SELF-REALIZATION

ਸੋ ਬਉਰਾ ਜੋ ਆਪੁ ਨ ਪਛਾਨੈ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਨੈ ਤ ਏਕੈ ਜਾਨੈ ॥੪॥:
So baouraa jo aapu na pachaanai. Aapu pacchaanai ta ekai 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).
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From the One Pure Bliss, The Supreme Consciousness, we have come. In that Pure Bliss we evolve. In the end, in that Pure Bliss we melt again. Whether we fully know it or not, Pure Bliss is the nature of Real Self within, our Mool (Source, Origin, Joti-Svaroop...). Realizing this, while living in this body, is Self-realization. In that sense, we are the Divine Story. In the teachings of the Gurbani, this Story only becomes more conscious and purposeful.The Gurbani indicates that the Inner Fulfillment we seek does exist and can be experienced by anybody by becoming the Gurmukh (Spiritual Being...), "here" and "now".

  • 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).
  • ਸੋ ਕਹੀਐ ਦੇਵਾਨਾ ਆਪੁ ਨ ਪਛਾਣਈ ॥: So kaheeai devaanaa aap n pashhaanaee: Call him crazy if he does not understand thiself (i.e., his real self, the Mool, Joti-Svaroop...). (sggs 142).
  • 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).
  • ਜਿਨੀ ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨਿਆ ਪਰਮਾਤਮੁ ਸੋਈ ॥: Jinee aatam cheeniaa parmaatam soee: Those who understand their own Soul, are themselves Parmaatam (sgg 421).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਚੀਨੈ ਆਪ ਕਉ ਸੋ ਅਪਰ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥੮॥: Nanak cheenai aap kayu so apar apaaraa: O Nanak, one who knows his real Self (ਆਪਣੇ ਅਸਲੇ ਨੂੰ ਪਛਾਣ ਲੈਂਣਾਂ, ਆਪਾ ਪਛਾਣਨ ਦਾ ਆਤਮਕ ਦਰਜਾ, etc.), becomes Infinite and Incomparable (i.e., he becomes God-like) ||8|| (sggs 229).

TheGurbani of uncompromising Truth urges us to go within; for are That (Joti-Svaroopa). Since the our Joti-Svaroop is always present within, we are never apart from it. Further, there are not two selves. The Real Self is only one, and we can't live without it. As such, it is not the matter of Realizing the True Self, but of Realizing that we never were not the True Self! Thus, it is the Self experiencing itself.

In our Original state (Mool, Joti-Svaroop...) we are spaceless, nameless, and timeless. On this Absolute, "movement" or the knowledge "I-ness" (false ego-sense) rises and out of that comes illusion (Maya) and that illusion covers the Truth. False ego is the quintessence of the body. But underneath this false ego we ever remain the Absolute. And after the disappearance of the body, the false ego will be gone, and only that Absolute will remain. For example, in the cinema hall the screen is fixed, whilst the pictures move on it. The screen, however, ever remains unaffected by the movement of these pictures. Likewise, the Spiritually Awakened person (the Gurmukh) is fully aware that the true state of his Inner Being ever remains unmodified and that all activities go on around him. Hence he considers only the screen and not the moving pictures! So, Self-realization is the understanding and conviction that I am not the body but I am that Joti-Svaroop indwelling in this body.

It is impossible for one to reach something within which he is not. To put it otherwise, upon Spiritual Realization one realizes that, all along, the one-who-wanted-to-realize was the same one he has been looking for; but he did not know it! In other words, the one who seeks answers is the answer! In essence, Liberation (Mukti), Realization, Enlightenment, opening of the Tenth Gate (Dasam Duaar), attainment of Chauthaa Pada (fourth state or Turiyaa Avasthaa), awakening of the Satgur or Saadh within, Spiritual Knowledge, Love, Joy, Peace, Bliss (Anand), Spiritual Perfection, and so on is none other than our own fundamental Ultimate Mool (Source, Origin...). To fully realize this — not just as an intellectual philosophy but as an actual experience by which one lives his daily life — is what Self-realization is all about. Thus Self-realization is not be given on a silver platter. It is always there.

