Common Sense Is Not Common Anymore

As the Gurbani is cognizant of the importance of the human birth as well its impermanence, its views about the human life are based on a sound common sense. Accordingly, the Gurbani is neither mystic nor dogmatic. For it does not want us to waste our precious and rare human birth in formalities, nonsense rituals (Karamkaand), etc. All the Guru Sahib and all the Bhagat have already rejected the useless Karamkaand propagated by the Pujaaree-Group (priest-class) centuries ago! But, apparently, we are back to square one!!

Hence, it seems as the common sense is not common anymore!

For example, if we look into a basic question of as to why does the man suffer, we will understand from the Gurbani that the man’s own Mayaic mind is the seat of his troubles (Dukha-ਦੁਖ). In other words, we suffer because we don’t control our instinctive and impulsive mind. Infected with the virus of Haumai (false ego-sense) and the hunger of Maya, it is out of whack. Thus the Gurbani’s common sense emphasis is on annihilating this phantom called the mind through the constant and earnest Shabad-Vichaar, so that we can share the Peace and Joy of those who uttered the Gurbani in the State of Infinite Wisdom for our benefit.

  • ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਇਸੁ ਮਨਹਿ ਨਚਾਏ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਕਪਟੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੪॥: Maya mohu isu manahi nachaae antari dukhu paavaniaa (sggs 122).
  • ਹਮ ਮੂਰਖ ਮੂਰਖ ਮਨ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਸਭ ਕਾਰ ਕਮਾਹਿ ॥: Ham moorakh moorakh mann maahi. Haumai vichi sabh kaar kamaahi (sggs 666).
  • ਮਨੁ ਵਸਿ ਦੂਤਾ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਦੋਇ ॥: Mann vasi dootaa durmati doi (sggs 222).
  • ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਮਨਿ ਮੋਹੁ ਸਰੀਰਾ ॥ ਲਬੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ਸੁ ਪੀਰਾ ॥: Kaam krodhu mani mohu sareeraa. Labu lobhu ahankaaru su peeraa (sggs 414).
  • ਬਹੁ ਭੇਖ ਕੀਆ ਦੇਹੀ ਦੁਖੁ ਦੀਆ ॥: Bahu bhekh keeaa dehee dukhu deeaa (sggs 467).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਮਨ ਮੂਏ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥: Binu man mooae bhagati n hoi (sggs 1277).

The Majority of us have our minds ridden with the hunger or love of Maya (restlessness, wanderings, imaginations, Bikaar, Haumai, egotism, ਫੁਰਨੇ…). As a result, common sense of the Gurbani’s Bibek-Budhi (Wisdom, reasoning…) is missing from the mind.

  • ਮਨੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੈ ਫਧਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਬਿਸਰਿਓ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਨਾਮੁ ॥: Manu maya mau fadhi rahio bisario gobind naamu (sggs 1428).

Because of our mind’s hunger or love of Maya (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ), the greedy Bhais, Ragis, Parchaarak, so called Sant (“ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ”), religious scholars (ਵਿੱਦਵਾਨ), etc., are having pretty easy time to deceive and defraud people (ਛਲ-ਕਪਟ), and mislead them furhter from the Truth of the Gurbani; just as the greedy and ignorant Pandits have been misleading (“ਪੰਡਿਤ ਪਾੜੀ ਬਾਟ”) people for centuries. The Gurbani attest to this as follows:

  • ਪਾਹਨ ਬੋਰੀ ਪਿਰਥਮੀ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਪਾੜੀ ਬਾਟ ॥੧੩੭॥: Paahaan boree pirathamee pandit paarree baat (sggs 1371).
  • ਗਲੀ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਜਪਮਾਲੀਆ ਲੋਟੇ ਹਥਿ ਨਿਬਗ ॥ ਓਇ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਸੰਤ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਹਿ ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ ॥੧॥: Galee jinnaah japamaaleeaa lote hathi nibag. Oi har ke sant n aakhahi baanaarasi ke thag (sggs 476).
  • ਥਾਨਸਟ ਜਗ ਭਰਿਸਟ ਹੋਏ ਡੂਬਤਾ ਇਵ ਜਗੁ ॥: Thaanasatt jag bharisat hoae doobataa iv jagu (sggs 662).
  • ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਜੋ ਲਿਖਿ ਦੀਆ ॥ ਛਾਡਿ ਚਲੇ ਹਮ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਲੀਆ ॥੩॥: Pandit mullaan jo likhi deeaa. Chhaadi chale ham kachhoo n leeaa (sggs 1159).

