ||62||

The true practitioner of the Gurmat, will keep learning and teaching others, serving the Sangat, in whatever capacity, according to the individual skills and physical stamina, to keep himself grounded in humility. Sangat is the long-term companion of the Sikh. Naam Simran (reciting the Naam) in the Sadh Sangat (the company of the Guru oriented souls) is the most effective way to keep straight on the path of Gurmat.

ਜਿਨੑਾ ਦਿਸੰਦੜਿਆ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਵੰਞੈ ਮਿਤ੍ਰ ਅਸਾਡੜੇ ਸੇਈ ॥

The sight of whom banishes my evil-mindedness; they are my only true friends.

ਹਉ ਢੂਢੇਦੀ ਜਗੁ ਸਬਾਇਆ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਵਿਰਲੇ ਕੇਈ ॥੨॥

But I have searched the whole world; O servant Nanak, how rare are such persons! ||2||

Keeping ourselves in company of the Gurmukhs (Guru oriented souls) is very important to keep moving forward onto the next stage. Sadh Sangat is the mighty fort for the Gursikhs. If you are too overwhelmed by the forces of Maya. Just run into the fort of Sadh Sangat.

ਸਚੀ ਬੈਸਕ ਤਿਨੑਾ ਸੰਗਿ ਜਿਨ ਸੰਗਿ ਜਪੀਐ ਨਾਉ ॥

The true company is the company of those who meditate on the Name of the Lord.

ਤਿਨੑ ਸੰਗਿ ਸੰਗੁ ਨ ਕੀਚਈ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਨਾ ਆਪਣਾ ਸੁਆਉ ॥੨॥

Do not associate with those, O Nanak, who look out only for their own interests. ||2||

3. ਸਰਮ ਖੰਡ (Saram Khand) – Deliberate Efforts to Meet the Lord

This is the stage of living truthful and purposeful life guided by Gurmat, completely devoted to the Lord and His creation. The Sikh fully understands the purpose of life and strives to achieve it with single minded focus, passion, devotion and mental clarity. The inner consciousness, intellect, and mind molded afresh by Gurmat, become free of vices; and full of virtues, love, devotion and gratitude. The mind obtains the wisdom of the beings of spiritual perfection.

ਸਰਮ ਖੰਡ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਰੂਪੁ ॥

In the realm of effort, mind’s shape is Beauty (beautiful).

ਤਿਥੈ ਘਾੜਤਿ ਘੜੀਐ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਅਨੂਪੁ ॥

The mind of incomparable beauty is fashioned there according to Gurmat.

ਤਾ ਕੀਆ ਗਲਾ ਕਥੀਆ ਨਾ ਜਾਹਿ ॥

The beauty of this stage cannot be described.

ਜੇ ਕੋ ਕਹੈ ਪਿਛੈ ਪਛੁਤਾਇ ॥

One who tries to speak of it, shall regret the attempt.

ਤਿਥੈ ਘੜੀਐ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਮਤਿ ਮਨਿ ਬੁਧਿ ॥

In the stage of effort, the consciousness and intellect are shaped by Gurmat, and the mind becomes fully aware.

ਤਿਥੈ ਘੜੀਐ ਸੁਰਾ ਸਿਧਾ ਕੀ ਸੁਧਿ ॥੩੬॥

The mind is shaped with the wisdom of the spiritual warriors, the Siddhas, the beings of spiritual perfection ||36||

In this stage, Sikh serves the Lord and His creation. Due to the spiritual wisdom, mind is awakened and completely revolutionized. The vices of mind – lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego are tamed. Mind becomes sensitive to the needs of others and takes care of the nature and creatures, while lovingly connected to the sound current of Naam. The longing to meet Waheguru increases manyfold. Day and night, the mind remains absorbed in Naam.

ਲਗੜੀ ਸੁਥਾਨਿ ਜੋੜਣਹਾਰੈ ਜੋੜੀਆ ॥

I am attached to the right place (the Lord’s feet); the Uniter has united me.

ਨਾਨਕ ਲਹਰੀ ਲਖ ਸੈ ਆਨ ਡੁਬਣ ਦੇਇ ਨ ਮਾ ਪਿਰੀ ॥੧॥

O Nanak, there are hundreds and thousands of waves of vices, but my Beloved Lord does not let me drown. ||1||

In this stage, the biggest danger comes from the Sidhis (occult powers) to perform miracles. The mind remains connected with the Naam. The power of Naam will also realize the supernatural powers. The Sikh has to steer clear from these powers as these are just distractions of Maya.

