RELIGIOUS FANATICISM PART 5:
MAN AND HIS GOD

There is One God. His Name is Truth.
He is the Creator. (sggs 525).
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God is the mystery of mysteries! Things mentioned in the religious texts about this mystic Being indicate Him to be the Source of all that exist. Second, He is referred to be inaccessible and invisible to the physical senses and the mind; for He is beyond time and space. Third, upon knowing Him, none can report back to others or claim to be an eyewitness, because the human apparatus of body-mind-intellect is said to be incapable of describing or treatising this Conscious Principle.

Although God is so cited to be unapproachable and indescribable, He is still believed and worshipped by the vast majority of people. Not only that, since the beginning of the human history, countless innocent people have been butchered and persecuted in His name. How amazing!

  • ਹਰਿ ਗੁਨ ਕਹਤੇ ਕਹਨੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਜੈਸੇ ਗੂੰਗੇ ਕੀ ਮਿਠਿਆਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Hari gun kahate kahan na jaaee. Jaise goonge kee mithiaaee ||1|Rahaaou||: (The taste of) God's Glorious Praises cannot be spoken by speaking. It's like the sweet candies given to a mute (who cannot describe the taste of the candies) ||1||Pause|| (sggs 659).
  • ਊਚਾ ਅਗਮ ਅਪਾਰ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਕਥਨੁ ਨ ਜਾਇ ਅਕਥੁ ॥: Oochaa agam apaar prabh kathan na jaae akath: God is lofty, unapproachable and infinite. He is indescribable — He cannot be described (sggs 704).
  • ਲਖੀ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਨਾਨਕ ਲੀਲਾ ॥: Lakhee na jaae Nanak leelaa: Nanak says: God's wondrous play is indescribable (sggs 250).
  • Those who know It speak of It not, those who speak of It know It not (Vedas).
  • That Oneness is on the other side of descriptions and states. Nothing but duality enters speech's playing field! ...The beauty of the Unseen Form is beyond description — borrow a thousand illuminated eyes, borrow (Sufi Jallaludin Rumi).

Apparently there is an enormous gap between belief and workaday reality; which provokes negativity in the form of religious conflict, tensions, animosity, hatred, and so forth. How can this gap be reconciled? Difficulty about searching God is this: Just as a bird flying in the infinite space does not leave any marks behind, similarly, God does not leave any footprints in the material world! Moreover, God can neither be projected by our imagination, because, in reality, we ourselves are a projection of God's Nature! Can a shadow look for the object that is responsible for its existence?

  • ਜਿਉ ਆਕਾਸੈ ਪੰਖੀਅਲੋ ਖੋਜੁ ਨਿਰਖਿਓ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਜਿਉ ਜਲ ਮਾਝੈ ਮਾਛਲੋ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਪੇਖਣੋ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥੨॥ ਜਿਉ ਆਕਾਸੈ ਘੜੂਅਲੋ ਮ੍ਰਿਗ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਭਰਿਆ ॥ ਨਾਮੇ ਚੇ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਬੀਠਲੋ ਜਿਨਿ ਤੀਨੈ ਜਰਿਆ ॥੩॥੨॥: Jiou aakaasai pankheealo khoj nirkhio n jaaee. Jiou jal maajhai maashalo maarag pekhano n jaaee. ||2|| Jiou aakaasai gharhooalo mrig trisanaa bhariaa. Naame che suaamee beethalo jin teenai jariaa ||3||2||: As the path of a bird’s flight across the sky cannot be seen. As the path of a fish through the water cannot be seen. ||2|| As the mirage leads one to mistake the sky for a pitcher filled with water ( more we move towards the mirage-water, we never find its limit or end)— so is God, says Naam Dev, who fits these three comparisons (i.e., He cannot be completely described; He is Infinite - His Limits cannot be found; etc.) ||3||2|| (sggs 525).
  • No man may see (God) and yet live (Bible, Exodus 33:20).

The genuine scriptures, the Men of Light and mystics, however, make the notion that God's Presence can be experienced within by each one of us, "here" and "now". In other words, God, the Changeless Substratum for all change and modification, can be experienced at this very moment through His All-Full-Nature. Therefore, man's understanding about God and his relationship with Him does not lie in God, but in man's own interpretation of Him. And man's own interpretation of God depends solely on the level of his own inner Purity or Spiritual Unfoldment. It is this reason that no two men's experiences of God can be the same; for God cannot be shoehorned into a single object — be that object a person, a book, an idol or a religious shrine. To put it otherwise, God cannot be confined Within the limits of the finite experience of our limited body-mind-intellect apparatus. God, being omnipresent, is everywhere, equally.

A seeker in pursuit of the Spiritual Truth is likely to hear the following three terms: God (Absolute Truth, Universal Self or Parmaatam), Soul (individual Self), and Jeeva (man or individual being, ego-center, conditioned consciousness, pseudo soul or reflected Self). These are just names. In reality what exists is One Infinite Consciousness. Although in their essential nature these names are inseparable, in a conceptual sense, however, for the ease of understanding the Formless Truth in man's relative language, we can have a simple expression depicting their relationship as follows; and try to remember it as we attempt to reflect on this Eternal Subject in the pages that lie ahead.

Jeeva (false ego-sense or pseudo soul)-->->----------<--<--Soul (Self)=God

God: The Pure Consciousness

The scriptures and the realized beings reveal to us that there is One God, which is of the nature of Pure or Unconditioned Consciousness, beyond the reach of our physical senses and the mind. His existence, therefore, can be experienced indirectly just as the existence of camphor can be experienced by its fragrance. This Uncreated, Limitless, All-pervading, Eternal, Infinite Consciousness is the Ultimate Reality — the Subtle Essence that underlies the Universe; and, at the same time, constitutes the innermost Self or Soul (Aatmaan) of each individual.

The state in which this Absolute Being becomes awakened in man is called Sahaj Avasthaa (natural state of just "Being" or inner perfection). Upon becoming situated on the platform of this Transcendental or Virtual State, one then realizes that everything he experiences as material reality has emanated from an invisible realm beyond time and space, a realm revealed by science to consist of energy (scriptures call it Adi Shakti or Bhagoutee) and information (Knowledge and Wisdom). Called by various names such as Waheguru, God, Light, Allah, Raam, Parmaatmaan, Bhagwaan, Tao, Om, Shabad or Naam, Christ, Jehovah, Ahura Mazda, Truth, Absolute Bliss, Brahman, Supreme Self, Spirit, and so on, this Dynamic Divine Power is the Infinite Substratum (Support or Adhaar) for all the finite names and forms which constitute the world as we perceive it.

  • ੴ : Ik Oankaar: There is One God (sggs 1).
  • ਘਟ ਮਹਿ ਖੇਲੈ ਅਘਟ ਅਪਾਰ ॥: Ghat mahi khele aghat apaar: God plays Within the Heart; He has no body, He is Infinite (sggs 343).
  • ਅਨੰਗੀ ਅਨਾਮੇ ॥: Anangee anaame: God is beyond form and name (Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Jaap Sahib 49).
  • ਪਰਮ ਤੰਤ ਮਹਿ ਰੇਖ ਨ ਰੂਪੁ ॥: Param tant mahi rekh na roop: The supreme essence of Reality has no shape or form (sggs 952).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋ ਸਾਲਾਹੀਐ ਜਿ ਸਭਸੈ ਦੇ ਆਧਾਰੁ ॥: Nanak so saalaaheeyai ji sabhsai de aadhaar: O Nanak, praise That One who gives Support to all (sggs 791).
  • Truth is one, sages call it by various names (Rig Veda). One alone is God; there cannot be a second (Yajur Veda).
  • Prajnanam Brahma: Consciouness is God (Rig Veda).
  • The Supreme Truth is the Support of everything (Gita 15:17).
  • Within man He dwells, and with all other beings (Veda, Shawetaashvatra Upanishad 3.8).
  • For God is He Who gives (all) Support—Lord of Power—steadfast (Quran, Li:58). God! There is no god but He — the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal (Quran, ii: 255).
  • Jehovah is the Spirit (Bible, 2Co 3:17).
  • Experience shows that the Spirit is nothing but Awareness (Sufi Jallaludin Rumi).

God, the Pure Being, is empty as space; but He is not void or nothingness. Because He alone is the Self of all as Consciousness, and He alone is That Divine Substance which makes world-appearance possible. Something cannot come out of nothingness. This Dynamic Silence (Sunn) is the architect of all creations. Every human being is constituted of a physical, a mental and an intellectual equipment and it is God which lends sentiency to these equipments. The reason sometime God is called void or nothingness is that He cannot be experienced directly by our physical senses and the mind. Just as a shadow is unable to look for the object that is responsible for its existence, similarly, senses and the mind being the reflection of the Self themselves cannot catch the vastness of this Unconditioned Being, the Pure Homogenous Oneness.

