When the Shabad ‘Ik Oankar’ is translated using standardised English, the translation is “There is but one God”. This translation is inaccurate and removes the real meaning and Gyaan (Spiritual knowledge) that Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji spread. Here, we have attempted to give an accurate description of the term ‘Ik Oankar’, with the blessings of Akaal Purakh Ji. Prior to the Katha of Ik Oankar, the traditional Manglacharan Bani from the Sri Gurpartap Suraj Parkash Granth Ji is read:
ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਪਦ ਪੰਕਜ ਬੰਦਨ । ਸਿਮਰੋਂ ਅੰਗਦ ਦੋਖ ਨਿਕੰਦਨ ।
I pay salutations to the Lotus Feet of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, I remember the destroyer of pain, Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji.
ਅਮਰਦਾਸ ਗੁਰ ਹਿਰਦੇ ਧਯਾਵੌਂ । ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰ ਰਾਮਦਾਸ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਵੌਂ ।।੯੮।।
In my heart I focus upon Guru Amardaas, I sing the praises of Sri Guru Ramdaas Ji.
ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਅਰਜਨ ਬਿਘਨਨਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਸ਼ਕ । ਹਰਿਗੁਬਿੰਦ ਸ਼ੁਭ ਸੁਮਤਿ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼ਕ ।
Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji is the destroyer of obstacles, Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib emanates the right thinking
ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਹਰਿਰਾਇ ਨਮੋ ਕਰ ਜੋਰੀ । ਗੁਰੁ ਹਰਿਕ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨ ਮਨਾਇ ਬਹੋਰੀ ।।੯੯।।
To Sri Guru HarRai I fold my hands in salutations, I focus my attention to Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib.
ਤੇਗ ਬਹਾਦਰ ਪਰਮ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਲਾ । ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਬਿਸਾਲਾ ।
Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur is the most merciful, Sri Guru Gobind Singh is without end.
ਧਰੌਂ ਧਰਾ ਪਰ ਪੁਨ ਪੁਨ ਸੀਸਾ । ਬੰਦੋ ਬਾਰ ਬਾਰ ਜਗਦੀਸ਼ਾ ।।੧੦੦।।
Upon the ground I place my head over and over again, to the Lord of the World I give my salutations over and over again.
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼, ਉਤਰਾਰਧ ਅਧਯਾਯ ੫੭, ਜਿਲਦ ੪
Sri Gur Nanak Prakash [first section of Gurpratap Suraj Granth], Section Two, Chapter 57
ਜਿਸ ਮਹਿਂ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਗਯਾਨ ਹੈ ਮਾਣਿਕ ਭਗਤਿ ਵਿਰਾਗ ।
ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਉਦਧਿ ਬੰਦੋਂ ਕਰਿ ਅਨੁਰਾਗ ।।੧।।
Sri Guru Granth Sahib is an ocean, in which the form of wisdom is Amrit, and the form of devotion and spiritual longing is the Jewel, with love I salute it
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼, ਪੂਰਬਾਰਧ ਅਧਯਾਯ ੫੯
Sri Gur Nanak Prakash [first section of Gurpratap Suraj Granth], Section One, Chapter 59
ਕਹਾ ਬੁੱਧਿ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਤੁੱਛ ਹਮਾਰੀ ॥ ਬਰਨ ਸਕੈ ਮਹਿਮਾ ਜੁ ਤਿਹਾਰੀ ॥
Lord, how can my worthless intellect, Narrate your splendour?
ਹਮ ਨ ਸਕਤ ਕਰ ਸਿਫਤ ਤੁਮਾਰੀ ॥ ਆਪ ਲੇਹੁ ਤੁਮ ਕਥਾ ਸੁਧਾਰੀ ॥੩॥
Despite my wish to sing Your praises, I am unable to do so. You may amend the story (which I am going to narrate).(3)
In the Pavitar Saroop of Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj, Maharaj begins the Bani with the beautiful Manglacharan, the Mool Mantar Shabad, starting with Ik (੧). Maharaj does not use Gurmukhi to write ‘Ik’ (ਇੱਕ). Maharaj here starts the Gurbani in the form of numerology, illustrating that everything begins from one, and everything is created from one. Evidently, the world itself is made of binary numbers, (01011101…) therefore here, Parmeswar is not simply telling us that there is ‘Ik’ in Gurmukhi, but is telling us that there is more to the Shabad ‘Ik’, which implies that there is a mystical, mathematic key.
The question arises, “What is the numerology a key to?”
When we read bani, we are familiar that Bani is read in a rhythm. This rhythm is called a ‘Chand-Bandi’. The type of ‘Chand’ is normally headed with a title, defining what type of rhythm the Bani should be recited in. The two sticks (||) at the end of Gurbani are called Dandeh. The Dandeh control the rhythm/frequency of the Bani. As stated in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, life has begun with the Shabad that is a sonic vibration/frequency.
The Gurbani is also a ‘Binaural Beat’, a frequency that can alter life/health/mood itself. Verses which have a title of ‘Dohra’, ‘Svaiye’, ‘Kabit Svaiye’ are normally composed in beats, ranging from 2, 4, 6, 8, 16 beats and so on. Therefore, Maharaj Ji here when using the term Ik, is beyond the term of comprehending and does not solely mean the term one ‘God’. For example, the shabad or word, Paramatama, if broken down in Sanskrit adds up to 24 as:
There is no coincidence that in Sri Dasam Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s Saroop, Maharaj Ji has described the Katha of 24 Avtars (Choubis Avtar). Further to this, it is not a coincidence that there are 24 Astpadis in Sri Sukhmani Sahib. Therefore the number 24 translates to Parmatama, being endorsed by the consistent use of the number ’24′.
