THE LIGHT

ਭਇਓ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ਸਰਬ ਉਜੀਆਰਾ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਮਨਹਿ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਾਇਓ ॥:
Bhaio pragaasu sarab ujiaaraa Gur giaanu manhi pragataaio:
When the Guru's Spiritual Wisdom awakened in my mind ,
then the Divine Light illuminated within me (ਤਾਂ ਮੇਰੇ ਅੰਦਰ ਪਰਮਾਤਮਾ ਦੀ ਹੋਂਦ ਦਾ ਚਾਨਣ ਹੋ ਗਿਆ),
and I see that Light everywhere (sggs 209).
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If someone says: "In the darkness of the night, when I sit in a secluded place, engaged in reading scriptures or meditation, I see a light — like a burning candle; I see it emanating from the farthest corner of my room, slowly approaching me ...". Such person will be well advised to seek help of a competent psychiatrist! Because such fancy or hallucination results from visions in a state of delirium, optical illusions, psychosomatic illness, psychotic states, and emotional disturbances due to family affairs (divorce, legal or financial problems, etc.).

The "Light" conferred in the Gurbani is not to be mistaken for such fancy or hallucinations of a drunkard. The Light mentioned in the Gurbani must be understood in the metaphorical sense. It is the Light of Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan) that dispels man's ignorance of his Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...). The Timeless Being is the Infinite Light (Knowledge), which ignites the spark in the recesses of the Soul and this grows into a steady glow and burns brighter till it totally merges into Reality.

Thus, Light mentioned in the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) is none other than the Divine Knowledge ( (Aatam-Giaan), Spiritual Wisdom, Intuitive Understanding...), Shabad-Surti, Naam-consciousness, and so on. Being extremely subtle and Transcendent in nature, this Light can not be perceived by material senses; such as our eyes blinded by the cataract of Maya.

  • 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).
  • ਭਇਓ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ਸਰਬ ਉਜੀਆਰਾ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਮਨਹਿ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਾਇਓ ॥: Bhaio pragaasu sarab ujiaaraa Gur giaanu manhi pragataaio: When the Guru's Spiritual Wisdom awakened in my mind , then the Divine Light illuminated within me (ਤਾਂ ਮੇਰੇ ਅੰਦਰ ਪਰਮਾਤਮਾ ਦੀ ਹੋਂਦ ਦਾ ਚਾਨਣ ਹੋ ਗਿਆ), and I see that Light everywhere (sggs 209).
  • ਮੰਦਰਿ ਮੇਰੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਉਜਾਰਾ ॥: Mandar merai Sabad ujaaraa: In the temple of my Heart, shines (ਸਹੀ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦਾ ਚਾਨਣ) the Light of the Shabad (sggs 384).
  • ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਇਸੁ ਜਗ ਮਹਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਕਰਮਿ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਏ ॥੧॥: Gurbani isu jag mahi chaananu karami vasai mani aaye ||1||: The Gurbani is the Light (of Divine Wisdom, Brahm-Giaan...) to illuminate this world (it shows people the right way of life); by the Grace (of Divine Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad...) it comes to abide within the mind. ||1|| (sggs 67).
"Lead me from darkness to Light", is an oft-repeated prayer in the spiritual tradition. Darkness (ignorance, Maya, illusion, false ego, wrong identity, etc.) is the opposite of  the Light (Knowledge). Just as the tree exists in the seed, heat in the fire, liquidity in the water, butter in the milk, and pungency in capsicum, the creation exists in the Infinite Consciousness. However, in the darkness of ignorance it appears to be different and independent of the Lord. Hence, "darkness" mentioned in the Gurbani is none other than the ignorance of this Truth. On the contrary, the Light is the Knowledge of this Truth.
  • ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨ ਅੰਜਨੁ ਸਚੁ ਨੇਤ੍ਰੀ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥: Gur giaan anjanu sachu netree paaiaa. Antari chaananu agiaanu andheru gavaaiaa (sggs 124).
  • ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪ੍ਰਚੰਡੁ ਬਲਾਇਆ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ਜਾਇ ॥੨॥: Gur giaanu parchandu balaaiaa agiaanu anadheraa jaai ||2||(sggs 29).
Simply put: darkness or ignorance signify man's bondage (Mayaic efforts), and Light or knowledge refers to liberation from bondage. In other words, the contrast between Light and darkness is symbolical of Divine Knowledge and ignorance, Spiritual Unfoldment and degradation, Being and non-being, Truth and falsehood, Reality and unreality, Self and non-self, Positive and negative, the Gurmukh and the Manmukh, etc. Ignorance and Knowledge (or Light and darkness) are again relative terms used in the Gurbani to explain the states of man's existence. But, the state of linking with the Mool transcends both, which has been attested in the life of Enlightened Beings (Gurmukhs).

