Dhan Shri Guru Arjun Dev ji Maharaj
Guru Arjun Dev ji devoted his life to that Being within, through whom we perceive this world.
Guru ji always listened to what this Being had to say. Going within his self, he listened to the speech of the Being. The sounds and the vibrations that play in the presence of the Being are pleasing to listen to.
Guru ji always praised this Being on whom he relied on. The senses collect sensory data, this is transmitted to the Being within, who then reveals to us the world. The Being, who is the source of everything we know, Guru ji always praised Him.
Day and night, Guru ji remembered the Being in his heart. He remembered to place his attention on that dimension within, through which we experience things.
Within his heart, Guru ji imagined the Lotus Feet of the Being. He imagined that one, who is within all men, and the ideal that all men aspire to be. Guru ji imagined himself as the dust of His Lotus Feet.
When I listen to Guru ji’s hymns, I can feel he had enshrined the Image of the Being in his heart. Within himself, he worshipped the Image of that Being, from whom we get all images.
Upon witnessing the radiant Image of the Being, Guru ji bowed down in recognition of its source.
Guru ji recognized that everything he has, comes from the Being within. He performed those actions which served this Being and no other.
The Beauty of the Being, attracted Guru ji to Him. He enjoyed his life, with this Being by his side. Sharing all his ups and downs with the vast emptiness from where those ups and downs emerge.
At all times, Guru ji was aware of the Being who was generating all of his life experiences, and creating all the events in his life. Seeing the power of the Being within, he completely surrendered to the source of his life events.
Guru Arjun Dev ji ki bani –
ਸਾਜਨੜਾ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਾਜਨੜਾ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਖਲੋਇਅੜਾ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਾਜਨੜਾ ॥
Friend, my Friend, is standing near me, my Friend.
ਜਾਨੀਅੜਾ ਹਰਿ ਜਾਨੀਅੜਾ ਨੈਣ ਅਲੋਇਅੜਾ ਹਰਿ ਜਾਨੀਅੜਾ ॥
Beloved, my Beloved Hari ji, I have seen Him with my eyes, my Beloved Hari ji.
ਨੈਣ ਅਲੋਇਆ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਸੋਇਆ ਅਤਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਪ੍ਰਿਅ ਗੂੜਾ ॥
With my eyes I have seen Him, resting within each and every heart; my Beloved is the sweetest ambrosia.
– Guru Arjun Dev ji, Ang 924
This shabad is beautifully sung by Bhai Harjinder Singh ji – https://youtu.be/0sOZjZsdhvk
Seeing Guru ji meditating on the Being within, like this, while being tortured on the Hot-plate, it reduced me to tears. It was such a beautiful vision that it became my inspiration behind creating this painting of Guru ji’s Martyrdom.
On the tati-tavi Guru ji was immersed in the Depth of this Being.
Like a river, this Being, who is within, He Flows on His own Accord.
At all times Guru ji flowed with the Flow of the Being within, and where that Flow lead him, Guru ji followed.
Even through the suffering of the hot-plate, Guru ji flowed with the Flow of the Being. This was done out of True Love for the Being who resides within all Beings.
This is the greatness of Guru Arjun Dev ji.
ਤਖਤਿ ਬੈਠਾ ਅਰਜਨ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਖਿਵੈ ਚੰਦੋਆ ॥
On the Throne sits Guru Arjan Dev ji, above him flares the Canopy with the moon pattern.
– Satta ji and Balwand ji, Ang 968
I saw that the King of Kings was seated on the Throne of the Hot-Plate and above Him was the Canopy of the Ladle that poured the Hot Sand, that is the King’s Crown.
When this realization hit me, tears flowed.
I realized then that the meaning of the Gurgaddi, the meaning of playing the game of life at such a high level, is to carry a burden of responsibility far greater than I had ever imagined.
To be a master at spirituality was to carry all this suffering that came with the burden of responsibility, and perform Responsible Actions and Meditation gracefully without becoming jaded or cynical.
What level of Consciousness does it require to be able to bear this burden?
As I contemplate it, my eyes become wet yet again.
The Christians can understand my feeling, if they contemplate Jesus Christ on the cross, with the crown on thorns, in a state of forgiveness.
Why do Saints forgive those who torture them with irresponsible actions?
Guru ji, whatever experiences the Being gives you, you accept it as a gift, immersed in the Flow of the Being.
How can we reach this level of Consciousness?
Guru Arjun Dev ji ki bani –
ਮਨੁ ਲੋਚੈ ਹਰਿ ਮਿਲਣ ਕਉ ਕਿਉ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਪਾਈਆ ॥
My mind yearns to meet Hari ji (the Being within), how can I get a glimpse of Him?
ਮੈ ਲਖ ਵਿੜਤੇ ਸਾਹਿਬਾ ਜੇ ਬਿੰਦ ਬੋੁਲਾਈਆ ॥
I will profit in hundreds of thousands, if my Master calls me to Him even for a second.
ਮੈ ਚਾਰੇ ਕੁੰਡਾ ਭਾਲੀਆ ਤੁਧੁ ਜੇਵਡੁ ਨ ਸਾਈਆ ॥
I have searched in all directions but I have never seen anything like You, Hari ji.
ਮੈ ਦਸਿਹੁ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਸੰਤਹੋ ਕਿਉ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਮਿਲਾਈਆ ॥
Hey Saints, tell me the path, on how to find Hari ji (how to find the Being within).
ਮਨੁ ਅਰਪਿਹੁ ਹਉਮੈ ਤਜਹੁ ਇਤੁ ਪੰਥਿ ਜੁਲਾਈਆ ॥
[The Saints advise -] Give the mind (and body) and let go of the Haumai (the sense that I exist as separate from others); walk on this Path.
ਨਿਤ ਸੇਵਿਹੁ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਆਪਣਾ ਸਤਸੰਗਿ ਮਿਲਾਈਆ ॥
[The Saints advise -] Serve your Master (the Being within) in Satsang (amongst people who are dedicated to the Being).
ਸਭੇ ਆਸਾ ਪੂਰੀਆ ਗੁਰ ਮਹਲਿ ਬੁਲਾਈਆ ॥
All desires are fulfilled when your Spiritual Teacher calls you into the Mansion (when the mind turns inward into it’s true form, that is Being).
ਤੁਧੁ ਜੇਵਡੁ ਹੋਰੁ ਨ ਸੁਝਈ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਿਤ੍ਰ ਗੋੁਸਾਈਆ ॥੧੨॥
There is nothing else like You, my Friend Gosai ji (the Being within).
– Guru Arjun Dev ji, Ang 1098
This shabad is beautifully sung by Bhai Ravinder Singh ji – https://youtu.be/qgsE48tceCA
Commission Portraits of Loved Ones
This Black and White Portrait of Aaron’s Bibi ji was inspired by the painting of Guru Arjun Dev ji – Spiritual Blossoming. Aaron was impressed by the painting and wanted me to paint Bibi ji in a similar fashion, surrounded by the garden in which she always worked in.