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Words of Wisdom

Devotion to God: Selections from Sikhism’s “Hymns of Guru Nanak,” Part 2 of 2

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“Though people perform lip-devotion, penance, and austerities, dwell at places of pilgrimage, Bestow alms and perform acts of devotion, what are these without the True One? As they sow so shall they reap; human life is lost without virtue. O silly one, happiness is obtained by being a devotee to virtue. They who under the Guru’s instruction abandon evil, shall be absorbed in the Perfect One.”

“God carefully draws the touchstone over people in order to assay them. The counterfeit shall not be accepted; the genuine shall be put into His treasury. Dispel hopes and fears, so shall thy filth be washed away. Everybody asks for happiness; nobody asks for misery. Great misery attends on happiness, but the perverse understand it not. They who consider happiness and misery the same, and know the secret of the Word shall be happy.

People may escape from the dangers of this world by accepting the Guru and hearkening to His instructions – The fearful ocean of the world is dangerous and formidable; it has no shore or limit, No boat, no raft, no pole, and no boatman; But the true Guru has a vessel for the terrible ocean, and ferries over them on whom He looks with favor.”

“Without the Guru love is not produced, and the filth of pride departs not. They who recognize God in themself, and know the secret of the Word, shall be satisfied: But when people recognize themself through the Guru’s instruction, what more remains for them to do? Why speak of meeting God? People have met Him already, but it is only on receiving the Word they are satisfied with themselves. The perverse obtain not understanding; separated from God they suffer punishment.”

“By taking the protection of the Guru, people shall be saved; counterfeit is the capital of the perverse. The eight metals of the King are coined agreeably to His orders. The Assayer Himself assays the coins, and puts the genuine into His treasury. Thy merits, O Lord, cannot be ascertained; I have seen and tested everything. Thy merits cannot be expressed by words; if people remain true, they shall obtain honor. Under the Guru’s instruction Thou, O Lord, are praised, otherwise Thy worth cannot be described.”
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