THE REAL PROFIT: "LAAHAA"

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਲੈ ਗਏ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਚਲੇ ਮੂਲੁ ਗਵਾਇ ਜੀਉ ॥੧੯॥:
Gurmukhi laahaa lai gaye manmukh chale moolu gavaai jeeou ||19||:
Those who have become the Gurmukhs (Spiritual Beings...), reap their (Spiritual)
Profits (of Naam, Gurmat: Aatam Giaan...) and leave, while the
Mmanmukhs (self-willed...) lose their Mool and depart. ||19|| (sggs 74).
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Literally, "Laha" (prounced Laahaa) means profit, benefit or gain. Human life in the world is of two types. The first which the majority lead is materialistic or selfish wherein only the pursuit of worldly comforts and sense-pleasure is the sole motive. While the other is a God-centered life wherein all actions are oriented to realizing the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...). Likewise, all types of "Laahaa" earned in this world can be grouped in two categories: Spiritual, and material.

The Gur-Shabad is saturated with Aatam Giaan (Divine Knowledge...). The "Laahaa" Gurbani talks about is the Spiritual Wealth - Spiritual Enlightenment, Mool-realization...

Therefore, as repeatedly urged in the Gurbani, utilization of human body for earning this real "Profit" is the true "Laahaa" of one's life. On the contrary, consummation of one's life for the sake of accumulating mere material profits or benefits, and wasting time and energy in empty religious rituals (Dhaarmic Sode-Baajee) and useless worldly entanglements (Karamkaand) is said to be the false "Laahaa".

  • ਲਾਹੇ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਆਇਆ ਜਗਿ ॥: Laahe kaarani aaiaa jagi: For the sake of earning the (Spiritual) Profit, the mortal comes into the world (sggs 931).
  • ਕਰਉ ਬੇਨੰਤੀ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਮੀਤਾ ਸੰਤ ਟਹਲ ਕੀ ਬੇਲਾ ॥ ਈਹਾ ਖਾਟਿ ਚਲਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਆਗੈ ਬਸਨੁ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ॥੧॥: Karayu benantee sunahu mere meetaa sant tahal kee belaa. Eehaa khaati chalahu hari laahaa aagai basan suhelaa ||1||: O my friends! Listen, I beg of you: now is the time to serve the godly souls (the Gurmukhs, saints, etc.)! (This way) in this world, earn the Profit of the God's Name, and hereafter, you will dwell in Peace ||1|| (sggs 13).
  • ਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਝੂਠਾ ਧਨੁ ਮਾਲੁ ॥: Bin naavai jhoothaa dhann maal: Without the Name, material wealth and property are false (sggs 197).
  • ਸਤਿ ਰਾਮੁ ਝੂਠਾ ਸਭੁ ਧੰਧਾ : Sat raam jhoothaa sabh dhandaa: God is True; false are worldy affairs (sggs 326).
Our physical body is the foremost means to Spiritual evolution; for in it is the temple of the Soul. It's the vehicle of life's journey. We can either use it for making Spiritual Profit ("Laahaa") of experiencing the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...) by living a Gurmukh life of Spiritual values and dynamic Self-unfoldment; or we can misuse, disuse, abuse or condemn it in the pursuit of false profits. The choice is left to our discretion!
  • ਕਾਇਆ ਵਿਚਿ ਤੋਟਾ ਕਾਇਆ ਵਿਚਿ ਲਾਹਾ ॥: Kaaiaa vich totaa kaaiaa vich laahaa: Within the body, one loses, and Within the body, one wins (sggs 1066).
  • ਜਨਮੁ ਜੀਤਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਾਇ ॥: Janam jeeth laahaa naam paae: Be victorious in the game of life, and earn the Spiritual profit of the Naam (sggs 162).
  • ਕਾਇਆ ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਹਰਿ ਆਪਿ ਸਵਾਰੇ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਵਿਚਿ ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਵਸੈ ਮੁਰਾਰੇ ॥: Kaaeiaa hari mandaru hari aapi savaare. Tisu vichi hari jeeou vasai muraare (sggs 1059).
  • ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਆਖੀਐ ਕਾਇਆ ਕੋਟੁ ਗੜੁ ॥: Hari kaa mandaru aakheeai kaaiaa kotu garh (sggs 952).
  • ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਹਰਿਮੰਦਰੁ ਸੋਹਣਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਮਹਿ ਮਾਣਕ ਲਾਲ ॥ ਮੋਤੀ ਹੀਰਾ ਨਿਰਮਲਾ ਕੰਚਨ ਕੋਟ ਰੀਸਾਲ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਪਉੜੀ ਗੜਿ ਕਿਉ ਚੜਉ ਗੁਰ ਹਰਿ ਧਿਆਨ ਨਿਹਾਲ ॥੨॥: Prabh hari mandar sohnaa tis mahi maanak laal. Motee heeraa nirmalaa kanchal koti reesaal. Bin payurhee garhi kiyu charhayu gur hari dhyan nihaal ||2||: The Lord's Temple ("Harmandir") is Bbeautiful. Within it, there are Gems, Rubies, Pearls and shinging Diamonds (of Naam, Giaan, Wisdom...), surrounded by the fortress of gold (human body...). (But, one) cannot climb up to (this Fortress - make the body fruitful, ਸਰੀਰ ਸਫਲਾ ਕਰਨਾ) without a ladder (of the Naam). By meditating on the Guru's Feet (Naam, Shabad-Vichaar, Gur-Giaan...), it can be beheld. ||2|| (sggs 17).
The difference between one pursuing worldly success for its own sake and a spiritual seeker is that the latter enjoys the same without seeking it! So he is not attached to them and accepts everything he enjoys in life as God's Grace. His mind remains unperturbed without desires and fear; because he knows that the Spiritual Profit is never lost! A true devotee, therefore, works righteously (Dasaan Nohaan Dee Kirat Kamaaee) to fulfill his worldly duties, and to maintain his body and mind in good condition conducive for gaining Self-knowledge (Aatam-Giaan) and realization of the Self. Beyond that, he ruthlessly shuns all types of desires; for he knows that man's selfish desires originate from ignorance of the Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...), which is of the nature of "Joti-Svaroopa".
  • ਲਾਹਾ ਸਾਚੁ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਤੋਟਾ ॥: Laahaa saach na aavai totaa: One who earns the Spiritual Profit of the True Name, will not lose it again (sggs 933).
Actions performed in material bondage do not result in purifying the mind at all. As reiterated in the scriptures, the goal of human life is liberation (Mukti) from this bondage due to which the bonded Jeeva (individual being) undergoes repeated birth and death. Liberation from this bondage puts an end to this cycle of repeated pain and delusion. The depiction of material bondage and enumeration of the means to emancipation in the scriptures make it clear that man has to strive for attaining this end in this birth. As the human body is the most evolved and suitable for realizing this Goal, the scriptures time and again remind us that in this human life a Wise should practice virtues conducive to Mool-realization from his very childhood. This is called earning of real "Profit" or "Laahaa" in life, before returning back Home — the Source.
  • ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਤੂੰ ਆਇਆ ਲਾਹਾ ਲੈਣਿ ॥: Praanee toon aaeiaa laahaa lain: O mortal, you came here to earn a Spiritual Profit (sggs 43).
  • ਲੈ ਲਾਹਾ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਘਰਿ ਆਵਹੁ ॥: Lai laahaa gurmukhi ghar aavahu: By becoming a Gurmukh, earn your Spiritual Profit, and you will return to your own Home (sggs 430).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਲਾਹਾ ਲੈ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਈਐ ਸਾਚੀ ਸਚੁ ਮਤਿ ਤੇਰੀ ॥: Nanak laahaa lai ghar jaaeeai saachee sach mati taeree: Nanak: the Spiritual Profit is earned and the Soul returns Home. True, true are Your Teachings (sggs 1111).
  • ਬੰਧਨਿ ਬਾਧਿਆ ਇਨ ਬਿਧਿ ਛੂਟੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੇਵੈ ਨਰਹਰੇ ॥੧॥: Bandhan baadhiaa in bidh shootai gurmukhi sevai narahare ||1||: Bound in bondage, the man is released only by this method: by becoming a Gurmukh, serve God ||1|| (sggs 1112).
It's a known fact that material wealth cannot be amassed without corruption. And, as indicated in the Divine Teachings, corruption and spirituality are of the opposing nature! The former is "filth" (Mall) whilst the latter is Purity. Since both are incompatible, they cannot coexist.
  • ਮਨੁ ਮੈਲਾ ਸਚੁ ਨਿਰਮਲਾ ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਜਾਇ ॥: Mann mailaa sach nirmalaa kiou kar miliaa jaai: The True Lord is Pure; (so long the man's) mind is impure (with Haumai, Bikaar, etc.); he cannot meet (Truth or the Lord) (sggs 755).
Our worldly mind deeply rooted in desires prompt all of us to act in this world. In other words, the pluralistic world of gross objects is activated by man's desires and related fear. These desires are classified under the four heading: Arthawealth or economic development), Kaam (sense gratification), Dharmafaith or Dhaarmic activities, Mokh or Moksha salvation.

