UNDERSTANDING OF THE TRUE SUKH

The discernment of the Sukha is this: one
becomes Immaculate (or Pure) within (sggs 947).
<><><><>

Sukha is generally translated into English as Happiness, Peace, Harmony, Bliss, Joy, and so on. But, what does it really mean as understood by those who were able to truly Realize it? According to the SGGS (Sri Guru Granth Sahib), the real sign, the final verdict (ਆਖਰੀ ਨਿਰਣਾ Aakharee Nirnaa) or discernment ("ਬਿਬੇਕੁ") regarding the real Sukha is this: it signifies the state of one's Inner Purity comprising one's becoming Immaculate ("ਨਿਰਮਲੁ" - Nirmal) within. In view of that, the decree, conclusion, ruling or edict

of the SGGS is:
  • ਸੁਖੈ ਏਹੁ ਬਿਬੇਕੁ ਹੈ ਅੰਤਰੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਕਾ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਕਟੀਐ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਏਕੋ ਨਦਰੀ ਆਇਆ ਜਹ ਦੇਖਾ ਤਹ ਸੋਇ ॥੩॥: Sukhai ehu bibek hai antar niramal hoi. Agiaan kaa bhram katteeai giaan paraapath hoi. Nanak eko nadaree aaiaa jah dekhaa tah soi ||3||: The discernment of the Sukh is this: one becomes Immaculate (or Pure) within. Doubts (interconnected to) ignorance are eradicated, and spiritual wisdom is obtained (understanding of the spiritual Life or Aatmic-Jeevan). O Nanak, One All-pervading God alone is seen everywhere ||3|| (sggs 947).

This Inner Purity is essentially the same as indicated by many other terms such as attaining Purity of the mind, Purity of the Heart, mental strength, mindfulness, Peace of the mind, Sahaj (Natural State of Being), infant-like innocence, the Vision of Oneness ("Nanak eko Nadaree Aaiaa Jah Dekhaa Tah Soi"), true devotion (Bhagti), Enlightenment, Inner Growth, Self-realization, Gurmukhtaa, Truthful Life, unbroken Shabad- or Naam-Surti, spiritual Beauty, Infinite Wisdom, Supreme State, Freedom from bondage, Freedom from ignorance/doubts/Dukha etc., Freedom from Maya (duality or relativist consciousness), Param Pada or Chauthaa Pada (Turiyaa), the state of no-ego (no-Haume); understanding of God's Hukam or Will (Bhaanaa Mannanaa etc.); eradication of "Panch" (Bikaars or negative tendencies); and so on.

  • ਹੁਕਮੈ ਬੂਝੇ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਏ ॥: Hukamai boojhe sadaa sukh paaye: One who understands God's Hukam finds lasting Sukh (sggs 424).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰਿ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਚੁਕਾਵਣਿਆ ॥: Houmai maar sadaa sukh paaiaa Maya mohu chukaavaniaa: Subduing ego, lasting Sukh is obtained, and emotional attachment to Maya is dispelled (sggs 110).
  • ਟੂਟੇ ਬੰਧਨ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਸਾਧ ਸੇਵ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇ ॥: Toote bandhan janam maran saadh sev sukh paai: The bondage of birth and death is broken and Sukh is obtained, by serving the Holy (sggs 255).
  • ਸਭਿ ਸੁਖ ਹਰਿ ਰਸ ਭੋਗਣੇ ਸੰਤ ਸਭਾ ਮਿਲਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥: Sabh sukh har ras bhogane sant sabhaa mil giaan: All Sukh, and the Essence of the Lord, are enjoyed by acquiring spiritual wisdom in the Society of the Saints (sggs 21).
  • ਪੰਚ ਮਾਰਿ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਐਸਾ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥: Panch maar sukh paaiaa aisaa braham veechaar: The five (Panch: lust, anger, greed etc.) are conquered, and peace is attained; such is the Braham-Veechaar (sggs 1330).
  • ਸਭਿ ਸੁਖ ਹਰਿ ਰਸ ਭੋਗਣੇ ਸੰਤ ਸਭਾ ਮਿਲਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥: Roop rang sookh dhan jeea kaa paarabraham morai jaatee: The Supreme Lord is my Beauty, pleasure, Sukh, wealth, soul and social status (sggs 681).
  • ਸਾਚਿ ਰਤੇ ਸੁਖ ਸਹਜਿ ਸਮਾਏ ॥: Saach ratte sukh sahaj samaaeae: Attuned to Truth, one is absorbed in Sukh and Sahaj (sggs 664).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਮ ਭਗਤਿ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਵੈ ॥: Nanak raam bhagati sukh paavai: O Nanak, Sukh is obtained through Bhgati (sggs 227).
  • ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਵਰਤਹਿ ਸਗਲ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਪਤਿ ਖੋਈ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਚਉਥਾ ਪਦੁ ਚੀਨੈ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮਿ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਈ ॥੩॥: Trai guna vartahi sagal sansaaraa hayumai vich pat khoee. Gurmukh hovai chauthaa pada cheenai raam naam sukh hoee ||3||: The three-qualitied Maya permeate the whole world (i.e., the whole world is in Maya's influence); (under the spell of Maya, the man) acts in ego, and loses its honor. But one who becomes Gurmukh comes to realize the Chauthaa Pada, the Fourth state (which is beyond the influence of Maya); he finds Sukh (Peace, ਆਤਮਕ ਆਨੰਦ, etc.) through the Lord's Name ||3|| (sggs 604).
  • ਨਾਉ ਪੂਜੀਐ ਨਾਉ ਮੰਨੀਐ ਅਖੰਡੁ ਸਦਾ ਸਚੁ ਸੋਇ ॥: Naaou poojeeai naaou manneeai akhand sadaa sach soi: They (who have Treasure of the Naam within) worship the Naam, and they believe in the Naam. The True One is forever Intact and Unbroken (sggs 17).
  • ਪਾਇਓ ਬਾਲ ਬੁਧਿ ਸੁਖੁ ਰੇ ॥: Paaeiou baal budhi sukh rae: Adopting the innocent mind of a child, I have found Peace (sggs 214).

