ਅਬਿਚਲ ਨਗਰੀ (abichal nagree)
Meaning: noun: The stable, unwavering city or abode (of the Divine).
ਸੋ ਵਸੈ ਇਤੁ ਘਰਿ ਜਿਸੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਸੇਵ॥ ਅਬਿਚਲ ਨਗਰੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੇਵ॥
so vasai it ghar jis gur pooraa sev. abichal nagree naanak dev.
Nanak! The abode of the Divine is stable, unwavering. One, upon whom the perfect Guru bestows the gift of serving the Divine, dwells in this abode. – Guru Arjan Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 430
Message: Imagine a city-state where all its residents are noble, virtuous and humble. There is no ‘evil other’. Businesses earn good profit and customers are happy. There is neither any tax nor fine. No stress. No anxiety.
Who would not like to be a citizen of such a country? But countries are made up of people – humans like us. Until we, the people, develop good qualities and learn to behave like gentle humans, there cannot be such a place.
The verse calls such a place the ‘city of the Divine’ or a ‘state of divine consciousness’, which is ever stable and steady. To have a feeling of living in such a state one only has to focus on the Divine and seek from the Guru the gift of serving the Divine.
Through the Gurbani’s influence and advice, we can all attain this state. Our senses and faculties will be controlled. Fears and anxiety will depart. We will realise the mansion of the Divine within our own inner being.
Etymology: Compound of abichal (unwavering, steady), from Sanskrit avichal, and nagree (city) from Sanskrit nagree.
Summary of the Week:
The verses this week beautifully describe spiritual states or social setups that can be achieved here on this earth and in this life itself, as opposed to any heavenly abode supposedly to be attained hereafter.
So, is the pathway to elevating ourselves spiritually, a matter merely of building sandcastles in the air? No.
The experience of blissful living is possible for us if we seek the guidance of Gurbani, follow the advice contained therein, and detach ourselves from excessive worldly enticements.
One who acts upon the Guru’s advice enshrines virtues and drives out vices. When we are instilled with the right understanding, our body is full of good qualities, and wrong intentions disappear.
These virtues enable us to secure our body (town) – likened to erecting a boundary wall; and reflection on wisdom helps us install firm, solid doors and windows.
No evil passion can re-enter the mind now.
In such a way, we can build a fort within the mind and become victors against evil.
We would have thus as children of the One Divine constructed our own real City of Bliss: Not in the sky but within our minds in the here and now.