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Connecting to the Divine & Yoga

Updated: Mar 25

– Supporting our ability to Yog –


This discourse was first offered in August of 2023. You can either read the discourse below, or view it on Youtube.


Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa! Waheguru Ji ki Fateh!

Om Shanti! Salaam Alaykum! Namaste! Sat Nam!

 

In June, the entire month is often dedicated to yoga. And this past June I was asked to share about yoga & Sikhi. When I wrote my initial talk, I knew that I wished to expand on the topic so that I could present it to you all.

 

So, I come with this question:

How do we best prepare ourselves to yog? And how does yoga become a tool for us to do so?


Let us first remind ourselves of our perfection. As human beings we are amazing.

We are in a physical body that knows how to heal and take care of itself. We have a mind that allows us to think, remember, create, and is connected to our body, working together, ideally in symbiosis.

Our soul and our breath connect us to the Creator. Without soul and breath our body would not be alive.

 

The Guru says:

“Utterly incomparable is the fortress of the body. Within it, God sits in contemplation. He administers true justice, and trades in Truth; through Him, one finds the eternal, unchanging dwelling. || 14 ||”

How may we dedicate our body to Waheguru?

The Guru tells us that:

“One who does only that which is pleasing to the Dear Lord — his body is forever at peace, and his consciousness is attached to the Lord’s Will. He serves His God with intuitive ease. O Nanak, the Naam, the Name of the Lord, comes to abide in his mind. || 4 || 5 ||”

So, how do we please our “Dear Lord”?

There are many ways to please our Lord. Today, I’ll focus on the topic of yog, how we unite with the Lord, the practice of yoga, and how we take care of our body, which includes a strong soul connection and strong connection with our highest consciousness and the Lord.

 

The basic concept is to:

Honor our body, to take care of our body, which in turn helps us to yog better, helps us to unite with the Lord more effectively.

 

To be a complete human being we cannot deny parts of ourselves. We have to take care of all facets of our being.

If we don’t feed our body, we starve. If we don’t move our body, we become inert. If we don’t feed our soul, the soul starves. If we do not feed our brain, the mind starves.

 

Recently, I’ve been seeing us as living antennas. Antennas are designed to receive certain frequencies. If there’s some connection that’s broken, not connected properly, or has a short, that antenna won’t receive and connect as it should.



If we are like antennas, then what are we meant to connect to and how do we best do that? How do we make sure that our antenna is working well? How do we maintain a good vessel to receive the Naam?

“The Naam, the Name of the Lord, is collected in the vessel of the mind. Nothing is collected if the vessel is upside-down. Through the Word of the Guru’s Shabad, the Naam abides within the mind. O Nanak, True is that vessel of the mind, which thirsts for the Shabad. || 4 || 3 || 23 ||

Among many positive life gifts, we were designed to yog. We were designed to be in union with ALL that is – with the Infinite Divine frequency that is found in ALL things.

 

To do that we have to take care of ourselves – be healthy in body, mind, and soul.

The Guru says:

“I have brought the ten sensory organs under my control, and erased every trace of the five thieves. I have filled the seventy-two thousand nerve channels with Ambrosial Nectar, and drained out the poison. || 1 || “

Everything about us has to be aligned perfectly and function perfectly to become the perfect antenna - that receives divine wisdom and knowledge. So that we may vibrate to Sat Nam, to the frequency of Truth that is found in our universe.

“The Word of the Guru’s Shabad is Ambrosial Nectar; drinking it in, thirst is quenched. This true mind is attuned to Truth, and it remains permeated with the True One. || 2 ||”

There are many ways to take care of ourselves so that we can be a well-functioning antenna: a healthy diet, taking care of our body, getting regular chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture sessions, working on our spirituality, and studying subjects that will help us become better human beings. All these life supporting life elements help us understand ourselves better and help us maintain our body health, and our spiritual health.

 

Currently, we live in a world that is really trying to dehumanize humanity. We live in a world where some see us as imperfect and are pushing the anti-life doctrine of transhumanism. Some even think that we don’t need a soul and that there isn’t a higher power or energy that guides us. And these people who think in these ways, they are the ones who want to be the Gods who control us.