In essence, when a Spiritual aspirant turns to his True Dharma and orients his life towards the Spiritual Goal of Realizing the Mool within, he is blessed with the other ends of life as well.

  • ਧਰਮੁ ਅਰਥੁ ਸਭੁ ਕਾਮੁ ਮੋਖੁ ਹੈ ਜਨ ਪੀਛੈ ਲਗਿ ਫਿਰਥਈ ॥: Dharma artha sabh kaam mokh hai jan peechhai lag firthayee: Dharma, Artha, Kaam and Moksha follow God's devotee like shadow (sggs 1320).
However, in Spiritual ignorance, one is diseased by the tendencies toward sense pleasures. Consequently, as mentioned again and again in the Gurbani (SGGS), the Dharmahas disappeared from our life.
  • ਕਲਿ ਕਾਤੀ ਰਾਜੇ ਕਾਸਾਈ ਧਰਮੁ ਪੰਖ ਕਰਿ ਉਡਰਿਆ ॥: Kal kaatee raaje kaasaayee dharma pankh kar udariyaa: Kali (thoughts, imagination, ਫੁਰਨੇ, ਕਲਪਨਾ, ਕਲਜੁਗ ਦੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਯਾ...) is the scalpel, (as a result) kings (minds...) are butchers (have become ਜਾਲਮ...), and the Dharma has taken wings and flown away (sggs 145).
Apparently, in truth, the majority of us have no sincere interest in Transcendental Knowledge, Dharma or salvation. It is because of our selfishness and attachment to the sense-world that we maintain some religious rituals or observance as long as such activities contribute to our material wealth or worldly possessions. In turn, we use this economic development or material success for our sense gratification. This is like pouring more fuel on already blazing fire! However, the Gurbani suggests to the contrary:
  • ਕਿਛੁ ਲਾਹੇ ਉਪਰਿ ਘਾਲੀਐ ॥: Kish laahe upar ghaaleeai: Do those deeds which will bring you Spiritual Profit (sggs 474).
  • ਕਾਰ ਕਮਾਵਹਿ ਸਚ ਕੀ ਲਾਹਾ ਮਿਲੈ ਰਜਾਇ ॥: Kaar kamaavehi sach kee laahaa milai rajaae: Those who practice Truth reap the Spiritual Profits, abiding in the Will of God (sggs 59).
On account of doubts and delusion, all day long the kicks of our mental imaginations, worry over worldly profit and loss, and fear of death leave our Spirit neither purity, gentleness or splendor, nor any way to travel to Spiritual heights. The majority of us (over 99.9 percent!) are truly asleep in an unenlightened existence in the world; for we have put hope in every imagination (Phurne) that passes through our ego-mind and converse with it.
  • ਲਾਹਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾਰਨੇ ਦਹ ਦਿਸਿ ਢੂਢਨ ਜਾਇ ॥ : Laahaa maaeiaa kaarnae deh dis dhoodhan jaae: For the sake of personal profit, man chases Maya (illusion), searching in the ten directions (sggs 261).
  • ਝੂਠਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਸਭੁ ਸੋਰ ॥ : Jhoothaa maaeiaa kaa subh sor: All the tumult of Maya is false (sggs 178).
  • ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਦੇਖੁ ਜੈਸੇ ਹਰਿਚੰਦਉਰੀ ਇਕੁ ਰਾਮ ਭਜਨੁ ਲੈ ਲਾਹਾ ॥ : Drisatti dekh jaisae harichandouree eik raam bhajan lai laahaa: See with your eyes, that these gross worldly objects are only mirages. So earn the Spiritual Profit of meditation on One God (sggs 402).
With such conditioned mind we perform religious rituals, read the Gurbani or Nitnem without understanding their Sublime Divine Essence, wear religious robes, do all sorts of Karamkaandee Paath Poojaa, undertake pilgrimage (Teerath Yaatraa), bathe in waters of shrines, and so on. According to the Gurbani, this is all false Laahaa.
  • ਅਖਰ ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਭੁਲੀਐ ਭੇਖੀ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੁ ॥ Akhar parr parr bhuleeai bhekhee bahutu abhimaan: (In spite of) Reading books over and over again, people make mistakes (due the pride of this reading); wearing of religious robes also gives rise to much pride (in the mind). (sggs 61).
  • ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਪੜੈ ਨਹੀ ਬੂਝੈ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਬਿਧਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਲੂਝੈ ॥: Doojai bhaai parhe nahee boojhae...: One who reads, while attached to duality, does not understand. He yearns for the three-qualitied Maya (sggs 127).
