Ek Onkar Satnam

From Pratiksha Apurv's desk Media Watch

The mantra that Guru Nanak gave to the world explains to seekers that God is not separate from His creation. He is totally absorbed and immersed in the one He has created, writes Pratiksha Apurv. Published in Speaking Tree, India.

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When Guru Nanak sings and pours his heart out to his beloved God, he is showered with the mool mantra: Ek Onkar Satnam, One Supreme Reality — God is One, He is Onkar, the Supreme Truth. Nanak’s heart is full of songs – there is oneness in his songs that echoes with the rhythm of God. This beautiful mantra penetrates into our heart, allowing us to look beneath the surface and witness everything a little deeper, with a little more awareness. Nanak says that there is only one truth and it is Onkar. This is the only reality and all else that exists in the world, whether they are symbols or names, are creations of our mind. Onkar, the sound of Aum, is the purest call to God. This ultimate song emerges from total surrender. There is no word like Onkar.

Soundless Sound, Acrylic & Oil on Canvas 2017, 60x42

It is a melody of existence, for which no grammar is needed, and no raga is required. Nanak says that Onkar is God’s name and he who remembers His name would be able to attain Him. Osho also said that Aum is a resonance that is unique, having no source. It is like a waterfall; you sit beside a waterfall and you hear its song, but the sound is created by water hitting the rocks. Sit by a river and listen to its sound; it is caused by the river striking against the banks. Guru Nanak’s message is conveyed in three words — Ek Onkar Satnam — and no more explanations are required. The symbol as depicted in the painting, describes the oneness and the meaning of ‘Sat’, which is existence and truth. Though the mantra goes on to explain that God is the Creator, it also explains to seekers that God is not separate from His creation. He is totally absorbed and immersed in the one he has created. According to Kabir, ‘Sahib mera ek hai,dooja kaha naa jay,dooja sahib jo kahun, sahibh khara risaay — My god is one. If I say there is another, then my god becomes angry with me’.

Nanak also emphasised that to find the Creator, there is no need to renounce or run away from the world. Wherever you go, you will find His presence, His energy; He is the timeless form, never born, self-creating. The Bhagwad Gita explains this phenomenon in the verse (2:20): ‘Na jayate mriyate va kadacin, nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah, ajo nityah sasvato yam purao, na hanyate hanyamane sarire — The soul never takes birth and never dies, nor does it come into being again when the body is created. The soul is birthless, eternal and timeless.’ Guru Nanak’s words are very deep. They can be understood when one realises the timeless being within oneself. He says that God or Onkar can be attained by the guru’s grace. This is a profound message.

If God is one and omnipresent, why does one need a guru to attain Him? What is a guru’s role in one’s search for God? The guru is needed to remove the veil of our ego and to wake us from deep slumber. In one of his verses, Nanak further says, “He was truth before the ages and as time ran its course, He is truth eternal and forever will He be.” This is the essence of Nanak’s message. We cannot comprehend Him (God), even if we think of him a million times; nor can we quieten the mind by silence, even if we sit still for long hours; even a mountain of rotis can’t appease the hunger of the soul, nor one hundred thousand feats of our mind achieve unity with Him. Then how can truth be attained and the veil of falsehood removed? Nanak says we can do so by submitting to the divine order, which is preordained. Nobody has ever attained God by thinking.

We think a million thoughts, but still we cannot conceive Him. God is unity and thoughts are just random pieces of accumulated images. We can try and sit quietly but cannot enforce silence upon our mind. Nanak says that there is only one spiritual practice: Surrendering to His wish. As soon as this thought is nourished deeply within everything that happens at His command, an intense peace, a gentle shower washes away all tension, all anxiety. By revealing Ek Onkar Satnam to the world, Guru Nanak has closed all the doors through which ego may slip inside our being, in our existence, in our thoughts. Therefore, whatever happens, wherever the river of life flows, or the waves of ocean take us, it is by his command. Everything needs to be left to God’s will. Just flow with it.


Pratiksha ApurvPratiksha Apurv – www.pratikshaart.com

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