THE GIANI

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).
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Ignorance is easy to recognize, not the Wisdom or Gian (pronounced Giaan; also spelt Giyan, Janan, etc.). When most people hear the word Giani (pronounced Giaanee; also spelt Giyani, Janani, etc.), they immediately think of a person with flowing white beard or some peculiarly robed priest, religious preacher, or some monk or Swami, etc. Taking people as Giaanee based on their robes, outer appearance or mundane profession is a great insult not only to the word "Giaanee", but also to the holy Word of the scriptures. Because to be a real Giaanee is not a question of external looks, religion, title, family of birth, caste, college degree or philosophy learnt through reading books, etc. — it's a question of Realization of one's Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...)!

  • 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).
  • ਸੋਈ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਜਿ ਸਿਮਰੈ ਏਕ ॥ ਸੋ ਧਨਵੰਤਾ ਜਿਸੁ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ॥ ਸੋ ਕੁਲਵੰਤਾ ਜਿ ਸਿਮਰੈ ਸੁਆਮੀ ॥ ਸੋ ਪਤਿਵੰਤਾ ਜਿ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਨੀ ॥੨॥: Soee giaanee ji simarai ek ...||2||: He is the Giaanee (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ ਵਾਲਾ) who contemplate the One. He alone is wealthy who possesses discriminating intellect (Bibek-Budhi) . Noble are those who contemplate the Lord. Honorable is he who recognizes his (Mool-ਮੂਲ, Source, Origin, Essential Nature, etc.). ||2|| (sggs 1150).
As time and again repeated in the Gurbani, one can neither become a Brahm Giaanee (the knower of Brahm) by keeping certain external looks, nor by reading books, nor by preaching, nor by practicing wisdom, nor by wearing some peculiar garbs, nor by performing rituals or fruitive activities. This is a great misconception. Consequently, like many other terms, the name "Giaanee" is generally misunderstood by most of us; which has a very special meaning as indicated by the Gurbani. In this context, with the Divine Guide of the Gurbani (sggs), this Reflection will attempt to reflect on the followings:
  • Giaanee defined
  • Giaanee's symptoms
  • Giaanee's mind
  • Giaanee and death
  • Giaanee and Maya
  • Giaanee and rituals
  • Giaanee and the Lord
  • Becoming Giaanee
Giaanee Defined

People engage themselves in Bhagti under different set of conditions. Some come to offer devotion to God in search of relief from material distress, some are desirous of money and certain powers, some are simply inquisitive, and yet some dry philosophers start reading books on Spiritual philosophy when they get frustrated with other fields of knowledge. As indicated by the Gurbani, none of these is the true Giaanee; because they have some aspiration to fulfill in exchange of devotion such as material profit and gain through worldly entanglements (Karmakaand) or philosophical speculations.

  • ਗਿਆਨੀ ਧਿਆਨੀ ਬਹੁ ਉਪਦੇਸੀ ਇਹੁ ਜਗੁ ਸਗਲੋ ਧੰਧਾ ॥ ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਇਕ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨੁ ਇਆ ਜਗੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਅੰਧਾ ॥੨॥੧॥੧੬॥੬੭॥: Giaanee dhiaanee bahu updesee ih jag sagle dhandaa ...: Some are engaged in scholarly discussions (ਗਿਆਨ-ਚਰਚਾ, etc.), some are sitting in Samaadhi and many are preaching, but (in reality) these all are engrossed in worldly affairs (ਭਾਵ, ਮਾਇਆ ਦੇ ਜੰਜਾਲ ਵਿਚ ਹੀ ਇਹ ਜੀਵ ਗ੍ਰੱਸੇ ਪਏ ਹਨ). Says Kabir, without the Name of one Lord, this world is blinded in Maya. ||2||1||16||67|| (sggs 338).
According to the Gurbani, the True Giaanee, also called Brahm Giaanee, is the person who is situated on the platform of Transcendental Consciousness, (the Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...). He is Self-realized. In other words, the true Giaanee is that rare being who knows what he has himself realized are the final conclusions for all mankind. This Self-knowledge (Aatam Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom...) of him is filled with assuredness, for he has experienced what the Gurbani speaks of. In this awakened power and force of Self-realization, he knows who he is. In other words, he does not only believe in the existence of the Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...), he knows Him, he talks to Him, and moreover, he lives in Him!
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਕਾ ਬੇਤਾ ॥: Brahm Giaanee brahm kaa betaa: The Brahm Giaanee is the knower of Brahm (sggs 273).
A True Giaanee is immaterial intelligence (Bibek-Budhi beyond Maya). Also known as Spiritually Wise (the Gurmukh), etc., he does not only know the Absolute Truth, he has intuitively become the embodiment of this Truth he once sought as something other than himself. He sees reflected in the Gur-Shabad that same state of complete Oneness with the Essence of Divinity that he himself  has come to know as Timeless, Fearless, Formless, Unborn, Changeless, Spaceless, Self-illumined, Uncaused, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient Reality.
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਾਚੁ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਸਾਚੁ ਵਰਤਾਏ ॥ ਸਾਚੁ ਨ ਛਪੈ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਰਖੈ ਛਪਾਏ ॥ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਬੂਝਹਿ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਏ ॥੫॥: Antar saach baahar saach vartaae. Saach na shapai je ko rakhai shapaae. Giaanee boojhahi sahaj subhaae||5||: (that person) who has Truth pervading within and without, even if he tries to hide the Truth, he cannot hide it. The Giaanee understands this (Reality or Truth) intuitively (ਆਤਮਕ ਅਡੋਲਤਾ ਵਿਚ ਟਿਕ ਕੇ) ||5|| (sggs 232).
  • ਸੋ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਜਿਨਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਈ ॥: So Giani jini shabdi liv laaee: He alone is a Giaanee (ਗਿਆਨ-ਵਾਨ), who has focused his consciousness on the Shabad (sggs 831).
The body is in space, and the mind is in time. The true Giaanee is beyond the space-time relationship; for he is beyond the 'I-am-the-body' idea. As a result, he is free of false ego, ignorance, and delusion. Thus, he has removed all the obstacles to Intuitive Understanding of the Divine Essence (Mool with). He knows he is just "Being"; one with the Oneness. In this state he sees the Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin... as his Beloved Husband, by whose All-encompassing Love he is consumed. He is That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings. He is the giver of Grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the universe, the Infinite Being. And for him it is also clear that we all are That as well.
  • ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਾਮ ਮਹਿ ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨਸਿ ਗੁਰ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥: Aatam mahi Raamu Raam mahi aatamu cheenasi Gur beechaaraa(sggs 1153).
  • 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).
  • Tat tvam asi: Thou art That (Vedas).
For a True Giaanee the inner and outer life and consciousness have become a single continuum. Everything and everybody resides in him, for he is one with all that lives. He has transcended all concepts and precepts. Unaffected by the dualistic principle of the material illusion (Doojaa Bhaav, Maya), he does not reject or expect anything. He is all Sahaj, Spontaneous, Simple, and Natural. Love and compassion are two rivers that flow out of him. Such enlightened one sees beyond duality — love and hate, pain and pleasure, praise and insult, and so on. He knows the Oneness of all, and sees the One everywhere and in all beings.
  • ਦੁਖੁ ਸੁਖੁ ਏ ਬਾਧੇ ਜਿਹ ਨਾਹਨਿ ਤਿਹ ਤੁਮ ਜਾਨਉ ਗਿਆਨੀ ॥: Dukh sukh ye baadhe jih naahni tih tum jaanahu Giaanee: (O Saints!) who is not bound by pleasure and pain (i.e., all likes and dislikes) — know that he is truly a Giaanee (ਪਰਮਾਤਮਾ ਨਾਲ ਡੂੰਘੀ ਸਾਂਝ ਪਾ ਰੱਖਣ ਵਾਲਾ) (sggs 220).
The Transcendental Knowledge or Giaanee of the Divine Truth (the Realm of Truth or Sach Khand) is the Higher Spiritual stage. The True Giaanee is this Transcendental Giaan. This brings us to the following question: what is the True Giaan? Simply put: the True Gian, also called Brahm Giaanee, is the blossoming of Intuitive Wisdom (Aatam Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom), blossoming of spiritually Enlightened Consciousness or blossoming of the True Being within. This is the Spiritual State whereby one knows the Absolute Truth through personal experience.

