The Gurbani compares the spiritual path (the Gurmukh Lifestyle, the Divine Life) to chewing iron with the teeth of wax!
- ਮੈਣ ਕੇ ਦੰਤ ਕਿਉ ਖਾਈਐ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: How can iron be chewed with the teeth of wax? (sggs 943).
It is so, because, as the Gurbani aptly describes, this path is arduous, as difficult as walking along a double-edged sword!
- ਮਾਨ ਮੋਹ ਮੇਰ ਤੇਰ ਬਿਬਰਜਿਤ ਏਹੁ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਖੰਡੇ ਧਾਰ ॥: To forsake pride, emotional attachment, and the sense of “mine and yours” (ego-sense), is the path of the double-edged sword (sggs 534).
- ਖੰਨਿਅਹੁ ਤਿਖੀ ਵਾਲਹੁ ਨਿਕੀ ਏਤੁ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਜਾਣਾ ॥: Khanniahu tikhee vaalahu nikee…. (sggs 918).
Accordingly, the Gurbani points out, though there are millions of seekers all over the world, only a very “rare” are known to have obtained the ultimate Goal (of Mool-realization). They are called “Gurmukh”, “Daas”, “Bhagat”, “Jan”, etc., in the Gurbani.
- ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਇਹੁ ਖੇਲੁ ਕਠਨੁ ਹੈ ਕਿਨਹੂੰ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਾਨਾ ॥੨॥੧॥: O “Jan” Nanak! This is such a difficult game; only a rare Gurmukh understands it! ||2||1|| (sggs 219).
It is like chewing iron because it is very difficult for a person in this modern society to cross the ocean of Maya, thoughts (ਫੁਰਨੇ), doubts (ਭਰਮ), false ego-sense (Haumai), self-conceit, Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.), poignant longing for the worldly objects, sense pleasures and material desires…
As indicated in the SGGS (Sri Guru Granth Sahib), the path to spiritual realization (Mool-realization) is anything but smooth. That is, it’s not a straight one in which the spiritual aspirant can progress easily. It’s a bumpy road, full of twists, turns, and pitfalls along the way!
Therefore, to tread such an arduous path, we need a spiritual guide such as the SGGS who knows the destination, knows all the road-bumps, knows all the twists and turns, and knows all the pitfalls along the way. Who also knows the strengths and weaknesses of the human mind, and knows the delicate art of balancing spirituality and worldly life…
Not only does the SGGS knows the destination and the way to get there, the SGGS is also willing to hold our hand at every step of the way and illuminate the path ahead so that we don’t fall off or cut ourselves!
But, the Gurbani tells us that merely being in the physical presence of the SGGS is NOT enough; or, nothing can be achieved by bowing the head (Mathaa Tekanaa -ਮੱਥਾ ਟੇਕਣਾਂ) if the mind remains bent on falsehood, malice, crookedness, etc. Here is the Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ):
- ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਨੋ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਵੇਖਦਾ ਜੇਤਾ ਜਗਤੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਡਿਠੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜਿਚਰੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਕਰੇ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਚੁਕਈ ਨਾਮਿ ਨ ਲਗੈ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥: Everybody in this the world beholds the Satigur. (But one is) not liberated by merely seeing (the Satigur), unless the Shabad is Reflected upon. (Because, without the Shabad-Vichaar) the filth of Haumai (false ego-sense) is not removed, and love for the Naam (Shabad, Hukam, Divine Virtues, Divine Wisdom, Giaan…) does not get affixed (in the mind). (sggs 594).
- ਸੀਸਿ ਨਿਵਾਇਐ ਕਿਆ ਥੀਐ ਜਾ ਰਿਦੈ ਕੁਸੁਧੇ ਜਾਹਿ ॥੧॥: What can be achieved by merely bowing the head, when the heart remains resorted to falsehood (i.e., nothing is achieved!)? ||1|| (sggs 470).
The Gurbani further warns us that the personal experience of spiritual realization is not to be accomplished through intellectual speculations or clever tricks (Karamkaand, Pakhand…) but poignant longing, earnest Shabad-Vichaar, and then truthfully living the Gurbani’s wisdom in daily life (the Gurmukh Lifestyle) is needed to succeed.
- ਅਕਲ ਕਲਾ ਨਹ ਪਾਈਐ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਅਲਖ ਅਲੇਖੰ ॥: (God) is not found by intellectual or clever devices; He is Unseeable and Incalculable (sggs 1098).
- ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੨॥: Recognize Brahm within through the Gur-Shabad. ||2|| (sggs 362).
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਲਾਏ ॥: Gurmukh hovai su giaanu tatu … (sggs 946).
In nutshell, the Divine Knowledge is the only mans of treading the spiritual path and realizing the Mool (Source, Jot Saroop...), just as fire is the only means of cooking the food. In the Company of the Gurbani’s Brahm-Giaan (Wisdom laden with deep insights), we spiritually grow and iron-like Maya, Haumai, Bikaar, etc., become like cotton candy!
- ਜਗੁ ਕਰੜਾ ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਗਾਵਾਰੁ ॥ ਸਬਦੁ ਕਮਾਈਐ ਖਾਈਐ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: The world is hard (like iron – full of suffering…) for the foolish Manmukh; practicing the Shabad, (one) can chew this iron (i.e., iron-like tough world). (sggs 943).
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਭਲੀ ਸਿਵ ਨੀਕੀ ਆਨਿ ਪਾਨੀ ਸਕਤਿ ਭਰੀਜੈ ॥ ਮੈਨਦੰਤ ਨਿਕਸੇ ਗੁਰ ਬਚਨੀ ਸਾਰੁ ਚਬਿ ਚਬਿ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਪੀਜੈ ॥੩॥: By becoming the Gurmukh, the Divine Light is realized (within, then) Maya comes to serve (the Gurmukh). Through the Gur-Word (Gur-Upasesh, Teachings…), (the Gurmukh) can chew steel (transcend Maya, Bikaar, Haumai…) with the teeth of wax, and can drink in the Hari’s Sublime Essence. ||3|| (sggs 1324).
- ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਮੇਟੇ ਖਾਈਐ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: (By burning the mind’s desires through the Shabad, as a Gurmukh) eradicating three qualities (of Maya), iron (iron-like Maya) is eaten (sggs 940).