Naam or Word



   Now we come to another term, "Hari Ras" or Divine intoxication. Whoever communes with the Word, Shabd or Naam feels an exhilarating effect, too sweet and too absorbing for words. Far from being inebriating and stupefying it raises one into a state of super-consciousness and universal awareness. The knowledge of the Word makes everything else known. Once a soul tastes of this sweet elixir, it cannot possibly leave it off, but wants to remain forever in touch with it.

Nanak feels in him the intoxication of Naam, all the time.
Christ calls It the "Water of Life." The Muslim saints have described It as "Aab-i-Hayat" and the Hindus as "Amrit" or the Water of Immortality. It has in It an enlivening effect for It makes the soul live through eternity. It is because of Its life-giving property that saints talk of It as "Maha Ras" or the highest type of "Ras" (intoxicating drink). While other drinks produce morbid sensitivity and cloud the reason and intellect, the nectar of Naam brings one into touch with Reality, whereby one comes to know the correct values of life:
There is no real charm on the plane of the senses;
Leave it aside, and drink ye the sweet elixir of life;
Without tasting this nectar one forfeits his human
   birth and is never really happy. 177
                                    GURU ARJAN

O Nanak! there is great sweetness in Naam, ye get to the Truth
  through a competent Master. 178
                               GURU ANGAD

O Lord! grant me the sweet elixir of Naam. 179
                                                          GURU ARJAN


  Hari Ras is the same as Naam or Anhad Bani. A touch with the Hari Ras is a touch with God. Those who do not get a contact with Hari Ras are really unfortunate beings, and can never escape from the sway and the realm of Kal or Death.

How unfortunate they are who do not get Hari Ras and are ever
  in the clutches of Death. 180

Hari purifies the sinners,
A disciplined soul gives contact with Hari Naam,
And then one tastes the sweet elixir of life. 181
                                                       GURU RAM DAS

Know ye of the Unending Song through the Word of the Master,
And enjoy ye the Hari Naam and the Hari Ras so sweet,
O Nanak! God Himself grants this contact for He is both
  the Cause and the Effect. 182

By tasting the Hari Ras ye know the Reality,
O Nanak!. those who commune with the Naam, they alone live. 183
                                                                                       GURU AMAR DAS

It is a long story and an unending tale:

Whomsoever He uplifts, He offers this drink,
Then do they know the unending tale of His. 184
                                                            GURU ARJAN

Whomsoever the Merciful One shows mercy,
He gives the boon of the interminable story,
One gets the Hari Ras through the saints and feels
Its exhilarating influence in his body and mind. 185
                                                          GURU RAM DAS

It is Amrit (The Water of Immortality):

By devotion to the Master, one beholds the Lord,
And getting the Water of Life one tastes the Essence of God. 186
                                                                                                GURU NANAK

A rare soul gets to this elixir of life,
Whosoever drinks of it, escapes death. 187
                                                  GURU ARJAN


 In the sacred books of the various religions - the Vedas, the Smritis, and others - much praise has been bestowed on the Naam or Hari Ras. Water, water everywhere! but you have not a speck of it. You can see and taste its sweet elixir, if you invert. It is the Water of Life which is found in the temple of the body, and we can get to It by recession and withdrawal from the sensory plane. Emerson, the great American philosopher, advises us to "tap inside." Though this enlivening Spirit Current pervades everywhere, yet we cannot see It until we develop our Divya-Chakshu, the Inner Eye or the Single Eye as Christ calls it. For developing the inner vision we have to go inside, and this is why the sages and the seers always tell us to invert into the chamber of the mind. By reading the scriptures, we may develop a love for the Science of the Soul but cannot know its practical working nor have a taste
of It.

