Guru Angad Dev ji and Meditation

Guru Angad Dev ji was the second guru of the Sikhs. His contributions towards the development of the Gurmukhi script is one of the highlights of this painting.

Guru Angad Dev ji, Sikh Guru, Sikh Art by Artist Bhagat Singh Bedi
Guru Angad Dev ji – The Graceful One

You might notice that Guru ji is doing something in this painting. You might notice that he is in meditation.

What is meditation?

Fundamentally, meditation is a process whereby you lose yourself.

Guru Angad Dev ji ki bani –
ਅਖੀ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਵੇਖਣਾ ਵਿਣੁ ਕੰਨਾ ਸੁਨਣਾ ॥  
See without eyes. Hear without ears.

ਪੈਰਾ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਚਲਣਾ ਵਿਣੁ ਹਥਾ ਕਰਣਾ ॥  
Walk without feet. Do without hands.

ਜੀਭੈ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਬੋਲਣਾ ਇਉ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰਣਾ ॥
Speak without tongue. This is living with true freedom*.

(* Guru ji uses the phrase “dead while alive”.
When you are dead, you are free from the bondage of life. So he is talking about that state of freedom from life while you are still alive.)

Guru Granth Sahib, 726

This is not a theory. This is a practical way of living.

This is observable within yourself, if you pay attention, and it will transform how you view all of life and how you live it.

Take a few minutes and do it with me now.

When you look within yourself, you will see there are sensations of the body.

Feel your hand from the inside, you will feel subtle vibrations, blood flow and maybe even a heartbeat in your hand.

Now within your mind, there are a stream of thoughts and emotions.

As you are reading this, there may even be a string of this exact sentence you are now reading, being said in your mind.

All of these you can see very easily.

But what may be hidden from view is that there is something behind the thoughts and emotions.

There is a feeling of self, that I exist, that I am watching these sensations in my hand and thinking my thoughts.

While reading this, you might think, I am reading it. There is an ‘I’ – the reader who is reading this sentence.

There is the thought or sensation you are feeling and then there is a separate observer feeling the thoughts and sensations.

This is the ‘I’.

Just like how you are becoming aware of this sentence, become aware of the sense of the reader, who is reading the sentence.

Can you see that ‘I’, that reader?

Many of us may not be able to see it at first, and may need to retry.

If you cannot, start again from the bodily sensations and then see your thoughts and feelings, and then see that there is a sense that someone is aware of those sensations, thoughts and feelings.

Become aware of that ‘I’.

If you lose it, go back and try again.

Become aware of the ‘I’ until it is just like any other object, like a thought or the feeling of an itch on your skin.

Again, I am not speaking theoretically or philosophically. This is something you can see within yourself.

Just like you can see this sentence on the screen, you can see there is a feeling of someone reading it.

It is a feeling like any other, albeit more subtle.

If you take a few minutes to look within, you will feel your bodily sensations, you will see your thoughts come and go, and you will also see your sense of self.

This ‘I’ also has its story, which we have connected to it.

I – have this body and these eyes, ears, hands, etc

I – hold such position in society

I – have been through this and that

I – am misunderstood, whom no one seems to get

I – have done so much for my family

This is who I am, we think.

Become aware of that feeling.

Become aware of that ‘I’ who was previously feeling the sensations of the body and thinking the thoughts, become aware of it, until it is also being felt or seen just like the sensations and thoughts.

When you see that this ‘I’ is also seen then in that moment, there is no ‘I’ that sees, but rather there is simply the act of seeing, there is no ‘I’ that hears, there is simply act of hearing, there is no ‘I’ that walks, there is simply the act of walking, there is no ‘I’ that does things, there is simply the act of doing.

ਅਖੀ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਵੇਖਣਾ ਵਿਣੁ ਕੰਨਾ ਸੁਨਣਾ ॥  
See without eyes, Hear without ears.

You are no longer identified with the body. You are no longer identified with the contents of your mind, including your sense of self, I. There is simply pure awareness. Seeing, hearing, walking, doing, are simply happening.

This is the goal of meditation.

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