"THE WHOLE WORLD IS ASLEEP"

The Unseen God dwells within (the Jeeva - an individual being), but (the Jeeva) cannot
see (understand, comprehend, etc.) This; (because, within the Jeeva) is the veil of
egotism. In emotional attachment to Maya, all the world is asleep. Tell me,
how can this doubt (of the Jeeva's) be dispelled? ||1|| (sggs 205).
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Death puts our physical body to permanent sleep! While alive, however, physical sleep is a basic necessity of material body, as fundamental to its health and well-being as air, food and water. When the body is given appropriate rest or sleep, it wakes up feeling refreshed, alert, attentive, ready to face the day. When abused, every aspect of physical life can suffer. Naturally, when the night falls, birds, animals, and human beings begin their nightly journey by ascending into various stages of physical sleep - a dynamic process with a complex architecture of its own.

  • ਰਾਤਿ ਜਿ ਸੋਵਹਿ ਦਿਨ ਕਰਹਿ ਕਾਮ ॥: Raat ji sovahi din karahi kaam: People sleep by night and work during the day (sggs 326).
  • ਪਹਿਲਾ ਪਹਰੁ ਧੰਧੈ ਗਇਆ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਰਿ ਸੋਇਆ ॥: Pahilaa pahar dhandhai gaeiaa doojai bhar soeiaa: The first watch of the life-night passes away in worthless affairs, and the second passes in deep sleep (sggs 43).
But, beyond the physical slumber, there is an another type of "sleep"; which is subtle, seemingly endless and very dreadful indeed! As the Gurbani (SGGS) reveals it to us, in this horrific state of endless coma are "asleep" the Jeeva (individual beings) of entire world for countless incarnations! What is this awful state of continuous "sleep"? How does it arise in us? How can we awaken from it? This is the subject of this Gurbani Reflection.
  • ਇਕੋ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜਾਗਤਾ ਹੋਰੁ ਜਗੁ ਸੂਤਾ ਮੋਹਿ ਪਿਆਸਿ ॥: Eiko satgur jaagataa hor jag sootaa mohi piaas: Only the True Guru (Self or God) is awake; the rest of the world is asleep in emotional attachment and desire (sggs 592).
  • ਮਤਵਾਰੋ ਮਾਇਆ ਸੋਇਆ ॥: Matavaaro Maya soeiaa: Intoxicated with Maya, the people are asleep (sggs 210).
  • ਹਉ ਸੁਤੀ ਪਿਰੁ ਜਾਗਣਾ ਕਿਸ ਕਉ ਪੂਛਉ ਜਾਇ ॥: Hau sutee pir jaaganaa kis ko pooshhau jaae: While I am asleep, my Husband Lord is awake. Where can I go for advice? (sggs 54).
  • ਸੇਜੈ ਕੰਤ ਮਹੇਲੜੀ ਸੂਤੀ ਬੂਝ ਨ ਪਾਇ ॥: Saejai kant mehaelarhee sootee boojh na paae: The Husband Lord is on the Bed, but the Soul-bride is asleep, and so she does not come to know Him (sggs 54).
The State Of Perpetual Delusion

The apparent state of ceaseless "sleep" which has devoured the majority of us (over 99.9 percent) for innumerable incarnations is nothing but the ignorance of the Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...) due to unenlightened existence. To put it otherwise, this unending state of "sleep" is none other than the mental delusion arisen from false ego - evil passions, doubts, confusions, superstitions, mental craziness, deception, duality, and their numerous variations. Simply put: it's the unawareness of the reality that we are none other than the "Joti-Svaroopa" (Divine Image...). And those living in this state of perpetual "sleep" are termed Manmukhs (material beings...) in the Gurbani.

  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਇਆ ਸੂਤੇ ॥ ਅਪਣਾ ਘਰੁ ਨ ਸਮਾਲਹਿ ਅੰਤਿ ਵਿਗੂਤੇ ॥ ਪਰ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਬਹੁ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਜਾਲੈ ਦੁਖੇ ਦੁਖਿ ਨਿਵਾਸੀ ਹੇ ॥੧੫॥: Manmukh haumai maya soote. Apnaa ghar na samaalahi ant vigoote. Par nindaa karahi bahu chintaa jaalai dukhe dukh nivaasee he ||15||: The self-willed Manmukhs are asleep (i.e., unaware of the ultimate purpose of life, etc.) in egotism and Maya. (From Bikaars) They do protect their own Homes (Heart etc,), and are ruined in the end. They slander others, and burn in great anxiety; they always live in pain and suffering ||15|| (sggs 1049).
  • ਆਤਮੁ ਨ ਚੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਭਰਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਸੂਤਾ ॥੧॥: Aatam na cheenhai bharamai vich sootaa: People do not remember their Soul-Nature; they are asleep in doubts (sggs 362).
  • ਮਨੁ ਸੋਇਆ ਮਾਇਆ ਬਿਸਮਾਦਿ ॥: Mann soeiaa maaeiaa bisamaad: The mind is asleep, fascinated by Maya (sggs 182).
  • ਸੰਸਾ ਇਹੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਹੈ ਸੁਤਿਆ ਰੈਣਿ ਵਿਹਾਇ ॥: Sansaa ihu sansaar hai sutiaa rain vihaai: This world is an illusion; people pass their life-nights sleeping (sggs 36).
