DE-SUPERIMPOSITION

I behold my Beloved, now that the curtain (superimposition) has been torn
away. Now my mind is happy, pleased, satisfied and in bliss (sggs 716). If the
veil of falsehood is removed from within, then lasting peace is obtained (sggs 490).
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The essence of all spirituality is becoming free from the false self (false ego-sense or Haume). When there is false self, there is bondage and resulting superimposition ("veil", "covering", "curtain" etc. of falsehood or Haume). In the absence of these, there is the Freedom or Jeevanmukti — the state of being a Gurmukh. How can we remove the "veil", "cover" or "curtain" of superimposition from our non-dual, True Self ("Joti-Svaroopa")? Through de-superimposition ( removing of the "veil", "cover", "curtain" etc.). Desuperimposition is essentially eradication of Maya (illusion, doubts, etc.), one's corrupted or conditioned consciousness (Haume or "I" consciousness). However, it's not easy to eliminate the limitations of the psycho-physical personality imposed on the True Self; for our false egoity becomes stronger and stubborn when we start identifying ourselves with the worldly attractions. But a balanced approach of the Gurbani consisting of selfless service (Sevaa), Pure Knowledge, selfless Love and compassion, unadulterated association of Sat (Truth) within and without, and earnest contemplation and meditation on the Divine Name is sure to transform the unripe egoism and lead the seekers to the ultimate Goal. When the egoistic mind attains union with the True Self, the mistaken body identity ceases to be. The person who has experienced this state for him there is no more illusion about his True Nature, which is "Joti-Svaroopa". The scriptures and the Enlightened Ones tell us that the Infinite Consciousness is the Substratum (Adhaar) of everything. But our conditioned senses can only see to the contrary (plurality, duality or Doojaa Bhaav), not the underlying Substratum, the Homogenous Oneness.

  • ਸਹਸਾ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਹਉਮੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਲਾਇ ॥ ਕੂੜੈ ਕੀ ਪਾਲਿ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਨਿਕਲੈ ਸਚੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥ (sggs 591).
  • ਰਹੁ ਰਹੁ ਰੀ ਬਹੁਰੀਆ ਘੂੰਘਟੁ ਜਿਨਿ ਕਾਢੈ ॥: Rahu rahu ree bahureeaa ghoo(n)ghat jin kaadhai: Stay, stay, O daughter-in-law do not cover your face with a veil (sggs 484).
  • ਕੂੜੈ ਕੀ ਪਾਲਿ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਨਿਕਲੈ ਤਾ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥: Koorrai kee paal vichahu nikalai taa sadaa sukh hoi (sggs 490).
  • ਗੁਰਿ ਖੋਲਿਆ ਪੜਦਾ ਦੇਖਿ ਭਈ ਨਿਹਾਲੁ ॥: Gur kholiaa parradhaa dhaekh bhee nihaal: The Guru has torn away the veil (of illusion, doubts etc.), and beholding the Jewel (Naam), I am delighted (sggs 801).
  • ਪੇਖਿਓ ਲਾਲਨੁ ਪਾਟ ਬੀਚ ਖੋਏ ਅਨਦ ਚਿਤਾ ਹਰਖੇ ਪਤੀਨ ॥: Pekhio laalan paat beech khoy anand chitaa harakhe pateen: I behold my Beloved, now that the curtain (superimposition) has been torn away. Now my mind is happy, pleased, satisfied and in bliss (sggs 716).
  • ਜੀਵਨ ਪ੍ਰਾਨ ਹਰਿ ਧਨੁ ਸੁਖੁ ਤੁਮ ਹੀ ਹਉਮੈ ਪਟਲੁ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਰਹੁ ॥: Jeevan praan har dhann sukh tum hee houmai pattal kirapaa kar jaarahu: You are my life, my breath of life, O Lord, my wealth and peace; be merciful to me, and burn away the curtain of egotism or Haume (sggs 829).

