Ik Onkar wallpaper

Today I am sharing a wallpaper that can be used as the center piece of your screen. It explains the meaning of Ik Onkar. This is my own interpretation, apologies if I have got it wrong – please let me know through the comments section.

Ik Onkar

Click on the photo for a bigger version.

Excellent Punjabi explanation of Ik Onkar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI0YVfRGLBc

Central to the meaning of Ik Onkar is the following couplet from Gurbani:

ਏਕਮ ਏਕੈ ਆਪੁ ਉਪਾਇਆ ॥
एकम एकै आपु उपाइआ ॥
At first existed the formless One without any manifestation, Who then became manifest.

ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਦੂਜਾ ਤ੍ਰਿਬਿਧਿ ਮਾਇਆ ॥
दुबिधा दूजा त्रिबिधि माइआ ॥
He created the sense of duality, and thereafter came the tri-phased Maya.

ਚਉਥੀ ਪਉੜੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਊਚੀ ਸਚੋ ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੪॥
चउथी पउड़ी गुरमुखि ऊची सचो सचु कमावणिआ ॥४॥
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By climbing the steps under the guidance of the Guru, and earning the Guru’s Order – one finally liberates oneself from the influence of Maya and reaches the Fourth State of Eternal Truth.


Maya is everything that we can see with our eyes and the emotions we feel. The True Lord is the underlying hidden entity.

So, within “Ik Onkar”, the “Onk” or the “Ong” stands for Maya and represents the “creation, preservation and destruction”. The “Ik”, which means “One” stands for the Lord in innate state. So first existed the formless Lord, Who then manifested as the visible universe (and universes beyond ours). Within the universe there is the positive energy of the Lord, which takes care of his Creation, and the negative energy of Maya which is responsible for sorrow: love, hate, anger etc. The suffix “Kar”, in Punjabi, means a boundary or demarcation (eg. the Punjabi word Raamkaar). Here, it means the demarcation of Divine Will. So, all creation-preservation-destruction happens under the Divine Will and is not random. One who grasps hold of this Divine Will, under the Guru’s instructions is liberated and reaches the highest zone of Eternal truth. He is not subject to Maya’s influence anymore.

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