LIBERATION

The restless mind wanders in the ten directions - it needs to be
pacified and restrained. Says Nanak, whoever knows
this technique is judged to be liberated (sggs 685).
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The Spiritual Wisdom expounded by the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib) is monistic. It's primary goal is realizing one's complete identity with the Mool within (Source, origin, Jot...), in perfect union and non-differentiation. This is termed realization of the Turiyaa Avasthaa, Sunn Samaadhi, Nirvikalapa Samaadhi, Sahaj Samaadhi, Divine Vision, Dasam Duaar, Nirvana, and so on. The Gurbani indicates that this Spiritual experience of our Mool can be attained in this very life, "here" and "now", granting the so-called liberation — permanent release from Maya, unenlightened existence, etc.; final or eternal emancipation (Moksha or Mokh, Mukti, etc.).

  • ਜਿਤਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਅਪਾਰੁ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਨਿਆ ॥: Jitaa janam apaar aap pashaaniaa: I have obtained Eternal Life, Realizing the Self (sggs 522).
  • ਸੋ ਬਉਰਾ ਜੋ ਆਪੁ ਨ ਪਛਾਨੈ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਨੈ ਤ ਏਕੈ ਜਾਨੈ ॥੪॥: So baouraa jo aap na pachaanai. Aap pacchaanai ta eko jaanai ||4||: Man is crazy without Self-realization. When he knows himself (ਆਪਣੇ ਅਸਲੇ ਦੀ ਪਛਾਣ, the Reality of his Being, his True Nature, etc.), only then he comes to know the One (All-pervading Truth). ||4|| (sggs 855).
  • 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).

It is sensuality, craving for prolonging the material existence, craving for wealth and power, fears, ignorance, selfishness, Mayaic efforts, having a perverted view of the reality of the world and passions — lust, greed, anger, emotional attachment, pride, enviousness and stubbornness (and their numerous variations) — that yearn for intense physical pleasures of the world is the origin of bondage and suffering (Dukha). The cycle of life, birth and death continues indefinitely until it is broken through proper living, and correct vision guided by the inner Light of True Knowledge (Aatam Giaan). In other words, the evolution continues until the Jeeva (individual being) links back to its inherent perfection, uniting in prefect Oneness with his Mool, as does river water when returning to the ocean.

  • ਲਾਗੀ ਭੂਖ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਗੁ ਜੋਹੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਮੋਹਿ ਖਰੇ ॥: Laagee bhookh maya magu johai mukti padaarauth mohi khare: Driven by hunger (of craving and passions-Maya), man sees the path of Maya's riches; this emotional attachment takes away the treasure of liberation (sggs 1014).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਸਭੋ ਜਗੁ ਬਾਧਾ ॥: Maya mohi sabho jagu baadhaa: Attached to Maya, the whole world is in bondage (sggs 394).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬੈਰਾਗ ਨ ਛੂਟਸਿ ਮਾਇਆ ॥੧॥: Bin bairaag na shootas maya ||1||: Without detachment, Maya cannot be gotten rid of (cannot be liberated from Maya, etc.) ||1|| (sggs 329).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਮੈਲੇ ਮਲੁ ਭਰੇ ਹਉਮੈ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਵਿਕਾਰੁ ॥: Manmukh maile mal bhare haumai trisanaa vikaar: The Manmukhs are polluted. They are filled with the pollution of egotism, cravings and evil passions (sggs 29).
  • ਮਿਥਿਆ ਤਨੁ ਸਾਚੋ ਕਰਿ ਮਾਨਿਓ ਇਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਆਪੁ ਬੰਧਾਵੈ॥: Mithiaa tann saacho kar maanio ih bidh aap bandhaavai: O man, you see this false body as true; in this way, you have placed yourself in bondage (sggs 1231).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਵਹਿ ਸੇ ਬੰਧਨ ਤੋੜਹਿ ਮੁਕਤੀ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਪਾਇਦਾ ॥: Gurmukh hovahi se bandhan torrahi muktee kai ghari paaidaa: One who becomes Spiritual Being (Gurmukh) breaks his bonds, and attains the home of liberation (sggs 1062).