  • ਕੋਟਿ ਤੀਰਥ ਮਜਨ ਇਸਨਾਨਾ ਇਸੁ ਕਲਿ ਮਹਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਭਰੀਜੈ ॥ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਜੋ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵੈ ਸੋ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਕਰਿ ਲੀਜੈ ॥੨॥: Koti tirath majan isnaanaa is kal mahi mail bhreejai. Saadhsang jo Harigun gaavi so nirmal kari leejai ||2||: Millions of cleansing baths at sacred shrines of pilgrimage only fill the mortal with the filth (of Bikaars - ਵਿਕਾਰਾਂ ਦੀ) in this Dark Age of Kali Yuga. One who glorifies God's Name in the Holy Company (Saadh-Sangat) becomes spotlessly pure ||2|| (sggs 747).
The Divine Substance is Pure Love. Which is also man's inward Nature. But the man conditions his love by emotionally associating it with worldly relations, and, in consequence, wastes his life. That's the reason man's relatives are also called "glorified thieves"; for they steal his wealth and possessions all their lives! When he is left with no money, they all desert him!
  • ਜਗਤ ਮੈ ਝੂਠੀ ਦੇਖੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ॥ ਅਪਨੇ ਹੀ ਸੁਖ ਸਿਉ ਸਭ ਲਾਗੇ ਕਿਆ ਦਾਰਾ ਕਿਆ ਮੀਤ ॥ : Jagat mai jhoothee dekhee preet. Apne hee sukh siyu sabh laage kiyaa daaraa kiyaa meet: In this world, I have seen love to be false. Whether they are spouses or friends, all are concerned only with their own happiness (sggs 536).
  • ਬਹੁ ਪਰਪੰਚ ਕਰਿ ਪਰ ਧਨੁ ਲਿਆਵੈ ॥ ਸੁਤ ਦਾਰਾ ਪਹਿ ਆਨਿ ਲੁਟਾਵੈ ...: Bahu parpanch kar par dhann liyaavai. Sut daaraa pahi aan lutaavai ...: Practicing great hypocrisy and corruption, man acquires the wealth of others. Returning home, he squanders it on his wife and children. O my mind, do not practice deception, even inadvertently. In the end, your own Soul will have to answer for its account (sggs 656).
  • ਸੁਖ ਮੈ ਬਹੁ ਸੰਗੀ ਭਏ ਦੁਖ ਮੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥: Sukh mai bahu sangee bheae dukh mai sang na koe: In good times, there are many companions around, but in bad times, there is no one at all (sggs 1428).
In this age, the majority of us, thus, seem to be interested only in sense gratification. In the illusion to satisfy senses (which is impossible), we make plans for developing wealth or material success. Participation in organized religious activities and rituals is also motivated by the hope for further sense gratification here as well as after death, in some far-off heaven, etc. All such deeds are compared in the Gurbani with planting of seed in "Kallar" (salty soil).
  • ਕਲਰਿ ਖੇਤੀ ਬੀਜੀਐ ਕਿਉ ਲਾਹਾ ਪਾਵੈ ॥ : Kallar khetee beejeeai kio laahaa paavai: Planting the seeds in the salty soil, how can one reap a profit? (sggs 419).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਮੂਲੁ ਗਵਾਵਹਿ ਲਾਭੁ ਮਾਗਹਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਲਾਭੁ ਕਿਦੂ ਹੋਈ ॥: Munmukh mool gavaavehi laabh maagahi laahaa laabh kidoo hoee: The Manmukhs lose their capital, and still, they demand profits. How can they earn any profit? (sggs 1131).
Apparently, in the life of a worldly person it can be seen that his worldly achievements (material possessions, material education, material titles, etc.) are responsible for distancing him from from his Mool. Material wealth, position and power, for instance, make a person very proud and licentious as he is able to command what he wants. Likewise, learning can make one arrogant as well if it is not tempered with humility.

The Spiritual Beings (Gurmukhs) do not concede the joys of the world as true happiness, and refer to worldly life as sorrowful. On the other hand, a person who has not tasted the Bliss of his Mool is happy with the fleeting worldly joys he enjoys due to his ignorance. As a consequence of this, all his activities are aimed at pleasing his senses; because he does not understand the evanescence of the worldly pleasures. More the material profit, more the false ego. The moment one loses possessions, then he cries and bewails.

  • ਰੇ ਮੂੜੇ ਲਾਹੇ ਕਉ ਤੂੰ ਢੀਲਾ ਢੀਲਾ ਤੋਟੇ ਕਉ ਬੇਗਿ ਧਾਇਆ ॥: Re moorhe laahe ko toon dheelaa dheelaa tote ko begi dhaaiaa: O fool, you are so slow to earn your Real Profits, and so quick to run up material losses (sggs 402).