Hence, God or any other outside agency cannot be blamed for our sorrows or troubles. Therefore, as time and again emphasized by the Gurbani, the urgent task at hand is to annihilate one’s own instinctive mind, here and now. To this end, the Gurbani asks us to become the Gurmukh, for only by becoming a Gurmukh one can conquer his mind by killing Haumai (false ego-sense).

  • ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤੈ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤੁ ॥: Manni jeetai jag jeet: If you conquer the mind, you conquer the material world (sggs 3).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਨੁ ਜੀਤਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰਿ ॥: Gurmukhi manu jeetaa haoumai maari (sggs 946).
  • ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਕੋਈ ਖੋਜਹੁ ਭਾਈ ॥: Isu man kaou khojahu bhaaee (sggs 330).
  • ਮਮਾ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਕਾਜੁ ਹੈ ਮਨ ਸਾਧੇ ਸਿਧਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: Mamaa man siou kaaju hai man saadhe sidhi hoi (sggs 342).

Without conquering the mind, Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan) or Divine Life (Gurmukh Lifestyle) is not possible. Although this is like racing along the razor’s edge for the majority of us, but what other option we have? Therefore, the Gurbani indicates that, through the Shabad-Vichaar, we must become a Lamp unto ourselves, here and now.

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਉਜਾਰੋ ਦੀਪਾ ॥ ਬਿਨਸਿਓ ਅੰਧਕਾਰ ਤਿਹ ਮੰਦਰਿ ਰਤਨ ਕੋਠੜੀ ਖੁਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਅਨੂਪਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Satigur Sabadi ujaaro deepaa …: The Satgur’s Shabad is like the light of the lamp (through which the Light of Giaan emanates – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦਾ ਚਾਨਣ). (When the Giaan-Light from this Lamp of the satgur’s Shabad enters in the body-temple) It dispels the darkness of ignorance from the body, and opens the beautiful chamber of Jewels (Virtues, ਆਤਮਕ ਗੁਣ-ਰਤਨਾਂ ਦੀ). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 878).

The important thing is to use that Lamp (ਅਮਲ, implementation…) to tread the Way in life. Otherwise, the Gurbani asks, what’s the use of having the lamp in hand if, dispite the lamp in hand, we fall into a well (of ignorance, Maya, Bharam…)?

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਸਭ ਬਾਤ ਜਾਨਤ ਹੀ ਅਉਗਨੁ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਕਾਹੇ ਕੀ ਕੁਸਲਾਤ ਹਾਥਿ ਦੀਪੁ ਕੂਏ ਪਰੈ ॥੨੧੬॥: Kabeer manu jaanai sabh baat jaanat hee aougan karai. Kaahe kee kusalaat haath deep kooye parai (sggs 1376).

The Gur-Shabad is likened to a Lamp (the Light of Divine Knowledge – ਆਤਮ ਗਿਆਨ ਦਾ ਚਾਨਣ, ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦਾ ਚਾਨਣ). If we allow it in our daily life, the Light of this Shabad-Lamp can remove the darkness of ignorance (the ignorance of our Mool-ਮੂਲ) from within. As indicated in the SGGS, this Shabad is located deep within our very Being. Of course, to cultivate Shabad-Surti (Pure Shabad-Consciousness) or to Awaken it from its dormancy will require ਘਾਲਣਾਂ / ਕਮਾਈ (Uddam, practice, self-efforts, willingness, or earnestness to live the Shabad, etc.). In other words, we can become a Lamp unto ourselves, if we are willing to put sincere efforts! Also, its all within: There is no where to go!

