14.Who can know Your Glorious Virtues?

Life in this world is conducted based on some guiding principles. These principles are sometimes known as virtues. Whatever a person might believe or follow these principles will always be working behind the curtain of his very lifestyle, activities and conceptual framework. So, it could be said that even if a person is an atheist or an agnostic he will still conduct his or her life based on theological, philosophical or moral virtues. A person cannot rid himself of these virtues since they are inherently found in one’s inner being. Virtue could be defined as a ‘habitual and firm temperament to do something good.’ Some thinkers say that virtues are exhibited by the very habits of mind, heart, and behavior. Virtues can be developed through thoughtful practice.

There are hundreds of virtues and scholars of various schools distinguish them in various categories. Examples include: virtues related to the moral life like honesty, justice, courage. Whereas others virtues are related to theology or doing metaphysical reflection like faith, grace, hope, charity. Even though, the list is comprehensive a person could still easily see many of them in another person’s life. A truth seeker (Sikh) must know that though he or she may see many of the virtues in his or her life yet some of them solely belong to Almighty God (Akal Purakh) who is the creator of these virtues.

“Innumerable – innumerable are Your Glorious Virtues; how many of them can I sing?”[i]

SGGS, 453

Besides He has the sole arbitrary power to grant them according to his will (hukam). Virtues that belong to God bring eternal life in a devotee’s life. They bring bliss (param anand) and take a devotee to the pinnacle of (through nadar – grace) of liberation (chutkara), “I have won the incomparable life, and I shall not lose it again” .[ii]

SGGS, 241

Once, a devotee finds even one of those virtues that are granted to him by The True Master (Satguru), he or she enters in the Realm of Truth (sachkhand). A devotee in Sikhism is asked to beg for at least one of these virtues from Lord God (Sahib Prabhu). For lack of virtue will bring nothing but separation forever, “He dwells forever in the minds of the virtuous. He is far removed from those worthless people who lack virtue” (SGGS, 27).[iii] A truth seeker (Sikh) is asked to sing the prayers (ardaas) day and night so to find at least one virtue as it is sufficient for a devotee to cross the filthy ocean (bhav sagar) with even with one of His virtues, “As You make me walk, so do I walk, O my Lord and Master; what else do I know of Your Glorious Virtues?” (SGGS, 919).[iv]

It is further conceived in Shri Guru Granth that there are hundreds of His virtues, “O my lofty, incomparable and infinite Lord and Master, who can know Your Glorious Virtues?” (SGGS, 802).[v] Yet, it is difficult for a devotee to know even one of them, Your Glories are so numerous, and I do not know even one of them (SGGS, 596).[vi]

The reason is that,

“The bride is foolish, ignorant and unworthy. Her Husband Lord is Unapproachable and Incomparable” .[vii]

SGGS, 245

However, in spite of that a devotee can find his Master’s (Sahib) virtue, “Through the incomparable Word of the Guru’s Shabad, she meets her Beloved; she continually contemplates and enshrines His Glorious Virtues in her mind” ,[viii]

SGGS, 439

Therefore, it is explicitly said that a devotee has to find The True Guru, “Go, and seek the Sanctuary of the True Guru, O my soul; He shall tell you of the Glorious Virtues of the Lord God” (SGGS, 538),[ix] for it by knowing virtues only one will find emancipation, “If you recognize His Glorious Virtues, then you shall come to know God; thus virtue shall dwell in you, and sin shall run away” (SGGS, 436).[x] Shri Guru Granth says that these virtues can be known through Satguru, “by the Shabad, the Incomparable Word of the Perfect Guru” (SGGS, 259).[xi] One of the virtues that Satguru gives is grace (nadar) and the result is given below,

“By the Grace of the Divine Guru, one is carried across to the other side… one meets the Lord… one swims across to heaven… one remains dead while yet alive… the Name of the Lord, is implanted within… one is blessed with the Ambrosial Bani of the Word… one’s body becomes like ambrosial nectar… one’s head is in the Akaashic ethers… one’s home is constructed…one has bathed at the sixty-eight sacred shrines of pilgrimage…one’s body is stamped with the sacred mark of Vishnu…one has performed the twelve devotional services….skepticism is shattered… one escapes from the Messenger of Death… one crosses over the terrifying world-ocean… one is not subject to the cycle of reincarnation” (SGGS, 1166).[xii]

