The quest of humankind in this world is to find joy and peace. There is always something inherent in humankind that tries to find something out there which can bring rest to their soul. Millions of people in the past have put their best efforts to search out about that ‘something’ best known as Ultimate Reality that can bring bliss or eternal peace in their hearts. Consequently, hundreds of books have been written down including Holy books of various scriptures. These books have spoken much about that Ultimate Reality and have claimed that they were either revealed (prakasit – Bible) to the writers or the writer heard (shurti-Vedas) them or they ware direct dictation (shurt-lekhen-Quran) from that Ultimate Reality who is also popularly called God (Waheguru). However, a Seeker of Truth (Sikh) finds a kind of similarity among all of them, which is that they have expressed God in anthropomorphic language.
Anthropomorphic language is nothing but that the writers of these scriptures have acknowledged human characteristics, qualities and emotions of God and have considered him having personality very much like humans. Most of the time
s a seeker sees that these writers have expressed themselves in anthropomorphic language concretely. In other words they have ascribed God as having eyes, ears and the like. The same could be seen in Shri Guru Granth Sahib,
“You have thousands of eyes, and yet You have no eyes. You have thousands of forms, and yet You do not have even one. You have thousands of Lotus Feet, and yet You do not have even one foot. You have no nose, but you have thousands of noses. This Play of Yours entrances me” .[i]SGGS, p.13
However, this does not mean that these scriptures are saying that God is a human being rather they are asserting that God, being the creator, should have all these qualities or else God will not understand the very ethos or pathos of humankind. When it is said that God is Father, Mother, Brother or Friend it does not mean that God has a family or he is a biological father or mother of someone.
Rather he has father, mother, brother or friend-like qualities that prevail in a family or society,
“He cherishes all His beings and creatures, as the mother cares for her children. The Destroyer of pain, the Ocean of Peace, the Lord and Master gives sustenance to all”.[ii]SGGS, p.105
To make it meaningful a seeker must understand that God must not be taken literally when spoken in anthropomorphic language. If that happens then a seeker is committing grave mistake and it could be blasphemy in a religious sense, “He has no mother, father, sons or relatives; He is free of sexual desire; He has no wife” (SGGS, p.597).[iii] A seeker must understand that God is beyond gender but he is always described through various metaphors hence when it is said that, “The One God is the Father of all; We are His children” (SGGS, p.611),[iv] it does not mean that all of us have been begotten by God in literal sense.
As a result, in anthropomorphic language God is seen coming down to the level of humankind and then communicating something specific with such words that can be easily understood, “You are without color or mark. The Lord is seen to be manifest and present” (SGGS, p.74).[v] Even though, a seeker knows that, “He is Mother and Father, the Cherisher of all; He is the Breath of life of all beings, the Ocean of peace” (SGGS, p.209),[vi] but he does not know how to reach him, “O Father, I do not know-how can I know Your Way?” (SGGS, p.51),[vii] for he knows his mistake, “Like a foolish child, I have made mistakes” (SGGS, p.51).[viii] He knows in his heart that he cannot go to his father due to his own fault, “How shall I go to that Father?”( SGGS, p.476).[ix] He wants to be in his father’s fellowship but he does not know how to reach to Him, “The five evil enemies are tormenting me; how can I destroy them?” (SGGS, p.1363).[x] There five enemies: lust, anger, greed, attachment, and pride plunder everything from him and keep a seeker away from his Lord, “The five enemies are plundering the world. The blind, self-willed Manmukhs do not understand or appreciate this” (SGGS, p.113).[xi] They are the real enemies of a seeker. They are found inherent in a truth seeker’s nature (Haume – I-ness or what is called in other words as false ego-sense). They are evil with all sort of devouring, tormenting and destroying qualities.