  • 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).
  • ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਾਮ ਮਹਿ ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨਸਿ ਗੁਰ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥: Aatam mahi Raam Raam mahi aatam cheenas Gur beechaaraa: God is in the Soul, and the Soul is in God. This is realized through Reflecting (on the Teachings - Giaan...) of the Guru (1153).
  • ਆਤਮ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਆਤਮ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਬਦਿ ਵੀਚਾਰਾ ਹੇ ॥੭॥: Aatam Raam Raam hai aatam Hari paaeeai Sabad veechaaraa he ||7||: The soul is God, and God is the soul; by engaging in the Shabad Vichaar, God is found ||7|| (sggs 1030).
  • 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).
  • ਜਿਨੀ ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨਿਆ ਪਰਮਾਤਮੁ ਸੋਈ ॥: Jinee aatam cheeniaa parmaatam soee: Those who understand their own Soul, are themselves Parmaatam (sgg 421).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਚੀਨੈ ਆਪ ਕਉ ਸੋ ਅਪਰ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥੮॥: Nanak cheenai aap kayu so apar apaaraa: O Nanak, one who knows his real Self (ਆਪਣੇ ਅਸਲੇ ਨੂੰ ਪਛਾਣ ਲੈਂਣਾਂ, ਆਪਾ ਪਛਾਣਨ ਦਾ ਆਤਮਕ ਦਰਜਾ, etc.), becomes Infinite and Incomparable (i.e., he becomes God-like) ||8|| (sggs 229).
  • ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੀ ਤਤ ਅਨੂਪ ॥: Joti saroopee tat anoop: He is the Embodiment of Light, the Incomparable Essence (sggs 344).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਖੋਜਿ ਲਹਹੁ ਘਰੁ ਅਪਨਾ ਹਰਿ ਆਤਮ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੫॥: Nanak khoji lahau ghar apnaa hari aatam raam naam paya ||5||: O Nanak, search and examine your own inner being, and attain the Supreme Soul (i.e., see the All-pervading Lord within), and the Lord's Name ||5|| (sggs 1039).
  • ਏਕ ਕ੍ਰਿਸਨੰ ਸਰਬ ਦੇਵਾ ਦੇਵ ਦੇਵਾ ਤ ਆਤਮਾ ॥: Ek kirasanam sarab devaa dev devaa ta aatamaa (sggs 469).
  • ਚੇਤਿ ਸੁਚੇਤ ਚਿਤ ਹੋਇ ਰਹੁ ਤਉ ਲੈ ਪਰਗਾਸੁ ਉਜਾਰਾ ॥: Chet suchet chit hoyi rahu tayu lai pargaas ujaaraa (sggs 339).
  • ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨੈ ਸੁ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੇ ॥: Aatam cheenai su tatt beechaarae (sggs 224).

To help us Realize this Truth, the Gurbani inspires all thoughtful human beings to ask fundamental questions: "Why I am here in this world? What is the purpose of this human life? Who am I? Where did I come from, and where am I going? What is my true Support or Adhaar?", and so on.

There is only one real goal, the ultimate purpose: Realizing that we are not the body and that we are the Joti-Svaroop, wihch is attributeless, timeless etc. That is Self-realization. It simply means I am Wholeness (Saabat-ਸਾਬਤ). However, the man blinded by his ignorance, conditioned consciousness or "I-ness" is involved in the externalities of material existence which inhibits his turning inward. So long as the Self is not known, till then there will be no Freedom from repeated suffering and delusion. Thus, Realization of the Mool "here" and "now" is the purpose for being here this very moment. This Mool is without name, form, attributes and conditioning. Even though the Mool is within all, It is beyond all senses, beyond all intellect, beyond all forms, beyond time, and beyond space.

  • 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).
Among all the living species, the human form is most fit to be instructed about the nature of the Absolute Truth, the Essence of Divinity. In this human form, we have this rare opportunity to understand the Truth which is the Substratum of everything in the universe including our false ego or conditioned consciousness. Upon disappearance of the body, false ego also disappears, but the Substratum remains.
  • ਸੋ ਬਉਰਾ ਜੋ ਆਪੁ ਨ ਪਛਾਨੈ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਨੈ ਤ ਏਕੈ ਜਾਨੈ ॥੪॥: So baouraa jo aapu na pachaanai. Aapu pacchaanai ta ekai 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).
  • ਭਈ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਦੇਹੁਰੀਆ ॥ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਮਿਲਣ ਕੀ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਰੀਆ ॥ ਅਵਰਿ ਕਾਜ ਤੇਰੈ ਕਿਤੈ ਨ ਕਾਮ ॥ ਮਿਲੁ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਭਜੁ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮ ॥੧॥: Bhaee praapat maanukh dehureeaa. Gobind milan kee ih teree bareeaa. Avar kaaj terai kitai n kaam. Mil saadh sangat bhaj keval Naam ||1||: (You) have obtained (this) human body. This is your chance (time, opportunity...) to meet God. (If no effort is put forward to Realize God, then) all other efforts (work, ਉੱਦਮ) will be of no use (to your Soul). (Therefore) merge with the Saadhsangt and contemplate the Naam (Gur- or Aatm-Giaan...) alone ||1|| (sggs 12).
Under the spell of Haumai or "I-ness", ignorance or delusion (Maya), however, we have confounded the Mool with the body-frame. This is our error. The essentials of Self-realization is knowing that we are not this material body but we are different from it, and that our True Happiness is in Eternal Life, Bliss, and Spiritual Wisdom (the Gurmukh Lifestyle). We are already that. Hence the perfection of Self-realization means attaining a Blissful, Eternal Life full of Divine Knowledge — experience of the Totality.