The majority of us revel in ignorance even without realizing it — it's like the ostrich who foolishly believes that the danger to his life is avoided when it sticks its head in the sand! The common theme mentioned in the Gurbani for us, therefore, is to progress from darkness to Light or from ignorance to Knowledge. This forms the crux of all Spiritual endeavor.

This material world is nothing but pure hallucination (Mithiya or perishable). It is nothing more than an idea — the idea of creation arisen in the Infinite Consciousness called Cosmic Drama or Leelaa. That's all. According to the Gurbani, therefore, to consider it real is the error or "Mall" (Bikaars, inner "filth" or conditioning, etc.). Those who understand the unreality of this universe become established in the Supreme Light within, rest of us remain stuck in the mud of darkness.

  • ਜਗ ਰਚਨਾ ਸਭ ਝੂਠ ਹੈ ਜਾਨਿ ਲੇਹੁ ਰੇ ਮੀਤ ॥ ਕਹਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਥਿਰੁ ਨਾ ਰਹੈ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਲੂ ਕੀ ਭੀਤਿ ॥੪੯॥: Jag rachnaa sabh jhooth hai jaan lehu re meet. Kahi Nanak thir naa rahe jiyu baaloo kee bheet ||49||: The world-appearance is totally false; know this well, my friend. Says Nanak, it is like a wall of sand; it will not endure ||49|| (sggs 1429).
Just as when the dirt is removed, the real substance is made manifest; just as when the darkness of the night is dispelled by the light of the sun, the objects that were shrouded by the darkness are clearly seen; similarly, when ignorance of the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...) is dispelled with the Supreme Light of the Divine Knowledge, the Truth is realized. Without the Light of Spiritual Wisdom, the man is likened to a beast, worm and insect.
  • ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕਛੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਪਸੁ ਜਿਉ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰਉ ॥: Gurmati suni kashu giyan na upjio pasu jiyu udar bharau: Despite listening to the Gurmati (Shabad-Giaan, Divine Teaching of the Gur-Shabad, etc.), (if) no spiritual wisdom (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਕੁਝ ਭੀ ਸੂਝ) wells up within (me); (then it would be) like a beast (routinely) filling its belly (sggs 685).
There is no object (seen) without a subject (seer). For example, there is no son without a mother. This cannot be other way around. In hallucination, as long as one sees the wave as a wave, it is not seen as ocean; but when it is seen that the wave is just a name and a form and not the reality, then the ocean is seen. As long as the notion of wave persists the ocean is not apprehended. As long as the notion of object persists, the division (duality, mental delusion) between the seer and the seen also remains. This is darkness or ignorance. Just  because of the consciousness in the wave, the ocean realizes its oceanness, similarly, the subject reflecting as object realizes subjectivity. This real Knowledge of the reality is called Light, in which one sees himself as Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...), which is not expressible in words.
  • ਸਹਜ ਗੁਫਾ ਮਹਿ ਆਸਣੁ ਬਾਧਿਆ ॥ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪ ਅਨਾਹਦੁ ਵਾਜਿਆ ॥ ਮਹਾ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਿਅ ਸਿਉ ਰਾਤੀ ਧਨ ਸੋਹਾਗਣਿ ਨਾਰਿ ॥੩॥: Sahaj guphaa mahi aasan baadhiaa. Joti saroop anaahad vaajiaa. Mahaa anand Gur Sabad veechaar. Priya siou raatee dhann suaagan naar ||3||: (With the Guru's Grace, when I Realized the Lord) I became established in the cave of the Sahaj Avasthaa (Natural State of Being, ਆਤਮਕ ਅਡੋਲਤਾ, etc.). (Now) Within me, plays the unstruck melody of the Lord, the embodiment of Light. By contemplating / Reflecting on the Gur-Shabad, I am in Great Bliss (ਆਤਮਕ ਅਨੰਦ). They are blessed soul-brides who are imbued in the Love of the Beloved (Lord) ||3|| (sggs 370).
Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan) is the only Light. Without it, the darkness of ignorance will not go away. The Divine Knowledge arises only when the Shabad is reflected upon (Shabad-Vichaar) and its subtlety understood. When the Light of Knowledge is awakened within, free from the least taint of impurity and sorrow, the veil of ignorance is cut asunder.
  • ਅੰਧਕਾਰੁ ਮਿਟਿਓ ਤਿਹ ਤਨ ਤੇ ਗੁਰਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਦੀਪਕੁ ਪਰਗਾਸਾ ॥: Andhkaar mitio tih tan te Gur Sabad deepak pargaasaa: Darkness is dispelled from within that body, in which the Divine Light of the Shabad shines (sggs 208).
The One Light (Transcendent Vibratory Sound or Shabad) is in the creation, and the creation is in the Light. This Light of the Infinite Being, who is the breath of life (Praana), is present deep within the Heart. Hence the subtle Light thundered by the Gurbani is the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...), in which everything is reflected.

