He is one, He is Omkar, the supreme truth.
He is the creator, beyond fear, beyond rancor.
His is the timeless form.
Never born, self-creating.
He is attained by the guru’s grace.
He was truth before the ages and as time ran its course.
Nanak says, Now is He truth eternal, and forever will He be.
We cannot comprehend Him though we think a million times;
Nor quiet the mind by silence, however long we sit;
Nor a mountain of bread appease the hunger of the soul;
Nor one hundred thousand feats of mind achieve unity with Him.
How can truth be attained and the veil of falsehood torn?
Nanak says, By submission to the divine order which is preordained.
It was a dark moonless night; the clouds were heavy with rain because it was the monsoon season. Suddenly thunder sounded and lightning flashed as a few rain drops started to fall. The village was asleep. Only Nanak was awake and the echo of his song filled the air.
Nanak’s mother was worried because the night was more than half over and the lamp in his room was still burning. She could hear his voice as he sang. She could restrain herself no longer and knocked at his door, “Go to sleep now, my son. Soon it will be dawn.” Nanak became silent. From the darkness sounded the call of the sparrowhawk. “Piyu, piyu, piyu!” it called.
“Listen, mother!” Nanak called out. “The sparrowhawk is calling to his beloved; how can I be silent, because I am competing with him? I will call my beloved as long as he calls his – even longer, because his beloved is nearby, perhaps in the next tree! My beloved is so far away. I will have to sing for lives upon lives before my voice reaches him.” Nanak resumed his song.
Nanak attained God by singing to him; Nanak’s quest is very unusual – his path was decorated with songs. The first thing to be realized is that Nanak practiced no austerities or meditation or yoga; he only sang, and singing, he arrived. He sang with all his heart and soul, so much so that his singing became meditation; his singing became his purification and his yoga.
Whenever a person performs any act with all his heart and soul, that act becomes the path. Endless meditation, if half-hearted, will take you nowhere; whereas just singing a simple song with all your being merged in it, or dance a dance with the same total absorption and you will reach God. The question is not what you do, but how much of yourself you involved in the act.
Nanak’s path to supreme realization, to godliness, is scattered with song and flowers. Whatever he has said was said in verse. His path was full of melody and soft, filled with the flavor of ambrosia.
Kabir says: “My enchanted mind was so intoxicated that it drained the filled cup without caring to measure the quantity.” So it was with Nanak: he drank without caring how much he drank; then he sang, and sang, and sang. And his songs are not those of an ordinary singer. They have sprung from within one who had known. There is the ring of truth, the reflection of God within them.