by SS Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa Michaud, Espanola NM
Wisdom comes to us as a gift. We can only find it when humility brings us to the state of surrender. When we surrender, we become zero. And this zeroing out creates a vacuum for something new. As wisdom pours into the space created by the vacuum of surrender, we grow. We learn. And that learning transforms us, bringing the hope and the promise of a new and better day.
The Anand Sahib, composed by the third Sikh Master Guru Amar Das, was birthed through such a profound moment of surrender. An old yogi, nearing the end of his life, visited the Guru. The yogi asked Guru Amar Das what was the best way for him to live. Guru Amar Das instructed the yogi to leave his body and be reborn in the Guru’s family, at which point the answer would be given.
The yogi took his rebirth as Guru Amar Das’ grandson. When the baby was brought to him, the Guru spontaneously sang the Anand Sahib as the answer to this yogi’s question.
What then is the Anand Sahib? It is a sacred teaching song in 40 verses, or steps, that give the essential lesson for the first 40 years of life. If each lesson is learned properly and if grace is with the situation, then by the age of 40, one will have realized the experience of Jiwan Mukht—of being liberated while alive.
Yet even if the time of liberation has not come, the 40 steps of the Anand Sahib help us to develop a psyche capable of supporting the reality of the spirit in the midst of daily life. The Anand Sahib helps us to progress spiritually without having to abandon the world. But to take the experiences of social reality as our spiritual lessons.
The Siri Singh Sahib said of the Anand Sahib:
“Please read Anand Sahib as an instruction. Understand its capacity and depth. It’s very educational. The easiest and most educational bani, which a person can read and understand, is the Anand Sahib. Follow its words. Ask yourself questions. Befriend it. Practice it and live it. You will realize what you have and what Guru Amar Das gave you as the best gift.” (January 6, 1988)
Guru Amar Das and Creation of the Anand Sahib (audio)
Ek Ong Kaar’s translation of Guru Amar Das’s Anand Sahib is available through Ancient Healing Ways, the Sikh Bookshelf and Sat Nam Europe.
About the Author
SS Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa is an ordained Sikh Dharma Minister. She is a writer and has published elegantly simple, beautiful translations of Japji Sahib—Song of the Soul, Anand Sahib—Song of Bliss and Sukhmani Sahib. She is a KRI Certified Kundalini Yoga teacher living in New Mexico. She enjoys working with people one-on-one to support their development on both spiritual and practical levels. She also serves as a business and communications consultant for business owners and groups who want to expand in conscious ways.