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Amrit Ki Hain - The Meaning of Sikh Baptism
Amrit Ki Hain - The Meaning of Sikh Baptism

Sikh Missionary Society: Publications: Amrit Ki Hain:

Inspired Initiation into Divine Name

Inspired Initiation into Divine Name

AUTHOR: Remember one thing. Even if you acquire the aesthetic bliss of repeating the Name of God in meditation, you must get baptism when you are released from prison, so that you receive spiritual initiation into Divine Name. Without baptism and initiation into His Name which unveils the mystery of contemplation, you will not be able to acquire that spiritual state in which you effortlessly go on uttering the Name of God with every breath, which is an essential part of Sikh meditations:
Every breath I breathe
I string with the remembrance of His Name;
Every breath which passes without His Name
is a breath wasted in evil thought.1
Remembering Him with every breath
under divine discipline and control
one acquires spiritual power
And then one continuously repeats His Name
in perfect freedom effortlessly.
By the grace of the Guru
Egoism is dispelled
and the mind is absorbed in the Word.2
In the Sikh scriptures there is reference to the one Divine Name of Sikh Faith as Gurmat Nam: (the Name according to the Guru's Wisdom); Gurshabad (the Word of the Guru given in initiation as a mantram); Gurmantram (the mantram of the Guru). We must bear in mind that the scriptures also say
By merely singing hymns
or closing one's eyes in contemplation
one does not achieve God
so long as one does not
practise the Guru's teachings.3
This spiritual merchandise is acquired
only from one Emporium: that of the Perfect Guru. 4.
The true Guru has the Keys
of the lock of human consciousness.
The mind is the house
and the body is the roof;
Says Nanak, without the true Guru
The mystery of the mind cannot be unlocked.
No one else has the keys.5
The Word of God
can be instilled in the heart by God's Apostle,
none else can reveals His Light.
If a jewel falls into the hands of a blind man
he goes from door to door trying to sell it.6
When one meets the true Guru in spirit,
He graciously instils His Name in the disciple's heart.7
Says Nanak, without the true Guru
the divine Name is not achieved
even if one desires it a hundred times.8
These references from the scriptures reveal that the ambrosial Name of God is acquired only through the true Apostle. It is only from this highest divine source of inspiration, that genuine enlightenment can be attained.

KARTAR SINGH: People generally ask, "what is the use of repeating the Name of God? If one has to attain mukti (liberation), what is the earthly use of such mukti (liberation)? Namdev rightly says:

If you give liberation after death O Lord
What will such a mukti be worth.9
AUTHOR: Perhaps you also think that having not attained any happiness in this earthly life, why should we waste our energy striving and hoping for happiness in the next world.

KARTAR SINGH: No Sir, you know my views very well. Some of our companions in the prison raise such questions.

AUTHOR: It is not probable that most of these people come to these conclusions because they find themselves as spiritless and empty in mind and soul after baptism as they were before being baptised. They give the impression that initiation into Sikhism through Amrit ceremony brings no change in them. Such questions were raised during the life time of Bhai Gurdas and his answer was:

By repeating sugar, sugar, sugar,
the tongue cannot taste sweetness;
By repeating fire, fire, fire,
the cold will not disappear,
By repeating physician, physician, physician,
your disease will not be cured,
By repeating money, money, money,
one cannot enjoy wealth,
By repeating sandalwood, sandalwood, sandalwood,
one does not enjoy its fragrance.
By uttering moon, moon, moon,
one does not enjoy moonlight.
So by mere intellectual discussion and debate
one does not enjoy the living experience of His Name.
It is moral and spiritual actions that are supreme,
which lead to revelation of his Light in human consciousness.10
It is clear from these references from the scriptures that one cannot achieve anything by mere theoretical knowledge and discussion till he lives according to the moral and spiritual code of conduct prescribed for such a living, and after doing so, one leads a life of real contemplation of His Name. Bhai Gurdas has not only made it clear that mere talk and discussion leads to no experience but he has also indirectly told us that sweetness, fragrance, light, health (mental and spiritual) can be acquired by contemplating the Name of God according to scriptural instructions and tradition. Only by practical living and disciplined practise of religious life can the sun of divine wisdom dawn, which dispels all darkness. One is convinced from experience that all these aesthetic qualities can be acquired by the contemplation of His Name. Mere talk and intellectual knowledge of the techniques of meditation are of no avail. Practical life of contemplation is what matters. There are special sadhanas and Vidhis techniques of contemplating the divine Name. It is not something that can be accomplished by mere imagination. Many people ignorant of the techniques of reciting and contemplating the Name of God consider it a useless exercise.

In the foregoing Kabit (Quatrain) Bhai Gurdas has made a challenging assertion that the six aesthetic virtues of sweetness, fragrance, inner peace, moral and spiritual health and Light can be acquired by the correct and inspired contemplation of Divine Name. We must also bear in mind:

Everyone outwardly utters the Name of God.
But one cannot attain God
by such insipid repetition of His Name.
If by the grace of God and Guru
the divine Name resides in the heart
then contemplation of the divine Word is fruitful.11
KARTAR SINGH: Well Sir, why should not man acquire these joys of sweetness, fragrance, peace, health and light through wealth and material means, if one can buy them? Why should he wander about in search of them through spiritual exercises and contemplation.

AUTHOR: The joys, bliss, health and peace that ensues from material means are neither lasting nor so exalting and illuminating. The bliss and joy of material goods cannot stand any comparison with the peace and joys of spiritual life and exercises.

1. Adi Guru Granth: G. Ram Das, Nat Asht p. 981
2. ibid G. Ram Das, Kanra p. 1310
3. Bhai Gurdas, Var,
4. Adi Guru Granth: G. Nanak, Var Majh p. 146
5. ibid G. Angad, Var Sarang p. 1237
6. ibid G. Amar Das Var Sarang p. 1249
7 ibid G. Amar Das, Var Ramkali p. 950
8. ibid G. Amar Das, Shlok Vadhik p. 1416
9. ibid Bhakta Namdev, Malar, p. 1292
10. Bhai Gurdas, Kabit, No:
11. Adi Guru Granth: G. Amar Das Gujri p. 491

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