ਸਿਧੁ ਹੋਵਾ ਸਿਧਿ ਲਾਈ ਰਿਧਿ ਆਖਾ ਆਉ ॥

If I were to become a Siddha, and work miracles, summon wealth at will,

ਗੁਪਤੁ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਹੋਇ ਬੈਸਾ ਲੋਕੁ ਰਾਖੈ ਭਾਉ ॥

and become invisible and visible at will, so that people would hold me in awe

ਮਤੁ ਦੇਖਿ ਭੂਲਾ ਵੀਸਰੈ ਤੇਰਾ ਚਿਤਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਨਾਉ ॥੩॥

– seeing these, O Lord, I might go astray and forget You, and Your Name would not enter into my mind. ||3||

Sikh will pray to the Lord to save from the attractions of these occult powers and stay focused on the loving devotion to Naam.

4. ਕਰਮ ਖੰਡ (Karam Khand) – Grace of the Lord

This is the stage of grace. The efforts of the Sikh bear fruit. The Lord bestows such grace that the mind becomes fearless and fully sewn in the Lord’s love and devotion. The might of the Lord remains fully filled in the mind. The death or deception can’t shake the faith. God’s presence is felt in everybody, everywhere always.

ਕਰਮ ਖੰਡ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਜੋਰੁ ॥ ਤਿਥੈ ਹੋਰੁ ਨ ਕੋਈ ਹੋਰੁ ॥

In the realm of Grace, mind’s shape is Power (powerful). No one else dwells there, other than one Waheguru

ਤਿਥੈ ਜੋਧ ਮਹਾਬਲ ਸੂਰ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਹਿਆ ਭਰਪੂਰ ॥

Whoever dwells in this state are the warriors of great power, the spiritual heroes. They are totally filled and imbued with the Lord’s Essence.

ਤਿਥੈ ਸੀਤੋ ਸੀਤਾ ਮਹਿਮਾ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ ਤਾ ਕੇ ਰੂਪ ਨ ਕਥਨੇ ਜਾਹਿ ॥

In this stage, their mind is completely sewn in the Lord’s love and devotion. The beauty, in this state of mind, cannot be described.

ਨਾ ਓਹਿ ਮਰਹਿ ਨ ਠਾਗੇ ਜਾਹਿ ॥ ਜਿਨ ਕੈ ਰਾਮੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨ ਮਾਹਿ ॥

Neither death nor deception can budge them from the spiritual path, within whose minds the Lord abides.

ਤਿਥੈ ਭਗਤ ਵਸਹਿ ਕੇ ਲੋਅ ॥ ਕਰਹਿ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਸਚਾ ਮਨਿ ਸੋਇ ॥

The devotees of many worlds dwell there. They enjoy the bliss; their minds are imbued with the True Lord.

In this stage, the mind is completely connected to the Creator and nothing else. The words, which come out of the mouth have the force of Lord’s love. Whatever they speak happens to pass.

ਲਧਮੁ ਲਭਣਹਾਰੁ ਕਰਮੁ ਕਰੰਦੋ ਮਾ ਪਿਰੀ ॥

I have found the object of my search, when my Beloved blessed me with His Grace.

ਇਕੋ ਸਿਰਜਣਹਾਰੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਆ ਨ ਪਸੀਐ ॥੧॥

Now I see only One Creator; O Nanak, I do not see any other. ||1||

ਭਗਤ ਮੁਖੈ ਤੇ ਬੋਲਦੇ ਸੇ ਵਚਨ ਹੋਵੰਦੇ ॥

Whatever the Lord’s devotees speak comes to pass.

The desires of the mind are completely fulfilled. The Ghal Kamai (hard work) of lifetime bears the fruit. The mind remains completely absorbed in the Lord’s Naam intuitively.

ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਦਾਤਾਰੁ ਮਨੋਰਥ ਪੂਰਿਆ ॥

Meditating, meditating in remembrance of the Great Giver, one’s heart’s desires are fulfilled.

ਇਛ ਪੁੰਨੀ ਮਨਿ ਆਸ ਗਏ ਵਿਸੂਰਿਆ ॥

The hopes and desires of the mind are realized, and sorrows are forgotten.

ਪਾਇਆ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਭਾਲਦਾ ॥

The treasure of the Naam, the Name of the Lord, is obtained, which was searched for so long.

ਜੋਤਿ ਮਿਲੀ ਸੰਗਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਘਾਲਦਾ ॥

The light is merged into the Lord’s Light, and the labors are over.

ਸੂਖ ਸਹਜ ਆਨੰਦ ਵੁਠੇ ਤਿਤੁ ਘਰਿ ॥

The mind abides in the house of peace, poise and bliss.

ਆਵਣ ਜਾਣ ਰਹੇ ਜਨਮੁ ਨ ਤਹਾ ਮਰਿ ॥

Comings and goings are ended; there is no birth or death there.

ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਇਕੁ ਇਕੁ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਾਇਆ ॥

The Master and the servant have become one, with no sense of separation.

ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥੨੧॥੧॥੨॥ ਸੁਧੁ

By Guru’s Grace, Nanak is absorbed in the True Lord. ||21||1||2||Sudh||

5. ਸਚ ਖੰਡ (Sach Khand) – Perfect Union with the Lord

The soul is completely merged with Lord, like river water merged with ocean. No difference remains between the soul and the Lord. The Lord’s order is seen pervading everywhere in the innumerable worlds, solar systems and universes, without any limit or boundary.

ਸਚ ਖੰਡਿ ਵਸੈ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ॥ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਵੇਖੈ ਨਦਰਿ ਨਿਹਾਲ ॥

In the stage of Perfection, the Formless Lord himself abides in their mind. They see the Lord who created the creation, taking care of it with his graceful eyes.

ਤਿਥੈ ਖੰਡ ਮੰਡਲ ਵਰਭੰਡ ॥ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਕਥੈ ਤ ਅੰਤ ਨ ਅੰਤ ॥

The innumerable planets, solar systems and galaxies, universes are seen, under the perfect order of Lord’s Hukam (command). If one speaks of them, there is no limit, no end.

ਤਿਥੈ ਲੋਅ ਲੋਅ ਆਕਾਰ ॥ ਜਿਵ ਜਿਵ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਤਿਵੈ ਤਿਵ ਕਾਰ ॥

Worlds upon worlds of His Creation are seen, running according to the Lord’s Hukam (order)

ਵੇਖੈ ਵਿਗਸੈ ਕਰਿ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਥਨਾ ਕਰੜਾ ਸਾਰੁ ॥੩੭॥

He watches over all, and contemplating His creation, He rejoices. O Nanak, to describe this state is as hard as steel! ||37||

This stage is beyond description. This stage can only be experienced not described in human language. Describing this stage in human language is as hard as steel.

ਅਬ ਤਉ ਜਾਇ ਚਢੇ ਸਿੰਘਾਸਨਿ ਮਿਲੇ ਹੈ ਸਾਰਿੰਗਪਾਨੀ ॥

Now, I have mounted to the throne of the Lord; I have met the Lord, the Sustainer of the World.

ਰਾਮ ਕਬੀਰਾ ਏਕ ਭਏ ਹੈ ਕੋਇ ਨ ਸਕੈ ਪਛਾਨੀ ॥੬॥੩॥

The Lord and Kabeer have become one. No one can tell the difference in us. ||6||3||

In the 38th pauri (stanza) of Japji Sahib, Guru Nanak describes the ideal attributes of mind to achieve the highest state of Sach Khand. The mind is compared with the shop of a goldsmith, where the gold is molded into coins, or ornaments.

ਜਤੁ ਪਾਹਾਰਾ ਧੀਰਜੁ ਸੁਨਿਆਰੁ ॥

Let self-control be the furnace, and patience the goldsmith.

ਅਹਰਣਿ ਮਤਿ ਵੇਦੁ ਹਥੀਆਰੁ ॥

Let wisdom be the anvil, and deep understanding of Gurmat the hammer.

ਭਉ ਖਲਾ ਅਗਨਿ ਤਪ ਤਾਉ ॥

With the Fear of God as the bellows, fan the flames of tapa (hard work).

ਭਾਂਡਾ ਭਾਉ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਤਿਤੁ ਢਾਲਿ ॥

In the crucible of love, melt the Nectar of Naam,

ਘੜੀਐ ਸਬਦੁ ਸਚੀ ਟਕਸਾਲ ॥

In this True Mint, mint the True Coin of the Shabad, the Word of God.

ਜਿਨ ਕਉ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰਮੁ ਤਿਨ ਕਾਰ ॥

Such is the work of those upon whom He has cast His Glance of Grace.

ਨਾਨਕ ਨਦਰੀ ਨਦਰਿ ਨਿਹਾਲ ॥੩੮॥

O Nanak, the Merciful Lord, by His Grace, uplifts and exalts them. ||38||

The highest state of mind can only be achieved when we have ਜਤੁ (high moral character), ਧੀਰਜੁ (strength and patience), ਮਤਿ (wisdom) and ਵੇਦੁ (ਗਿਆਨ deep understanding of Gurmat), ਭਉ (Lord’s respect and fear in mind), ਤਪ (ਘਾਲ-ਕਮਾਈ sincere efforts), ਭਾਉ (unconditional love and devotion to the Lord and His creation). The mind having these attributes becomes the ਸਚੀ ਟਕਸਾਲ (True Mint), where the True Coin of ਸਬਦੁ (Guru’s teachings) is minted. The Guru’s Shabad is recited and lived by. The Guru’s Shabad elevates the mind to the same state, in which the Guru recited that Shabad. With sincere efforts and devotional love, the mind becomes one with the Lord.


Tej Partap Singh

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