Way to Bliss
Anand Sahib holds a very special places in Sikh tradition, as it is sung in almost every congregational setup. It has also come to be recited in the Sikh initiation ceremony of Khade-ki-Pahul.
Revealed to Guru Amardas Sahib, the bani essentially details human quest for bliss and the lifestyle that is necessary for leading a blissful life. But before all, it describes what bliss is; what are its characteristics and where to find it.
Anand Sahib has been sung in Ramkali, a rag that has swinging moods, varying from devotion and yearning to energy and spiritedness. Variation and sway of the rag is skilfully exploited to traverse through human tendencies that cause anxiety in daily life, and deprive us of bliss. It then explains ways to get rid of them, and shows how to develop a sense of discrimination between right and wrong. In doing so, it introduces the individual to things that are worth engaging in life.
The beauty and significance of Anand Sahib can be gauged from the fact that it dwells on a variety of ideas and principles that are central to Sikh thought.
Some of the questions that it answers are: who is the Guru for us, who is a devotee of the Guru, what kind of relationship a Sikh should have with the Guru. The bani also challenges stereotypes like purity associated by religious individuals to spirituality and Divine love, and graciously addresses many other misconceptions.
In the course, it also defines maya and other such widely used terms that develop our understanding of the Sikh thought in the Guru Granth Sahib.
Sponsored by the Grace of Guru Ramdas Sahib.
Surender Pal Singh
Handout 1: Bani (Gurmukhi) and Translation
Handout 2: Interpretation by Prof. Sahib Singh
Handout 3: Interpretation by Bhai Vir Singh
Handout 4: Interpretation by Giani Haribans Singh