Gurbani Word Of The Day: Karam Khaňḍ

ਕਰਮ ਖੰਡ (karam khaňḍ)
Meaning: noun: The realm of divine beneficence.

ਕਰਮ ਖੰਡ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਜੋਰੁ॥ ਤਿਥੈ ਹੋਰੁ ਨ ਕੋਈ ਹੋਰੁ॥
karam khaňḍ kee baṇee jor. tithai hor na ko-ee hor.
Nanak: (The union with the Divine) is attained through divine beneficence, (all other claims) are false and boastings of a liar (idle talk). – Guru Nanak Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, Page 07

Message: Karam khand, the fourth stage of spiritual development, is the realm of divine beneficence or nadar. Nadar occupies a central position in Guru Nanak’s teachings and here, in our spiritual journey, it is a marker that is close to the ultimate omega point, sach khand.

Guru Nanak tells us that in this realm “live warriors and heroes of mighty power”. Spiritual power reigns supreme here, and this is the abode of elevated souls or spiritual warriors, those brave ones who have conquered their minds and freed themselves of worldly temptations. Soaked with the spirit of divine love and hewed to divine glory, the beauty of these warriors cannot be described. Being spiritually united with the Divine, death and deceit do not touch them and they rejoice in being in the presence of the Creator.

The imagery in this pauri is saturated with the vocabulary of valour and might, indicating to us that these qualities are an essential element on the path to ultimate Reality. The power is not physical but spiritual, needed to overcome our base nature which is afflicted with the lower passions.

In this pauri, Guru Nanak laudsthose who have conquered their self and become spiritually so powerful that worldly evils cannot affect them anymore.  

ਨਾ ਓਹਿ ਮਰਹਿ ਨ ਠਾਗੇ ਜਾਹਿ॥ ਜਿਨ ਕੈ ਰਾਮੁ ਵਸ ਮਨ ਮਾਹਿ॥
They, who enshrine the Divine in their minds, neither die nor are they deceived. -Guru Nanak Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, Page 08

Etymology: Blend of karam, from Arabic karam (generosity, beneficence) + khaňḍ(realm, zone).

Notes: The word karam here is used in its Persian sense (divine beneficence), and not in the Sanskritic sense (deed, action), which comes from Sanskrit karman (act, effort) and is related to the English word, karma.


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