The Gurbani Teaches us the subtle art of cultivating fearlessness!

A doctor cannot effectively treat a disease unless, first, he has properly diagnosed it!

The Gurbani’s Divine Doctor perfectly diagnoses the subtle diseases of the conditioned human mind, and, then, prescribes the appropriate treatment! Which then leads to the state of fearlessness (“ਨਿਰਭੈ ਪਦੁ”).

For example, consider the subtle disease of fearfulness (ਡਰ, ਸਹਮ, ਭੈ, ਖੌਫ, etc.). Before we consider it’s treatment or cure, let’s first ask the Gurbani’s Divine Doctor to diagnose the root cause of our lack of fearlessness.

According to the Divine Doctor in the Gurbani, the root cause of fear is doubt (Bharam-ਭਰਮ).

In other words, if the mind is doubt-ridden, it will be fearful. This simply means that if the doubt (Bharam-ਭਰਮ) is eradicated, fear departs, paving the way for fearlessness:

  • ਹਮਰਾ ਭਰਮੁ ਗਇਆ ਭਉ ਭਾਗਾ ॥: With the departure of my doubt, (my) fear has fled away (sggs 655).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨਿ ਗਵਾਈ ॥: Antari Agiaanu dukhu bharamu… (sggs 1291).

Now, what is doubt (Bharam-ਭਰਮ)? In nutshell, doubt is no other then ignorance (Agiaantaa-ਅਗਿਆਨਤਾ) — the mind’s ignorance of its True Blissful Nature (Mool, Jot Saroop…).

Our Mayaic (instinctive, deluded, or conditioned) mind has a way of casting shadows over the natural radiance of the Inner Light (Jot, Mool…). Doubt (Bharam-ਭਰਮ) is the byproduct of the Mayaic intellect’s (Budhi) inability to cope with This Light.

When we depend on Mayaic intellect for meaningful answers, the Mayaic mind (ਮਾਇਕੀ ਮਨ) will break down in doubt (Bharam-ਭਰਮ).

Being a great trickster, the conditioned mind gives rise to false self-identification with the  body consciousness, resulting in forgetfulness of the Light (Mool, Jot-Sroop...). Due to blind attachment to the body-frame, we are continually taking care of this body that anything can knock it down; and so we are living in a constant state of fear.

Doubt (Bharam-ਭਰਮ) is also the root cause of our Haumai (false ego-sense). Thus, doubt (Bharam-ਭਰਮ) is a crushing load on the soul. This human life is an opportunity to unload ourselves. We have the choice – either we can chose to carry these loads around longer and keep suffering, or we can chose to end here and now.

  • ਆਲ ਜਾਲ ਮਾਇਆ ਜੰਜਾਲ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੋਹ ਭਰਮ ਭੈ ਭਾਰ ॥: Household bondage (ਘਰਾਂ ਦਾ ਬੰਧਨ – snare…) is Maya’s entanglement. Egotism, attachment, doubt and fear are loads. (sggs 292).
  • ਭੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਜੰਮੈ ਭੈ ਮਰੈ ਭੀ ਭਉ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: In fear (one is) born, and in fear (he) dies; fear always exists in (his) mind (sggs 149).

Doubt (Bharam-ਭਰਮ) fragments the mind. So, essentially it leads to negative thoughts, negative decisions, negative actions, negative tendencies, and, of course, negative reactions — the Saakat or Manmukh lifestyle. Fear makes our body and mind weak; and thus makes us yield to unmanliness!

  • ਮਨ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਰੋਗੁ ਹੈ ਭ੍ਰਮਿ ਭੂਲੇ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਦੁਰਜਨਾ ॥: Those within whose mind is the disease of ego (Haumai – ਹਉਮੈ), those self-willed (Manmukhs), the evil beings (ਬਿਕਾਰੀ ਬੰਦੇ – corrupt people), are deluded by doubt (sggs 301).
  • ਡਰਿ ਡਰਿ ਪਚੇ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਵੇਚਾਰੇ ॥: Dari dari pache manmukh vechaare (sggs 677).