  • ਗਤਿ ਅਵਿਗਤ ਕੀ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਸਬਦੁ ਕਮਾਈ ਹੇ ॥੧੩॥: Gati avigat kee saar n jaanai boojhai Sabad Kamaaee he ||13||: One does not know the quintessence or difference between higher or ascending spiritual state (“ਗਤਿ” = ਉੱਚੀ ਆਤਮਕ ਅਵਸਥਾ, ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤੀ, ਮੋਖ, salvation, etc.) and descending spiritual state (“ਅਵਿਗਤ” = ਢਹਿੰਦੀ ਆਤਮਕ ਅਵਸਥਾ, ਅਪ੍ਰਾਪਤੀ, ਬੰਧ, bondage, etc.); this is understood only through the practice of the Shabad ||13|| (sggs 1025).
  • ਸੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਆਛੈ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣ ਜੋਤਿ ਸੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਲਹੈ ॥: Su sabadu nirantar nij ghari aashai tribhavan joti su sabadi lahai (sggs 945).

The Universal Teaching of the SGGS can be appreciated only if we are cool-headedly open to its true understanding. Common sense must prevail. However, because of “Golak-ਗੋਲਕ” (greed, hunger of Maya…), we cannot expect helping hand from the Pujaaree-Group (Bhais, Ragis…) or the Gurdwara committees (who are in love with the  Golak and chieftainship-ਝੂਠੀ ਚੌਧਰ, power, etc., instead of propagating the true meanings of the Gurbani).

Bhul Chuk Maaf
Categorized: Gurbani, Mind, Body, Intellect
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12 Comments

  1. Karamjeet Singh says:

    Vir Jio, you have hit the nail squarely on its head.

    Common sense is not all common. Period.

    Why else most of us keep resorting to rituals that heve been so strongly condemned in Gurbani – millions times over?

    And I completely agree with you. The greedy ‘massengers’ for their vested interests have been leading a commom man astray thus keeping them away from deciphering the true ‘message’.

    The day we learn not to depend on these ‘middlemen’ and make sincere attempts to interpret Gurbani directly, we will start acquiring the ‘commom sense’.

    Deep regards.

    • T. Singh (post author) says:

      Thank you Vir Ji for sharing your Vichaar.

      The day we learn not to depend on these ‘middlemen’ and make sincere attempts to interpret Gurbani directly, we will start acquiring the ‘commom sense’.