  • ਜਬ ਕਛੁ ਪਾਵੈ ਤਬ ਗਰਬੁ ਕਰਤੁ ਹੈ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਗਈ ਤਬ ਰੋਵਨੁ ਲਗਤੁ ਹੈ ॥: Jab kush paavai tub garab karat hai. Maya gee tub rovan lagat hai: When he acquires something, he is inflated with ego. But when his material wealth is gone, then he cries and bewails (sggs 487 ).
  • ਜਾ ਲਾਹਾ ਦੇਇ ਤਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਮਨੇ ਤੋਟੈ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਈ ॥: Jaa laahaa daei taa sukh munae tottai mari jaaee: If they earn a material profit, they are pleased, but their hearts are broken by losses. (sggs 166).
The Gurbani guides human beings on how they must regulate their lifestyles to live amidst worldly activities and also realize the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...), which alone lends meaning to human birth. However, the question scriptures urge us to ask ourselves is: are we working for maintaining a healthy body and sound mind so that we can realize the Mool, or are we working like a donkey to cultivate ignorance for gratifying our senses?
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਖੋਟੀ ਰਾਸਿ ਖੋਟਾ ਪਾਸਾਰਾ ॥ ਕੂੜੁ ਕਮਾਵਨਿ ਦੁਖੁ ਲਾਗੈ ਭਾਰਾ ॥ ਭਰਮੇ ਭੂਲੇ ਫਿਰਨਿ ਦਿਨ ਰਾਤੀ ਮਰਿ ਜਨਮਹਿ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੭॥: Manmukh khoteeraas khotaa paasaaraa. Koor kamaavan dukh laagai bhaaraa. Bharme bhoole phiran din raatee mar janmahi janam gavaavaniaa ||7||: The wealth of the self-willed Manmukhs (that they collect throughout their lives) is false, and false is their ostentatious display. They practice falsehood, and suffer terrible pain. Deluded by doubt, they wander day and night; through birth and death, they waste their lives ||7|| (sggs 116).
  • ਸੰਪਉ ਸੰਚੀ ਭਏ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥ ਹਰਖ ਸੋਕ ਉਭੇ ਦਰਵਾਰਿ ॥: Sanpaou sanchee bhaye vikaar. Harakh sok ubhe darbaar: (The man) gathers wealth, but only evil comes from it. Pleasure and pain always stand in his doorway (sggs 222).
Simply put, an individual being (Jeeva) has two choices to his disposal - either he can use this life to yield the silent benefits of bosom rid of its Vaasnaas, or he can use it for undertaking those works which would injure his Spiritual sensitivity and dull his subtler perceptions. According to the Gurbani, the Gurmukhs (Spiritual Beings) chose the former path and gain all, while the Manmukhs (material beings) chose the latter and lose all.
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਲੈ ਗਏ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਚਲੇ ਮੂਲੁ ਗਵਾਇ ਜੀਉ ॥੧੯॥: Gurmukhi laahaa lai gaye manmukh chale moolu gavaai jeeou ||19||: Those who have become the Gurmukhs (Spiritual Beings...), reap their (Spiritual) Profits (of Naam, Gurmat: Aatam Giaan...) and leave, while the Mmanmukhs (self-willed...) lose their Mool and depart. ||19|| (sggs 74).
Thus, the key to earning True "Laahaa" in this life is becoming a Gurmukh. Human life in the world is a mixed blessing because man has to undergo both periods of fortune and misfortune in his life. Unalloyed Bliss (Anand) can be enjoyed only in the state of Self-realization when one goes beyond both joys and sorrows. At this level the person understands the evanescence of worldly happiness. Such person is called Gurmukh in the Gurbani. In the following verses, the Gurbani tells us as to how a Gurmukh makes the best use of his life — he earns the Spiritual "Laahaa".
  • ਲਾਹਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਸੁ ਸਾਰੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਈਐ ॥: Laahaa bhagti su saar gurmukh paaeeai: The profit of Devotion is excellent. It is obtained by becoming a Gurmukh (sggs 145).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵਣਜੇ ਸਦਾ ਵਾਪਾਰੀ ਲਾਹਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਦ ਪਾਵਣਿਆ ॥: Gurmukh vanjae sadaa vaapaaree laahaa naam sad paavaniaa: The Gurmukh, the trader, always purchases the merchandise of the Naam, and always reaps spiritual profits (sggs 126).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਦਾ ਰਹਹਿ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਾਤੇ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਲੈਦੇ ਲਾਹਾ ਹੇ ॥: Gurmukh sadaa rahahi rang raate anadin laide laahaa hae: The Gurmukh remains forever imbued with the color of God's Love. Night and day, he earns spiritual profit (sggs 1055).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਰਤਨੁ ਜਗਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਪਿ ਬੁਝਾਏ ॥: Naanuk naam ruthun jag laahaa gurmukh aap bujhaaye: O Nanak, the jewel of the Naam is the only Spiritual Profit in this world. God Himself imparts this understanding to the Gurmukh (sggs 247).
