IT'S HERE AND NOW!

(The Lord) is with all; (He) is not far away (from anybody). He is the Cause of causes,
ever-present here and now — Haajraa Hajoor ||1||Pause|| (sggs 987).
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Is the Absolute Being some super mundane remote reality? Is He separate from us? Is He far away from us? Does he dwell on a fixed abode or a plane? Absolutely not, declares theGurbani.

 The one indivisible Divine Factor is the All-embracing Reality, the ever-present Cosmic Power pervading the entire universe equally, and ever dwelling in the Hearts of all beings (Mool). Therefore, the Gurbani declares that this Infinite Reality is "here and now" — "Haajraa Hajoor"! There is no "other time" or "other place". There is no yesterday, today, or tomorrow. It is not far or near. Neither it is after death somewhere; for it is not a post-mortem state! The Reality is closer to us than our very breath! Since the Mool within (Source, Origin Jot...) is ever Holy, we are as holy as we can get, at this very moment!

  • ਸਭ ਕੈ ਸੰਗੀ ਨਾਹੀ ਦੂਰਿ ॥ ਕਰਨ ਕਰਾਵਨ ਹਾਜਰਾ ਹਜੂਰਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Sabh kai sangee naahee door. Karan kraavan Haajraa Hajoor ||1||Rahaaou||: (The Lord) is with all; (He) is not far away (from anybody). He is the Cause of causes, ever-present here and now — Haajraa Hajoor ||1||Pause|| (sggs 987).
The Gurbani reveals that the godliness is not "there yonder", but within everybody - "here and now". All that is needed to Realize This Truth is detaching the mind from the memories of the past and anxieties of the future (Maya), and becoming 'Ik Mann Ik Chit'. But sincere willingness is very rare, earnestness is very rare, true faith is very rare, right living is very rare, correct practice of devotion is very rare, clarity of vision is very rare, and sincerity and goodwill is very rare.
  • ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਇਕ ਮਨਿ ਧਿਆਇਆ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਤੇ ਵਿਰਲੇ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ਜੀਉ ॥: Jin ik mann dhiaaiaa tin sukh paayaa te virle sansaar jeeyu: Those who meditate on Him single-mindedly (i.e., becoming 'Ik Mann Ik Chit') obtain Peace (ਆਤਮਕ ਆਨੰਦ); (but) they are rare in this world (sggs 438).
If the Eternal Factor is always "here and now" ("Haajraa Hajoor"), within,then why the majority of us are unable to experience this Supreme Truth? Because, as theGurbani indicates, our ignorance turns the mind to wander into the past and worry about the future. Consequently, we end up searching for the Transcendental Reality too far away from the present moment, "now" - we seek Him in the past which is lost for ever and we search Him in the future which is nonexistence! Hence, although "(The Lord) is present, right here at hand", but we are absent to see it! Our walking down the memory lane of the past or worry lane of the future renders the mind unfit to catch the eternity of the "now", within.
  • ਹੈ ਹਜੂਰਿ ਕਤ ਦੂਰਿ ਬਤਾਵਹੁ ॥ ਦੁੰਦਰ ਬਾਧਹੁ ਸੁੰਦਰ ਪਾਵਹੁ ॥: Hai hajoori kat doori batavahu. Dundar baadhahu sundar paavahu: (The Lord) is present, right here at hand; why do you say He is far away? Tie up your disturbing passions, and find the Beauteous Lord (sggs 1160).
Past is false, so is the future. The memory of the past feeds thoughts (imaginations, notions, etc.) and, in turn, thoughts create desires for enjoying the sense objects and fear of the suffering. Thus, our desires relate to the pleasures of the past, and our fear relates to the anticipated pain of the future. Both repeatedly cause us to live in memory. These two create obstacles that veil the the Mool within (Source, Origin Jot...) ; for they obscure and distort the Reality. Therefore, in the state of self-delusion, we take unreal to be real, false to be true, ephemeral to be permanent, changeful to be changeless, vanishing to be stable, and so on.
  • ਪੇਖਿ ਪੇਖਿ ਰੇ ਕਸੁੰਭ ਕੀ ਲੀਲਾ ਰਾਚਿ ਮਾਚਿ ਤਿਨਹੂੰ ਲਉ ਹਸੂਆ ॥: Pekh pekh re kasumbh kee leelaa raach maach tinhoon laou hasooaa: Watching, watching the transitory (the Safflower like short-lived) world-drama (Leelaa, Maya's play, etc.), you are embroiled and enmeshed in them (worldly objects - ਪਦਾਰਥ), and you laugh with delight. (sggs 206).
  • ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿਮਾਨ ਹੈ ਸਗਲ ਮਿਥੇਨਾ ॥: Dristimaan hai sagal mithnaa: All that is seen is an illusion (sggs 1083).
  • ਪਈ ਠਗਉਰੀ ਹਰਿ ਸੰਗਿ ਨ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥: Paee thagaouree Hari sang na jaaniaa: (One) in the influence of the illusion (Maya - ਮਾਇਆ-ਠਗਬੂਟੀ ) does not know the Lord is with him (sggs 1139).

