by Shiv Charan Singh
Now, let’s meditate on Nirvair.
Nirvair translates as ‘without revenge, vengeance or animosity.’ It comes after Nirbhau in the Mool Mantra, showing us that we need to reach the fearless state before we can let go of the past. Nirvair, no enemy, implies that we are clear with our past. That there is no unfinished story that we are carrying forward. No crutches, no excuses, no blaming or shaming, no guilt. Nirvair is a quality associated with God or Godliness.
As Godliness, it means it is a quality within our own being; our dormant Divine nature. Having no enemy means not to be against the one that is against you. Therefore it would not be true to say that God attacks or takes revenge on anyone, even those who are atheists or in other ways question or deny the Divine. And the Godliness in ourselves would also not feel animosity towards those who may reject our choice of faith. An enemy is one who can threaten you. But if you first cultivate Nirbhau then there is no fear of being harmed.
Thanks to the grace and breath of the Nirbhau state it is possible to be free of protective prejudices, free of judgemental labeling, and therefore to be, not only forgiving, but also pre-forgiving; this is Nirvair. Ready to overlook any apparent shortcoming or fault of others before they are even noticed. Ready to tear up the records/files/accounts that our subconscious wants to keep on others. Ready to un-see and see beyond. In this way, there is no accumulating bitterness that will tighten around our heart as we get old.
With all the injustices of life it is easy to slip into justifying revenge. It is not easy to draw the line between justice and revenge. Many myths and legends, as well as popular movies, are based on stories about revenge. The hero gets payback, but is this justice? Seeking the enemy is to always look through the eyes of suspicion. Always looking for someone to blame, someone to shame, someone to punish (including oneself). It is feeding the burning fire (greed) of the ever-active and ever-hungry mind.
Staying on the surface of life the mind has not yet found the infinitely deep well of immortal nectar.
The pain of injustices experienced or witnessed, or even just heard about, naturally moves us to address what feels like an imbalance, a disharmony. And with the state of Nirbhau we are not afraid to confront and fight if we must. But any engagement is done in freedom, and freely released at the earliest opportunity; there is no holding on.
The Law of Karma is action and its reaction, cause and effect, sowing the seeds and reaping the harvest, serves to balance things out. This could be called natural justice. It does not have to be confused with revenge. The consequences that come back to us a result of our actions, word or thoughts have nothing to do with God being angry or punishing. Rather it is an integral part of practical life and natural law that serves our learning. Only when we are free of our own attachments, avoidances, or other reactions to pleasure and pain. When these things are felt as equal and we do not rush to one, as if it were a friend, or run from the other, as if it were an enemy. Then we can enter the state of Nirvair and see the relation of sequences and consequences – past, present and future. With no animosity, the eyes are clean and clear. We see the world as God sees it. We cherish, protect and honour the creation. We see God in all. We see all creation as the Body of God.
In Gurbani, the quality of Nirvair is often mentioned in conjunction with Nirankar – The Formless One. Our past stories are shapes in our own mind. To be free of the past is to have a transparency and therefore a window into the Formless realm. Meditating on the Formless frees us of the bonds of form. Such transparency means on the one hand that the Divine (Har) is near at hand, while on the other hand, being Formless, it remains invisible. Therefore contemplation, reflection and meditation, to calibrate to the Guru’s wisdom, is the way to bring about a direct perception of the Truth.
Shiv Charan Singh is Director of the International Karam Kriya School and Quinta do Rajo in Portugal. He is a Trustee of the Guru Ram Das Project charity, which he founded in London in 2003. Read more