As indicated in the Gurbani, liberation does not mean death. It simply means total liberation from Mayaic intellect, etc. Hence, if liberation is to be achieved, it has to be realized while living in the body. It has no value after death; for what happens after death is immaterial. The Gurbani embraces the state of Jeevanmukti, liberated while alive, in which the evolved soul unfolds its inherent perfection while alive. This state of Jeevanmukta — living dead or one who "died before he died" — indicates the total demise of the false ego. This is the state in which one is not affected by the objective conditions, good or bad.

Presently, the majority of us in this world are asleep in unenlightened existence, bonded to objective conditions. What distinguishes the Jeevanmukta from the unenlightened or the non-liberated is his total freedom from all attachments, selfishness, lust and passions; his undivided abidance in the all-pervading Divine Presence within; his lucid witnessing consciousness; and his effortless Spiritual Wisdom, revealed in his spontaneous speech. In other words, the process of becoming Jeevanmukta involves separating one's consciousness from the material bondage.

  • ਜੀਵਤ ਪਾਵਹੁ ਮੋਖ ਦੁਆਰ ॥: Jeevat paavahu mokh duaar: Attain the Gate of Liberation while yet alive (sggs 343).
  • ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਸੋ ਆਖੀਐ ਮਰਿ ਜੀਵੈ ਮਰੀਆ ॥: Jivanmukata so aakheeye mar jeevai mariya: He who effaces his ownself and is dead in life, is said to have been liberated while alive (sggs 449).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਸਭੋ ਜਗੁ ਸੋਇਆ ਇਹੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਿਉ ਜਾਈ ॥: Maya moh sabho jagu soiaa ih bharam kahu kiyu jaaee: In emotional attachment to Maya, the whole world is asleep. Tell me, how can this doubt be dispelled? (sggs 205).
  • If here one is able to realize the Reality before the death of the body, he will be liberated from the bondage of the world (Veda).

The Jeevanmukta is also often referred to as the Awakened one (the Gurmukh): awakened to all illusions of Maya and liberated from them. He knows everything in life is impermanent; including life itself, money, fame, health, power, good things and bad things. At the present we are unable to experience this state of enlightened awareness, because it is masked by the sleep of ignorance, selfishness, passions, hatred, and so on — like a diamond covered with mud. In other words, when the Inner Light is overpowered by ignorance, the delusion of bondage or Maya arises in the mind. On the other hand, when one is firmly established in the Divine Knowledge (Aatam Giaan), the Maya's delusion comes to an end. Hence, when one Awakens to the fact that all is part of the illusion of egocentricity, one is free from that ego-illusion and all that goes with it. For the Realized being, Jeevanmukta, all illusions have vanished even as he lives out his life in the physical body. If the sun becomes a ball of ice or the moon a disc of fire, he will remain balanced. Free of all attachments and feelings of "likes and dislikes", nothing effects his state of Being. To put it otherwise, he lives in the world, but not of it. His purified intuition or transcendental bliss enables him to see the Reality as his own Mool within.

  • ਮਿਲਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਗਵਾਈ ॥: Mil Maya surti gavaayee: By associating with the Maya (illusion), the mortal loses Divine Understanding (sggs 989).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਵਡਾ ਗੁਬਾਰੁ ਹੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਬੁਝਿ ਨ ਸਕੈ ਕੋਇ ॥: Hayumai vadaa gubaar hai hayumai vichi bujhi na sakai koi: Egoism is utter darkness; in egoism, no one can understand anything (sggs 560).
  • ਸੁਖੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਦੋਨੋ ਸਮ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਨੈ ਅਉਰੁ ਮਾਨੁ ਅਪਮਾਨਾ ॥ ਹਰਖ ਸੋਗ ਤੇ ਰਹੈ ਅਤੀਤਾ ਤਿਨਿ ਜਗਿ ਤਤੁ ਪਛਾਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਉਸਤਤਿ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਦੋਊ ਤਿਆਗੈ ਖੋਜੈ ਪਦੁ ਨਿਰਬਾਨਾ ॥ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਇਹੁ ਖੇਲੁ ਕਠਨੁ ਹੈ ਕਿਨਹੂੰ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਾਨਾ ॥੨॥੧॥ : Sukh dukh dono sam kari jaanai aour maanu apamaanaa. Harakh sog te rahai ateetaa tini jagi tatu pashaanaa. Usatat nindaa do-oo tiaagai khojai padu nirabaanaa. Jan Nanak ihu khel kathan hai kinahoon gurmukhi jaanaa ||2||1||: One who knows that pain and pleasure are both the same, and honor and dishonor as well, who remains detached from joy and sorrow, realizes the true essence in the world ||1||. Renounce both praise and blame; seek instead the state of Nirvaanaa (Aatmic Avasthaa devoid of Vaasnaa). O servant Nanak, this is such a difficult game; only a rare Gurmukh understands it! ||2||1|| (sggs 219).

As indicated in the Gurbani (SGGS), the indescribable state of complete liberation is not be found outside, other places or in other objects. It's ever present within, "here" and "now"; but veiled by our suffering arising from our intense attachment to the body. In other words, attachment to the body is bondage, and detachment from it is liberation; subjugation of the Jeeva (individual being) to pleasure and pain is bondage, and absence of such subjugation is liberation. In other words, bondage is the conditioned mind attached to craving for enjoying the sense objects, and its abandonment is liberation. In essence, liberation is the total abandonment of all Vaasnaas or mental conditionings, without the least reserve. To put it otherwise, it's the dropping of limited identification, dissolution of individuality (false "I-ness", ਆਪਾ-ਭਾਵ), eradication of duality or separateness, removal of false boundaries, surrendering of illusions, or freedom from the falsehood that each one of us has created. It's the realization that "Sabh Gobind Hai, Sabh Gobind Hai"; simply meaning, It's all One Pure Consciousness (sggs 485). A liberated man sees the Mool in him the Mool in All.

  • 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).
  • ਇਹੁ ਧਨੁ ਸਰਬ ਰਹਿਆ ਭਰਪੂਰਿ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਸਿ ਜਾਣਹਿ ਦੂਰਿ ॥: Ihu dhanu sarab rahiaa bharapoori. Manmukh firahi si jaanahi door: This True Wealth is all-pervading, permeating all within. The materialist wanders around, thinking that it is far away (sggs 991).
  • ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਮਹਲੁ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਸਾਚੁ ਨ ਚੀਤਿ ॥: Tab lag mahal na paaeeai jab lag saach n cheeti: As long as the Truth does not enter into the consciousness, the Divine Presence is not realized (sggs 58).
  • ਦਰਸ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਪਿਆਸ ਮਨਿ ਲਾਗੀ ॥ ਸਹਜ ਅਨੰਦ ਬਸੈ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ॥੩॥: Daras tere kee piyaas amnn laagee. Sahaj anand vasai bairaagee ||3||: (O Lord, whose) mind thirsts for Your Vision (ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਦੀ ਤਾਂਘ); he dwells in detachment (from Maya, etc.) and remains in the Bliss of Sahaj (Natural State of Being, Intuitive Ease, ਆਤਮਕ ਅਡੋਲਤਾ, etc.) ||3|| (sggs 389).

True Knowledge (Aatam Giaan) liberates man from bondage. As the pure Mool (Source, origin, Jot...) is always present within, we are ever liberated, but not aware of it; just as a person who walks over a heap of gold buried underneath his feet without knowing it. Thus, liberation is not something afresh to be gained or found and then bring home. It's a state of mind or attitude. In other words, liberation is when all the inherent Divine Virtues are Awakened within and manifest in our day-to-day living, and when all the veils which prevent our experience of them fall away.