This All-pervading Supreme Factor is timeless or undying (Akaal Moorti), unborn (Ajoonee), changeless (Nihachall), formless (Nirankaar), inaccessible(Agmaa), unreachable or unapproachable (Agamm), unrivaled or incomparable (Apaaraa), incomprehensible (Agochar), unseeable or invisible (Alakh ), inscrutable (Abhevaa), infinite (Beant), unfathomable (Athaahaa or Agaadh or Agaah), Immaculate (Niranjan), and so forth. He contains nothing other than Himself, hence, Ever-Pure. He is the Dynamic Truth and Absolute Freedom. No one knows His limits, but, being All-pervasive, He is the knower of all.

  • ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ..: Ik oankaar sati naam karataa purakh nirabhayu niravair akaal moorati ajoonee saibhang: There is One God. His Name is Truth. He is the Creator. He is Fealess. He has no hatred. He is immortal. He is unborn. He is self-existent.... (sggs 1).
  • ਕਿਨ ਹੀ ਤੇਰਾ ਅੰਤ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥: Kinhee teraa antt na paaiaa: O God, nobody can find you limits (Guru Gobind Singh Jee).
  • Weather you hide what is in your hearts or reveal it, God knows it all (Quran. iii:29).

It is this Singular Infinite Purity, the Homogeneous Oneness, the highest plane of Pure Consciousness, which runs in and through all beings and everywhere. This is the Infinite, Timeless, Supreme Truth. Though organized religions call this Conscious Principle by various names, but He is beyond all finite names and forms. There is nothing sectarian about Him. He is simply Pure Being — the Unconditioned Awareness.

  • ਏਕੋ ਹਰਿ ਰਵਿਆ ਸ੍ਰਬ ਥਾਇ ॥: Eko hari raviaa sarab thaai: The One God is permeating and pervading all places (sggs 1177).
  • ਜਤ੍ਰ ਤਤ੍ਰ ਦਿਸਾ ਵਿਸਾ ਹੋਇ ਫੈਲਿਓ ਅਨੁਰਾਗ ॥: Jattar tattar disaa visaa hoi phailio anuraag: God is transudatory in everypore of the universe. His universal adoration is immanent (Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Jaap Sahib 80).
  • Kenopanishad of Saama Veda says: People worship many forms. Brahman (Infinite Consiousness) is none of those forms (1:5). Brahman makes speech possible. Words cannot describe It (1:5). Brahman makes the mind work. Thoughts cannot conceive It (1:6). Brahman makes the eyes see. Eyes can never see It (1:7). Brahman makes the ears hear. Ears cannot hear It (1:8). Brahman makes the nose smell objects. The nose cannot smell It (1:9). Not known, not unknown, Brahman defies (usual ways of) knowing (1:4). Ear of the ear, mind of the mind and speech of speech is Brahman (1:2). Life behind all that lives, the eye behind everybody's eyes is Brahman (1:2).
  • To God belongs the East and the West: whithersoever you turn, there is the Presence of God. For God is All-pervading, All-knowing (Quran, ii:115).
  • In seemingly empty space there is one Link, one Life eternal, which unites everything in the universal — animate and inanimate — one wave of life flowing through everything (Paramhansa Yogananda).

Within all — sentient or insentient — He dwells (Sarguna Roop). He is the very Self (Source, Jot...) of all beings. The outer world of plurality, cognized by our limited material vehicle of body-mind-intellect, is all a play of names and forms upon the Infinite Consciousness, the One Unconditioned Substratum. That One Homogeneous whole is the Changeless in changing phenomena. All manifestations are nothing but Spirit's own expressions. All forms emerge out of this Reality, remain sustained in this Reality, and ultimately merge back into this Reality.

  • ਆਸਾ ਬਾਣੀ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਨਾਮਦੇਉ ਜੀ ਕੀ     ਏਕ ਅਨੇਕ ਬਿਆਪਕ ਪੂਰਕ ਜਤ ਦੇਖਉ ਤਤ ਸੋਈ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਬਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਬਿਮੋਹਿਤ ਬਿਰਲਾ ਬੂਝੈ ਕੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਸਭੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਹੈ ਸਭੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਹੈ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਸੂਤੁ ਏਕੁ ਮਣਿ ਸਤ ਸਹੰਸ ਜੈਸੇ ਓਤਿ ਪੋਤਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਸੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਜਲ ਤਰੰਗ ਅਰੁ ਫੇਨ ਬੁਦਬੁਦਾ ਜਲ ਤੇ ਭਿੰਨ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਪਰਪੰਚੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਕੀ ਲੀਲਾ ਬਿਚਰਤ ਆਨ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੨॥ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਭਰਮੁ ਅਰੁ ਸੁਪਨ ਮਨੋਰਥ ਸਤਿ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥ ਸੁਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਮਨਸਾ ਗੁਰ ਉਪਦੇਸੀ ਜਾਗਤ ਹੀ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥੩॥ ਕਹਤ ਨਾਮਦੇਉ ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਰਚਨਾ ਦੇਖਹੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਬੀਚਾਰੀ ॥ ਘਟ ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਕੇਵਲ ਏਕ ਮੁਰਾਰੀ ॥੪॥੧॥: Aasaa baanee sree Naamadeou jee kee: Ek anek biaapak poorak jatt dekho tatt soee. Maya chitr bachitr bimohit biralaa boojhai koee ||1|| Sabh Gobind hai sabh Gobind hai Gobind bin nahee koyee. Soot ek man sat sahans jaise ot pot prabh soee ||1|| Rahaaou || Jal trang ar phen budbudaa jal te bhinn na hoyee. Ih parpanch paarbrahm kee leelaa bichrat aan na hoyee ||2|| Mithiya bharam ar supan manorath sat padaarath jaaniaa. Sukirat manasaa gur oupadesee jaagat hee man maaniaa ||3|| Kahat Naamadeou har kee rachanaa dekhahu ridai beechaaree. Ghat ghat antari sarab niranti keval ek muraaree ||4||1||: Aasaa baanee sree Naamadeou jee kee: In the one and in the many, God is pervading and permeating; wherever I look, there He is. (But) a rare person understands this (ਭੇਦ), because (generally the Jeeva - the individual beings) are fascinated (deluded) by the Maya's colorful imagery. ||1|| God is All (i.e., everywhere and everything), God is All (i.e., everywhere and everything); without God, there is nothing at all. As one thread holds hundreds and thousands of beads, So is (God) woven into All (i.e., everywhere and everything). ||1||Pause|| The waves of the water, the foam and bubbles, are not distinct from the water. (Similarly) this manifested world is the Play (Leelaa) of the Supreme Being; reflecting upon it, we find that it is not different from Him. ||2|| (Watching this Leelaa) the man believes worldly objects (ਪਦਾਰਥ) to be True (permanent, etc.), but they are like objects (ਪਦਾਰਥ) seen in the dream (i.e., untrue) - "ਮਿਥਿਆ ਭਰਮੁ " (Mitthiyaa Bharam). Un to whom the Guru bestows Good Understanding (ਭਲੀ ਸਮਝ), his mind stands awakened (from delusion, untruth, "ਮਿਥਿਆ ਭਰਮੁ", etc.), and his mind accepts this (that the worldly objects are Mithiya, unreal, impermanent, etc.). ||3|| Says Naam Dev, reflect upon this in your heart that this is the Creation of the Lord. In each and every heart, and deep within the very nucleus of all, is the One God (i.e., in this entire Creation, only One Lord pervades in everyone and everywhere). ||4||1|| (sggs 485).
  • ਕੋਟਿ ਉਪਾਰਜਨਾ ਤੇਰੈ ਅੰਗਿ ॥: Kott oupaarajanaa terai ang: Millions of universes are the limbs of Your Being (sggs 1156).
  • ਸਰਗੁਨ ਨਿਰਗੁਨ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧੀ ਆਪਿ ॥: Sargun Nirgun Nirankaar sunn smaadhee aapi: Nirankaar (Formless God) Himself is Sargun, Nirankaar (Formless God) Himself is Nirgun and Himself abides in Sunn Samaadhi (beyond the influence of the three qualities of Maya, ਅਫੁਰ ਅਵਸਥਾ ...). (sggs 290).
  • Infinite worlds come and go in the vast expanse of Consciousness, like motes of dust dancing in a beam of light (Vashishta Yoga).
  • It is He who hears all things, and is (ever) near (Quran, xxxiv:50). He is with you wheresoever you may be (Quran, lvii:4).
  • When asked by the Pharisees where the Kingdom of God lies, Jesus replied: "they shall not say, Lo here, or, Lo there; for behold, the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you" (Bible, Luke 17:21.)