  • ਭ੍ਰਮ ਮਹਿ ਸੋਈ ਸਗਲ ਜਗਤ ਧੰਧ ਅੰਧ ॥ : Bhram mahi soee sagal jagat dhandh andh: The whole world is asleep in doubt; it is blinded by worldly entanglements (sggs 380).
  • ਬਿਕਾਰ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਾਦਿ ਸੋਇਓ ਸੂਝ ਬੂਝ ਨ ਆਵ ॥ : Bikaar Maya maad soeiou soojh boojh na aavai: Man sleeps, intoxicated by corruption and Maya; he does not come to realize or understand (sggs 408).
  • ਆਸਾ ਵਿਚਿ ਸੁਤੇ ਕਈ ਲੋਈ ॥: Aasaa vich sutae kayee loee: So many are asleep in worldly desires (sggs 423).
  • ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਸੁਤੇ ਕਬਹਿ ਨ ਜਾਗਹਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹ ਪਿਆਰ ॥ : Doojai bhaae sutae kabahi na jaagahi Maya moh piaar: Asleep in the love of duality, they never wake up; they are in love with, and attached to Maya (sggs 508).
  • ਬਾਵਰ ਸੋਇ ਰਹੇ ॥: Baavar soe rahae: The crazy ones are asleep (sggs 406).
The birth of false ego is the birth of a person. In other words, with the rise of false ego are seenthe birth of body and its death. Once the ego-sense arose, their quickly followed the desire for the prolongation of the material life in the body, acquisition of material wealth, worldly possessions, health, sense pleasures, etc. These cravings, in turn, debilitate our personality. In such debilitated psyche then there arises doubts and confusion in the mind, which in turn gives rise to feeling of "I, me, mine, your".
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਸਭ ਸਰੀਰ ਹੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਓਪਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: Haumai sabh sareer hai hayumai opati hoe: Ego is Within all the bodies; and through ego the beings are born (sggs 560).
  • ਅਗਿਆਨੀ ਜਗਤੁ ਅੰਧੁ ਹੈ ਭਾਈ ਸੂਤੇ ਗਏ ਮੁਹਾਇ ॥੨॥: Agiaanee jagat andh hai bhaaee soote gae muhaai ||2||: O brother, (due to the love of Maya and lack of understanding of spiritual life - ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ) in ignorance the world is blind; people sleeping in this ignorance are plundered (they lose their spiritual wealth - ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਰਾਸਿ-ਪੂੰਜੀ ਲੁਟਾਣਾਂ) ||2|| (sggs 603).
  • ਏ ਸੂਤੇ ਅਪਣੈ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੀ ॥: Eae sootae apanai ahankaaree: They (Yogis, householders, religious scholars, those in religious robes) are all asleep in egotism (sggs 1128).
As repeatedly indicated in the Gurbani, fascinated by this mirage like world-appearance (Maya), man's deluded mind falls "asleep", and does not know who it is! In this ignorance of the Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...), wrong notions, ideas, concepts and precepts arise about ourselves as we identify with our body-mind-intellect personality. As a consequent of such confusion and doubts, we take ourselves as "mortal'', "different from the Mool'', "helpless", "miserable", and "limited''. Due to this wrong self-identity, man creates separation (veil of ignorance or ego-sense) between himself and the Reality where there is none!
  • ਸੋਇ ਰਹੀ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਖਬਰਿ ਨ ਜਾਨੀ ॥ ਭੋਰੁ ਭਇਆ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਪਛੁਤਾਨੀ ॥: Soi rahee prabh khabar na jaanee. Bhor bhaya bahuri pashutaanee: The soul-bride remains asleep, and does not attain understanding of God. The day dawns (i.e., death), and then, she regrets (sggs 389).
Thus, intoxicated by the Cosmic Illusion, Maya, the majority of us are said to be leading an animal-like existence; "asleep" to the reality of our True Nature (Mool...). As Maya's puppet, we behave like somnambulists, going about our daily lives mechanically, unaware of the Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...) which is ever present within.
  • ਕਰਤੂਤਿ ਪਸੂ ਕੀ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਾਤਿ ॥ ਲੋਕ ਪਚਾਰਾ ਕਰੈ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤਿ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮਲੁ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਛਪਸਿ ਨਾਹਿ ਕਛੁ ਕਰੈ ਛਪਾਇਆ ॥: kartoot pasoo kee maanas jaat. Lok pachaaraa karai din raat. Bahri bhekh antar mal Maya. Shapasi naahi kashu karai shapaaiaa: They (ਮਾਇਆ-ਧਾਰੀ ਜੀਵ - those in love with Maya, etc.) belong to the human species, but they act like animals. Day and night, they make show (ਲੋਕ ਦਿਖਾਵੇ ਦੇ ਕੰਮ). Outwardly, they (those who act like animals) wear religious robes, but within is the filth of Maya. They cannot conceal (their inner filth with outwardly wearing religious robes) (sggs 267).
  • ਸੋਇ ਰਹੇ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਦ ਮਾਤੇ ॥: Soe rehae maaeiaa mudh maathae: The mortals are asleep, intoxicated with the wine of Maya (sggs 388).