The Gurbani roars not to dwell in the past or worry about the future. For example, it will be a  total waste of useful time and energy to keep on brooding the past, for we cannot revoke its experiences. So recalling the memory of the past pains and pleasures becomes the cause of our desires and anxieties.

"Why then we keep recollecting the memory of yesterdays?", one may ask. The light of our individual consciousness passes through the film of deep rooted past memories (Vaasnaas, tendencies, dispositions, undigetsed desires, etc.) and throws images on the screen of our brain. Because of the conditioned or deluded state of our brain, what we perceive is distorted and tarnished by the feelings of likes and dislikes. Since all memories are in the transient mind, what is remembered cannot be Real. The changeless Reality is in the eternity of the "here and now", not in the memories of yesterday or the anticipation of tomorrow.

  • ਝਖਿ ਝਖਿ ਝਖਣਾ ਝਗੜਾ ਝਾਖ ॥ ਝਖਿ ਝਖਿ ਜਾਹਿ ਝਖਹਿ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਪਾਸਿ ॥੧॥: Jhakhi jhakhi jhakhnaa jhagrhaa jhaakh. Jhakhi jhakhi jaahi jhakhi tin paas ||1||: It is useless to worry and struggle to death (about sense-objects, etc.). Entangled in worries and struggles, people exhaust themselves ||1|| (sggs 1243).
Worrying about the future is another worthless pastime of the restless, ignorant or egoistic mind. Then why do we create the future in the first place? The future is another form of mental fantasy. It is our outgoing mind in which the memories of the past are stored.  These preserved memories give rise to Bikaar (such as hatred, fear, anger, enviousness, conflicts, animosity, differences, fanaticism, etc.). Thus, it is our past that fashions, conditions, colors and create our future. In other words, we empty past in the present, and create the future in the present. However, we cannot mold the future to match our desires and pleasures, because no one knows what will happen in the next moment.
  • ਹਮ ਜਾਨਿਆ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਜਾਨਹ ਆਗੈ ਜਿਉ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਖੈ ਤਿਉ ਠਾਢੇ ॥: Ham jaaniaa kashoo na jaanah aagai jiou Har raakhai tiou thaadhe: (We Jeeva) know nothing of the past, or anything regarding the future. As "Hari" keeps, in that (condition we) stand (sggs 171).
  • ਖੁਸਿ ਖੁਸਿ ਲੈਦਾ ਵਸਤੁ ਪਰਾਈ ॥ ਵੇਖੈ ਸੁਣੇ ਤੇਰੈ ਨਾਲਿ ਖੁਦਾਈ ॥ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਲਬਿ ਪਇਆ ਖਾਤ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਅਗਲੀ ਗਲ ਨ ਜਾਣੀਆ ॥੪॥: Khusi khusi laidaa vasat paraaee. Vekhai sune terai naal khudaaee. Duneeaa labi paiaa khaat andari aglee gal na jaaneeai ||4||: You happily, cheerfully steal the possessions of others (ਪਰਾਇਆ ਮਾਲ-ਧਨ), but God is within you, watching and listening (to all you do and say). Through worldly greed, you have fallen into the pit (worldly enjoyments, etc.); you know nothing of the future ||4|| (sggs 1020).
The sense of "I-am-the-body-mind-intellect" is rooted in false ego-sense (Haumai), where the time-space seem real. In such conditioned state, we find ourselves worried about the past and concerned about the future. These two intermingle and limit our mind to behave predominantly in Raajsic (greed and passions) and Taamasic (ignorance and stupor) nature, the forces of despair and darkness. Since the past and future are mere dreams and equally unreal, they are obstacle to our linking with the Pure Being within —  the past obstruct our Spiritual Unfoldment by mostly reliving the negative experiences, and the future by over activating the senses, mind, intellect, feelings and fear. Thus, by holding on to the past and future, we create within ourselves desires, fear, concerns, worries, anxieties, doubts, agitation and restlessness.
  • ਆਗੈ ਪਾਛੈ ਗਣਤ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਕਿਆ ਜਾਤੀ ਕਿਆ ਹੁਣਿ ਹੂਏ ॥: Aagai paashai ganat na aavai kiaa jaate kiaa huni hooe: No account can be made of the future or the past; who knows what (we) were or what will be? (sggs 1238).
  • "People like us, who believe in physics; know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion" (Albert Einstein).
How can we detach ourselves from dreaming the past and the future? Since the mind is thought-ridden, so long we live in body-consciousness, imagination of the past and future is inevitable. Therefore, the solution lies in detaching from the sense of identity with the body and mind (i.e., lack of ego or Haumai), which in turn will lead us to detachment from the past and the future. That is liberation (Mukti); because the true liberation is freedom from worry caused by the off balanced mind or distorted vision. As the body-consciousness wears out, it takes the shape of complete detachment, dispassion, unselfishness, relinquishment, fearlessness, aloofness, pure vision, intuitively balanced consciousness, immutability, and so on.
  • ਇਹੁ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਪੁਤਲਾ ਵਿਚਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਦੁਸਟੀ ਪਾਈ ॥: Ih sareer maya kaa putlaaa vich haumai dustaee paaee: This body is the puppet of Maya. The evil of egotism is within it (sggs 31).
  • ਜੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਰਹਿ ਸੋਈ ਅਬ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: Jo kish karahi soee abb saar: Whatever you have to do - now is the best time to do it (sggs 1159).

