QUDRAT (spelled qudrati in gurbani), a term adopted by Guru Nanak from the Arabic and given a philosophical signification and connotation which, to some extent but with different shades of sense, had till then been conveyed by the milenniaold Indian words prakriti and mdyd. Qudrat, in Arabic, literally means power, might. In the Turkish language, the word came to mean power, strength, omnipotence of God, as also Creation. The same term, in Persian, denotes power, potency, authority of God, the Creation, Universe, Nature.

In Arabic, the term qudrat connotes “that which is under the power and authority of its Master, God, who, in the Quran, has been given the attributes of alqddir, alqadir (both standing for “mighty”) and alkhaliq. Creator. Guru Nanak has employed the term qudrat to include both these Quranic attributes of God, alqddir and alkhaliq. Guru Nanak employed the term qudrat to denote the idea of Divine might. There was presumably also the need to find a parallel for prakriti which in Indian thought was postulated as coeternal with Purusa. Moreover, in Guru Nanak`s vocabulary, parallels from Perso Arabic sources are freely used as these were current among the common mass of people.

This was also in keeping with his spririt of tolerance. Many examples such as sahib, pir, mir and khasam can be cited. Guru Nanak`s religious system, based on the One absolute Purakh as the matrix of the world, did not accept the dualism of purusa and prakriti of Sdnkhya Kdrikd which, broadly speaking, corresponds to the concepts of subject and object, or duality of mind and matter or life and nature. In his philosophical system, the world has a Creator, and Nature being what is created has no absolute basis independent of and apart from the Karta Purakh.

Nature as such is merely an extension of or an emanation from Purakh. Neither the Vedic Purusa nor the Purusa of Sarikhya is the Creator or Controller of the world. In Guru Nanak`s system, He is both the Creator and the Controller. Qudrat is the eated object, the Creator`s might. Here drat stands for the material phenomena as 1] as for power, might, strength, wonder`oking omnipotence, the authority of God. 3uru Nanak`s view, the potentiality and ilty of recreation as well as the varied ns and phenomena of the world are qudmt ndyd. The term mdyd has been rendered illusion, unreality, deception, material anglements, etc. It is held to imply, so far reation is concerned, the phantasmago3r hallucination of appearances.

In fact, ndian philosophy, mdyd signifies the pro, by which unity becomes multiplicity and nogeneity heterogeneity, in the unfoldof the cosmos. It is the answer to the ^ma of the multiplicity of forms, in which world appears to us. God instantly crei uncountable forms through His power qudrat “anik rup khin mdhi qudrati mria”(GG,519). In the compositions of Guru Nanak, as > of his successors in the holy office of ruship, qudrat stands for what is meant in icral by this term in India, Divine might. iad in that context a philosophical signiition, but because of the term becoming nmon current coin, its philosophical refnce was not called to mind, as also in the oallel case of mdyd. In a few contexts.

Guru nak also used it in the extended sense of ation, of whatever is manifested by the eration of Divine might. In VdrAsd in the ebalihdn qudrati vasid terd antu na jdi hid (GG, 469)qudrat obviously implies what ; Divine might has created, in what it is rvasive. In Mdjh kt Vdr, line “ape qudrati sdji `: ape kare tnchdru ” (GG, 143), again qudrat is oation, phenomena, the manifest world. art from a few such contexts, qudrat genilly in gurbdm stands for Divine might. That also the sense in which the generality of opie in India use it. That only indicates it the Guru had adopted a term from com?n everyday usage that was familiar, and ed it, without necessarily any thought of preferring it over maya on any philosophical grounds.

As a matter of fact, the world of reference, the context and background of the two terms arc distinct. Mdyd has a/ways a clear or implied chico philosophical meaning in gurbdm. Wherever it stands for phenomena, qudrat is used as a neutral term, free from any pejorative suggestion. Hence the two terms cannot be studied as parallel beyond a certain point. Guru Nanak says that for millions and trillions of aeons there was utter darkness and only the Infinite One, in its unmanifest form existed, (GG, 1035). However, then the unmanifest Real One, who is self existent, created qudratdpmai dpu sdjio dpmai rachio ndu, dut qudrati sdjiai kari dsanu ditho chdu (GG, 463).

However, qudrat is intrinsically one with its Creator because the latter is manifest in it, though the two cannot be termed `identical or coeternal. Guru Nanak also holds that qudrat, as power and might, acts as the regulator of the working of all the entities and forces of Nature. Fear or bhay controls all forces of Nature such as winds, waters, fires, the earth, clouds, sun, moon, the firmament, as also the siddhas, the buddhas and yogis or heroes and brave warriors and ordinary people (GG, 461).` In the Guru Granth Sahib, creation has been accepted as real, true, mighty, sublime, wonderful and lawabiding, yet there is no tendency towards animation, personification or deification of the forces and manifestations of Nature, as has been the case with the Vedic deities or in Greek mythology. Nature worship, in any form, is nonexistent in the Sikh faith.

In that stanza of unsurpassed beauty and conception, in the Sodar, all forces of Nature such as water, wind, and fire, all gods such as Siva, Brahma and Visnu, such objects as the seas and mountains are shown as praising the Lord and working in unison, according to His will. However, it is not unoften that some instruction or inspiration has been drawn from certain relationships, existing or supposed to be existing, in nature and cosmos. But this tends towards poetic imagery and not towards philosophy or theology. No proofs have been set out in the Guru Granth Sahib for the existence of God, which has been accepted selfevidently; but sometimes, cosmic reality and nature have been cited as proofs of the existence of the Supreme Consciousness working behind phenomena. The Hid, play, pasdrd, expansion, rachand, creation otqudrat, have come out of the sunn (Sunya), the vacuum which is filled with Divine Reality (GG, 1037).

References :

1. Pannu, Harpal Singh, Guru Ndnak da Qudrat Sidhdnt. Patiala, 1987
2. Caveeshar, Sardul Singh, Sikh Dharam Darshan. Patiala, 1987
3. Avtar Singh, Ethics of the Sikhs. Patiala, 1970
4. Harbans Singh, ed.. Perspectives on Guru Nanak. Patiala, 1975
5. Pandey, R.R., Man and the Universe. Delhi, 1978
6. Pritam Singh, Trinity of Sikhism. Jalandhar, 1973
7. Talib, Gurbachan Singh, Guru Nanak, His Personality and Vision. Delhi, 1969
8. Wazir Singh, Philosophy of Sikh Religion. Delhi, 1981