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“The concept of Sahaj is central and pivotal in Guru Nanak’s mystical thought. It relates to the highest spiritual state humanly attainable and has thus deepest connotations attached to it. The ordinary meaning of Sahaj [is] ‘just what it should be’ or ‘just normal’. In other words, a simple human proposition: that a man should become a man par excellence, a real man; no adhesions, no default, no accretions, no deviations.

But this paradoxical word Sahaj does not go with mere ‘saying’ or verbal expression. It is an actuality, a real human state, a tangible workable human achievement. Guru Nanak himself … experienced directly the blissful union with God and the concomitant divine manifestations attending such beatitude.

Sahaj is originally a Sanskrit word which means ‘having been born together’ and thus something inwardly perceived or intuited along with one’s birth as a human being – a sort of indwelling mystical principle of divine perception given to man as his birthright and therefore, a natural and effortless heritage of divinity ingrained in humanity.

Properly speaking, Sahaj is the very mysticality of religion. It is the acceptance of inwardness and intuitionism as the true basis of religion, to the negation of all ritualistic externalities. Sahaj in this meaning would be the mystical state of a man who has accepted the divine will. Sahaj, thus, is the highest spiritual state attainable in Sikhism. It is the highest bliss.

Sahaj connotes a natural slowness and steadiness required for perfect action. Sahaj is the opposite of inordinate haste. Sahaj is compactness and self-sufficiency, while haste is flippancy and inner weakness. Sahaj would mean equipoise, equanimity and equilibrium. It may be called ‘balanced perspicacity’ or sambuddhata, in the psychological sense. All true balance and true action (which may be called Sahaj-karam, as distinct from the self-willed action) engender aesthetic as well as spiritual pleasure, while spiritual fulfillment produces infinite bliss.”

From a book on Guru Nanak by Dewan Singh

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