In the Gurbani, this Sansaar — material world, the place of repeated suffering — is likened to the safflower. It’s deceptively enchanting, full of repeated pain and suffering, and ephemeral. Only the Gurmukh (Spiritual Beings, Aatm-Giaanee…) knows its true nature, which is “ਕੂੜ” (Koorh). Therefore, The Gurmukh is the only one who knows how to handle it, without getting “burnt” in the process! However, it’s the ignorant one (Manmukh, Mayadhaaree, Saakat…) who gets fooled by its mirage-like, enchanting, and deceptive appearance. As a result, he gets attached to it, and suffers the consequences of his error!
- ਜੈਸਾ ਰੰਗੁ ਕਸੁੰਭ ਕਾ ਤੈਸਾ ਇਹੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥: Jaisaa rang kasunbh kaa taisaa ihu sansaar: This world is like the (pale, temporary…) color of the safflower (sggs 346).
- ਹਥੁ ਨ ਲਾਇ ਕਸੁੰਭੜੈ ਜਲਿ ਜਾਸੀ ਢੋਲਾ ॥: Hath na laae kasunbharrai jail jaasee dholaa: O friend! Do not touch the safflower (i.e., Maya); if you do, you will get “burnt” (i.e., your love for this deceptive Maya will lead you to sufferings) (sggs 794).
The Creator has made this massive world-picture very wondrous indeed. But the Gurbani Cautions us as follows:
- ਚਚਾ ਰਚਿਤ ਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਹੈ ਭਾਰੀ ॥ ਤਜਿ ਚਿਤ੍ਰੈ ਚੇਤਹੁ ਚਿਤਕਾਰੀ ॥ ਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਬਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਇਹੈ ਅਵਝੇਰਾ ॥ ਤਜਿ ਚਿਤ੍ਰੈ ਚਿਤੁ ਰਾਖਿ ਚਿਤੇਰਾ ॥੧੨॥: Chachaa rachit chitr hai bhaaree…||12|| CHACHA (a letter of the Gurmukhi alphabet): He made the unweildy world-picture. Forget (the love, attachment or ਮੋਹ of this) picture, and remember the Artist (Painter, Creator…). (Because) The prolem is that this ( world-) picture is very enchanting (ਮਨ ਨੂੰ ਮੋਹ ਲੈਣ ਵਾਲੀ). (So, to escap from this enchantment) Forget this picture and focus your consciousness on the Artist (God, Hukam…). ||12|| (sggs 340).
So, to escape from this mirage-like, enchanting world, the Gurbani urges us to focus the consciousness on the Maker of this world-picture, not world itself. For the Maker pervades it, too.
- ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਕੈ ਵਸਿਆ ਸੋਇ ॥: Kudarati kari kai vasiaa soi: Having created the Universe, (that Lord) dwells therein. (sggs 83).
Thus, the real nature of the enchanting world is realized when we wake up to the Divine Knowledge (Aatm-Giaan, Shabad-Giaan, Gurmat…) that the world is as unsubstantial as a dream. Viveka-Budhi is awakened by constantly probing the nature of one’s Mool (Joti-Svaroopa) and learning to dissociate the affinities to the body-senses and the material world.