 

It is in this crazy, spiritually unaligned atmosphere that it is crucial for us to remember how extraordinary we, as human beings, are. We have to use the incredible gifts that we were given to maintain ourselves and better ourselves.

 

The Guru says:

“Wash your mind in the pool of Truth, and let it be the vessel of the Lord; let this be your offering to please Him. That humble servant who dedicates and offers his life, and who serves in this way, remains absorbed in his Lord and Master. || 3 ||”

In Sikhi, through the Shabad Guru, through the Bani, which for Sikhs is the Divine Word; that Divine Word is a Divine Nectar that trickles down through our tenth gate. We receive that Nectar so that we may unite with God, so that we may yog, so that we may realize the incredible connection that we have with our divine self.

 

The Guru says:

“Beyond the nine gates, the Tenth Gate is found, and liberation is obtained. The Unstruck Melody of the Shabad vibrates. ||3||

“Deep within the body-village is the fortress. The dwelling of the True Lord is within the city of the Tenth Gate. This place is permanent and forever immaculate. He (the Lord) Himself created it. ||1||”

As human beings we can drink in the Shabad Guru’s Ambrosial Nectar, we can be imbued with it. We can be saturated with its frequency and vibration.

 

The Guru instructs us that spiritual wisdom, devotion, intuitive knowledge of the Shabad, certain knowledge of the Essence of Reality, chanting, and unbroken intensive meditation, IS the technology of Yoga.

“The True Guru trickles the Ambrosial Nectar into my mouth. My Tenth Gate has been opened and revealed. The unstruck sound current of the Shabad vibrates and resounds there, with the melody of the Guru's Bani; one is easily, intuitively absorbed in the Lord. ||6||” 

Meditation is important in Sikhi and is a big part of yoga.

When we as Sikhs meditate on Waheguru, and chant the Shabad Guru, we bathe in the Pool of Ambrosial Nectar, so that the karmic filth of many incarnations can be washed away.

“That humble being, who meditates on the Lord, by the Grace of the Saints, is not afflicted with pain. || 2 || Those unto whom the Guru gives the Mantra of the Lord’s Name, are saved from the fire of Maya. || 3 ||”

It is through the Divine Amrit, that we release what no longer serves us, so that we may bring in, and bring forth the gifts that lie dormant within us. One of which is to be attuned to truth and to remain absorbed in Truth.

 

When we are attuned to truth, we do not get destabilized by the fear that this world wishes us to connect to. When we are in fear, we step away from connecting with our inner truth that comes from this divine creation through our soul and comes through our various practices that allow us to be in harmony with our inner truth. To yog is to maintain our divine masterful self.

“In the pure vessel, the True Name is contained; how few are those who practice true conduct. The individual soul is united with the Supreme Soul; Nanak seeks Your Sanctuary, Lord. || 5 || 6 ||” 
“Remaining unblemished in the midst of the filth of the world - this is the way to attain Yoga (Union). ||1||”

Through the Shabad Guru, through the Divine Frequency of Sat Nam, of Waheguru, of the Shabad Guru, we are given the gift of ambrosial nectar, and the ability to vibrate to the Naam.

“He alone is a Yogi, and he alone finds the Way, who, as Gurmukh, obtains the Naam.”

The Guru tells us to let go of our negative ego, to let go of anger, to let go of our attachments and our greed – to basically let go of Maya. And as Sikhs we are reminded that to achieve letting go of Maya, we have the Shabad Guru, we meditate on the Naam and remember Waheguru with every breath we take.

“Meditating on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, a lasting peace is obtained; so remain lovingly focused on the Naam. From the Naam we originate, and into the Naam we shall pass; through the Naam, we are absorbed in the Truth. O Nanak, the Naam is obtained through the Guru’s Teachings; He Himself attaches us to it. || 2 ||”

Yet, we can see that even when we can do these things, we may unfortunately still be caught in Maya.

 

Even though we do our banis, we wake up early for our Sadhana, we listen to kirtan and read from the Guru, all these do not guarantee that we can yog and live a life without anger, greed, ego, attachment, or pride.



So, I have to ask why not utilize what this world offers us – yogic practices that work on our body, on our mind, and our soul?