The sense of time, space, and causation arises when our mind is in movement from past to future. In other words, the illusion of time, space and causation comes into being only if we hold on to the memory of the past and the future. The moment our mind stops intermingling between these two, the illusion of time ceases to be. The only Truth is the eternity of the present moment.  It's called by many names in the Gurbani such as "Ik Shinn", "Ik Khinn", "Ek Khinaa", "Ik Pall", "Ek Palak"; "Abb", "Ih Velaa", "Vatt", etc. Whosoever keeps his consciousness focussed unto this eternity of the present moment (or "now"), day and night, is liberated while living (Jeevanmukta).

  • ਸੁਣਿ ਮਨ ਮਿਤ੍ਰ ਪਿਆਰਿਆ ਮਿਲੁ ਵੇਲਾ ਹੈ ਏਹ ॥: Suni mann mitr piaariaa mil velaa hai ih: Listen, O my mind, my friend and darling: now is the time to meet God (sggs 20).
  • ਵਤ ਲਗੀ ਸਚੇ ਨਾਮ ਕੀ ਜੋ ਬੀਜੇ ਸੋ ਖਾਇ ॥: Vat lagee sache naam kee jo beeje so khaai: (Now) is the opportune time to plant the seed of the True Naam; one who plants it eats it (sggs 321).

Therefore, "now" is the time to realize the Mool within (Source, Origin Jot...). This is the edict of the Gurbani. This Divine Essence is nearer than the sense of body-mind-intellect, for we are not separate from Him. The illusion free existence is not to be obtain afresh because we are That, "Joti-Svaroopa", "here and now". One cannot attain something he already has in his possession! For example, a woman thinks she has lost her necklace and tries to search it every where in the house. But she could not find it because the necklace was around her neck all that time! Or a mother who thinks she has lost her baby and tries to search it in the entire neighborhood, but could not find it because the baby was always in her lap!

  • ਸੋਹੰ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣੀਐ ਸਬਦਿ ਭੇਦਿ ਪਤੀਆਇ ॥: Soham aapu pchhaaneeai sabadi bhedi pteeaai: (When one's mind) is pierced through by the Shabad and is confided (in the Shabad, then one) recognizes within himself that, "He is me" (i.e, then he knows that his Real Nature and God's Nature is one and the same - ਤਦੋਂ ਇਹ ਪਛਾਣ ਆਉਂਦੀ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਮੇਰਾ ਤੇ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦਾ ਸੁਭਾਉ ਰਲਿਆ ਹੈ). (sggs 60).
  • ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਾਮ ਮਹਿ ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨਸਿ ਗੁਰ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥: Aatam mahi Raam Raam mahi aatam cheenas Gur beechaaraa: God is in the Soul, and the Soul is in God. This is realized through Reflecting (on the Teachings) of the Guru (1153).
  • ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਅਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੫॥: Iou kahai Nanaku man toon joti saroopu hai apanaa moolu pashaanu ||5||(sggs 441).

