Ishq – Gurdas Maan on universal spiritual love

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In 2016 Gurdas Maan was interviewed at Google. In this interview he said something so profound that it put all his songs into perspective. Not only that but his philosophy for living. He said that no matter where his songs/poetry begins it always ends at one place. We know that Gurdas has written about many different things, health (tandrustian), education (mohabbat zindabad), women’s rights (Kudiye), we could go on and on. So when we take a critical look at his work and tried and find this common thread. The point at which all of these seemingly differing subjects meet is love, Ishq. We are not talking about just lustful love here. We are talking about a universal spiritual love. A love that has a force of its own. A power to transform not only hearts and minds but karma too.

In ancient greek culture there was known to be 8 different types of love, yes 8! Only once we delve deeper into the meanings of these different types of Love can we begin to understand the power of love. It is the power of life itself. Eros, erotic love, for example is the first kind of love. One that is well known in contemporary culture. It is a passionate and intense form that arouses romantic and sexual feelings. Eros is primal and powerful but burns out quickly. In contrast to this is Agape, universal, unconditional love. This is the highest and most radical love. It is selfless and spiritual. Love is another dimension that exist hidden within this. Love is the unseen power that literally holds the universe together.

In order to love and live life to the fullest you must be prepared to put aside any preconceived notions, any prejudices, any societal biases, everything! This can be challenging as our learnings and experiences imprint deep into our psyche. In order to enter the dimensions of love you have to transcend everything you have learnt up to now.

In most spiritual traditions, the path of love is the most pure and sacred. It is said to be the shortest and quickest route to God and spiritual truth. However, it is not without it trials and tribulations. Love requires the deepest faith and commitment. It is often said that no matter how unfaithful the object of desire can be, the person who has truly loved will never lose. The rewards for having this spiritual force, is not only life changing, is the very essence of life itself. It is the very driving force of the universe. This force is shown in many  popular movies, none so clearly as in Star Wars. It is shown as the underlying energy that anyone can tap into. It protects, gives direction and always serves the highest good. It is the light side. The dark side being fear, anger, lust etc. also seen in spiritual traditions as the deadly vices, or 5 thieves in the Sikh tradition. Love has a flow of its own and its own agenda. It transforms anyone it touches. If/when a person can be privileged to tune into this frequency, one can experience states of euphoria that are unparalleled in this world, no matter what the external circumstances may seem.

Osho, a renowned teacher of meditation, once famously said:

“Love isn’t a business transaction. You can’t offer this and that and hope to get this and that in return. True Love is unconditional. You must offer everything and you may not get anything in return.”

Such a profound statement is the reality for many people who are on a spiritual or religious adventure. This attitude or state of mind, where a person is prepared to sacrifice everything for truth, is the requirement to be able to travel this journey.

There is no better song that addresses this subject than – Ishq – from the album Dil Hona Chahida  Javan. In this profound piece of art, Gurdas speaks using a different voice. He is no longer the voice of the oppressed, or the seeker. In this song he speaks as Love itself, he speaks as life, as man’s higher self. He talks directly to man, the lower self.

Life asks what are you going to do be befriending me?

You are so scared of the world, how are you going to love?

You can make friends with me but can you fulfill this friendship. You are hungry yourself, how are you going to feed others?

Your head which is so difficult to lift, in fear of society and its opinions, how will you lose it with dignity for me? Think carefully, think deeply about love, the rivers here flow in the opposite direction.


The attitude and strength needed for this quest is stated bluntly. This isn’t a path for the weak minded, or the ones who fear the opinion of others. Fill yourself with life force, with love and only then will you be able to fulfill the tasks asked of you by Love.

He goes on ….

You fear your own humanity. You are trapped in this cycle of birth and death, and you keep dying. Even when no one is looking you feel ashamed. You still need to grasp the finger of an elder (searching for approval), how will you make the necessary sacrifice.

Life and death are just dramas. But in order to live one must first learn to die.  It is true what the spirituals folk say. To die in love has its own pleasure.

Here, to die, isn’t necessarily a physical death, but a death of the ego, the lower self, the educated ego. It means that one must be prepared to endure any type of hardship. But this endurance, this dissolving of the lower self into truth, into love has its own pleasure. This is the truth for many who are already ahead on the path.

Gurdas then leaves us with an image.

He says this world is massive, however it rests of on the life of these crazy lovers.

This is an amazing picture that is painted in our minds. It makes me feel that what if these giants of humanity didn’t make the sacrifices they did, where would the world be now? Where would we be? We owe a lot to those with infinite belief and courage who have kept leading the way for humanity to unravel itself.

Heaven and hell are both present in this moment but without desire there is nothing.

In order to go down this path your focus and desire must be fixed. You need courage, determination and endurance. You must be brave. Yes, love is the answer to not only all life’s challenges, love is the answer to life itself. This is not a quick business transaction. This is a lifelong, moment to moment commitment. The rewards rush to the surface and overflow and keep on overflowing, it never ends. It is the everlasting treasure. Do you have the courage to pursue this path?

In our next article Gurdas says don’t ever mistake my higher love for worldly love, “jeh tu ashiq baniah ve”, is from the film Shaheed Udham and is portrayed as the iconic moment when Udham Singh Meets Bhagat Singh for the first time.

Idea & Concept by
Written By Ranjeev Singh Sidhu
(Author & Spiritual Scientist)

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