In such mechanical frame of mind, we go about reading Gurbani mechanically (Nit-Nem, Paath Poojaa, etc.), we go about singing Gurbani robotically in a concert-like manner (Kirtan programs, etc.), we go about performing superficial religious rituals in a manner of club-activities, we go about establishing our own tenets or doctrines based on literal or exoteric interpretation of the scriptures, and so on. This is all "Koorh-Kriya" (false practices) in Maya! Such acts performed under the spell of ignorance (duality or Doojaa Bhaav) or Pakhand (spiritual hypocrisy) tantamount to nothing more than Karamkaand (worldly entanglements). Because the real thing - Inner Inquiry (Shabad-Vichaar) - is totally missing in all of this mental circus of ours.
  • ਕੂਰ ਕਿਰਿਆ ਉਰਝਿਉ ਸਭ ਹੀ ਜਗ ਸ੍‍ੀ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਕੋ ਭੇਦ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ॥: Koor kriyaa urjhio sabh hee jag. Sree bhagvaan ko bhed na paaio: Entire world is entangled in false practices; people do not know God (Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Dasam Granth).
  • ਮੂਰਖ ਅੰਧੇ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੈ ਬਿਉਹਾਰੀ ॥ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਕਪਟੁ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰਣ ਕੈ ਤਾਈ ਪਾਠ ਪੜਹਿ ਗਾਵਾਰੀ ॥: Dealing with Maya alone, the blind fools remain subservient to the three qualities of material nature (i.e., Rajo, Tamo, Sato). With deception within, the fools do Paath (reading of sacred texts) to fill their bellies (sggs 1246).
  • ਚਿਤੁ ਜਿਨ ਕਾ ਹਿਰਿ ਲਇਆ ਮਾਇਆ ਬੋਲਨਿ ਪਏ ਰਵਾਣੀ ॥: Chitu jin kaa hiri laiaa maya bolani paye ravaanee: Those whose consciousness has been lured by Maya keep reciting mechanically (ਫਰ ਫਰ, ਉਪਰੋਂ ਉਪਰੋਂ, ਤੇਜੀ ਨਾਲ...). (sggs 920).
  • ਇਕਿ ਗਾਵਤ ਰਹੇ ਮਨਿ ਸਾਦੁ ਨ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਗਾਵਹਿ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਾਇ ॥-: Ik gaavat rahe mann saad na paaye. Hayumai vich gaavahi birathaa jaaye: Some sing on and on, but their minds do not find happiness. In egotism, they sing, but it is all wasted uselessly (sggs 158).
  • ਕੋਈ ਗਾਵੈ ਰਾਗੀ ਨਾਦੀ ਬੇਦੀ ਬਹੁ ਭਾਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਨਹੀ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਭੀਜੈ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਜੇ ॥: Koyee gaavai raagee naadee bedee bahu bhant kar nahee Har Har bheejai Raam Rajai: Some sing of Lord' glories through musical Ragas, through the Naad (conch, etc.), through the Vedas, and in so many other ways. But the Lord is not pleased by these (sggs 450).
  • ਰੋਟੀਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਪੂਰਹਿ ਤਾਲ ॥: Roteeyaan Kaaran poorahi taal: For the sake of earning bread, they perform melodiously (sggs 465).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਸੋਇ ਰਹੇ ਅਭਾਗੇ ॥: Maya mohi soe rehae abhaagae: In the love of Maya, the unfortunate ones remain in sleep (sggs 375).

The result of such ego-guided "Koorh-Kriya" (false practices) is the rise of selfishness, wickedness, falsehood, corruption, lust, anger, greed, sense attachment, self-conceit, enviousness, stubborn mindedness, fraud, hatred, abuse, promiscuity, meanness, avarice, cruelty, ill will, unkindness, destructive instinct, impulsiveness, fickle-mindedness, harshness of speech and thought, inharmoniousness, revengefulness, cowardice, mental sloth, differences, bitterness, pessimism, dissatisfaction, fanaticism, danger, tension, animosity, vengeance, pain and suffering, cults, gurudoms, saintdoms, extremism, pathological hatred, blind rage, violence, quarrelsome attitude, radicalism, terrorism, impatience, bigotry, brutal intolerance, impatience, spiritual indifference, dullness, laziness, impurity (of body, mind, and soul), covetousness, ignorance, foolishness, narrow-mindedness, worry, lack of vision and foresight, impudence, ill feeling, materialism, slavery, personal idiosyncrasies, selective or narrow vision, inhuman tyrants, animalistic instincts, sins, irreligiousness (Adhaar), fundamentalism, insanity, abandonment of reality and reasoning, grief, lawlessness, anarchy, oppression, saucy temper, anguish, blind-faith, destruction, mob-mentality, xenophobia, fear, wars, genocide, religious persecution, repression, chaos, confusion, doubts, superstition, immoderation, excessive eating and sleeping, troubles, conflicts, pretense of goodness, degeneracy, arrogance, high-handedness, worldly entanglements, mercilessness, brutality, animalism, killing, self-styled vigilantes, psychopaths as self-appointed leaders, totalitarianism, fascism, racism, partiality, communalism, barbaric criminals, relinquishment of human rights and civil liberties, misinformation, deception, hypocrisy, strife, ostentation, sacrilegiousness, moroseness, desecration of scriptures, sequestration of woman, madness of believing in caste (Jaat-Paat), racial pride, desire to hurt others, misappropriations, consummation of unnatural foods and drinks, decry of spiritual life, shunning Divine Nature, and enjoyment in evil nature (seeing evil, listening to evil, tasting evil, touching evil, thinking evil, willing evil, feeling evil, speaking evil, remembering evil, and doing evil). This is the face of "evil". Accordingly, Baabaa Nanak urges us going beyond all such madness.

