THREE ROBES

ਅਧਿਕ ਤਿਆਸ ਭੇਖ ਬਹੁ ਕਰੈ ॥: Adhik tiaas bhekh bahu kare:
Excessive thirst for Maya makes people
wear all sorts of religious robes (sggs 352).
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The Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) reminds us God likes to see the Soul only in certain type of robes (or Divine Virtues). If the She adopts these Divine Dresses (Divivne Virtues...), she becomes accepted by Him. As a result, she enjoys His Blessed Vision. If she does not dress herself to the liking of her Divine Beloved, then she renders herself unfit for receiving His Love in Divine Union. Now, the question is: by wearing what type of robes the Soul can captivate her Beloved? Or, what is that dress the Supreme Being becomes attracted to? The Gurbani reveals the secret and tells us exactly what these robes are. By lovingly adopting these robes, we all can captivate our Divine Beloved, the Mool within (Source, Origin...)!

Before reflecting on the captivating Divine robes as described in the Gurbani, let's discuss the type of dress that are unpleasing to the Divine Beloved. In some fashion, we all try to dress inwardly and outwardly for the sake of pleasing or realizing the Mool. However, it seems as the Divine does not even cast a glance in our direction, as if He is imbued with someone else! Why is it so? The reason being is that, as the Gurbani says, we have adorned ourselves with the adornments that are Spiritually unpleasant. It's that simple! In this context, this Gurbani Reflection will attempt to reflect on the following:

The Body Robe

This material body is likened to a robe. It is called the body robe because it covers the Soul. How  was this body robe fashioned? As indicated in the Gurbani, it was fashioned by joining together the five elements namely earth, water, fire, air, and space. As further revealed in the Gurbani, our body robe has come into this world wearing two filthy dresses namely lust and anger: false ego-sense (Haumai) and its faults.

Instead of using this rare opportunity (of the human birth) to re-establish our lost relationship with our Mool (Source), we have become engrossed in this body robe ( body-consciousness or "I-am-the-body" idea). In other words, instead of using it for cultivating Divine Cconsciousness (Aatam-Giaan...), we have become body-conscious. Due to the ignorance of theMool, our True Nature, we identify with the physical robe that leads us to constantly cherish it; knowing well that it is temporary! This body robe has nine holes. Due to our body-consciousness, all these holes (also called "gates") have become contaminated. The mind free to escape through these defiled gates binds the soul in the clutches of material bondage or Maya. This is why it is said that all miseries and distress we experience in this material world are born of the body and the mind! Wearing such a filthy robe of body-consciousness, how the Soul-bride can expect to please her Divine Beloved? Not possible at all, says the Gurbani. Due to the pervasiveness of this material contamination (spel of Maya-ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁਖ), one becomes doubtful regarding Spirituality, Spiritual Teaching, etc. For this reason, man's Divine Qualities disappear and evil qualities flourish; resulting in the lack or absence of discrimination (Bibek-Budhi) between the Real (Sat or Truth) and unreal (Asat or false).

The Religious Robes

As discussed above, our material body is born with the robes of lust and anger (or ego-consciousness). Majority of us have further contaminated this body robe by grossly identifying with the physical consciousness. Instead of liberating the body from lust and anger (Bikaar), owing to our mistakenidentification with it, we have further adorn it with additional robes such as various religious wearings and other paraphernalia. Poor Soul! The Gurbani teaches us that all these material robes are nothing but a pompous show of our false ego.

In addition to the robes of lust and anger (i.e., all Bikaar), why we want to further decorate this perishable material body with additional religious garbs? The Gurbani provides us with an authoritative explanation as follows. Many put on such garbs on the body to cover up their wickedness; to make believe that they know God; to establish their religious authority; to hide their inner corruption, stubbornness, fanaticism, mental delusions, and Spiritual ignorance (false ego); to show they are religious scholars; to show they are better than those who do not wear such robes; to hide their fire of worldly desires and fears (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁਖ); to hide the inner "filth" of Maya; to impress upon simpletons that they know the true teachings of the scriptures; and so on. Thus, the Gurbani repeatedly teaches us that the Divine can not be pleased by outwardly religious robes. One can go weary of wearing such religious garbs but it will not bring him a bit closer to God, his Mool. For example, hunger of a beggar will never depart just by wearing begging robes! Accordingly, the Gurbani warns us that mind's wandering can not be seized and the inflated ego can not be eradicated by such phony rituals. Three Robes that Captivate God

