Naam or Word

Book Three


Nectar or Water of Life

    AMRIT or Aab-i-Hayat or Maha Ras is the elixir of life, or whoever partakes of it gets everlasting life and escapes forever from the otherwise interminable round of births and deaths. The sages and seers wandered in quest of It, but nowhere in the wide world were they able to find It. Is It then a chimera or mirage ? The saints in reply have repeatedly said that Amrit is something real and solid. It is the Water of Immortality, which lies hidden and buried within the depths of the soul, encrusted with the dust of ages, and may be delved into even now and rediscovered, if one has the patience to do as he is bidden.

    In the scriptures of the various religions we come across references to the sacred Water of Life. The Muslim divines describe It as Aab-Haiwan or Aab-i-Hayat and always suggested Its use to the world-weary pilgrims. It is also called Chasma-i-Kausar. The Hindu scriptures call It Mansarover or the Pool of Nectar (Amritsar), which if tasted would grant life everlasting. In the Vedas we read of It as Soma Ras, which granted Cosmic Awareness or Universal Consciousness to the Rishis and the Munis who partook of It in ages long ago. The saints generally call It Amritsar or the pool or the fount of Nectar. Christ often spoke of It as the Water of Life.

And let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will,
  let him take the Water of Life freely. 1

Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him
  shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him
  shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 2

    In the Holy Bible, it is stated that Christ used to bring the dead to life. At one place, he is said to have administered this Water of Life to a Samaritan lady. From all this it is abundantly clear that Christ freely made use of this Water of Life in treating the ills of mankind. And very often he refers to the Voice of God as well.

For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,
  and we shall be changed. 3
                                ST. PAUL

When the dead shall hear the Voice of the Son of God:
  and they that hear shall live. 4

By these means, he is said to have redeemed no less than one hundred forty and four thousand souls. 5

    The Rishis and Munis or the holy men of old and even the saints in comparatively recent times tasted of the Water of Life and made their followers drink from the great fountainhead, and it is possible even today to partake of this Water with the grace and kindness of some Master-saint.

Amrit: What It is

    From a careful study of the scriptures, we learn that the Water of Life or the Nectar is nothing but the Word or Logos of Christ; Naam or Shabd of the saints; Kalma of the Muslims; and Nad of the Vedic Rishis.

Amrit is the True Naam (or Word),
But It cannot be described in words.
He who tastes of it by attuning with the Word is accepted at His Court. 6
                                                                                                           GURU AMAR DAS

O dear self, Amrit is the Hari Naam,
And one gets access to It through a Master-soul. 7
                                                                 GURU RAM DAS

The Word of God is the elixir of life and is a panacea for all the ills of the world;
Bhikhan says, It is with the Grace of the Guru that one finds a Way to Salvation. 8

Master's Word is pure ambrosia,
A draught of It quenches all thirst. 9
                                  GURU AMAR DAS

The treasure of the Word is the Water of Life (Amrit),
Drink ye, my brothers, to your hearts' fill. 10

The Way to the Nectarian treasure of Word (Truth) one finds through a saint,
Blessed are the saints who are ever devotedly in tune with It. 11
                                                                                               GURU ARJAN

Amrit becomes manifest by devotion to the Master,
O Nanak! Shabd is the Nectar of Life,
And a rare devotee of the Master partakes of It. 12
                                                                  GURU RAM DAS

The Limitless Song (Anhad Bani) has an ambrosial effect,
It lulls both the body and the mind to a quiet repose. 13
                                                                             GURU ARJAN

O Thou who makes manifest the elixir of Bani within,
I make an offering of myself to Thee,
For thou hast implanted in me the Amrit Bani (Word)
and I remain absorbed in the holy Naam. 14

O God! wonderful are Thy ways and means,
The mind in the gyres can hardly understand them.
Thou hast attuned it with the delectable (Amrit) Bani,
And the immortal ambrosial Word (Shabd) is now fully manifest. 15
                                                                                           GURU AMAR DAS