Although this Supreme Light shines within everybody, we are still unable to realize it. Why? Because this Inner Light is covered with the cloud of false ego, and the thunderstorm of sense cravings and fear. Consequently, we search it in the external objects of the world (Maya). It is like the deer who searches for the musk in the bushes. The deer does not know the secret — the musk is within its own body, but due to its ignorance it searches for it outside.

  • ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਮਿਟਿਆ ਅੰਧਿਆਰਾ ਘਟਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਨਣਿਆ ॥੭॥: Gur parsaad mitiaa andhiaaraa ghat chaanan aap pachhananiaa ||7||: By the Guru’s Grace (i.e., Grace of the Gur-Giaan), the darkness of spiritual ignorance is dispelled; Heart is Enlightened with the Divine Light (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਵਾਲੀ), and one comes to recognize his (true) Self ||7|| (sggs 129).
In the Light of the Divine Knowledge, the false concepts, perceptions and notions disappear. Then Maya, the Cosmic Charmer, folds its bag of magic tricks and leaves, to never come back. Endowed with this Light, one sees all in his Mool within. He beholds everything in the universe as existing in One. Knowing everything that happens, happens naturally, he becomes free from duality or divisions. Abiding in the consciousness of the Infinite, he then becomes liberated (Jeevanmukta) while still living in this world. He remains in the state of non-attachment, even though he may appears to others to be ever busy in the diverse actions. This is the magic of the Inner Light.
  • ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣਿਆ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਪਰਗਾਸੁ ॥: Satgur sev sukh paaiaa sach naam gunataas. Gurmati aap pachhaniaa Ramnaam pargaas: Following the Gurmat (Teaching of the Gurbani...), (one) recognizes himself (his Mool); the Divine Light of the Lord's Naam (Aatam-Giaan) shines within him (sggs 86).
This Inner Light of the Consciousness alone is the means to see the Truth. The Divine Knowledge of the Truth is attained by the means of reflecting on the Shabad (Shabad-Vichaar) and the constant company of Sat (Truth) within and without. Such pure self-effort (Uddam) keeps the Inner Light alive; never to be affected by the darkness of inertia again. The futile rites, ceremonies, unmeaning rituals, pilgrimage, education, social status, material wealth or the sense of judging others will not do the trick.
  • ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮੀਠੀ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵਿਰਲੈ ਕਿਨੈ ਚਖਿ ਡੀਠੀ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਪਰਗਾਸੁ ਮਹਾ ਰਸੁ ਪੀਵੈ ਦਰਿ ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦੁ ਵਜਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੧॥: Amrit Bani gur kee meethee. Gurmuh virlai kinai chakh deethee. Antar pargaas mahaa ras peevai dar sachai Shabad vajjavania ||1||: The Nectar (ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ) of the Baanee (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੇਣ ਵਾਲੀ - the giver of Spiritual Life) is very sweet (it makes life sweet). Rare are those who by becoming the Gurmukhs (spiritual Beings) have realize and taste it. The Divine Light dawns within (them), and the Supreme Essence (Understanding of the true Way of life) is realized. He remains attuned at the Door of the Truth, and within him the (Guru's) Shabad vibrates ||1|| (sggs 113).
Therefore, the Gurbani teaches us to dwell upon the Inner Light which destroys the deluded mind and its darkness of every kind of ignorance and impurity. The Gurbani reveals to us that at all the times we are this Inner Light of Consciousness; this is our True Nature.
  • 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).
