The Primal Joy

The encounter with the Divine, says the Adi Granth, is a joyous, even rapturous occasion. This is the case because God is "the Primal Joy." God forever exhibits "supreme bliss." Those "saints who know divine bliss... speak of [God] as the all-pervading Primal Joy." Moreover, "those whom God has chosen... enjoy divine rapture." As with the Divine light, however, "the Lord, the Primal Joy, indwelleth." This allows the aspirant to attain the "bliss of oneness" with God.9

Nanak makes it abundantly clear that the Divine encounter is full of joy and ecstasy. We read that those "who are imbued with the Name remain intoxicated with bliss day and night." With the vision of the Divine the follower "attains to the sublime state of bliss." Through "union with God" we "experience the rapture." By hearing "the wisdom of all scriptures... devotees ever live in a state of bliss." Only when "this body... attains unto the all-pervading God is it in bliss." Union with God is "the embodiment of bliss." Nanak invites us to

.. Abide in your own home
And attain to the home of bliss.
Drink in the elixir of God,
Be in everlasting rapture.

.For Nanak, "God is the source of all bliss." Consequently, "he who turns away from the Lord... will not know the ecstasy of divine love." With God's grace, the body whose "tongue loves the taste of truth... is in a state of ecstasy." By "practising the nectar-Name... one attains to pure bliss." Using the analogy of a marriage betrothal, Nanak says the following about the Divine union:

... I love my spouse with body and mind;
I am intoxicated with his presence.
I am dyed in His love
And abide in the bliss of His Name...10

For Nanak, "all gladness and emancipation is in hearing the divine melody within." The guru thus "intoxicated" with the divine sounds "relinquishes all other music." When one attains to God, then "within one rings the blissful unstruck melody."

He who realizes the Word
Achieves bliss;
For him music is played
Without hands,
For him there are beats of time
Without feet,
He knows the word;
All joy is his....11

Guru Arjun's Sukhmani echoes these descriptions of experiences involving Divine light and rapture. In this work we read that the Name of God is "the Supreme Power and Light of God." Further, Arjun tells us that "the divine light shine[s] within." Moreover, the light of God... shines within every body." The human soul is thus able to unite with the Divine:

As water blends with water;
So the light (soul) (of such devotee)
merges in the Divine Light...


Similarly, the Sukhmani tells us that God confers upon devotees "supreme bliss" and joy:

Supreme joy comes with a favouring glance of God.
Only some rare man tastes the Nectarine Name.

Those, who taste It, are satiated.
Such ones become perfect and never worry or lose faith (in God).

They are filled to the brim with the sweetness and joy of love.
The yearning (to meet God) appears within them, in the company of saints.

They forsake all others and take shelter (of God),
Divine Light dawns within them, (and) they meditate (on Him) day and night.12


Guru Gobind Singh expresses similar views. Singh said that "he who dwelleth upon God's Effulgent Light, night and day, thinketh not of another." Further, one who is "illumined with the single-pointed light of God... [is the] purest of the pure." As Singh himself would put in his "Song of Bliss,"

I am in ecstasy, O mother,
for, I have attained to my Lord.
Yet attained have I to my Lord,
all-to-spontaneously, and,
within my mind
Ringeth the music of bliss.13




Divine Encounters
The Primal Joy


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