Whenever we see this Shabad along with Ik infront of it, we see this manglacharan as Ik Oangkar. Despite it just being a letter, we see this letter/shabad/akhar as being Oangkar, despite oankgar being spelt as Oangkar (ਓਅੰਕਾਰ). Again, why is it that we read Oora as ‘Oankar’? This clearly states that the Oora is a logo rather than a word.
Logos have a covert meaning. As in ancient, Sanatan times, logos were used, and are still used within secret services, whether a sports logo, whether an atom, or royal insignias. Here in Gurbani, Maharaj Ji has used the Akhar Oora. When the Guru scribed Ik Oangkar at the beginning of Gurbani, many pandits challenged Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji stating “Why have you not composed the Bani beginning with ‘Om’?” Guru Nanak Dev Ji stated that ‘Om’ is a salutation and an attribution to the Trimurti (Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh) and there is no salutation to the ‘One’.
Again, in Sanatan, Islamic scriptures, they were opened with the number 786. If Om in Sanskrit were to be reversed, you would read the numbers as ’786′. So, Oora, known as Oangkar is a clear logo with hidden connotations. If we look very carefully within the logo/symbol oora, we will see the number ’3′ which refers the 3 virtues of the creation, known as the Treh Gun. Another verse that reflects to this is ‘Thaal Vich Tin Vastoo Paiyo, Sat Santok Veecharo’ (Ang 1429 Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji). The Plate (Thaal) signifies the Maya/illusion, with ‘Sat Santok Veecharo’ being the three virtues.
These three prinicpals can be reflected throughout Gurbani, seen within “Aad Sach Jugaad sach Hai Bhee Sach” (Japji Sahib) showing the past (1), present (2) and future (3), the state of sleep (1), dream (2), wake (3) and the stage of bachpan (1), javani (2) and buddehpa (3). (Previous life, young age, old age) and within the Creator (1), Preserver (2), Destroyer (3) (Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh – Eka Mai, Jugat Viyaiee Tin Chele Parvaan, Ik sansari Ik Bhandari Ik Laie Deeban) along with the ‘Tre-Lok’, heaven (1) earth (2) hell (3). Again, these are the Treh Gun.
Puratan Granth showing Ik Oankar in the Treh Gun form – Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh
The Treh Gun are further defined by the virtues of Satogun, Rajogun and Tamalgun. Satogun, being a pure, divine avastha (state of mind), the Rajogun being a sovereign avastha, having an equally balanced avastha of having both satogun and tamalgun, leading to Raj-Jogi (Sant Sipahi), and Tamalgun being a dark avastha, being martial. The Satogun and Tamalgun have different degrees, similar to a pH scale, with 7 (neutral) being Rajogun, with Satogun being 14 (Alkali) and Tamalgun being 1 (Acidic). When one becomes too Tamal, they become more towards 1 on the pH scale, and when one becomes too Sadhu, they move towards 14, therefore it is important to keep a balance (Rajogun) at pH level 7.
These 3 principals are infinite as is evident, but in disguise, are omnipresent. It is believed that one’s diet can trigger each of the 3 Gun. For example, dairy products and basic food leads to Satogun. Chatka Meat gives a lighter shade of Tamalgun, whilst Haraam, halal meat gives a darker shade of Tamalgun. However, alcohol leads to a further, darker Tamal state. This is why, in the Puratan Rehatnama of Bhai Daya Singh Ji, it is stated that the Kirpan must touch the food before consumption.
ਕਰਦਭੇਟ ਬਿਨ ਪਾਨ ਨਹਿ ਅਕਾਲ ਭਾਵ ਸਤ ਭਾਖ |
Without the dagger touching the food, he does not eat, he contemplates Akaal (the immortal) or Sat.
Further to this, the actions we commit can also have a bearing towards our avastha. This is why Nishkam Seva is a significant part of the Khalsa Dharam. This is why the Khalsa does not believe in good luck or bad luck, or dwell on wealth or materialism. We also do not define actions or objects as good or bad, as these virtues exist in everyone. The object is to have a balance (Sehaj Avastha). This is a brief translation of ‘Oang’.
The line raised above the Oora signifies the ‘Kaar’. These are the 3 modes coming into play and are being created. Again, these 3 virtues derive from the ‘one’. Therefore, when we see the translations of Ik Oankaar as ‘There is but One God’, this translation has appeared to be a biblical translation that has been standardised, although as is seen, as the Oora joins to the Kaar, there is no ‘but’ or separation from the ‘One’ or ‘Ik’. The translation has been standardised and substituted to mislead the Panth as is seen within modern day translation, and to deprive the Panth of true knowledge which the Guru has conveyed to us.
In the past, the Akali Nihang Singhs rarely shared this spiritual wisdom (Gyaan) with any person, and only gave this Gyaan to those who showed great initiative. This is endorsed as within Gurbani, Ik Oangkar Satgur Parsad is often stated by the Guru Sahibs. This is due to the Parsad (blessing) of the true Guru (SatGur) being in a verbal form, and is a great blessing to whosoever shall read it due to the immense knowledge it contains.