 

As somebody who practices yoga, I’ve experienced that a physical yoga practice is very important, and helps the body maintain flexibility as well as maintaining its health.

 

Many years ago, I used to drive a motorcycle. Then, somebody decided to turn right in front of me and I went flying. I was in the hospital for 9 days and then in a convalescent home for another 9 days. Skip to one year later and I’m invited to go to a Kundalini yoga class. I started taking classes and learned some basic spinal flexes exercises. To this day I still include those exercises in my practice, and just recently those spinal flexes helped me again when my lower spine was bothering me. These spinal flexes also help me with a good energy flow.

 

There are many kriyas, yoga sets, from many different yoga traditions that work on the body and its organs, so that we can maintain our physical well-being.

 

Some may go to the gym to maintain their physical health, and this can work well to maintain the body. However, as yoga practitioners, we are blessed with the vast and diverse technology of yoga kriyas that work on all aspects of our being.

If we only worked on our soul connection and simply focused on uniting with the divine infinite cosmic frequency that certainly flows through us, without including physical exercises, our body would certainly be challenged in maintaining its health, its energy flow, and balance.

 

Of course, there are many ways that we can learn how to better ourselves and to work on ourselves. Some will work with therapists or psychologists. Some will work with spiritual healers, and some will utilize the benefits of yoga that are designed to work on specific aspects of our being, either through a specific yoga set or a specific meditation. There are so many yogic practices that help maintain our body and that can also give us techniques to help us remove the five thieves from our life.

 

We know that breath is critical in our life. And in yoga we benefit from many breath meditations. The control of our breath is something quite powerful that actually nourishes our organs.

And the Guru reminds us of the following:

“With each and every breath, we dwell upon the Lord. The more the Lord and Master dwells within the mind, the more the Gurmukh drinks in the Ambrosial Nectar.”
“The Lord placed the soul to the cave of the body, and blew the breath of life into the musical instrument of the body. He blew the breath of life into the musical instrument of the body, and revealed the nine doors; but He kept the Tenth Door hidden. Through the Gurdwara, the Guru's Gate, some are blessed with loving faith, and the Tenth Door is revealed to them.”

Yoga allows us to be aware of our body, of our mind, of our soul, and of the Divine energy and frequency that flows through us and enlightens us. In a sense, we yog with the deeper essence of ourselves. We are all a musical instrument that melodiously sings its true essence. As a perfect instrument we become a perfect antenna to receive divine guidance and blessings.



The Guru reminds us that the body is important; that there has to be a control and awareness of its functions.

 

We know that Guru Gobind Singh trained Sikhs to be warrior Saints by following the Guru’s Teachings of meditation and vibrating the Naam, but also by training them in Sanjam Kiriya, a martial yoga focusing on instilling self-discipline amongst warriors.

As we infuse the Naam within, to light up our entire body, we also have to take care of our body and our mind.

 

 The Guru says that:

“By practicing control over the nine gates, one attains perfect control over the Tenth Gate. There, the unstruck sound current of the absolute Lord vibrates and resounds.”

The Guru constantly reminds us to merge with the Lord; to yog with the Lord. He says:

“The Creator established the nine gates. In the Tenth Gate, is the dwelling of the infinite, unseen Lord.”
“The Tenth Gate of my crown chakra is the distilling fire, and the channels of the Ida and Pingala are the funnels, to pour in and empty out the golden vat. Into that vat, there trickles a gentle stream of the most sublime and pure essence of all distilled essences. ||2|| Something wonderful has happened-the breath has become the cup. In all the three worlds, such a Yogi is unique. What king can compare to him? ||3||”

The challenge though, is that, even when we have a spiritual practice and a yogic practice that supports us in various ways, through kriyas, meditation, breath exercises, mantras and mudras, life often takes us out of alignment with the Divine; out of alignment with the Infinite Cosmic Wisdom, the Infinite Cosmic Knowledge, and the Divine Truth that flows through us.

 

We can be affected by many external influences that take us out of our Divine harmony and balance. And then our ability to yog is challenged; our musical instrument becomes out of tune.