Thus, the Gurbani reminds us that the Mool within (Source, Origin Jot...), the natural state of Egolessness or Desirelessness, is easier to Realize than we think, because we are eternally That. But it seems difficult. The reason for that is the self-delusion — desires, Vaasnaas, thoughts, emotional attachment, false ego, doubts, fears, bondage, etc. — which has created separateness between the instinctive mind and the real Self where there is none. "Now" is the only Truth.

Some say He is "up there". In fact there is nothing "up there" that is not up hear as All-pervading Consciousness. The Gurbani roars that whatever is "up there" is also in our Heart. Thus, there is no need to search for the Mool within (Source, Origin Jot...) in the externalities of the universe; it's All "here and now" — "Haajraa Hajoor". Further, it is absolutely unnecessary to take the Eternal and All-pervading from past to future, or place to place! The battle between Good and evil is razes on in the mind. "Now" is the time for the Spiritual warrior to hold the sword of Spiritual Wisdom (Aatam Giaan) and fight, says the Gurbani.

  • ਕਾਢਿ ਖੜਗੁ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਕਰਾਰਾ ਬਿਖੁ ਛੇਦਿ ਛੇਦਿ ਰਸੁ ਪੀਜੈ ॥੩॥: Kaadhi kharrg gur giaan karaaraa bikhu chhedi achhedi rasu peejai ||3||: Drawing out the Mighty Sword of the (ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨ) Gur’s Spiritual Wisdom, cut (ਵੱਢ ਵੱਢ ਕੇ) the poisonous (snake of Maya); and (thus one can) drink in the (Spiritual) Essence (ਆਤਮ ਰਸ, ਨਾਮ ਰਸ, ਗਿਆਨ ਰਸ …). ||3|| (sggs 1324).
  • ਫਰੀਦਾ ਕਿੜੀ ਪਵੰਦੀਈ ਖੜਾ ਨ ਆਪੁ ਮੁਹਾਇ ॥੧॥: Fareedaa kirhee pavandeeyee kharhaa na aap muhaae ||1||: O Fareed! The call has come; be careful now — don’t let yourself be robbed ||1|| (sggs 1377).
The mind is nothing but thoughts-stuff. For all thoughts being bound in time-space, we recreate our mind (Phurne) each instant. We, therefore, cannot depend on the memory of the yesterday or tomorrow for they are transient, thus unreal. What we remember from the past, we recreate it as we remember it in the present. Like the past, when we think of the so called future, we recreate it in our mind at the present as well.  Therefore, in reality there is no past or future. In fact, "now" is the only Reality at hand ("Haajraa Hajoor"). 
  • ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਮੋਹੁ ਨਿਵਾਰੇ ਨਿਵਰੇ ਸਗਲ ਬੈਰਾਈ ॥ ਸਦ ਹਜੂਰਿ ਹਾਜਰੁ ਹੈ ਨਾਜਰੁ ਕਤਹਿ ਨ ਭਇਓ ਦੂਰਾਈ ॥੨॥: Kaam krodh lobh moh nivare sagal bairaaee. Sad hajoore haajar hai naajar katahi na bhaio dooraaee ||2||: (One who seeks the Sanctuary of the Saints) lust, anger, greed and emotional attachment are eradicated (from within him); all (his) enemies are eliminated. (To him, God) is always ever-present, here and now, watching over; never far away ||2| (sggs 1000).
In self-delusion, however, we project past and future and take them to be real. As a result, instead of reflecting on the eternity of the present "now", we reflect on the imaginary past and future. Wrong ideas and concepts lead to wrong actions. The scriptural wisdom tells us that for the "now" to enter the mind, we need to first recognize the false and then abandon it.  This change in the angle of our vision can only happen "now", not some other time in the future.  Because the future left to itself will only repeat the past actions and reactions!  With the ceasing of the illusion of time, the past and the future will merge in the eternity of the "now".
  • ਆਪੇ ਕਰਤਾ ਅਗਮ ਅਥਾਹਾ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਜਪੀਐ ਸਚੁ ਲਾਹਾ ॥ ਹਾਜਰੁ ਹਜੂਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਵੇਪਰਵਾਹਾ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਹਾ ॥੪॥੨॥੧੧॥: Gur Sabadee japeeai sach laahaa. Haajar hajoore Hari veparvaahaa. Nanak gurmukhi naam samaahaa ||4||2||11||: The Creator Himself is Inaccessible and Infinite. Through the Gur-Shabad, chant (His Name), and earn this true Profit. God is Independent (ਉਸ ਨੂੰ ਕਿਸੇ ਦੀ ਮੁਥਾਜੀ ਨਹੀਂ), Ever-present, here and now. O Nanak, by becoming the Gurmukh merge in the Naam ||4||2||11|| (sggs 1261).
