What is Hukam?
Hukam means order: that is God’s order. By God’s order all forms came into existence. The Divine Will is responsible for the creation, sustenance and dissolution of man and the Universe. Whatever happens is by His Will. Hukam takes the form of Natural Laws or Universal axioms. All the parts of the Universe are under His control.
According to Sikhi, true happiness is attained by accepting and submitting to the Divine Will. Guru Nanak says:
ਕਿਵ ਸਚਿਆਰਾ ਹੋਈਐ ਕਿਵ ਕੂੜੈ ਤੁਟੈ ਪਾਲਿ ॥
ਹੁਕਮਿ ਰਜਾਈ ਚਲਣਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੧॥
“How can I be truthful and break the wall of falsehood?
By submission to His Will, as it is ingrained in me.”
Living in harmony with the Divine Will brings everlasting peace. Like a child, the disciple is to be guided by the elders. Everything emanates from Him and is, therefore significant. Saints and martyrs, in spite of occult powers, have submitted to torture and death in order to honour His Will. “Thy Will be done” is one of the basic principles of Sikhi. This does not imply the negation of individual volition. A Sikh must bring his will in line with the Will of God.
What is God’s Hukam? The Gurus tell us that God’s command is that one must merge one’s will in His Will. The service of God’s creation is the best way of working in harmony with the Divine Will. Secondly, God desires that man who has the Divine essence in him should once again merge in Him and thereby end the cycle of Karma and transmigration.
Submission to God’s Will produces a sense of humility and self-abnegation. When man surrenders himself completely to him, he regards himself as an instrument of His Will. He realizes that whatever comes from Him is for his own good. Every misery that he faces is a sort of mercy. He is full of gratitude and prayer for all he has done. Guru Arjan says:
ਜੋ ਤੁਧੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਸੋ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥ ਤੇਰੇ ਭਾਣੇ ਨੋ ਕੁਰਬਾਣੁ ॥
“What pleases Thee, O Lord, that is acceptable.
To Thy Will, I am a sacrifice.”
The only antidote for egoism and vanity is complete surrender to His Will. Only by conquering the self, can one enter the realm of God’s Grace.