As we can see, it is not a goal we can strive for. Because, the very act of striving will keep us trapped within the cycle of thinking. Which is why the Gurbani asserts that there is nothing to be accomplished by merely thinking. Liberation, Enlightenment or Mool-realization is already within — we are what we are looking for. This is why the Gurbani urges us to train ourselves for meditation on the Formless, knowing that we have nothing afresh to strive for, nowhere to go or wander around, nothing new to create or attain. It's all "here" and "now". The teaching, instruction and the training the Gurbani offers us is simply for systematically removing the body-consciousness, so that we can awaken our Spiritual Being within and liberate ourselves from the poison of the mind by striking down the snake of every craving with the rod of Divine Knowledge. Thus both the cultivation of Divine Knowledge and cessation of craving must proceed together, simultaneously.

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਜੋ ਮੈ ਚਿਤਵਉ ਨਾ ਕਰੈ ਕਿਆ ਮੇਰੇ ਚਿਤਵੇ ਹੋਇ ॥: Kabeer jo mai chitavau naa karai kiaa mere chitave hoi: Kabeer, whatever I wish for does not happen. What can I accomplish by merely thinking? (sggs 1376).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਥਕੇ ਵੀਚਾਰ ॥: Bin satgur kinai na paaiaa kar kar thake veechaar: Without realizaing the Satgur within (Mool-realization), no one finds the Divine. People have grown weary of thinking about it (sggs 1420).
  • ਜਿਨਿ ਆਤਮ ਤਤੁ ਨ ਚੀਨ੍‍ਆਿ ॥ ਸਭ ਫੋਕਟ ਧਰਮ ਅਬੀਨਿਆ ॥: Jini aatam tatu n cheenhiaa. Sabh fokat dharma abeeniaa: Whoever does not Realize the Essence or Reality of the Soul (ਆਤਮਾ ਦੀ ਅਸਲੀਅਤ...), all his religious acts are of no value - worthless (sggs 1351).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਲੇ ਧਾਵਤੁ ਬੰਧਾ ॥: Brahm giaanee le dhaavat bandhaa: Brahm Giaanee - the knower of Truth - keeps his wandering mind in check (sggs 273).
  • ਕੇਤੇ ਬੰਧਨ ਜੀਅ ਕੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮੋਖ ਦੁਆਰ ॥: Keteae bandhan jeea ke gurmukh mokh duaar: There are so many entanglements for the soul. Only by becoming Spiritual Beings (Gurmukhs) do we find the Gate of Liberation (sggs 62).

Therefore, to be liberated means to dwell deeply in the present moment, to be aware of what is going on within and around us "now". Practicing to live in the "now" cultivates mental purification, true understanding, intuitive knowledge, truthful living, love, compassion, contentment, and bliss. Simply put: going beyond all contact-sensation-craving phenomenon is the culmination of enlightened liberation — detachment from causative Karma, Maya, duality, and ignorance or non-knowledge. Hence, freedom from all types of attachments or slavery to the false self and the desires of the materials world is liberation. Simply put: it is the renunciation of everything selfish.

  • ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਜਪਿ ਹਾਜਰਾ ਹਜੂਰਿ ॥: Jan Nanak hari japi haajaraa hujoori: Servant Nanak meditates on the Divine ever-present "here" and "mow" (sggs 1134).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਕਰਤੂਤੀ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ॥: Bin karatootee mukti na paaeeai: Without good deeds, liberation is not obtained (sggs 201).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬੈਰਾਗ ਕਹਾ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ॥: Bin bairaag kahaa bairaagee: Without detachment, how can one be a detached hermit? (sggs 1140).

In misunderstanding, many teach and believe if you were to give up your life, commit suicide or kill others in the name of your religion or God, you will attain liberation or heaven. Not so; for such foolishness is not the escape, it only prolongs the suffering. Nobody can hand over liberation to somebody else, or made it to order. It does not come from martyrdom, unmeaning rituals, dogmas, mechanical recitation of scriptures, sacrificial and lip worship, hundreds of fasts, pilgrimage or wandering to shrines and tombs, austerities of yogis, etc. One must experience it himself to extricate the roots of suffering through Spiritual Wisdom gained from the diligent study of the scriptures and the self-reflection that our true identity is not body-mind-intellect personality, but the Unconditioned Reality. Hence, liberation depends on self-purification, which leads to Spiritual insight. In other words, true detachment that leads to liberation follows from observation and analysis of one's own life. If someone claims, "I can grant you liberation", he is a cheat. If we are willing to shed our undue emotional attachment to the body, ultimately we are destined to realize liberation — whatever be one's religion, creed, faith, philosophy or conviction.

  • ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਭੇੜਿ ਮਰਹਿ ਭਿੜਿ ਸੂਰ ॥: Na bheejai bherri marahi bhirri soor: (God) is not won over by fighting and dying as a warrior in battle i.e., by becoming a martyr or Shaheed (sggs 1237).
  • ਪਾਖੰਡਿ ਕੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥੨॥: Paakhandi keenaih mukti na hoi ||2||: Practicing hypocrisy, no one finds liberation ||2|| (sggs 839).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਦਾਨੁ ਇਸਨਾਨ ॥: Gurmukh naam daan isanaan: Becoming a Spiritual Being, be blessed with Divine Name, charity and inner purification (sggs 942).

The Gurbani does not affirm fatalistic belief or defeatism. Accordingly, it recognizes the possibility of the modification of one's mentality in this life by awakening the Divine Knowledge (Aatam Giaan) through Shabad-Vichaar. Since the undivided Divine Presence is equally present in all of us, His Divine Grace is also ever present within everybody as the one omniscient Mool (Source, origin, Jot...). In reality, That's our essential status — ("Joti-Svaroopa"). But, due to the wrong mentality we have cultivated for ourselves, we do not know it. Therefore, Grace is not to be found outside in the worldly objects. It is within, "here" and "now". It is none other than the perfect freedom from Maya and ego-mind. In other words, knowing ourselves as "Joti-Svaroopa" is itself Divine Grace. When we liquidate all our egoism, selfishness or attachments through inner surrender, we unfurl within ourselves the Divine Grace — Spiritual Perfection or absorbing of all the power of the Spiritual Force within — which is necessary to fathom glory of the Spirit. The enlightened ones say that the Divine grace always flows like the breeze. But we sit inside our dinghies without unfurling the sails; disabling ourselves to reach the other shore of the ocean of Sansaar. By focusing on the Truth within, and practicing right vision, prayer, love, devotion, dispassion, introspection, discrimination between real and ephemeral, earnestness, selflessness and compassion we reach liberation from where there is no return to birth-death cycle.

  • ਏਕ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਵੇਖੈ ਸਭ ਊਪਰਿ ਜੇਹਾ ਭਾਉ ਤੇਹਾ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਈਐ ॥: Ek nadar kar vekhai sabh oopar jehaa bhaaou tehaa phal paaeeai: (The Satguru lovingly) looks alike upon all, but we receive the fruits according to our own motives (ਭਾਵਨਾ, ਨੀਅਤ, etc.) (sggs 602).
  • ਜੇਹੀ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਤੇਹਾ ਤਿਨ ਰਾਹੁ ॥: Jehee surit tehaa tin raah: As is (beings') awareness, so is (their) way (sggs 25).
  • ਜੇਹੀ ਮਨਸਾ ਕਰਿ ਲਾਗੈ ਤੇਹਾ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਏ ॥: Jehee mansaa kar laagai tehaa phal paae: As are the desires (ਮਨ ਦੀ ਕਾਮਨਾ ) one harbors (when he serves the Satguru), so are the rewards one receives (as is the aspiration, so is the reward) (sggs 116).
  • ਚਉਰਾਸੀਹ ਨਰਕ ਸਾਕਤੁ ਭੋਗਾਈਐ ॥ ਜੈਸਾ ਕੀਚੈ ਤੈਸੋ ਪਾਈਐ ॥: The faithless cynic suffers the ignominy 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).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਕਾਟੈ ਕੋਟਿ ਕਰਮ ॥੩॥੧॥: Gur ka Shabad kaatai koti karam ||3||1||: The Guru's Shabad eradicates millions of Karma ||3||1|| (sggs 1195).