Consider the following examples from the scriptures. The ocean is one; however, it is the substratum for countless waves, wave-lets, foam, ripples and bubbles. They have no existence apart from the ocean; because they all merge out of the ocean, exist in the ocean and ultimately merge back into the ocean. So too is life. The matter ripples out of the Supreme Consciousness to form the Universe, and ultimately everything merges back into the One Homogeneous Oneness. Gold is the substratum for countless bracelets. Since all bracelets are expression of the one gold, upon melting of all of them, the gold still remains as gold; nothing happens to it. Bracelets have no existence independent of the gold. Similarly, the endless forms of the One Lord are expression of the very same Consciousness, and they have no existence separate from Him.

  • ਤੋਹੀ ਮੋਹੀ ਮੋਹੀ ਤੋਹੀ ਅੰਤਰੁ ਕੈਸਾ ॥ ਕਨਕ ਕਟਿਕ ਜਲ ਤਰੰਗ ਜੈਸਾ ॥੧॥: Tohee mohee mohee tohee antar kaisaa. Kanak katik jal trang jaisaa ||1||: You are me, and I am You—what is the difference between us? We are like gold and the bracelet, or water and the waves ||1|| (sggs 93).
Clay is the cause of all mud-pots. Theses mud-pots of countless shapes, colors, efficiencies, and names are possible only when the support of these pots, the clay, exists. So too is the same Divine Consciousness; cause and support of individuality in all of us. In the night, one may see countless moons reflected in as many pitchers of water. However, in truth there is only one moon reflecting through all of them. Similarly, the One Eternal Subject reflects through all beings.
  • ਮਾਟੀ ਏਕ ਭੇਖ ਧਰਿ ਨਾਨਾ ਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਛਾਨਾ ॥: Maatee ek bhekh dhari naanaa taa mahi Brahm pachhaanaa: The clay is one, but it has taken many forms; I recognize One God Within them all (sggs 480).
  • ਹਭ ਸਮਾਣੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਜਿਉ ਜਲ ਘਟਾਊ ਚੰਦ੍ਰਮਾ ॥: Habh smaanee joti jiyu jal ghataayoo chandramaa: Divine Light is permeating all, like the moon reflected in all the waters of the pitchers (sggs 1099).
  • The Supreme Absolute Reality is that from which everything emanates (Vedaanta-Sutra, 1.1.2).
Beads of a rosary are fashioned in many shapes and sizes. However, they are strung on one thread common to all. Similarly, the One Supreme Being is woven into His creation, by His multi-energies. He Himself is the sun, and the rays emanating from it. As the rays of the sun spread out everywhere, the One Divine Light pervades each and every heart; spreading out its brilliant radiance everywhere.
  • ਜਿਉ ਪਸਰੀ ਸੂਰਜ ਕਿਰਣਿ ਜੋਤਿ ॥ ਤਿਉ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਰਮਈਆ ਓਤਿ ਪੋਤਿ ॥: Jiyu parsee sooraj kirin joti. Tiyu ghat ghat Ramayeeyaa oti poti: Just as the light of the sun’s rays spread out, God permeates each and every heart, through and through (sggs 1177).
  • ਸੂਰਜ ਕਿਰਣਿ ਮਿਲੇ ਜਲ ਕਾ ਜਲੁ ਹੂਆ ਰਾਮ ॥ ਜੋਤੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਰਲੀ ਸੰਪੂਰਨੁ ਥੀਆ ਰਾਮ ॥: Sooraj kirin mile jal kaa jal hooyaa Raam. Jotee joti ralee sampooran theeyaa Raam: The rays of light merge with the sun, and water merges with water; somilarly, when one’s light blends with the Light, one becomes totally perfect (sggs 846).
  • O Dhananjaya, there is no truth supirior to Me, everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread (Gita, 7:7).

Although the power of electricity is one, its fields of operation are many. The same electric power alone causes the computer to come alive, a fan to revolve, a cooler to cool its contents, the bulbs of various colors to glow, and so forth. Similarly, all beings are enlivened by the same One Consciousness. Thus, He Himself is concealed and Transcendent (Niraguna), and He Himself is revealed and immanent (Saraguna).

  • ਆਤਮ ਰਾਮੁ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥..: Aatam raam sansaaraa. Saachaa khel tumaaraa: O Supreme Soul of the World, Your Cosmic Play is true (sgg 764).

Soul: The Image Of God

As shown in the simple expression, the Pure Awareness expressing through matter is the manifested entity (Saraguna Roopa) in each one of us. This Infinite Consciousness is the Self (Soul or Aatmaan), the very Timeless Essence in all beings. Just as the ocean is the "soul" in all waves, God is the essential Presence in everything everywhere. Without this Divine Presence, our innert senses and mind cannot function.

  • ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਾਮ ਮਹਿ ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨਸਿ ਗੁਰ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥: Aatam mahi Raamu Raam mahi aatamu cheenasi Gur beechaaraa
  • ਜਿਨੀ ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨਿਆ ਪਰਮਾਤਮੁ ਸੋਈ ॥: Jinee aatam cheeniaa parmaatam soee: Those who understand their own Soul, are themselves the Supreme Soul (sgg 421).
  • If you know your Soul you know your God (Sufi Jallaluddin Rumi).
  • The individual Soul is a part of Me (Gita 15:7).

Alike God, the Real Self (or Soul) is also formless. Form is possible to the limited entity in Maya only. In order for something to possesses a form, it must be conditioned by something else (i.e., Maya). Self being beyond the body-mind-intellect apparatus, is deconditioned from everything, and therefore this Unconditioned Self can only be formless. Thus, in his essential nature, as the Divine Consciousness, man is said to be the True Image of God.

  • ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਅਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੫॥: Iou kahai Nanaku man toon joti saroopu hai apanaa moolu pashaanu ||5||: Thus says Nanak - O mind! Your "Saroop" (your own, True State) is "Joti" (Divine Light)! Recognize your Mool (Source, Origin, Reality...) ||5|| (sggs 441).
  • God created the man in His Image" (Bible, Genesis 1:27).
  • The Truth is One in all - undivided - though it appears divided (Gita 13-17). The One Supreme Light is in everyone's heart. (Gita 13:17-18). O God, You are all-pervading, and thus You are everything (Gita 11:40). I am the knower in everybody (Gita13:2).
  • The Self is never born, never grows up, never decays, and never dies. It is not new; that is, it is most encient, devoid of all attributes of the equipments. It is blissful, self-effulgent, all-pervading and One without a second (Adhyaatma Raamaayana).
  • Ayam Aatma Brahma: The Self is God (Atharva Veda).
  • Be still and know that I am God (Bible, Psalms 46:10).
  • Analhaq: I am He (Sufi Shams Tabreiz).

Thus, the life-giving Supreme Truth is only One, and everything is filled with His Glory. Therefore, there is no such thing as a separate Sikh Soul, a separate Christian Soul, a separate Muslim Soul, a separate Hindu Soul, a young Soul, an old Soul, a rich Soul, a poor Soul, a higher Soul or a lower Soul, religious Soul or an atheist Soul, and so on. The All-permeating Lord is One without-a-second. One Supreme Light is hidden in all beings and things just as the butter is hidden in the milk, and the fire is hidden in the wood.

  • ਸਗਲ ਬਨਸਪਤਿ ਮਹਿ ਬੈਸੰਤਰੁ ਸਗਲ ਦੂਧ ਮਹਿ ਘੀਆ ॥ ਊਚ ਨੀਚ ਮਹਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮਾਣੀ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਮਾਧਉ ਜੀਆ ॥: Sagal Banaspati mahi baisantar sagal doodh mai gheeyaa. Ooch neech mahi joti samaanee ghat ghat maadhayu jeeyaa: Just as the fire is contained in all firewood and butter is contained in all milk; so too is God’s Light contained in the high and the low; God is in the hearts of all beings (sggs 617).
  • ਏਕੁ ਪਿਤਾ ਏਕਸ ਕੇ ਹਮ ਬਾਰਿਕ ਤੂ ਮੇਰਾ ਗੁਰ ਹਾਈ ॥: Ek pitaa ekas ham baarik too meraa gur haaee: The One God is our father; we are the children of the One God. O God, You are our Guru (sggs 611).
  • ਅਵਲਿ ਅਲਹ ਨੂਰੁ ਉਪਾਇਆ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਕੇ ਸਭ ਬੰਦੇ ॥: Avali Allah noor upaayiaa kudarat ke sabh bande: First, Allah created the Light; then, by His Creative Power, He made all mortal beings (sggs 1349).
  • ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਲਹੰਤੇ ॥: Aatam mahi paarbraham lahante: Within the Soul, find the Supreme Lord (sggs 276).
  • The highest knowledge is to see the One, who stays undivided in all living beings (Gita 18:20).