Therefore, the Gurbani urges us to look within. Beyond any movement, modification or change, the Timeless Reality is ever present "here and now" ("Haajraa Hajoor"). Thus, by removing the perversions of the instinctive mind, the direct perception or the immediate experience of the Reality can be attained "here and now". Our very searching out in the past and future, this place or that place, this way or that way, this path or that path, this system or that system, this religion or that religion, and so on, makes us miss it! The immutable Reality is "here and now" — "Haajraa Hajoor".  Baabaa Nanak says:
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸਰਣਿ ਤੁਹਾਰੀਆ ਪੇਖਉ ਸਦਾ ਹਜੂਰਿ ॥੧॥: Nanak sarani tuhaareaa pekhaou sadaa hajoori ||1||: O Lord, Nanak seeks Your Sanctuary, and beholds You ever-present, here and now (sggs 989).
In order to go within or to know what we really are, the Gurbani asks us to go beyond the instinctive or Mayaic mind. Because the nature of such outgoing mind is to create duality (Doojaa Bhaav) where there is none. Therefore, as the Gurbani says, the mind must subside into the eternity of the "now", without wasting any useful time and energy. As explain by the scriptures and the Men of Light, the human life is a rare opportunity for knowing Realizing our Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...), and should not be wasted meaninglessly. Those who dwell in the past memory are simply satisfied with the fruits of their Mayaic efforts. In such foolish frame of mind, we waste the present moment by not engaging in self-effort (Shabad-Vichaar...) "now". But the Wise seeker (the Gurmukh) knows that the the self-effort (Shabad-Vichaar...) of the "now" are infinitely more potent than the past Mayaic efforts!
  • ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰਤ ਹੋਵੈ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਨਾਚੈ ਆਪੁ ਨਿਵਾਰੇ ॥: Uddamu krat hovai manu niramal naachai aapu nivaare: Making the effort (e.g., Shabad-Vichaar...), the mind becomes pure; in this dance, the false self (egotism, Haumai...) is Silenced (sggs 381).
Grieving over past and worry about the future's inevitability is fatalism. The right knowledge (Gurmat: Aatam Giaan) makes us focus onto the present "now". The life is fruitful only to those who have cultivated the Divine Knowledge to find out what we are not. Therefore, the Gurbani thunders that we should get established in the Spiritual Wisdom "now"; because another opportunity may not arise. Practice of selflessness, association of the Sat (Truth) within with utmost faith and devotion in the Shabad-Vichaar will cleans the accumulated "filth" from the mind. Nothing else will work.
  • ਕਰਉ ਬੇਨੰਤੀ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਮੀਤਾ ਸੰਤ ਟਹਲ ਕੀ ਬੇਲਾ ॥ ਈਹਾ ਖਾਟਿ ਚਲਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਆਗੈ ਬਸਨੁ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ॥੧॥: Karayu benantee sunahu mere meetaa sant tahal kee belaa. Eehaa khaati chalahu hari laahaa aagai basan suhelaa ||1||: O my friends! Listen, I beg of you: now is the time to serve the godly souls (the Gurmukhs, saints, etc.)! (This way) in this world, earn the Profit of the God's Name, and hereafter, you will dwell in Peace ||1|| (sggs 13).

The purpose of religion is to change us for good. That change can happen only "here and now", not at some other time or other place. For example, we all know that we cannot change the past. However, we can mend our ways to change how we react to what has happened to us in the past. As far as the future is concerned, there is no need to worry about it because we can change it simply by changing ourselves in the present; for the future is determined by the actions performed in the "now".