Sukh is basic to human life. We all want to be Happy; for we humans are the part-and-parcel (Ansh) of the Supreme or Eternal Happiness, Peace, Bliss etc. called God. In other words, being in everlasting Sukh is the very basic Nature of the Soul. No surprising that all human efforts and activities are aimed at seeking and yearning Sukh, and avoiding Dukha. Consequently, all human resources are aimed at and all endeavors are motivated by the impulse to seek Sukh and eradicate Dukha it can be an object, a person, a place or a situation.

  • ਜਤਨ ਬਹੁਤ ਸੁਖ ਕੇ ਕੀਏ ਦੁਖ ਕੋ ਕੀਓ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥: Jatan bahut sukh ke keeye dukh ko keeyo na koye: Man makes all sorts of efforts to find happiness; but none to earn pain (sggs 1428).
  • ਸੁਖ ਕਉ ਮਾਗੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਦੁਖੁ ਨ ਮਾਗੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਸੁਖੈ ਕਉ ਦੁਖੁ ਅਗਲਾ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥: Sukh kaou maangai sabh ko dukh n mangai koi. Sukhai kaou dukh agalaa manmukh boojh na hoi: Every one asks (begs, craves, wishes, etc.) for Sukh (happiness, pleasures, joy, peace, etc) and none asks for Dukh (suffering, misery, etc). But in the wake of Sukh, there comes Dukh. The self-willed Manmukhs do not understand this (sggs 57).

But do the vast majority of us (over 99.9 percent category) look for Sukha in the right place? The SGGS says no. From the moment of birth, till death, most of us (Manmukhs) generally become preoccupied with our security in worldly life, thereby becoming entangled with the worldly obsessions forgetting the Inner Self ("Joti-Svaroopa") or the real purpose of the human birth. As a result, while attending to security concerns, we end up with other problems in life. Education, successful career, good job, overabundance of material possessions, money, power, health, high social status, titles, devoted family etc. are considered the common currencies of Sukha in the world. For that reason, the vast majority of us pursue them thinking they will give them Eternal Sukha. But they cannot and don't, for our definition of the true Sukha is flawed (i.e., contrary to what the SGGS says). There are people who have these and more but yet they are unhappy (Dukhee). The SGGS repeatedly indicates that with flawed, illogical or irrational thinking that Sukha is contained in external conditions, it's not possible to experience the true Sukha in life. In other words, without the parallel Inner Growth (Inner Purity), all human engagements undertaken for the pursuit of the everlasting Sukha become counterproductive.

  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਕਰਮ ਕਰੇ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੀ ਸਭੁ ਦੁਖੋ ਦੁਖੁ ਕਮਾਇ ॥: Manmukh karam kare ahankaaree sabh dukho dukh kamaai: The self-willed Manmukh does deeds in egotism; he earns (nothing but) all Dukha (sggs 87).

Then how, as indicated by the SGGS, can we be Happy (or Sukhee)? The SGGS explains that the true, Eternal Sukha is beyond the gratification or satisfaction of the senses. It's contained within ourselves. The indisputable aim of human birth — whether one is aware of this or not — is to obtain Absolute Happiness or Peace, Infinite Wisdom (Aatam-Giaan), spiritual Beauty, freedom from bondage etc.: Self-realization.