Also, since God is beyond religion, there is no such thing as an exclusive god of each religion "up there" sitting on a throne! The god of any religion has to be only a fragment of the Infinite Reality. Because, the Absolute Reality that is limitless is also formless, unbounded, unattired, impalpable, inimitable, immovable, uncreated, beyond place, and without image. Whereas the gods of religions offer many images such as caretaker, ruler of the world, friend, mother, father, judge, lawgiver, punisher, discipliner, provider, helper, teacher, observer, and so on.

  • ਨਮਸਤੰ ਅਮਜਬੇ ॥: Namastam amajabe: Salutation to God who is beyond religion (Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Jaap Sahib 17).
  • ਏਕ ਕ੍ਰਿਸਨੰ ਸਰਬ ਦੇਵਾ ਦੇਵ ਦੇਵਾ ਤ ਆਤਮਾ ॥: Ek kirasanam sarab devaa dev devaa ta aatamaa: The One Reality is the Divine God of all gods; He is the Divinity of the individual Soul (sggs 469).
  • For Jehovah your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords (Bible, De10:17).

Jeeva: The Conditioned Consciousness

As discussed earlier, Soul is of the nature of God — Pure, Formless, Infinite, Unconditioned Consciousness; beyond man's physical senses and the mind. Thus, this Divine Spark called Soul is not a personal ego but a Pervasive Presence which cannot be escaped. Akin to God, it never moves or travels because it's always everywhere. Also, it does not feel. It's another way of saying that the Soul is an unaffected and impartial Witness that stands apart from ordinary experiences of the thought-disrurbed mind (Jeeva or individual being) busy with its contortions.

  • ਜੀਆ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਸਮਾਈ ਰਹਿਓ ਨਿਰਾਲਮੁ ਰਾਇਆ ॥: Jeeaa andar jagat samaaee rahiou niraalam raaeiaa: God pervades all Jeeva or beings in His mysterious way, and He remains unaffected (sggs 1038).
  • The Self remains unaffected in the body, like space that is everywhere (Gita 13:32-33).

"If this is the case, then how the man ended up being limited, finite, conditioned, miserable and sorrowful?", one may ask. In other words, how can a world of plurality arise from the Self devoid of all conditionings? As explained in the scriptures, due to ignorance (also called Maya), from this Pure Self, a conceptual sense of an individualized ego is imagined (also called Jeeva, Mann, mind or individual being). The rise of this false ego sense is the first misapprehension projected by Maya, resulting in the non-apprehension of Reality. Thus, when deluded and tempted by Maya, the Aatmaan becomes the limited ego or Jeeva, which erroneously identifies itself as "I am the body, mind, and intellect", and, therefore, "I am the perceiver of objects, feeler of emotions, and thinker of thoughts". Thus, by the apprehension of the perceived or the knowable, consciousness becomes Jeeva. This egocentric consciousness of the Jeeva is a mere superimposition upon the Self. Due to this superimposition, the Soul can no longer express its omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence; for it imagines itself to be limited and narrow. In reality, however, there is no ego. What exists is only the undifferentiated and unmodified Awareness. When the false notion of a knowable apart from the knower ceases, false ego disappears and Jeeva regains its equilibrium.

  • ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਜੀਉ ਬੰਧੁ ਹੈ ॥: Haumai vichi jeeyu bandh hai: In egotism, the Jeeva is in bondage (sggs 560).
  • ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਮੁਝ ਤੇ ਕਛੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਤਬ ਇਸ ਕਉ ਸੁਖੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਜਬ ਇਹ ਜਾਨੈ ਮੈ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਰਤਾ ॥ ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਗਰਭ ਜੋਨਿ ਮਹਿ ਫਿਰਤਾ ॥ ਜਬ ਧਾਰੈ ਕੋਊ ਬੈਰੀ ਮੀਤੁ ॥ ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਨਿਹਚਲੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਚੀਤੁ ॥ ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਮੋਹ ਮਗਨ ਸੰਗਿ ਮਾਇ ॥ ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਧਰਮ ਰਾਇ ਦੇਇ ਸਜਾਇ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਤੇ ਬੰਧਨ ਤੂਟੈ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਉ ਛੂਟੈ ॥੪॥: Jab lag jaanai mujh te kashoo hoi ...: As long as (a person) thinks that he is the doer, he will have no Peace. As long as he thinks that he is the one who does things, he will wander in the womb of reincarnation (ਜੂਨਾਂ ਵਿਚ). As long as he considers (in duality) one an enemy, and another a friend, his mind will not come to Rest (ਮਨ ਟਿਕਾਣੇ ਨਹੀਂ ਆਉਂਦਾ). As long as he is intoxicated with attachment to Maya, the Righteous Judge (the Divine Law of Karma) will punish him. By God's Grace, his material bonds (Maya's attachment) are shattered. O Nanak! By the Guru's Grace, his ego is eliminated ||4|| (sggs 278).
  • ਇਹੁ ਨੀਘਰੁ ਘਰੁ ਕਹੀ ਨ ਪਾਏ ॥: Ih neeghar ghar kahee na paae: This ego is homeless; it will never find a home (sggs 1347).
  • Concern yourself not with the thief-like ego and its business. Whatever is not God's work is nothing, nothing! (Sufi Jalaluddin Rumi).

Just as waves are movement on the surface of the ocean, false ego is a movement at the surface of the infinite ocean of Pure Awareness. In other words, just as a mirror reflects an object held close to it, one's behavior reflects as the ego-sense in one's Self. Although man's True Nature is none other than Pure Awareness, but the instant the mind, drawing on its reserve of latent memories (Vaasnaas), begins to conceptualize, it then fills the space with objects and the time with incidents. This distortion arises with the rise of the ripples of disturbance on the surface of the Timeless Awareness (Self or Aatmaan), which corrupts seeing and understanding, creating the false sense of separateness (duality or Doojaa Bhaav) between the mind (Jeeva) and the Self.

  • ਘਰ ਹੀ ਮਾਹਿ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਅਨੇਰਾ ॥: Ghar hee maahi doojai bhaai haneraa: Within is the darkness of the love of duality (sggs 126).
  • ਇਕਿ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਖੁਆਇਅਨੁ ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਵਿਆਪੇ ॥: Ik doojai bhaai khuaain hayumai vichi viaape: Some are ruined through the love of duality, engrossed in egotism (sggs 789).
  • ਮਨ ਕਉ ਬਿਆਪੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੈਲੁ ॥: Mann kayu biaapai hayumai mail: The filth of egotism clings to the mind (sggs 1149).

Thus, the real Soul is the witness consciousness, serene and detached, Within. The Jeeva (apparent or pseudo soul) is the embodied soul in a physical body, experiencing birth and death, and is ever in quest of freedom and eternal life. In other words, Jeeva is the conditioned Consciousness; the Consciousness reflected in the mind, intellect and ego (body-consciousness of "I, me, mine, your"), from this there arises the illusion of self-limitation of Consciousness.

All seeds of Karma (action) are planted in Jeeva. Therefore, Jeeva is affected by the quality of one's actions. We harvest exactly what we sow. This infallible law of Karma holds everyone responsible. All actions leave innate inclinations and tendencies (Vaasnaas) as their end result in the doer's individual personality, called false ego. As these Vaasnaas mature, they become impatient to express and exhaust themselves; and for this new forms and new environments may be needed.

  • ਹਉਮੈ ਸਭੁ ਸਰੀਰੁ 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).
  • ਕਰਮੀ ਆਵੈ ਕਪੜਾ ॥: Karmee aavai kaparhaa: By the past Karma, the robe of this physical body is obtained (sggs 2).
  • Action is consdidered to be the cause for the manifested body (Adhyaatma Ramaayana).

Conditioned consciousness is the "clouded mind-mirror" so much talked about in the scriptures. Bonded to time and space, conditioned Jeeva exists at the material level. Time is the medium in which the plural world of names and shapes come to play. Jeeva's equipments of experience, fields of experience, and even the very experience, all exist and function in time. Since time is ever changing, our individual selves tossed about mercilessly in this tide of time are also constantly changing. Everything that changes with time is impermanent; every experience is ephemeral. This is why it is said that the mind is reborn every moment!

The nature of Jeeva could be summarized as follows. When you think you are the Jeeva (as opposed to the True Self), you are then an individual, with a distinct name and shape, personality, character, habits, experiences, interests, passions, desires, fear, aspirations, good and bad qualities. You think yourself to be separate from others, some whom you consider your friends and some your enemies. You claim to belong to a particular family, community, religion, country, and so on. In so far as you feel you are separate from others, you constantly live in fear of your interests being encroached upon and to safeguard them you devise ways and means you think will serve your purpose best. Thus, you are always fighting for your own material happiness and comforts regardless of how it may effect others. In such deluded consciousness, you may have moments of magnanimity, goodwill towards others, humility, selflessness, mercy, and so on, but such memories do not last long, they are soon followed by periods of selfish and irrational desires. In the process, you may have moments of fleeting happiness, but more often you feel sorrowful and miserable. Your mind (thought-conditions) is the veil of smoke between the world of diversity and the underlying Absolute Unity giving rise to differences, prejudices, animosity, intolerance, bitterness, frustration and cynicism in life. Consequently, we hate other beings, other families, other communities, other religions, other cultures, other races, other countries, and other way of life. Because of man's unwillingness to shed this ego-personality, thousands of years of religion has been stained by bloodshed!