In conclusion, the ultimate purpose of human life is realization of the Mool within (Source, origin, Jot...), the liberation from rebirth and death is the byproduct of this Spiritual Perfection. This is why a true seeker cares less for either liberation (Mukti) or materiality (Bhugti). For he is after the real thing: Realization of his Mool within. All other things such as liberation, etc., are added unto him.

  • ਰਾਜੁ ਨ ਚਾਹਉ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਚਾਹਉ ਮਨਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲਾਰੇ ॥: (O Prabhoo, I) neither desire for empire (Bhugati or materiality) nor liberation (Mukti); (my) mind longs for the love of your lotus feet (Virtues, Wisdom, Naam, Hukam...). (sggs 534).
  • ਮੁਕਤਿ ਬਪੁੜੀ ਭੀ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਤਿਆਗੇ ॥: A spiritually Wise forsakes even liberation (sggs 1078).
  • 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).

Thus, liberation, freedom, deliverance or Nirvana has to be discovered within. Also, liberation does not mean an end to intelligence, duty and responsibility. Neither it means running away from the world. It simply calls an end to the enslavement of the false ego-sense and Mayaic intellect. The Spiritual practices are all meant to develop control over one's mind; for only a meditative or unconditioned mind can intuit the bliss of his Pure Being within. A man of Mool-realization continues to engage in all activities of the world at the level of the body-mind-intellect, but he is always poised in his True Being within. Thoughts continue to arise in the mind of a Realized person as they do in the minds of others, but the real difference is that with his unconditioned mind he ceases to be a slave to them and hence remains unaffected by them. To the contrary, the rest of us become slave of our thoughts. Therefore, though it is not possible to dismiss thoughts from the mind but one could with practice stop converting them from taking root as desires and fears. This is the reason realization of the Mool, liberation or Nirvaana cannot be gifted to another like sharing some gross object or an empirical knowledge. It has to be realized by each individual for himself. Thus, liberation does not come without right understanding. As the Buddha says, "right views, right decision, right speech, right action, right living, right struggling, right thoughts, and right meditation", is the key.

  • ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਬਿਦਿਆ ਬਿਗਿਆਨਿ ॥: Mukti nahee bidiaa bigiaani: Liberation does not come from learning without understanding (sggs 903).
  • ਜੋਤਿ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥੮॥੩॥: Joti nirantar jaaneeyai Nanak sahaj subhaai ||8||3||: (In the Sanctuary of the Satguru) being established in Sahaj (Natural State of Being - ਆਤਮਕ ਅਡੋਲਤਾ ਵਾਲੀ ਅਵਸਥਾ) and being attuned to the Divine Love within, O Nanak, the Understanding is attained that the Divine Light pervades incessantly everywhere ||8||3|| (sggs 55).
  • ਗਿਆਨ ਵਿਹੂਣੀ ਭਵੈ ਸਬਾਈ ॥: Giaan vihoonee bhavai sabaaee: Without the Divine Knowlege, the entire world wanders about (sggs 1034).
  • ਕੁਟਿ ਕੁਟਿ ਮਨੁ ਕਸਵਟੀ ਲਾਵੈ ॥ ਕੂਟਨੁ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਬਹੁ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਬਹੁ ਪਾਵੈ ॥: Kuti kuti manu kasavatee laavai. Kootanu mukti bahu mukti bahu paavai: Pounding and struggling his mind, put it to the test. such a pimp attains total liberation (sggs 872).
  • ਸਭ ਕੈ ਮਧੇ ਅਲਿਪਤ ਨਿਰਬਾਣੇ ॥: Sabh kai madhe alipat nirabaane: In the midst of the happenings of the world, remain detached and balanced in Nirvaana (sggs 102).
  • ਗ੍ਰਿਹਸਤ ਮਹਿ ਸੋਈ ਨਿਰਬਾਨੁ ॥: Grihasat mahi soee nirabaan: In the midst of your household, remain in Nirvana (sggs 281).