The study of the Vedas cannot give Hari Ras;
Entangled in mind and matter, one talks and talks,
The ignorant abide in darkness ever,
The devotee of the Master knows the Truth and sings of Him. 188
                                                                                        GURU AMAR DAS
Hari Ras is all-pervading and is ever rich in Its fullness everywhere, in all the regions high and low. Its sweet strains also reverberate on all sides. But the unfortunate can have no access to It.
Hari Ras is all-pervasive but the unfortunate cannot have a taste of It. 189
                                                                                                            GURU RAM DAS
Hari Ras is in the Temple of the Body:
When the light of His feet abides in the heart, one tastes of the Hari Ras. 190

Break through the bondage of delusion,
Then shalt thou see the wonder of wonders and drink the nectar. 191
                                                                                                      GURU NANAK

Hari Ras is in Daswan Dwar (the tenth door) and when a soul rises above the nine portals of the body and transcends body consciousness, then it tastes this elixir:
The body is the temple of God,
You can deal in the commodity of Hari Ras. 192
                                                    GURU RAM DAS

Nine are the portals of the body and all end in a cul-de-sac
  with no way to real happiness,
The tenth alone leads to a delectable plane where one may partake
  of the Water of Life.
Grant me, Thou the Merciful One, the gift of the Elixir of Life
  through the Word of the Master.


  (a) Through the Grace of God: God is the Water of Life and He is not apart from His own Essence, and it is He who may grant the gift of His own life stream, to whomsoever He may like.

The Beloved is Himself the Amrit - the sweet elixir, and the life thereof,
The Beloved Himself hears His own prayer,
His beloved, O Nanak, gets to His sweet elixir. 193
                                                           GURU RAM DAS

The wind bloweth where it listeth and so doth the Will and Pleasure of God.

It is His glance of Grace that bestows the Hari Ras,
O Nanak! through Hari Ras sing of the greatness of Hari. 194
                                                                                GURU RAM DAS

Hari Ras comes to him to whomsoever He granteth,
   and the tongue delighteth in His praises,
By devotion to Naam, one lives ever in peace and
   remains absorbed therein. 195
                    GURU AMAR DAS

(b) Through one's good fortune:

 A rare devotee of the Master tastes of the Hari Ras,
And lives in perpetual peace and ecstasy,
This one gets if he be fortunate enough. 196
                                             GURU AMAR DAS
The Manna of Hari Ras is a great detaching factor,
Fortunate is he who gets this heavenly food. 197

I have got an access to Hari Ras and I am now devoted to Hari
  with the grace of the Master,
It is my own good luck that I am now living a life like this. 198
                                                                                 GURU RAM DAS

   (c) Through the Master of Truth: It is with the grace of God that one comes across a Satguru and thereby is initiated with the Hari Ras, which in turn provides food to the soul, on which the soul thrives from day to day.

This Hari Ras one gets through a mighty good fortune,
And he finds It who meets a Satguru,
O Nanak! one forgets all the dull dross of the world,
When Hari comes to abide in the mind. 199

A meeting with a Satguru is extremely auspicious,
As He implants Naam and one gets bread of Hari Ras. 200

O Saints, how may I find the Lord, by Whose glance of grace I may get enlivened?
Without the Lord I cannot live; O contact me with the Guru
  that I may drink the Water of life. 201

Through the compassion of the Satguru, I have got the bread of love,
With the Hari Ras in me, I have lost all other appetites. 202

Hari Ras is extremely sweet and all absorbing,
The soul that tastes of It becomes dead to all outside
  and loses all other appetites. 203
                        GURU AMAR DAS

(d) Through the grace of a Master-soul:

Through the grace of a Master-soul one gets the Hari Ras,
O Nanak! it is by contacting the Naam that one is saved. 204
                                                                           GURU AMAR DAS

Hari Ras is a pure gift of the Master,
By remembrance of Hari, one can safely cross over. 205
                                                                       GURU RAM DAS

(e) Through the holy congregation:

I have got access to Hari Ras through the holy congregation,
O Nanak! such a soul is truly blessed. 206
                                              GURU ARJAN

In the holy congregation there is Hari Ras,
A Master-soul drives away the fear of death. 207
                                                              GURU NANAK

One gets to the holy congregation through high merit,
And gains Hari Ras therein. 208
                    GURU RAM DAS

(f) Through acceptance of the Divine Will:

By devotion to the Master, one accepts the Divine Will,
   And quaffs the nectar of life freely. 209
                                                GURU NANAK


 A rare devotee of the Master, one who truly loves the Master, is able to get the Hari Ras. But all others being slaves of the mind and the senses remain far removed from It:

O! the Hari Ras is extremely refreshing and sweet,
Through devotion to the Guru, a rare soul gets to It. 210
                                                                              GURU ARJAN

