This is the very intent of singing his praises – understand it! Again and again Nanak says one cannot describe him, we cannot enumerate his attributes, for there is no way to do so. And yet Nanak keeps on recounting his attributes. What is he doing? If he can’t be described what is the need for so many words? They do nothing but express his qualities. We are faced by a metaphysical riddle.
People come to me and ask if the Buddha says that nothing can be said about him, then why does Buddha speak? They also tell me, “You say nothing can be expressed in words about him, and here you are talking every day! It seems so inconsistent.”
Try to understand. Nanak says he cannot speak about him and he speaks constantly of him; for while recounting his attributes, the speaker slips into samadhi. He is not done with praising him, he cannot praise him enough, but oh, it is so lovely to talk of him! The talk is never complete; having said so much, nothing has been told. Everything seems unsaid. But it gives so much joy to talk about him, that one slips into meditation recounting his ways. No amount of talking conveys anything, but in the course of speaking the speaker is lost.
Many fall, lost in meditation, even while reciting His attributes.
The Vedas talk of Him, and puranas study Him;
And learned ones describe Him; so also Indra and Brahma;
The gopis and Krishna speak of Him: and Vishnu and the siddhas;
And many, many buddhas; and demons and deities too.
Men and sages and those who serve, they all sing His praise.
To speak of him is not for the sake of speaking, but as a method of meditation. To discuss him is a way to be lost in him. To talk about him is to be ready for him. Even to sit where he is being discussed and listen – perhaps a drop of this rain may fall on you. Perhaps your parched throat may be relieved; perhaps some word may pierce your deaf ears and enter within; perhaps your blind eyes may get a ray of light; perhaps your thoughts may for a little while be soaked in the color and melody of his music; and perhaps you may fall silent for a while and your internal dialogue may be interrupted.
Nanak sings of him, for while singing of him he is lost in him. Not only the singer, but even the listener is lost in him. Therefore Nanak did not speak, he always sang. It is easier when you sing. He used singing so that the internal chord may be tuned. In the rhythm of the song you may perhaps touch the fringe of that profound silence; then you will never forget it.
Nanak also stresses the importance of associating with saints. Associate with people who talk of him, sing of him. By and by, with constant hearing, the color will begin to spread over you too. When you walk through a garden, your clothes pick up the fragrance of the flowers without your knowing it. If you stand out in the morning sun the warm rays will cause the blood within you to flow faster. And if you lie beneath the starry sky and watch the moon, its cool light is bound to find a place within you.