Three Central Teachings According to the Sikh Gurus in the Guru Granth: Living Masters, Hearing the Sound Current, and, Being Vegetarian

Three Central Teachings According to the Sikh Gurus in the Guru Granth: 1) The Need For A Living Master — to Receive Initiation from a Living Satguru Into the Meditation Practice; 2) Hearing the Sound Current in One’s Meditation Practice; and, 3) Following a Non-violent Vegetarian Diet

Living Masters and Their Living Disciples

Never anywhere in the Guru Granth or Sikh Scriptures do the Sikh Gurus say we only need to worship a book or solely rely on scriptures. Rather, they proclaim the role of Living Gurus to show their disciples that God is within their own body.

“Listen to the instructions of the Sat Guru, for they will endure. Says Nanak, ‘O my beloved mind, forever cherish the Truth.’”

“Prays Nanak, But for Society of the Saints, the whole world is false.” (Gopal Singh translation)

“In the Guru-given Gnosis is contained the wealth of the Lord’s Name, and the Lord’s Name, the Guru imprints in the man’s mind.” (Manmohan Singh translation)
“From the Guru is all Wisdom and one Dwells on the Quintessence (of the Real).
From the Guru one finds one’s Home, and the Lord’s Door, and the treasure-fuls of Worship.
Through the Guru, one Dwells upon the Lord’s Name, and (Knowing its Essence) Reflects upon it.
Through the Guru is the Devotee dedicated to the Lord’s Praise, and within him is Enshrined the Infinite Word.
Through the Guru is all Bliss: one comes not to Sorrow (through the Guru),
Through the Guru one stills one’s Ego, and one’s Mind becomes Pure.
Meeting the True Guru, one loses one’s self, and knows (the Reality of) the three worlds.
And one Sees the Lord’s Pure Light pervade all, and his Light Merges in God’s Light.
When the Perfect Guru instructs, one’s Mind becomes Sublime,
And from within, one is Cooled and Comforted: yea, through the Lord’s Name, one gathers Bliss.”
(Asa M. 3. Ashtapadis, Kafi, Gopal Singh translation, Volume Two)

“Meet a Satguru and take his initiation. Surrender thine all and peep within.” (Guru Nanak, Gauri M1)

“It is the Divine Law that none can conceive of Him without a Satguru.” (Guru Amar Das, Bihagra War M3)

“There can be no jnana (true knowledge) without meeting a Master-soul, nor meditation without a first-hand experience. (Guru Arjan Dev, Bhairon M5)

“The whole world is in the throes of attachment and infatuation. A rare devotee of the Master escapes from the mighty maze of mind and matter. This infatuation keeps in perpetual motion the wheel of life, and it takes one time and again into the grip of Kal.” (Guru Nanak, Asa MI)

“All are drowned in the love of the world. A rare devotee of the Master may ferry across. Because of attachments, one comes over time and again. Trapped in infatuation, one cannot but abide in the realm of death. Even after initiation from the Master, people engage in rites and rituals. Neither can they snap the bonds nor reach the goal. It is His glance of grace that can pull down the mighty maze. And then, O Nanak! One may get absorbed in Him.” (Guru Nanak, Asa MI)

“Only the predestined get in touch with a Master-soul. With the Water of Life (Hari Ka Naam) he grants the true initiation (deeksha).” (Guru Nanak, Suhi MI)

“Live ye in the haven of a Sadh, and leave all thy wisdom and knowledge. Let the Master’s Instructions (Guru Deeksha) abide in thy heart. This, O Nanak! may happen through the Writ of the Lord.” (Guru Arjan Dev, Gauri M5)

“In utter darkness, the Master’s Word (Guru-Mantra) shines forth into Light. In the company of the Master, all are rescued and saved.” (Guru Arjan Dev, Gond M5)

“The Master has given me the perfect Word or Mantra.” (Guru Arjan Dev, Bhairon M5)

“Take ye the lesson in the Word (Mantra) from a Master and practice the same. Those who love the Lord are ultimately saved at the time of death. O Nanak! Those who practice the Word (Mantra) of the Master, day and night. They shall certainly be saved.” (Guru Ram Das, Gond M4)