This underlying Reality behind all the diversity is reinforced by the Persons of Light and the scriptural texts for our understanding through variety of methods, analogies, similes, allegories, metaphors and figurative or mystic representations. Through de-superimposition, when we come to know who we truly are, we will see ourselves in all. Only when we realize that our Self and the Self of all others are one and the same, we will go beyond all suffering, all sorrow, all repulsion, and all delusion.

For this to happen, the "mouse" of false ego-sense (Haume) scurrying around within must be silenced. Until then, de-superimposition is not possible. A Spiritually Wise (Gurmukh) knows very well that, without mental Purity, physical control will not last too long. Therefore, victory over one's mind is the best of all. Mere physically restricting or fasting senses from their objects will not permanently remove taste or longing for them! Therefore, a Spiritually Wise constantly exercises discrimination between body and mind. As a result, he can retire his senses from the objects of perception as soon as he detects temptation. As soon as the cover of this false ego-sense is removed, the unlimited, timeless, spaceless and formless Reality shines forth from behind the mind. Therefore, de-superimposition (i.e. Self-realization) is simply the loss of the ego-mind or Haume. As one can not see himself in a dust-covered mirror, similarly, one can not perceive the non-dual Self due to the dust of the false ego-sense covering the mirror of the mind or heart.

  • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਆਰਸੀ ਕੋਈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵੇਖੈ ॥ ਮੋਰਚਾ ਨ ਲਾਗੈ ਜਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਸੋਖੈ ॥ ਅਨਹਤ ਬਾਣੀ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਸਬਦੁ ਵਜਾਏ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੪॥: Ihu manu aarsee koee Gurmukhi vekhai ...: This mind is like a mirror (or looking-glass, through which one can see his Mool, Source, Originality, Authentic Nature, Jot-Svaroop, ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ, etc., but); hardly any by becoming the Gurmukh (Spiritual Being...) sees himself in it. The rust (of ego or Haume, Maya...) does not stick to (the mind of him who becomes the Gurmukh and) burns his ego (and, with ego burnt, he can see himself through this mind-mirror). The Unstruck Melody of the Bani, the Pure Shabad resounds (within the Gurmukh); through the Gur-Shabad, (the Gurmukh) remains absorbed in the Truth ||4|| (sggs 115).
  • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਮੈਲਾ ਇਕੁ ਨ ਧਿਆਏ ॥: Ihu manu mailaa ik na dhiaaye: This mind is filthy and polluted; it does not meditate on the One (sggs 116).
  • ਮੇਰੈ ਮਨਿ ਤਨਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਆਧਾਰੁ ਹੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਬਿਖੁ ਜਾਲੀ ॥: Merai mani tani naam aadhaar hai haumai bikh jaalee. The Divine Naam is the Support of my mind and body. With it I have burnt away the poison of ego (sggs 449).

Towards this ultimate end, we need to understand the realm of Truth within the body while alive ("here" and "now") through self-purification and self-observation. So that we can take off from the levels of ignorance, falsehood and selfishness (negativity and defilement) into the heights of selflessness (the state of no false ego), spontaneity ("Sahaj") and perfection in life ("Jeevan Padvee")., so that we all can achieve this finest Self-development within: the Unfoldment of the Spiritual Perfection or godly status that already exists in each one of us. Truth will empower us to live a life of veracity, truthfulness, righteousness, selflessness, purity, goodwill and love. Otherwise life, education, progress, or knowledge has no meaning whatsoever.

Everything is present within this body, here and now, including ignorance as well as the Self-knowledge (Aatam-Giaan). Just as poison is antidote to poison, weapons are destroyed by other weapons, a thorn is removed by another thorn, dirt cleans dirt, and enemies kill other enemies, even so this ignorance when inquires into seeks to destroy itself and then seeks the Light of the True Knowledge within (Aatam-Giaan). In other words, the moment we become aware of ignorance, it folds its tent and leaves forever, never to comeback again. Upon cessation of ignorance of our Spiritual Nature, we come to know how it arose in the first place. Also, then we realize that this ignorance is not a real entity. Instead, it is nothing but the superimposition of the false self or nonessentials on the Mool (Source, Jot...). When investigated with the help of the Shabad-Vichaar , the superimposition is destroyed, and ignorance ends. Just as when the dirt is removed, the real substance is made manifest, similarly, when ignorance (illusion of Maya, false ego-sense or Haume etc.) is dispelled, Truth is realized. Simply stated, just as when enemy rejoices after destroying other enemy, even so this ignorance or Maya rejoices when it is destroyed! That is to say, ignorance expands by means of ignorance, and yields greater darkness. On the other hand, when it seeks Spiritual Wisdom, it feeds on Wisdom and grows into this Wisdom in the end, loosing itself in the process.