A rare devotee of the Master tastes of the Hari Ras,
He lives in perpetual bliss all the time,
One gets to It through great good fortune. 211
                                                   GURU AMAR DAS

Now the five senses do not fly about,
Blessed is the tree that is laden with the life-giving fruit,
By devotion to the Master, one lives in eternal peace,
And all the time sings of God and partakes of the Manna. 212
                                                                                     GURU NANAK

A slave of the senses knows not the taste of Hari Ras,
Tormented as he is by the thorns and thistles of I-ness. 213

The mind-ridden are lost through evil propensities
  and know not of Hari Ras,
Living in delusion, they throw away Amrit for a pot of porridge. 214

A slave of the senses cannot taste the Hari Ras,
Bloated with I-ness, he is dogged by misfortunes. 215
                                                                 GURU RAM DAS

Hari Ras is sweeter than the sweetest thing in the world; and those who taste of it fully but once, altogether lose an appetite for all else and thereafter become dead to the world and live a life of perfect contentment:

One may have all beauty and many wives to enjoy,
But without Hari Ras, all else is insipid. 216

Those who once taste of the Hari Ras,
They are never bewildered by the trash. 217

If ye were to taste of the Hari Ras,
A mere taste of It shall make thee intoxicated. 218
                                                                    GURU ARJAN

The devotees of the Lord prefer Hari Ras to everything else. It is peerless and unique in all respects.

The riches of all the mountains and the seas of the world put together,
Hold out no attraction to the devotee of the Lord, who prefers Hari Ras
  to everything else. 219
Rishis and munis like Sankadek, Brahma, Sukh Dev and Prehlad, by drinking the Hari Ras, reached the highest spiritual attainment:
All sages and seers, Sankadek, Sukh Dev, Brahma and Prehlad sing of Hari Ras,
They drank of the elixir of life and attained union with the Lord, O Nanak. 220
                                                                                                                         GURU ARJAN


    Hari Ras appears in the form of ripples in the Ocean of Naam. When the divine melodies become manifest, a soul is enraptured by the sweet strains and remains immersed in a state of perpetual intoxication. The love of the world and what is worldly drops off automatically. The Muslim divines have often tried to compare this with the effect of vintage wines because it momentarily makes one forgetful of the world around:

With Hari Ras, one remains in Divine ecstasy all the time,
The love of the erstwhile charms suddenly fade away,
A draught of Hari Ras is enough to bring in intoxication,
The rest instantly becomes a heap of trash. 221

O God! my mind is all intoxicated,
Seeing the Merciful, I am in perfect bliss,
And ever drink the exhilarating Hari Ras. 222
                                                     GURU ARJAN

As this wine of divine love comes from the Master or Murshid, he is often described in poetical language as "Saqi" or the Divine Cup-bearer. Hafiz, a great mystic poet, says:

O Saqi! give me that wine which one cannot find even in paradise.
Bhai Nand Lal also prayed:
O Saqi! give me a cup bubbling over with the sparkling wine,
Wine that would at once give me intoxication and solve for me all mysteries.
Hari Ras offers us countless benefits. With Hari Ras one escapes all the sins and sorrows of the world. The inner egotism is cut off root and branch. The intellect gets sharpened and the lotus of the mind takes its proper position. The practice of Hari Ras leads to concentrated meditation, and one easily crosses over the ocean of the world and attains salvation or liberation once for all from the bondage of mind and matter, and then enters in and inherits the kingdom of God, now a lost domain to him.
Let everyone take such a Hari Ras,
That is perfectly Divine in its richness. 223
                                                GURU ARJAN

  We have just a couple more terms to consider in this connection which are allied and convey just the same thing. As the current of Naam or the Sound Principle is made manifest by the Guru or Master, it is often called "Guru Naam" or the Word of the Master; "Gurumukh Naam" or the Word, the exposition whereof is given by the Master, or "Gurmat Naam" -the Word that is made audible by following the instructions of the Master. A real devotee of the Master can get to It through the grace
of the Guru and there is no other way to It. All these terms denote the hidden or inaudible Sound Current that is made both manifest and audible by the Master who, at the time of initiation, gives full and detailed description of the process of inversion through self-analysis by practicing which, from day to day, one can develop his spiritual experience to any length he may like.

Next Chapter   Contents