“What will you put before him?” Nanak asks. How shall we approach – with what – so that we can see his courts, and can come near him? What shall we put before him – rice dipped in saffron, flowers from the market, wealth, treasures – what?
No! No gift will serve the purpose. To understand that everything is his, is enough. The gift is accepted! As long as you feel something belongs to you, you think of offering something. As long as you consider yourself the master you may give if you like, but you err. Anything you may offer – your whole kingdom – is nothing. For everything is his, even you are his! Whatever you have earned, whatever you have gathered is all his play.
Nanak says, “What shall we do to stand in your court, to stand in your presence? To look into each other’s eyes? When you come to understand that everything is already his, there is no need to take anything. The flowers on the tree are already an offering to him; everything stands offered at his lotus feet – even the sun and the moon and the stars. What will your miserable lamps do before the orb of the sun? Open your eyes and see that all of existence stands offered at his feet. This exactly is the meaning of the word master. He is the master of all, everything stands as an offering to him.”
So Nanak says, “What are we to give?” This is Nanak’s question: “What language shall we speak, hearing which, he may love us? What shall we say to him? What words shall we use? How should we entertain him? How shall we please him? What shall we do so that his love pours on us?”
Nanak does not seem to give any answer. He raises the question and leaves it unanswered. And that is the art, because he says that whatever we say, it is he who speaks through us. What is so exceptional in offering his own words to him? Only in ignorance can it be done. Wisdom recognizes that: “Nothing is left to offer him because I too am an offering at his feet.” No words can become a prayer, because all words are his. It is he who speaks; it is he who throbs within the heart; it is he who is the breath of breaths. Then what is the wise one to do?
Nanak says: Remember satnam, the true name, and its glories in the ambrosial hour. There is nothing else to be done. What is the wise one, the sensible person to do?
Remember the true name and meditate on its glory in the ambrosial hour.
The Hindus call it sandhya which literally means evening; it is used to designate the hour of prayer at twilight and at dawn. Nanak calls it amrit vela which means nectar or ambrosia time. It is an even more appropriate name. The Hindus have been working on this path for thousands of years. In search of the reality of existence and exploring consciousness, they have found paths in almost all directions; almost nothing is left undiscovered. They have gradually determined that in the twenty-four hours of the day there are two short periods of sandhya.