  • ਮਮਾ ਮੂਲ ਗਹਿਆ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨੈ ॥ ਮਰਮੀ ਹੋਇ ਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਜਾਨੈ ॥ ਮਤ ਕੋਈ ਮਨ ਮਿਲਤਾ ਬਿਲਮਾਵੈ ॥: Mammaa mool gahiaa...: Mammaa: Clinging to the Source, the mind is satisfied. One who knows this mystery understands his own mind. Let no one delay in uniting his mind (sggs 342).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਬੰਧਨ ਤੇ ਮੁਕਤਾ ॥: Brahm giaanee bandhan te muktaa: Brahm Giaanee - the knower of Truth - is free from worldly entanglements (sggs 273).
  • ਛੋਡਹੁ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਕੂੜ ਕਬਾੜਾ ॥ ਕੂੜੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਕਾਲੁ ਉਛਾਹਾੜਾ ॥ ਸਾਕਤ ਕੂੜਿ ਪਚਹਿ ਮਨਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਦੁਹੁ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਪਚੈ ਪਚਾਈ ਹੇ ॥੬॥: Shodahu praanee koor kabaadaa ...: O mortal, abandon falsehood and your worthless ways (ਨਿਰੇ ਮਾਇਆ ਦੇ ਮੋਹ ਦੀਆਂ ਗੱਲਾਂ, etc.). Death (of one's spiritual life, ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ, etc.) viciously kills the false beings (the death-experience is extremely painful to the false, etc.). The Saakat (one separated from the Truth, etc.) is ruined through his falsehood and his egotistical mind. On the path of duality, he (thus) rots away ||6|| (sggs 1025).

Just as the water in the mirage, snake on a rope, etc., is eliminated through perception of the real nature of the mirage and the rope, similarly by dissolving or linking in the "Joti-svaroop" - one's Real Identity - through the knowledge of the nature of one's own True Self, all that superimposed or projected by unreal ignorance constituted by name-form-action-time-space-cause etc., one becomes established in the Real Self, the stadilized mind. Therefore, the Gurbani urges us to arise, awake, and learn by the Shabad-Vichaar. As the Gurbani points out, for most of us, this is like walking on double-edged sword; for the Self is beyond grossness of the senses - soundless, touchiness, colorless, tasteless, odorless, undying, beginning, middle or end. But we have no other option.

  • ਰਾਜ ਭੁਇਅੰਗ ਪ੍ਰਸੰਗ ਜੈਸੇ ਹਹਿ ਅਬ ਕਛੁ ਮਰਮੁ ਜਨਾਇਆ ॥ ਅਨਿਕ ਕਟਕ ਜੈਸੇ ਭੂਲਿ ਪਰੇ ਅਬ ਕਹਤੇ ਕਹਨੁ ਨ ਆਇਆ ॥: Raaj bhuiang prasang jaise hahi ab kashu maramu janaaiaa. Anik katak jaiase bhooli pare kahate kahanu na aaiaa (sggs 880).