Lack of fearlessness creates attachment, anger, resentment, loss of memory, inability to face a critical moment, etc. It this creates a lifestyle of misappropriation of everything in the name of livelihood, possessiveness, Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.) …

  • ਸਗਲੀ ਧਰਤੀ ਮਾਲੁ ਧਨੁ ਵਰਤਣਿ ਸਰਬ ਜੰਜਾਲ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਮੁਸੈ ਗਿਆਨ ਵਿਹੂਣੀ ਖਾਇ ਗਇਆ ਜਮਕਾਲੁ ॥੧॥: All of the earth, material stuff, property are all entanglements (in the Mayaic) livelihood. (In this show of Maya) O Nanak! Without the Divine Wisdom, one is being plundered, and devoured by “Jamkaalu” (fear of death, doubt…). ||1|| (sggs 465).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਦਾਵੈ ਦਾਝਨੁ ਹੋਤੁ ਹੈ ਨਿਰਦਾਵੈ ਰਹੈ ਨਿਸੰਕ ॥ ਜੋ ਜਨੁ ਨਿਰਦਾਵੈ ਰਹੈ ਸੋ ਗਨੈ ਇੰਦ੍ਰ ਸੋ ਰੰਕ ॥੧੬੯॥: O Kabeer! Asserting claim (bragging about property, possessions, ownership…) lets burning (fearfulness, anger, duality, egotism… ). (One) Without (such) claim remains carefree (fearless, free from doubt ). That person who does not assert (such) claim, considers even Indar like as poor! ||169|| (sggs 1373).

Clearly, for the doubt-ridden mind to become Enlightened and fearless, doubt (Bharam-ਭਰਮ) and all related current of the vibration of fear has to be reversed — bring in the opposite vibration of Spiritual Wisdom (Aatam-Giaan) and behold the magic transformation!

  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਭਰਮੁ ਗਇਆ ਭਉ ਭਾਗਾ ॥: (By holding tight to Gur-Giaan or Gur-Wisdom) Doubt gets eliminated from within, and fear runs away (sggs 1061).
  • ਫੂਟੋ ਆਂਡਾ ਭਰਮ ਕਾ ਮਨਹਿ ਭਇਓ ਪਰਗਾਸੁ ॥: (With the Gur-Giaan) the egg of doubt (shell of doubt-ਭਰਮ ਦਾ ਪੜਦਾ) has burst; the mind is Enlightened (Illumined-ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ, Aatm-Giaan…). (sggs 1002).

It brings us to this question: If destruction of doubt (Bharam-ਭਰਮ) results in fearlessness, then how can it be destroyed? The Gurbani teaches us precisely that.

The Gurbani assures us doubt (Bharam) can be destroyed by the Grace of the Gur-Giaan (“ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ”: ਗੁਰੂ ਦੇ ਗਿਆਨ ਦੀ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਨਾਲ-through the Divine Knowledge of the Gurbani (“ਨਿਰਮਲ ਬਾਣੀ ਭਰਮੁ ਚੁਕਾਇਆ”)…:

  • ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਭਰਮ ਕਾ ਨਾਸੁ ॥: By the Grace of the Gur (Grace of the Gur-Giaan…), doubt is dispelled. (sggs 294).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਭਰਮੁ ਨ ਚੂਕਈ ਨਾ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਹਉਮੈ ਜਾਇ ॥੬॥: Without the Shabad, doubt is not dispelled, and egotism is not eliminated from within. ||6|| (sggs 67).
  • ਨਿਰਮਲ ਬਾਣੀ ਭਰਮੁ ਚੁਕਾਇਆ ॥: Nirmal baanee bharamu chukaaiaa (sggs 221).

