Dasam Dvar, the tenth door opens into the abode of God, the Creator
DASAM DVAR (Sanskrit Dasamadvara), literally meaning "tenth gate", has been refered to in SGGS signifying the door to enlightenment and vision being only through NAAM DAAN & ISHNAAN.
This term originate from the Hathayogic system, where it is also known as brahmrandhra, moksadvara, mahapatha and madhya marga, the terms frequently used in the esoteric literature of medieval India. Also sometimes written as "Dasam DUara"
It is a term of religious physiology and its significance lies in its being a concept in the framework of soteriological ideology. Nine apertures (navdvaras) opening towards outside the body serve the physical mechanism of human personality but when their energy, normally being wasted, is consciously channelized towards the self, the tenth gate or the dasamdvar opens inside the body and renders a hyper-physical service by taking the seeker beyond the bondage of embodied existence.
The human body is endowed with nine doors also called holes or streams. These nine are: two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, mouth, anus, and urethra. All these are vital organs of living organism called human being. The Pali Suttanipata (verse 199. In Khuddak nikaya, vol. 1, p. 297) is perhaps one of the very first Indian texts which mentions the idea of nine `holes' in the body. It is from a philosophically ascetic or Sramanic standpoint that the human body is described in this text as a mass of bones, sinews, flesh, etc. and as a bag for belly, intestines, liver, heart, bladder, lungs, kidneys, blood, bile, etc. "Ever from its nine streams (navahi sotehi) the unclean flows." The Svetasvatara Upanisad (III. 18) and the Bhagavadgita (V. 13) refer to human body as "a city with nine gates" (nava dvara pure dehi) in which the Self dwells, neither acting nor causing to act....
The notion of dasam dvar, written as dasam duar, occurs several times in the Guru Granth Sahib. Sikhism is a strictly monotheistic system belief and it must be stated at the outset that according to Sikh view of the dasam dvar, the tenth door opens into the abode of God, the Creator —dasam duara agam apara param purakh ki ghati (GG, 974), and again —nau ghar thape thapanharai dasvai vasa alakh aparai (GG, 1036)....
The nine doors (nau daryaje) and the tenth door are often mentioned together to show their differences. The unstruck sound is heard at the tenth door when it is freed from the shackles of nine doors in the body—nau darvaje dasvai mukta anahad sabadu vajavania (GG, 110). It is believed that the tenth door is closed by a hard diamond-like door (bajar kapat) which is haumai (self-centredness). This hard and strong door is opened and the darkness of haumai is dispelled by the instruction of the Teacher (Guru). In other words, the tenth door is the door of enlightenment and it opens only when the door consisting of haumai is broken. It is taken for granted in Sikhism that the tenth door is the supreme state of the mind. It is certainly not a physical door; it is that state of purified consciousness in which God is visible and all contacts with physical existence are cut off. It is called a being's own house (nij-ghar), that is to say, a being's real nature which is like light (joti sarup). One hears day and night the anahad sabda there when one dwells in one's own house through the tenth door—nau dar thake dhavatu rahae, dasvai nijghari vasa pae (GG, 124).
At few places in the Gurbani, the term dasam duar has been used to denote ten organs—five sensory organs and five organs of action, i.e. jnanendriyas and karmendriyas. Says Guru Nanak: "Hukami sanjogi gari das duar, panch vasahi mili joti apar"—in the fortress of the body created in his hukam are ten doors. In this fort five subtle elements of sabda (sound), sparsa (touch), rupa (sight), rasa (taste) and grandha (smell) abide having the infinite light of the Lord in them (GG, 152). The amrit which flows at the tenth door is the essence of Divine name (nam ras) according to the Guru; it is not the physical elixir of immortality conceived by the Siddhas, nor is this amrit to be found by awakening kundalini or by practising khecari mudra; it is to be found through the Teacher's instruction. When the Satguru is encountered then one stops from running (after the nine doors) and obtains the tenth door. Here at this door the immortalizing food (amrit bhojan), the innate sound (sahaj dhuni) is produced—dhavatu thammia satiguri miliai dasva duaru paia; tithai amrit bhojanu sahaj dhuni upajai jitu sabadi jagatu thammi rahaia (GG, 441).
This wholesome spot is not outside the physical frame. The second Guru also refers to the fort (kotu) with nine doors; the tenth door is hidden (gupatu); it is closed by a hard door which can be opened by the key of the Guru's word (GG, 954). According to Guru Amar Das, Nanak III, he alone is released who conquers his mind and who keeps it free from defilement; arriving at the tenth door, and staying there he understands all the three spheres (GG, 490).
The importance of dasam dvar is of considerable theological interest. Here at the tenth door the anahad sabda (unstruck sound) is heard; here the divine drink of immortality trickles down; and here the devotee meets with the invisible and inaccessible transcendental Brahman who is described by the sages as unutterable (GG, 1002). The devotional theology of Sikhism requires that the gateway of ultimate release can open only by God's will. The tenth door is closed with the adamantine hard door (bajar kapat) which can be opened duly with the Guru's word. Inside the front (i.e. the body) is the tenth door, the house in the cavity (gupha ghar); in this fort nine doors have been fixed according to Divine ordinance (hukam); in the tenth door the Invisible, Unwritten, Unlimited Person shows Himself—bhitari kot gupha ghar jai nau ghar thape hukami rajai; dasvai purakhu alekhu apari ape alakhu lakhaida (GG, 1033). This is the view expressed by the founder of Sikhism and he repeats it at another place also. He says that the Establisher has established nine houses (nau ghar) or nine doors in the city of this body; the Invisible and Infinite dwells at the tenth house or tenth door (GG, 1036)....
For the most part, however, the Sikh Scripture stresses the need for realization of the dasam duar, apart from God's ordinance (hukam) and Teacher's compassion (kirpa, prasad) and the necessity of transcending the realm of three-strand nature (triguna maya).
1. Sher Singh, The Philosophy of Sikhism. Lahore, 1944
2. Dasgupta, Sasibhusan, Obscure Religious Cults. Calcutta, 1962
3. Hathyoga-Pradipika. Adyar, 1972
4. Briggs, G. Weston, Gorakhnath and Kanphata Yogis, Delhi, 1973
5. Jodh Singh, Religious Philosophy of Guru Nanak. Varanasi, 1983.
Above adapted from article By L. M. Joshi
Concepts In Sikhism - Edited by Dr. Surinder Singh Sodhi
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