Thus, all suffering is of the Jeeva, not of the Soul or the God. The causes of Jeeva's suffering include: (1) Jeeva's ignorance about the nature of Reality (Source or "Mool"); (2) Jeeva's identification with the false ego sense (body-consciousness); (3) perpetual cycle of attraction towards sense-objects (material desires) and repulsion from them; and (4) fear of death. It all starts with the nonapprehension of Reality which creates the misapprehension in us that we are limited beings, helplessly panting to seek our fulfillment and total satisfaction from the ever changing world of plurality. This results in our exhausting and fatiguing work whipped up by our desires and fear, selfishness, anxieties, and worries.

God Of The Conditioned Jeeva

So long the wave is seen as wave, the ocean is not seen; so long the bracelet is seen as bracelet, the gold is not seen; so long the pot is seen as pot, the clay is not seen; so long the bead is seen as bead, the thread is not seen, so long the ray is seen as ray, the sun is not seen. Even so, as long as the Self is confounded with the body-consciousness, God is not seen.

Our simple expression indicates that more the spiritual evolution less the gap of separation between the conditioned Jeeva (egocentric personality) and the Spiritual Soul (Pervasive Presence); and less the spiritual evolution, wider the gap of separation. Because of this gap between the material nature and the Soul Nature, conditioned Jeeva has many versions of God. He personifies God as a convenient way of making God more like him. This is the reason thousands of years of religion is so stained by bloodshed. As long as the conditioned mind is busy with its contortions, it remains separated from its True Nature and Universal Reality.

Since we are unable to experience God with our sense organs and the mind, we are unable to love Him; for we don't know what He is. And the concepts we have of Him are frightening! Such concepts may include the followings: God is outside the human body; He is an embodied being, a father figure with flowing long white beard sitting on a throne "up there" in the sky, watching us suffering; we human beings propose and He disposes; He is like a judge, giving the rewards and punishments for our actions; on the day of judgment, the entire world will be destroyed, and those who were good will be taken out of their graves to some far-off heaven; others will have to stand before Him, explaining there actions. Some have various ideas about His skin color or gender; some think of Him as a servant who is supposed to do our bidding; others think of Him as a grantor of wishes; they think of Him only when they need something; others think that "there yonder" is an exclusive God of their own religion, and that the scriptures of their own religion is the only absolute word of God; some claim they are the "chosen race or people of God", therefore, "God loves only their kind"; some claims that God resides only in the place of their worship; others claim that he resides only in the idol of their worship; some think of Him as vengeful, angry, jealous, judgmental, and so on.

Thus, based on their own mental speculations or material logic, people (Jeeva or ego-beings) in their separate (i.e., mistaken) identity have various concepts of God. But He is none of these! The reason we hate others is our sense of alienation; we consider ourselves and our God different from others. In reality, the One God is the very Self in all beings. That is to say that if I hate any being, it is the same as hating myself!

  • ਅਲਹੁ ਏਕੁ ਮਸੀਤਿ ਬਸਤੁ ਹੈ ਅਵਰੁ ਮੁਲਖੁ ਕਿਸੁ ਕੇਰਾ ॥ ਹੰਦੂ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਨਾਮ ਨਿਵਾਸੀ ਦੁਹ ਮਹਿ ਤਤੁ ਨ ਹੇਰਾ ॥: Alhu ek maseet basat hai avar mulakh kis kayraa. Hindoo moorat naam nivaasee duh mahi tatt na hayraa: If the Lord Allah lives only in the mosque, then to whom does the rest of the world belong? According to the Hindus, the Lord`s Name abides only in the idol, but there is no truth in either of these claims (sggs 1349).
  • ਦਖਨ ਦੇਸਿ ਹਰੀ ਕਾ ਬਾਸਾ ਪਛਿਮਿ ਅਲਹ ਮੁਕਾਮਾ ॥ ਦਿਲ ਮਹਿ ਖੋਜਿ ਦਿਲੈ ਦਿਲਿ ਖੋਜਹੁ ਏਹੀ ਠਉਰ ਮੁਕਾਮਾ ॥: Dakhan desi Hari kaa vaasaa pashimi Allah mukaamaa. Dil mahi khoji dilai dili khojahu ehee thaur mukaamaa: Hindus say their God is in the south direction, and the Muslims say their God is in the west. Search in your heart — look deep into your heart of hearts Within; this is the home and the place where God lives (sggs 1349).

The material world we experience everyday is the world that we filter through our conditioned minds. Therefore, whatever little we know is based on the experience of our life. Hence, the world of our experience is nothing but a concrete objective projection of our own subject thoughts and feelings. In a nutshell: The world is as we are; for it is a product of our awareness. Similarly, God is also as we are. There is no difference at all. It is our false ego that makes us think that there must be a doer "there yonder". In reality, it is our false ego that creates a God to our own image (or notion, imagination, precept, and so forth), however dismal the image. Through the film of our mental make-up we project a material world and also a God to give it cause and purpose. It's all pullulation of ego sense (I-ness).

  • ਜੇਹੀ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਤੇਹਾ ਤਿਨ ਰਾਹੁ ॥: Jehee surit tehaa tin raah: As is (beings') awareness, so is (their) way (sggs 25).
  • ਜੈਸਾ ਸੇਵੈ ਤੈਸੋ ਹੋਇ ॥੪॥: Jaisaa sevai taiso hoi ||4||: one becomes just like the One he serves (as one thinks, so he becomes). ||4|| (sggs 223).
  • ਸੁਖੀਏ ਕਉ ਪੇਖੈ ਸਭ ਸੁਖੀਆ ਰੋਗੀ ਕੈ ਭਾਣੈ ਸਭ ਰੋਗੀ ॥: Sukheeae kayu pekhai sabh sukheeaa rogee kai bhaanai sabh rogee: To the happy person, everyone seems happy; to the sick person, everyone seems sick (sggs 610).
  • 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).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਹਉਮੈ ਰੋਗ ਬੁਰੇ ॥: O Nanak! The diseases (born or begotten) of ego are wicked (sggs 1153).

The essential nature of the mind is Pure Awareness. However, when it comes in contact with three qualities of material nature called Maya — Taamas (ignorance), Raajas (passion), and Saatav (goodness) or Sat, Raj, Tam or Sato, Rajo, Tamo — it becomes conditioned and forgets its true identity. A scientific analysis of the psychological being in man reveals these three thought-conditions or tempraments under which the human mind functions. As part of Maya's delusive force inherent in the creation, these three qualities of material nature are akin to intertwined strands of a winding rope of nature. Always present together in varying mix and degrees, through the medium of these three thought-conditions, nature holds in bondage all conditioned Jeeva. On account of the modification (thought-conditions), the Pure Consciousness is apparently veiled and is not realized.

  • ਕਈ ਕੋਟਿ ਰਾਜਸ ਤਾਮਸ ਸਾਤਕ ॥: Kayee koti raajas taamas saatak: Many millions abide in heated activity (Raajas), slothful darkness (Taamas) and peaceful light (Saatak) (sggs 276).
  • ਇਹੁ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਪੁਤਲਾ ਵਿਚਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਦੁਸਟੀ ਪਾਈ ॥: Ih sareer maya kaa putlaa vich hayumai dustee paayee: This body is the puppet of Maya. The evil of egotism is within it (sggs 31).
  • 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)./li>
  • One attains My State, upon knowing the Truth that is above the three qualities of Maya (Gita 14:19).

Combination of these three thought-conditions or states of mind, in various permutation, determine the individual personality, mind and intellect. In other words, different aspects in the character and conduct of persons is regulated by the proportion in which these three constituents are mixed. This conditioning of the mind is responsible not only for the diversity in men, but also each Jeeva's interpretation of God.

For example, a person living in a thought-condition conducive to Taamas (stupor or ignorance) will exhibit the following qualities: Indolence, complete inertia, dullness, negligence, forgetfulness, unenlightened existence, inactivity, headlessness, fear, danger, threat, survival, and lethargicness. Maya's this quality is marked by complete identification of the oneself and his well-being with the struggle for and acquirement of sense gratification. Jeeva so preoccupied with material and physical satisfaction does not try to understand the Divine Power behind his brain, without which he is inert. Such a person may interpret God as protector, vengeful, angry, jealous, judgmental, capricious, partial, little kind, manipulator, threatening, extrinsic, and so on.