As repeated again and again in the Gurbani, realization of the Naam is the real "Laahaa" in one's life. For realization of the Naam or Shabad is the realization of the Mool (also called Satguru, Saadh, Sant, Sajjan, Sahib, Mahaan Purakh, Divine Essence, Supreme Truth, Dasam Duaar, etc.). Wwithout realizing the Naam, one cannot link with the Infinite Consciousness.
  • ਨਾਇ ਸੁਣਿਐ ਆਪੁ ਬੁਝੀਐ ਲਾਹਾ ਨਾਉ ਪਾਵੈ ॥: Naai suniai aap bujheeai laahaa naaou paavai: Hearing the Name, one comes to understand the Self, and the profit of the Name is obtained (sggs 1240).
  • ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਿਤ ਜਪਿਹੁ ਜੀਅਹੁ ਲਾਹਾ ਖਟਿਹੁ ਦਿਹਾੜੀ ॥: Har har nit japihu jeeahu laahaa khattihu dihaarree: Meditate continually on God's Name, O my soul, and you will collect your Spiritual Profits daily (sggs 921).
  • ਹਰਿ ਜਪਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਅਗਲਾ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਹਰਿ ਮਨ ਮਾਹ ॥: Har jap laahaa agalaa nirbho har mann maah: Those who chant God's Name earn Spiritual Profits; the Fearless God abides Within their minds (sggs 30).
To realize the Naam (Shabad, Self, Unconditioned Consciousness, etc.) within, we are instructed by the Gurbani to become detached (Bairaag) from the sense-world. Instead, we are urged to cultivate Shabad Vichaar, Bhagti, Naam-Dhann, Naam Jap, Gur-Sevaa, Satsangat, acceptance of the Divine Hukam, and so on. In the end, these pursuits enable one realize Aatm and Parmaatam, and their relationship.
  • ਲਾਹਾ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਇ ਮਿਲੈ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਈਐ ॥ : Laahaa har gun gaae milai sukh paaeeai: Receive the Spiritual Profit of singing God's Glorious Praises, and find Peace (sggs 422).
  • ਲਾਹਾ ਮਿਲੈ ਜਾ ਦੇਇ ਬੁਝਾਇ ॥: Laahaa milai jaa daee bujhaae: The Spiritual Profit is earned, when God grants Intuitive Understanding (sggs 931).
  • ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਲਹਿਓ ਮੈ ਲਾਹਾ ॥: Har kaa naam lehiou mai laahaa: I have earned the Spiritual Profit of God's Name (sggs 524).
The experience of the Divine Essence is proportional to detachment. Thus, detachment is essential for realizing the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...). Desire and attachment, which are extension of the ego, are the root cause of man's sorrows. It is human nature to act in haste and repent in leisure. The reasons for hasty action are manifold but they can all be traced to one's emotional attachment which prods him to do so. Like other failings and weaknesses, attachment to one's kith and kin also creates predicament in life when a person who is wedded to values forsakes them and then bemoans his lot when problems crop up. Therefore, a Spiritual seeker (Sikh) develops true detachment which is essential for further Spiritual Unfoldment. As a consequence he undertakes all work in the right spirit of unselfishness and detachment, which leads to exhaustion of his Vaasnaas (the deep-rooted desires).
  • ਜੋ ਸਬਦਿ ਰਾਤੇ ਮਹਾ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ਸੋ ਸਚੁ ਸਬਦੇ ਲਾਹਾ ਹੇ ॥: Jo sabadi raatae mehaa bairaagee so sach sabade laahaa hae: Those who are imbued with the Shabad, are very detached. They earn the profit of the True Word of the Shabad, the Naam (sggs 1054).
  • ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਲਾਹਾ ਦਾਸ ਕਉ ਦੀਆ ਸਗਲੀ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨ ਉਲਾਹੀ ਸੰਤਹੁ ॥: Har naam laahaa daas ko deeaa sagalee trisan oulaahee santahu: God has blessed His slave with the profit of His Name; the thirst of all my desires is quenched, O saints (sggs 916).
