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The 5 Steps to Nitnem
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Once a person has started on the path to Vichaar of Gurbani, they then enter a state of Vistaar (elaboration of what is being contemplated). As a 'Gurmukh' (one who faces Guru) absorbs him/her self in ‘Goor’ (deep) reflection of Shabad (Guru’s word), this leads them onto ‘Gian Marg’ (path of study).

Dasam Guru Durbar
Opening folio of a manuscript of Dasam Guru Durbar, patronised by Divan Mulraj of Multan,
circa 1830-40. This particular leaf depicts 'Jaap Sahib' along with the first 5 Sikh Gurus and Ganesh

On becoming a Sikh meaning ‘Shish’ (a student of truth), one begins to study all knowledge. For Akali Nihangs, the study of three Sikh scriptures is paramount. So too is the understanding of Sikh written history, and ‘Dal Panth’ oral and martial traditions. As the Sikh scriptures speak of Islam and in particular Hinduism, a Sanatan Sikhs may also study these great faiths and cultures, as exemplified by the Nirmalas and Udhasis.

Dasam Guru Durbar
Second leaf of the Dasam Guru Durbar Manuscript, patronised by Divan Mulraj of Multan,
circa 1830-40. The last 5 of the Sikh Gurus are depicted, along with Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom seated on a swan.

Eventually, as Gurmukh’s sphere of knowledge expands from Vichaar, they begin to elaborate on the subject matter in Gurbani. Their Vichaar encompass all things within and without the ‘Brahmand’ (house of ‘Brahm’, i.e., the universe) to promote the ‘Bhagti’ (devotion) of universal ‘Ekh Nirankar’. By this action, internal peace of mind and external peace in life are attained.

Dasam Guru Durbar
Divan Mulraj of Multan depicted in one of the folios of the Dasam Guru Durbar patronised by him,
corca 1830-40. Shiva is seen seated on a lotus flower (top right). Inset, photograph of Divan Mulraj dated 1849

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