While Raajas (greed or passion) is a condition of mind marked by stormy behavior, selfish activities, impulse, agitation, restlessness, desires, fear, greed, lust, fierce competition, power struggle, influence, rat-race, status, and ambition. This quality is reached when a person, through occasional concentration on higher taste, tries occasionally to get away from his preoccupation with his sensory world. A mind in Raajas may interpret God as almighty, kind, gracious, omnipotent, impartial, rational, organized, giver of material gifts, fulfiller of desires, helper, and so on.

A person living in the mode of attenuated conditioning conducive to wisdom or goodness is called Saatav. This thought-condition is reached by steady self-efforts at deeper concentration, meditation, and contemplation. A Jeeva at this point has his material and spiritual tendencies evened out. Consequently, he enjoys glimpses of inner Joy. This quality in Jeeva is indicated by noble activity, purity, goodness, enlightenment, tolerance, forgiveness, insight, empathy, inner peace, expanded creativity, reverence, compassion, universal love, compassion, contentment, wisdom, selfless service, reflection, serenity, creative poise, balanced joy, meditation, contemplation, and understanding. Such a person may interpret God as detached, peaceful, silent, meditative, understanding, forgiving, nonjudgmental, all-encompassing, creator, redeemer, miracles, mystical, inner-dweller, and so forth.

Upon completely transcending mind's all thought-conditions (or three qualities of Maya), one experiences Oneness with his Real Nature, the Unconditioned Awareness. Time, space, action, and matter are all but different aspects of the one Infinite Consciousness. When we realize the diversity we see Within ourselves is illusory, then we understand that the one Infinite Consciousness alone is true. Awakening in This God, the seeker finds his duality (Doojaa Bhaav) vanished, just as one's dream experience vanishes upon his awakening from sleep! It is when we thus experience the undivided wholeness and unity with the Pure Being, we become free of illusion. This state that lies beyond the apparatus of the body-mind-intellect (waking, dream and deep-sleep states) is known as the Fourth State (Chauthaa Pada or Turiyaa Avasthaa), Eternal, Immortal, Truth, Knowledge, Bliss Absolute. Such a person may call God as light, consciousness, self-illumined, existence, bliss, all-knowing, causeless, healing, unborn, undying, changeless, unmanifest, transcendental, timeless, eternal, undivided, unaffected, simple, singular, infinite, purity, invisible, immeasurable, intangible, boundless, spirit, inner perfection, truth or just "Being" (Sahaj).

  • ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਪਸਾਰਾ ਸਭ ਵਰਤੈ ਆਕਾਰੀ ॥ ਤੁਰੀਆ ਗੁਣੁ ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਨਦਰੀ ਪਾਰਿ ਉਤਾਰੀ ॥੨॥: Trai guna Maya moh pasaaraa sabh vartai aakaaree. Turiya Guna sat sangat paayeeai nadree paari utaaree ||2|| (sggs 1260).
  • ਰਜ ਗੁਣ ਤਮ ਗੁਣ ਸਤ ਗੁਣ ਕਹੀਐ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਸਭ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਚਉਥੇ ਪਦ ਕਉ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਚੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਹੀ ਪਰਮ ਪਦੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥: Raj gun tam gun sat gun kaheeai ih teri sabh maya. Chauthe pad kau jo nar cheenai tin hee param pad paaiaa ||2||: (O Lord) Raajas, Taamas, and Saatav modes are the creations of Your Maya. The man who realizes the Fourth State; he alone obtains the Supreme Status ||2|| (sggs 1123).
  • Know that all manifestations of Saatav, Raajas and Taamas emanate from Me. Though they are in Me, I am not in them (Gita 7:12).

Most of us have heard the story of the six blind men who encounter an elephant and are asked to describe it. Each blind man grabs a different part of the elephant and describes the elephant from where he is standing, from his perspective, and each is different. For example, the first man runs into the broad side of the elephant and describes the elephant is like a wall. The second man who grabs an ear describes the elephant is like a fan. The third man who grabs the trunk describes it to be like a serpent. The fourth man who grabs a leg describes the elephant is like a tree. The fifth man who grabs the tusk thinks the elephant is like a spear. The sixth man grabs the tail and describes it to be like a rope. However, the elephant is none of these. In this parable, the six blind men are our five senses plus the mind. The elephant represents One God. One spiritual meaning of this parable is that the ego-blind mind and the limited senses cannot conceive the Infinite Reality. In other words, the nature of Spirit is so vast that it's beyond the grasp of thought (mind), touch (skin), sight (eyes), smell (nose), sound (ears) or taste (tongue). As the blind men inferred the elephant differently, likewise, the version of God changes like a kaleidoscope according to individual mindset or vision.

  • ਨਵੇ ਛਿਦ੍ਰ ਸ੍ਰਵਹਿ ਅਪਵਿਤ੍ਰਾ ॥: Nave shidra sravahi apvitraa: The nine holes senses pour out filth (sggs 998).
  • 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).
  • ਅਕਲ ਕਲਾ ਨਹ ਪਾਈਐ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਅਲਖ ਅਲੇਖੰ ॥: Akal kalaa nah paaeeai prabh alakh alekham: God is not found by intellectual or clever devices; He is Unseeable and Incalculable (sggs 1098).

Linking With God: Observing Mind Approaching Soul-Consciousness

To know God (Soul, Self, God, Satguru, Divine Love, Unconditioned Consciousness, etc.) is none other than always being in the Bliss of Aatmaan. If one can keep himself up in tune with the Infinite Soul-Consciousness, he will have an intuitively balanced mind (Sahaj). In other words, linking with God is simply to be uninterruptedly identifying with Aatmaan or resting on the Highest Consciousness or the Self Within.

  • ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਲਹੰਤੇ ॥: Aatam mahi paarbraham lahante: Within the Soul, find the Supreme Lord (sggs 276).
  • ਜਿਨੀ ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨਿਆ ਪਰਮਾਤਮੁ ਸੋਈ ॥: Jinee aatam cheeniaa parmaatam soee: Those who understand their own Soul, are themselves the Supreme Soul (sgg 421).
  • ਸਚਾ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਵਸਿਆ ਮਨਿ ਸੋਈ ॥: Sachaa saahib mani vasai vasiaa mani soi: The True Saahib dwells iwith the mind; the mind that realizes this blends into Him (sggs 420).
  • ਹਉ ਢੂਢੇਦੀ ਸਜਣਾ ਸਜਣੁ ਮੈਡੇ ਨਾਲਿ ॥ Hau dhoodhedee sajjanaa sajjan maide naal: I search for God outside, but He is right here Within me (sggs 1384).
  • Tat tvam asi: Thou art That (Vedas). Aham Brahma Asmi: I am God (Yajur veda).
  • You are in Me and I am in you. I know this secret, not you (Gita).
  • Be still and know that I am God (Bible, Psalms 46:10).
  • Man is the goal of creation. He has come into this world to display those Attributes of God that are reflected Within himselft (Sufi Giyani Jallaludin Rumi).
  • Analhaq: I am He (Sufi Shams Tabreiz).

Therefore, God is not "there yonder", or at "some other time", or after death phenomena. In truth, He is ever present in us, waiting to receive us, "here" and "now". Therefore, in reality we all are God-realized "now", but we do not know it! The process of transition of Jeeva (individual being) from its deluded or materialistic consciousness (egoism) to the Spiritual Consciousness is called religion. Therefore, to enjoy the Divine Bliss, Eternal Freedom and Boundless Love by becoming one with the Homogenous Oneness is the ultimate goal of religion. So long the Realization of this ultimate goal remains incomplete Within ourselves, we are liable to create havoc in the God's creation.

The Spiritual Wisdom of religious texts reveals to us very important concepts. The first is that God has made man in His True Image (Joti-Svaroopa), hence, the man's real nature is essentially Divine. Second, the only aim of human life is to Realize the Essence of this Divinity which is ever present Within. Third, the Soul (individual Self) is Immortal, and the experience of the Oneness of the Soul with the Universal Self is to Realize God.

  • ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਘਰ ਮਹਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਟੋਲੈ ਸੋ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਹੀ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਜਿਨੀ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਸੋ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ਜੀਉ ॥੧॥: (The Divine Virtues, Wisdom, Spiritual tranquility, Naam, Shabad, Amrit, Prabh, ਆਤਮਕ ਸੁਖ...) all that is within the Heart-Home; not outside. Who searches outside is deluded by doubts. By "Gur Parasaadee" (i.e., by the Grace of the Gur-Giaan, the Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani ...), those who have Realized within are Happy (tranquil) inwardly and outwardly. ||1|| (sggs 102).
  • ਬਾਹਰਿ ਢੂੰਢਿ ਵਿਗੁਚੀਐ ਘਰ ਮਹਿ ਵਸਤੁ ਸੁਥਾਇ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਕਰਿ ਮੁਸੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਲੈ ਪਾਇ ॥: Baahari dhoondh vigucheeai ghar mahi vasat suthaai...: Searching outside of themselves, people are ruined; the object of their search is in that sacred place Within the Self. The Manmukhs (ego-beings), in their ego, miss it; the spiritual beings receive it in their laps (sggs 63).