The reason the Giaanee is misunderstood by many of us is that we think it is merely an intellectual study of a path; a simple kind of knowledge limited to the apparatus of the body-mind-intellect. However, the Giaanee as talked about in the gurbani does not mean ritualistic reading of the Gurbani or understanding of philosophical books. It is the Divine Wisdom (Aatam Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom) emanating from the Enlightened Soul, whose mind is immersed in the blessed state of Realization of the Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...), while still living in the material world.

What is the difference between a True Giaanee and a fake one? The internal difference that makes one True Giaanee is that he knows who he is and who you are. The fake one neither knows himself nor you. Such Agiani (pronounced Agiaanee, meaning ignorant being) looks for cure to his problems and suffering; the True Giani, on the other hand, is concerned with the prevention! The True Giani knows the Truth (Sat) and the non-truth (Asat). The hypocrite, on the other hand, only knows the Asat. The True Giani is all Pure Consciousness, the hypocrite is all false ego or material intelligence (Mayaic Budhi). The one is straight and all Goodness, while the other is crooked like a dog's tail. The True Giani is the illumined one, filled with pure Light of Knowledge, compassion  and Love. He is one with the One. He sees no differences, that is his difference!

  • ਹ੍ਰਿਦੈ ਕਪਟੁ ਮੁਖ ਗਿਆਨੀ ॥ ਝੂਠੇ ਕਹਾ ਬਿਲੋਵਸਿ ਪਾਨੀ ॥੧॥: Hirdai kapat mukh giaani. Jhoothai kahaa bilovas paanee ||1||: (O hypocrite man) in your heart there is deception, and yet in your mouth are words of wisdom. ||1|| (sggs 656).
The True Giaanee is a highly evolved Being, thus very rare. He sees everything at once — God, nature, world, and living entities. Situated in the Chauthaa Pada (Fourth State or Turiyaa), he is perfectly detached from worldliness Maya). Having transcended the three states of consciousness, he is immune to the three qualities of Maya. Situated beyond the reach of sense-organs, he enjoys Celestial Peace in which there is no false "I" (or false ego) left.

Since God is Formless for the True Giaanee, he neither wants His form nor incarnation. Therefore, he looks upon the world as a mere dream, temporary, unreal or Mithiya. He is beyond duality, however, he does not hate or dislike when he is with those who believe in God with some other form or name; for his love and compassion is universal. He speaks the same Truth to all. The Potter loves all his pots with even vision; for He is the one who creates all, the Doer. The True Giaanee is free of enmity or rancor (Nirvair). He is the True the Mool (Jot, Source, Origin...) of all!

  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸਭ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਕਾ ਕਰਤਾ ॥: Brahm Giaanee sabh saristee kaa kartaa: Brahm Giaanee creates all the Saristee (sggs 273).
  • ਇਸੁ ਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਕੋ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਜਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੇਟਿ ਸਮਾਏ ॥: Is jug mahi ko birlaa Giaanee ji haoumai meti samaae: In this world, the Brahm Giaanee is very rare who, eradicating ego, remains absorbed in (the Reality) (sggs 512).
Giaanee's Symptoms

How can we tell an Agiaanee (ignorant being) from the True Giaanee? The Gurbani indicates that only a Brahm Giaanee knows his State of being.

  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੀ ਗਤਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਜਾਨੈ ॥: Brahm giaanee kee gati brahm giaanee jaanai (sggs 273).

To judge our own Spiritual Progress, we are provided in the Gurbani with a list of numerous signs of a true Giaanee. By applying the Touchstone of the Gurbani, these Divine characteristics of a True Giaanee can be used as a tool for self-analysis. No other mundane qualifications matters.

  • ਗਿਆਨੀ ਹੋਇ ਸੁ ਚੇਤੰਨੁ ਹੋਇ ਅਗਿਆਨੀ ਅੰਧੁ ਕਮਾਇ ॥: Giaanee so chetann hoi agiaanee andh kamaai: One who is Giaanee (ਗਿਆਨਵਾਨ, etc.), remains Awake (spiritually Aware, Alert, etc.); and the ignorant act blindly (ignorantly - ਅਗਿਆਨੀ ਮਨੁੱਖ ਅਗਿਆਨਤਾ ਦਾ ਕੰਮ ਹੀ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੈ) (sggs 556).
  • ਗਿਆਨੀਆ ਕਾ ਧਨੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਸਹਜਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਵਾਪਾਰੁ ॥: Giaaneeaa kaa dhanu giaan hai sahaji karahi vaapaar (sggs 68).
The signs of a True Giaanee include, but not limited to: Egolessness, fearlessness, purity of mind, desirelessness, unselfishness, giving nature, contentment, detachment, mercy, spiritual knowledge, charity, self-control, inner-austerity, simplicity, nonviolence, piety, even-vision, patience, purest of pure, all wisdom, tranquility, gentleness, modesty, steady determination, vigor, forgiveness, fortitude, inner cleanliness, free from duality (Doojaa Bhaav), inner and outer truthfulness, worship of one God, purifying nature, unaffected by materiality, free from sins, treats friends and foes alike, no self-conceit, humble, spiritual bliss and peace, kind and loving, free from all rituals or entanglements, solely dependent on the Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...), Divine Lifestyle, speaks about Parameshar and matter related to Him only, complete control on mind, constancy in abidance in Naam (Aatam Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom...), ever alert, ever joyful, spontaneous, natural, pure teaching, always in the highest spiritual state, caring, always engaged in inner inquiry, free from evil passions and covetousness, inner-renunciation, aversion from faultfinding, compassion for all living beings, free from stubborn mindedness, and so on.

A True Giaanee cannot injure anybody either mentally, or emotionally or physically. It's like a steel sword which upon touching the philosopher's stone gets transformed into gold; and gold can never cut! He is like a child ("Baal Budhi"), simple and innocent who is completely detached. From the outside he may appears to have anger, ego, attachment and so on, but in reality the true Giaanee has no such impurities (otherwiaw he is a fake!). It's like a burnt string lying on the ground looks real from a distance; but if you come closer and blow at it, it disappears. He is all Virtues.

  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੈ ਸਗਲ ਮਨ ਮਾਹਿ ॥: Brahm Giaanee kai sagal mann maahi: All resides in the Brahm Giaanee (Knowledge of the three world...). (sggs 273).
There is always giving in Bhagti. Consequently, the True Giaanee always gives himself relentlessly, tirelessly and completely to whoever comes to him. He belongs to all. He shares (Band Shaknaa) everything he has (Aatam Giaan...). If he is not to give, then know him to be a fake Giaanee.

Endowed with Divine Nature, the true Giaanee is the embodiment of humility. He is humble, modest and kind; for he never performs any act that is abominable. He considers others better than himself. Such humility abides in the heart of those fortunate ones who have divinized their mind, intelligence, consciousness, and ego.

The material conception of life makes us finding faults in others by ignoring our own, because we are Agiaanee. Due to this ignorance, we are unable to recognize our own imperfections. The humble and modest feeling of being meek and lowly comes when we attain humility. For example, the True Giaanee always call themselves meek and lowly. Their pattern of humility is unblemished.

