Sukhmani Sahib, 3rd Pauree, 8th hymn
Yesterday, I started reading a translation of Sukhmani Sahib by Professor Teja Singh Ji.
One thing I love about this translation is the use of the word “Name” rather than “He”, where Waheguru (God, Allah, Krishna, Yahweh etc.) is mentioned. It helps prevent us from falling into the trap of conceptualizing that which cannot be conceptualized, especially in the form of a human male.
The following hymn touched me:
- ‘Of all religions the best is
- The practice of the Name with purity of conduct.
- Of all the rites the best is
- To purge one’s heart of filth and evil tendencies by association with those who have disciplined themselves.
- Of all devotional practices the best it
- The constant application of the heart to the Name.
- Of all sacred texts the most sacred is
- That by which one hears the praise of God and utters it to others.
- Of all the holy places the holiest is
- Where one feels the stir of the Name in one’s heart.”
Even as I write that last line, shivers coursed through my spine.
To me, the beauty of the hymn touches on the importance of diversity. The holiest place is where one feels the stir of the Name. That could be when one is singing, when one is writing, when one is sitting peacefully in the forest on a warm summer’s day, listening to the sounds of Nature.
To me, this hymn emphasizes that we need to connect with people who long for the Name. To me, it emphasizes that we need to explore and test ourselves. To me, it emphasizes that we must be open to how others feel the stir of the Name, while contributing our own journey with our Guru.
To me, it’s a reminder to be grateful for life in all it’s forms, and to celebrate the diversity of this world, of the Name.