But the Divinity in man (Jeeva) is veiled by the unceasing barrage of thoughts and desires (false ego). One's separation (forgetfulness) from the Source, the state of Absolute Bliss, lasts so long one keeps identifying himself with this mental filth (Mall). Therefore, insofar man remains bonded to his egocentric personality, his essential nature which is Absolute Knowledge will remain beyond the grasp of his senses and the contending mind. To remove the encrustation of false ego-sense and unfold the Divinity inherent in man's bosom is the ultimate goal envisaged by the religion and the scriptures.

  • ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਕੋਇ ਨ ਪਾਏ ॥: Haumai vichi prabh koi na paae: No one finds God through egotism (sggs 664).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰੇ ਤਾ ਦਰੁ ਸੂਝੈ ॥: Haumai maare taa dar soojhai: Conquer your ego, then you will find God's Door (sggs 842).
  • Know Brahman and conquer death. Drop your notion that you are this personality (made of senses and mind). Rise above this world (the self-created "Loka" of "I and mine"). (Kenopanishad of Saama Veda, 1:2).
  • As one not knowing that a golden treasure lies buried beneath his feet may walk over it again and again yet never find it; so all beings live every moment in the city of Supreme Self yet never find Him, because of the veil of illusion by which He is concealed (Saam Veda, Chandogya Upanishad 8.3.2).
  • Ego is hell......One must become totally indifferent to the self and inimical to the world in order for the beloved to show his face (Sufi Jallaluddin Rumi).

Jeeva tied to the body-consciousness by the knot of false ego is trying to free himself. Bonded to time and space, Jeeva makes his long journey through the cycle of birth and death until it reaches full realization of his Divine Nature. This evolution that takes place Within is automatic and spontaneous, whether one knows it or not; because one can never remain away from its essential nature. For example, the sun can not be made dark, the fire cold, the water non-liquid, the sugar bitter, and so on. To put it otherwise, the effects can not remain away from their cause; for they are born of their cause, exist in their cause, and merge back to become one with their cause. Just as the waves are born of the ocean, exist in the ocean, and ultimately merge back in the ocean.

If we look at our simple expression, we notice the Soul's position sandwiched in the middle of "Jeeva" and "God". It's interesting to note the Soul is called "Baseeth" in the Gurbani; which literally means middleman, matchmaker (Vicholaa), intermediary, connector, link, mediator or advocate. This is just a way of saying that the Soul is really a junction point between matter and Spirit, between mortality (death) and Immortality, between time and Timelessness, between dual and Non-dual, between ephemeral and Eternal, between material reality and Virtual Reality, and so on. To put it in other way, the Soul links Jeeva back to God-consciousness.

  • ਵਿਛੁੜਿਆ ਮੇਲੇ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਹਰਿ ਦਰਗਹ ਕਾ ਬਸੀਠ ॥: Vishhurriaa mele prabhoo har daragah kaa baseeth: He is the Baseeth (Mediator, etc.) of the God's Court; he reunites the separated ones with God. (sggs 957 ).
  • ਹਰਿ ਅਗਮੁ ਅਗੋਚਰੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਹੈ ਮਿਲਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਲਾਗਿ ਬਸੀਠਾ ॥: Har agam agochar paarbraham hai mil satgur laag baseethaa: The Supreme Being is Inaccessible and Unfathomable. Those who are committed to the Satguru (Pure Self), the Divine Baseeth, meet the Lord (sggs 171).
  • ਸੀਤਲ ਆਘਾਣੇ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਬਾਣੇ ਸਾਜਨ ਸੰਤ ਬਸੀਠਾ ॥: Seetal aaghaanae amrit baanae saajan sant baseethaa: I am soothed and satisfied with the Ambrosial Bani of His Word; the friendly Satguru (Self) is my Baseeth (sggs 452).
  • ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਕਟਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਭਏ ਬਸੀਠਾ ॥: Agiaan bharam dukh kattiaa gur bheae baseethaa: Ignorance, doubt and suffering are dispelled, when the Guru (Self) becomes one's Baseeth (sggs 708)

Our simple expression also reveals that the gap of separation between Jeeva and the Soul depends on the intensity of Jeeva's ignorance, the false ego. For instance, the gap of separation from its Source is greater when there is no perception of Reality. The gap becomes less and less as Jeeva (the mind) becomes aware of its ignorance. Ultimately, with its own Spiritual Evolution, Jeeva gets so close to the Soul-consciousness that they have no choice other than to merge. How can this gap of separation be healed? The purpose religion and the scriptures is to guide the man so that he can fully heal this gap.

Egolessness or desirelessness is Godhood. This state is experienced when the contending mind is annihilated. Since the instinctive mind is nothing but a flow of thoughts, God-realization happens in the state of thought extinction (Sunn Samaadhi, Sahaj Avasthaa, Spiritual Silence or Virtual state), a state of Pure Being when the defects of contending mind are totally transcended. When the thoughts cease to erupt, one recognizes Divinity Within. Religion indicates many methods and techniques for the extinction of thoughts by quieting and transcending the mind. The reason man is creating havoc in the world is that his sense-blind mind today is totally out of control, flowing in all directions.

  • ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਧਾਤੁ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਮਨ ਮੂਏ ਕੈਸੇ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਦਾਰੂ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਜਨੁ ਸੋਇ ॥: Mann marai dhaat mar jaae...: When the mind is conquered, its turbulent wanderings are stopped. Without conquering the mind, how can God be found? Rare is the one who knows the medicine to conquer the mind. The mind is conquered through the Shabad (Word or Naam); this is known to God's humble servant (sggs 665).
  • ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤੈ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤੁ ॥: Mann jeetai jagg jeet: If you conquer the mind, you conquer the material world (sggs ).
  • ਚੰਚਲ ਮਨੁ ਦਹ ਦਿਸਿ ਕਉ ਧਾਵਤ ਅਚਲ ਜਾਹਿ ਠਹਰਾਨੋ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਇਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਕੋ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਤਾਹਿ ਤੁਮ ਮਾਨੋ ॥: Chanchal mann dah disi kayu...(sggs 685).
  • ਜਿਚਰੁ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਲਹਰੀ ਵਿਚਿ ਹੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰ ॥: As long as this mind is tossing around (in waves of Maya etc., that person remains) caught in too much ego and pride (sggs 1247).
  • ਮਨੁ ਵਸਿ ਦੂਤਾ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਦੋਇ ॥: The mind is in the control of evil passions, evil intent, and duality (sggs 222).
  • Let go of thought and bring it not into your heart, for you are naked and thought is an icy wind. You think in order to escape from torment and suffering, but your thinking is torment's fountainhead. Know that the bazaar of God's Making is outside of thought (Sufi Jallaludin Rumi).

Clearly, the trouble is the false "I-ness" which searches for thoughts. There are three different patterns of thoughts in our bosom covering the Divinity in us. Where do these thoughts come from? These thoughts flowing in our mind are the manifestations of the related three types of desires entertained by us — Taamas, Raajas and Saatav. The Taamsic desires are those that are obstinate, arrogant and completely egoistic and the veiling they cause over the Self is like pitch darkness. The Raajsic desires are those that are passionate and egocentric and they cover the Self like dust on a mirror. The third type of desires, called Saatvic, are good and noble in nature. Nevertheless, they also obscure the Self in us, but the veiling is like the smoke covering fire. The Divinity lies enveloped in these three thought-conditions like a fetus in a womb. When these desires are overcome with effort and patience, the Essence of Divinity Within unfolds Itself. Then one looks alike upon friend and enemy.

  • ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਅੰਧ ਹੈ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹ ਗੁਬਾਰ ॥: Trai gun bikhia andh hai maya moh gubar: Man is blinded by the wickedness of three qualities of nature — Taamas, Raajas and Saatav — and darkness of attachment (sggs 30).
  • ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਮੇਟੇ ਚਉਥੈ ਵਰਤੈ ਏਹਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਨਿਰਾਰੀ ॥: Trai gun mete chouthai Varatai ehaa bhagati niraaree: Eradicating the three qualities, dwell in the fourth state. This is the unparalleled devotion (sggs 908).
  • This material world of material beings does not perceive Me, unchangeable and beyond all qualities, because they are deluded by the three qualities of nature (Gita 7:13).

