Amardas: True worship

Listen saints, worship of God is difficult to find –
You can’t put worship into words.
It’s through a master you attain the Perfect One, saints –
Because he gets you to meditate on the Name.

Apart from God, everything is tainted, saints –
So what can we offer up in worship?
When it pleases that true Lord, we worship him –
And surrender to his will settles in our mind.

Saints, everybody worships –
But when you’re distracted and enslaved by the mind,
It’s superficial, no depth.
Die in the Sound – that will purify the mind, saints,
And it will reveal the depths.

Those absorbed in the one Shabd
Are purified and become one with truth.
Apart from the Name, there is no other worship –
People are lost and deluded who think and do otherwise.

The guru has recognized the self
And is absorbed in God’s Name.
He himself shows you how to do pure worship
And through the master’s Shabd, you fathom the depths.

They worship, but they don’t know the method –
Through their love for duality, they’re covered in filth.
It takes a master to know what worship is –
And for surrender to God’s will to settle in the mind.

From living in his will comes all happiness, saints –
And the Name stands by you in the end.
But they don’t recognize their self,
So they are singing the praise of what decays.

If you fake devotion, the agents of Death won’t let you go –
You’re dragged away, humiliated, and lose all honour.
Those who recognize the Shabd within themselves
Achieve the heights of realization:

This mind is numbed, it goes into deep meditation,
And the light merges in the light.
The masters spend their time listening within
And speaking about the practice of Naam –
Bringing people into the company of truth.

Such masters “sing” – they lose every iota of self
And are glorified at the door of the True One.
True the Word, true their words –
They have merged completely in the true Name.

My Lord, in the end you are the only help –
You, who destroy all fear and wipe out sin.
You permeate every thing that is –
And through Naam, Nanak, we too reach that greatness!


har/i ki pooja dulambh hai santahu
Adi Granth, Raamkali, M3, p.910
Translated into English by Anthea Guinness, October 2013

Guru Amardas wrote a lot of “teaching” shabds – well known to this day because they have been used for several centuries by spiritual teachers as the base for their talks on Naam.

saints – affectionate way of addressing seekers of truth, said by somebody who sees only our eternal essence – and a reminder, also, of how we should treat one another: with respect and family affection; filth – any kind of involvement with people, places and things of this world results in a karmic connection, an unpaid debt, which brings the soul back to the world again; mind is numbed (sunn) – mind disappears, “numbed out” as though sedated, in deep meditation; self – soul; sing – listening within and participating in the inner Sound. You’re welcome to browse It Means What? for other mystic terms and expressions.

One comment on “Amardas: True worship

  1. Ann Watters says:

    All these are very inspirational and wonderfully helpful.

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