  • ਮੈ ਅਵਰੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਪੂਜਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਵਸਿ ਰਹੇ ॥ ਭੇਖੁ ਭਵਨੀ ਹਠੁ ਨ ਜਾਨਾ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਸਚੁ ਗਹਿ ਰਹੇ ॥੧॥: Mai avar giaan n dhiaan poojaa Hari Naam antari vasi rahe. Bhekh bhavnee hath n jaanaa Nanakaa sach gahi rahe ||1||: God's Name dwells deep within me, I know no other wisdom, meditation or worship. I know nothing about religious robes, pilgrimages or stubbornness; O Nanak, I only hold tight to the Truth ||1|| (sggs 843).
  • ਕਾਹੇ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਵਹੁ ਵੈਰਿ ਵਾਦਿ ॥: Kaahae janam gavaavahu vair vaad: Why waste your life in hatred, vengeance and conflict? (sggs 1176).
  • ਝਖਿ ਬੋਲਣੁ ਕਿਆ ਜਗ ਸਿਉ ਵਾਦੁ ॥ ਝੂਰਿ ਮਰੈ ਦੇਖੈ ਪਰਮਾਦੁ ॥: Jhakh bolan kiaa jag siou vaad. Jhoor marai dekhai paramaad: Why do you speak nonsense, and argue with the world? Seeing your madness (of arguing with the world instead of God's meditation or Naam-Simran, etc.), you will die repenting in the end (sggs 933).
  • ਬਦਫੈਲੀ ਗੈਬਾਨਾ ਖਸਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਈ ...: Badfailee gaibaanaa khasam na jaanaee ...: The foolish demon, who does evil deeds, does not know God. Call him a mad-man, if he does not understand the Self. The strife of this world is evil; these struggles are consuming it. Without God's Name, life is worthless. Through doubt, the people are being destroyed (sggs 142).
  • ਨਾਵਹੁ ਭੁਲਾ ਜਗੁ ਫਿਰੈ ਬੇਤਾਲਿਆ ॥: Naavahu bhulaa jagg firai baetaaliaa: Having forgotten the Name, the world is roaming around like a wild demon (sggs 149).
As a consequent of our uncontrolled craziness, our unripe ego or falsehood is on the rampant! There is no Intuitive Peace (Sahaj) or Bliss (Anand) in our lives. Instead of getting closer to Spiritual Realization, we are drifting far away from it! This is Maya's snare, and we all are caught in it!>

"But, what is Maya?", one may ask. As defined in the Gurbani, the Maya is that Cosmic Illusion which makes us (1) forget the Self ("Hari Visrai"), (2) gives rise to emotional attachment ("Moh Upjai"), and (3) creates duality ("Bhaau Doojaa") where there is none.

  • ਏਹ ਮਾਇਆ ਜਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਮੋਹੁ ਉਪਜੈ ਭਾਉ ਦੂਜਾ ਲਾਇਆ ॥: This is Maya, by which (1) "Hari" (Mool) is forgotten; (2) (worldly) attachment is born, and (3) the love of duality is set (sggs 921).
  • ਮਾਈ ਮਾਇਆ ਛਲੁ ॥ : Maayee Maya Chhall: O my mother, the Maya is deceitful (sggs 717).
  • ਮਾਧਵੇ ਕਿਆ ਕਹੀਐ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਐਸਾ ॥ ਜੈਸਾ ਮਾਨੀਐ ਹੋਇ ਨ ਤੈਸਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Maadhve kiya kaheeyai bhram aisaa. Jaisaa maaneeyai hoi na taisaa ||1||Rahaaou||: O Lord, what can I say about this illusion; what we deem a thing to be, in reality, it is not like that ||1||Pause|| (sggs 657).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਮਮਤਾ ਮੋਹਣੀ ਜਿਨਿ ਵਿਣੁ ਦੰਤਾ ਜਗੁ ਖਾਇਆ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਖਾਧੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਉਬਰੇ ਜਿਨੀ ਸਚਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਇਆ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਜਗੁ ਕਮਲਾ ਫਿਰੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਦਰੀ ਆਇਆ ॥: Maya mamataa mohnee Jini bin dantaa jag khaaya...: The love of Maya is enticing; without teeth, it has eaten up the world! The Manmukhs (material beings) are eaten away, while the Gurmukhs (Spiritual Beings) are saved; they focus their consciousness on the True Name. Without the Name, the world wanders around insane; by becoming a Gurmukh, the Truth is seen (sggs 643).
  • ਇਕਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਸੋਇ ਰਹੇ ਅਭਾਗੇ ॥: Eik maaeiaa mohi soe rehae abhaagae: Those attached to the love of Maya, the unfortunate ones, remain asleep (sggs 1047).
Once caught in the vertex of Maya, man loses control over his senses and glides down into the pitch darkness of Spiritual ignorance. As described in the scriptures, here is a step-by step analysis of this descent. Man's brooding over objects of the senses causes attachment to them. From such attachment, lust or craving develops; from unfulfilled lust or craving, anger arises; from anger, mental delusion arises; from delusion comes bewilderment or loss of memory of the Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...); the loss of such memory causes loss of intelligence or the discriminating faculty; upon loss of intelligence or discrimination, one falls down into the material consciousness; which, in turn, brings annihilation of his spiritual life.