The true Shabad-Vichaar, Inner Inquiry, leads to Spiritual Unfoldment. It is to constantly inquire, reflect, contemplate, investigate, or directly look into: "Who am I? How can I know where I have come from? Where did I originate, and where will I go and merge? How am I bound, and how do I obtain liberation? How do I merge with intuitive ease (Sahaj) into the Eternal? What is this world: the place of repeated birth and death? How I have come into being in this temporal and transient state? What is mind? Who is the sufferer? What is the Truth?", and so on. As the Shabad-Vichaar relates to Giaan, the pure Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan) arises with the aid and practice of such Inner Inquiry, followed by Sahaj-Avasthaa (natural state of Being), intuitive peace, true understanding, pure love and devotion, unselfishness, and ending of all material suffering.
  • ਲਾਹਾ ਹਰਿ ਧਨੁ ਖਟਿਆ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: Laahaa har dhun khattiaa gurmukh sabad veechaar: The Gurmukh earns the spiritual profit of the wealth of God's Name, contemplating the Shabad (sggs 300).
  • ਲਾਹਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਵੀਚਾਰਾ ॥: Laahaa naam sansaar hai gurmatee veechaaraa: The Naam is the only true profit in this world. Follow the Gurmat, and contemplate it (sggs 1009).
Hukam isthe Divine Law or Bhaanaa. It's acceptance of one's life as it presents to himself. To put it otherwise, it is the acceptance of "likes" and "dislikes" such as sorrows and pleasures, insult and praise, up and downs of life, etc., with even vision, as Gur-Parsaad (God's Grace). Not easy at all!
  • ਲਾਹਾ ਪਲੈ ਪਾਇ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਸਿਞਾਣੀਐ ॥: Laahaa palai paae hukam sinjaaneeai: One obtains the True Profit, realizing God's Hukam (sggs 419).
  • ਹਰਿ ਕੈ ਭਾਣੈ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਹਰਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਨਿਤ ਲੀਜੈ ॥: Har kai bhaanai sukh paaeeai har laahaa nith leejai: By God's Will, one finds peace, and continually earns the Spiritual Profit (sggs 515).
Bhagti simply means acting Spiritually in accordance with God's Hukam (Divine Law). It's the science for Mool-realization, which brings about the Union, in Love, between the individual consciousness (Aatmaan) and the Supreme Consciousness (Parmaatmaan).
  • ਨਾਮ ਕਾ ਵਾਪਾਰੁ ਮੀਠਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਅਨਦਿਨੋ ॥: Naam kaa vaapaar meethaa bhagti laahaa anadino: Trade in Your Name is very sweet; the devotees earn this Spiritual Profit night and day (sggs 243).
  • ਲਾਹਾ ਲਾਭੁ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਹੈ ਗੁਣ ਮਹਿ ਗੁਣੀ ਸਮਾਈ ਰਾਮ ॥: Laahaa laabh har bhagti hai gun mehi gunee sumaaee raam: The profit of profits is the Devotion of God; one's virtues merge into the virtues of God (sggs 569).
  • ਲਾਹਾ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਧਨੁ ਖਟਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਸਚੇ ਸਾਹ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਇਆ ॥: Laahaa hari bhagti dhunu khattiaa har sachae saah mani bhaaeiaa: I have earned the spiritual profit, the Wealth of Devotion of God. I have become pleasing to God's Mind, the True Banker (sggs 165).
  • ਜੋ ਇਤੁ ਲਾਹੈ ਲਾਇਅਨੁ ਭਗਤੀ ਦੇਇ ਭੰਡਾਰ ॥: Jo itu laahai laaeian bhagtee dei bhanddaar: Those whom God has attached to this profitable venture, are granted the treasure of devotional worship (sggs  428).
The Gurmukh ever remains aware that the Mool — the Satguru... — trades only with the Wealth (Dhann) of the Divine Name. Therefore, he only undertakes those deeds which will bring him the Spiritual Benefit ("Laahaa") of this True Wealth.
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਲਾਹਾ ॥: Gurmukh naam japahu har laahaa: By becoming a Gurmukh, chant the Naam, and earn the profit of God's Name (sggs 699).
  • ਲਾਹਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਜਈ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤੀ ਅਸਨੇਹਿ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਘੀਜਈ ॥੧੭॥: In this world, the true profit (ਨਾਮ ਹੀ ਖੱਟੀ) comes by drinking in the Amrit Naam, Name of the Lord. By becoming the Gurmukh, (one) attains (the Bliss of) Bhagti (devotion) of the Lord ||17|| (sggs 1285).
