"SAABAT SOORAT": INTACT CONSCIOUSNESS
ਨਾਪਾਕ ਪਾਕੁ ਕਰਿ ਹਦੂਰਿ ਹਦੀਸਾ ਸਾਬਤ ਸੂਰਤਿ ਦਸਤਾਰ ਸਿਰਾ ॥:
Nanak paaku kari hudoori hadeesaa saabat
soorati dastaar siraa (sggs 1084).
The content of the Gurbani is esoteric knowledge recorded for the purpose of reflection and contemplation; to be followed by the Realization of the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...). However, in ignorance and selfishness, the educated members of the sly priest-class, clergy, clerics and religious scholars (ਵਿੱਦਵਾਨ) learn to misinterpret the contents of their scriptures and then arrogate themselves a monopoly of this knowledge, and then viciously trade upon it in a businesslike manner.
Misunderstanding of the true message of the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) results in confusion and misguiding the generation. This confusion arises from our incapacity to understand what exactly is the connotation meant by the Spiritual Teachers when they used certain terms in their poetic expressions of the inexpressible Infinite Truth. One of such expressions in the Gurbani is "ਸਾਬਤ ਸੂਰਤਿ" (Saabat Soorat). The Word of the Gurbani is Spiritual; thus, beyond body-consciousness (false ego-sense, Mayaic intellect...). However, in the menacing body-consciousness when we stand confused and lost, we may take a direct literal meaning of this expression to suggest something like "a complete face", "an unaltered face", "an unaltered body", and so on! But, such worldly interpretation based on superficial dictionary meaning would be an insult not only to the Divine Word of the Gurbani but also to the Great Teachers who uttered these words in extreme ecstasy of their own Spiritual Experiences.
When we get more and more acquainted with the true Spirit of the entire Gurbani (or other Spiritual literature for that matter), the scriptural connotation in which the expression such as "Saabat Soorat " is used becomes crystal clear. "Saabat" (also spelt Sabat ) means intact, complete, total, undivided, unconditioned, unadulterated, unalloyed, unbroken, timeless, uncontaminated, immutable or pure. "Soorat" (or "Soorati") means Awareness or Consciousness. Integrating both terms, "Saabat Soorat " constitutes that state of Pure Awareness or Unconditioned Consciousness where there is no time and space or past and future (Doojaa Bhaav or duality-Maya). Such a state of Pure "Being" (the Gurmukh) exists when there is no attachment to the mind (egoism).
Thus, "Saabat Soorat " is our Real Being (Mool, Joti-Svaroopa...). However, false ego-sense (Haumai) has made us separate from This Source. The state of "Saabat Soorat" is synonymous with many other terms such as such as "Saabat Vasatu" (ਸਾਬਤੁ ਵਸਤੁ), Saabat Dill ("ਦਿਲ ਸਾਬਤਿ" - Intactness or Wholesomeness or Purity of the Heart-subtle, Inner Kaaiaa...), "Saabat Poonjee" (ਸਾਬਤੁ ਪੂੰਜੀ-Intact Naam-Wealth), "Saabat Jaage" (ਸਾਬਤੁ ਜਾਗੇ), "Saabat Hovai Raasi" (ਸਾਬਤੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਰਾਸਿ), "Poonjee Sabat Raasi" (ਪੂੰਜੀ ਸਾਬਤੁ ਰਾਸਿ), "Ih Poonjee Saabatu Dhannu Maalu" (ਇਹ ਪੂੰਜੀ ਸਾਬਤੁ ਧਨੁ ਮਾਲੁ), Truth, Shabad-Surti, State of complete detachment from Maya, egolessness, Soul-Nature, Soul-Consciousness, True Nature, Inner Purity, State of Spiritual Enlightenment or Spiritual Consciousness, Intact Consciousness, Total or Undivided Consciousness, State of being Liberated while incarnated (Jeevan Mukti), Chauthaa Pada or Turiyaa Avasthaa (Transcendental Sate), Sahaj Avasthaa, being established in Dasam Duaar (Tenth Gate), Amrit Dhaaraa, Brahm Giaan (intuitive Wisdom, Divine Knowledge, Aatam Giaan...), and so on.
In fact this state of "Saabat Soorat" (Undivided Consciousness) is none other than our Essential Nature. This leads to the following question: If It never left us then how we lost track of It? Our false ego-sense (Haume) has intervened. That's all! False ego sense is nothing but disturbance on the surface of the Undivided Consciousness ("Saabat Soorat"); resulting in subject-object relationship (duality, Maya) where the world of names, shapes, cause, effect, time and space is seen.
Simply put: "Saabat Soorat" is a state of Pure Mind (or Heart) free of imprisonment from false ego — conditioning, attachment, delusion, jealousy, lust, selfishness, fear, desires, stubborn mindedness, pride, confusion, conflict, fear, grief, repression, anger, hatred, vengeance, fanaticism, ignorance, differences, corruption, death, doubt (Bharam), Mayaic Budhi, and so forth. In short, the state of "Saabat Soorat" is God's Mind.