“With the Word of the Master (Guru-Mantra) in the heart one becomes fearless and can have no sorrow or affliction. None without the aid of a Master has ever been able to cross over the stormy sea of life with all his wits about him.” (Guru Arjan Dev, Sri Rag M5)
“Four things remain eternally true: Naam, Sadhu, Guru and Gobind (God). Nanak says: a rare soul in this world practices the Word of the Master (Guru-Mantra).” (Guru Teg Bahadur, Shalok M9)

Surat Shabd Yoga, in Meditation Hearing the Unstruck Melody of the Sound Current (Anhad Shabd, Naam, Nada) According to the Sikh Scriptures

Such is the power of illusion or maya making souls deaf to the true teachings of the Sant Satgurus, that some think that the “Sound Current” mentioned by the Ten Sikh Gurus is only listening to the sound of outer music or hymns being sung. Living Masters have always initiated their disciples into meditation practice, and this includes the practice of hearing the Anhad Shabd (Unstruck Celestial Melody) within one’s self during meditation practice.

1. The Unstruck Melody that one seeks to hear, hear it thou in the instruction of the Guru’s. (Sri Rag M. 1)

2. (Within me) rings the Unstruck Melody of the Lord’s flute, yea, He in whose presence one’s mind is attuned to the sound (of the inner music). (Sri Rag, Kabir)

3. Seated in my higher mind, I live in communion with God and within me rings ever the Unstruck Music (of Bliss). (Sri Rag Var, Shloka M. 3)

4. He, the Lord, is immersed in the Unstruck Melody of the Word. (Asa, M. 1)

5. He, our God, is the King of the whole Universe. And there (in His Presence) rings the Unstruck Melody (of Bliss). (Sorath M. 5, Chaupadas)

6. The Lord’s Name has no form, no sigh, and it becomes manifest through the Immaculate God as the Unstruck Melody. (Asa M. 1)

7. In the cave of equipoise do I now have my seat. And the luminous Self of God has burst into me as the Unstruck Melody. (Asa M. 5)

8. At the (tenth) door rings the Unstruck Melody. The Lord echoes thus in every heart. (Vadhans M. 5)

9. The skinless drums produce the Music (of Bliss). The clouds rumble without the rainy season. And lo, without the clouds, it rains, if one reflects on the quintessence. (Sorath, Namdev)

10. Now I’ve closed all the nine Doors, and (at the Tenth) now rings the Unstruck Melody. (Sorath, Kabir)

11. All wisdom, all meditation is in hearing the gospel of the Perfect God and lo, immense is the joy of the Devotees of God, the Destroyer of worldly bonds, for within them rings the Unstruck Music of Bliss. (Suhi, M. 5)

12. Meditating on the Guru’s Word, the wholesome Unstruck Strains one hears. (Sri Rag M. 1)

13. Says Nanak: “Within him Perfect is whose Guru rings the Unbeaten Sound.” (Asa, M. 5)

14. How is one to perform Thy worship, O Thou Destroyer of coming-and-going? The Unstruck Melody (within) drums ever Thy glory. (Dhanasri M. 1, Arati)

15. What, pray, is the sign of the abode of gods? Therein rings the Unstruck Melody of the divine Word. (Ramkali Beni)

Sikh And You Will Find: The Vegetarian Diet, Sikh Gurus and Scriptures, A Collection of Passages

Some have suggested that the Sikh Scriptures are not very clear on vegetarianism, the need to strictly adhere to a vegetarian diet for spiritual and ethical reasons.

Let’s have a look. There are numerous vegetarian passages preserved in the Sikh Scriptures (Adi Granth, Shri Guru Granth Sahib) and related Sikh texts — quotes from Guru Nanak, Kabir, Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Gobind Singh and others. I’ve also included quotes from Bhai Gurdaas Ji and a Persian historian and scholar of comparative religion who long ago wrote about Guru Nanak and the early Sikhs — how the original disciples were all vegetarians.