Past and future are phantoms that do not exist. Since we repeatedly live in the illusion of past and future, we never catch up with the present. For example, how many times we sit in the Gurdwara (or temple, church, mosque, etc., for that matter) without being there! Although our body sits there, but we find our mind emoting over the things happened in the past, or fearfully worrying about the things that might happen to us in the future. Caught up in this whirlpool, the man has become fearful, transgressor, vile, fickle minded, ungrateful, arrogant, cruel, deceitful, greedy, selfish, stubborn minded, wicked, slanderous, corrupt, stubborn, lustful, deluded, and the breeding ground of jealousy and envy. In this unending dream he has forgotten that the human birth is a chance given to him to uplift himself so that his negative traits are overcome by him, "here and now".

  • ਭਈ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਦੇਹੁਰੀਆ ॥ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਮਿਲਣ ਕੀ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਰੀਆ ॥ ਅਵਰਿ ਕਾਜ ਤੇਰੈ ਕਿਤੈ ਨ ਕਾਮ ॥ ਮਿਲੁ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਭਜੁ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮ ॥੧॥: Bhaee praapat maanukh dehureeaa. Gobind milan kee ih teree bareeaa. Avar kaaj terai kitai n kaam. Mil saadh sangat bhaj keval Naam ||1||: (You) have obtained (this) human body. This is your chance (time, opportunity...) to meet God. (If no effort is put forward to realize God, then) all other efforts (work, ਉੱਦਮ) will be of no use (to your soul). (Therefore) join the Holy Company; (there) contemplate on the Divine Name alone ||1|| (sggs 12).
To dodge dreaming of the past and the future is to bring them both into the fold of "now": the eternity of the moment. The Gurbani declares by separating from the past, abiding in the present, detaching from the future, and living in the "now", we can set ourselves free. To put it otherwise, we can become established in the eternal "now" by simply refusing to think about the past and the future. By focusing on the eternal "now", we reduce the time and space (mind) scattered in our fantasizing of the yesterday or tomorrow.
  • ਏਕ ਪਲਕ ਸੁਖ ਸਾਧ ਸਮਾਗਮ ਕੋਟਿ ਬੈਕੁੰਠਹ ਪਾਂਏ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Ek palak sukh saadh samaagam koti baikunthah paanye ||1||Rahaaou||: Even a momemnt of Peace from joining the Saadh (the mended mind linked to its Mool or Source within...), bestows Bliss of millions of Baikunth ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1208).

How can we attain the eternity of the moment? Eternity is within: Sat, that which exists for all time. The Gurbani shows us a simple way of attaining the eternal "now" — we must become "Ik Mann" (one-pointed mind) and "Ik Chit" (singular focussed conscious concentration). In becoming so, we can discover the eternity of "here and now" through a moment of single-minded conscious concentration or Simran

The Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...)is the beam of Light. However, the clouds of our filthy egoistic mind has covered the brilliancy of that light. By becoming "Ik Mann Ik Chit" (ਇਕਾਗਰ ਮਨ ਹੋ ਕੇ), we can remove the clouds of delusion and live in that beam of the Divine Light, deep within our Mool, the eternity of the moment. To the contrary, if we live in the clouds of the egoistic mind, the Mool becomes obscured and distorted, adding to our doubts (Bharam) around it.

  • ਜਿਨ ਜਪਿਆ ਇਕ ਮਨਿ ਇਕ ਚਿਤਿ ਤਿਨ ਲਥਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਭਾਰੁ ॥: Jin japia ik amni ik chiti tin lathaa hauami bhaaru: Those who perform Jap (Understand...) by becoming "Ik Mann Ik Chit" (ਇਕਾਗਰ ਮਨ ਹੋ ਕੇ), are rid of the burden of their egotism (sggs 302).
The disease of worldly mind can be likened to diabetes. The worldly mind is surrounded by sugar or molasses (Maya) in the form of sense-objects, and the craving to enjoy them is its lust, greed, attachment, etc. If the deluded mind expects to be cured, then it must remove itself away from this "sugar". That is, it must become established in the eternity of "here and now". In other words, there is nothing wrong in our mind being surrounded by the "sugar", but it must be consciously focussed on the "Haajraa Hajoor", otherwise it will not be cured.
  • ਗੁੜੁ ਮਿਠਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਪਸਰਿਆ ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਲਗਿ ਮਾਖੀ ਪਚੈ ਪਚਾਇ ॥੧॥: Gur mithaa Maya pasriaa manmukhu lagi maakhee pachai pachaai ||1|| (sggs 41)
To be established in the eternity of the "now" is to be inwardly Awake and vibrant (ਗਿਆਨ ਅਵਸਤਾ). Without this deep, intuitive Awakening, we are ought to become confused and fearful of the past and the future. The eternity of the moment is experienced when our mind is in a quiescent state ("Sunn"), the state in which the mind is purified of all Mayaic thoughts. With this comes the understanding that there is no past and future, and that the only Reality is the eternity of the "now".