In other words, it’s only the magic of the Gur-Giaan (Divine Wisdom or Bibek-Budhi of the Gurbani…) that can lift the doubt-ridden mind into the Inner Light (Jot, Mool…), destroying the formidable fortress of doubt (Bharam-ਭਰਮ), Maya, duality, ignorance, Haumai, Bikaars…

  • ਦੇਖੌ ਭਾਈ ਗ੍ਹਾਨ ਕੀ ਆਈ ਆਂਧੀ ॥ ਸਭੈ ਉਡਾਨੀ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੀ ਟਾਟੀ ਰਹੈ ਨ ਮਾਇਆ ਬਾਂਧੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Behold, O brother! (When) the storm of Spiritual Wisdom comes, (then) the thatched hut of doubt gets blown away; supported by bonds of Maya (this thatched hut of doubt) cannot continue to remain behind (the storm of Spiritual Wisdom or Aatam-Giaan). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 331).

In nutshell, through the earnest search (ਖੋਜ) or Shabad-Vichaar, the Light of Spiritual Wisdom (Aatam-Giaan) must enter in the dark corners and recesses of the doubt-ridden or ignorant mind! As we engage in Shabad-Vichaar (Reflections on the Gurbani), we begin to reprogram the mind and mold it like a potter molds clay. We become more conscious of our lack of fearlessness.

For this to happen, the mind must rest in Truth. In other words, by becoming the Gurmukh (the follower of Truth…), when the Heart is filled with the Pure Fear of the One (abidance or Love or reverence of Hukam, ਹੁਕਮ ਦਾ ਅਦਬ-ਸਤਕਾਰ, ਪ੍ਰੇਮ…), detachment (“ਬੈਰਾਗੁ”) arises within and all fears depart! The Gurbani confirms as follows:

  • ਡਡਾ ਡਰ ਉਪਜੇ ਡਰੁ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਤਾ ਡਰ ਮਹਿ ਡਰੁ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਈ ॥ ਜਉ ਡਰ ਡਰੈ ਤ ਫਿਰਿ ਡਰੁ ਲਾਗੈ ॥ ਨਿਡਰ ਹੂਆ ਡਰੁ ਉਰ ਹੋਇ ਭਾਗੈ ॥੧੯॥: DADDA (a letter of the Gurmukhi alphabet): When the Fear (of the One) wells up, (worldly) fears depart. (Worldly) fears are absorbed into that Fear. When (anyone) rejects the Fear (of the One), then (worldly) fears again cling to (him). (But, by keeping the Fear of the One in his mind, if he) becomes fearless, then fears (of his mind) run away. ||19|| (sggs 341).
  • ਹਮਰਾ ਭਰਮੁ ਗਇਆ ਭਉ ਭਾਗਾ ॥ ਜਬ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਗਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Hamaraa bharamu gaiaa bhau bhaagaa... (sggs 655).
  • ਨਿਰਭਉ ਜਪੈ ਸਗਲ ਭਉ ਮਿਟੈ ॥ Nirabhau Japai Sagal Bhau Mitai (sggs 293).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਭੈ ਮੋਹ ਮਿਟਾਇਆ ॥: Gurmukhi bhram bhai moh mitaaiaa (sggs 258).
  • ਭੈ ਤੇ ਬੈਰਾਗੁ ਊਪਜੈ ਹਰਿ ਖੋਜਤ ਫਿਰਣਾ ॥: Bhai te bairaagu oopjai… (sggs 1102).

Thus, proper understanding of the Gurbani (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ, Giaan, Bibek…) leads to realization of the state of fearlessness (“ਨਿਰਭੈ ਪਦੁ”). Simply put: One who has realized his true Mool (Jot, Reality, True Blissful Nature…) within gains fearlessness, Eternal Joy, Bliss…

Filed Under: Doubts, Fear, Fearlessness, Giaan, Wisdom, Ignorance, Gurbani
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8 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Chitranjan

    By the Fear of One….I think you don’t mean panic, shraap etc. Because our Guruji is Mith Boleraaji…He is a ocean of love. For this wat I think you mean the Fear of Wrong Deeds should be there with a love for Divine…Than a Person will be become courageous and fearless…. Bhul Chuk Maaf ji..