  • ਰਸਨਾ ਸੋਈ ਲੋਭਿ ਮੀਠੈ ਸਾਦਿ ॥: Rasanaa soee lobh meethai saadi: The tongue is asleep, in its desire for sweet flavors (sggs 182).
  • ਸ੍ਰਵਣ ਸੋਏ ਸੁਣਿ ਨਿੰਦ ਵੀਚਾਰ ॥: Sravan soe sun nind veechaar: The ears are asleep, listening to slanderous stories (sggs 182).
  • ਨੈਨਹੁ ਨੀਦ ਪਰ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥: Nainahu need par drisatt vikaar: The eyes are asleep in corruption, gazing upon the beauty of another (sggs 182).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਸੂਤਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਪਿਆਰਿ ॥: Manmukhi sootaa Maya mohi piaar: The Manmukhs are asleep, in love and attachment to Maya (sggs 160).
The sense-blind mind is Maya, and Maya is the sense-blind mind. Free to escape through the defiled senses, the sense-blind mind limits the truth and binds the Jeeva (individual being) to bondage of worldly hallucination ("sleep"). Thus, all senses with their respective material demands and coloring (or impurity) are unable to understand not only the Gurmukhs, but also the Gurbani, Shabad, Naam...
  • ਮਨੁ ਭੂਲਉ ਭਰਮਸਿ ਭਵਰ ਤਾਰ ॥ ਬਿਲ ਬਿਰਥੇ ਚਾਹੈ ਬਹੁ ਬਿਕਾਰ ॥ ਮੈਗਲ ਜਿਉ ਫਾਸਸਿ ਕਾਮਹਾਰ ॥ ਕੜਿ ਬੰਧਨਿ ਬਾਧਿਓ ਸੀਸ ਮਾਰ ॥੨॥: Man bhoolau bharamas bhavar taar ...: The mind, deluded by doubt, buzzes (wanders) around like a bumblebee. Through the holes (senses organs) of the body, the mind desires to indulge in worthless passions (Bikaars). It gets trapped like the elephant gets trapped by its own lust; who is held tight by the chains, and beaten on its head. ||2|| (sggs 1188).
  • ਦਸ ਪਾਤਉ ਪੰਚ ਸੰਗੀਤਾ ਏਕੈ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਸਾਥੇ ॥ ਭਿੰਨ ਭਿੰਨ ਹੋਇ ਭਾਵ ਦਿਖਾਵਹਿ ਸਭਹੁ ਨਿਰਾਰੀ ਭਾਖੇ ॥੩॥: Das paataou panch sangeetaa ekai bheetar saathe. Bhinn bhinn hoi bhaav dikhaavahi sabahu niraaree bhaakhe ||3||: (Within each individual - Jeeva - are) the ten senses as the dancing girls, and the five passions are as the chorus; they sit together within the one body. They all put on their own shows (ਕਲੋਲ), and speak in different languages (rouse different desires, ਕਾਮਨਾ, etc.) ||3|| (sggs 884).
The state of unending "sleep", therefore, is none other than the dreadful "hell" or "evil-intellect" (Mayaic Budhi...), in which man's evil deeds (Mayaic efforts) performed in false ego roam like mighty elephants in rut. The senses which are responsible for these actions are equipped with a formidable weapon of desires and fear. They destroy the body, which is their very abode and support.
  • ਹਉ ਵਿਚਿ ਨਰਕਿ ਸੁਰਗਿ ਅਵਤਾਰੁ ॥: Hau vichi naraki suragi avtaar: In ego (man) experineces heaven or hell (sggs 466).
  • ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਬਾਧਾ ਸਰਪਨਿ ਖਾਧਾ ॥ ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਖੋਇਆ ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਲਾਧਾ ॥ ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਅੰਧਿਆਰਾ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੈ ਸੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਹਮਾਰਾ ॥੧੪॥ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਬਾਧਾ ਸਰਪਨਿ ਖਾਧਾ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਖੋਇਆ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਲਾਧਾ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੇਟਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੧੫॥: Kiou kar baadhaa sarapan khaadhaa. Kiou kar khoiaa kiou kar laadhaa. Kiou kar niramal kiou kar andhiaaraa. Ihu tatt beechaarai s guroo hamaaraa ||14|| Duramat baadhaa sarapan khaadhaa. Manmukh khoiaa Gurmukh laadhaa. Satigur milai andheraa jaai. Nanak houmai meti samaai ||15||: How is one (Jeeva or individual being) placed in bondage that the serpent (of Maya) keeps consuming him? How has he lost (the precious life, ਜੀਵਨ ਦਾ ਲਾਹਾ, etc.)? How can he rediscover or regain it (ਜੀਵਨ ਦਾ ਲਾਹਾ)? How does one become immaculate (within, ਅੰਤਹਕਰਨ) and pure? How is the darkness (of ignorance) removed? One who understands this Essence of Reality is our Guroo. ||14|| (Baabaa Nanak aswers the preceding questions posed by Sidhas) man is bound by evil-mindedness, and (because of bondage) he is consumed by the serpent (of Maya). As the self-willed Manmukh, one loses (the precious life, ਜੀਵਨ ਦਾ ਲਾਹਾ, etc.), and by becoming the Gurmukh, one gains (ਜੀਵਨ ਦਾ ਲਾਹਾ). Meeting the True Guru, darkness (of ignorance) is dispelled. Says Nanak, (it is by) eradicating egotism (becoming Pure within, ਅੰਤਹਕਰਨ), one merges in the Lord. ||15|| (sggs 939).
