Laahaa And Kufakarhe

Literally, “Laahaa” (“ਲਾਹਾ”) means profit, benefit, gain, etc. The Gurbani constantly reminds us that this human birth is meant for earning a specific Laahaa (ਖੱਟੀ ਖੱਟਣ) – the Spiritual Gain: Naam Dhann, Wealth of Aatam-Giaan, Mool-realization, etc., which requires one to conquer his instinctive mind.

  • ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਤੂੰ ਆਇਆ ਲਾਹਾ ਲੈਣਿ ॥: Praanee toon aaiaa laahaa lain: O mortal, you came to earn a (Spiritual) Profit. (sggs 43).
  • ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਜੀਤਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਲੈ ਲਾਹਾ ॥: Manu tanu jeeti sabadu lai laahaa: Conquering mind body, earn the Profit of the Shabad (Gur-Giaan…). (sggs 699).
  • ਮਨੁ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮਿ ਭੀਨਾ ਲੈ ਲਾਹਾ ॥: Manu raam naami bheenaa lai laahaa (sggs 699).

Furthermore, the Gurbani time and again reminds us that one’s physical body constantly gets older, and, thus, the life diminishes each and every moment (“ਅਉਧ ਘਟੈ ਦਿਨਸੁ ਰੈਣਾਰੇ ॥”, sggs 13). Therefore, as repeatedly urged in the Gurbani, utilization of human body for earning Real “Profit” is the true “Laahaa” of one’s life.

  • ਜਨਮੁ ਜੀਤਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਾਇ ॥: Janamu jeeti laahaa naamu paai (sggs 162).

To the contrary, on account of body-consciousness (Maya), consummation of one’s life in frivolous pursuits, or wasting time and energy in religious rituals (Dhaarmic Sode-Baajee) and useless worldly entanglements (Karamkaand) is said to be the false “Laahaa“.

As repeatedly mentioned in the Gurbani, that’s exactly what the majority of us do in life – Kufakarhe (ਕੁਫਕੜੇ): Karamkaand, undesirable work, useless or Mayaic activities (Manmukh or Saakat lifestyle), ਫਜੂਲ ਕੰਮ…

  • ਲਗਾ ਕਿਤੁ ਕੁਫਕੜੇ ਸਭ ਮੁਕਦੀ ਚਲੀ ਰੈਣਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Lagaa kitu kufakarhe sabh mukadee chalee raini ||1||Rahaaou||: What Kufakarhe are you attached to (Karamkaand, undesirable work, useless or Mayaic activities, Manmukh or Saakat lifestyle, ਫੱਕੜੀ ਪੈਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਕੰਮ, ਖੁਆਰੀ ਵਾਲੇ ਕੰਮ, ਫਜੂਲ ਕੰਮ…)? Your life-night is coming to its end. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 43).
  • ਲਾਹੇ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਆਇਆ ਜਗਿ ॥ ਹੋਇ ਮਜੂਰੁ ਗਇਆ ਠਗਾਇ ਠਗਿ ॥: Laahae kaarani aaiaa jagu. Hoi majooru gaiaa thagaai thagi: For the sake of earning the (Spiritual) Profit, the mortal comes into the world. But he becomes a serf (of Maya), and is mugged by this mugger (Maya). (sggs 931).

So long we identify with name-form-color (body-consciousness, I-am-ness, “ਰੂਪੁ” ” ਰੇਖ” ” ਰੰਗੁ”…), we will be affected by desires for sense gratification. Then, in the illusion to satisfy senses (which is absolutely impossible), we make plans for developing wealth or material success. Participation in organized religious activities and rituals is also motivated by the hope for further sense gratification here in this world (hunger for Maya) as well as after death (listen to any prayer or Ardaas in any Gurdwara - ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀਆਂ ਅਰਦਾਸਾਂ!). All such Mayaic actions are compared in the Gurbani with planting of seeds in “Kallar” (salt mud, salty soil, barren land, sterile land, etc.) – seeds planted in “Kallar” will not sprout!