Those who are proud of Thy Naam are completely saturated with it,
O Nanak! there is but one Amrit (Nectar) and none besides It. 16
                                                                                               GURU ANGAD

The Naam of Hari is the elixir and a draught of It makes one contented.
O Nanak! he who drinks of It escapes all delusion. 17
                                                                GURU AMAR DAS

Whoever deals in the wealth of Naam
Lives on the everlasting manna of life. 18
                                               GURU ARJAN

The Word of the Master is extremely sweet,
Such an elixir one finds within,
Whosoever tastes of It, gets perfected,
O Nanak! such a one remains in perpetual bliss. 19
                                                                GURU NANAK

The Word of the Master is the Water of Life,
To drink It is to quench all thirst.
The mind verily gets drenched in Truth,
And always remains absorbed in Truth. 20
                                         GURU AMAR DAS

The riches of Word (Truth) one gets through the grace of a Master,
Blessed are the saints who are ever in tune with It. 21
                                                                          GURU ARJAN

Amrit is often used for Hari (God), Hari Kirtan (the Divine Song) and Maha Ras (exhilarating vintage). He alone gets out of desires who engages in the Word. Had is the fruit of the Tree of Life (Amrit-phal) and is a gift from God.

False are all the designs and colors that we see,
A drop of the Water of Life is a blessing that comes from a Sadhu. 22
                                                                                                          GURU ARJAN

Had Naam alone is Amrit; commune ye with It through the grace of a Master,
Hari Naam is All-pure; a contact with It ends pain and sorrow. 23
                                                                                          GURU RAM DAS

A rare soul drinks the cup of divine vintage (Hari Ras),
O Nanak, he gets the reward of the Divine Word and thereafter lives by It. 24
                                                                                                                            GURU ARJAN

I sacrifice my all on Him, who implanted the life-giving Naam in me,
The ambrosia of Naam is supremely sweet,
One drinks of It by the direction and Will of the Master. 25
                                                                             GURU AMAR DAS

The scriptures tell us that what we call Amrit or the Water of Life is just the same thing as Naam or the Word. A touch with this divine vintage gives God-intoxication:
Those who wholly depend on Thy Naam, are completely dyed in Thy color,
O Nanak! there is only one exhilarating vintage and no other. 26
                                                                                            GURU ANGAD

In this age of Kali Yuga, there is no other Wine but of Amrit.
God's Naam is Amrit in the present Kali age,
This wealth one may get by devotion to a Sadhu. 27
                                                                    GURU ARJAN

Amrit is Sound Principle

    Amrit is Divine Harmony, and is reverberating all the time everywhere. It is the Bread of Life (Manna or Heav-enly Food) on which the spirit feeds and thrives.

With the meeting of the Satguru, the ever-restless mind gets steady
  and one finds the tenth door,
There the Melody divine---the Bread of Life---holds the universe light,
Countless are the strains and endless, ever saturated in Truth,
O Nanak! the contact thereto comes through a God-man alone,
No more the wild goose chase, for Homeward one is led. 28
                                                                             GURU AMAR DAS

A disciplined soul makes one self-disciplined and contented he becomes,
Absorption in the Master awakens the inner Music of the soul;
By drinking the Nectar divine, one is contented and rises in His Presence,
Listen ye to the great Music of the harp and taste It night and day,
A rare soul alone understands It through the Master's grace. 29
                                                                                              GURU NANAK

Amrit is Light Principle

    The vision-center behind and between the two eyes, if and when directed steadily toward Gagan (inner horizon), gradually gets lighted up. It starts with flashes as from lightning and in course of time makes manifest a starry sky, and the Sun and the Moon come to view besides several other lighted scenes. When the spirit transcends all these and enters Trikuti, the headquarters of the subtle region, there she beholds the Sun of Brahmand and beyond Brahmand, the Moon of Par Brahmand Region. We come across frequent references to the higher spiritual phenomena in the writings of Sant Tulsi Sahib and many others.