This leads to a question: Even though the all-pervading Divine Presence dwells within, why are we unable to experience this Truth? What might be the obstacle to our Self-Unfoldment?

The obstacle is the rise of the veil of false ego (Haume), conditioned consciousness or "I am the body-mind" idea. Because of self-limitations and conditioning, the our Tru Nature becomes superimposed or covered by the false phenomena called egoism. As soon as the cover of false ego is removed, all concepts disappear and the Unlimited, Timeless, Spaceless and Formless Reality shines forth from within. Therefore, Self-realization is simply the loss of false ego.

  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਅਲਖੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਲਖਿਆ ਵਿਚਿ ਪੜਦਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਸਭੋ ਜਗੁ ਸੋਇਆ ਇਹੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਿਉ ਜਾਈ ॥੧॥: Antar alakh na jaaee lakhiaa vich pardaa haumai paaiaa. Maya moh sabho jag soiaa ihu bharam kahahu kiou jaaee ||1||: The Unseen God dwells within (the Jeeva - an individual being), but (the Jeeva) cannot see (understand, comprehend, etc.) This; (because, within the Jeeva) is the veil of egotism. In emotional attachment to Maya, all the world is asleep. Tell me, how can this doubt (of the Jeeva's) be dispelled? ||1|| (sggs 205).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਪਾਏ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਲਾਏ ॥: Gurmukhi Naam Niranjan paae. Gurmukhi haumain sabadi jalaae: By becoming the Gurmukh, one obtains the Name of the Immaculate Lord (Giaan...). The Gurmukh burns ego through the Shabad (-Vichaar...). (sggs 942).

To better understand it, we can look at the analogy of mirror and dust. One can not see himself in a dust-covered mirror. Similarly, it's not possible to perceive the subtle Mool due to the dust of ego covering the mirror of the mind or heart. Further, since the atomic Mool or Pure Awareness is subtler than the space, it is beyond the reach and comprehension of our limited mind and physical senses.