  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੈ ਗਰੀਬੀ ਸਮਾਹਾ ॥: Brahm Giaanee kai gareebee samaahaa: Brahm Giaanee is most humble (sggs 273).
  • ਭੈ ਕਾਹੂ ਕਉ ਦੇਤ ਨਹਿ ਨਹਿ ਭੈ ਮਾਨਤ ਆਨ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੁਨਿ ਰੇ ਮਨਾ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਤਾਹਿ ਬਖਾਨਿ ॥੧੬॥: Bhai kaahoo ko det nahi nahi bhai manat aan ...: One who does not frighten anyone, and who is not afraid of anyone else (ਡਰਾਵਿਆਂ ਤੋਂ ਘਬਰਾਂਦਾ ਨਹੀਂ) — says Nanak, listen, mind: call him Giaanee (spirituallt Wise, ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ ਵਾਲਾ, etc.) ||16|| (sggs 1427).
The true Giaanee recognizes all mankind as one family. Because, he knows that the Source of all living entities is the One. Accordingly, he considers all beings as extension of his own Soul. He loves all. He embraces all. In him there is no distinction of religions, castes, color, creed, good or bad, etc. He is beyond any man-made boundaries or any ideology. He knows that to love all and everything is to attain God!
  • ਮਾਨਸ ਕੀ ਜਾਤ ਸਬੈ ਏਕੈ ਪਹਚਾਨਬੋ ॥: Maanas kee jaat sabai ekai pahchaanabo: Recognize the entire mankind as one family (Guru Gobind Singh Jee).
  • ਸਾਚ ਕਹੋਂ ਸੁਨ ਲੇਹੁ ਸਭੈ ਜਿਨ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਕੀਓ ਤਿਨ ਹੀ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਪਾਇਓ ॥: Saach kahon sun leho sabhai jin prem keeo tin hee prabh paaio: Listen all, I tell you the Truth: One who practices love attains God (Guru Gobind Singh Jee).
  • ਏਕ ਨੂਰ ਤੇ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਉਪਜਿਆ ਕਉਨ ਭਲੇ ਕੋ ਮੰਦੇ ॥੧॥: Ek noor te sabh jagu upjiaa kaoun bhale ko mande ||1||: From this One Light, the entire universe has welled up. So who is good, and who is bad? ||1|| (sggs 1349).
Giaanee's Mind

Just as the cloud obscures the sun, so does the restrictions, assumptions, self-identification or self-limitations in time and space (false ego) obscure the Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...). But the Giaanee's mind enjoys completeness and perfection; for it lacks nothing. His mind is like the sun, who knows no darkness. In other words, his mind is nothing but the Pure Mool, dispassionate witness, the "Joti-Svaroopa", beyond the glamour of appearances. His every moment is free and spontaneous (Sahaj).

The state of a true Giaanee is Sahaj his own, natural, at peace, spontaneous, uncaused, independent and unassailable (ਆਤਮਕ ਅਡੋਲਤਾ). The world to him is nothing but a show, glittering and empty, without any depth. To him the world is a Cosmic Play (Rabb Dee Leelaa), which he enjoys as long as it lasts and forgets when it is over. He is neither attached to the actors in this play, nor does he identify himself with them. Whatever takes place on the stage makes him quiver with horror or roll with laughter, yet all the time he is aware that it is just a passing show ("Jagat Tamaashaa")! He enjoys it as it happens; without attachment, desire and fear.

  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੈ ਹੋਇ ਅਚਿੰਤ ॥: Brahm Giaanee kai hoi achint: The Brahm Giaanee is worry-free (sggs 273).
  • ਬਾਜੀਗਰਿ ਜੈਸੇ ਬਾਜੀ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਨਾਨਾ ਰੂਪ ਭੇਖ ਦਿਖਲਾਈ ॥ ਸਾਂਗੁ ਉਤਾਰਿ ਥੰਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਿਓ ਪਾਸਾਰਾ ॥ ਤਬ ਏਕੋ ਏਕੰਕਾਰਾ ॥੧॥: Baajeegar jaise baajee paaee. Naanaa roop bhekh dikhlaaee. Saang utaar thanmiho paasaaraa. Tab eko ekankaaraa ||1||: When Baajeegar (an actor, a juggler, etc.) stages his play (ਬਾਜ਼ੀ ਪਾ ਕੇ ਵਿਖਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ); he plays many characters in different costumes. But when his play (ਬਾਜ਼ੀ, Tamaashaa) ends, he takes off the costumes, and then he remains just one - Baajeegar. (Similarly, this universe is God-Baajeegar's Play - Jagat Tamaashaa - and He pervades in this Play of His so many different ways, etc., but when He takes off the costumes and stops His Expanse - Play, Tamaashaa, etc. -, then He the only One remains) ||1|| (sggs 736).
  • ਸ੍ਵਾਂਗੀ ਸਿਉ ਜੋ ਮਨੁ ਰੀਝਾਵੈ ॥ ਸ੍ਵਾਗਿ ਉਤਾਰਿਐ ਫਿਰਿ ਪਛੁਤਾਵੈ ॥: Savaangee siou jo mann reejhaavai. Savaang utaariai phir pashutaavai One who loves the actor in his mind, later regrets it (after seeing the actor's reality) when the actor takes off his costume (sggs 1145).
Foolishness is contradictions, which is the foundation of expansion of our inflated ego. As long as we take refuge in contradictions, we remain separated from the Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...). This man-made separateness is the cause of evil passions. Hence contradictions are the bondage, and the absence of contradictions is liberation (Mukti). By contradicting the world around, a fool (Agiaanee) contradicts his very essence, namely the Blissful Consciousness Existence. There are no contradictions in the Giani's mind; for he is done away with separation. As a result, his Blissful state neither increases nor decreases.
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸੁਖ ਸਹਜ ਨਿਵਾਸ ॥: Brahm Giaanee sukh sahaj nivaas: The Brahm Giaanee dwells in Sahaj (Avasthaa). (sggs 273).
False ego guided intelligence is liable to obstinate error. When a man identifies himself with the material body or material life, he is bound to reap the good or bad results of his Mayaic efforts; for he is guided by the false consciousness of himself as the doer of actions. To the contrary, however, a Giaanee does not make mistakes because his wisdom is guided by Pure Consciousness (Aatam Giaan). In this state of Shabad-Surti, he feels not the ego but the Divine Consciousness working through all his actions, consequently, he attains immunity to the influence of Maya.

The True Giaanee is always alert against senses, mind and intellect. A tortoise, for example, extends his senses (four legs, head and a tail) out of the armor of his shell for a particular purpose. However, as soon as he feels harm or danger, he immediately withdraws them within the shell. Similarly, a Giaanee withdraws his senses the moment he feels danger of worldly temptation.

  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸਦਾ ਸਦ ਜਾਗਤ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਤਿਆਗਤ ॥: Brahm Giaanee sadaa sad jaagat. Brahm giani ahambudh tiaagat: The Brahm Giaanee is always Awake. The Brahm Giaanee renounces his ego intellect (sggs 273).
The True Giaanee is like butter. Water added to milk will mix with it. However, the milk that has become butter will float on water, without going through any adulteration. Similarly, the Giaanee who has churned the butter of Self-realization, finds himself impervious, inwardly and outwardly, to all attachment to sense objects even when he lives amidst them.
  • ਜੈਸੇ ਜਲ ਮਹਿ ਕਮਲੁ ਨਿਰਾਲਮੁ ਮੁਰਗਾਈ ਨੈ ਸਾਣੇ ॥ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਭਵ ਸਾਗਰੁ ਤਰੀਐ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਖਾਣੇ ॥ ਰਹਹਿ ਇਕਾਂਤਿ ਏਕੋ ਮਨਿ ਵਸਿਆ ਆਸਾ ਮਾਹਿ ਨਿਰਾਸੋ ॥ ਅਗਮੁ ਅਗੋਚਰੁ ਦੇਖਿ ਦਿਖਾਏ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਦਾਸੋ ॥੫॥: Jaise jal mahi ... (sggs 938).
This human body is like a city with 9 holes or nine gates (two eyes, two years, two nostrils, one mouth, the anus and the genitals). All these gates are polluted with material contamination. The mind free to escape through these filthy openings binds the Soul in material bondage. The Giaanee has closed these gates off, leaving no chance for the mind to wander off. Thus, having mastered his mind through practicing the Divine Love, he has freed himself from the results of any fruitive actions and resulting joy or miseries. He has completely relinquished all varieties of sense gratification, which arise from mental concoction. He is contented in the Self, and by the Self. He thus remains undisturbed even amidst the filth of the world.
  • ਨਉ ਦਰ ਠਾਕੇ ਧਾਵਤੁ ਰਹਾਏ ॥ ਦਸਵੈ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸਾ ਪਾਏ ॥ ਓਥੈ ਅਨਹਦ ਸਬਦ ਵਜਹਿ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤੀ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੁਣਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੬॥: Naou dar thaake dhaavat rahaaye. Dasvai nij ghar vaasaa paaye ...: Those who close off the nine gates, and restrain the wandering mind, come to dwell in the Home of the Tenth Gate. There, the Unstruck Melody of the Shabad vibrates day and night. Through the Guru's Teachings, the Shabad is heard. ||6|| (sggs 124).
The mind of such fortunate person ("Vadbhaagee") is perfectly in link with the Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...). Having transcended the three modes of material nature (Maya), he remains situated on the platform of Pure Consciousness (Chauthaa Pad or fourth state); for he has ascended to the Tenth Gate. Thus, he has his consciousness attuned to the Divine Consciousness of the Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...). By remaining fixed in the Mool, his mind is no longer disturbed by any thing. Having thus penetrated the dense forest of delusion, he has become indifferent to all that has been heard and all that is to be heard. He is indifferent to all the books, all the teaching, all the castes, all the vanities of the world, etc. At this point he has nothing left to follow, because, he has already attained Spiritual Perfection Within.

