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ANAND (Skt. Anand, from nand meaning "to rejoice" or "to delight") denotes mystical experience, spiritual bliss or a state of consciousness such as that ofaJi`van mukta, i.e. one released while still in body. Anand in the Upanisadic texts istaken to be one of the three inherent attributes of atman or Brahman, the other two being sat and chit. In the Taittiriya Upanisad (II. 15), it acquried this meaning of pure bliss.
The self at the lowest or first stage of its evolution is defined as the annamaya kosa (the matter) which evolves successively into prana (life), man (mind or perceptual consciousness), vijnana (selfconsciousness) and ananda, nondual bliss. In SIKH theology too, anand is one of the attributes of the Supreme Self; so it can be the state of the individual soul as well. GURU Amar Das`s composition Anandu, in the measure Ramkali, gives an exposition of the experience of anand, of the union with the immaculate Hari attained through absorption in nam, i.e. repetition of Divine Name.
Message from Guru Arjan
Guru Arjan attests that he has seen with his own eyesnain aJoia that the Supreme Self is anand rupu, i.e. bliss itself is anandamay, full of bliss (GG, 387). Guru Arjan further declares that the Lord of NANAK, the Supreme Being, who is the Cause of causes and is antar-yami (the inner guide), experiences bliss anand karai (GG, 387). Guru Amar Das prefaces his poem Anandu with the affirmation that the experience of anand comes only through meeting with the true Guru and fully imbibing his instruction.
He says that the longing for experiencing anand is inherent in men and is universal anandu anandu sabhu ko kahai (GG. 917), but it actually falls to the lot of the very few, for it cannot be had without the grace of the Guru which destroys sins, touches one`s eye with the collyrium of true knowledge (gian anjanu saria), cuts asunder the knot of attachment (mohu) and bestows a sublime way of living, sabadu savaria. These are essential conditions to experiencing anand. In the concluding stanza.
Message from other Gurus
Guru Amar Das says that anand is liberation from all suffering. It brings one complete fulfilment, and is realized by listening to the Divine word. Then all sorrow, sickness and pain end. Anand is not an intermediate state in the journey of the individual self towards the Supreme Self, but the unitive one. The Guru is the sole guide and remembrance of the Name is the sole discipline or Sadhna. Grace of the lord acts as the initial inspiration as well as the final arbiter.
Guru Nanak's, Japji, has signified anand as the state of being m`haJ or fulfilled; Guru Arjan, in Sukhmani, as the state of sukh or peace; Guru Tegh Bahadur, in his slokas, as the state of the giani, the enlightened one who has achieved Sahaj or equipoise and Guru Gobind Singh, in his verse, as the state of the heroic and dedicated one whose joy or anand is in philanthropic action and sacrifice. Guru Nanak summing up the entire theme of the Japji says in the last stanza that the glance of grace of the Lord makes one nihal, fulfilled or blessed.
ANANDU, non-canonically spelt ANAND, by GURU Amar Das, is like Guru NANAK`s Japji, one of the more familiar texts in the Guru Granth Sahib. Set in the Ramkali musical measure and comprising forty stanzas, Anand is recited liturgically, especially in its shortened form, at the conclusion of all Congregational services and at prayers offered at weddings and other ceremonies to seek God`s grace and solace and to rejoice on happy occasions in the favours granted by Him. The SIKH marriage ceremony itself has come to be called anand, which term has also been used in the legislative enactment governing the custom. Tradition recounts that Guru Amar Das had just finished the recording of this composition when the news of the birth of a grandson (son of Mohri, the younger of his two sons), was communicated to him. The child was named Anand after the title of the composition he had just completed. In Sanskrit, and so in PUNJABI, the word anand means bliss. In the Taittinya Upanisad, it has been used for Brahman Itself. The term there also denotes a rasa or emotion.
Guru Amar Das`s composition centres upon the experience of anand (bliss, supreme beatitude) resulting from the individual soul`s merging with the Supreme Soul which is attained through constant remembrance of God under the direction of the Guru. Herein, anand is a positive spiritual state of inner poise and equanimity wherein one is freed from all dukkha (suffering), roga (malady), and santapu (anxiety) and one realizes the ultimate goal of union with the Lord. A synoptic summary of the contents of the poem, stanza-wise, may be described as:
- 1. Anand is attained by the grace of the Guru who has bestowed upon me enlightenment, equanimity, harmony and God-realization.
- 2. God has banished suffering, giving me the sense of fulfilment.
- 3. He bestows upon men all gifts including the gift of the Name.
- 4. The Name sustains life, banishes desires, gives peace, tranquillity and happiness.
- 5. it drives away the five lusts and cancels death.
- 6. the gift of the Name follows and it can come from Him alone.
- 7. the Guru is the source of anand, for his teaching gives detachment and discrimination and banishes sin.
- 8. without the Guru`s guidance one gropes in the darkness of ignorance.
- 9. the Guru leads the seeker to the company of the holy saints where the Immaculate One is meditated upon.
- 10. thus the mind gets detached from illusory maya, the enchanter.
- 11. it surrenders itself to God, the Eternal Reality.
- 12. God, Creator, is beyond comprehension.
- 13. even the angels and rsis are the seekers of the nectar of His Name which banishes ego and sin.
- 14. the bhaktas tread the path of non ego and non desire.
- 15. men do what God wills, some by His grace take to meditating on the Name; :16. they on whom is His grace listen to the Guru`sword;
- 17. they become pure by meditating on the Name, liberating their companions as well;
- 18. doubt and ignorance are dispelled by meditating on the Name alone and notby any ritual practices; one remains in impurity as long as doubt persists;
- 19. an impure mind can never win liberation;
- 20. they who practise what the Guru teaches are pure inside and outside;
- 21. a disciple has to surrender completely to the Guru by shaking off his ego and placing full faith in him;
- 22. none can achieve liberation without the Guru`s aid;
- 23. he has to concentrate on the True Guru`s word and this is possible by His grace only;
- 24. all other learning is of little avail;
- 25. the Guru`s sabda is a pure diamond which one receives through His grace alone;
- 26. the Guru breaks the bondage of maya and thus frees the spirit;
- 27. the Smrtis and Sastras cannot pierce maya;
- 28. the Guru teaches concentration on the Name which is one`s protector and sustainer;
- 29. maya charms one away from concentration;
- 30. maya is worthless whereas the Name is priceless;
- 31. those who concentrate on the Name build up real capital;
- 32. the taste of the Name is sweetest and it eliminates all desire;
- 33. the Name is the divine spark within the bodily frame;
- 34. its realization gives bliss and annuls sorrow and suffering;
- 35. blessed is the man who is devoted to the Guru and God;
- 36. blessed are the eyes which see God everywhere;
- 37. blessed are the ears which hear the nectarsweet Name;
- 38. blessed is the realization of the state wherein one sees God in all Hisvastness;
- 39. of highest value is the Truth which abides in the pure hearts; and
- 40. with the realization comes anand or bliss which banishes suffering, maladies and anxities.
- 1. Taran Singh, Sahij te Anandu. AMRITSAR, n.d.
- 2. Kohli, Surindar SINGH, A Critical Study ofAdi Granth. Delhi, 1961
- 3. Talib, Gurbachan Singh, Barn of Guru Amar Das. Delhi. 1979
- 4. Macauliffe, M. A., The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909 T.S.
- 5. Caveeshar, Sardul Singh, Sikh Dharam Darshan. PATIALA, 1969
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