  • ਕਲਰਿ ਖੇਤੀ ਬੀਜੀਐ ਕਿਉ ਲਾਹਾ ਪਾਵੈ ॥ : Kalari khetee beejeeai kiou laahaa paavai: Planting the seeds in the salty soil, how can one reap a profit? (sggs 419).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਮੂਲੁ ਗਵਾਵਹਿ ਲਾਭੁ ਮਾਗਹਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਲਾਭੁ ਕਿਦੂ ਹੋਈ ॥: Munmukh moolu gavaavahi laabhu maagahi laahaa laabhu kidoo hoee (sggs 1131).

Thus, a question the Gurbani asks us is: Are we utilizing this human body for Lahaa (Mool-realization…), or are we using it for Kufakarhe (Karamkaand…)?

  • ਮੂਲਹੁ ਭੁਲਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਏ ॥੨॥: Moolhau bhulaa janamu gavaae ||2||: (One who) has forgotten (his) Mool (Source, Jot…), (he) wastes away his life. ||2|| (sggs 664).

Simply put, an individual being (Jeeva) has two choices to his disposal — either he can use this life to yield the Laahaa the Gurbani talks about (Gurmukh Lifestyle), or he can use it for undertaking Kufakarhe (ਕੁਫਕੜੇ-Manmukh lifestyle), which would injure his Spiritual sensitivity and dull his subtler perceptions. According to the Gurbani, the Gurmukhs (who live the Gurbani…) chose the former path and gain all, while the Manmukhs (self-willed…) chose the latter and lose all.

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਲੈ ਗਏ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਚਲੇ ਮੂਲੁ ਗਵਾਇ ਜੀਉ ॥੧੯॥: Gurmukhi laahaa lai gaye manmukh chale moolu gavaai jeeou ||19|| (sggs 74).

Thus, The Gurbani’s Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom, Bibek-Budhi…) guides all of us as to how – while living amidst the worldly activities or Maya – we can realize our Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot…), which alone lends meaning to human birth. In nutshell, the key to earning the True “Laahaa” in this life is becoming a Gurmukh (Mool-realized…) through the Shabad-Vichaar.

  • ਲਾਹਾ ਹਰਿ ਧਨੁ ਖਟਿਆ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ: Laahaa hari dhanu khatiaa gurmukhi sabadu veechaari (sggs 300).

The Gurbani cautions that only the repeated suffering will await if we miss this chance:

  • ਇਸੁ ਪਉੜੀ ਤੇ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਚੂਕੈ ਸੋ ਆਇ ਜਾਇ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਦਾ ॥੨॥: Isu paourree te jo naru chookai so aai jaai dukhu paidaa: That human who misses this chance, will suffer through coming and going. ||2|| (sggs 1075).
Bhul Chuk Maaf
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8 Comments

  1. Karamjeet Singh says:

    Thanks Vir Jio for yet another enlightening and enriching piece.

    There is this doubt /vagueness that has been lurking in my mind since as long as I can remember being associated with Gurbani. And since you touched directly the subject in this piece, I guess I can vent it out in the form of a question (or perhaps a series of inter-twined queries).

    It relates to the very purpose / mission, we the mortals, were sent to this ‘maat-lok’.
    What precisely is that ‘laaha”?

    And whereever we came from – the Almight’s abode; couldn’t we be allowed to live there and accomplish the ‘mission’ or ‘assignment’ there? Why has the ‘examination center’ been chosen as this world?

    “Naam Japna” features very prominently all over in Gurbani as one of the sole reasons for us to be here, so as to be able to re-unite with HIM after our ‘tenure’ comes to an end here. Now would the Almighty God want or long for us to meditate on HIS name for us to rewarded? I mean GOD is GOD, and such a (forgive me to say that) ‘selfish’ motive seems unlikely to be HIS desire.

    A side question is – “Is our being sent to this mortal world a punishment, a reward, or a mission-oriented visit”?

    I am not sure if this bluting made any sense as to precisely what answer I am looking for? If you do understand, please, please, please do react.

    Bhul Chuk Maaf.

    • T. Singh (post author) says:

      Thank you Bhai Sahib Ji for your kind words and inquiries.

      What precisely is that ‘laaha”?

      The Gurbani says, for example:
      • ਜਗ ਮਹਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਏਕੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਗੁਰ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥੬॥: (sggs 55).
      • ਤੇਰਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਲਾਲਾ ਮੰਨੇ ਏਹ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਾਰੁ ॥੬॥: (sggs 1011).

