The Nectar of Immortality

18 The Nectar of Immortality

Amritsar (Punjabi: ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ, Hindi: अमृतसर) means the pool of the Nectar of Immortality.
Last friday I was walking along the samovar of the Golden Temple and I saw this man in praise.

I guess this man is pursuing his salvation.
Nanak’s teachings are founded not on a final destination of heaven or hell, but on a spiritual union with God which results in salvation.
The chief obstacles to the attainment of salvation are social conflicts and an attachment to worldly pursuits, which commit men and women to an endless cycle of birth — a concept known as reincarnation.

Māyā—defined as illusion or “unreality”—is one of the core deviations from the pursuit of God and salvation: people are distracted from devotion by worldly attractions which give only illusive satisfaction.
However, Nanak emphasised māyā as not a reference to the unreality of the world, but of its values. In Sikhism, the influences of ego, anger, greed, attachment and lust—known as the Five Evils—are believed to be particularly pernicious.
The fate of people vulnerable to the Five Evils is separation from God, and the situation may be remedied only after intensive and relentless devotion.

Nanak described God’s revelation—the path to salvation—with terms such as nām (the divine Name) and śabad (the divine Word) to emphasise the totality of the revelation.
Nanak designated the word guru (meaning teacher) as the voice of God and the source and guide for knowledge and salvation.
Salvation can be reached only through rigorous and disciplined devotion to God.
Nanak distinctly emphasised the irrelevance of outwardly observations such as rites, pilgrimages or asceticism.
He stressed that devotion must take place through the heart, with the spirit and the soul.

A key practice to be pursued is nām simraṇ: remembrance of the divine Name.
The verbal repetition of the name of God or a sacred syllable is an established practice in religious traditions in India, but Nanak’s interpretation emphasised inward, personal observance.
Nanak’s ideal is the total exposure of one’s being to the divine Name and a total conforming to Dharma or the “Divine Order”.
Nanak described the result of the disciplined application of nām simraṇ as a “growing towards and into God” through a gradual process of five stages.
The last of these is sac khaṇḍ (The Realm of Truth)—the final union of the spirit with God.

Nanak stressed kirat karō: that a Sikh should balance work, worship, and charity, and should defend the rights of all creatures, and in particular, fellow human beings.
They are encouraged to have a caṛdī kalā, or optimistic, view of life.
Sikh teachings also stress the concept of sharing—vaṇḍ chakkō—through the distribution of free food at Sikh gurdwaras (laṅgar), giving charitable donations, and working for the betterment of the community and others (sēvā).

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