3. Walking with the Order of Divine: The will (Hukam) of God

Hukam is another key concept that helps a person to have union with God. According  to Guru  Nanak  God  has  revealed  His truth in creation  and  specifically in the Hukam,  which  orders  creation. He who perceives this Truth and submits to it will find salvation, The simple meaning of Hukam is divine order, command, decree, law or sometime Will. Like any other monotheistic religions this is the key concept in Sikh philosophy. In Shri  Guru  Grantha Sahib it is also used sometimes as  ‘Bhana’ or ‘Raza’, Hukam is one of the attributes of God. It gives Him an infinite consciousness consequently makes Him an active God instead of just being an impersonal God. It is God’s will that determines the cosmic order, life, death, pleasure and pain and the like,All by Himself, He Himself is permeating and pervading; He is intuitively absorbed in celestial peace”SGGS, p. 115, see also p. 155.[2]

Sabad, Nam and Guru are the components of Sikh salvation. But it is Hukam (Raza) which makes Sabad, Nam and Guru to be apprehended by men. Guru Nanak makes this concept prominent by using it in the Sikh morning obligatory prayer, which is found in Rag-Japu in Guru Granth. He clearly explains the nature of the Hukam:

“All life was created by Hukam, and by Hukam alone distinction comes to some.  Some  are  exalted  by the Hukam, some  are  abased,  some  must  suffer while  others  find  joy  some  receive  by the  Hukam blessing  others  are  from birth to birth  related, All came within the Hukam none beyond its authority. They who comprehend the Hukam 0  Nanak, his “Haumai” is purged

SGGS, p.1.”[3]

Since, according to Guru Nanak the Hukam signifies,

“the divinity instituted and maintained principle governing the existence and movement of the universe.” [4]Yet the Hukam of Sikhism is beyond the reach of human comprehension. However, knowledge of knowing Hukam is not an intellectual achievement rather it is a spiritual achievement. The Encyclopedia of Sikhism explains more about Hukam in the following way.

“Obedience to the Hukam or bringing one’s life in harmony with the principle of Hukam is stressed, but realization of Hukum is… [left to] a mystical experience. It cannot be explained through the medium of human language. The realization of Hukam is not  merely the  feeling  of the  existence of  such  a principle, but  it is  also  the attainment of a blissful internal light.   With this Inner Light one can see or know the ethical path which one has to follow under Hukam.”


Therefore, he, who understands the Hukam, understands the will of God.  He, who submits himself to God’s will submits himself towards the union with the Lord and thereby gets freedom or liberation. Thus, it is clear that a Sikh has been given call to submit himself to this Hukam which is Divine Order or Law or Will. But then, this arises a fundamental question that how this enlightenment is to be gained? What one should do in order to submit to Hukam? How this can be done? The answer of this important but life-giving question is found in Granth Bible.

Let us explore how the solution is provided in the Granth Bible. We know that the instincts of human being beside his flesh are against the divine things consequently against divine order or against sovereign will of God through which He maintains the principle of governing the existence and movement of the universe. They have blinded the eyes of a seeker. They provoke a seeker to commit such heinous sin or bad karma that it leads him to doom. That’s why Granth Bible says that all have sinned against the divine order or the Law set up by God, hence by default are away from the Will of God, thereby have fallen short of His glory (Romans 3:23).

Thus, we are guilty of breaking God’s Law. Furthermore, sin has caused a person to rebel against God’s divine order. Granth Bible says,

“The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” By nature a person naturally does not want to obey God’s laws, because sin has corrupted man and the nature of his relationships towards both God and fellow human beings. We see the effects of this corruption everywhere, we see this in our relation with our own family members, in our relation with the society, in our relation with the world around us and most significantly in our relation with the most merciful and gracious God.Romans 8:7However, Granth Bible provides the remedy for this problem by the forgiveness of our Sins through Satguru Jesus Christ, the Lord and Master of life. If this happens then one could re-gain this union with his Beloved (he). By this the relation will be restored and the bliss would be achieved. Delight, happiness, elation, joy will be the jewel of a Lover (she). Granth Bible further says that, God calls a seeker to receive this forgiveness:

“Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” .

Isaiah 1:18

But, the decision to receive this forgiveness is again left in discretely power of human being. Whatever decision would be yet all merciful and gracious God would be always ready to forgive for Bible says that,

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” .

1 John 1:8-9

In fact, Granth Bible further encourages a seeker,

“you therefore…by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” .

Romans 12:1–2

That is how knowledge of knowing Hukam becomes spiritual reality.

Therefore, as we conclude the words of Guru  Granth are apt to mention here,

“Beloved,  he  who  comprehends  the  divine  order  0 the  Lord  attains  truth  and  receives honor?”

SGGS, p. 636.  See also SGGS, P. 832, SGGS, P. 1279.[6]

[1] ਜਪੁ ਤਪੁ ਸੰਜਮੁ ਭਾਣਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਕਾ ਕਰਮੀ ਪਲੈ ਪਾਇ ॥

[2] ਆਪੇ ਆਪਿ ਆਪਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਹਜੇ ਸਹਜਿ ਸਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੫॥

[3] ਹੁਕਮੀ ਹੋਵਨਿ ਜੀਅ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਵਡਿਆਈ ॥ ਹੁਕਮੀ ਉਤਮੁ ਨੀਚੁ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਲਿਖਿ ਦੁਖ ਸੁਖ ਪਾਈਅਹਿ ॥

ਇਕਨਾ ਹੁਕਮੀ ਬਖਸੀਸ ਇਕਿ ਹੁਕਮੀ ਸਦਾ ਭਵਾਈਅਹਿ ॥ ਹੁਕਮੈ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਹੁਕਮ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥

ਨਾਨਕ ਹੁਕਮੈ ਜੇ ਬੁਝੈ ਤ ਹਉਮੈ ਕਹੈ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥੨॥

[4] W. H. Mcheod. “Guru Nanak and the Sikh Religion.” 2nd Edition, Delhi: OUP, 1978. p. 201.

[5] James Hastings. “Encyclopedia Of Sikhism.” Delhi: ISPCK, 1996.  p.288.

[6] ਹੁਕਮੁ ਸਿਞਾਪੈ ਸਾਹ ਕਾ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਸਚੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਵਡਿਆਈ ਹੋਇ ॥੬॥

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