  • ਮਨੁ ਮੈਲਾ ਸਚੁ ਨਿਰਮਲਾ ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਜਾਇ ॥: Mann mailaa sach nirmalaa kiou kar miliaa jaai: The True Lord is Pure; (so long the man's) mind is impure (with Haumai, Bikaar, etc.); he cannot meet (Truth or the Lord) (sggs 755).
  • ਧਨਾਸਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੯ ॥ ਕਾਹੇ ਰੇ ਬਨ ਖੋਜਨ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਵਾਸੀ ਸਦਾ ਅਲੇਪਾ ਤੋਹੀ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਮਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਪੁਹਪ ਮਧਿ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਸੁ ਬਸਤੁ ਹੈ ਮੁਕਰ ਮਾਹਿ ਜੈਸੇ ਛਾਈ ॥ ਤੈਸੇ ਹੀ ਹਰਿ ਬਸੇ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਘਟ ਹੀ ਖੋਜਹੁ ਭਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਨਹੁ ਇਹੁ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਬਤਾਈ ॥ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਆਪਾ ਚੀਨੈ ਮਿਟੈ ਨ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੀ ਕਾਈ ॥੨॥੧॥: Kaahe re ban khojan jaaee ...: Dhanaasaree Mahalaa 9. Why do you go looking (for God) in the forest? Although he is ever detached, he dwells everywhere. He even abides with you. ||1||Pause|| Like the fragrance which remains in the flower, and like the reflection in the mirror, the Lord dwells deep within (all). (Therefore) search for Him within your own heart, O brother. ||1|| the Guru has imparted this wisdom: outside (the body) and inside (the body), know that there is only the One Lord (pervading everywhere). O Daas Nanak! Without Realizing one’s own self (Original, Essential, or True Nature, etc. – ਆਪਣਾ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਪਰਖਣ ਤੋਂ ਬਿਨਾ, etc.), the moss of doubt (ignorance of one’s True Nature, etc.) is not eradicated (from the mind) ||2||1|| (sggs 684). 
What is this "dust" that blocks our perception and stops us from experiencing the Divine Light within? What is it made of, and where does it come from? The Gurbani reveals to us that all living entities in this world are covered by the three-modes of material nature or Maya (illusion, ignorance, false ego, delusion, wrong identity, etc.). In other words, the dust on the mirror of our mind consists of material contamination — ignorance born false ego, desires, fear or Vaasnaas (unceasing demands for sense gratification). Owing to our false ego-sense (haumai), we forget the Naam (Aatam-Giaan...). Consequently, we can neither see nor understand our True Nature (Joti-Svaroop).
  • ਏਹ ਮਾਇਆ ਜਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਮੋਹੁ ਉਪਜੈ ਭਾਉ ਦੂਜਾ ਲਾਇਆ ॥: Eh Maya jit Hari visrai moh upjai bhaau dooja laaiaa: This is Maya, by which God is forgotten; emotional attachment and love of duality is born (sggs 921).
  • ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੂਲੁ ਹੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਿਸਾਰਿ ॥: Trai gun Maya mool hai vich haumai Naam visaar: The tripple-qualitied Maya is the roots of worldly attachment, and in ego, the mortal fogets the Name (sggs 647).
Sometime it so happens that the morning clouds or fog cover our eyes from seeing the sun. It's not that the sun is not there. In fact the sun is always there. We simply do not see it because clouds block it from the limited view of our eyes. In the same manner, even though our True Mool is always present within, the clouds of Maya's contamination blocks Him from our vision.
  • ਧੂੰਮ ਬਾਦਰ ਸਭਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਸਾਜ ॥: Dhoom baadar sabh Maya saaj: All the show of Maya is just a cloud of smoke (sggs 1192).
Maya is very strong. We must realize that, after all, it is the inherent power of the Supreme Being! The deception ("Chhal") of Maya creates a division in consciousness which gives rise to the phenomenal world of subject-and-object. Surpassing this Maya is like chewing steel-balls! The powerful soldiers of Maya include attachment, pride, jealousy, ignorance born ego, lust, pain and pleasures, sin, desires, anger, blind sense-mind, the pleasure of taste and flavors, worldly attachments, doubts, corrupt intellect, greed, and so on. With such mighty soldiers, Maya is a formidable foe indeed! Then, how one can conquer the mighty fortress of this Cosmic Delusion?

The function of Maya's mighty soldiers is to cover the mind-mirror by placing the "dust" of material contamination on it. As this "filth" of false ego (Haumai) thickens, we become unable to see the effulgence of the Divine Light (Mool) within. Therefore, the goal is to free the mind of the influence of Maya.