      And whereever we came from – the Almight’s abode;

      The Gurbani says, for example:
      • ਜੋ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੰਡੇ ਸੋਈ ਪਿੰਡੇ ਜੋ ਖੋਜੈ ਸੋ ਪਾਵੈ ॥: Jo Brahmande soee pinde jo khojai so paavay: Who (pervades) the Brahmand also (dwells) in the body; whoever seeks (within), obtains (Him within). (sggs 695).

      couldn’t we be allowed to live there and accomplish the ‘mission’…

      The Gurbani sums up:
      • ਤੁਮਰੀ ਗਤਿ ਮਿਤਿ ਤੁਮ ਹੀ ਜਾਨੀ ॥: Tumaree gati miti tum hee jaanee: You alone know Your state and Limit (i.e., it’s only known to You what you are doing, and what You will be doing…). (sggs 268).
      • ਲਖੀ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਨਾਨਕ ਲੀਲਾ ॥੧॥: Lakhee n jaaee Nanak leelaa: O Nanak! The Cosmic Play cannot be written or explained (ਬਿਆਨ ਨਹੀਂ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ). (sggs 250).
      • ਆਪੇ ਖੇਲੁ ਰਚਾਇਓਨੁ ਸਭੁ ਜਗਤੁ ਸਬਾਇਆ ॥: Aape khel rachaaio sabhu jagatu sabaaiaa (sggs 1237).
      • ਜੰਮਣੁ ਮਰਣਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਹੈ ਭਾਣੈ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਇ ॥: Jammau maranaa hukamu hai bhaanai aavai jaai (sggs 472).
      • ਆਪ ਕਮਾਣੈ ਵਿਛੁੜੀ ਦੋਸੁ ਨ ਕਾਹੂ ਦੇਣ ॥: Aap kamaaai vichhurhee dosu n kaahoo den (sggs 136).

      • karamjot singh says:

        waheguruji ka khalsa waheguruji ki fateh,
        veerji can we define LAAHA as, the thing (NAAM DHAN) that we will carry with us when we leave our body behind i.e., after death.

        • T. Singh (post author) says:

          Gurfateh Vir Ji, Greetings! Thank you for sharing your Vichaar.

          can we define LAAHA as, the thing (NAAM DHAN)…

          The Gurbani indicates yes:
          • ਪਾਵਹੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਰਤਨੁ ਧਨੁ ਲਾਹਾ ॥:Paavahu NAAMU RATANU DHANU laahaa (sggs 1043).
          • ਸੰਤਹੁ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਨੁ ਸੰਚਹੁ ਲੈ ਖਰਚੁ ਚਲੇ ਪਤਿ ਪਾਵੈਗੋ ॥: Santahu raam NAAMU DHANU sachahu chale pati paavaigo (sggs 1311).
          • ਹਰਿ ਧਨੁ ਖਾਟਿ ਚਲੈ ਜਨੁ ਸੋਇ ॥: HARI DHANU khaati chalai janu soi (sggs 295).
          • ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਲਾਹਾ ਸਚੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਨੁ ਭਗਤਿ ਭਰੇ ਭੰਡਾਰਾ ॥੩॥: Andinu laahaa sachi NAAMU DHANU bhare bhandaaraa (sggs 565).

  2. shammi wadhwa says:

    Sir I am not sure that i would be able to reply your question. But still i can share whatever i heard in Satsangs, that Kaal Practiced Tap and he demanded this Maat Lok and then he did it again and demanded Souls to make it lively.
    But as God knows everything means he knew that he would ask for it…… So it is all his PLAY and we are the players….. Someone Said… we are the puppets and Lord is getting us danced….
    the people who think that they are getting danced by Lord they are called as Gurmukh and the people who think that they are dancing themselves they are called Mankukh
    so i can share that it is all his Game and we are a part of it and one thing more as we are not at his level and we can never reach at his level… so we can never know why this why that…
    LET HIM PLAY HIS GAME THROUGH US …………..
    bhul chuk maaf

  3. Jasvinder says:

    Dear Karamjit

    My understanding is their is no here and there, “The creator is in his creation and his creation is in him”.

    The creator is omnipresent, you feel the separation because of the veil of illusion created by your mind.

    “He is closer than your own hand”

  4. Karamjeet Singh says:

    Thanks Vir Ji, Shammi Ji, Karamjot Ji and Jaswinder Ji for your inputs.

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