The sweetness of Amrita (Elixir, Nectar) which has been discussed in the foregoing chapters is unique in the sense that the tongue alone does not enjoy it. Besides the tongue and the mouth which has a spiritual taste of it, its flavour and aesthetic essence is experienced in every pore of our body. One experiences its dulicitude within the heart and soul. Within the inner self one enjoys the sweet delight and fragrant redolence which surpasses the joy of sugar, honey, milk and delicious fruits. But it is different from the sweetness of these objects in the fact that the more a man tastes it the more he relishes and enjoys it. The sweetness of material objects can be enjoyed only to a certain extent. After taking a certain quantity of sugar and sweets one gets fed up, and if he takes more, lie is liable to fall ill; but he who meditates His Name and yearns for more and more contemplation of His Name, he feels fresh in his zealous appetite and never gets tired. He finds that it removes sickness and maladies, and makes man feel immortal. He who drinks the nectar of His Name hungers not for any material goods thereafter.
Water the Neem tree with Elixir,
It will remain bitter,
Recite the charms and feed the snake with milk,
It will not abandon its poison,
Self-centred persons are impervious to divine wisdom,
like a stone placed in water.
When a little Elixir is mixed with poison,
The result is poisonous mixture.
In the company of man of God, O Nanak,
All poison of human hearts is destroyed.1
Place the gourd in nectar.
It will not lose its bitterness.2
It is clear from these quotations that the delicious enervating drinks like milk and other things which are generally called Amrita in Indian languages cannot impart their sweetness and delicious taste to the bitterness of a poisonous snake or that of a bitter fruit, but the Amrita, of the Guru's Word is able to remove the poison and bitterness of the heart. Leave aside human beings, the ambrosial touch of Guru Nanak was able to make sweet the bitter soapnuts near Gorakhmata in Uttar Pradesh. The soapnuts from these trees are still sweet. The divine Name imparts not only sweetness but also gives peace and tranquillity to the mind and soul.
The divine Name imparted joy,
My heart now enjoys peace and tranquillity to the mind and soul. 3
On Contemplating His Name within the heart,
Lasting joy and happiness is achieved.
There is peace and tranquillity within.4
The flames of desire are extinguished;
It is peaceful and clam within.
The perfect Guru has cut the knot of illusion.5
Peace reigns in my heart,
The mind and body are calm and composed,
The fear of birth and death is dispelled.6
Neither sandalwood, nor the moon,
Nor even the cold winter season
Can remove the heat of desires and passions;
There is peace and calm within
Only if one contemplates God's Name.7
If we continue to eat sweet things and take cold drinks we soon get fed up of them. If we apply soothing sandal-paste and other tranquillising oils and scents, the burning flames of our hearts are never cooled. The bitter cold of snowy mountains cannot calm and extinguish the burning flames of a sinful heart. But the calmness and peace created by the contemplation of the divine Name cannot be disturbed by outward heat. Bidhi Chand, the eminent saintly warrior disciple of Guru Arjan remained undisturbed even near a burning oven. Bhai Dayal Das was thrown into a boiling Cauldron and Bhai Mati Das was sawn alive by the orders of Aurangzeb. These great Sikh saints suffered martyrdom with the utmost calm endurance. That is why the peace and tranquillity attained from contemplation of God is considered to be of a higher order than the sweetness and tranquillity acquired by material means. There is one more outstanding feature of this peace attained by contemplation. It not only makes you immune against worldly heat but even against cold in the cold season.
1. Adi Guru Granth: Guru Nanak, Rag Sarang, p 1244
2. Bhai Gurdas, Var
3. Adi Guru Granth: Guru Amar Das, Asa, p 424
4. ibid : Guru Amar Das, Var Gujari, p 511
5. ibid : Guru Arjan, Maru Sohle, p 1078
6. ibid : Guru Arjan, Maru, p 1080
7. ibid : Guru Arjan Jaitsiri Var, p 709