Blessed indeed is the Ambrosial Sound of God, the contact whereof
  comes through the grace of the Master;
The darkness is dispelled and one gets enlightenment just as the Sun
  chases away the darkness of the night;
Then one sees the otherwise Invisible, the Inexpressible and the Unfathomable One,
  as explained by the Master. 30
                        GURU RAM DAS

Wondrous sweet is the Nectarean Voice of the Master,
Fortune may favor a rare soul to relish It.
Light within, one quaffs the quintessence Divine,
And hears the True Sound at the seat of the soul. 31
                                                                GURU AMAR DAS

Pure is the Light and Soma Juice is the Word,
A contact with them grants a selfless life of everlasting bliss. 32
                                                                                               GURU ARJAN

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts,
  to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 33
                                                                                                                                                    ST. PAUL

Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet, and a Light unto my Path. 34
                                                                                          THE PSALMS

Amrit: Its location

    The divine ambrosia can be had by inversion and not anywhere in the world outside. One can find It only if one transcends into the spiritual regions above the physical body. A draught of the Water of Immortality is enough to grant life everlasting to the individual. In order to reach the Hauz-i-Kausar or the pool of nectar, one has to dig deep into the human self.

    The human body is the temple of God wherein dwell both the soul and the Over-soul. This temple has quite a number of instruments through which the Self within works in the physical plane without. These instruments may be likened to doors and windows through which the soul and the mind go out into the world in search of worldly pleasures. But the soul itself is imprisoned in the body and knows no way to escape therefrom. The body has nine visible portals: two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, mouth, rectum and the generative organ. So long as the spirit remains absorbed in the sensory pleasures, it cannot have an access to the Heavenly regions and, therefore, cannot taste the elixir of life. Besides these nine outlets there is a hidden spring-door behind the center of the eyes. When the spirit, by means of concentration, is gathered up at this center, it becomes qualified for ingress into higher realms with all the spiritual heritage therein.

A whore of spirit that delights in the nine sense organs
  does not get to the wondrous Reality,
Kabir therefore saith: all the nine chambers lie deserted
  - Essence is only in the tenth. 35

The nine portals lead to naught--nectar may be sipped at the tenth. 36

The Master manifests the Water of Life at the tenth gate,
And listening to the Divine Music, one is led to stillness absolute. 37
                                                                                               GURU RAM DAS

There is hardly any need now to search without,
  when the Master has shown the Reality within;
The Unending Music swells in the tenth chamber,
  there one realizes the ambrosial Word. 38
                                                     GURU ARJAN

The nectar of Divine Harmony is in the human body, and whoever delves for It, gets It within. All outer activities on the plane of the senses, like pilgrimages, penances and fasts, rites and rituals, forms and formularies, are of no avail. In this Path, one has to lose himself before he can rediscover himself.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake,
  the same shall save it. 39
It means that one can have life eternal only when one learns and practices the art and science of death-in-life by rising above the body-consciousness at will. This is the only Way to get the Water of Immortality and there is none besides it.
The Naam or the Word is the bestower of all gifts,
And It ever abides in the human body. 40
                                              GURU  ARJAN

Everyone is endowed with the Water of Life,
None but the destined one can drink It. 41

The fountain of Amrit is bubbling over,
One can have a taste of It through the Word of God. 42

Like musk in the deer is hid the nectar within,
And like the deer a mad search is made without. 43
                                                           GURU AMAR DAS

A Sufi saint says,
Beloved is in the house and I make a search in the world,
With a spring of crystal water within, I go athirst.

Inside the head, there is an inverted well with an opening behind the eyes. A current of nectar issuing forth from the well is coming into the body; but the unfortunate spirit, ever busy in the outer pursuits of the world, is not destined to have a taste of It and so continues in sorrow.

    Everything of any value is in the body and nothing is without. Whoever has, through the grace of the Master, found the treasures within, is indeed blessed and enjoys true happiness both within and without. He drinks the ambrosial showers as they fall and is ever in a state of blissful intoxication. The Way to It, however, lies through some Master-saint, and the spirit, torn away from her source ever since the day of creation, is once again reconciled with her Creator and lives in perpetual peace and beatitude.