In short, His virtues are so many that no one can fathom Him with his ability, earning of good works (karma), or philosophies. The very reason is that a devotee is unworthy and sometime he is called even a sinner and therefore ignorant to find them, yet devotee is asked to beg to have at least one of His virtues that would bring liberation or carry him across the other side into the Realm of Truth (sach-khand), “from the Guru, I have learned the Way of the One Lord” (SGGS, 239).[xiii] He can find this virtue meeting with Satguru or the Word of God. This leads us to ask why a devotee is not capable enough to find His virtue(s) even if he or she does good Karma. Why does a devotee need to seek His virtue(s) and where is Satguru or the Word of God who would shed His light on him to dispel the darkness prevailing in his life? To find the answer to these life-giving questions we need to turn to Granth Bible.

Granth Bible says that, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”Romans 3:23

. Therefore, “Surely there is no righteous man on earth who does good and never sins” .

Ecclesiastes 7:20

Devotees mentioned in Granth Bible knew very clearly about their pathetic situation hence one among them said like this to Satguru Jesus Christ,

“Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed”

Matthew 8:8

For they knew that nothing good comes out from them,

“For I (we) know that in me (us) (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not” .

Romans 7:18

So their earnings of good works, going to pilgrimages, takings ritual bath in hundreds of pools, seeking mercy from those reputed by people to be holy gurus, paying homage to graves of saints, and so on are all consequently futile efforts. Deep down in their hearts they know the futility of these works because,

“all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” ,

Isaiah 64:6

Therefore time and again they have cried,

“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow”

Psalm 51:7

This made them to further say,

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise”

Psalm 51:17

Knowing their own unworthiness another devotee of Almighty God (Waheguru) in Granth Bible said this in his discussion with his friends,

“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?”

Job 11:7

Devotees have realized in their lives that no one can fathom Him out unless Godhimself reveals to them, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Romans 11:33). In their discussion they summarized that, “Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? It is higher than heaven—what can you do? Deeper than hell—what can you know? Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9). Subsequently they cried out that God would reveal his secrets to them,

“Please show me your glory” (Exodus 33:18), Consider words from another devotee to Satguru Jesus Christ, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us”

John 14:8

They further knew that God does amazing work beyond their understanding, “who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number” (Job 5:9), for He has deep thoughts for His beloved people, “How great are your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep!” (Psalm 92:5). To a  certain extent, they were right in their understanding that God himself will save them, God himself will take them across, God himself will reveal the path. For they were sure that God will again do something unusual since they were not worthy due to their own thoughts, works, ways and very life and God did that,

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets (saints) at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son (Satguru  Jesus Christ), whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son (Satguru Jesus Christ) is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven”

Hebrew 1:1-3

Once, Satguru Jesus spoke to his devotees in this manner,

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also”

John 14:6-7

Another time he said this,

“O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them”

John 17:25-26

The reason why Satguru Jesus Christ was able to make God (Waheguru) known to people (sangat) is that he brought along with Him the virtues of God such as light, truth, grace, mercy, peace, joy, charity and many others,

“The Word (Satguru Jesus Christ) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son(Satguru Jesus Christ), who came from the Father, full of grace and truth”

John 1:14

This grace (nadar, meher) which we have already seen above in Shri Guru Granth is available through Satguru Jesus Christ to all those who seek Him in order to become the liberated one (Jiwanmukta).

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast”

Ephesians  2:8-9

“Even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved”

Ephesians 2:5

 “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift (virtue) is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change”

James 1:16-17

Since liberation or emancipation is the work of God, “You do not delight in sacrifice (devotees efforts), or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings (devotee’s rituals)” (Psalm 51:16), therefore the only way possible is that a devotee should put his or her trust in the saving grace of Satguru Jesus Christ, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom (Satguru Jesus Christ) he (God) has sent” (John 6:29).