Desires and related thoughts inhibit man from witnessing his mind approaching the Soul-consciousness. Therefore, the scriptures and the men of light urge spiritual aspirant to watch his mind again and again to break veil after veil obscuring the True Self (God-consciousness). Watching the mind simply means the following: Eliminating all desires, cravings and deep-rooted tendencies; controlling emotions, feelings, thoughts, and nerves; getting rid off lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, enviousness, and stubborn mindedness; remaining unaffected by criticism, insult or praise; giving up prejudices, fanaticism, bigotry, intolerance, and hate; avoiding the company of material beings (Manmukhs or evil persons); reducing material wants; avoiding arguing; not comparing oneself with others; avoiding participation in public gossip, criticism and slandering; giving up the idea of name and fame; keeping company of the like-minded persons (Gurmukhs or spiritual beings); showing mercy towards inferiors, complacency towards superiors and indifference towards rogues; studying scriptures diligently; practicing contentment and compassion; observing truthful living; practicing concentration on one thing; practicing deep meditation on Naam, and so forth. After cessation of mind's duality, only the Pure Consciousness remains.

  • ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਧਾਤੁ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਮਨ ਮੂਏ ਕੈਸੇ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਦਾਰੂ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਜਨੁ ਸੋਇ ॥: Mann marai dhaat mar jaae...: When the mind is conquered, its turbulent wanderings are stopped. Without conquering the mind, how can God be found? Rare is the one who knows the medicine to conquer the mind. The mind is conquered through the Shabad (Word or Naam); this is known to God's humble servant (sggs 665).

Once all wanderings of the mind cease, it stands annihilated (or conquered); what remains is the Truth, the Self, the Supreme Self, the Pure Spirit; call it by any name you like. In other words, once the superimposition (false ego or ignorance of the True Nature) is removed, the Substratum alone remains! That is the Self or God. This identity with the Self is realized through discriminating intellect (Viveka). One acquires this power of discriminating intellect through years of self-discipline, right knowledge and right conduct. In this sense, God is a process.

  • ਮਨੁ ਮੇਰੋ ਧਾਵਨ ਤੇ ਛੂਟਿਓ ਕਰਿ ਬੈਠੋ ਬਿਸਰਾਮੁ ॥: Mann mero dhaavan te shootiou kar baitho bisaraam: My mind has stopped its wanderings, and now, it has come to Intuitive Rest (sggs 1186).
  • ਚਿੰਤਾ ਧਾਵਤ ਰਹਿ ਗਏ ਤਾਂ ਮਨਿ ਭਇਆ ਅਨੰਦੁ ॥: Chintaa dhaavat rahi gae taan mana bhaeiaa anand: When anxiety and wanderings come to an end, the mind rests in Bliss (sggs 1415).
  • ਕੂੜੈ ਕੀ ਪਾਲਿ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਨਿਕਲੈ ਸਚੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥ (sggs 591).
  • Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find it; knock, and it will be opened to you (Bible, Matt. 7:7).

Simply put: Spiritual evolution is to witness the mind evolving towards a complete vision or inner perfection, until we can see the Whole as God does. The scriptures make it clear that until we make ourselves like God, we cannot perceive God. To make ourselves like God is simply to awaken and promote godly qualities that lie dormant Within oneself. Religion and scriptural texts help us to chasten our desires and related thoughts so as to ultimately annihilate them as we rise from the Taamas to the Saatav. In the process, the Divinity Within gradually unfolds Itself. And when we rise from the Saatvic to Turiya or Chauthaa Pada of Higher Consciousness, man becomes like God.

  • ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਸੋ ਹਰਿ ਜੇਹਾ ॥ ਭੇਦੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਹੁ ਮਾਣਸ ਦੇਹਾ ॥: Hari kaa sevak so hari jaehaa: God's servant becomes like God. Do not think that, because of his human body, he is different (sggs 1076).
  • ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਗੁਫਾ ਤਹ ਆਸਨੁ ॥ ਕੇਵਲ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਪੂਰਨ ਤਹ ਬਾਸਨੁ ॥ ਭਗਤ ਸੰਗਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਗੋਸਟਿ ਕਰਤ ॥: Sunn samaadhi guphaa tah aasan. Keval brahm pooran tah baasan. Bhagat sang prabh gost karat: One (who has the Divine Treasure of the Naam) sits in the cave of Sunn Samaadhi (the state of complete Stillness, spiritual Silenece; the state devoid of Mayaic thoughts or wanderings, etc.); there the unique, perfect God dwells (in that Heart-Cave or Heart-Home). (The heart in which this Divine Treasure is awakened) God holds conversations with (those) devotees (i.e., those devotees Realize God) (sggs 894).

In reality, as the Pure Self is always present Within, Jeeva (individual being) is never apart from it. In other words, it is not the matter of realizing the Self, but of realizing that we never were not the Self! Thus, if we stand completely in Spirit's world, where time has no meaning, the whole process of spiritual union never even occurred! Jeeva was the part of Soul and God all along, only without knowing it! It was the false ego sense that had temporarily intervened. Once the false ego is eliminated, it takes only split second for the spiritual linking to take place one split second completely divorced from the past, and entirely free from mental slavery of the future is all that is needed to peep over the veil of ignorance and realize for ourselves eternally thereafter the True Nature of the Self.

  • ਚੇਤਿ ਸੁਚੇਤ ਚਿਤ ਹੋਇ ਰਹੁ ਤਉ ਲੈ ਪਰਗਾਸੁ ਉਜਾਰਾ ॥: Chet suchet chit hoyi rahu tayu lai pargaas ujaaraa: When you are conscious in your Consciousness, you will be enlightened and illuminated (sggs 339).
  • ਪ੍ਰਣਵਤਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੈਸਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਸੋਇ ॥: Pranvati Nanak giaanee kaisaa hoi. Aapu pashaanai boojhai soi: Prays Nanak, of what nature is the Giaanee (the Wise one, the knower of the Truth...)? (A true Giaanee is he who) recognizes his (Mool-ਮੂਲ, Source, Origin, Essential Nature, etc.), such (Giaanee-ਜੋ ਆਪਣੇ ਅਸਲੇ ਨੂੰ ਪਛਾਣਦਾ ਹੈ) Understands God (sggs 25).
  • If you know your Soul you know your God (Sufi Jallaluddin Rumi).

Upon realizing our essential nature as Pure Consciousness (Joti-Svaroopa, Mool...), we also discover this is the True Self of all, meaning that we are one with others. There is only one Self, one common Self which appears as many and different because of the different names and forms superimposed on It. There is one common Being who is mistakenly supposed to be many — a mistake which has cost man dearly in the sense that it is responsible for his dualistic behavior (Doojaa Bhaav): Love and hatred, mercy and bloodshed, union and separation, pleasure and pain, death and rebirth, and so on. Self-realization is none other than knowing that we are one in Spirit. When this Truth dawns upon one, notions such as "I, mine, me, your" arising out of ego-ignorance, fade away like glowworms in the sun. The wise and true person, thus, sees One God in himself and in all creation. If you love This One God, you cannot hate others. It is this sense of Oneness that is the only possible basis for individual and collective harmony and peace.

  • ਹਿੰਦੂ ਤੁਰਕ ਕੋਊ ਰਾਫਜੀ ਇਮਾਮ ਸਾਫੀ ਮਾਨਸ ਕੀ ਜਾਤ ਸਬੈ ਏਕੈ ਪਹਿਚਾਨਬੋ ॥: Hindoo Turak kooo Raaphjee Imaam Saaphee maanas kee jaat sabhai ekai pahchaanvo: Someone is Hindu and someone a Muslim, then someone is Shia, and someone a Sunni. Recognize all mankind as one (Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Dasam Granth 51).
  • ਆਪਹਿ ਏਕ ਆਪਹਿ ਅਨੇਕ ॥: Aapahi eaek aapahi anaek: God Himself is the Unity, and He Himself is the diversity (sggs 279).
  • ਜਲ ਤਰੰਗੁ ਜਿਉ ਜਲਹਿ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਤਿਉ ਜੋਤੀ ਸੰਗਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਮਿਲਾਇਆ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕਟੇ ਕਿਵਾੜਾ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਨ ਹੋਈਐ ਜਉਲਾ ਜੀਉ ॥: Jal trang jiyu jalahi samaaiaa...: As the waves of water merge again with the water, so does my light merge again into the Light. Says Nanak, the veil of illusion has been cut away, and I will not go out wandering any more (sggs 102).
  • ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਨੈ ਤ ਏਕੈ ਜਾਨੈ ॥: Aap pashaanai ta ekai jaanai: When one realizes his Self, then he knows One God (sggs 855).
  • Experiencing one's own Self in all beings and all beings in the Self, one attains the highest Reality — and not by any other means (Veda, Kevalya Upnishad 10).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org