The mind's contamination ("Sootak") is its duality. But, the Giaanee's mind is free from it. Although he lives amidst this world of pluralities (Maya), yet he remains unaffected by it. His mind always remains satisfied and satiated. He has roasted the seeds of spiritual ignorance in the fire of Divine Wisdom. He ever bathes in the pool of the Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...). The unstruck melody of the Shabad vibrates in his mind, which fascinates him. There he feels infinite joy, celestial peace, and no sorrows. He is immune from the adverse effects of pairs of likes and dislikes.

  • ਮਨ ਕਾ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਭਾਉ ॥ ਭਰਮੇ ਭੂਲੇ ਆਵਉ ਜਾਉ ॥੧॥ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਕਬਹਿ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਜਿਚਰੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਹਰਿ ਕੈ ਨਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Mann kaa sootak doojaa bhaau. Bharme bhoole aavaou jaaou ||1|| Manmukh sootak kabahi n jaai. Jichar sabad na bheejai har kai naai ||1||Rahaaou||: The pollution of the mind is the love of duality. Infatuated by doubts man comes and goes. ||1||This pollution of the self-willed Manmukhs will never go away, as long as they do not dwell on the Shabad, and the Name of the Lord. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 229).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸਦਾ ਨਿਰਲੇਪ ॥ ਜੈਸੇ ਜਲ ਮਹਿ ਕਮਲ ਅਲੇਪ ॥: Brahm Giaanee sadaa nirlep. Jaise jal mahi kamal alep: The Brahm Giaanee is always Pure (untainted by Maya...), as the lotus in the water remains untouched (sggs 272).
The Giaanee is free of Karma, past or future. It's not that he is idle or actionless. To the contrary, he is the most busy person! By abiding in the Divine Virtues, he has neutralized his old Karma. Further, by unconditional surrender to his Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...), and thereby engaging in selfless activities, he has become free from the effects of new Kaarmic reactions. In other words, because he acts exclusively for the Mool, there is no influence of Maya. Thus having submitted to the Divine Will (Hukam) or Naam Consciousness, the Giaanee ceases to create new Karmic actions (Mayaic efforts).
  • ਗਿਆਨੁ ਭਇਆ ਤਹ ਕਰਮਹ ਨਾਸੁ ॥੩॥: Giaan bhaiaa tah karmah naas ||3||: With the Divine Knowledge (ਉੱਚ-ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ) ends the deeds (Mayaic efforts) ||3|| (sggs 1167).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਤੇ ਕਛੁ ਬੁਰਾ ਨ ਭਇਆ ॥: Brahm Giaanee te kashoo buraa na bhaiaa: Brahm Giaanee commits no evil (sggs 273)./LI>
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੀ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਜੁਗਤਾ ॥: Brahm Giaanee kee nirmal jugtaa: The way of the Brahm Giaanee are pure (sggs 273).
The True Giaanee is a detached observer: just as air exists in space, but, since it is not attached to space, it is free from spatial limitations. Even though he appears to have a body, but he is bodiless. It is just as the space is responsible for the growth of a tree, but the space does not arrest such growth!

Most of us are tortured by the memory of the past and worries of the future. The Giaanee, however, is free of both. Our worries for the future are due to fear of pain and desire for sense pleasures. Since the Giaanee is free from past-memory and future-anticipation, he is quite happy with whatever comes. This is "Bhaanaa Mannanaa" — obeying God's Hukam or Will.

The analogy of screen will aid us further appreciate the True Giaanee's state of mind. In the cinema hall, the screen is fixed, whilst the pictures move in it. The screen, however, ever remains unaffected by the movement of these pictures. Likewise, the spiritually awakened Giani 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!

The Infinite Consciousness is beyond any mundane description. Since the true Giaanee is linked to that Infinite Consciousness, the state of his mind is also beyond any mundane description. His is infinite, thus cannot be limited to the hollowness of the words or language.

  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੀ ਮਿਤਿ ਕਉਨੁ ਬਖਾਨੈ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੀ ਗਤਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਜਾਨੈ ॥: Brahm Giaanee ki miti kaun bakhainai. Brahm Giani ki gati Brahm Giaanee Jaanai: Who can estimate the limit of a Brahm Giaanee? Only a Brahm Giaanee (himself) knows (the state of his mind). (sggs 273).
Giaanee And Death

People are afraid of death. However, the True Giaanee is afraid of nothing; for he is fearless. It is natural for the Mool (Jot, Source, Origin...) to be fearless, but to be afraid of death or anything is not. Only the body-conscious person (Agiaanee) is afraid of death. Since the Giaanee knows he is neither the body nor the mind, the event of death has no effect on him. He is the Changeless Reality, beyond time and space. He is Immortal, thus untouched by the death (Jeevan Mukat - Living Dead).

  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸਦ ਜੀਵੈ ਨਹੀ ਮਰਤਾ ॥: Brahm Giaanee sad jeevai nahee martaa: Brahm Giaanee ever lives and never dies (sggs 273).
Even though the physical body of a Giaanee and an Agiaanee (spiritually fool) both come to an end, but there is a difference in the death of both entities. That is, a Giaanee dies in God-consciousness (Aatm Giaan) and linked to his Mool within. To the contrary, an Agiaanee dies in material consciousness (Maya) and falls down again into the evolutionary cycle. Thus, death is natural, but the manner in which one dies is man-made.

The event of death itself is of no importance to a True Giaanee; for he does not react to the events. It's not that the Giaanee has no feelings or that he has a stone-heart. In reality he is very compassionate for the suffering beings. If someone dies, he suffers with those who suffer. But he is aware that the Spirit Soul (ਚੇਤਨ) is eternal. For the Soul there is neither birth or death. It is immortal, unborn, ever-existing, primeval, non-destructible, unbreakable, insoluble, changeless, immovable, invisible, inconceivable, immutable, and imperishable. The Soul can neither be cut nor slain by any weapon, nor burnt by fire, nor moistened by water, and nor withered by wind. It is the True Image of the Divine Light (Joti-Svaroopa). On the other hand, he also knows that this material body by itself is inert (ਜੜ). It becomes enlivened only when the Spirit Soul is infused in it; without which this body is nothing more than nine holes in the flesh and bones!

What comes and goes is unreal. That which is Real never dies, and that which dies is not Real. Since the True Giaanee's mind is already dead, he has no reaction to death. For him it's natural for the body to die, as it is natural for the incense stick to burn out. Thus, body and Soul are two separate entities. The body comes and goes, but the Soul is eternal, free of birth and death. All Jeeva (beings) are the Spirit Soul. The reason one identifies himself with the material body is the ignorance born false ego.

  • ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ਕਹੈ ਜਨੁ ਸਾਚਾ ॥ ਜਨਮਿ ਮਰੈ ਸੋ ਕਾਚੋ ਕਾਚਾ ॥: Tatt beechaar kahai jan saachaa. Janami marai so kaacho kaachaa: One who Reflects (contemplates - Vichaar) the Essence of Reality, is said to be the true person (ਉਹ ਸਚ-ਮੁਚ ਮਨੁੱਖ ਹੈ). (But, the one who) takes birth (just to) die (without realizing the Essence of Reality) is totally false (ਨਿਰੋਲ ਕੱਚਾ) (sggs 288).
The True Giaanee is not a body, visible or invisible; he is the Light or Giaan. The scriptures repeatedly remind us not to cling anything made from five elements and the mind. As any form made from the five elements is unreal (transient), they tell us not to depend on any material object. The Mool (Jot, Source, Origin...) is the only Reality, all else is a passing show. If we hold on to "all else", then we are sure to lose. Therefore, if the vague idea associated with the form of the body is rejected, only the Supreme Mool will be left!
  • ਗਿਆਨੀ ਜੀਵੈ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਰਤੀ ਹੀ ਪਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: Giaanee jeevai sadaa sadaa surti hee pat hoi: Only the Giaanee lives forever (the spiritual Life, ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਸੂਝ ਵਾਲਾ ਮਨੁੱਖ ਸਦਾ ਹੀ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਜੀਊਂਦਾ ਹੈ); he is honored for his intuitive awareness (that he ever and ever keeps engaged in the Truth) (sggs 1412).
Birth and death are but points in time. Thus, life and death, joy and sorrows, pain and pleasure, etc., are real to the man in bondage. But to the True Giaanee, they are all in the world-play (Jagat Tamaashaa), as unreal as the show itself! He is already dead while living in the body (Jeevanmukta). What the death can do to the man who is already dead? We Agiaanee (ignorant) feel sad as we grow older because we identify the Mool (Jot, Source, Origin...) with the finite frame of the body. So long there is this error, there will be fear. But as the Giaanee grows older, he becomes more happy and peaceful. His mind becomes happy with the reel of destiny coming to its end. He knows at last he is going to the True Home!
  • ਤਹ ਪਾਵਸ ਸਿੰਧੁ ਧੂਪ ਨਹੀ ਛਹੀਆ ਤਹ ਉਤਪਤਿ ਪਰਲਉ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਜੀਵਨ ਮਿਰਤੁ ਨ ਦੁਖੁ ਸੁਖੁ ਬਿਆਪੈ ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਦੋਊ ਤਹ ਨਾਹੀ ॥੧॥ ਸਹਜ ਕੀ ਅਕਥ ਕਥਾ ਹੈ ਨਿਰਾਰੀ ॥ ਤੁਲਿ ਨਹੀ ਚਢੈ ਜਾਇ ਨ ਮੁਕਾਤੀ ਹਲੁਕੀ ਲਗੈ ਨ ਭਾਰੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Tah paavas sindhu dhoop nahee chhaheeaa tah utapat parlaou naahee: There (in the Sahaj Avasthaa-Natural State of being, ਗਿਆਨ ਅਵਸਤਾ, Awakened State, the State of Spiritual Wisdom...) is no rain, ocean, sunshine, shade, creation or destruction (in other words, there remains no Mayaic thughts, or any longing, desire, impulse or lust for places or things symbolized by all these). No birth or death (i.e., in that Sahaj Avasthaa, there is no longing for life or fear of death), no pain or pleasure is felt there (i.e., in that Sahaj Avasthaa, there is no longing for Sukha or repulsion of Dukha). There is only the Sunn Samaadhi (the state devoid of Mayaic thoughts or evil-mindedness), and no duality (i.e., in that Sahaj Avasthaa, nothing else can approach - no feeling of "I, me, you" remains there, no Mayaic thoughts arise there, etc.). ||1|| The description of the State of Sahaj is indescribable and sublime. (This state of Sahaj Avasthaa cannot be compared with any Sukha of this world, therefore, it cannot be said that) it is lower or higher (than any Sukha of the world, etc.). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 333).
  • ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰੈ ਮਰੈ ਫੁਨਿ ਜੀਵੈ ਐਸੇ ਸੁੰਨਿ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਅੰਜਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨਿ ਰਹੀਐ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਨ ਭਵਜਲਿ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੧॥: Jeevat marai marai phun jeevai aise sunn samaaiaa. Anjan maahi niranjan reheeai bahurr n bhavajal paaiaa ||1||: One who remains dead while yet alive (by erading Bikaars from the mind, etc.), he lives (the real life - ਅਸਲ ਜੀਵਨ); thus he merges into Sunn (remains in the state that is devoid of Mayaic thoughts, etc.). Remaining pure in the midst of impurity (Maya), he will never again fall into the terrifying world-ocean (of Maya). ||1|| (sggs 332).
That which is born must die. Thus, death is a change in time and space. Since we identify with time and space, we are afraid of this change. The Giaanee is not afraid because his state is beyond time and space. He is dead to the phenomenal world of names and forms. Consequently, the loss of this world of names and forms do not affect him. The Giaanee is aware of the fact that death does not mean non-being. Therefore, he loves death as he loves deep sleep. To the contrary, Agiaanee loves sleep but not the death, because he does not perceive the world like a Giaanee. The Self is never born, for that he could never die. Since the instinctive mind (false ego) functions in the frame work of time and space, birth and death pertains to the body or mind only; but they are superimposed on the Mool (Jot, Source, Origin...), giving rise to the delusion that birth and death relate to the Mool. The Mool exists before the birth of physical body and will remain after its death. Thus the birth and death are phenomena in the Mool, but the Mool   ever remains unbroken and unaffected.

Since a majority of us are tortured by the fear of death, we are asked by the Gurbani to inquire into its reality and find out what it is. If we follow the Gurbani's instruction and inquire "To whom is this death?", then we will find that which dies is not really us! What actually dies is the body which depends on the movement of the Praan (also spelt Prana) or life-force. The body never has its independent existence, and any thing that depends on some thing else must go. With the death of the body, dies the world of names and shapes. The Divine Essence dwells Within our own Hearts as the Self or Aatmaan. Unaffected by the movements of the body or mind, the Aatmaan is not subject to death, grief, despair, disease or ignorance. Pure, perfect, free from limitations or conditioning, the Aatmaan is ever one with the Infinite Consciousness, Waheguru. However, as the body is made of five elements, it is bound in the framework of time and space. Upon its destruction, the elements go back to their respective source; the earth merges with earth, the air merges with air, the fire merges with fire, the water merges with water, and the space merges with space. Only the Mool (Jot, Source, Origin...) remains! This is the Gurbani's edict.

  • ਕਉਨੁ ਮੂਆ ਰੇ ਕਉਨੁ ਮੂਆ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਮਿਲਿ ਕਰਹੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ਇਹੁ ਤਉ ਚਲਤੁ ਭਇਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Kaounu mooaa re kaounu mooaa. Brahm giaanee mili karahu beechaaraa ihu taou chalatu bhaiaa ||1||Rahaaou|| (sggs 885).
The Giaanee leaves this world like a passenger, who reaching his destination collects his baggage and leaves the train or plane without any regrets. He knows that the death waits from the moment the body was born! So he treats death like a guest who has been patiently waiting to see him for a long time. He anxiously opens the door for death and entertains it. Since the Giaanee has already left his body all along (living liberated), for him there is nothing in death to regret!
  • ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸੈ ਸਾਚਿ ਸਮਾਏ ॥ ਜੰਮਣੁ ਮਰਣਾ ਠਾਕਿ ਰਹਾਏ ॥: Nij ghari vaasai saachi samaae. Jamman marnaa thaaki rahaae: They (Gurmukhs) dwell in the home of their own inner beings, and merge in the True Being. Their cycle of birth and death is ended (sggs 222).

The True Giaanee and the rest of us live in the same world. However, he sees the world as it is, while we do not. For example, we see ourselves in the world, while the Giaanee sees the world in himself; for everything exists in the Infinite Consciousness. Consequently, to us, we get born and die; while to him it is the world that appears and disappears! The Giaanee thus is a Timeless Being, and there is no birth or death in the timelessness. He neither broods over the past, nor worries about the future. He lives in the Eternity of the NOW; for he has realized his own unassailable Being (Joti-Svaroopa).

Consider a tree standing beside a pool of water. We will notice that the tree on the bank looks inverted, that is, it reflects upon water with its branches down and roots up. The True Giaanee takes this body or material world as only a reflection of the Reality. In other words, most of us take this world real (permanent), and live our life cycle only to find death at the end! To the contrary, the Giani takes the life cycle backwards; he dies first, gets the death out of the way, and then he goes on living as Jeevanmukta (living dead).