If a devotee does not do this then along with liberation he will miss having bliss that brings wonders of eternal life while yet on earth because it is said that wonder remains with Satguru, “What Glorious Virtues of Yours can I describe, O my True Guru? When the Guru speaks, I am transfixed with wonder” (SGGS, 167).[xiv] This is exactly was happened with Satguru Jesus Christ, “People were amazed and asked, ‘How did this man get such learning (Brahm gayan) without having been taught?’” (John 7:15) and the same happened with those who followed Him,

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Satguru Jesus Christ”

Acts 4:13

Hence, it is worthwhile for a devotee to draw near to Satguru Jesus Christ and get the wonder of His bliss,

“lf  Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare”

Psalm 40:5

[i] ਬੇਅੰਤਾ ਬੇਅੰਤ ਗੁਣ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੇਤਕ ਗਾਵਾ ਰਾਮ ॥

[ii] ਮੈ ਜੀਤਿਓ ਜਨਮੁ ਅਪਾਰੁ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨ ਹਾਰੀਆ ॥੬॥

[iii] ਜਿਨ ਗੁਣ ਤਿਨ ਸਦ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਅਉਗੁਣਵੰਤਿਆ ਦੂਰਿ ॥

[iv] ਜਿਉ ਤੂ ਚਲਾਇਹਿ ਤਿਵ ਚਲਹ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਹੋਰੁ ਕਿਆ ਜਾਣਾ ਗੁਣ ਤੇਰੇ ॥

[v] ਊਚ ਅਪਾਰ ਬੇਅੰਤ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਕਉਣੁ ਜਾਣੈ ਗੁਣ ਤੇਰੇ ॥

[vi] ਤੇਰੇ ਗੁਣ ਬਹੁਤੇ ਮੈ ਏਕੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਿਆ ਮੈ ਮੂਰਖ ਕਿਛੁ ਦੀਜੈ ॥

[vii] ਮੁੰਧ ਇਆਣੀ ਭੋਲੀ ਨਿਗੁਣੀਆ ਜੀਉ ਪਿਰੁ ਅਗਮ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥

[viii] ਸਬਦਿ ਅਪਾਰੇ ਮਿਲੇ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਸਦਾ ਗੁਣ ਸਾਰੇ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੇ ॥

[ix]   ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸਰਣੀ ਜਾਇ ਪਉ ਮੇਰੀ ਜਿੰਦੁੜੀਏ ਗੁਣ ਦਸੇ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੇਰੇ ਰਾਮ ॥

[x] ਤਉ ਗੁਣ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਤਾ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਜਾਣਹਿ ਗੁਣਹ ਵਸਿ ਅਵਗਣ ਨਸੈ ॥

[xi] ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥

[xii] ਜਉ ਗੁਰਦੇਉ ਤ ਮਿਲੈ ਮੁਰਾਰਿ ॥ ਜਉ ਗੁਰਦੇਉ ਤ ਉਤਰੈ ਪਾਰਿ ॥ ਜਉ ਗੁਰਦੇਉ ਤ ਬੈਕੁੰਠ ਤਰੈ ॥ ਜਉ ਗੁਰਦੇਉ ਤ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰੈ ॥੧॥  ਜਉ ਗੁਰਦੇਉ ਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਵੈ ॥ ਜਉ ਗੁਰਦੇਉ ਤ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਬਾਨੀ ॥ ਜਉ ਗੁਰਦੇਉ ਤ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਦੇਹ ॥ ਜਉ ਗੁਰਦੇਉ ਤ ਸੀਸੁ ਅਕਾਸਿ ॥ ਜਉ ਗੁਰਦੇਉ ਤ ਛਾਪਰਿ ਛਾਈ ॥ ਜਉ ਗੁਰਦੇਉ ਤ ਅਠਸਠਿ ਨਾਇਆ ॥ ਜਉ ਗੁਰਦੇਉ ਤਨਿ ਚਕ੍ਰ ਲਗਾਇਆ ॥ ਜਉ ਗੁਰਦੇਉ ਤ ਦੁਆਦਸ ਸੇਵਾ ॥ ਜਉ ਗੁਰਦੇਉ ਤ ਸੰਸਾ ਟੂਟੈ ॥ ਜਉ ਗੁਰਦੇਉ ਤ ਜਮ ਤੇ ਛੂਟੈ ॥ ਜਉ ਗੁਰਦੇਉ ਤ ਭਉਜਲ ਤਰੈ ॥ ਜਉ ਗੁਰਦੇਉ ਤ ਜਨਮਿ ਨ ਮਰੈ ॥੮॥

[xiii] ਜਿਸੁ ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਅਕਲ ਗਤਿ ਜਾਣੀ ॥੪॥

[xiv] ਤੁਮਰੇ ਗੁਣ ਕਿਆ ਕਹਾ ਮੇਰੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਾ ਜਬ ਗੁਰੁ ਬੋਲਹ ਤਬ ਬਿਸਮੁ ਹੋਇ ਜਾਇ ॥

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