  • ਕੁਬੁਧਿ ਮਿਟੈ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: Kubudhi motai gur sabad beechaari: The evil intellect is destroyed by reflecting on the Gur-Shabad (sggs 944).
  • ਚਉਰਾਸੀਹ ਨਰਕ ਸਾਕਤੁ ਭੋਗਾਈਐ ॥ ਜੈਸਾ ਕੀਚੈ ਤੈਸੋ ਪਾਈਐ ॥: Chayuraasee narak saakat bhogaaeeai...: The faithless cynic suffers theignominy of having to undergo the "hell" of 8.4 million reincarnations — the viscious cycle of death and rebirth. As he acts, so does he suffer (sggs 1028).
Blinded by the veil of mental defects, the state of delusion ("sleep"), the man is concerned only about externalities of the world. He is caught, enthralled, and bound by reactionary actions. As a result, the ultimate realization of his Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...) is beyond his reach and remains to him obscure. Because the body can't comprehend this Reality because It's not the object of senses or perception; the mind can't either because It's not the object of emotions; and the intellect can't comprehend as well because It's not the object of cognition.

Awakening From Never-Ending "Sleep"

In order to reorient us to the Spiritual Goal of Realizing our Mool within, the Gurbani urges us to remember that (a) the human birth is very rare; (b) it does not happen again and again -- it's attained after passing through the vicious cycle of "8.4-million"; and (c) it's most suitable for God-realization. Therefore, they remind us to make the best use of this wonderful opportunity and not waste even a moment in frivolous pursuits. Accordingly, the Gurbani's call to us is to "Awake! Awake!" from this long state of delusion.

  • ਜਾਗਹੁ ਜਾਗਹੁ ਸੂਤਿਹੋ ਚਲਿਆ ਵਣਜਾਰਾ ॥: Jaagahu jaagahu sootiho chaliaa vanajaaraa: Wake up! Wake up! O sleepers (sleeping in the love of Maya), see that the travelling merchant (i.,e., Jeeva) is to deaprt (i.e., death is coming near) (sggs 418).
  • ਜਾਗ ਲੇਹੁ ਰੇ ਮਨਾ ਜਾਗ ਲੇਹੁ ਕਹਾ ਗਾਫਲ ਸੋਇਆ ॥: Jaag laehu rae manaa jaag laehu kahaa gaafal soeiaa: Wake up, O mind! Wake up! Why are you sleeping unaware? (sggs 726).
  • ਜੋ ਜਾਗੇ ਸੇ ਉਬਰੇ ਸੂਤੇ ਗਏ ਮੁਹਾਇ ॥: Jo jaagae sae oubarae sootaae geae muhaae: Those who remain awake and aware are saved, while those who sleep are plundered (sggs 34).
Since the unending state of our "sleep" or delusion is none other than the perversions or "impurities" of our mind, awakening from it is to rid the mind of these perversions. How can be go about doing it? Before seeking what will "awaken" or rid the mind from its perversions, let's find out what will not.

According to the Gurbani, that which cannot rid our mind of its perversions includes wearing of religious robes, outer show of religion or spirituality, ignoble qualities, fanaticism or stubborn mindedness, giving charity and alms, making pilgrimage to the so called sacred shrines, ritual bathing, reading of the scriptures in stubborn mindedness, Naamlessness, material consciousness (Manmukhtaa), and other useless worldly entanglements.

  • ਗੁਣ ਵਿਹੂਣ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਲੁ ਧਾਰੀ ॥ : Gun bihoon Maya mall dhaaree: Those without Virtue (Truth, etc.) are stained by the filth of Maya (sggs 367).
  • ਪੁੰਨ ਦਾਨ ਅਨੇਕ ਨਾਵਣ ਕਿਉ ਅੰਤਰ ਮਲੁ ਧੋਵ ॥: Punn daan anek naavan kiyu antar mall dhov: How can giving donations to charities and countless cleansing baths wash off the filth within the heart? (sggs 243).
  • ਮਲੁ ਹਉਮੈ ਧੋਤੀ ਕਿਵੈ ਨ ਉਤਰੈ ਜੇ ਸਉ ਤੀਰਥ ਨਾਇ ॥ ਬਹੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਵਦੇ ਦੂਣੀ ਮਲੁ ਲਾਗੀ ਆਇ ॥ ਪੜਿਐ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਉਤਰੈ ਪੂਛਹੁ ਗਿਆਨੀਆ ਜਾਇ ॥: Mall hayumai dhotee kivai na utrai je sayu teerath naai....: This filth of egotism cannot be washed away, even by taking cleansing baths at hundreds of sacred shrines. Performing all sorts of rituals, people are smeared with twice as much filth. The filth is not removed by reading. Go ahead, and ask the Wise ones (sggs 39).