  • ਮਨਿ ਮੈਲੈ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥: Mani mailai bhagti na hovaee naamu n paaiaa jaai: With a filthy mind (filth of Haumai...), Bhagti cannot be performed, and the Naam cannot be obtained (sggs 39).
Thus, secret in becoming a Self-Realized person (Gurmukh) lies in cleansing of our heart. We are lacking. Therefore, we need to be purified. Without cleansing of the mind, it's impossible to Understand the Mool or link with the Mool. The Gurbani reveals to us the mystery of this process of Self-realization - Through the Shabad-Vichaar, the Divine Light of the Naam (Giaan...), the Lord’s Name, will shine within.
  • ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣਿਆ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਪਰਗਾਸੁ ॥: Gurmatee aap pachhaaniaa Raam naam paragaas: Follow the Guru’s Teachings (i.e., Gurmat or Shabad-Giaan), and recognize your own Self; the Divine Light of the Lord’s Name will shine Within (sggs 86).
The Gurbanicalls the false ego "homeless". For example, a mirror reflects a face held close to it, but the real face is beyond the mirror! Similarly, man's attitudes and character reflect as the ego-sense in one's Self, but his attitudes and character is not his True Self. In that sense, it's said that false ego does not exist anymore than a son of a barren woman; because, there is in truth nothing else but the Supreme Truth. The Gurbani, therefore, calls the false ego "homeless".
  • ਇਹੁ ਨੀਘਰੁ ਘਰੁ ਕਹੀ ਨ ਪਾਏ ॥: Ih neeghar ghar kahee na paae: This ego is homeless; it will never find a home (sggs 1347).
  • Concern yourself not with the thief-like ego and its business. Whatever is not God's work is nothing, nothing! (Sufi Poet Jalaluddin Rumi).
There are different processes meant for cleansing of the heart. The process of Baabaa Nanak is the practice of meditation (Jap or Naam-Simran) coupled with selfless service, the act of giving, Self-inquiry, diligent study of scriptures, truthful living, keeping constant Spiritual Company, and so on. With the cleansing of the heart, (a) one's activities (Karma) become pious; (b) Divine knowledge (Giaan) comes to abide in the mind; (c) senses become tame, making contemplation and meditation easy; and ultimately (d) one becomes absorbed in Pure Consciousness. In other words, this "I" consciousness, which resides in the body has mistakenly assumed itself to be the body, gradually realizes its True Nature which is without any inherent limitations.
  • ਨਿਜ ਪਦ ਊਪਰਿ ਲਾਗੋ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥: Nij pada oopar laago dhhiaan: I focus my meditation on my inner Self, deep within.(sggs 1159).
The Shabadis of the Divine Nature. Therefore, Intuitive Realization of the Shabad is God-realization. By becoming Shabad-conscious, one tastes the sublime essence of the Pure Being deep within the cave of his heart.
  • ਤੂ ਮੋਟਉ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਸਬਦ ਮਾਹਿ ॥: Too moto Thaakur Sabad mahi: O Great Lord, you are contained in the Shabad (sggs 1188).
  • ਕਿਆ ਭਵੀਐ ਸਚਿ ਸੂਚਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਸਾਚ ਸਬਦ ਬਿਨੁ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Kiaa bhaveeai sachi soochaa hoi. Saach sabad bin mukti na koi ||1||Rahaaou||: What is the use of wandering around? Purity comes only through Truth. Without the True Shabad, no one finds Liberation ||1||Pause|| (sggs 938).
A man suffering from Jaundice finds sugar to be very bitter. However, as we know it, the nature of sugar is sweet; but, because of his Jaundice condition, he can not realize the true taste of the sugar. The same sugar with bitter taste becomes his medicine. Once cured, he realized the sweet nature of the sugar. Similarly, because of our Jaundice condition (Haumai) we find the Divine Name (Brah-Giaan...) to be bitter and tasteless in the beginning. However, once we become cured (purified), it tastes sweet, Pleasing, and Blissful.

Thus, the practice of Bhagti or Shabad-Vichaar etc., is to realize our True Nature within, which is Joti-Svaroopa. Our attachment to Maya creates separation - upon becoming conditioned (Manmukh), we cut ourselves off from our very Source; the All-pervading Universal Consciousness. Every limb of our body is very valuable as long as it is attached to the body. If any limb is cut off from this body, it becomes worthless. We are "Ansh" or a part-and-parcel of the Supreme Reality The moment we are cut off from that, our life also become worthless as well.

  • ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਤੇ ਭੁਲਿਆਂ ਵਿਆਪਨਿ ਸਭੇ ਰੋਗ ॥ ਵੇਮੁਖ ਹੋਏ ਰਾਮ ਤੇ ਲਗਨਿ ਜਨਮ ਵਿਜੋਗ ॥: Paramesar te bhulliaan viaapan sabhe rog. Vemukh hoi Raam te lagan janam vijog: Forgetting the Transcendent Lord, all sorts of illnesses (of this material world-Maya) are contracted. Those who turn their backs on the Lord (Brahm-Giaan...) will be separated from Him for many lives (sggs 135).
Therefore, the goal of human existence is to become linked or reestablished in one's Mool within. This is the ultimate aim of living: Realization of one's True Nature, as made in the image of Divine Light (Joti-Svaroop). What ever has come upon this Unconditioned Consciousness is time bound, thus illusion.
  • 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).
  • ਤਤੁ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਬਾਈ ਸੋਹੰ ਭੇਦੁ ਨ ਕੋਈ ਜੀਉ ॥: Tat niranjan joti sabaaee soham bhed na koee jeeo: The essence, the immaculate Lord, the Light of all — I am He and He is me — there is no difference (sggs 599).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋਹੰ ਹੰਸਾ ਜਪੁ ਜਾਪਹੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣ ਤਿਸੈ ਸਮਾਹਿ ॥: Nanak soham hansaa jap jaapahu tribhavan tisai samaahi: O Nanak, chant the chant of "Soham hansaa" — "He is me, and I am Him." The three worlds are absorbed in Him (sggs 1093).
  • Tat tvam asi: Thou art That (Vedas).
Thus, the Self-realization is none other than knowing within "Soham" (I am That or He is me). It is to identify with the Pure Consciousness within. This Intuitive Realization of the Mool within is the Essence of real Dharma.
  • ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਵੈ ਸੋਇ ॥: Aap pachhanai man nirmal hoyi. Jeevan mukti har paavai soi: Pure becomes the mind of him, who recognizes his ownself. He is Liberated in this life and attains Lord (sggs 161).