This may lead to a question: if the Divine Light (Pure Knowledge or Consciousness) ever radiates Within our body, then what is it that makes it diluted or obscured? The Pure Conscious or the Mool (Source...) is untainted. However, due to one's Vaasnaas (latent tendencies, obstinate clinging to a fancy or deluded imagination), the Mool is not seen as Mool. On account of our self-limitations (imposed by the Mayaic Budhi), Mool is confounded with the body. Our birth is a sign of this deluded condition. But the same Mool Awakened to its True Nature, free of worldly desires, abandons its ignorant delusion (subject-object division) and regains its Self-knowledge.
  • ਤਪਤਿ ਬੁਝੀ ਪੂਰਨ ਸਭ ਆਸਾ ॥ ਮਿਟੇ ਅੰਧੇਰ ਭਏ ਪਰਗਾਸਾ ॥ ਅਨਹਦ ਸਬਦ ਅਚਰਜ ਬਿਸਮਾਦ ॥ ਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਪੂਰਾ ਪਰਸਾਦ ॥੨॥: Tapat bujhee pooran sabh aasaa. Mite andher bhaye pargaasaa. Anhad Sabad achraj bismaad. Gur pooraa poora parsaad ||2||: The burning (of desire-fire) has been extinguished (from within me), and all my desires have been fulfilled. The darkness (of ignorance from within me) has been dispelled, and the Divine Light (understanding of the spiritual Life - ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ ਦਾ ਚਾਨਣ) blazes forth (within me). (Now) the Unstruck Sound-current of the Shabad (vibrates within me) and (I am situated at the) wondrous and amazing (spiritual state - ਉੱਚੀ ਆਤਮਕ ਅਵਸਥਾ)! (All of this is happened because of the) Perfect Guru and (all this is) the Grace of the Perfect Guru (Grace of the Gur-Giaan...). ||2|| (sggs 1143).
Our Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...) is Infinite, Unlimited and Unconditioned. So is the Light of the Divine Knowledge. When this light is overpowered by ignorance, the delusion of bondage or Maya arises in the mind. On the other hand, when one is firmly established in the Knowledge of the Mool, the Maya's delusion comes to an end. The Light of this Wisdom turns even the worst worldly poison into Immortalizing Nectar.
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਭਲੀ ਸਿਵ ਨੀਕੀ ਆਨਿ ਪਾਨੀ ਸਕਤਿ ਭਰੀਜੈ ॥: Gurmukh jot bhalee siv neekee aan paanee sakti bhareejai: Those who become the Gurmukhs are blessed with the Divine Light of the Lord (Siva Joti); Maya comes to serve them (sggs 1324). (sggs 1324).
The Gurbani itself is the Divine Light (the Source of Divine Knowledge), which radiates the three worlds. With its torch of Pure Knowledge, it can show us the Truth, because it knows It. It is that expert Vaid (doctor) who, with the stick of collyrium of Knowledge (Giaan), removes the cataract of Maya from our eyes. It is this medicine which cures all diseases of our mind. It is the universal elixir which removes suffering. It Enlightens every one who comes in contact with the Gur-Shabad or Naam. The Shabad-Surti bestows sincere devotees with the Daan of Divine Love, devotion or Naam (Aatam Giaan). All we have to do is surrender our falsehood, engage in the earnest Shabad-Vichaar; then the Light of the Shabad will pierce through our deluded mind just as the lightening pierces through the dark clouds.
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਮੈਲੁ ਲਾਗੀ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਖੋਵੈ ॥: Haumai mail laagee gur sabdee khovai: The filth of ego (ਹਉਮੈ) stuck to the (mind) is removed through the Shabad (sggs 123).
  • ਜਬ ਹਮ ਹੋਤੇ ਤਬ ਤੁਮ ਨਾਹੀ ਅਬ ਤੁਮ ਹਹੁ ਹਮ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਅਬ ਹਮ ਤੁਮ ਏਕ ਭਏ ਹਹਿ ਏਕੈ ਦੇਖਤ ਮਨੁ ਪਤੀਆਹੀ ॥੧॥: Jab ham hote tab tum naahee ab tum hahu ham naahee. Ab ham tum ek bhaye hahi ekai dekhat man pateeaahee ||1||: (O Lord) So long we are in Haume (ਹਉਮੈ - false ego-sense), until then You are not (awakened within - ਤਦ ਤਕ ਤੂੰ ਸਾਡੇ ਅੰਦਰ ਪਰਗਟ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੁੰਦਾ / ਆਪਣਾ ਚਾਨਣ ਨਹੀਂ ਕਰਦਾ); now that You are (awakened within), we are not in Haume (ਹਉਮੈ). Now that You and we have become one; seeing this, our minds have faith (that You and we are one and the same - ਕਿ ਤੂੰ ਹੀ ਤੂੰ ਹੈਂ, ਤੈਥੋਂ ਵੱਖਰੇ ਅਸੀ ਕੁਝ ਭੀ ਨਹੀਂ ਹਾਂ). ||1|| (sggs 339).

