TRUE IDENTITY

O my mind, you are the embodiment or the True Image of the Divine Light (i.e., God) - recognize
your Origin (Roots, Reality, etc.). (sggs 490).
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Cosmic Reality is not only Eternal and Bliss Absolute, but also Light. That Cosmic Light is the true structure of all beings. We are That — the embodiment, emanation or the manifestation of the same, One Omnipresent Light. To put it in simple language, in its Essential Nature, our mind (Soul - Aatmaan) is the Mind of the Light — Ageless, Unborn, Eternal, Immortal, Imperishable, Ancient, Changeless, and Homogenous Oneness. This is our True and Eternal Identity. This Truth is alsoindicated by the term Joti-Saroop or Joti-Svaroop. We are time and again reminded in the Gurbani to recognize This Truth, "hear" and "now"!

The term Light conferred in the Gurbani is not used in the sense of grosser light of candles, electric bulbs, and so on. It denotes the Cosmic Consciousness, Cosmic Energy, Infinite Wisdom, Cosmic Knowledge — the Word, the Naam, the Hukam, the Shabad or the Transcendental Vibratory Sound that vibrates, creates, guides, controls, directs, sustains and animates every particle of the Cosmos.

On account of ignorance, man forgets about his Essential Nature as "Joti-Svaroopa", resulting in ego, illusion, body-consciousness or "I-am-the-body" idea. In this mistaken identity ("I-ness"), he then confounds the Eternal Self with the finite body-mind-intellect apparatus. Seen in such ego or illusion is the birth of the body made of the five elements and its death. Also, seen in it is the phenomenal world of names, shapes, movements and miseries. This body-consciousness, in turn, gives rise to the sense of doership and enjoyership (ego-identity).

In body-consciousness, man's all worldly relationships become bondage. He then exclusively thinks about his body, spouse, children and power. Overtaken by lust, greed, anger, sense-attachment, self-conceit, enviousness and stubborn mindedness, he loses Divine Virtues. He becomes materialist or Mayadhaaree (the Manmukh), and comes down to the level of animals. In selfishness, he thus does havoc and corruption. He gives up the path of compassion and truth or righteousness, and adopts the path of obstinate error and violent destruction. Every act performed (Mayaic efforts) in such obscured consciousness becomes suffering (Dukha) in disguise for him.

The Gurbani urges each and every person of the world to unlearn or deprogram this incorrect identification of who we have become. We are asked to come out of this unenlightened existence by recognizing our True and Eternal Identity as "Joti-Svaroopa", which is Truth-Knowledge-Bliss. We are urged to engage in Shabad-Vichaar and correct our faulty vision. This will begin the quest for Spiritual Wisdom (Aatam Giaan). The Gurbani asks us to live the life of love, true compassion, truth, understanding, contentment, kindness, inner purity, harmony, oneness, selflessness, peace, Wisdom, spiritual fraternity, universal goodwill, tolerance, loving Bhagati, and so on. As the mind gets purified through the Shabad-Vichaar, it moves toward the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...), causing the body-consciousness ("I-ness") to disappear.

Accordingly, attaining liberation from the error of body-identity (Mayaic Budhi or intellect) is the teaching of the Gurbani. Because the true Divine Life begins where the body-consciousness ends. Where there is no attachment to the body-mind-intellect there is no time or past and future. Thus, after the cessation of the body-identity or duality, only the Pure Consciousness or "Joti-Svaroopa" remains, and the mind goes back to its Divine Source (Mool). Verily the Purity of the mind is the Supreme Bliss.

Thus, man's True Identity is in his inner Divine Qualities, not in outer details as to what language he speaks, what religion or philosophy he follows, what clothes he wears, what external looks or distinctive features he maintains, how he prays or worships, what color is his skin, and so on. Therefore, according to the Gurbani and other genuine scriptures, it will be a blunder to think that man's True Identity is determined by the outer details or his exclusiveness; for they do not constitute the real man. His true sense of identity is in Oneness or Sameness — that Light, Infinite Consciousness or "Joti-Svaroopa" which pervades all, equally.

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org


Updated on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 7:33 PM (PST)

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