Nanak abstained from animal food and enjoined against cruelty to animals: “Having prohibited his disciples to drink wine and eat pork, he (Nanak) himself abstained from eating flesh and ordered not to hurt any living being.” (Mohsin Fani, Persian Scholar of Comparative Religion, Author of the, DABISTAN-E-MAZAHIB)

“Countless are the cutthroats who trade in violence. Countless are sinners who keep on sinning. Countless are liars, wandering lost in their lies. Countless are the impious who live on unwholesome food.” (Guru Nanak, Jap Ji, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 4)

“You kill living beings, and call it a righteous action. Tell me, brother, what would you call an unrighteous action? You call yourself the excellent sage; then whom would you call a butcher?” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1103).

“Kabeer says, the dinner of beans and rice is excellent when flavored with salt. Who would cut throats to have meat with his bread?” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1374)

“Kabeer: for those who consume marijuana, fish and wine, no matter what pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow, they will all be consigned to hell”. (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1377).

“One who does not steal, commit adultery, slander anyone, gamble, eat meat or drink wine will be liberated in this very life (i.e. Jeewan Mukt)”. (Guru Gobind Singh, 10th Sikh Guru, Sudharam Marag Granth)

“Living by neglect and greed, the world eats dead carcasses. Like a goblin or a beast, they kill and eat the forbidden carcasses of meat. Control your urges, or else you will be thrown into the tortures of hell.” (Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 723).

Bhai Gurdaas Ji said: “They eat meat by cutting throats, what will their own condition be?” (Vaar 24, Pauree 17)

“To take what rightfully belongs to another, is like a Muslim eating pork, or a Hindu eating beef. Our Guru, our Spiritual Guide, stands by us if we do not eat those carcasses. By mere talk, people do not earn Liberation. Salvation only comes from the practice of truth. By adding spices to forbidden foods, they are not made acceptable. O Nanak, from false talk, only falsehood is obtained”. (Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 141)

“You kill living beings, and call it a righteous action. Tell me, brother, what would you call an unrighteous action? You call yourself the excellent sage; then whom would you call a butcher?” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1103).

“You keep your fasts to please Allah, while you murder other beings for pleasure. You look after your own interests, and so not see the interests of others. What good is your word? O Qazi, the One Lord is within you, but you do not think or contemplation on Him. You do not care for others, you are mad about religion, this is why your life is wasting away.” (Kabir, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 483)

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur (1670–1716)

“On 3rd September 1708, Guru Gobind Singh Ji administered the vows and Amrit (blessed necter) to Madho Das, a Hindu Sadhu or ascetic, and gave him a new name, Banda Singh. At the same time, he gave Banda Singh a Nagara (war drum), Nishan Sahib (banner) and five arrows from his own quiver as symbols of Authority. Banda Singh was also accompanied by five Sikhs to assist him to build up his forces so as to repel the tyranny of the Mughal Empire.”

Hukamnama (edict or order) to the Sikhs of Jaunpur by Baba Banda Singh Bahadur on 12th December 1710. “Ek Ongkar Fateh Darshan. Sri sache sahib ji ka hokum hai sarbat Khalsa Jaunpur ka Guru rekhega, guru japna janam savraega, tusi sri akal purakh ji ka khalsa ho, panj hathear banh ke hukam dekhdiya darshan awna. Khalsae di rahet rahena, bhang, tumakoo, hafeem, posthe, dharoo, amal koyee na hi khana, mas masheli paeaj na hi khana, chori jari nahi karni, asa satjug vertaeya hae aap vech pyar karna, mera hukam hae jo khalsae di rahet rahega tesdi Guru bahori kareaga. Methi Poh 12 samvat pahela satrathes.”

English Translation of the Hukamnama Shown Above

“Ek Ongkar Fateh Darshan. By the order of the true king, all the Khalsa of Jaunpur will be protected by Guru ji, Pray to the Guru for he will improve your life. You are God’s Khalsa, wear the five weapons and on being ordered, present yourself. You must obey the principals of the Khalsa. You are not to consume hemp, tobacco, opium, poppy seeds or alcoholic drinks. You are not to eat meat, fish and onions. You must not steal. We usher in a new era, Satjug — the Age of Truth. Love one another. This is my order, those who should live according to the principals of the Khalsa will be protected by God. Dated 12 Poh samvat pahela 1 {= 12 December 1710}”

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