Therefore, the Gurbani never tires of reminding us that, if we are earnestly interested in Spiritual Enlightenment (ਗਿਆਨ ਅਵਸਤਾ), than we must live in the eternity of the "now" to follow the path to Spiritual Unfoldment. Both past and future are hindrance to it. A true devotee, therefore, never recalls the past or the future. Since he has no attachment to the time, the past, present and future are like writing upon the water! His experiences leave no mark like the bird flying in the sky or fish swimming through the water leave no footprints behind. He lives Maya-free life — he does not perform Mayaic efforts to gratify his senses.

  • ਜਿਉ ਆਕਾਸੈ ਪੰਖੀਅਲੋ ਖੋਜੁ ਨਿਰਖਿਓ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਜਿਉ ਜਲ ਮਾਝੈ ਮਾਛਲੋ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਪੇਖਣੋ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥੨॥ ਜਿਉ ਆਕਾਸੈ ਘੜੂਅਲੋ ਮ੍ਰਿਗ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਭਰਿਆ ॥ ਨਾਮੇ ਚੇ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਬੀਠਲੋ ਜਿਨਿ ਤੀਨੈ ਜਰਿਆ ॥੩॥੨॥: Jiou aakaasai pankheealo khoj nirkhio n jaaee. Jiou jal maajhai maashalo maarag pekhano n jaaee. ||2|| Jiou aakaasai gharhooalo mrig trisanaa bhariaa. Naame che suaamee beethalo jin teenai jariaa ||3||2||: As the path of a bird’s flight across the sky cannot be seen. As the path of a fish through the water cannot be seen. ||2|| As the mirage leads one to mistake the sky for a pitcher filled with water ( more we move towards the mirage-water, we never find its limit or end)— so is God, says Naam Dev, who fits these three comparisons (i.e., He cannot be completely described; He is Infinite - His Limits cannot be found; etc.) ||3||2|| (sggs 525).
Be established in the "now", tells the Gurbani. After all, it's All "here and now"! In fact, "now" is the only state we have at hand. But, very rare ones notice it! The earnest Spiritual seeker, therefore, considers it an unnecessary waste of his useful time and energy to drag past or future into the "now". To him, "now" is the sum of all past "thens" and all future "ifs"! Inattention to ourselves takes us away from the eternity of the moment, where as the attention brings us back to the "now", where the true Self is ever at hand. The Gurbani says:
  • ਹਉ ਢੂੰਢੇਂਦੀ ਸਜਣਾ ਸਜਣੁ ਮੈਡੈ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: Haou dhoondhendee sajjanaa sajjanu maidai naal: I was seeking, searching for my Friend (Sajjan), but He is right here Within me (sggs 1318).
As we can notice, the Gurbani repeatedly reminds us that the experience of Bliss (Anand) is available only in the eternity of the "here and now". This is why we time and again told by the the Gurbani the Mool (Source...) can be realized even while living amidst Maya, provided we chose judicious way of enjoying life "now". In other words, we can be in the world and still link with the Divine, if we do not prescribe anything which can prejudice truthful living. According to the Gurbani, the Truth is the greatest weapon of a spiritual aspirant. The lives of all Gurmukhs is a magnificent example of it.
  • ਦੇਹੀ ਮਹਿ ਜੋ ਰਹੈ ਅਲਿਪਤਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਜਨ ਕੀ ਪੂਰਨ ਘਾਲੀਐ ॥੨॥: Dehee mahi jo rahe alipataa tis jan kee pooran ghaaleeai ||2||: Perfect is the work (practice, actions, Karma, ਕਮਾਈ, ਘਾਲਣਾ etc.) of that humble servant, who remains unattached while in the body ||2|| (sggs 1019).
  • ਇਕਿ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਕੁਟੰਬ ਮਹਿ ਸਦਾ ਉਦਾਸੀ ॥ ਸਬਦਿ ਮੁਏ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਨਿਵਾਸੀ ॥ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਸਦਾ ਰਹਹਿ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਾਤੇ ਭੈ ਭਾਇ ਭਗਤਿ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਈ ਹੇ ॥੭॥: Ik grih kutamb mahi sdaa udaasee. Sabad mue Hari Naam nivaasee. Anadin ...: Some, in the midst of their household and family, remain always unattached. They die in the Shabad, and dwell in God’s Name. Night and day, they remain forever attuned to His Love; they focus their consciousness on loving devotion and the Fear of God ||7|| (sggs 1046).