Everything is within and nothing without,
He who searches without is yet in ignorance.
He who finds it within himself through a Master-soul,
Ever lives in a state of bliss and beatitude.
The Amrit falls down in a big shower,
Night and day he lives in perfect satiety,
And sings the praises of God.
The aeons of separation come to an end,
And the blighted tree once again blossoms forth.
Gifted with right knowledge, he revels in Naam,
All hail to the Master! that brought this about. 44
                                                                GURU ARJAN
The pool of nectar lies in the folds of the mind; it is only when the mind grows still that it becomes manifest. A contact with Naam grants eternal life.
O Nanak! drink within the elixir of life as a pure gift of the Guru,
He alone takes in the divine drink, who is destined from above. 45
                                                                                                GURU ANGAD
The mind must first be purged of all ills, before one can receive the life-giving ambrosia.
Through instructions of the Master, the mind becomes pure,
And then the sacred pool comes to view. 46
                                            GURU AMAR DAS
Who can taste this Nectar

    From the writings of the Masters it appears that one cannot taste this nectar until one learns to die while alive. One has, therefore, to "forsake the flesh for the spirit'' 47 for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." 48

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself,
And take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it,
But whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 49

We have been leading a physical existence only. We know how to live on the physical plane and that we do with the help of our physical senses. We have never known that there is anything beyond and that we have senses subtle and causal, apart from the physical, and can make use of them by transcending the physical plane. There are tremendous possibilities in man, fashioned as he is in the image of God, but alas! in the mighty swirl of mind and matter we have lost hold of the lifeline within and are drifting headlong in the stream of life with no anchorage. A Master-saint is the only refuge and a haven where one may for a while have a respite and time to think over his sad plight. And how does the Master help here ? He shows one how to leave the body by withdrawing the sensory currents at the seat of the soul. This transcension of the physical body is called "death-in-life." It is the Open Sesame that unlocks the door leading into the Kingdom of God.

If thou wishest to have everlasting life,
Learn thou to die in the body, before death overtakes thee.
                                                                                     MAULANA RUMI

He who knows how to die while living drinks Amrit (the Water of Life),
My mind is convinced of the need and is devoted to the Master's instructions. 50
                                                                                                                          GURU RAM DAS

Learn to die while alive, for in the end death over-takes all.
                                                                                              BABA FARID

Learn how to die that you may begin to live.
                                              THOMAS A KEMPIS

Remember ye the Naam and love the Lord unceasingly,
Live in constant devotion to God's elect.
Those who live-in-death, drink the Water of Life,
And their minds get absorbed through the instruction of the Master. 51
                                                                                                      GURU RAM DAS

Drink ye the Water of Life---a pure gift from the Master,
With an easy death, ye shall rise in eternal life. 52
                                                                 GURU NANAK

Spiritual Comfort is God's free gift and not of our own merit. It comes only through the grace of some Godman. He is the "Way, the Truth, and the Life." The absorption in the Master alone helps one to gain the pool of nectar within and this is called a second birth or resurrection.

Amrit: How one gets It

    (i) Through the Grace of God:

God's Word is the Water of Life,
One gets It through His grace.
Remember God every moment of your life,
And make this your constant practice. 53
                                                GURU ARJAN

Everyone sows his field, but blessed are such as God approves of,
With the help of the Master is sown the seed of divine Nectar,
And then one gets the fruit of the Tree of Life (Amrit). 54
                                                                              GURU RAM DAS

    (ii) Through preordination. By one's good deeds one may get Amrit within, if so ordained.

One with earned merit in the past ages may by preordination find Nectar within,
Highly blessed is God's Word; one may taste of It through the instructions
  of the Master. 55

    (iii) Through devotion to Satguru. Amrit is all pervading in Its fullness, but we can hardly taste It on the plane of the senses.