  • ਅੰਧਾ ਭਰਿਆ ਭਰਿ ਭਰਿ ਧੋਵੈ ਅੰਤਰ ਕੀ ਮਲੁ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਲਹੈ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਫੋਕਟ ਸਭਿ ਕਰਮਾ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਜੀਗਰੁ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲੈ ॥: Andhaa bhariaa bhari bhari dhovai antar kee mall kade na lahai....: The spiritually blind are filled with filth and pollution; they may wash, but the filth within will never depart. Without the Naam all their actions are useless, like the magician who deceives through illuions (sggs 1343).
  • ਬਾਹਰਿ ਮਲੁ ਧੋਵੈ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਜੂਠਿ ਨ ਜਾਏ ॥: Baahar mal dhovai man kee jooth na jaaye: Outwardly, he (hypocrite) washes off the filth, but the impurity of his mind does not go away (sggs 88).
  • ਅਗਿਆਨੀ ਅੰਧਾ ਬਹੁ ਕਰਮ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਏ ॥ ਮਨਹਠਿ ਕਰਮ ਫਿਰਿ ਜੋਨੀ ਪਾਏ ॥ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਲਬੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਕਮਾਵਹਿ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਕਾ ਦੋਰਾਹਾ ਹੇ ॥੯॥: Agiaani andhaa bahu karam drirhaae. Mann hathi karam hiri jonee paae. Bikhiaa kaaran lab lobh kamaavahi durmat kaa doraahaa he ||9||: The ignorant (of spiritual life - ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਤੋਂ) and blind (in love of Maya - ਮਾਇਆ ਦੇ ਮੋਹ ਵਿਚ) cling to all sorts of rituals. They stubborn-mindedly perform these rituals, and are consigned to reincarnation For the sake of poison (Maya), they act in greed and possessiveness; evil-minded duality (arises in their life-journey. ||9|| (sggs 1055).
  • ਬਹੁਤ ਵੇਸ ਕਰੇ ਕੂੜਿਆਰਿ ॥: Bahut ves kare koorhiaar: The false one assumes many religious garbs (sggs 933).
Our mind is the instrument for receiving the Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan). However, as stated earlier, due to ignorance of the Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...), it identifies with the transient apparatus of the body-mind-intellect. This is our "sleep". As repeatedly urged in the scriptures, one who wants to "awaken" from this state of endless "sleep" and abide in the Mool has to get over this mistaken identification by rooting out everything that falls in the category of the non-Self.
  • ਗਿਆਨੀ ਜਾਗਹਿ ਸਵਹਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥: Giaanee jaagahi savahi subhaae: The spiritually Wise wake and sleep in Peace (sggs 646).
  • ਕਿਆ ਸਵਣਾ ਕਿਆ ਜਾਗਣਾ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਤੇ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥: kiaa savanaa kiaa jaaganaa gurmukhi tae paravaan: Who is asleep, and who is awake? Those who are Gurmukh are approved (sggs 312).
  • ਯਯਾ ਜਾਰਉ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਦੋਊ ॥ ਤਿਸਹਿ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਸੁਖ ਸਹਜੇ ਸੋਊ ॥: Yayaa jaaro duramati dooo. Tisahi tiaagi sukh sahaje sooo: Yayya: Burn away duality and evil-mindedness. Give them up, and sleep in intuitive peace and poise (sggs 253).
  • ਸੁਣਿ ਸਖੀਏ ਮੇਰੀ ਨੀਦ ਭਲੀ ਮੈ ਆਪਨੜਾ ਪਿਰੁ ਮਿਲਿਆ ॥: suni sukheeeae maeree need bhalee mai aapanurhaa pir miliaa: Listen, O my companions: now I sleep well, since I found my Husband Lord (sggs 249).
Looking at it from an another angle, as the Gurbani points out, the interesting thing to note about the sense-blind mind is that, when it finds itself awake in Maya's delusion (egoism), it's actually in a state of "sleep"! To the contrary, the moment it transcends the darkness of ignorance, it becomes "awake"! However, owing to our mind's deluded condition, since we do not understand who actually is "awake" and who actually is "asleep", we call "sleeper" to be "awake" and "awake" to be "sleeper"! In other words, we call Spiritually Wise "crazy", and materially corrupt "wise".
  • ਜਾਗਤੁ ਸੋਇਆ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥: Jaagat soeiaa janam gavaaeiaa: When he is awake, he is sleeping, and so he loses this life (sggs 792).
  • ਜਾਗਤ ਸੂਤਾ ਭਰਮਿ ਵਿਗੂਤਾ ॥: Jaagat sootaa bharami vigootaa: The mortal sleeps, even while he is awake; he is being plundered by doubt (sggs 1019).
  • ਮਨੁ ਸੋਇਆ ਮਾਇਆ ਬਿਸਮਾਦਿ ॥: Mann soeiaa maaeiaa bisamaad: The mind is asleep, fascinated by Maya (sggs 182).
  • ਸੂਤੇ ਕਉ ਜਾਗਤੁ ਕਹੈ ਜਾਗਤ ਕਉ ਸੂਤਾ ॥: Soote kaou jaagat kahai jaagat kaou sootaa: The sleeper (sleeping to Maya) is said to be awake, and those who are awake (spiritually) are said to be sleepers. (sggs 229).
  • ਜੇ ਘਰੁ ਬੂਝੈ ਆਪਣਾ ਤਾਂ ਨੀਦ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥: Jae ghar boojhai aapanaa taan need na hoee: One who understands his True Home (Soul-consciousness or Self-realization), does not sleep (sggs 418).