After birth, while growing, we are trained and programmed to identify with the body-consciousness of "I, me, mine, your". In the process, side by side, there arises false ego — divided or conditioned consciousness — as one grows from infancy to adolescence. It then gets firmly rooted after we marry and entangle in the achievement of various worldly desires. The moment false ego becomes stronger in us, we become prisoner of cravings, fears, and delusions. Consequently, the world of gross objects looks real to us! Such divided or conditioned consciousness results in false self-identifications with the time-bound consciousness, resulting in contamination of the state of Pure Being.
How can Undivided become divided? It does not! In reality, Undivided ever remains Intact ("Saabat"), because Absolute cannot be "cause" and "effect". If you take something out of Infinite, It still remains Infinite! The opposite of "Saabat Soorat" is "ego-center" or the feeling of "mine, mine". With this "ego-center" arises the confusion (doubts...), in which we keep making one error: We take ourselves to be finite, and the inner for the outer and the outer for the inner. That Conscious Principle which is ever present in us, we take to be outside us, and what is outside (the world of gross objects) we take to be in us. Although the mind and its projections are external, but due to our faulty vision (egoism or Haume) we take them to be intimate. Consequently, we believe the world to be objective, while its entirely a projection of our psyche.
Thus, although we all were born as "Saabat Soorat", however, with the expression of Vaasnaas — the undigested desires, psychological conditionings, latent memories, innate tendencies, inherent inclinations, self-limitations, dispositions, obstinate clinging to a fancy, deluded imagination, memories or subtle impressions of the past existing in our bosom — we ended up being a limited body-mind-intellect. Then, from this deluded personality arose the perceiver of objects, the feeler of emotions, and the thinker of thoughts. This is duality or separateness from the "Saabat Soorat ".
How can we retrace our steps back to our True Nature — "Saabat Soorat "? Identification with the finite apparatus of body-mind-intellect constitutes divided or time-bound awareness, while identification with the Infinite and Eternal Mool is "Saabat Soorat" or Pure Awareness. If we wish to rediscover This Truth, the Gurbani urges us to abandon the error of mistaken self-identification with the time-bound consciousness (body-identity).
The Gurbani indicates that he who considers himself free becomes free and he who thinks he is bound remains bound. To put it otherwise: "As one thinks, so one becomes''. The mind is the instrument for receiving Divine-knowledge (Aatam Giaan...). Due to ignorance it identifies with the body which is transient. One who wants to abide in the Mool ("Saabat Soorat" or Soul Nature...) has to get over this mistaken identification by rooting out everything that falls in the category of the non-Self. By constantly identifying with the Self the seeker manifests his Spiritual Nature called "Saabat Soorat" or "Joti-Svaroopa".
One of the distinguishing qualities by which it will be possible to identify a man of "Saabat Soorat" is the detached attitude by which he will be behaving even amidst worldly activities. While discharging his worldly duties, such person will not get himself emotionally involved in them. For this, practice of Shabad-Vichaar and living by the it from an early age will ensure that as a person grows, he will develop a deep affection to Truth only, ensuring intactness of "Saabat Soorat". Without "Saabat Soorat" or "Saabat Dill", as the Gurbani says, there is no attainment of God.
Such Spiritual Being is called "Gurmukh" in the Gurbani. The opposite of Gurmukh is Manmukh (material being...). In other words, a Gurmukh is a person situated at the platform of Undivided Consciousness called "Saabat Soorat". On the contrary, a Manmukh is a person infected with divided consciousness — false ego, Hayume, Mayaic Budhi, or unenlightened existence. Mental condition of the enlightened ones who have awakened themselves from the material or body-consciousness (Maya) and who have their "ego-center" Spiritualized is described in the Gurbani as follows as Gurmukhs.
The Gurbani speaks at the level of the Aatma (Soul, Mool, Jot - Niraakaar...) not at the level of the body-consciousness. In fact, the Gurbani does not promote body-consciousness (Maya, falsehood...). To the contrary, the Gurbani wants us to transcend or go beyond the body-consciousness (Maya, falsehood...). In fact, According to the Gurbani, a person in body-consciousness or Maya (i.e., the Manmukh) cannot remain Saabat (Intact Consciousness...). Only the Gurmukh (who understands and lives the Aatam Giaan of the Gurbani, who has transcended the body-consciousness or Maya, who has Realized his Mool...) can remain Saabat!
In order to realize the state of "Saabat Soorat", the Gurbani urges us to go back to that state of "Baal-Budhi" (infant-like Consciousness). That infant — which we are even at this very moment — is our Real Self (Joti-Svaroopa). We must retrace our steps back to That state of Intact Consciousness, where the real "I" is still in its Totality (Saabat). It was later, on account of the rise of false ego, that it became temporarily confused as "I am this or I am that". Simply put: Once the burden of false self-identifications is abandoned, the state of "Saabat Soorat" shines forth from the behind!
— T. Singh
Updated on Friday, August 10, 2012 8:17 PM (PST)
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