Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Khalsa or the Elect (The esoteric meaning of the phrase SAT SRI AKAL.)

3.   The Esoteric meaning of Sat Sri Akal.

I will not detain you any longer, but there is one thing I must tell you although it is in our mouth everyday, yet we understand it the least, I mean our clarion call of Sat Sri Akal. How many of you know the real meaning of Akal? If you translate it into unending time, I am afraid you will be wholly wide the mark. The people of the West and are never tired of singing of life-eternal, but how few understand the meaning of this word ‘eternity’. If you will ask them to explain as to what they mean, they will again point to meaning-time, which begins we know not when, and proceeds into the future we know not where. But if this is what is the goal then we must not use either the word Akal or eternity as Akal is a much higher conception; for it is the very negation of time. (akal = time-less). I will discuss it in a little detail to make it clear. Our phenomenal world is made up to two units viz., time and space, which weave the visible world even as cloth is woven out of warp and woof. But behind this visible and the phenomenal world, there is another world which is time-less, spaceless, impalpable, ethereal and it the Formless one or Nirankar. When we sing the praises of Akal (as we do in the Akal Ustat jap ji) we are talking no more of time, but of that of that noumenal, timeless (Nirankar), world where time and space are no more for they are left behind. That another world does really exist and it is there alone where youth is eternal, where bliss is eternal, where activity is eternal, where being is eternal. And it is that hidden and higher world where NAM lifts us! Let us, therefore, dispel from our minds all ideas of time (Kal) when we are talking of the timeless-one (A-kal). I will give you an illustration to make my meaning a bit clearer. Real comprehension comes only with Nam, for that is the light which lightens the darkest recesses of soul. Let us compare time to an outspread-snake for that is the recognised symbol of time as it devours us all. The snake, of course, has its head and tail, but lengthen the snake in you imagination to infinity in either direction. You will then comprehend Time in its true condition, its outspread state, for time has no beginning nor end on either side. But now let us turn round and try with the Time-snake in another way. Suppose the snake is one yard long, and he curls round so as to eat its own tail, which it does when it forms a full circle then try to locate its beginning or end of this circle. You will, no doubt, come to the conclusion that the circle has no beginning nor any end. Now double the length of the snake and let it circle round again; it has still no beginning nor end, nor will it have any even when the circle covers the whole space as also all time. This circled time, rounded up on to itself, in such a way that it has no beginning nor end is Akal (eternity) for you cannot now divide it into past, present and future as you do with outspread-time, whatever its duration. This Akal is, as I have said, a higher world and to attain it we must reach the apex of mind and then fly off at a tangent into the Realm of Nirankar. Having reached this height, time is left behind like an outworn garment and then at that height a second is enlarged into a millennium and the millennium becomes one with the second for the time-element is eliminated. Perhaps you will believe me better if I gave you the evidence of another mystic namely * Meister Eckhart who may be called the Shakespeare of Germany, but whom Germany understands as little as England understand the elements of Shakespeare. Says he “when we rise past our own mind to the summit of mind, we have an inkling of the perfection and stability of eternity, for there is neither time nor space, neither before nor after, but everything present in one new fresh-springing. Now, where millenniums last no longer than the twinkling of an eye.” This flight above the jail-walls of space, and above the enduring influence of time is the flight into Akal, into the timeless one. Of that circled-time (Akal) our iron bracelet (Kara) is the best of all symbols for time hath divisions but this is anant (eternal, without beginning or end). And it is made of steel, all-steel as eternity is synthesized thereby with armed-efficiency which is the doctrine of science. The Kara or the endless circle is therefore, to us as a constant reminder not of infinite time but of eternal Akal, and every time when we cleave the heavens with you ringing sonorous calls of Sat Sri Akal, we peep for once into that kingdom of Heaven where death is not, where tune is not; for the time-serpent loses its sting, where age leaves behind its wrinkles, where the chains of space have fallen from our feet, and where we feel we are like birds free in the air soaring upwards and outwards to the boundless heaven, where the pangs of home-sickness are no more, where we are one with Him who is One, where we dwindle into the formless One as sugar melts into the milk, where we are like water molecules wafted into thin air, and where air is dissolved in ether, and where ether is no longer lifeless medium, but all-intelligent, all-powerful, all-pervading, blissful-Entity which indeed, is the Akal. Soaring to that height you are no longer mortal but immortal, you are no longer men, but angels, nay you are one with Him, who is you, I and He, all-in-one, and one-in-all, the Being Transient, the Being Transcendent!
* Menster — Master.