NANAKIAN: following the spiritual footprints of Guru Nanak
The musical art we share is inseparable from the art of living: it is a practical way of engaging with the reality of experience and shaping it, just as music is composed.
This process is a truth of human life, available to be discovered at any time by anyone who pays attention. It was perceived and unfolded in dazzling clarity and detail by Guru Nanak, the first Guru of the Sikhs, who established its daily practice in an art now called Gurmat Sangeet.
Whether this process is described as Kirtan or Naad Yoga – or simply experienced by someone who has never heard of these terms – it is the same. It is because Guru Nanak understood and communicated it so completely that we follow his school of thought, known as ‘Nanakian’.
The Nanakian method of contemplation and composition aims to create balance between body, mind and soul, using simple techniques to achieve the most profound results.
Innate in the Nanakian approach is an aptitude for education to better the lives of our fellow brothers and sisters and produce a more harmonious world. Guru Nanak’s social circle included people from all faiths. Guru Nanak lived and demonstrated a unique and free protocol of life, setting humanity an example of how to live consciously through the practice of reality, renouncing rituals.
The Nanakian method has five first principles:
Hukam – natural discipline
Just as everything in nature has its laws of being and behaviour – the sun rising and setting, flowers blossoming, the wind blowing – Guru Nanak encourages his students of life (Sikhs) to adopt natural discipline and submerge themselves in the flow of the existence that creation gives them, as opposed to disrupting the harmony by trying to establish separate identities outside the influence of their true nature.
Gaviyai – expression
Using sound to become capable of communicating from the inner to the outer world; Guru Nanak believes in sharing the deep, dark wisdom of life, using expression to project the most profound inner experience.
Suniyai – listening
Listening is a sense that we rely upon most heavily, but also often one of the most neglected senses. We take for granted the ability to listen and confuse it with hearing. Guru Nanak emphasises the importance of deepening our listening skills to gain knowledge of that pain which cannot be expressed, and become aware of those sounds that are inaudible to the human ear.
Mannai – the experience of knowledge
Only when knowledge has been experienced does it become incontrovertible fact; Guru Nanak trusts the power of experience. Belief cannot come from theoretical knowledge alone. To know is never enough: to believe something, one’s own experience must resonate with its truth.
Amul – action arising from belief
The intention behind the action determines the destiny of the deed. Once one recognises and embraces one's inner beauty as a known fact, it is possible actively to enter the realm of truth and allow oneself to evolve to embody the higher self continuously as a conscious and enlightened human being.
Living in this way Guru Nanak inspired others to eradicate the darkness of ignorance through the light of education.