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Dhhoop Malaaanalo Pavan Chavaro Karae Sagal Banaraae Foolanth Jothee ||1||
The fragrance of sandalwood in the air is the temple incense, and the wind is the fan.
All the plants of the world are the altar flowers in offering to You,
O Luminous Lord. ||1||
~Aarti, Guru Granth Sahib
Question: Pranaam Acharya Ji! In the given verse, what is the ‘burning incense and the whisk’ mentioned by Guru Nanak Dev Maharaj Ji? Could you explain the essence of the verse?
With deep gratitude!
Acharya Prashant Ji: Everything that is there in existence, whether prakritik (natural) or man-made, is nothing but an oblation to the Lord. That is the essence of this verse, Alok (the questioner).
“All the plants of the world are the altar flowers in offering to You, O Luminous Lord.”
The plants are not man-made. They are the offerings of prakriti (natural) to the Source of prakriti. That’s how the devoted Saint sees it. And why does he see it this way? You have to understand.
He has come to see his own prakritik body as nothing but an offering to the Lord.
He has realised that the only purpose of this body is that it is offered in the service of the Truth.
The body is not to please itself or the ego, the body is not for any miscellaneous purpose.
The body has only one purpose –
Devote it to the Truth.
Spend it in the service of the Truth.
Burn it in the fire of Truth.
Reduce it, lose it, bleed it, in the war of Truth.
That is the only purpose of the body.
And what is ‘body’? Prakriti.
Similarly, he sees that the entire expanse of prakriti (nature) is nothing but an offering to the Lord. Why does he see the flowers on the plants, as an offering to the Lord? Because he sees his own hands, eyes, the entire physical system, as an offering to the Lord.
As you are, so you see.
And it is not also just a matter of Saint’s perception.
It is actually so.
Prakriti itself is on a journey of Liberation.
Prakriti itself is trying to achieve Liberation through time.
What else is prakriti doing?
It is moving round and round, and on and on. Why?
Because prakriti itself seems eager to meet Purusha.
And it is trying everything.
It is trying creation, it is trying dissolution. It is trying flowers, it is trying animals, it is trying insects, it is trying mammals. It’s trying intellect, it’s trying emotions. It’s also trying the survival of the fittest.
What is prakriti upto? It surely wants something. Why is there so much movement in prakriti? It is as if prakriti too wants to meet the husband, Lord. That’s what the Gurus are clearly seeing.
The Flower does not bloom for nothing, the Sun does not rise for nothing, Man does not live for nothing. A new Child is not born for nothing. There is a purpose. The entire prakritik movement has a purpose, and the purpose is to meet the Lord, to be devoted to the service of Lord.
Now, there is another aspect of existence. And what is that aspect? Stuff that is man-made.
So, what is the Saint seeing? What are the Gurus realising? They are realising that the prakritik aspects of the body are for the service of Truth, and also for the service of Truth is – the intellect. So all the things that man creates through intellect, are actually created just to achieve God.
And that is absolutely so.
Why else does man create this and that using his intellect? Because he wants Peace. Doesn’t he? When you say, “We want progress and development, and science and technology, and discoveries and inventions, and we want to explore outer space,” what do you want?
What have you wanted all this while when you have created hospitals and schools, and public systems and social institutions? All of them have been a result of the intellect. Why has man created and built so much using the intellect? Because he wants Peace, and ‘Peace’ is another name for God.
Man wants progress, and ‘progress’ means – an ascension, an elevation. It is as if man wants to be elevated to some high sky. That’s what you say, “I am rising up. I am progressing.”
What is the intention to keep progressing? The intention is to progress, and arise and arise, and then just disappear in the Sky. Move so further up, move so high up, that you lose almost all connection with gravitation, that you lose the bondages and the compulsion to be bounded to the Earth. That alone is ‘gravitation’.
You want to rise, rise, and rise. You very well know that as you rise, the force of gravitation upon you mitigates. It is proportional to 1\r(sq).
Man wants to rise, up and away from all the bondages.
That’s why he builds.
That’s why he invents.
That’s why he writes and sings.
And that’s why he worships.
Are you getting it?
So on one hand you have the plants offering themselves to the Lord, on the other hand you have the incense, and the wind from the hill, and the fragrance of the sandalwood trees. And you have the imagery that the wind is the Chavaro, the fan.
All that is there in prakriti, whether man-made or purely prakritik is nothing but an offering to the Lord, a movement towards the Lord.
As if everything exists, just to reach out to the Lord.
Be it a mountain, or a hundred-storey man-made skyscraper – both are longing for the One.
Both were created with the same purpose.
Both exist with the same intention.
Watch the session video: Why does the wind blow? Why does man live? || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019) The transcription has been edited for clarity.
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