To experience that, as repeatedly indicated in the SGGS, we need to give life a total overhaul — unlearn what we have wrongly learnt and understand how to annihilate the mind (False ego-sense or Haume). The SGGS says that Enlightenment is indescribable. Therefore, every human being must realize himself. With the exception of the human beings, this spiritual evolution in nature is unconscious. Humans are vested with Viveka (discerning intellect) and freedom so they can consciously open up to the Higher Self (Pure Consciousness, "Joti-Svaroopa" etc.) within. This freedom becomes a torture when life is lived in Manmukhtaa — perverse or compulsive lifestyle. However, the SGGS promises us that it is possible to direct the course of one's further spiritual evolution by exercising one's choice consciously and using Viveka properly.

By maintaining an unbroken Self Awareness, we will be able to experience the true Sukha. To this end, the SGGS highlights the importance of the followings. Meeting the Satguru; attuning to Naam-Simran (meditation); cultivating Divine Virtues within (contentment, humility, compassion, selfless love, and so on); Joining and keeping the Holy Company or Saadh-Sangat (Gurmukhs, Saints, Mahaatamaas etc.); giving up Manmukhtaa (worldly or material consciousness); becoming the Gurmukh (spiritual Being); practicing Bhagti (devotion) with the Guru; listening to the Lord's sermons; and so on. As indicated in the SGGS, all these spiritual practices coupled with actually living them correctly (Karanee) help one in removing the subtle impurities (inner "Mall" or filth), in turn, leading him to the experience of the true Sukha within.

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਆਪੇ ਮੇਲੇ ਸੋਇ ॥: Satgur miliai sadaa sukh jis no aape mele soi: Meeting the Satguru, everlasting (Eternal) Sukh is obtained. (But it's with God's Grace that one meets (the Satguru) (sggs 947).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ਜੇ ਲੋਚੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਇ ॥: Bin gur bhagati na paaeeai je lochai sabh koe: Without the Guru, Bhagti (devotion) is not obtained, even though everyone may long for it (sggs 31).
  • ਨਾਮਿ ਰਤੇ ਸੇ ਨਿਰਮਲੇ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥: Naam ratte se niramale gur kai sahaj subhaai: Those who are attuned to the Naam, the Name of the Lord, are immaculate and pure; through the Guru, they obtain Sahaj: Natural State of Being (sggs 32).
  • ਗੁਣ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਿਉ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਵੈ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਆਵਣ ਜਾਣਾ ॥: Gun antar naahee kiou sukh paavai Manmukh aavan jaanaa: With no virtue within, how can (the Manmukh) find Sukh? The self-willed Manmukh comes and goes in reincarnation (sggs 76).
  • ਮੁੰਧੇ ਗੁਣਹੀਣੀ ਸੁਖੁ ਕੇਹਿ ॥: Mundhe gunheenee sukh kehi: (O soul-bride) without virtue, what Sukh can there be? (sggs 56).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਸੁਖੁ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੁਖੁ ਸੁਭਾਨੁ ॥: Manmukh sukh na paaeeai Gurmukh sukh subhaan: The self-willed Manmukhs find no peace, while the Gurmukhs are wondrously in Sukh (sggs 21).
  • ਸਾਧੂ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਮਹਾ ਪੁਨੀਤ ॥: Saadhhoo kai sang mahaa puneet: In the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, there is great Purity (sggs 271).
  • ਸਾਧੂ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਨਿਰਮਲਾ ਅਠਸਠਿ ਮਜਨਾਗਾ ॥: Saadhoo sangat niramalaa athasath majanaagaa: In the Company of the Holy, become immaculate; it's as bathing at the sixty-eight sacred shrines of pilgrimage (sggs 965).
  • ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਹੋਹਿ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਜੋਨਿ ਨ ਆਉ ॥: Saadhasangat hohi niramal bahurr jon na aaou: In the Company of the Holy, you will become Immaculate; (consequently) you will not come to be reincarnated again (sggs 1220).
  • ਨਿਰਮਲੰ ਸਾਧ ਸੰਗਹ ਜਪੰਤਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੋਪਾਲ ਨਾਮੰ ॥: Niramalam saadh sangah japanti Nanak gopaal naamam: Meditating on the Naam in the Company of the Holy, O Nanak, mortals become Immaculate (sggs 1357).
  • ਕੋਟਿ ਜਨਮ ਕੇ ਕਿਲਬਿਖ ਨਾਸਹਿ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਪਾਵਨ ਤਨ ਮਨ ਸੁਖ ॥: Koti janam ke kilabikh naasahi simarat paavan tann mann sukh: The sins of millions of lifetimes are erased, by meditating on the Lord; becoming Pure, my mind and body finds Sukh (sggs 717).
  • ਸੁਣਿ ਹਰਿ ਕਥਾ ਉਤਾਰੀ ਮੈਲੁ ॥: Suni har kathaa outaaree mail: Listening to God's sermon, (inner) pollution gets washed away (sggs 178).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org