JEEVAN PADVEE - PERFECTION IN LIFE

God's slaves attain the highest status of life: Jeevan Padvee. Meeting
them, the soul is enlightened. ||1|| Those who listen with their mind
and ears to the God's meditative remembrance, are established
at the Divine Realm within and blessed with peace, O mortal.
||1||Pause|| Twenty-four hours a day, meditate on God. O
Nanak, beholding the Divine Vision I am enraptured (sggs 200).
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The state of "Jeevan Padvee" or Pooran Pada means the highest Perfection in life. In essence, it is the art of living right (the Gurmukh Lifestyle) where one's mind is stripped of all egoistic or Mayaic concepts or agendas one's inner transformation into holistic development. Also called God-realization, this is the state of undivided Mool or Pure Awareness. In short, it is the state of freedom from the psychological domain (false ego-sense or Haume).

The person of Perfection (Pooran or Pooraa) is situated in true spirituality and omniscience Awareness. He knows the mystery of life. Accordingly, he genuinely smiles at all situations in life, including death. He understands that all that happens around him is the play of consciousness. He can penetrate the past, present and future (i.e. time) and behold Truth.

The Gurbani tells us we are Perfect at this very moment the "Joti-Svaroopa". That is we are all that we will ever be. In fact there is nothing in this world which is not Perfect. That is to say, a Perfect God cannot fashion a world which is not Perfect, complete or just. The reason we have a myriad of complaints and find plenty of things that are wrong with the world is that our behavior with the external world is crooked. We live in a difficult state of affairs. Our minds are fragmented, illusioned or clouded. We are ignorant, fanatic, stubborn, deceptive, greedy and corrupt. As a result, we are unaware of the Perfection (Mool) that lies dormant within us.

Therefore, before we can be successful in the spiritual or Divine life (the Gurmukh Lifestyle), we must straightened ourselves out in the exterior world. When the outer life becomes truthful, we will get into a blissful flow of life. Simply put, the state of "Jeevan Padvee" or Perfection in life is attained by arriving at the state of Higher Awareness within (Mool, Source, Jot...). It is inside ourselves only to be discovered. We can do that in a moment, in a year or in many years...

The fact remains that deep inside us is the Perfect Mool (Source, Jot...). The way to overcome the reactionary Kaarmic pattern or Mayaic efforts is to awaken the Perfection within. Otherwise the fragmented mind will not lose its mistaken identity with the body-frame. And, consequently, the real coordination of life will not be possible.

  • ਉਤਮ ਪਦਵੀ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਚੇ ਰਹੈ ਸਮਾਇ ॥: Outam padvee paaeeai sache rahai samaai: Remains absorbed in the Truth and achieve the ultimate state (sggs 552).
  • ਬਿਨਵੰਤਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਮਿਲਿ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਾਜਨ ਅਮਰ ਪਦਵੀ ਪਾਵਹ ॥: Binavant Nanak mil sang saajan amar padvee paavah: Prays Nanak, meeting with the True Friend (the Self within), we attain the immortal status (sggs 846).
  • ਜਿਤਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਅਪਾਰੁ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਨਿਆ ॥: Jitaa janam apaar aap pashaaniaa: I have obtained Eternal Life, Realizing the Self (sggs 522).

Before further analyzing the state of "Jeevan Padvee", it would be helpful to summarize other synonymous terms appeared in the Gurbani. They are "Jeevan Pada", "Jeevan Padu", "Attal Padvee", "Utam padvee", "Ootam Padvee", "Mokh Padvee", "Amar Padvee", "Param Padvee", "Oochee Padvee", "Chauthee Padvee", "Jeevan Padu Nirvana", etc. All these terms are essentially the same as the state of divine life, Gurmukhood, the state of eternal life, the state of spiritual life, the state of Pure Being, the state of supreme life, the state of supreme dignity, the state of exalted life, the state of ultimate life, the state of sublime life, the state of immortal life, the state of Nirvana, the state of truthful living, the state of redemption, the state of enlightenment, the state of Divine Vision or Darshan, the state of liberation or being living-liberated (Jeevanmukta), Aatamic-Jeevan, fourth state (Turiyaa), true state, and so on.

The state of Perfection in life "Jeevan Padvee" is indescribable but when it is expressed in terms of Divine Virtues like truthful living, selflessness, fearlessness, highest morality or character, humility, the vision of Oneness, universal love, compassion, wisdom (Aatam Giaan), true contentment, tolerance, forgiveness, goodness, simplicity, virtuous conduct, non-attachment, etc., one gets drawn towards it. A man of Perfection spontaneously exhibits such noble qualities; because this what he is. He is good not for the sake of any recognition, not from fear of persecution, but because this is his real nature. No external circumstance, event, threat, fear, danger or temptation can change his nature. He is what he is. In other words, from a practical standpoint, Perfection in life is a clarity of understanding and vision; it is selfless love for others; it is the state of unconditional servitude; it is willingness to accept others as they are and serve them; it is a life in an unbroken contemplation on the Mool within (Source, Jot...); it is a life of discipline and immaculate character in accordance with the Divine Teachings (Gurmat); it is the ability to take responsibility for one's actions; and it is sticking to the truth come what may. If we can prepare ourselves to accomplish all this, then we are on the path of spiritual life: "Jeevan Padvee".

  • ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਲੋਗ ਰਾਮ ਜਨ ਊਤਮ ਮਿਲਿ ਊਤਮ ਪਦਵੀ ਪਾਵੈ ॥: Har ke log raam jan ootam mil ootam padvee paavai: Godly people are the most lofty and exalted. Meeting with them, the most exalted status is obtained (sggs 881).
  • ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਕਾ ਭਉ ਗਇਆ ਜੀਵਨ ਪਦਵੀ ਪਾਇ ॥: Janam maran kaa bhaou gaiaa jeevan padvee paai: When the fear of birth and death depart, one obtains the honored state of eternal life (sggs 556).
  • ਜੀਵਨ ਪਦਵੀ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਦਾਸ ॥: Jeevan padvee har ke daas: God's humble slaves attain the highest status of life (sggs 200).

Thus, seeking of "Jeevan Padvee" is the man's quest for linking with his Mool within (Source, Jot...). In other words, true spiritual life or "Aatamic-Jeevan" is the conscious search for the Wholeness within, which is the man's essential nature or his true identity. How can we realize such a boundless life of highest Perfection? As indicated in the scriptures, it is attained by acting in Pure Consciousness. One who can transform his fragmented sense-blind mind can easily attain Perfection in the Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan) without delay. The Gurbani in the following verses hints us as to how we all can know and understand the supreme status of life while living in the body.

  • ਊਤਮ ਪਦਵੀ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਈ ॥: Ootam padvee har naam samaaee: Of the most exalted state is to get bsorbed into the Divine Name (sggs 364).
  • ਭਗਤਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਜਨ ਦੇਖਿ ਹਜੂਰਿ ॥ ਸੰਤ ਜਨਾ ਕੀ ਪਗ ਪੰਕਜ ਧੂਰਿ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਸੇਤੀ ਸਦ ਰਹਹਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਪੂਰੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਦੀਆ ਬੁਝਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਦਾਸਾ ਕਾ ਦਾਸੁ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਕੋਈ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਊਤਮ ਪਦਵੀ ਪਾਵੈ ਸੋਇ ॥: Bhagati karahi jan dekhi hajoori...: God's humble servant worships Him, and beholds Him ever-present, near at hand. He remains humble in the spiritual company, and lovingly attuned to God forever. He is blessed with this understanding by the Perfect True Guru (i.e., God). ||1|| How rare are those who become the slave of God's slaves. They attain the supreme status (sggs 1174).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਭਗਤਿ ਭਾਉ ਕਰਿ ਦਇਆਲ ਕੀ ਜੀਵਨ ਪਦੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਰਾਮ ॥: Nanak bhagati bhaau kari daiaal kee jeevin padu paaeeai raam: O Nanak, by practicing God's loving devotion, attain the state of eternal life (sggs 848).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਭਾਣੈ ਜੋ ਚਲੈ ਤਾਂ ਜੀਵਣ ਪਦਵੀ ਪਾਹਿ ॥: Gur kai bhaanai jo chalai taan jeevan padvee paahi: One who walks in harmony with the Divine Will, obtains the supreme status of life (sggs 508).
  • ਊਚੀ ਪਦਵੀ ਊਚੋ ਊਚਾ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਸਬਦੁ ਕਮਾਇਆ ॥: Oochee padvee oocho oochaa niramal sabadu kamaaiaa: The lofty and exalted state, the highest of the high is obtained, practicing the immaculate Word of the Shabad (sggs 1041).
  • ਪਰਤੀਤਿ ਹੀਐ ਆਈ ਜਿਨ ਜਨ ਕੈ ਤਿਨ੍‍ ਕਉ ਪਦਵੀ ਉਚ ਭਈ ॥: Parateet heeai aaee jin jan kai tinh ko padvee uch bhaee: Those humble beings who have faith in their hearts, are awarded the highest status (sggs 1402).
  • ਜੀਵਨ ਪਦੁ ਨਿਰਬਾਣੁ ਇਕੋ ਸਿਮਰੀਐ ॥: Jeevan padu nirabaan iko simareeai: To obtain the state of life of Nirvaanaa, meditate on the One God (sggs 322).

Now the question is: if we are Perfect at this very moment, then why are we unable to experience our Mool within (Source, Jot...)? As indicated in the Gurbani, the beastliness in man, the false ego-sense (Haume), doubts, etc., has chained and fettered him. The faults of this tainted psychological construction are lust, anger, greed, attachment, self-conceit, envy, stubbornness and their numerous variations such as fear, deception, corruption, frauds, untruthfulness, selfishness, and so on. We act in these evil passions to maintain a long life, but are unable to see beyond this body-consciousness. Although we all were born with the Pure Consciousness ("Jeevan Padvee"), but we lost touch with it once the beast of false ego-sense or "I-am-ness" arose within us.

