By Promod Puri
In this part two of my interpretation of Guru Nanak’s divine message Hukam Razai Chalna, Nanak Likhyea Naal, we take another aspect of the edict. But first, let me briefly recap what was presented in the first discussion.
In the previous viewpoint, the perception was when we are facing an unjust or grave situation that conflicts with our conscious mind, then it is likely not the will of God. Rather it is created and imposed on us by diverse temporal factors. Our earnest response to tackle or fightback the intolerable circumstance is our pragmatic and rational understanding of Hukam.
In our personal lives when we face problems, that could be health issues, harm and ill-will inflicted on us, hatred based on race or caste reasons, etc., etc. then the divine Hukam demands to tackle the obstacle or crisis we face. Hukum razai does not mean we accept the situation and do nothing or expecting “god-willing” it would go away.
Hukum razai chalna is the sacred message which was followed by the Sikh Gurus. Rather than acceding, they fought against the injustice and tyranny and sought equality for humanity. It is in this crusade and commitment that Hukam gets its legitimate and revered meaning.
Life is an entanglement of sufferings. The blissful emancipation can be achieved through Hukam-inspired righteous actions.
Hukum is the beginning, and it is the end. In between are our related thoughts and actions. Hukam is the cause of generating an effect. The latter is produced by our deeds where God gives us the freedom to act according to our consciousness.
A keen reader in response to my first article very prudently and concisely says:
“Hukum is, in fact, a dynamic process not a fixed endpoint, that we can use our free will to exercise using our conscious mind. It also feels different when I hear hukum-nama now. “It is not a command or an edict from a patriarchal God but our relatedness to the Divine.”
Now, as we move to the second part of this discussion, we’re dealing with the situation created by our own self. And when this situation is ill-conceived, morally and ethically wrong, it goes against the will of God.
In Japji, Guru Nanak says: “Hukmae andhar sabh, bahar hukme na koe.” A simple translation of the edict is that everybody (sabh) under His command (hukam), nobody (na koe) is beyond (bahar) His command.
The question is, what is that divine command or hukam, signed and delivered by Nanak, from which we do not deviate or stray.
Truly, it is a path which is referred to as the divine order. The moment we disregard this order, it is a violation of His Hukam.
Divine order basically is the system established by His Hukam where we don’t create chaos and misery for ourselves or for fellow human beings, animals, plants and the environment we live in.
It is an order of ethical and moral conduct of our lives where our conscious mind generates virtuous thinking to execute virtuous actions. This way we are neither damaging our conscious mind nor hurting others. And we are staying hukmae andhar or within His order.
The divine order is a disciplined and conscientious undertaking to get into the spirit of the Hukam.
In this order resides our religiosity of being honest, humble and sincere, be considerate and helpful to others, be merciful, forget and forgive, love fellow beings and care for the environments, including animals, plants and nature.
And everything else which is pious, pure and morally firm to bring us in alignment with Guru Nanak’s dictum: Hukam Razai Chalna, Nanak Likhyea Naal.