The Transcendental vibration of the Shabad (Naam) and the Infinite Consciousness are inseparable. They are inseparable like the whiteness of the snow, oil in the seed, fragrance in the flower, heat in the fire, liquidity of the water, blackness in the collyrium, light in the bulb, waves in the ocean, gold in the bracelet, clay in the pot, and rays in the sun.

  • ਪਾਇਆ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਭਾਲਦਾ ॥ ਜੋਤਿ ਮਿਲੀ ਸੰਗਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਘਾਲਦਾ ॥: Paaiaa Naam nidhaan jis no bhaaldaa. Joti milee sang joti rahiaa ghaaladaa: The treasure of the Naam (Aatam Giaan...) I was searching for so long is obtained. (now my individual) light has merged into the (Supereme) Light, and Mayaic efforts (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਦੌੜ-ਭੱਜ, ਭਟਕਣਾ, ਭੁਖ) ceased to be (sggs 524).
The knowledge of the Truth (Divine Light) is that fire which burns up false ego and its faults as if they were dried blades of grass. In this state, there is experienced Eternal Bliss within. Such person of Divine Knowledge is the Gurmukh. In him, mental delusion does not arise again just as oil is not obtained from burnt seeds.
  • ਨਾਮੁ ਲੈਤ ਅਤਿ ਮੂੜ ਸੁਗਿਆਨਾ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਲੈਤ ਪਰਗਟਿ ਉਜੀਆਰਾ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਲੈਤ ਛੁਟੇ ਜੰਜਾਰਾ ॥੨॥ Naam lait ati moor su giaanaa. naam lai pargat ujiaaraa. Naam lai chhootai janjaaraa ||2||: Taking the Naam (Aatam-Giaan...), a great fool becomes Wise (of Supreme Knowledge - ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੋਹਣੀ ਸੂਝ ਵਾਲਾ). Taking the Naam, the Divine Light (Enlightenment - ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦਾ ਚਾਨਣ-Giaan) blazes forth. Taking the Naam, bonds fetters (of one's love of Maya) are broken ||2|| (sggs 1142).

— T. Singh
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