      Very true! ‘middlemen’ are Mayadhaaree. Because of their love for Maya (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁਖ), they have lost their Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom of the Gurbani) and are Dukhee (“crying”). The Gurbani’s edict:
      • ਪੰਡਿਤ ਰੋਵਹਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਗਵਾਇ ॥: Pandit rovahi giaanu gavaai (sggs 954).
      • ਙਿਆਨੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ਦੂਜਾ ਭਾਇਆ ਗਰਬਿ ਗਲੇ ਬਿਖੁ ਖਾਇਆ ॥: Giaanu gavaaiaa doojaa bhaaiaa garabi gale bikhu khaaiaa (sggs 930).
      One who is “crying” out for Maya himself (“ਦੂਜਾ ਭਾਇਆ”), how in the world he is going to free anybody else from it? He can’t. Such people are exactly doing what the greedy and corrupt Brahmins and Pandits were (and still are) doing at the time of the Gurus and Bhagats. Because, deep down, these people are followers of those greedy and corrupt Brahmins and Pandits (ਬ੍ਰਹਮਨ ਦੇ ਚੇਲੇ).
      They don’t want the true meangins of the Gurbani to come close to the masses. If they do, they risk losing their lucarative business. Therefore, things they continue to do or tell people are often contrary to the Gurbani’s Teaching (Gurmat). So, the Gurbani rejects them:
      ਹਮਰਾ ਝਗਰਾ ਰਹਾ ਨ ਕੋਊ ॥ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਛਾਡੇ ਦੋਊ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Hamaraa jhagaraa rahaa n ko-o. Pandit mullan chhaade do-oo (sggs 1159).
      Here, when the Gurbani says “ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਛਾਡੇ ਦੋਊ”, it also includes the present day Sikh Pujaaree-Group (i.e., Bhais, Ragis, Parchaarak, so called Sant, etc.).
      The Gurbani declares that except the Mool-realization within (Source, Jot…), nothing else (i.e, Mayaic prayers – ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀਆ ਅਰਦਾਸਾਂ, etc.) will satisfy the human mind.
      • ਮਮਾ ਮੂਲ ਗਹਿਆ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨੈ ॥: MANNAA mool gahiaa manu maanai (sggs 342).
      For this, the Gurbani’s unadultrated Giaan (Divine Knowledge, Aatam-Giaan) is necessary:
      • ਗਿਆਨ ਕਾ ਬਧਾ ਮਨੁ ਰਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥੫॥: Giaan kaa badhaa manu rahai gur binu giaanu n hoi ||5|| (sggs 469).
      Thus, it’s must to decipher and understand the Gurbani as we read or listen, ourselves. Essentially this is what the following verse indicates:
      • ਪੀਸਤ ਪੀਸਤ ਚਾਬਿਆ ਸੋਈ ਨਿਬਹਿਆ ਸਾਥ ॥੨੧੫॥: Peesat peesat chaabiaa soeee ibhiaa saath (sggs 1376).
      • ਮਨ ਸਮਝਾਵਨ ਕਾਰਨੇ ਕਛੂਅਕ ਪੜੀਐ ਗਿਆਨ ॥੫॥: Man samajhaavan kaarane kashooak parreai giaan (sggs 340).

      • shammi wadhwa says:

        Dear Sir
        I have read your writings and am really grateful that it has certainly added knowledge to me.
        I just wish to know that how can i enhance my knowledge of gurbaani.

        • T. Singh (post author) says:

          Thank you Shammi Ji for taking the time to share your Vichaar.
          As the Gurbani itself indicates, each line must be read/listened with love and earnest Vichaar (Reflections…) to obtain its true understanding (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ), only that will be of avail (ਉਹੀ ਕੰਮ ਆਵੇਗਾ). Essentially this is what the following verses indicate:
          • ਪੀਸਤ ਪੀਸਤ ਚਾਬਿਆ ਸੋਈ ਨਿਬਹਿਆ ਸਾਥ ॥੨੧੫॥: Peesat peesat chaabiaa soeee ibhiaa saath (sggs 1376).
          • ਖੋਜਤ ਖੋਜਤ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਆ ॥: Khojat khojat amrit peeaa (sggs 932).
          • ਖੋਜ ਬੂਝਿ ਜਉ ਕਰੈ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥ ਤਉ ਭਵਜਲ ਤਰਤ ਨ ਲਾਵੈ ਬਾਰਾ ॥੪੦॥: Khoj boojhi jaou kare beechaaraa. Taou bhavjal tarat n laavai baaraa ||40||(sggs 342).

          The Gurbani says our Mool (Surce, Jot…) is within. So, our target is to begin moving towards our Mool.

          • shammi wadhwa says:

            Dear Vir ji
            Can you add light upon sehsaa, hinsaa and kamal pragaas with the help of Gurbani.
            As I was trying to understand the shabad… EIK TIL PYARA VISARAI, ROG VADAA MAN MAHE (SHRI GURU NANAK DEV JI)

          • T. Singh (post author) says:

            Thank you Sammi Ji. Very briefly:
            kamal pragaas: ਅੰਤਰਿ ਕਮਲੁ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸਿਆ: ਅੰਤਰਿ or Antari => within; ਕਮਲੁ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸਿਆ or Kamal Pragaasiaa => Heart Enlightened with the Divine Knowledge (ਗਿਆਨ ਅਵਸਤਾ – Giaan Avastaa…)…
            Sehsaa => skepticism, doubt, anxiety, fear …
            Hinsa => Mercilessness, cruelty, hardness, rigidity, violence, outrage, fury…
            • ਇਕੁ ਤਿਲੁ ਪਿਆਰਾ ਵੀਸਰੈ ਰੋਗੁ ਵਡਾ ਮਨ ਮਾਹਿ ॥: Iku tilu piaaraa veesarai rogu vadaa man maahi: (If the mind) Forgets the Beloved (Mool…) even for an instant, (i.e., even if one breath gets wasted, it feels like) the mind is afflicted with a great disease! (sggs 21).
            Also, please see the post entitled “Persistent Bhagti“.

  2. Karamjeet Singh says:

    Shammi Ji,

    The very urge that has cropped up within you to compehend Gurbani has already put you on the right path.

    And as our Vir Ji has pointed out – analyzing each line in detail with love and devotion is the ‘key’.

    Fortunately there are quite a few resources on internet for the reference. But best would be to have some likeminded individual(s) to join you in this endeavor and pursue this collectively.

    One of the good sources that I personally like is the translation and explanation (with controversial topics reserached and discussed) in detail of Sri Guru granth Sahib Ji at this link – http://www.gurugranthdarpan.com/

    A word of caution: Don’t be dismayed by the slowness of your initial progress. Celebrate every new term you comprehend and soon you would be very comfortable in comprehending most of Gurbani without much efforts.

    And then will come the most important and perhaps the most difficult phase of this journey – implementing the teachings – a stage which perhaps our T Singh Vir Ji seems to have reached and efforts are on on my part (and that puts me more or less in the same boat that you are sailing in) and Gurbani reassures us that we take one painda (step) and Guru will advance million steps to help us succeed.

    So congratulations Shammi Ji for having taken the first step; soon Waheguru will be motivating you to stride rapidly towards the intended destination.

    Bhul Chuk Maaf.

  3. shammi wadhwa says:

    Thank you all for prompt reply……..I hope your guidance will be with me throughout this journey of comprehending knowledge upon gurbani….

  4. Rajinder Singh Kahlon says:

    mout [death]
    what it is
    when flow of chemical stop in body or what else?
    If ATMA is same ,why can’ t we remember/recall what we were before this life
    please clarify

    • T. Singh (post author) says:

      Some pointers from the Gurbani:

      (1). Death is not the enemy of our true Being.
      • ਕਉਨੁ ਮੂਆ ਰੇ ਕਉਨੁ ਮੂਆ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਮਿਲਿ ਕਰਹੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ਇਹੁ ਤਉ ਚਲਤੁ ਭਇਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (sggs 885).
      • ਨਾ ਜੀਉ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਡੂਬੈ ਤਰੈ ॥ (sggs 151).
      • ਨਾਨਕ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕਾ ਨਹੀ ਬਿਨਾਸ ॥੫॥ (sggs 273).
      (2). Our past does not consist of the events of this life alone; it includes all our previous lives. The Gurbani mentions 84 Laakh (8.4 million)! In other words, after passing through 84 Laakh, one comes to the human form (the last rung or “ਪਉੜੀ-Paurree”).
      • ਲਖ ਚਉਰਾਸੀਹ ਭ੍ਰਮਤਾ ਫੇਰਿ ॥੩॥ (sggs 180).
      If one misses this opportunity (this last rung or “ਪਉੜੀ-Paurree”) to realize the Mool, he risks starting cycle all over again and again…
      • ਇਸੁ ਪਉੜੀ ਤੇ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਚੂਕੈ ਸੋ ਆਇ ਜਾਇ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਦਾ ॥੨॥ (sggs 1075).
      (3). Jeeva (individual being) is born many times primarily due to doubts (“ਭਰਮ-Bharam). On account of doubts (“ਭਰਮ-Bharam), one’s thinking (ਸੋਚ) becomes corrupt (conditioned, illusioned, delusioned…). In turn, due to faulty thinking (ਸੋਚ), one’s actions become faulty, and so on.
      • ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਈਐ ਜਨਮਿ ਮਰਿ ਆਈਐ ॥ (sggs 904).
      • ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਣਾ ਅੰਧੁਲਾ ਫਿਰਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਇ ॥ (sggs 35).
      • ਭਰਮੇ ਆਵੈ ਭਰਮੇ ਜਾਇ ॥ (sggs 161).
      • ਭਰਮੇ ਭੂਲਾ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਏ ॥ (sggs 842).
      (4). That is, on account of doubts, we act in Aham or Haumai (false ego-sense) – with the notion “I am the doer”. Whatever we do in Aham or Haumai, it binds us to this Sansaar.
      • ਜਬ ਇਹ ਜਾਨੈ ਮੈ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਰਤਾ ॥ ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਗਰਭ ਜੋਨਿ ਮਹਿ ਫਿਰਤਾ ॥ (sggs 278).
      • ਮਲ ਭਰਮ ਕਰਮ ਅਹੰ ਮਮਤਾ ਮਰਣੁ ਚੀਤਿ ਨ ਆਵਏ ॥ (sggs 458).
      (5). Bharam (doubt, ਭਰਮ) is like a wedge in the Consciousness, cracking or dividing it in two. It is not easy to trace the exact moment of the beginning of Bharam (doubt, ਭਰਮ), but it does have an end.
      • ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਭਰਮ ਕਾ ਨਾਸੁ ॥ (sggs 294).
      • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਭਰਮੁ ਗਵਾਇ ॥ (sggs 231).
      However, the Gurbani hints us that this crack (duality, division, ਭੰਗ, ਤੇੜ ) happens in Traytaa. But these Yugas don’t mean the same as of the Pandit’s definition. That will be the subject of a separate post.
      • ਤ੍ਰਿਤੀਏ ਮਹਿ ਕਿਛੁ ਭਇਆ ਦੁਤੇੜਾ ॥ (sggs 886)
      • ਤ੍ਰੇਤੈ ਇਕ ਕਲ ਕੀਨੀ ਦੂਰਿ ॥ (sggs 880)
      • ਤ੍ਰੇਤੈ ਧਰਮ ਕਲਾ ਇਕ ਚੂਕੀ ॥ (sggs 1023).
      (6). When, having effaced the Haumai (false ego-sense), the individual soul realizes its Original Nature (Mool), all its doubts evaporates. But it isn’t easy to eradicate the sense of doership in oneself. It is a painstaking, long-drawn-out transformation. A lot of chipping, sculpting and reshaping are required. Still, one cannot comprehend in full the Divine Hukam that works silently behind these mysteries. One can only have faith (ਭਰੋਸਾ). When the mind becomes pure and subtle through Shabad-Vichaar and living it (the Gurmukh Lifestyle), then the mind will be able to describe the secrets of the three worlds (let alone remembering only previous lives)!!.
      • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਲੇ ਜਉ ਉਨਮਨਿ ਰਹੈ ॥ ਤਉ ਤੀਨਿ ਲੋਕ ਕੀ ਬਾਤੈ ਕਹੈ ॥੩੩॥ (sggs 342).
      • ਬੇਣੁ ਰਸਾਲ ਵਜਾਵੈ ਸੋਈ ॥ ਜਾ ਕੀ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣ ਸੋਝੀ ਹੋਈ ॥ (sggs 1039).
      • ਜੋ ਹੋਆ ਹੋਵਤ ਸੋ ਜਾਨੈ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਅਪਨੇ ਕਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਪਛਾਨੈ ॥ (sggs 286).
      (7). It is useless to brood over the past. It is like a cancelled check or a bygone thing; whatever has happened has happened. It’s not worth worrying about it. For, distracted by worries, we will not be able to take advantage of the present (NOW) and realize our Mool.
      • ਬਹੁ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਚਿਤਵੈ ਆਪੁ ਨ ਪਛਾਨਾ ॥ (sggs 159).
      • ਕਬੀਰ ਜੋ ਮੈ ਚਿਤਵਉ ਨਾ ਕਰੈ ਕਿਆ ਮੇਰੇ ਚਿਤਵੇ ਹੋਇ ॥ (1376)
      (8). Only the present moment (NOW) is relevant, because our entire future depends on what we do NOW.
      • ਸੁਣਿ ਮਨ ਮਿਤ੍ਰ ਪਿਆਰਿਆ ਮਿਲੁ ਵੇਲਾ ਹੈ ਏਹ ॥ (sggs 20).
      • ਜੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਰਹਿ ਸੋਈ ਅਬ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ (sggs 1159).
      • ਕਬੀਰ ਕਾਲਿ ਕਰੰਤਾ ਅਬਹਿ ਕਰੁ ਅਬ ਕਰਤਾ ਸੁਇ ਤਾਲ ॥ (sggs 1371).
      • ਸੁਣਿ ਮਨ ਮਿਤ੍ਰ ਪਿਆਰਿਆ ਮਿਲੁ ਵੇਲਾ ਹੈ ਏਹ ॥ (sggs 20).
      • ਵਤ ਲਗੀ ਸਚੇ ਨਾਮ ਕੀ ਜੋ ਬੀਜੇ ਸੋ ਖਾਇ ॥ (sggs 321).
      • ਭਈ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਦੇਹੁਰੀਆ ॥ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਮਿਲਣ ਕੀ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਰੀਆ ॥ ਅਵਰਿ ਕਾਜ ਤੇਰੈ ਕਿਤੈ ਨ ਕਾਮ ॥ ਮਿਲੁ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਭਜੁ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮ ॥੧॥ (sggs 12).
      (9). Constant Naam-consciousness or Shabad-Surti (the Gurmukh Lifestyle) helps us reveal the radiance of our Mool within in each moment of our lives. This will free us of the influence repeated suffering, and the fear of death.
      • ਫੂਟੋ ਆਂਡਾ ਭਰਮ ਕਾ ਮਨਹਿ ਭਇਓ ਪਰਗਾਸੁ ॥ (sggs 1002).
      • ਗਇਆ ਭਰਮੁ ਰਹਿਆ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦਾ ॥੩॥੨੦॥ (sggs 327).
      • ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਭਰਮੁ ਗਇਆ ਤਿਨਿ ਸਾਚੁ ਪਛਾਨਾ ॥੬॥: (sggs 330).
      • ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਧਰਿ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਭੈ ਭਾਗੀ ॥੩॥੪॥ (sggs 658).
      • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਹਚਲੁ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਵਸੀਅਲੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣਿ ਰਹੈ ॥ (sggs 945).

