In the first pauri (stanza), Guru Amardas Sahib describes the state of great bliss achieved through the Wisdom (Guru). In this blissful state, it feels as if the melodious and congratulatory notes of celebration are resounding all around.
rāmkalī   mahalā  3   anandu  
ikoaṅkār  satigur  prasādi.  
anandu  bhaïā  merī  māe   satigurū  mai  pāiā.  
satiguru  ta  pāiā  sahaj  setī   mani  vajīā  vādhāīā.  
rāg  ratan  parvār  parīā    sabad  gāvaṇ  āīā.  
sabdo  ta  gāvahu  harī  kerā    mani  jinī  vasāiā.  
kahai  nānaku    anandu  hoā    satigurū  mai  pāiā.1.  
-Guru  Granth  Sahib  917  
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
This composition hails from the Third House of Nanak, Guru Amardas, and is titled "Anand" - meaning unending joy, enduring happiness, eternal bliss. It is sung in the Ramkali rag (musical mode), a melody associated with early mornings that aims to evoke feelings of triumph, regardless of circumstances. In the broader Indic musical tradition, Ramkali conveys two emotions: sweetness and a sense of awakening. Traditionally, Ramkali is used to depict a disciplined and wise teacher elucidating knowledge to an equally wise and disciplined student. Both acknowledge the presence of pain yet recognize its transformative value. Additionally, there’s a play on words in "Ramkali" - "Ram" signifying the Beautiful Charming One, and "kali" indicating budding. When the blossoming of the Beautiful Charming One occurs within a seeker, devotion takes root; it becomes their adornment and beautification.

The creative and all-pervasive IkOankar is One that is unparalleled. IkOankar is realized through the grace of eternal Wisdom (Guru). The composition commences with the invocation to the One, establishing a direct connection between the eternal Wisdom’s grace and the attainment of omnipotent IkOankar (One Universal Integrative Force, 1Force, the One). It is an invitation, a grounding reminder, perhaps even a call to action, urging seekers to center the Divine grace in their remembrance.

Anand, in its simplest sense, denotes happiness and joy. However, this joy expounded by Guru Amardas is distinct. Our happiness and joys are intertwined with specific flavors, tastes, objects, and events that have an expiration—these are transient. Conversely, the anand described by Guru Amardas is perpetual; it’s everlasting. It’s not tied to the preferences of our ears, the sights pleasing to our eyes, or the tastes savored by our tongues. It transcends the realm of the five senses of the physical body. Grasping or envisioning this kind of joy is complex. This joy goes beyond textual instructions; it’s an experience. It becomes evident to those immersed in the remembrance of the One. This immersion, this remembrance, is beyond intellect, beyond emotion, beyond the senses—though this profound joy resonates throughout the entire body. This compilation of forty pauris, akin to steps on a ladder, unveils the nature of joy, its occurrence, its purpose, its form, and how to attain it.

In the first pauri, the initial step on this ladder, Guru Amardas invokes his mother and exclaims, bliss has arisen, O my mother! I have found the eternal Wisdom. Guru Amardas shares his experience of the eternal Wisdom with the world through the metaphorical mother’s voice. This experience has brought forth an extraordinary joy, a profound bliss within him. We pause and question: How did this occur? The answer: It happened through unwavering dedication and steadiness. We reflect. We realize that this wasn’t a result of rigorous austerities, specific deeds, or unique practices—it unfolded through steadfast commitment in steadiness, with steadiness. Guru Amardas continues, indicating that the mind resonates with celebrations. Celestial beings and celestial musical ensembles have arrived to sing the Sabad (the hymn-like stanza that exemplifies the word-sound of the Infinite Wisdom), Hari. Guru Amardas invokes the name "Hari," one of the many names of IkOankar (One Universal Integrative Force, 1Force, the One). Guru Amardas declares that Hari, the All-Pervasive, the 1-Light, resides within the mind. How did this transformation transpire? Solely through the singing of the Sabad. We absorb the significance that these celestial beings sang only the Sabad of the 1-Light; their songs praised or glorified none other. Guru Amardas concludes this ladder step, reiterating, I have found the eternal Wisdom.

We reflect on Guru Amardas’s life journey. It’s conceivable that before embracing the path of Guru Nanak, he might have savored different joys—the joy of status, financial success, religious adherence, a following, and more. This particular bliss was so profound that he communicated it through a mother’s nurturing, soothing voice, providing comfort, warmth, and an easy, endearing quality to his message. This resonates with Guru Amardas’s benevolence, opening the door to the idea that we, here and now in our surroundings, can also encounter this profound joy when the eternal Wisdom graces our lives. We might recognize the celestial beings or "fairies" among us as we reflect. They are the individuals who spread kindness, the changemakers performing acts of compassion every day. They are the ethereal entities of our world, their exquisite actions akin to musical instruments, harmoniously playing the Song of the 1-Light. When we reflect on them, we, too, can begin to sense the 1-Light permeating our minds, and in doing so, we partake in the celestial celebration of these earthly beings. This phenomenon occurs spontaneously—it’s not reserved for a chosen few; everyone has access to this joy and bliss. The question then arises: How can we personally access this bliss? The bliss that transcends from academic accomplishments, career progress, project completions, cherished moments with loved ones, or indulgence in hobbies. This bliss manifests when the eternal Wisdom becomes part of our existence, attained through nurturing tranquility and steadfastness within us. If we struggle to connect with the eternal Wisdom, we may reflect on our state of mind. Are we in haste? Are we embroiled in turmoil? Are we overthinking? Are we longing for the celestial beings singing? The experience of the eternal Wisdom transpires in serenity and steadfastness; the joy and the bliss it brings is serenity and steadfastness personified.

We may ask ourselves: Do we aspire to embrace this bliss? Do we yearn for an encounter with the eternal Wisdom? What is required to resonate with the Song of the 1-Light within our minds?