The Guru says:

“… weed out evil, wickedness and corruption; leave these behind, and let your soul meditate on God. When chanting, austere meditation and self-discipline become your protectors, then the lotus blossoms forth, and the honey trickles out. || 2 ||”

We all benefit from a daily practice, whether we chant the Naam, read from the Sikh texts, or do yogic practices. And in truth, the more we utilize these various practices, and get our body, mind and soul in harmony and balance, the more we awaken to our various gifts and abilities to yog.

 

To be a perfect yog antenna, a perfect musical instrument, we need to maintain our body in good health, our mind has to be sharp, and our connection to our soul strong.

 

We learn through experience. The more we practice connecting with our body, mind, and soul, the more those experiences instruct us on our progress, and reveal to us what we still need to achieve and understand about ourselves. In a sense, the God within guides us.


To answer the important question of, “why do we want to Yog?”, we can say that we wish to yog so that we can always be guided by our highest consciousness, by our connection with the Infinite Divine Wisdom and Truth, that is revealed through our various practices.

We yog, so that our actions are guided by integrity, and by the highest principles and core divine values.

We yog, so that we may receive guidance from within, from our inner knowing, rather than from our intellect or external sources that often promote untruths.

We yog, so that we can live a life that is healthy, that is happy, and that is holy.

So that we are in tune with our body; so that we are in tune with our mind; so that we are in tune with our soul. And so that we are in tune with the Lord.

 

As Sikhs, by daily reading and chanting the Shabad Guru, the Guru’s Words, we are awakened to the knowledge that we are here to merge with God. For Sikhs this is the true purpose of yoga.

The Guru says:

“He alone is a Yogi, and he alone finds the Way, who, as Gurmukh, obtains the Naam.”

As Sikhs who recognize the divine in all beings, and thus honor all that God gave us on this earth, we can welcome all the various gifts given to us to become the true antennas for higher truth and wisdom. And that is why I promote yoga to enhance every person’s life.

As we move our body in yoga, and as we meditate with various meditations that focus on specific aspects of our being, we can transform ourselves and let go of unwanted negativity. We can then better align with the Creator, with Ek Ong Kaar.

 

For all the yogis, those who wish to yog, may our various practices inform us on what we still need, so that our inner gifts can blossom, and so that our soul can blossom!

May our actions reflect the highest Divine consciousness and may our ability to yog manifest itself through those various practices.

“One who understands the Hukam of the Lord's Command is called a Yogi; he links his consciousness to the One Lord.”

As we maintain ourselves in good health; as we are guided by Divine Truth, and as we become the perfect musical instrument that vibrates the Naam, may we be the perfect antennas that receive the infinite divine blessings of our Dear Lord!

 

Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa! Waheguru Ji ki Fateh!



 

The following were some references if needed explanation to some of the Guru’s words.

 

Nine Spiritual Treasures

  1. Bharosa – Faith. A deep faith in God and Dependence of God. The firm faith in Waheguru is the first and foremost experience of a practitioner of naam.

  2. Leenta – An absolute Attachment to God.

  3. Santokh – Contentment.

  4. Bairaag – Detachment – From worldly possessions.

  5. Hukam – Acceptance of and Total Surrender to the will of God.

  6. Sahaj – Equilibrium and Equipoise of the mind.

  7. Anand – Perpetual delight and Permanent joy.

  8. Vismaad – Ecstasy. Joy and wonderment.

  9. Nadar – An awakened soul considers God as the prime reason of his attainments and that his own efforts mean nothing. The attitude keeps ego far away from the person.

 

Nine Worldly Treasures

  1. ‘Padam Nidhi’ – Attainment of children, grandchildren, precious metals, gold, silver, and the like.

  2. ‘Mahaan Padam’ – One gets, Diamond, Rubies, and other precious stones. gems, jewels etc.

  3. ‘Sankh’ – Delicious things to eat.

  4. ‘Makar’ – Training in the use of arms for victory over enemies and protection of all.

  5. ‘Kachhap’ – Clothes, food grains, corn and the like.

  6. ‘Kund’ – Dealings in gold.

  7. ‘Neel’ – Trading in precious stones, gems, and jewels.

  8. ‘Mukand’ – Mastery of the fine arts, music & poetry.

  9. ‘Kharab’ or ‘Warch’ – riches of all kinds.

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