Hence, he cries out for His mercy, “Save me, O My Father God” (SGGS, p.206).[xii] His cry is because he lost the fellowship of his father. In other words he lost the sonship of his father. He is no more his child. Therefore, the advice given to him is to meet with Satguru, “The Guru, the Perfect True Guru, is my Mother and Father. Obtaining the Water of the Guru, the lotus of my heart blossoms forth” (SGGS, p.94),[xiii] so that he would find way to restore the broken fellowship that is shown only by Satguru, “When I met the True Guru, He showed me the Way” (SGGS, p.476).[xiv] Now, a seeker knows that if the Lord God sheds His grace and mercy on him he would be restored to His sonship and fellowship, “Bestowing His Mercy, He made me His own and preserved me; like a mother or father, He cherishes me” (SGGS, p.623).[xv] In fact not only is fellowship and sonship restored, rather these will be preserved as well hereafter, “Protect and preserve Your servant Nanak; be kind to him, like a father to his son” (SGGS, p.608).[xvi]
Now this leads us to seek the answers of some questions that arises from our aforesaid discussion. Since God the Father has created all of us and since all are His children then why and how did humankind
lost lose the sonship? What was that fault which made humankind to be fallen from the grace of Father? Why cannot humankind by his own efforts be restored back to the fellowship of Father? Why do those five enemies reside in him, and do not allow him or her to have union with his Lord God? Why do his cries not reach Him and why he does not find joy and bliss? Where is that Satguru who can give him grace that will make him stand in the presence of his Father? The answer is explicitly given in Granth Bible.
A seeker sees in Granth Bible that God has all the attributes that belong to father, mother, brother, bridegroom, friend and so on, “One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:6) and “Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you” (Isaiah 49:14-15), though it is very clearly mentioned that God is beyond gender, “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17). God the Father desires his children
would be restored back to His fellowship, “And he [a sick seeker who had lost his sonship] arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20). Time and again it is affirmed that Father desires that none of his beloved would perish, “For God [Father] so loved the world, that he gave his only Son [Satguru Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Now, many find difficulty
to understanding the relation between God the father and Satguru Jesus Christ as His Son. They think that God is the biological father of Christ but it is crystal clear from our above mentioned discussion that God can never and will never beget anyone for he is beyond gender. But at the same time a seeker must not forget that one of the qualities of God is that He is Almighty and by virtue of His almightiness anything is possible for him,
“Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you”Jeremiah 32:17
Therefore, let us note first of all, that the relationship between God the Father and The Son – Satguru Jesus Christ – remains a mystery if we take these metaphors literally. But what Granth Bible says is that it was God himself who came down on earth to fit himself within the natural and physical boundaries of human beings.
To make humankind understand ‘distant’ and ‘near’ analogies Satguru Jesus Christ used these two terms ‘father’ and ‘son’. It is clearly reflected in the dialog between Satguru Jesus Christ and one of the disciples,
“Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Satguru Jesus replied, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves’”John 14:8-11
Thus, a seeker finds that God and Satguru Jesus Christ is one and not a two separate identities. Though it may be bit difficult for the human mind to understand how this relation is maintained yet it is clear that Satguru Jesus Christ – the Word came down own earth since human efforts failed “O Nanak, if the Gracious Lord forgives, then one is united in union with the Shabad [Satguru Jesus Christ]” (SGGS, p.645).[xvii] Now this leads to our second point that this does not mean that he came under cycle of births (reincarnation) rather in His almightiness he puts upon the flesh (like a person wears his coat or shirt) of humankind so that he would be one like us by being born from a virgin,
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us”Matthew 1:23
Once again How is it possible for a virgin to give birth to a child? The answer Satguru Jesus Christ has given is this, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26) for God is almighty hence can do anything.
This solves the whole riddle of coming back to the father. Humankind was fallen in sin by breaking the primary command God gave to them, “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Humankind lost the fellowship of God and thereby sonship. Sin moved further to plunder the life of humankind and made his nature sick (the world is sick; Naam is medicine) with the five vices as seen above. He became captive to these five vices that govern on him. At the creation of humankind there was no presence of evil, but after the disobedience of humankind evil entered in him and thus took hold of him. Thus, at the beginning the nature of humankind was sinless or without any sickness. However, the table of corruption was turned upside down after the coming down of Satguru Jesus Christ,
“When you were dead in your sins…God made you alive with Satguru Jesus Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers (evils) and authorities (Sickness), Satguru Jesus Christ made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross”Colossians 2:13-15
The very moment Satguru Jesus Christ made a spectacle of powers (evils) and authorities (sickness), humankind was brought back to the fellowship of God. Humankind was restored to his sonship. Satguru Jesus Christ gave them, “right to become children of God” the father (John 1:12). Thus they are now heir of everything that God has, “if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). This does not mean that these vices are removed from them, but rather these vices have now no power to rule over him unless they themselves surrender to them.