  5. prakash.s.bagga says:

    If ATMA is same ,why can’ t we remember/recall what we were before this life
    please clarify
    I think to get the answer one would need to understand the real character of ATMA and its
    relationship with remembrance(Present/Past or future)
    Prakash.S.Bagga

  6. Karamjeet Singh says:

    Interesting question!

    Not sure though if Gurbani explicitly explores this issue.

    That said, the notion that we don’t remember our past lives is not entirely true. I myself have run into people who not only remmebered their past lives in vivid details, they even met their family members from past life.

    If we google PLR (Past Life Regression), we will find several verified testimonials. There’s a school of thought that most infants remeber their past lives till they turn two or so.

    What I personally think is that our recollection perhaps pertains to the most recent past life (assuming there are several) and the clarity of the ‘memory’ perhaps depends on how much time has elapsed between the latest previous incarnation and the current one.

    Also I think nature has a system of resetting or erasing the past memory to send us with a ‘clean-slate’ but exceptions are always there and those are the ones that get revealed.

    Besides, forgetting is a ‘feature’ that ‘living beings’ are charaterized with. We don’t even remember everything of our own childhood. So the re-incarnated ‘subject’ (again depending on the length of the separating time) is naturally bound to forget a lot – if not all.

    But as we all agree, only the Creator truly understands His own creation. We motrals can only speculate.

    Bhul Chuk aAaf.

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