  • ਲਾਲਚੁ ਕਰੈ ਜੀਵਨ ਪਦ ਕਾਰਨ ਲੋਚਨ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਸੂਝੈ ॥: Laalach karai jeevan pada kaaran lochan kashhoo na soojhai: Man acts in greed to maintain his life and status, and sees nothing with his eyes (sggs 692).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਰੋਗੁ ਵਡਾ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ॥: Houmai rog vaddaa sansaar: The world is suffering from the greatest disease of egotism (sggs 1278).
  • ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਸੂਤੇ ਕਬਹੁ ਨ ਜਾਗਹਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹ ਪਿਆਰ ॥: Doojai bhaai soote kabahu na jaaghi Maya moh piaar: Asleep in the love of duality, people never wake up; they are attached to the love of Maya (sggs 852).

Realization of "Jeevan Padvee" means a person has no sign of beastliness in him both externally and internally. Simply put, man minus beastliness or false ego-sense is "Jeevan Padvee". In other words, when we become free of all types of desires (Kaam), we become established in Pure Consciousness, "Jeevan Padvee". Without such Perfection in life the ego-mind will rise again and again. The desire for sense-gratification in us indicates the presence of false ego, and vice versa. The state of divine life, eternal life or spiritual life consists in becoming free from the onslaught of material and other desires. As indicated in the Gurbani, once a person becomes free from the tethers of desires, he is no longer an individual (Jeeva). He has attained the state of Godhood, Mool-realization or "Joti-Svaroopa". Such complete person of Total Consciousness is called Gurmukh in the Gurbani.

  • ਚਉਥੀ ਪਦਵੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵਰਤਹਿ ਤਿਨ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸਾ ਪਾਇਆ ॥: Chouthee padvee gurmukh varatahi tin nij ghar vaasaa paaiaa: The Gurmukhs dwell in the fourth state; they obtain a dwelling in the Home of their own inner being (sggs 1130).
  • ਸਚੀ ਰਾਸੀ ਸਚੁ ਧਨੁ ਉਤਮ ਪਦਵੀ ਪਾਂਹਿ ॥: Sachee raasee sach dhan utam padvee paanhi: (Those who maditate on the Divine Name) They gather the stable wealth of the Name; and they are blessed with the ultimate status (sggs 1419).

The purpose of external religions and spiritual paths is to direct our life so that we can eliminate beastliness in us and attain the enlightenment of the soul. In other words, the religion is to push the man towards "Jeevan Padvee" or Perfection, to tell him as to why he must overcome his weakness and perversions, and to explain him why it is necessary to selflessly serve others. The essence of all this is to purify our conduct and demeanor, attain complete tranquility of the mind (Sunn Samaadhi), experience the feeling of the ecstatic spiritual bliss (Anand), get the immutable spirit of selflessness and passionlessness, eliminate the illusion of separateness, and realize the Mool (Source, Jot...) within. So we are urged by the wise and the Gurbani to wake up and find what the life really is.

  • ਹਰਿ ਜੀਵਨ ਪਦੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਮੇਰਾ ॥: Har jeevan padu Nanak prabh maraa: O Nanak, my God is the true state of life (sggs 1005).
  • ਨੀਚ ਜਾਤਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਪਤਿਆ ਉਤਮ ਪਦਵੀ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਪੂਛਹੁ ਬਿਦਰ ਦਾਸੀ ਸੁਤੈ ਕਿਸਨੁ ਉਤਰਿਆ ਘਰਿ ਜਿਸੁ ਜਾਇ ॥: Neech jaati hari japatiaa outam padvee paai. Pooshahu bidar daasee suttai kisanu utariaa ghari jis jaai: Even of lower Jaati, by meditating on the Divine Name (Giaan...), one obtains the state of highest dignity (ਆਤਮਕ ਦਰਜਾ). (If it is hard to believe) Go and ask about Bidar, the son of a maid; Krishna himself stayed in his house (sggs 733).
  • ਜਾਗ ਲੇਹੁ ਰੇ ਮਨਾ ਜਾਗ ਲੇਹੁ ਕਹਾ ਗਾਫਲ ਸੋਇਆ ॥: Jaag lehu rae manaa jaag lehu kahaa gaafal soiaa: Wake up, O mind! Wake up! Why are you sleeping unaware? (sggs 726).
  • ਜੋ ਜਾਗੇ ਸੇ ਉਬਰੇ ਸੂਤੇ ਗਏ ਮੁਹਾਇ ॥: Jo jaagae sae oubarae sootaae geae muhaae: Those who remain awake and aware are saved, while those who sleep are plundered (sggs 34).
  • ਕਛੁ ਬਿਗਰਿਓ ਨਾਹਿਨ ਅਜਹੁ ਜਾਗ ॥: Kashu bigario naahin ajahu jaag: Nothing has been lost yet - there is still time to wake up! (sggs 1187).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org