Nirankari Mission holds fast to the belief that God permeates whole of the creation and yet is above it. The entire visible creation is illusiory 'Maya' and intrinsically transitory, and the only one which survives even after the annihilation of elemental creation is God. To recapitulate, though formless yet God is realisable. In fact, the prime aim of human life is to realise Formless God.
SPIRITUAL GUIDE (SATGURU)
God-realisation is possible only through a God-realised soul. But for the grace of Satguru in form, Formless is impossible to realise. The Nirankaris do revere and regard the by-gone Gurus, Saints and also consider them a source of inspiration, but they hold that only a living Satguru of the time is the bestower of God-realisation and worthy of devotion. The Formless manifests in the form of Satguru. Just as man is not mere physical body i.e., hands, feet, mouth, etc. but is the soul which is the real life-force, similarly Satguru is not gross body but the subtle knowledge which he embodies and imparts.
True devotion begins only after Godrealisation. The Mission believes that Godrealisation is not an end but means to devotion. Generally, devotion is aimed at God-realisation, but Nirankari Mission reiterates the fundamental truth: First know, then worship. Only after Godrealisation we truly imbibe saintly traits. Such a devotion is not confined to a particular time, place, or situation. Only after perception of the One in all, can the sense of duality be transformed into unity and oneness. Then only one shall overcome ego and imbibe the feeling of love, respect, service, and humility. Knowledge of the Great Giver bestows contentment, and realisation of the Great Doer teaches one to submit to the Divine Will. In short, total surrender to the Divine will shall totally immerse the life in the blissful ocean of devotion.
RITES AND RITUALS
Nirankari Mission believes in innate devotion and considers rites and rituals merely as the means to maintain equilibrium in worldly life. Though significant, they are by no means a source of attaining salvation. It is an irony that today people are ignorant about their true meaning and real purpose and perform them as routine traditions. The rites and rituals do help us to maintain environmental purity, physical and mental health and also to attain geographical knowledge. One may practise the rites and rituals but only after understanding their essence and true meaning.
The mistaken identification of rites and rituals with religious deeds by different cultures and civilisations gave birth to different religions, whereas religion, in fact, is to imbibe spirituality. Religion is an inspiring force to lead a practical and an ideal life. It is a source of divine traits like love, humility, and forbearance. Religion leads one to know and realise his real self. Consequently, he rises above the duality of the creation to identify himself with the oneness of the Creator. To realise One, to have faith in One and to become one with the One is, in fact, the true religion. Nirankari Mission indoctrinates that religion strings diverse cultures and civilizations into one colourful bouquet of humanity. Religion unites, never divides.
If man could understand the essence of religion, worship God after realising Him and identify himself with Him unity would then naturally follow. God-realisation is the panacea for all ills. It inculcates brotherhood, eliminates hatred, and breeds love. Just as children of diverse natures live together as one family because of their father, similarly different people.live as one vast human family because of realisation of the Supreme Father. Nirankari Mission believes that except God-realisation there is no other means to achieve the cherished goal of Universal Brotherhood, and it is striving to establish Universal Brotherhood through Fatherhood of God.
The feeling of Universal Brotherhood goes a long way to eliminate the possibilities of confrontation between different approaches aimed at the human-welfare. Any effort which is directed at human upliftment, is always welcome. For this reason, scientific advancement is no deterrent to spirituality, rather the former is complement to the latter. But for the spiritual foundation, the gigantic structure of scientific progress cannot stand.
If science and spirituality are wedded together, man can derive lasting happiness, and bliss. Material possessions which generally are taken as the source of happiness, are nothing but an illusion. They are, in fact, a momentary transit in our flight on the wings of greed. The so called material pleasures are nothing more than a night's sleep. Just as every night is followed by the day for toiling, so does the satiation of one desire give birth to the craving for another. Thus this vicious circle goes on unabated. In other words, what we consider pleasure works as a spring-board for furthering our yearning for still more pleasure, so much so that pleasure becomes a cause of pain. No wonder, the worldly pleasures are likened to the dream world. The lasting happiness can be had only by one with the everlasting God who is the reservoir of all bliss.
The aforesaid spiritual tenets of Nirankari Mission have greatly influenced different cross-sections of society. Those who believe that God is one, though called by different names such as Rama, Allah, Akal Purukh etc., and that He can be realised through the grace of Satguru in Form, are coming into the fold of Nirankari Mission. The Mission is not paying mere lip service to the ideal of Universal Brotherhood but it is practically devoted to this noble cause by bringing together people from different cultures, beliefs, castes, colours and creeds, without any discrimination. The Nirankaris share common devotion and realization of Formless God, though in their day-to-day life they are free to follow their beliefs, customs, and traditions. It is for this reason that Nirankari Mission has neither any identification nor confrontation with the traditions of any sect or religion. Nirankari Mission has indoctrinated five basic tenets ostensibly to bring about religious harmony and Universal Brotherhood.
Every seeker of Divine-Knowledge has to take the following five pledges:
1. Body, mind, and material possessions are a gift from God. They are alwavs to be treated as belonging to God and are not to be a cause of pride.
2. All ego about religion, caste, or status is to be abandoned and one has to feel himself as one with human race and love the whole mankind.
3. Not to look down upon anybody because of his mode of dress, diet, and living.
4. Not to renounce worldly life to become a vagarant Sadhu, Faqir but to lead family life in accordance with normal social norms and sustain family by honest livelihood.
5. Not to divulge the Divine Knowledge bestowed by Satguru to others without His permission. Never to be possessed by pride because of enlightenment.
These pledges enable, the votaries to lead a well-balanced and worthy life.
Issued by PRAKASHAN VIBHAG of
Sant Nirankari Mandal Delhi-110 009
printed at Swatantar Art Press, Delhi.