Ignorance of one's True Nature as Pure Consciousness is the seed of mundane or unenlightened existence, which consists in superimposing Haume on the Self. Hence, its elimination through untainted Self-knowledge is must. Through meditation (Naam-Simran or Jap), the sense-organs and the mind are fixed on the Self. This is the way of control of faults (Bikaars, all evil passions, corruption of Maya etc.) of the false ego-sense or Haume (lust,anger, greed, attachment, self-conceit, enviousness, stubborn mindedness and all other variations of these). In other words, we need learning how to remain inactive in actions! As soon as the cover of false ego is removed, all concepts disappear and the Unlimited, Timeless, Spaceless and Formless Reality shines forth. Therefore, Self-realization is simply the loss of false ego. To put it otherwise, the Real Self is attainable through self-purification and control of the mind. It requires detaching the mind from without and turning it within. All spiritual practices are to fill the mind with our Real Nature (Pure Awareness). If that does not happen, then who are we kidding?

  • ਹਉ ਹਉ ਕਰਤ ਬਧੇ ਬਿਕਾਰ ॥: Hou hou karat badhe bikaar: Acting in egotism one's Bikaars only increases (sggs 1192).
  • ਸੋ ਬੈਸਨੋ ਹੈ ਅਪਰ ਅਪਾਰੁ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਨਿ ਤਜੇ ਬਿਕਾਰ ॥੪॥੯੬॥੧੬੫॥: So baisano hai apar apaar. kahu Nanak jin tajae bikaar ||4||96||165||: Infinitely invaluable is that Vaishnaav, that worshipper of Vishnu, says Nanak, who has renounced corruption. ||4||96||165|| (sggs 199).
  • ਪੰਚ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਬਸੇ ਰਾਚੇ ਮਾਇਆ ਸੰਗਿ ॥: Panch bikaar mann mahi base raache Maya sa(n)g: The five evil passions (i.e. all evil passions, including their variations) dwell in the mind of one who is engrossed in Maya (sggs 297).
  • ਬਿਕਾਰ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਾਦਿ ਸੋਇਓ ਸੂਝ ਬੂਝ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥: Bikaar Maya maadi soiou soojh boojh na aavai (sggs 899).

Since we are unaware of the Reality, there is the superimposition in a person's response to worldly situations. We react to life situations than responding with discerning intelligence (Viveka-Budhi). Therefore, we need to step back and look at the life situations. Due to our reacting, generally in life situations we miss the obvious and go for that which is not obvious. Living in the world involves a subject (Haume or "I") relating to an object. Accordingly, when a Jeeva (an individual being) relates to another person or a situation his response is vitiated. Sometimes, the projections totally transform the situation out of proportion. This distortion of our conditioned consciousness (Haume) is referred to as superimposition ("veil", "covering", "curtain" etc. of falsehood or Haume). Knowledge is to know an object as it is. "I" consciousness is part of the Totality. Not knowing this Truth creates confusion. But, without understanding the Totality, the "I" cannot be understood in isolation. Therefore, living intelligently as a Gurmukh (Spiritual or egoless Being) is the key.

  • ਸਰਬ ਰਸਾਇਣੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਾਤਾ ॥: Sarab rasaaein guramukh jaathaa: By becoming the Gurmukh realize the essence of Totality (sggs 415).
  • ਚੇਤਿ ਸੁਚੇਤ ਚਿਤ ਹੋਇ ਰਹੁ ਤਉ ਲੈ ਪਰਗਾਸੁ ਉਜਾਰਾ ॥: Chet suchet chit hoyi rahu tayu lai pargaas ujaaraa: When you are conscious in your Consciousness, you will be Enlightened and Illuminated (sggs 339).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਸਚੇ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਏ ॥: Gurmukh boojhai aap pashaanai sache sach samaaye: As Gurmukh, I have come to understand and realize the Self; I have merged in the Truest of the True (sggs 938).
  • ਕਿਤੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਪੁਰਖਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਵਟਾਇਆ ... ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਜਨਮੇ ਗਵਨੁ ਮਿਟਾਇਆ ॥: Kit bidh purkhaa janam vataaiaa ... Satgur kai janame gavan mitaaiaa: O man, how have you changed the course of your life?.....(This is how I have changed the course of my life) By awakening the True Guru (God, Self-realization, Shabad-Surti, God-consciousness, Joti-svaroop etc.) within, my wandering in reincarnation has ended (sggs 939).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org