  • ਜਾਰਉ ਐਸੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਕੁਟੰਬ ਸਨਬੰਧੀ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹ ਪਸਾਰੀ ॥ ਜਿਸੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਰਾਮ ਰਸੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਕਰਮ ਬਿਕਾਰੀ ॥੩॥ : Jaaraou aisee preet kutamb sanbandhee Maya moh pasaaree. Jis antar preet Raam ras naahee dubidaa karam bikaaree ||3||:  Burn away any love of family and relatives, which increases your attachment to Maya. One who does not savor God’s Love deep within, lives in duality and corruption ||3|| (sggs 1198).
Mool-realization is the experience of Bliss (Anand). One does not need to reach or gain another plane of experience to Realize his True Nature; for the Mool (Source...) is eternally gained. The obstacle is the deluded mind which entertains all notions such as bondage and liberation; but the Mool (Source...) is beyond any notions. For example, in the dark, a rope laying on the ground may be mistaken for a snake. We know that the rope alone is real, not the snake. However, the non-apprehension of the rope gives rise to the misapprehension of the snake. Once the darkness is removed, the rope alone remains; the snake disappears. Thus, we can see that the snake existed merely as a notion in our mind. The rope was ever liberated from the notion of the snake. Similarly, the Mool (Source...) is ever liberated from the delusory thoughts of bondage and liberation. It is only our confused mind that entertains these ignorance-born false notions. The Gurbani says once the confused mind (false ego) is purified by the Spiritual Knowledge, the Realization is immediate which can be attained "here and now", at this very moment, in this very body, in this very birth!
  • ਸਕਤਿ ਅਧੇਰ ਜੇਵੜੀ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਚੂਕਾ ਨਿਹਚਲੁ ਸਿਵ ਘਰਿ ਬਾਸਾ ॥: Sakti adher jevarhee bhram chookaa nihchal siv ghari vaasaa ||: In the darkness of Maya, I mistook the rope for the snake, but that is over, and now I dwell in the eternal home of the Lord (sggs 332).
Living in the eternity of the "now' is the highest state of the conscious mind. The person who lives fully in the "now" is a true Giaanee or the Gurmukh, the Enlightened Being who sees beyond duality (Doojaa Bhaav, Maya) and knows the oneness of All. In all situations, such person remains undisturbed and truly contented within (Sat Santokh). He accepts the life as it presents itself to him (Bhaanaa or Hukam Mannanaa). Like the river water, he flows freely with life, finding his way around the "ups" and "downs" of the life, and letting go of everything that blocks his energy.  He faces everything in the Light of the eternity of "now", not in the darkness of the past or the future. For he knows that the Divine Substance is "Haajraa Hajoor" — "here and now"!
  • 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).
  • ਬੂਝਹੁ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: Boojhahu giyani Shabad beechaari: O wise one, understand by reflecting on the Shabad (sggs 840).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਏਕ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਏ ॥ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸੈ ਸਾਚਿ ਸਮਾਏ ॥: Gurmukh boojhai ek liv laae. Nij ghari vaasai saachi samaae. Jamman marnaa thaaki rahaae: As a Gurmukh, (one) Understands through 'Ek Liv' (becoming 'Ik Mann Ik Chit'...). (Thus, the Gurmukhs) dwells in 'Nij Ghar' (the Home of his own Inner Being-Mool), and merges in That Truth. (sggs 222).

— T. Singh
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