Coming and going is intrinsic to worldly life — Haume, false ego-sense, Manmukhtaa or material consciousness etc. The Gurbani's edict is what comes and goes is time-bound. Anything that is time-bound cannot be Eternal, hence not Real. To be Eternal or Real means to be free of beginning, middle and end. Whatever comes and goes is bound and limited by beginning, middle and end, therefore unreal — changeful, temporary, fleeting, impermanent, perishable, illusion, or simply "Mithiya". For example, we witness the natural phenomenon of an infant's body after birth going through the natural changes of childhood, youth, adulthood, old age and ultimately death. Accordingly, human life has been described metaphorically as a journey from the womb to the tomb. What begins has to end; what ends has to reappear somewhere. Hence change is the constant factor in material life.
Whatever happens between coming and going is only one's Vaasnaas — bundle of memories, undigested desires, conditionings, latent memories, innate tendencies, dispositions, or subtle impressions of the past. This change, which is a law of the nature, characterizes the entire universe. "Then why weep and grieve?", ask the Wise and True Ones.
On account of attachments, the common mistake we make is to be complacent that in life everything will be permanent. But, when inevitable change happens we are often caught unaware. It is similar to a boat navigating in the ocean with people aboard the boat enjoying themselves and suddenly confronted by an iceberg. The panic and fear that results can be imagined. But as with all laws of nature, the iceberg started the day the ocean originated and it is only the ignorance of its presence which is responsible for the boatmen's predicament. So also, change is intrinsic to mundane life. But it is our ignorance that is responsible for our suffering. To make the point, the Gurbani says even this body that was born with us will deceive and vanish any moment, what to speak of other things! To put it otherwise, all that is in memory and everything seen will perish.
In other words, anything made of the five elements is unreal; for it's temporary. Because the time-bound consciousness (ego, instinctive mind or Haume) to arise, it needs a form made of five elements. Once it has arisen, it cannot stand still — it must scurry around like a mouse. And this scurrying around takes place in the domain of Maya's three qualities: Taamas (ignorance), Raagas (passion), and Saatav (goodness). Thus, Maya is nothing but ignorance, for which a Gurmukh (Wise and Pure One) has no use at all. Evil passions — lust, anger, greed, emotional attachment, self-conceit, envy, stubborn mindedness, and their numerous variations — are the outward expansion of the five elements. In other words, these elements are the seed of which the world of name and shape is the tree. Upon end of the body, these five elements disappear along with the world-appearance.
Man's false ego-sense is responsible for his bondage as well as his sorrows. Ego is very difficult to overcome, as its manifestation is very subtle. Once the psychological ego (Haume) has raised its head, we want to make our worldly existence eternal. Strong material tendencies resulting from this attachment to individuality or false "I" forms bondage: ego-Maya. In other words, when mental modifications or objectivity arises in consciousness, the latter becomes conditioned and limited, that is bondage. Simply put, on account of foolishness, it is the subjection of the individual being to cycles of pain and pleasure (Doojaa Bhaav or duality). The Gurbani declares that it is this bondage which results in one's coming and going.
Evidently, that which comes or that which has beginning is not eternal and thus cannot escape end. So the Gurbani urges us to see deeper into the total unreality of coming and going or life and death (repeated suffering), which only exists in our seeming in the outer layers of consciousness (Haume or I-am-ness). Because living in such fragmented consciousness (or ignorance) prevents us from going within long enough to gain esoteric understanding (or becoming a Gurmukh). In absence of such understanding, it is not possible for us to unwind and reeducate our conditioned consciousness. Consequently, on accounts of doubts created by misunderstanding, we are unable to free ourselves from the cycles of cause-and-effect, which are the vehicles of the foolish or external mind (ego or Haume).
What then is the way out? The Gurbani says it is imperative that one has to make an effort to put an end to the transitory state by realizing the Self (God, Truth etc.) in this birth. We are also repeatedly reminded by the Gurbani that we all are "Joti-Svaroopa" (the state of Pure Consciousness), which is without a beginning and hence neither cause nor effect — Immortal Factor who is never born and can never die. Here the Gurbani has shown us a simple way to end the consciousness of coming and going by training the lower mind to become a Gurmukh (Spiritual Being...) and recognize that we are not this body, but "Joti-Svaroopa". To put it otherwise, when Haume — ego tendencies, movement in consciousness, subjection of senses to pleasure or false satisfaction — has ceased, there is the freedom from falsehood.
Only the Joti-Svaroopa (the Mool) is Eternal, Unconditioned or Unchanging, free of coming and going. Hence Self-realization will give lasting Joy and end the repeated suffering as the Divine Knowledge (Aatam Giaan) leads us to transcend Maya and the Mayaic efforts. How can one experience his Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...) within? As time and again indicated in the Gurbani, for the Spiritual Unfoldment, constant engagement in Shabad Vichaar is must. Once all the movements or impulse of the false ego-sense are ceased, the Mool stands Realized. To a person situated in that state of Spiritual Essence, nothing comes and goes. For him all happenings of the world are mere entertaining show.
— T. Singh
Updated on Saturday, March 17, 2012 8:19 PM (PST)
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