How Can You Name the Nameless? –
Baba Gorakh Nath Ji's Holy Words
An English rendering of the Hindi translation of verses of the famous Sant Mahayogi Baba Gorakhnath ji (circa 11th /12th century) by Maharshi Mehi Paramhans ji Maharaj (1885-1986), taken from the latter's book "Santwaani Sateek" (Commentary on Sayings of Sants). Baba Gorakhnath ji (also Gorakshanath ji) is said to be the disciple of Baba Matsyendranath ji. He was the most prominent Sant in the Nath Tradition, and is traditionally associated with `hatha yoga'. However, his verses clearly show that he practiced the `drishti yoga' (Yoga of Divine Light) and `shabda yoga' (Yoga of Divine Sound). -- English Translation by Pravesh K. Singh
"BastI na shUnyam shUnyam na bastI, agam agochar aisA |
Gagan shikhar manh bAlak bolanhi, wAkA nAnv dharahuge kaisA ||01||"
God is incomprehensible (or beyond intellect), and imperceptible (or beyond the grasp of sense-organs), is such that He is neither inhabited (filled) nor empty. His voice or sound is extremely melodious like that of an innocent kid or child. How would you name, or give name to, Him? That is, He can't be ascribed any name. ||1||
Other Sants have also expressed similar opinions regarding unfeasibility of giving a name to God. For instance, please have a look at the following references:
"JAkA nAm akahuA bhAi | TAkar kahAn ramainI gaI ||
(Sant Kabir Sahab)
[His name is indescribable; how would you repeat or recite His name?]
"Jo koi chAhai nAm, so nAm anAm hai |
Likhan padhan me nAhI, nihachchhar kAm hai ||"
(Sant Paltu Sahab)
[If anyone wants to know His name, (he/she should know that) He is Nameless, or has no name. He can not be brought within the ambit of reading and writing, or being represented by means of any alphabets.]
"Ek anIh arUp anAmA \ Aj sachchidAnand paradhAmA ||"
[He is one, without any desires, form or name. He is unborn, eternal, conscious and full of (never-ending) bliss. He is beyond everything or all domains.]
"Aghosham avyanjanam aswaram cha akanThatAlvoshTham anAsikam cha |
Aref jAtam ubhayoshTha varjitam yadaksharam na ksharate kadAchit ||"
[He can not be pronounced with the help of any of the consonants and/or vowels nor by using any points or places of pronunciation within our mouth like the throat, palate, nose, lips etc. He decays or declines never.]
The Supreme Soul or God is knowable to the soul alone. He is such that we can neither call Him filled/ pervaded/ inhabited nor empty. He is beyond any (material) existence as well as emptiness or void or nothingness, beyond consciousness & non-consciousness. He is supernatural or transcendental. His voice, word or name emanates from the top of the sky or the place of origin of the creation, and keeps ringing (throughout the universe or creation) as an exceptionally sweet, charming melodious sound. This sound is phonetic or onomatopoeic and, hence, indescribable. His sound has been said to be coming from the domain of sky [another dimension] because God is believed to be beyond all elements of nature. It is only on reaching into this domain that God can be seen or realised. One should look for the soul there only. Again, He has been likened to a small child or toddler for the reason that He, too, is untouched by any sins or virtues just as a child is. Meditating on the inner sound, the practitioner upon entering into the divine conduit (Sushumna) passes sequentially through different spheres of sounds in the increasing order of their subtlety or fineness to eventually arrive into the realm of the Subtlest Sound and is able to realise God in the end.
"Avai sangai jAi akelA | TAthain Gorakh Ram ramelA ||
KAyA hans sangi hwai AvA | JAtA jogI kinahu na pAvA ||
JIvat jag mein muA samAN | PrAN puris kat kiyA payAN ||
JAmaN maraN bahuri viyogI | TAthain Gorakh bhailA yogI ||03||"
The conscious soul comes into this world accompanied by, or attached to, a body; but while leaving the world it departs alone leaving the (gross) body behind. This is why Gorakh Nath, rejecting all attachment to the body & bodily pleasures, keeps himself engrossed in, or takes delight, in Ram or God alone. Accompanying body the soul came to this world. However, no one could see a yogi parting the world leaving his body behind. Such a yogi lives in the world like a dead or a lifeless person. Nobody is aware of where has the prAn purush (the conscious soul) gone. Seeing the inevitability of being born and dying again and again, and seeing the inevitability of painful separation from the body everytime, Gorakhnath turned a yogi severing all attachment with the body. ||2||
The pleasure of body is the same as the pleasure of senses. The joy that is derived out of this is a short-lived joy, evanescent joy. Therefore, we should get absorbed, renouncing this sensual pleasure, in the all-pervading Supreme Soul, or Ram; this would yield permanent bliss, eternal bliss. A yogi departs this world, throwing off all bodily attachments permanently. Nobody, neither angels nor the lieutenants of Yamaraj, the Death God, are able to find or catch him; they can catch hold of only such persons who are not yogis. Such souls, being under the subjugation of death, have to leave, though unwillingly or against their will, the gross body & the world, controlled by the force of death. However, such souls, even after death (of the body), remain tied to other types of body namely, the astral body, the causal body and the supra-causal body; and even the desire to remain attached to the gross body persists. Therefore, it will keep on assuming, or getting tied to, (newer) gross bodies by getting born again and again and being caught by the messengers of the Death God again and again. A yogi, on the other hand, by attending satsang, serving the Guru and practising the ways to unite with the God comes to realise the evanescence and the traumatic end of all the gross bodies and attraction for related enjoyments, and, therefore, completely renounces all sorts of such attachments. Thus, he, with the grace of Guru and God, becomes his own master…and when he departs this world, at his own free will, he does so snapping all the worldly and bodily ties; nobody can catch hold of such a Yogi. The very cause of his rebirth is annihilated and he attains total freedom by merging into God:
"PrayAnkAle manasAchalen bhaktyAyukto yogabalen chaiv | Bhruvormadhye prAnam Aveshya samyak sa tam param purushamupaiti divyam ||"
(Shrimad Bhagvad Gita, Chap. 8 Hymn 10)
[He who, at the time of his death, fills his mind with devotion and focuses/ concentrates the currents of consciousness at (a point in front of) the centre of the two eyebrows by the power of Yoga, attains to that Supreme Being, that is, God.]