Therefore, instead of mourning, a true Sikh celebrates death. Why? Because a Sikh is supposed to be a Giaanee. If he is not a Giaanee yet, he is not a true Sikh yet! The Gurbani declares that one who dies in the Shabad (Naam) is truly dead. Death does not crush him, and pain does not afflict him. When he hears, perceives, and contemplates the Truth, his individual light merges and is absorbed into the Supreme Light. In it everything disappears — false ego, "I, me, mine, you", Vaasnaas of material life he lived and the phenomenal world of names and forms. Only Intuitive Peace and Spiritual Silence remained. His joy is Divine, and his suffering is Divine too. That's why a true Sikh celebrates both the happy as well as the sad occasions — he celebrates both birth and death!

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਮਕਾਲੁ ਨੇੜਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥...: Gurmukh jamkaal nerhi n aavai ..: Death (Spiritual death - ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ) does not even approach the one who has become the Gurmukh. Through the Shabad, he burns away his ego and duality. Attuned to the Name, he sing God's Glorious Praises (sggs 231).
Giaanee And Maya

What is Maya? Anything that takes man away from the Truth is Maya. It is the enjoyment of  Maya that binds the living entities to the material plane. When a man comes in contact with the material world, his Divine Love gets transformed into evil passions, just as milk in contact with sour tamarind is transformed into yogurt. By constantly enjoying Maya, man's disease of false ego (Haumai) becomes chronic. But the water of God's Grace cannot be collected on the high mound of egoism; it simply runs down! In such degraded condition of the soul, one cannot act rightly.

  • ਇਹੁ ਜਗੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਵਿਆਪਿਆ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਇ ॥: Ihu jag Maya mohi viaapiaa doojai bharami bhulaae: This world is engrossed in attachment to Maya; it has gone astray in duality and doubt (sggs 430).
  • ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਕੇ ਲੀਨੇ ਗਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਏਕੈ ਜਾਨੀ ॥: Kaama krodh trsnaa ke leene gati nahee ekai jaanee: Man indulged in lust, anger and greed does not know the way of the Lord (sggs 1123).
Thus, the snare of Maya and it's illusion are evil passions. Through its three qualities — Saatav, Raajas, and Taamas — it keeps the man under its illusion. For example, as long as Saatav exists, it can call on Raajas for help, and Raajas can call on Taamas for help, so on and so froth. Thus, Maya is the cause of bondage. Consequently, it alone constitutes worldliness or Sansaar — the place of repeated birth and death. Therefore, it is Maya that keeps man from thinking or linking with the Reality. For this reason, Maya is called the "robber".
  • ਕੂੜਿ ਮੁਠੀ ਠਗੀ ਠਗਵਾੜੀ ॥ ਜਿਉ ਵਾੜੀ ਓਜਾੜਿ ਉਜਾੜੀ ॥: Koorri muthee thagee thagavaarree: The false (in love with Maya, etc.) are robbed by the robbers (ਕਾਮਾਦਿਕ ਠੱਗ , evil passions - lust, anger, greed, etc.). (Just as) the garden is laid waste in the wilderness (sggs 1024).
Our craving for worldly pleasures makes us slave of Maya. Just as a fire can never be put out by a constant supply of fuel, similarly, the craving cannot be satisfied by any amount of sense enjoyment. But, as seen by the Giaanee and scriptures, the man constantly keeps feeding his egotism with sense gratification, resulting in perpetual suffering.
  • ਤਿਸਨਾ ਅਗਨਿ ਜਲੈ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥ ਲੋਭੁ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੁ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਾ ॥: Tisnaa agan jali sansaaraa. Lobh abhiaaan bahut ahankaaraa: The world is burning in the fire of desire. (He is being overpowered by) greed, arrogance and ego (sggs 120).
Maya is the slave of the Giaanee, because he has transcended its three qualities. Maya's primary function is to allude Agiaanee (ignorant being) through her deceitful nature. Being attached to this cosmic delusion, the entire world is fallen into a deep sleep of unenlightened existence. As a result, we are unable to apprehend the Reality. In the sway of Maya, we take an impermanent thing to be a permanent, a fake to be a real, a false to be a truth, an endfull to be an endless, an unlimited to be a limited, an infinite to be a finite, etc. The True Giaanee has torn apart the curtain of illusion. He never suffers any doom, and he ever keeps his mind and senses in check.
  • ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੀ ਹੋਇ ਵਰਤੀ ਦਾਸਿ ॥: Giaanee kee hoi vartee daase: Maya acts as Giaanee's servent (sggs 370).
The Giaanee is desireless, and the desirelessness is timelessness or Bliss (Anand). To the contrary, an Agiaanee is full of desires. All desires are in our mind, created by the love for Maya. With the rise of false ego-sense comes the error of taking the finite matter or body to be the Infinite Mool (Jot, Source, Origin...). In other words, the rise of ego-sense confines us to the limitations of the human frame. These limitations, in turn, make us see other objects; hence arises desire to enjoy them. These desires are so complex and contradictory, the environment they create is also complex and contradictory, thus disharmonious. Desires fulfilled create more desires and greed, and desires unfulfilled manifest into anger. Also, the temporary satisfaction of desires breeds misery. So long we retain self-limitations, we continue to entertain desires, and loose control on the mind.
  • ਗਿਆਨੀ ਹਰਿ ਬੋਲਹੁ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤਿ ॥ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਕੀ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਭੂਖ ਸਭ ਉਤਰੀ ਜੋ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਰਾਮ ਰਸੁ ਖਾਂਤਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Giaanee hari bolahu din raati. Tin kee trishnaa bhukh sabh utree jo gurmati Raam ras khaate ||1||Rahaaou||: O Giaanee, chant God's Name, day and night. Through the Gurmat (Teaching of the Shabad_Guru), those who partake of the sublime essence of God (Naam), all their hunger and thirst (of Maya) are satisfied.||1||Pause|| (sggs 1264).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਸਦਾ ਅਨੰਦ ॥: Brahm Giaanee kai ghar sadaa ananad:  Heart of the Brahm Giaanee is full of Bliss (sggs 273).
The Giaanee lives in the world fenced with two swords: One of Divine Knowledge, and the other of God-centered activities (the Gurmukh Lifestyle). He has no identification with the worldly objects. With the swords of Wisdom and pious deeds, he has killed the snake of Maya. With the power of detachment or witness attitude (Saakshi Bhaav), he has set himself free from worldly entanglements and their fruits. The Giaanee has thus conquered the material world, while the Agiaanee (ignorant) is conquered by the material world!
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤਾ ਜਗਿ ਜੀਤਾ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਇ ॥: Nanak Giaanee jag jeetaa jagi jeetaa sabh koi: O Nanak, the Giani has conquered the world (Maya's Moh), but (except the Giaanee) the world has conquered everyone else (sggs 548).
Giani And Rituals

Rituals belong to the Manmukh (Agiaanee), not to a Giaanee. Rituals inflames Haumai (ego). They give rise to blind faith, doubts, confusion and superstitions. Consequently, such acts result only in further inflating the false ego. Once caught in the worthlessness of nonsense beliefs and rituals, an individual forgets his True Nature, the Mool (Jot, Source, Origin...). The result is spiritual blindness, bewilderment and delusion of the mind. Accordingly, phony acts of empty rituals have been rejected by the Gurbani.

