Dharm = Righteousness Gián = Knowledge Saram = Humility
Karam = Actions Sach = Truth Khand = Realm
Many people think that pauri 34, 35, 36 and 37 are the most difficult part of the Jap-Ji Sahib, the opening poem of the Guru Granth Sahib.
These pauris (= ladder) describe the five steps, the five stages on the way to unite with God in the ‘Sach Khand’, the Truth Realm. Sikhí is a mystic tradition; all Sikhs are the brides longing for unity with the God-Groom.
The five steps to this unity are described by Guru Nanak using images that were probably clear in his days, but are not so easily understood by his 21st century followers. On the other hand the idea of a ‘righteous’ life, humility, knowledge with understanding, a record of good deeds and being the embodiment of truth as steps towards God is really quite simple.
The Dharmic way that the Guru teaches is the way of righteousness.
Through meditation, through thinking about God, bad thoughts and deeds are replaced by good ones. Meditating should not be a selfish exercise, it is useless if you ignore the needs of your fellow creatures.
This first step on the ladder to God will lead you to the other four steps. Good thoughts and actions must combine with humility (saram). Living a life of service to others will get you nearer to God, who will give you gián, knowledge with understanding, using all your faculties, not just the brain.
By doing positively good things your record (karam) will start improving. Sikhí teaches that you cannot ‘force’ your way to God by doing good deeds. You cannot force God, all happens by God’s kirpa (grace). But showing that you are changing, that you have given up on ‘me, me’ must help.
The final step is when the self gets dissolved and the atma (soul) merges with the Paramatma (All-Soul). God is Truth, when the soul enters the Sach Khand, the realm of truth, the soul becomes part of the All-True.
What you have to do to start on the path to God is change your behaviour. Become more honest, more caring, less selfish. Realise that all the ‘stuff’ (like the nice laptop I am writing this on) you own is only temporal, you cannot take it with you to the next life or to the sach khand.
As soon as you get closer to God you will become happier and more balanced. You will experience the True One, who is with us all the time.
You lose the self by realising God. By realising that all comes from God you lose your pride and you will just use your talents to help others and sing God’s qualities instead of your own. I am on that way, with still a lot to do !