One can not chew iron with the teeth of wax, or live in a snow house wearing robes of fire. Can he? Similarly, one can not captivate his Mool with his "unpleasant" robes — internal "filth" and external rituals. According to the Gurbani, the three robes (Divine Virtues) that can captivate the Mool (Source...) within are humility, forgiveness, and sweet speech.

These three robes are antidotes to our evil passions (ego-consciousness, Maya...). Living entities are afflicted with mental diseases like lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, enviousness and stubborn mindedness (and their numerous variations). As these passions include in themselves all other evils, similarly these three robes include in themselves all other Spiritual Qualities.

The first of the three robes is Humility; for without humility there can be no Self-realization. It is a Divine Virtue; the product of Goodness essential for linking with one's Mool within. A truly humble person is he who has replaced his fleshly nature or egoism with the Nature of God — Pure Consciousness (Joti-Svaroop). Thus, a  man in true humility is in perfect Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan), who knows that he is not this body robe. To such a person, honor or dishonor, fame or anything else pertaining to this body robe is unimportant. He is beyond duality.

Humility has already been extensisely covered in a separate Gurbani article.

In nutshell, true humility is one of the essential qualifications of a Spiritual Being (Gurmukh) or Transcendentally situated person.Therefore, in the Gurbani, considerable importance and emphasis has been given to the quality of humility. One can test and judge himself by this quality to see how far he is progressed in Spirituality.

The second of the three robes is forgiveness. From a Spiritual standpoint, this Divine Virtue also translates as mercy, tolerance, calmness, forbearance, patience, gentleness, and compassion, etc. Scriptures advice us to forgive and forget. Therefore, it befits any person who is godly by nature. As such, this robe belongs to a godly person endowed with Divine Love.

Anger or Krodh is one of the vices regarded as the agent of desolation. The antidote to this evil passion is forgiveness. It is the power in man that resists the disturbing fluctuations of mind's duality (Doojaa Bhaav). Thus, this robe helps shield the Soul from the onslaught of anger, jealousy and enviousness. It helps in the upward struggle of the Soul.

Forgiveness is a reflection of God's Eternal Calm, the Everlasting Patience, Peace, and Steadfastness which are very essential for contemplation and meditation. A person devoid of forgiveness is devoid of God's True Nature. It is, therefore, is holiness. It is the quite of mind, an indication of a Self-realized person. It is a mighty weapon against evil instincts. In essence, forgiveness is sacrifice, and a humble gesture. In fact, continuation of the living entities is due to man's being forgiving. Thus, forgiveness  holds the universe together. The Soul comes to attain this robe after a long practice in Spiritual discipline.

The last of the three robes is the sweet speech. The Gurbani describes God Himself as "Mith Bolraa", which means our True Being (the Mool) always speaks sweetly. Therefore, in essence, this Divine Virtue of sweetness of speech represents God Himself. Accordingly, those who are serious about captivating the Pure Being within are instructed by the Gurbani to wear the robe of sweet speech. It is said that a fool can not be identified as long as he does not speak! As soon as he opens his mouth, he reveals himself. Therefore, one of the most important qualities of a man in God Consciousness is his speech — the way he expresses his mind. The immediate symptom of a God Conscious man is that he speaks only of God and matters related to Him. This is the sum and substance of his expression or speech. To him, the speech of God's Name is the most sweetest thing in the world.

There is contradiction about the person who is not God Conscious — he may speak like a wise, but he behaves like an ignorant. There is no such contradiction about a pious Soul. He speaks Wise as well as behaves Wise. The words he speaks are truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and cause no agitation to anyone. This Divine Virtue acts as an antidote to all demerits.

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org


Updated on Monday, February 13, 2012 10:45 AM (PST)

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