Water, water everywhere,
But not a drop to drink.
Amrit is much sought after; even the gods and goddesses are in search of It, but one can partake of It only through the grace of the Master.
Amrit, which is sought after by Rishis, Munis and gods,
  that I have found with the aid of the Master,
I have got Amrit through the Master's grace
  and Truth is now implanted within me. 56
                                         GURU AMAR DAS
One cannot by his own unaided efforts get to the Hauz-i-Kausar or the Fountain of Life. For this purpose we have of necessity to seek the aid of a living Master who has for himself found this Fountainhead and is competent to lead others to it.
And he showed me a pure river of Water of Life, clear as crystal,
  proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 57
                                                                                          ST. JOHN

The sovereign remedy of Naam lies in the pool of the crystal clear Waters of Life
  which one gets by the grace of the Master,
Nanak therefore saith: one preordained to get It meets a Master
  and thereby says good-bye to his ills. 58

The elixir of life (Amrit) one gets from a Master,
And thereafter he lives by the bread of the holy Word,
All patterns, all colors and all designs are from Him,
A rare soul, O Nanak! lives by this Amrit. 59

O my Master! I would like to be a sacrifice unto Thee,
Thy very sight is a great bliss, for Thou out of compassion
  hast given me the elixir of Naam. 60
                                        GURU ARJAN

God Himself directs and grants communion with His holy Word,
By His grace one meets the Master and drinks of the ambrosia (Amrit). 61

Shabd is Amrit and Bani, the Voice of God, as well;
By devotion to the Master, It has become audible. 62
                                                                GURU AMAR DAS

    (iv) By acceptance of Master's Will and commandments.

If ye love me keep my commandments. 63

O mind! lead a life acceptable to the Master,
For He shall lead thee to thy Native Home,
And grant thee the Water of Life to quench thy thirst,
And all comforts and blessings shall be thine. 64

The gift of elixir depends on the sweet Will and Pleasure of the Master,
A rare soul may get It without much effort. 65
                                                    GURU AMAR DAS

In the company of the saints ye partake of the precious Amrit. 66
                                                                                            GURU RAM DAS

A drop of the divine vintage is a great blessing,
You can drink of It through some Sadh. 67

O Nanak! he alone lives who practices the Naam,
And partakes of the Water of Life with saints. 68
                                                                 GURU ARJAN

Amrit in Its fullness abides in a saint, and His glance of grace is enough to transform a person.
Satguru is Amrit incarnate for He is one with Hari (God),
O Nanak! one remembers God through grace and finds Him through the Master. 69
                                                                                                                          GURU AMAR DAS

Satguru is the pool of nectar and a blessed soul dips into It,
And gets cleansed of the dirt of ages and communes with the pure Naam. 70
                                                                                                                 GURU RAM DAS

Man comes into the world just to find the river of the Water of Life and this he can do through a Master-soul. But all orders and sects based on outer observances are a source of sorrow, duality and affliction, and one cannot reach the Fountain of Life through such practices. Without the Amrit of Naam, nothing is of any avail, and whoever gets entangled in them cannot find a way out.
The precious Water of Life for which you came into the world
  you can get from a Master-saint,
Rise above all thoughts of distinctive labels of various religious
  and clerical orders,
Cast aside all raiments and rituals as also all cunning and cleverness
  and mental oscillations,
These shall avail thee not on this Path. 71
                                               GURU NANAK

Amrit: who can get It

    Out of millions of devotees, only a rare one who sits at the feet of a living Master gets contact with the elixir of life.

