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A Sikh Perspective on Love

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"Hear you all, I say the truth, He who loves alone attains God"

( Tenth Nanak-Dasam Granth)

 

Sikhi stresses that without love the journey cannot begin, our traditions, practices are empty and useless. There are countless examples in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib of what "to love "is, it is an action, a verb:

 

"Listen my heart, Let thy love be that of the lotus for the pool, though the ripples shake the lotus and torment it, it flowerth and loveth even more the waters.

Let thy love be that of the fish for the water without which they perish.

 

O mind, love the Lord, as the fish loves the water.

The more the water, the more the happiness, and the greater the peace of mind and body. Without water, she cannot live, even for an instant. God knows the suffering of her mind. ||2||

 

O mind, love the Lord, as the song-bird loves the rain.

The pools are overflowing with water, and the land is luxuriantly green, but what are they to her, if that single drop of rain does not fall into her mouth?

By His Grace, she receives it; otherwise, because of her past actions, she gives her head. ||3

 

O mind, love the Lord, as the water loves the milk.

The water, added to the milk, itself bears the heat, and prevents the milk from burning. God unites the separated ones with Himself again, and blesses them with true greatness. ||4||

 

O mind, love the Lord, as the chakvee duck loves the sun.

She does not sleep, for an instant or a moment; the sun is so far away, but she thinks that it is near. Understanding does not come to the self-willed manmukh. But to the Gurmukh, the Lord is always close. ||5||

(SGGS, Siri Raag pg 59)

 

The Sikh Scriptures in forces "When you cannot see God in all you cannot see God all" It is clear then that we have to been in love to see God in all.

Love is physical, mental, emotional and spiritual grace. Love is being conscious of the relationship of your being with the universe. Love has no conditions, no boundaries, it is all encompassing, love is limitless.

 

When a Sikh has committed to the spiritual teachings written in the SGGS and the instructions given by the ten Gurus he has sworn to live love. "It is not in temples nor churches but in a mans own shrine of the heart within, where he, having cast off all outer clothes of piety and impiety, of evil and of good, enters into the pure nudity of soul, and sees face to face His personal God,his Guru." (Puran Singh-Spirit born people)

 

There is a unique concept in Sikhi, in which to surrender to the Guru could be compared to an ultimate love affair, almost a loving death. We give ourselves completely, our mind, body and soul is given to Guru. It is the death of the ego, there is no more me, I but "thuhi" or thine.

 

 

If we can imagine that there is a lotus abloom in the shrine of the heart.

To the one in love, his eyes like live bees hover within. A million flowers may beckon them away but they are fixed, unable to move away. They cannot fly, satiated, drunk and drinking the light of the lotus, they are dead yet alive. Love is contentment, living inwards, with open eyes yet seeing nothing on the outside.

 

Have you seen the eyes of Beethoven? It is a rare spiritual intensity. The love transmutes all sorrows into the flames of life. (Puran Singh-SpiritBorn People)

Sikhs are instructed to develop relationships, live as householders, integrate in society and learn to love but the key is to remain unattached.

There is fine line between "Moh" (attachment) and love, there is no "need" in love.

Pure love is not dependent on anything, anyone or any circumstance.

For example, parents love their children but if there is any other motive or expectation of what is expected of them underlining, then it is attachment and no longer love. Sikh parents are taught that they are merely the vehicle the tool used for the soul to arrive, the children born to them are not their property, they belong to the creator and parental responsibility is to love them and keep them safe from harm. They must love them but keep them free and allow them to develop the inner gifts bestowed upon them by the divine. Those that have understood what love in Sikhi is will allow their young to blossom, they will nourish, nurture and support their loved ones in becoming what they aspire to be without projecting onto them their own motives. This is a difficult act and often involves sacrifice, from sleepless nights to earning money for their tuition fees but all this effort becomes effortless when done in love.