To realize the Unconditioned Reality, Baabaa Nanak explains the five stages of Spiritual journey, and eight-fold practice for freeing the intelligence from the cloud of false ego-sense and from the thunderstorm of intense cravings. The five stages or realms of Spiritual journey are: the realm of Moral Duty or Dharma Khand, the realm of Spiritual Knowledge or Giaan Khand, the realm of Spiritual efforts or Saram Khand, the realm of Grace or Karam khand, the realm of Truth or Sach Khand (sggs 7-8). And the eight-fold practice to realize this journey is: continence or self-discipline (Jata pahaaraa); patience or Self-mastery (Dheeraj suniyar); proper Understanding or Intuitive Wisdom (Aihran mata); Self-knowledge or Realization (Ved hathiyar); Fear of God (Bhaou khallaa); Tapa (Agan Tapa taaou); devotion or Divine Love (Bhaandaa bhaaou); Meditation on Divine Name and Prayer, leading to Purity or Immortality (Amrit tita dhaal) (sggs 8).

  • ਜੈਸੇ ਜਲ ਮਹਿ ਕਮਲੁ ਨਿਰਾਲਮੁ ਮੁਰਗਾਈ ਨੈ ਸਾਣੇ ॥ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਭਵ ਸਾਗਰੁ ਤਰੀਐ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਖਾਣੇ ॥ ਰਹਹਿ ਇਕਾਂਤਿ ਏਕੋ ਮਨਿ ਵਸਿਆ ਆਸਾ ਮਾਹਿ ਨਿਰਾਸੋ ॥ ਅਗਮੁ ਅਗੋਚਰੁ ਦੇਖਿ ਦਿਖਾਏ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਦਾਸੋ ॥੫॥: Jaise jal mahi kamal niraalam muragaaee nai saane...: The lotus flower floats untouched upon the surface of the water, and the duck swims through the stream (i.e., without getting feathers wet); (similarly) O Nanak! With consciousness focused on the Shabad, one crosses over the terrifying world-ocean (of Maya). One who enshrines the One his mind, remains unaffected by hope in the midst of hope (worldly desires), he lives quietly (i.e., while living in the world or in the midst of Maya, he remains uneffected by it - a mode of emancipation). And the one who sees himself and inspires others to see the Unfathomable and Imperceptible, Nanak is his Daas ||5|| (sggs 938).
  • ਮਾਰਗੁ ਮੁਕਤਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰਿ ॥: Maaragu muktaa houmai maar: The path of liberation is found by subduing the ego (sggs 1274).
  • ਅੰਜਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨਿ ਰਹੀਐ ਜੋਗ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਇਵ ਪਾਈਐ ॥: (Yoga) is attained by remaining unblemished in the midst of the worldly filth (Maya) — this is the way to attain Yoga (sggs 730).
  • ਮਨਿ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਈਐ ਤਾ ਪਾਏ ਮੋਖ ਦੁਆਰੁ ॥: Man niramal naam dhiaaeeai taa paae mokh duaaru: Meditating on the Divine Name with a pure mind, the Door of Liberation is found (sggs 33).
  • ਨਾਮ ਵਿਹੂਣਾ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਕਿਵ ਹੋਈ ॥: Naam vihoonaa mukti kiv hoee: Without meditation on the Divine Name, how can anyone find liberation? (sggs 931).
  • ਤੋੜੇ ਬੰਧਨ ਹੋਵੈ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਮੰਨਿ ਵਸਾਏ ॥: Torre bandhan hovai mukti sabad manni vasaae: Break your bonds, and attain liberation; enshrine the Shabad (Divine Name) within your mind (sggs 920).
  • ਸੰਤਹੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਗਤਿ ਪਾਈ ॥: Santahu gurmukhi mukti gati paaee: O saints! (One) who become the Gurmukh, attains the state of Liberation (ਉੱਚੀ/ਗਿਆਨ ਵਾਲੀ ਆਤਮਕ ਅਵਸਥਾ...). (sggs 911).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org