Aab-E-Hayat ~ Concept of 'Amrit'

I asked my Guru (SGGS) and am now able to see some elements of big picture.

Aab-e- Hayat


Concept of Elixir - Fountain of Youth has always fascinated me. I tried looking at different religions, spiritual traditions and came across a phrase ‘Aab-e- Hayat’ in Persian culture which gave me little understanding of ambrosial nectar which seemed to me some concoction done by well qualified alchemists. I also came across a word called ‘Somras’ in Hindu mythology, which again seemed to me as a medicine consisting of some rare elements. All these things were supposed to improve quality of life but my understanding remained very vague, to say the least.

Search for this continued and I asked this question from my Guru ( SGGS ) and am now able to see some elements of big picture. I am trying to capture these elements, the way I have been able to understand till now;

Nomenclature- In Gurbani words like Amrit and Naam have been used to describe this concept. Guru Nanak says that those who take this see big improvement in life and get true understanding of the purpose.

ਸਾਚੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਮੀਠੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਧਾਰ ॥
ਜਿਨਿ ਪੀਤੀ ਤਿਸੁ ਮੋਖ ਦੁਆਰ ॥
  ਮਹਲਾ ੧, ਅੰਗ - ੧੨੭੫

The True Word of His Bani is sweet, the source of ambrosial nectar.

Whoever drinks it in, finds the Door of Salvation. ||5||

Where do you get it ? - You get this from Shabad Guru. This has potency to cleanse all the vices and negative thoughts and provides protection.

ਗੁਰਿ ਪੂਰੈ ਮੇਰੀ ਰਾਖਿ ਲਈ ॥
ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਰਿਦੇ ਮਹਿ ਦੀਨੋ ਜਨਮ ਜਨਮ ਕੀ ਮੈਲੁ ਗਈ ॥
  ਮਹਲਾ ੫ , ਅੰਗ ੭੨੩

The Perfect Guru has has saved me.

He has enshrined the Ambrosial Name of the Lord within my heart, and the filth of countless incarnations has been washed away. ||1||Pause||

How do you get it ?  - Through the process of churning of Shabads of Guru Sahib and regular practice of Simran we get the essence of the thought. Reflecting on the truth and adopting it in our life signifies taking ‘Amrit ‘ or earning ‘Naam’. Bhagat Kabir describes it beautifully:

ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਬਿਲੋਵਨਾ ਬਿਲੋਵਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥
ਸਹਜਿ ਬਿਲੋਵਹੁ ਜੈਸੇ ਤਤੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥
ਤਨੁ ਕਰਿ ਮਟੁਕੀ ਮਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਬਿਲੋਈ ॥
ਇਸੁ ਮਟੁਕੀ ਮਹਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੰਜੋਈ ॥
ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਬਿਲੋਵਨਾ ਮਨ ਕਾ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥
ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਪਾਵੈ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਧਾਰਾ ॥
  ਅੰਗ - ੪੭੮

Churn the churn of the Lord, O my Siblings of Destiny.
Churn it steadily, so that the essence, the butter, may not be lost. ||1||Pause||
Make your body the churning jar, and use the stick of your mind to churn it.
Gather the curds of the Word of the Shabad. ||2||
The churning of the Lord is to reflect upon Him within your mind.
By Guru's Grace, the Ambrosial Nectar flows into us. ||3||

Summary of this Shabad - Churn with ease in your mind teachings of Guru. This churn will create good thoughts in your mind and this then becomes Amrit.

What happens when you get it - Mind gets cleaned of all vices, negative thinking and it becomes clear and positive. Mind becomes healthy and gets cured of disease of Haumai - Lust , Anger , Greed, Attachment and Ego. Healthy mind leads to healthy body , feelings of abundance, joy, bliss, contentment and equipoise. This Amrit has transformational qualities which have been signified in Gurbani as - crow to swan, iron to gold and takes one from darkness of ignorance to light of knowledge. This transcendence is from ignorance to knowledge and then to experiencing the truth.

ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸਰੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਤਿਵਾਦੀ ਜਿਤੁ ਨਾਤੈ ਕਊਆ ਹੰਸੁ ਹੋਹੈ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਧਨੁ ਧੰਨੁ ਵਡੇ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਜਿਨ੍ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਮਲੁ ਧੋਹੈ ॥
 ਮਹਲਾ ੪, ਅੰਗ - ੪੯੩

The True Guru, the Speaker of Truth, is the pool of Ambrosial Nectar; bathing within it, the crow becomes a swan.
O Nanak, blessed, blessed and very fortunate are those who, through the Guru's Teachings, with the Naam, wash away the filth of their hearts. ||4||2||

ਭਰੀਐ ਹਥੁ ਪੈਰੁ ਤਨੁ ਦੇਹ ॥
ਪਾਣੀ ਧੋਤੈ ਉੁਤਰ ਸੁ ਖੇਹ ॥
ਮੂਤ ਪਲੀਤੀ ਕਪੜੁ ਹੋਇ ॥
ਦੇ ਸਾਬੂਣੁ ਲਈਐ ਓਹੁ ਧੋਇ ॥
ਭਰੀਐ ਮਤਿ ਪਾਪਾ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ॥
ਓਹੁ ਧੋਪੈ ਨਾਵੈ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ ॥
  ਮਹਲਾ ੧, ਅੰਗ- ੪

When the hands and the feet and the body are dirty,
water can wash away the dirt.
When the clothes are soiled and stained by urine,
soap can wash them clean.
But when the intellect is stained and polluted by sin,
it can only be cleansed by the Love of the Name.

ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਵਹੁ ਸਦਾ ਚਿਰੁ ਜੀਵਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਅਨਦ ਅਨੰਤਾ ॥  ਮਹਲਾ ੫, ਅੰਗ- ੪੯੬

So drink in forever the Ambrosial Nectar; may you live long, and may the meditative remembrance of the Lord give you infinite delight.

When is the best time to consume it - Anytime is good time but early morning is considered to be best.

ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਵੇਲਾ ਸਚੁ ਨਾਉੁ ਵਡਿਆਈ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥   ਮਹਲਾ ੧, ਅੰਗ- ੨

In the Amrit Vaylaa, the ambrosial hours before dawn, chant the True Name, and contemplate His Glorious Greatness.

Guru ji says that whenever and wherever we reflect on Shabad, that place or time becomes Amrit.

ਜਿਥੈ ਜਾਇ ਬਹੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਸੋ ਥਾਨੁ ਸੁਹਾਵਾ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਜੇ ॥  ਮਹਲਾ ੪, ਅੰਗ- ੪੫੦

Wherever my True Guru goes and sits, that place is beautiful, O Lord King.

How frequently you should consume it - Every day, as many times as you can.

ਝਿਮਿ ਝਿਮਿ ਵਰਸੈ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਧਾਰਾ ॥
ਮਨੁ ਪੀਵੈ ਸੁਨਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥
  ਮਹਲਾ ੫, ਅੰਗ - ੧੦੨

Slowly, gently, drop by drop, the stream of nectar trickles down within.

The mind drinks it in, hearing and reflecting on the Word of the Shabad.

Can it be shared with others ? - Yes, the more you share it with people who are thirsty for it, more you will get it.

ਖਾਵਹਿ ਖਰਚਹਿ ਰਲਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਭਾਈ ॥
ਤੋਟਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਵਧਦੋ ਜਾਈ ॥
  ਮਹਲਾ ੫, ਅੰਗ- ੧੮੬

The Siblings of Destiny meet together, and eat and spend,

but these resources do not diminish; they continue to increase. ||3||

Guru Nanak assures that by knowledge of this Amrit Naam, one will always stay in ecstasy and will not be bothered by five vices.

ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਮਹਾ ਰਸੁ ਭੋਗੁ ॥
ਪੰਚ ਸਮਾਈ ਸੁਖੀ ਸਭੁ ਲੋਗੁ ॥
  ਮਹਲਾ ੧, ਅੰਗ- ੪੧੪

He enjoys the ambrosial wisdom, and the highest sublime essence.

He overcomes the five evil passions, and becomes the happiest of all men. ||3||

He concludes that no sorrow will come near the person who regularly reflects on Amrit Baani and stays in Akal Purakh’s Hukam.

ਗਿਆਨ ਮਹਾਰਸੁ ਭੋਗਵੈ ਬਾਹੁੜਿ ਭੂਖ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰਿ ਮਿਲੁ ਭੀ ਫਿਰਿ ਦੁਖੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥
  ਮਹਲਾ ੧, ਅੰਗ - ੪੧੪

The mind enjoys the essence of supreme spiritual wisdom; it shall never feel hunger again.
O Nanak, conquer and subdue this mind; meet with the Lord, and you shall never again suffer in pain. ||5||18||

This is one of the treasures of Gurbani and Guru Sahib encourages everyone to partake. May everyone stay blessed with Amrit.

-Maninder Sood
19th July 2020--

Maninder Sood

Maninder is a working professional and a senior executive in Indian Financial Services industry. He is currently based in Gurgaon.

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