Self-realization is the opposite of ignorance. Simply put: Realization is to get rid of the ignorance that one is apart from the Mool. To take the world of names and forms with their qualities and differences as real and one's Mool as unreal is the ignorance, the cause of pain and suffering. To know the Tru Nature as the only Reality (Joti-Svaroopa) and all else as temporary (Jhooth, Koor or Mithiyaa) is Self-realization. It is like cleansing the cloudy mirror — the same mirror that shows us the world of plurality will also show us our real Mool when polished by the cloth of Shabad-Vichaar (Aatam-Giaan, Bibek-Budhi...).

What does happen upon becoming Enlightened or Self-realized? Does it mean one's problems and strives will disappear? Does it mean that one retires from all activities of life and meditate twenty-four hours on his naval, or between the eyebrows, or at the tip of his nose? No. Upon becoming Enlightenment, one's problems still will be there, one's duties still will be there, life's strife still will be there, body's diseases and sickness and death still will be there.

"Then, what does change upon Realizing the Self?", one may ask. What changes is the perception or angle of vision of approaching life, that is, one becomes witness to his life, without any trace of emotional attachment. He accepts everything he undergoes as due to God's Hukam (Bhaanaa) with equanimity of the mind. He is like the water drops which do not adhere to the lotus leaf! Simply put: The mind of a Realized Being becomes open to everything, but remains ever detached from everything (Maya...)! In the following hymn, we have a glorious description of this Transcendental State.

  • ਬੇਗਮ ਪੁਰਾ ਸਹਰ ਕੋ ਨਾਉ ॥ ਦੂਖੁ ਅੰਦੋਹੁ ਨਹੀ ਤਿਹਿ ਠਾਉ ॥ ਨਾਂ ਤਸਵੀਸ ਖਿਰਾਜੁ ਨ ਮਾਲੁ ॥ ਖਉਫੁ ਨ ਖਤਾ ਨ ਤਰਸੁ ਜਵਾਲੁ ॥੧॥ ਅਬ ਮੋਹਿ ਖੂਬ ਵਤਨ ਗਹ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਊਹਾਂ ਖੈਰਿ ਸਦਾ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਕਾਇਮੁ ਦਾਇਮੁ ਸਦਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੀ ॥ ਦੋਮ ਨ ਸੇਮ ਏਕ ਸੋ ਆਹੀ ॥ ਆਬਾਦਾਨੁ ਸਦਾ ਮਸਹੂਰ ॥ ਊਹਾਂ ਗਨੀ ਬਸਹਿ ਮਾਮੂਰ ॥੨॥ ਤਿਉ ਤਿਉ ਸੈਲ ਕਰਹਿ ਜਿਉ ਭਾਵੈ ॥ ਮਹਰਮ ਮਹਲ ਨ ਕੋ ਅਟਕਾਵੈ ॥ ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਖਲਾਸ ਚਮਾਰਾ ॥ ਜੋ ਹਮ ਸਹਰੀ ਸੁ ਮੀਤੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ॥੩॥੨॥: Begam Puraa sahar ko naaou ...: Begam Puraaa, "the city without sorrow", is the name of That City (or State of mind). There is no suffering or anxiety there. There are no troubles or taxes on commodities there. There is no fear, blemish or downfall there. ||1|| Now, I have found This most excellent City. There is lasting Peace and Safety there, O Siblings of Destiny. ||1||Pause|| God's Kingdom is steady, stable and eternal. There is no second or third status; all are equal there. That City is populous and eternally famous. Those who live there are truly wealthy and contented. ||2|| They stroll about freely, just as they please. They know the Realm of the Divine Presence, and no one blocks their way. Says Ravi Daas, the emancipated shoe-maker: whoever is a citizen there, is a friend of mine ||3||2|| (sggs 345).

— T. Singh
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