Anthropomorphically speaking Satguru Jesus Christ is now their elder brother, “For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers” (Hebrews 2:11). Let this NOT confuse us. Granth Bible makes it very clear that the analogy of an elder brother is just a metaphorical way of describing something which humans minds cannot understand otherwise. But the language here takes a seeker to a deeper spiritual thinking,
“In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom [Satguru Jesus Christ] and through whom [Satguru Jesus Christ] everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered”Hebrews 2:10
Those who want to come back into the fellowship of God the father, those who want to restore their sonship are called to become like Satguru Jesus Christ for He is our example to follow, “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps…” (1 Peter 2:21-25). If a Truth Seeker does not heed the words of Granth Bible then he is in great loss for,
“You are my Father, and You are my Mother. You are my Relative, and You are my Brother. You are my Protector everywhere; why should I feel any fear or anxiety?” [xviii]SGGS, p.103
[i] ਸਹਸ ਤਵ ਨੈਨ ਨਨ ਨੈਨ ਹਹਿ ਤੋਹਿ ਕਉ ਸਹਸ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਨਨਾ ਏਕ ਤੋੁਹੀ ॥
ਸਹਸ ਪਦ ਬਿਮਲ ਨਨ ਏਕ ਪਦ ਗੰਧ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਹਸ ਤਵ ਗੰਧ ਇਵ ਚਲਤ ਮੋਹੀ ॥੨॥
[ii] ਅਪੁਨੇ ਜੀਅ ਜੰਤ ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਰੇ ॥ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਰਿਕ ਮਾਤਾ ਸੰਮਾਰੇ ॥
ਦੁਖ ਭੰਜਨ ਸੁਖ ਸਾਗਰ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਦੇਤ ਸਗਲ ਆਹਾਰੇ ਜੀਉ ॥੨॥
[iii] ਨਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਸੁਤ ਬੰਧਪ ਨਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਕਾਮੁ ਨ ਨਾਰੀ ॥
[iv] ਏਕੁ ਪਿਤਾ ਏਕਸ ਕੇ ਹਮ ਬਾਰਿਕ ਤੂ ਮੇਰਾ ਗੁਰ ਹਾਈ ॥
[v] ਤੂੰ ਵਰਨਾ ਚਿਹਨਾ ਬਾਹਰਾ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਦਿਸਹਿ ਹਾਜਰੁ ਜਾਹਰਾ ॥
[vi] ਸਭ ਕੋ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਲਕ ਜੀਅ ਪ੍ਰਾਨ ਸੁਖ ਸਾਗਰੁ ਰੇ ॥
[vii] ਪਿਤਾ ਹਉ ਜਾਨਉ ਨਾਹੀ ਤੇਰੀ ਕਵਨ ਜੁਗਤਾ ॥
[viii] ਭੂਲਹਿ ਚੂਕਹਿ ਬਾਰਿਕ ਤੂੰ ਹਰਿ ਪਿਤਾ ਮਾਇਆ ॥੧॥
[ix] ਤਿਸੁ ਪਿਤਾ ਪਹਿ ਹਉ ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਈ ॥
[x] ਪੰਚ ਸਤਾਵਹਿ ਦੂਤ ਕਵਨ ਬਿਧਿ ਮਾਰਣੇ ॥
[xi] ਪੰਚ ਦੂਤ ਮੁਹਹਿ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਅੰਧੇ ਸੁਧਿ ਨ ਸਾਰਾ ॥
[xii] ਰਾਖੁ ਪਿਤਾ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਮੇਰੇ ॥
[xiii] ਮੇਰਾ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਗੁਰ ਜਲ ਮਿਲਿ ਕਮਲੁ ਵਿਗਸੈ ਜੀਉ ॥੩॥
[xiv] ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਮਿਲੇ ਤ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਦਿਖਾਇਆ ॥
[xv] ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਅਪੁਨੇ ਕਰਿ ਰਾਖੇ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਜਿਉ ਪਾਲਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
[xvi] ਰਾਖਿ ਲੇਹੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਜਨੁ ਤੁਮਰਾ ਜਿਉ ਪਿਤਾ ਪੂਤ ਕਿਰਪਾਲਾ ॥੪॥੧॥
[xvii] ਨਾਨਕ ਨਦਰੀ ਬਖਸਿ ਲੇਹਿ ਸਬਦੇ ਮੇਲਿ ਮਿਲਾਹਿ ॥੧॥
[xviii] ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਪਿਤਾ ਤੂੰਹੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਾਤਾ ॥ ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਬੰਧਪ ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਭਰਾਤਾ ॥ ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਰਾਖਾ ਸਭਨੀ ਥਾਈ ਤਾ ਭਉ ਕੇਹਾ ਕਾੜਾ ਜੀਉ ॥੧॥