Mahakaal Part 1

Mahakaal Part 1


by Harnaak Singh

(Audio Transcript)

Gur Sikh Jio.  Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.

We are going to share some thoughts, about Mahakaal.

Some quarters say, that, the author of Dasam Granth,

Guru Gobind Singh Ji, paid obeisance to Mahaakal

who they claim is Shivji, one of the Vedanta or Hindu Trinity.

Veer Swaran Singh Ji, has elaborated on this, in a separate posting.

We will in this discussion add further to his discourse.

Let us first, see what some credible dictionaries have to say, about the meaning of Mahakaal.

 Mahan Kosh

defines ਮਹਾਕਾਲ Mahakaal with a number of meanings.

(1) FIRST: ਕਾਲ ਦਾ ਭੀ ਕਾਲ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲਾ, ਯਮ, ਸ਼ਿਵ ਆਦਿ ਜਗਤ ਦਾ ਅੰਤ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲੇ ਭੀ ਜਿਸ ਵਿਚ ਲੈ ਜੋ ਜਾਂਦੇ, ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ, ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ  One who is the death of death, to whom Jum ਜਮ (God of death) and Shiv pay obeisance to, that is Vaheguru or God.

(2) SECOND: ਉਹ ਲੰਮਾ ਸਮਾ ਜਿਸ ਦਾ ਅੰਤ ਅਸੀਂ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਣ ਸਕਦੇ  A very long period of time, that we cannot imagine the end of.

(3) THIRD: ਸਮੇ ਨੂੰ ਹੀ ਕਰਤਾ ਹਰਤਾ ਮਨੰਣ ਵਾਲਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਮਤ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ਅਨੰਤ ਰੂਪ ਕਾਲ  according to those, who believe in the creator-destroyer of time, he is in the form of “endless time”.

(4) FOURTH:  ਕਾਲਕਾ ਪੁਰਾਣ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ਸ਼ਿਵ ਦਾ ਇੱਕ ਵਾਰ ਸ਼ਿਵ ਨੇ ਅਪਣਾ ਵੀਰਯ ਅਗਿਨ ਵਿੱਚ ਅਸਥਾਪਨ ਕੀਤਾ, ਉਸ ਵੇਲੇ ਦੋ ਬੂੰਦਾ ਬਾਹਰ ਡਿਗ ਪਈਆਂ, ਇਕ ਬੂੰਦ ਤੋਂ ਮਹਾਕਾਲ ਅਤੇ ਦੂਜੀ ਤੋਂ ਭ੍ਰਿੰਗੀ ਪੈਦਾ ਹੋਇਆ The Kalka Puran states that, Shiv manifested as fire, Agni, from which two sparks produced Mahakaal and Bhringi ਭ੍ਰਿੰਗੀ

(5) FIFTH: ਉਜੈਨ ਵਿੱਚ ਮਹਾਕਾਲ ਨਾਮਕ ਸ਼ਿਵਲਿੰਗ  the Jyotirlinga at Mahakaleshwar Ujjian is called Mahakaal.  Jyotirlinga is a black stone which is used to represent Mahakaal.

Punjabi University Patiala: Punjabi- English Dictionary

lists ਮਹਾਕਾਲ Mahakaal as

  • ONE: eternal time
  • TWO: God.

Armed with the different meanings of Mahakaal let’s now look at what

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji

has to say.

Mahakaal is referred to in the following verse

ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਤੂ ਜੀਵਹਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਨ ਖਾਈ ਮਹਾ ਕਾਲੁ ॥੧॥  SGGS 885BL1 M:5 Ramkalee

English translation by Sant Singh Khalsa: Meditating in remembrance on the Lord’s Name, you shall live, and the Great Death shall not consume you ever again. ||1||

Mahakaal ਮਹਾ ਕਾਲ is translated as the GREAT DEATH by Sant Singh Khalsa.  What does this mean?

God is attributed with the qualities of creation, preservation and destruction.  The destruction aspect of God is “Mahakaal” or “Great Death” as translated above.

Why use the word “great death”.

Why not just “death”?

Death as we perceive it is the loss of life of a living entity.  When a building burns down, do we say “the building has incurred death”?

No we don’t.

That is why God’s destroying power is called “Mahakaal”.

The destroying power extends to living or non-living entities.

The word Kaal is generally understood to be death, but according to the Punjabi-English dictionary (Uni Patiala) it also means time.

So really death means “Ante (ਅੰਤ) Kaal”.

Mahakaal, on the other hand is the power of destruction, by terminating the time dimension of an entity, and this destruction, can destroy the entire universe; ONLY GOD CAN DO THIS.

The verse in SGGS therefore means

You (ਤੂ), meditate on (ਸਿਮਰਿ) the Name of God (ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ), then you will never be consumed (ਫਿਰਿ ਨ ਖਾਈ) by the destroying power of God (ਮਹਾ ਕਾਲੁ).

It is apparent that, according to SGGS Ji, Mahakaal refers to God.

Mahakaal is further explained in Dasam Granth.

We will end this discussion here and continue in Part 2 where we will look at Mahakaal in Dasam Granth.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khasla Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.

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