How can we root out everything that fall in the category of the non-self? The Gurbani's process involves constant identification with the Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...) through unbroken meditation Shabad-Vichaar, which, eventually, is said to help the seeker manifest his Spiritual Nature (also called realization of Soul-consciousness, Mool, Joti-Svaroopa, Satguru, Saadh, Sant, Sajjan, Sahib, Mahaan Purakh, Divine Essence, Supreme Truth, liberation or Mukti, Anahad Dhuni, Anahad Naad, Anahad Bani, Anhata Shabad, Panch Shabad, Gur Charan, Gur-Moorati, Amrit Dhaaraa, Sahaj Avasthaa, Anand, Brahm Giaan, Gobind Gajjiyaa, Chauthaa Pada, Dasam Duaar, etc.). In other words, without realizing the Mool within, one cannot be awakened from the Maya's deception (Chhall).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਪਾਏ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਲਾਏ ॥: Gurmukhi Naam Niranjan paae. Gurmukhi haumain sabadi jalaae: By becoming the Gurmukh, one obtains the Name of the Immaculate Lord. The Gurmukh burns ego through the Shabad (sggs 942).
  • ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਅਪੁਨਾ ਸੋਇਆ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਗਾਈ ॥: Simar simar simar gur apunaa soeiaa mann jaagaaee: Remembering, remembering, remembering my God in meditation, my sleeping mind is awakened (sggs 758).
  • ਨੀਦ ਸੁਹੇਲੀ ਨਾਮ ਕੀ ਲਾਗੀ ਭੂਖ ॥: Need suhaelee naam kee laagee bhookh: One who feels hunger for the Naam sleeps in peace (sggs 901).
  • ਕਿਉ ਜਾਗੈ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਸੂਤਾ ॥: kio jaagai gur bin soothaa: How can the sleeping one (in the love of Maya) be awakened without the Guru? (sggs 467).
  • ਨਾਮੋ ਸੇਵੇ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਹਜਿ ਸਮਾਵੈ ॥: Naamo seve naam sahaj samaavai: Serve the Name, and through the Name become absorbed in Sahaj or Intuitive Peace and Poise (sggs 232).
Just as one washes his dirty body and clothes with water and soap, the mind must also be cleansed of the impurities ("sleep") which impinge on it in the form of sensory inputs, by the soothing waters of the Divine Name so that our false ego does not clog the Soul. Meditation of Divine Name is the mean to stay tuned to God, which ultimately will help one to accept everything in life in the proper perspective. Baabaa Nanak says:
  • ਭਰੀਐ ਹਥੁ ਪੈਰੁ ਤਨੁ ਦੇਹ ॥ ਪਾਣੀ ਧੋਤੈ ਉਤਰਸੁ ਖੇਹ ॥ ਮੂਤ ਪਲੀਤੀ ਕਪੜੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਦੇ ਸਾਬੂਣੁ ਲਈਐ ਓਹੁ ਧੋਇ ॥ ਭਰੀਐ ਮਤਿ ਪਾਪਾ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਧੋਪੈ ਨਾਵੈ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ ॥: Bhareeai hath pai tann deh....: When the hands, feet and the body are dirty, water can wash away the dirt. When the clothes are soiled and stained by urine, soap can wash them clean. But when the intellect is stained and polluted by sin (acting opposite to the Hukam, living devoid of Gur-Giaan…), it can only be cleansed by the Love of the Divine Name (to live in Hukam, Gur-Giaan, Divine Virtues…) (sggs 4).
How can one tell if he is in the state of "asleep" or "awake"? What is the mental condition (or "Karanee") of the Spiritually awakened person (Gurmukh)? The mental condition of such Enlightened ones who have awakened from the Cosmic Illusion (Maya) is described in the Gurbani as follows:
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਸੋਇ ਰਹੇ ਸੇ ਲੂਟੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਾਬਤੁ ਭਾਈ ਹੇ ॥: Manmukh soe rehae sae loottae gurmukh saabat bhaaee hae (sggs 1024).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਾਗੈ ਨੀਦ ਨ ਸੋਵੈ ॥: Gurmukh jaagai need na sovai: The Gurmukh remains awake and aware (alert); he does not fall sleep to Maya (sggs 944).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਸਿਆ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਭਗਤੀ ਰਤਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੇ ਸੁਖਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੩॥: Gurmakhi aap pashaaniaa Harinaam vasiaa manni aai. Andin bhagti rattiaa harinaame suh samaai ||3||: By becoming the Gurmukh, (one) understands his own Self (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ. spiritual Lifestyle, etc.). The Lord’s Name comes to dwell within his mind. Imbued with the devotion to the Lord’s Name, night and day, he merges in Peace (ਆਤਮਕ ਆਨੰਦ, Joy, etc.) ||3|| (sggs 162).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਮਾਰਣੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥੨॥: Nanak Maya kaa maaran Sabad hai gurmukh paaiaa jaai ||2||: O Nanak, Shabad is the killer of Maya (ਮਾਇਆ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਭਾਵ ਮੁਕਾਣ ਦਾ ਵਸੀਲਾ), and it is obtained by becoming the Gurmukh ||2|| (sggs 853).

— T. Singh
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