  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਬੰਧਨ ਤੇ ਮੁਕਤਾ ॥: Brahm giaanee bandhan te muktaa: Braham Giaanee is free from entanglements (sggs 273).
  • ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਜੇਤਾ ਬਿਉਹਾਰੁ ॥ ਜਿਉ ਮਿਰਤਕ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਸੀਗਾਰੁ ॥੨॥: Naam bina jetaa biouhaar. Jiou mirtak mithiaa seegaar ||2||: Without the Divine Name (i.e., forgetting the Naam, man's), all occupations are useless, as decorations on a dead body ||2|| (sggs 240).
The Gurbani declares that all religious rituals are Maya. The Agiaanee believes in them because of the "I-am-the-body" illusion.
  • ਬਹੁ ਭੇਖ ਕੀਆ ਦੇਹੀ ਦੁਖੁ ਦੀਆ ॥: Bagu bhekh keeaa dehee dukh deeaa: The more one wears religious robes, the more pain he causes his body (sggs 467).
God does not have a religion. The True Giaanee has also arisen above all man-made religions. He does not care for religious robes, nor does he observe any rituals. Religious ceremonies, rites, and rituals are performed solely to satisfy the evil emotions or Mayaic intellect of an Agiaanee (ignorant). Further, in order to inflate the false ego, an Agiaenee will decorate his body with religious garbs and related paraphernalia. However, to a Giaanee, they all are like decorations on a dead body! A Giaanee knows that such things are empty of good vibrations, and are of no help to him or others. Baabaa Nanak says:
  • ਮੈ ਅਵਰੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਪੂਜਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਵਸਿ ਰਹੇ ॥ ਭੇਖੁ ਭਵਨੀ ਹਠੁ ਨ ਜਾਨਾ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਸਚੁ ਗਹਿ ਰਹੇ ॥੧॥: Mai avar giaan n dhiaan poojaa Hari Naam antari vasi rahe. Bhekh bhavnee hath n jaanaa Nanakaa sach gahi rahe ||1||: God's Name dwells deep within me, I know no other wisdom, meditation or worship. I know nothing about religious robes, pilgrimages or stubbornness; O Nanak, I only hold tight to the Truth ||1|| (sggs 843).
The list of useless rituals performed on the name of religion and spirituality is unending. Since they are all Karamkaand (Mayaic or worldly entanglements), they are rejected by the Gurbani outright. For material gain and name, it is the selfish and ignorant priest group responsible for the existence of all unmeaning rituals and false show of religion or spirituality. There is no place for them in the Gurmat (Aatam Giaan) or in the mind of a True Giaanee. The Gurbani puts end to all such worldly nonsense as follows:
  • ਜਪਹੁ ਤ ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮਾ ॥ ਅਵਰਿ ਨਿਰਾਫਲ ਕਾਮਾ ॥: Japahu ta eko naamaa. Awar niraaphal kaamaa: Chant One God's Name. All other actions are fruitless (sggs 728).
  • ਜੇ ਜੇ ਭੇਖ ਸੁ ਤਨ ਮੈਂ ਧਾਰੈ ॥ ਤੇ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਜਨ ਕਛੁ ਕੈ ਨ ਬਿਚਾਰੈ ॥: Je je bhekh su tan mai dhaarai. Te prabh jan kashoo kai na bichaarai: Those who adopt different religious garbs are never liked by the men of God (Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Bachitra Naatak, Dasam Granth, page 140, line 7).
The Giaanee knows that the Mool (Jot, Source, Origin...) is to be understood as distinct from, and beyond the physical equipment constituted of the body-mind-intellect. As rituals, beliefs, religious robes, marks, etc., are the play of only material vehicle made up of body-mind-intellect. The Reality is beyond their reach or apprehension. The body and its decorations cannot comprehend the Infinite Reality because He is not the object of senses or perception; the mind can't either because the Mool is not the object of emotions; and the intellect can't comprehend as well because the Mool is not the object of cognition.
  • ਸਗਲੇ ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਜੁਗ ਸੋਧੇ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਨ ਪ੍ਰਬੋਧੇ ॥: Sagle karam dharam jug sodhe. Bin naavai ih man na parbodhe: I have studied the religions and rituals of all the ages. Without the Name, this mind is not awakened (sggs 913).
Giaanee and the Lord

As indicated in the Gurbani, there is only One Reality, who is All-pervading. Since He is Timeless, He never takes birth and never dies. He has no particular form or shape. He has no color, no gender, no religion, no enemy, and so on. He is the Doer. He has no equal, no competitor or challenger. He is kind, loving, compassionate, affectionate, caring, merciful, impartial and unselfish. He has even-vision; thus He shows no favoritism. He does not discriminate against anybody. He loves all. A True Giaanee possesses all of these Divine Attributes. His food is Divine Wisdom. He remains unselfishly absorbed in the Mool (Jot, Source, Origin...).

  • ਗਿਆਨੀਆ ਕਾ ਧਨੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਸਦ ਹੀ ਰਹੈ ਸਮਾਇ ॥: Giaanee kaa dhann naam hai sad hee rahai samaai: The Giaanee's wealth is God's Name, and he ever remains absorbed in (sggs 1282).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਆਪਿ ਪਰਮੇਸੁਰ ॥੬॥: Nanak Brahm Giaanee aap Permesur ||6||: O Nanak! The Brahm Giaanee himself is Parmeshar (-like).||6|| (sggs 273).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਪੂਰਨ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਬਿਧਾਤਾ ॥: Brahm Giaanee pooran Purakh Bidhaataa: The knower of God (Brahm Giaanee) himself is the perfect Lord Creator (sggs 273).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ॥: Brahm Giaanee aap Nirankaar: The Brahm Giaanee himself is the Nirankaar (-like). (sggs 274).
  • ਆਪੁ ਗਇਆ ਤਾ ਆਪਹਿ ਭਏ ॥: Aap gaiaa taa aapahi bhae: When ego (ਆਪਾ-ਭਾਵ) is gone, (one) becomes the Lord (ਉਹ ਪਰਮਾਤਮਾ ਦਾ ਰੂਪ ਹੀ ਹੋ ਗਇਆ) Himself (sggs 202).
Form is possible only to the limited entity such as our physical body. All such forms of existence are temporary. As our Soul is unlimited, it is Formless and thus eternal. However, the superimposition of our bodily consciousness (false ego) onto the Mool gives rise to this phenomenal world of names and forms. To put it otherwise, when one thing gets conditioned by something else, it possesses a form. Space is formless because it is unlimited. Similarly, the Pure Consciousness is formless because it is beyond the limited body, mind, and intellect equipment. The True Giaanee is That.

Becoming Giaanee

There is a dangerous elephant roaming around in the forest of our body working havoc. This elephant is gone insane because of our life's sensuousness, consequently it is ever restless. This elephant destroys everybody in the world. This elephant that roams in our body's forest is known by many names such as instinctive mind, desires, Vaasnaas, thoughts, emotional attachment, false ego, doubts, fears, bondage, etc. So long we believe in the Mayaic or objective existence (subject-object relationship), the desire is sure to arise. This alone constitutes the Sansaar, the place of repeated birth and death.

  • ਮਨੁ ਮੈਗਲੁ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਵਸਿ ਆਇਆ ਰਾਮ ॥: Man maigal gur Sabad vas aaiaa Ram: The mind-elephant is overpowered through the Gur-Shabad (sggs 576).
The essence of a True Giaanee is the True Giaan (Divine Knowledge or Aatam-Giaan) - the cessation of all desires and related fears is liberation (Mukti)...
  • ਐਸਾ ਕਰਹੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ਗਿਆਨੀ ॥ ਜਾ ਤੇ ਪਾਈਐ ਪਦੁ ਨਿਰਬਾਨੀ ॥: O Giaanee (wise man)! Consider doing such Reflection (Vichaar, contemplation), by which the "Padu Nirbaanee" (the State of Nirvaana) is attained (sggs 385).

The Spiritually Wise remind us that simple faith can be broken. But if it is strengthened by intellectual understanding, then it can never be shaken or lost. The purpose or use of True Wisdom (Giaan) is to bring about inner transformation. We aimlessly wander in this world till there is the dawn of such Wisdom able to destroy the root of ignorance in which the Sansaar appears permanent. This inner transformation can only happen with the Divine Knowledge; the rediscovery of the Truth. When the mind is engaged in Spiritual Wisdom, it sheds all mental conditionings and returns to its original nature as Pure Consciousness.

Thus, In order for us to find out what we really are, we need to find out what we are not! This is the way of the Giaanee. The Divine Knowledge (Aatam Giaan) helps one to understand what he is not, and keeps him free from false concepts, precepts, ideas, desires, fear, and actions. It makes one alert and careful, by rejecting all that does not go with the fact "Soham" (He is me or I am That).

  • ਇਹੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਬਿਕਾਰੁ ਸੰਸੇ ਮਹਿ ਤਰਿਓ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ॥: Ihu sansaaru bikaaaru sanse mahi tario Brahm Giaanee: This world is engrossed in Bikaar and doubts (cynicism, ਸਹਸੇ, ਸਹਿਮ, ਭਰਮ....). Only the Brahm Giaanee (ਜਿਸ ਨੇ "ਪ੍ਰਾਤਮਾ" ਨਾਲ ਜਾਣ-ਪਛਾਣ ਪਾ ਲਈ) are saved (from these).
How can we find out what we are not? Everything, including the Mool (Jot, Source, Origin...) and the Word of the Gurbani, is veiled with the layer of Maya. The Giaanee reasons the world through discrimination (applying Bibek Budhi of the Gur-Shabad) and Shabad-Vichaar, which leads him to the Eternal and indivisible Bliss - beyond all the cosmic principles of five elements, the senses, the mind, the ego and the intelligence.
  • ਚੰਦੁ ਸੂਰਜੁ ਦੁਇ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ॥ ਜੋਤੀ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਅਨੂਪੁ ॥੧॥ ਕਰੁ ਰੇ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਜੋਤੀ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਧਰਿਆ ਪਸਾਰੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Chand sooraj due joti saroop ...: The moon and the sun are both the embodiment of Light. Within their light, is God's Light, the incomparable. ||1|| Therefore, O spiritual teacher, contemplate God. In His Light is contained the expanse of the created universe. ||1|| Pause || (sggs 972).
To know the the Mool (Jot, Source, Origin...) alone is Real and all else is transitory is Bibek. It's like straining dirty water through the sieve — the clean water goes through the sieve leaving the dirt behind. Similarly, we can apply the sieve of discrimination to the world! Thus, by always reasoning, applying the process of Bibek Budhi , one gives up his identification with the worldly objects and becomes Giaanee. Only after giving up identification with the worldly objects can we realize the Mool (Jot, Source, Origin...). It's like reaching the top of the roof by using the rungs of a ladder and then leaving them behind. In the ultimate state of Spiritual Realization, one finds that the roof, ladder, its rungs and all rest of the universe is one and the same!
  • ਦੁਲਭ ਜਨਮੁ ਪੁੰਨ ਫਲ ਪਾਇਓ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਾਤ ਅਬਿਬੇਕੈ ॥: Dulabh janam punn phal paayo birathaa jaat abibekai: This precious human birth is obtained as a reward for (past) good actions, but without discriminating intellect, it is wasted in vain (sggs 658).
Spiritual ignorance and resulting suffering is a call for Mool-inquiry (Shabad-Vichaar). Such practice of inner investigation in particular relates to Giaanee — not knowledge in the intellectual sense — but the knowledge of Aatamaan and Parmaatamaan and the realization of their Oneness. Therefore, the Inner Inquiry, then, is the search for Self-realization or God. It cleanses one's mind by removing desires, fears and doubts, thereby making it fit to realize its true nature as Pure Consciousness.
  • ਬੂਝਹੁ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: Boojhahu giyani Shabad beechaari: O wise one, understand by reflecting on the Shabad (sggs 840).
It is only the our falsehood that is always afraid and devoid of Inquiry. As a result, it becomes the source of  our troubles — repeated pain and delusion. Falsehood depends upon external things, consequently, it is unreal. Only that which exists on its own can only be called real and true. By engaging in Shabad-Vichaar as taught by the Gurbani, we will find that when one perishable object depends on other perishable object for its sustenance, then they cannot be the source of Immortality because they in themselves are unreal or impermanent. The only entity that is real is the Absolute Truth, because it is self-existence; one without beginning, middle or end. However, under the spell of untruth and the absence of self-effort for sincere Shabad-Vichaar, we take unreal worldly objects as Eternal Truth or the source of Immortality. The fault lies with our corrupt senses, mind and intelligence. The fool takes the world and its objects to be real; whereas the Wise (Giaanee) sees them as the manifestation of the false ego. Being wise, the Giaanee goes for the Real Thing; which is beyond mind, time, causation, and space! As spectacles and the sun cannot see for us, similarly, if we want to realize the Truth, it's our job to get to it by diligent practice.
  • ਸਾਚੇ ਰਾਤੀ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰ ॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਵੈ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਧਾਰ ॥੩॥: Saache raatee Gur Sabad veechaar. Amrit peevai nirmal dhaar: By engaging in Shabad Vichaar, one becomes Imbued with Truth, and drinks in the immaculate stream of Amrit (the Ambrosial Nectar), within (sggs 158).
The Gurbani's True Giaanee and the Gurmukh (Spiritual Being..) are one and the same. He lives in the world helping others while retaining his Divine Attributes intact. Thus, a true Giaanee is a perfect seekerr who has fully applied his bodily senses (Indriyas) and internal equipment (Antahkaran) to link with his Mool (Jot, Source, Origin...). He is always transcendental  — free from all material aspiration and desires, tranquil, unchanged, and unaffected by the oscillating waves of Maya. Consequently, he is very dear to the Divine, and the Divine is very dear to him. The Gurbani hails such a True Giaanee who is always engaged in pure devotion as the best amongst all other devotees.
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਰਚੈ ਸੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਗਿਆਨੀ ॥ Gurmukhi parchai su sabadi Giaanee: By becoming the Gurmukh, through the Shabad, (one) becomes the Giaanee (knower, etc., of the Truth) (sggs 941).
  • ਜਿਉ ਮਾਤਾ ਬਾਲਿ ਲਪਟਾਵੈ ॥ ਤਿਉ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥੩॥: Jiou maataa baal laptaavai. Tiou Giaanee naam kamaavai ||3||: As mother is clung to her child, so does the Giaanee practice the Naam (ਨਾਮ ਕਮਾਈ), the Name of the Lord ||3|| (sggs 629).
  • ਗੁਣ ਵੀਚਾਰੇ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਣ ਮਹਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: Gun veechaare giani soi. Gun mahi Naam praapat hoi: One who Reflects (Vichaar, contemplates, etc.) God's Virtues is Giaanee. Through (Reflecting on) His Virtues, one attains spiritual Wisdom (sggs 931).
  • ਹਿੰਦੂ ਅੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਤੁਰਕੂ ਕਾਣਾ ॥ ਦੁਹਾਂ ਤੇ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸਿਆਣਾ ॥ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਪੂਜੈ ਦੇਹੁਰਾ ਮੁਸਲਮਾਣੁ ਮਸੀਤਿ ॥ ਨਾਮੇ ਸੋਈ ਸੇਵਿਆ ਜਹ ਦੇਹੁਰਾ ਨ ਮਸੀਤਿ ॥੪॥੩॥੭॥: Hindu annah turku kaanaa. Duha te Giaanee siaanaa ..: The Hindu is sightless (totally blind - spiritually, along with all sorts of rituals he worships temples assuming God to be limited to the temple only, etc.) and the Muslim is one-eyed (i.e., who has limited himself in the boundries of religion, he thinks God is limited to only to the mosque, etc.). The Giani is wiser than both of them (for he knows the Truth - ਜਿਸ ਨੂੰ (ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦੀ ਹਸਤੀ ਦਾ ਸਹੀ) ਗਿਆਨ ਹੋ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ, etc.). (So) the Hindu worships the temple, the Muslim the mosque. Naam Dev Says: I serve that God, who is neither limited to the temple nor the mosque ||4||3||7|| (sggs 875).
  • Teshaam Giaanee nitya-yukta eka-bhaktir vishishyate: The best among all is the Giaanee, who is ever constant and one-pointed in Bhagti (Geetaa 7-17).
The Gurbani asks us (including the so called Saints) to seek out the company of such a Spiritual Being - who is the Living Enlightened; who has transcended the material nature; who is not on the level of the conditioned mind; and who is beyond the illusion that he is a Giaanee! By associating with such pure devotees, all become themselves pure.
  • ਸੰਤਹੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਗਤਿ ਪਾਈ ॥: Santahu gurmukhi mukti gati paaee: O saints! (One) who become the Gurmukh, attains the state of Liberation (ਉੱਚੀ/ਗਿਆਨ ਵਾਲੀ ਆਤਮਕ ਅਵਸਥਾ...). (sggs 911).
  • ਖੋਜਹੁ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ॥: Khojahu santo hari brahm Giaanee: O saints, seek out the Lord through the Brahm Giaanee (sggs 893).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕਉ ਖੋਜਹਿ ਮਹੇਸੁਰ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਆਪਿ ਪਰਮੇਸੁਰ ॥੬॥: Brahm Giaanee kayu khojahi Mahesur. Nanak Braham Giaanee aapi permesur ||6||: The Braham Giaanee is being sought by the (demigods like) Siva. O Nanak! The Brahm Giaanee himself is the exalted Lord ||6||(sggs 273).

— T. Singh
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