I have a friend who always responds to the question, “how are you?” with the phrase Ang Sang Waheguru. It means that the miracle, the absolute joy, the creative flow of God is within each and every cell and fiber. He does it without fail. Every time he says it, I love it. It brings me right back to what we are all doing here anyway. We are here to enjoy and live in God’s Creation. We are God’s Creation.
Let’s look at the mantra a little.
Ang means the limb
Sang means association, society, union, company, friendship.
To understand Waheguru I find it best to break the word down
Wah….means ecstatic bliss and joy in the experience of God
He (pronounced Hay) …. means here and now
Guru….means from darkness (Gu) to light (Ru)… as the Divine Guru lifts us up.
What a powerful mantra!
How can we incorporate it into our lives?
For inspiration I would like to talk about the Guru who really mastered this mantra with his whole being and when we tune into his Spirit we can experience the mantra ourselves. His name is Guru Angad. He is the second Guru of the Sikhs and although he is not in his physical body anymore, he is very much present in Spirit and so I speak of him this way. He lived as Guru of the Sikhs in Northern India in the 16th Century. Specifically his life spanned from 1504 to 1552. He came to be the second Guru precisely because he embodied the mantra “Ang Sang Waheguru.” His name even invokes this mantra.
Here is a little story about him.
A sage came to visit Guru Nanak, the first Guru of the Sikhs, in his village. In the village there was a palpable joy in the air as everyone lived and worked in the glowing presence of Guru Nanak. People were busy in the nearby fields, making food for Guru Nanak’s devotees who visited from miles around, children played in the street, and everyone looked forward to the best time of the day… at the end of the day sitting in the Guru’s presence to hear him teach and even sing with his devotee musicians.
The sage was overcome with a sense of joy and fulfillment to be in the Guru’s presence, but also to be with so many loving devotees of the Guru.
After one such evening session, when most people had gone home to bed, the sage sat with Guru Nanak.
He said, “It is so beautiful to be here with you. You have so many loving disciples! It is incredible how wonderful the energy is here!”
Guru Nanak said, “Let us see how many disciples I have! Meet me tomorrow at the base of the hill and we shall go for a little walk just after sun rise.”
As the story goes, Guru Nanak sent the message out to everyone in the village to meet him at the base of the hill just after sunrise.
People were very excited to join their Guru. They had no idea what would happen, but they were used to this kind of thing as the Guru often taught in spontaneous ways.
At this time in Guru Nanak’s life he was very old. In fact, soon he would pass away. But as the sun rose, Guru Nanak appeared at the base of the hill with a walking stick, and a twinkle in his eye. The sage joined him along with the many excited devotees. And just like a clap of thunder, Guru Nanak took off up the trail. People could barely keep up with him as he sped up the hill.
Somehow in a kind of miraculous way along the trail suddenly some gold coins appeared.
Some of the villagers saw the coins and stopped to pick them up. But as they did so, the Guru and those still with him had disappeared. They figured they could meet up with him in the regular evening gathering anyway, and so pocketed the gold coins and went home.
And as miracles go, they usually happen again and even more splendidly. This time, rubies were strewn amongst the rocks of the trail.
And once again some of the people stopped to pick them up, and once again they were left behind as the Guru was not stopping.
And the third miracle was the appearance of emeralds.
Well so many people stopped, that in fact that only two Sikhs and the sage remained with the Guru.
When they reached the top of the hill, there was a quiet clearing. In the quiet clearing appeared to be a body covered with a white sheet. The wind was blowing fiercely, just about as fierce as the look in the Guru’s eyes. As they got closer it did in fact appear to be a corpse under there.
The Guru looked at his two Sikhs and said, “Eat this body.”
One Sikh looked at the Guru, looked at the others, and promptly turn around and ran back to the village.
The other Sikh bowed his head to his Guru and asked in a state of pure bliss, “Would you like me to start at the head, or at the feet?” as he reached over to pull the sheet off.
There are different accounts of what was actually under the sheet. Some say the corpse turned into flowers. Others say it turned into a beautiful feast.
But, one thing we know for sure was that the Sikh who managed to be a true disciple of the Guru would in fact become the next Guru whose name was Guru Angad.
Alright, so what does this mean for you and I on this beautiful day that God has given us? I am inspired from this story, to receive all that comes my way this day as the blessing of God and Guru.
I am inspired to breath deep and feel the presence of God in everyone who speaks to me. I am inspired to bow my head to every task God gives me today with utmost inspiration and passion to serve the One within us All, even if it does not look like an attractive or enjoyable task!
And to help us find the way to do this, let us chant the mantra, “Ang Sang Waheguru!”