God alone grants the heavenly ambrosia,
A rare soul out of myriads may get It. 72

Verily, verily the Amrit showers from above,
But a rare devotee partakes of It,
The mind blossoms forth and sings of His glory. 73
                                                          GURU AMAR DAS

A devotee of the Master engages in the pursuit,
And finds the Amrit and becomes truly blessed,
O Man! commune with the Naam day and night,
Thou shalt lose all impurities and become sanctified. 74
                                                                          GURU NANAK

The divine Amrit falls down in showers,
A devotee through the grace of the All-pervading gets It. 75

The enlivening story of God is truly sublime; we have had a taste of it
  through the words of the Master;
Heaven's light dawned, dispelling all darkness, just  as sun chases away the night,
The Invisible, the Indescribable, and the Unknowable, became manifest
  through the instructions of the Master. 76
                                               GURU RAM DAS

It is bubbling over in its fullness in the temple of the human body, but a man of the world cannot get access to it.
In the body lies the Fount of the Water of Life,
But a sensual person cannot have a taste of It. 77
                                                         GURU AMAR DAS

I would make an offering of myself at the feet of my Master, who unraveled to me
  the great mystery,
The world without the Water of Life is but a waste-land, and a worldly-wise man
  does not even know of It. 78
                         GURU NANAK

Amrit: Its merits

    The merits of Amrit are countless indeed. A contact with It renders all other joys and pleasures insipid and makes one a true renunciate.

No longer does he hunger and thirst for things of the world,
He sees Him as All-pervading, in the core of his heart;
Dyed in the color of Amrit, he renounces all and revels in his Master and his teachings. 79
                                                                                                                                               GURU NANAK
The Water of Life abides in each heart in Its richness. He who tastes of It knows Its exhilarating influence. Communion with the Power of God is union with God, and one becomes fearless even of death, the last enemy of man. Not only do they achieve freedom but many another along with them gets freed.
Those who relish It become fearless by saturating themselves in the sweet elixir of Naam.
This one gets through the grace of God, and transcends the realm of Kal. 80
                                                                                                                GURU AMAR DAS

Amrit in Its fullness lies within,
Ye may relish It by an actual contact,
Thou hast cheated the whole world which is going round and round;
He who follows the Master derives the greatest benefit,
He who tastes of the true ambrosia is not molested by death;
Not only does he achieve freedom,
But many another he puts on the Path. 81
                                          GURU RAM DAS

The wondrous gift of Amrit confers many supernatural powers on him who partakes of it, and grants peace and ecstasy. Through It one is rid of all pain and sorrow, doubt and skepticism, lusts and passions, and is freed from the most ancient malady of egotism; and all desires and cravings fall off like dry leaves as if by an enchanter driven. The mind too gets steady and rarefied. Ultimately one gains salvation and attains to the state of Sehaj, and is honored in the Presence of God.

    From the teachings of the Masters, who laid great emphasis on communion with Him, it is clear that Amrit is nothing but Naam, Shabd or Word, and this Pool of Nectar lies within each one of us but becomes manifest only through a glance of grace from some true Saint who enables us to partake of It.

    Amongst the Sikhs there is the practice of preparing "amrit" with the help of a sword. By a careful study of the matter we realize that this too is in fact prepared with the help of Naam or Bani. The consciousness is first turned inward so as to contact the Inner Sound Principle, and then as it comes down saturated in the divine it is turned without, converting the preparation into an Amrit. It is only a competent Master (a true Khalsa with full refulgent light in him) who can, by his glance of grace, prepare the Amrit, and whoever partakes of It becomes truly intuned. A saint with eyes bubbling over with divine intoxication can in an instant take one to the mount of transfiguration and make him into a saint.

A glance of grace from a saint makes thee a saint. 82
                                                                        GURU ARJAN
One can drink of the divine Nectar through the grace of a Satguru, and truly blessed are they who get an access thereto: they rise into the light of Universal Consciousness and gain salvation from the endless wheel of births and deaths, and live in perpetual ecstasy enjoying His beatitude.
By drinking of the ambrosia one lives forever,
By communion with the Lord, one is ever in a state of bliss;
While in the world one remains in contentment without any cares and anxieties;
Let the mind and soul be intoxicated by the sweet fragrance
  of the lotus feet of God,
Nanak says: 0 Lord! I am ever devoted to such as Chatrak
  feels exhilarated by the rain drop. 83
                                           GURU ARJAN

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