With this Naam-Dhann, he then serves the True Guru within. The performance of this Eternal Sevaa to the Mool is considered as the ultimate good that a Spiritual aspirant can aspire for as the fruit of all his self-efforts (Shabad-Vichaar...). The Gurbani calls it "Oobhee" Sevaa — Internal, Transcendental or Formless Service, which is an end in itself! Here the devoted Soul in the Transcendental realm engage themselves in the service of the Divine Essence. This is meditation on God, with deep faith and one-pointed concentration.
  • ਹਸਤੀ ਸਿਰਿ ਜਿਉ ਅੰਕਸੁ ਹੈ ਅਹਰਣਿ ਜਿਉ ਸਿਰੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਆਗੈ ਰਾਖਿ ਕੈ ਊਭੀ ਸੇਵ ਕਰੇਇ ॥ ਇਉ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਪੁ ਨਿਵਾਰੀਐ ਸਭੁ ਰਾਜੁ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਕਾ ਲੇਇ ॥: Hastee siri jiou ankasu hai ahirani jiou siru dei. Manu tanu aagai raakhi kai Oobhee Sevaa karei. Eiou gurmukhi aapu nivaareeai sabhu raaju sarisati kaa lei: (As) The elephant offers his head to the goad and as the anvil offers its head (to hammer). (So) Offer the mind and body (to Satgur...) and do "Oobhee Sev". By becoming a Gurmukh, this is how one eliminates his self-conceit (ਆਪਾ-ਭਾਵ), and come to rule the whole universe. (sggs 647-48).
  • ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵੇ ਜੇਵਡੁ ਹੋਰੁ ਲਾਹਾ ਨਾਹੀ ॥: Gur saevae jaevad hor laahaa naahee: There is no other profit as great as service to the Guru (sggs 1062).
  • ਨਾਮੁ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵ ॥੧॥: Naamu hamaarai Gur kee sev ||1|| (sggs 1145).
  • ਸਤਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਭਾਣਾ ਮੰਨਿ ਲਈ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਇ ॥ ਏਹਾ ਸੇਵਾ ਚਾਕਰੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥: Satgur kaa bhaanaa mann layee vichahu aap gavaai. Ehaa sevaa chaakree Naam vasai manni aai: I will accept the Will of the True Guru, and eradicate selfishness from Within. By this work and service, the Naam will come to dwell Within my mind (sggs 34).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵਨਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਭਾਣਾ ਮੰਨਿ ਲੈਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਰਖਹਿ ਉਰ ਧਾਰਿ ॥: Satgur sevan aapnaa gur shabadee veechaar...: Those who serve their True Guru, who contemplate the Word of the Gur-Shabad, who honor and obey the Will of the True Guru, who keep God’s Name enshrined within their hearts, are honored, here and hereafter; they are dedicated to the business of God’s Name (sggs 1415).
We have fallen into the whirlpool of repeated suffering. If we consider ourselves clever, then the demand of the Gurbani is to strive for attaining True Wealth of the Divine Name while the human body is yet sound. God has endowed man with freedom and freewill to act. So how one makes the optimum use of the opportunity given is within one's control. This is the reason the scriptures emphasize cultivation of taste for Spiritual life right from young age. As one progresses Spiritually through the practice of Devotion the negative tendencies of the mind disappear. As the Gurbani reminds us, only those who earn the Spiritual Profit of the Divine Essence are the True Being. Thus, the perfect "Laahaa" earned in one's life is the attainment of Spiritual Perfection, "hear and now"!
  • ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਕਿਛੁ ਲੇਵਹੁ ॥: durmati tiaag laahaa kishh laevahu:Renounce evil-mindedness, and you will reap the spiritual profit (sggs 356).
  • ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਜੀਤਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਲੈ ਲਾਹਾ ॥: Mann tann jeet sabad lai laahaa: Conquering mind and body, I have earned the spiritual profit of the Shabad (sggs 699).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਲਾਹਾ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥: Naanuk naam laahaa parvaan: O Nanak, those who earn the spiritual profit of the Naam are accepted and approved (sggs 789).
  • ਲਾਹਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਾਏ ਗੁਰ ਦੁਆਰਿ ॥: Laahaa naam paaeae gur duaari: The spiritual profit of the Naam is obtained through the Door of the Guru -- avakening of the True Guru within... (sggs 841).
  • ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਕਰੈ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਵੈ ਲਾਹਾ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਲੀਓ ॥: Har jeeo kirpaa karai liv laavai laahaa har har naam leeou: If the Dear Lord shows His Mercy, one enshrines love for Him, and obtains the spiritual Profit of His Name (sggs 479).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org