    • By the Fear of One….I think you don’t mean panic, shraap etc.

      You are correct!
      Many thanks Chitranjan Dev Ji for taking the time to respond to this post!

  2. Singh Maninder

    Thank you sir , for sharing Gurbani with us.
    Keep posting. .. i ma learning many things from this blog.

  3. Gurmuk Singh

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge of Gurubani. I have a quick question, when you mention “inner light” ” “Enlightened” do you mean it literally or figuratively ? I mean when someone is blessed by the Guru’s Knowledge does he or she actually experiences light when they go inward deed into meditation ? Thanks in advance for clarity.

    • Thanks Gurmuk Singh Ji for taking the time to respond to this post! And welcome to the Gurbani Blog Ji!

      In nutshell, the light mentioned in the Gurbani must be understood in the metaphorical sense. It is the Light of Divine Wisdom (Aatam-Giaan, ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦਾ ਚਾਨਣ…) that dispels man’s ignorance of his Mool (Source, Origin, Jot…).
      • ਮੰਦਰਿ ਮੇਰੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਉਜਾਰਾ ॥: Mandari merai Sabadi ujaaraa: In the temple (of my Heart), shines (ਸਹੀ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦਾ ਚਾਨਣ) the light of the Shabad (sggs 384).
      • ਭਇਓ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ਸਰਬ ਉਜੀਆਰਾ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਮਨਹਿ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਾਇਓ ॥: Bhaio pragaasu sarab ujiaaraa Gur giaanu manhi pragataaio (sggs 209).
      • ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣਿਆ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਪਰਗਾਸੁ ॥: Gurmatee aapu pachhaaniaa Raam naam paragaasu (sggs 86).
      • ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਇਸੁ ਜਗ ਮਹਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਕਰਮਿ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਏ ॥੧॥: Gurbani isu jag mahi chaananu karami vasai mani aaye ||1||(sggs 67).
      • ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨ ਅੰਜਨੁ ਸਚੁ ਨੇਤ੍ਰੀ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥: Gur giaan anjanu sachu netree paaiaa. Antari chaananu agiaanu andheru gavaaiaa (sggs 124).
      • ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪ੍ਰਚੰਡੁ ਬਲਾਇਆ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ਜਾਇ ॥੨॥: Gur giaanu parchandu balaaiaa agiaanu anadheraa jaai ||2|| (sggs 29).

  4. Kirpal Singh

    Gurparsad is essential to remove Bharam as you pointed out “Gurparsad bharam ka naas”:
    ਪਾਵੈ ਤ ਸੋ ਜਨੁ ਦੇਹਿ ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਹੋਰਿ ਕਿਆ ਕਰਹਿ ਵੇਚਾਰਿਆ ॥ (Raag Raakali M. 3, GGS. 918-1).
    He alone receives it, unto whom You give it; what can the other poor wretched beings do?
    ਇਕਿ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੂਲੇ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਦਹ ਦਿਸਿ ਇਕਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਲਾਗਿ ਸਵਾਰਿਆ ॥
    Some are deluded by doubt, wandering in the ten directions; some are adorned with attachment to the Naam.
    ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਮਨੁ ਭਇਆ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਜਿਨਾ ਭਾਣਾ ਭਾਵਏ ॥
    By Guru’s Grace, the mind becomes immaculate and pure, for those who follow God’s Will.
    ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਜਿਸੁ ਦੇਹਿ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਸੋਈ ਜਨੁ ਪਾਵਏ ॥੮॥
    Says Nanak, he alone receives it, unto whom You give it, O Beloved Lord. ||8||
    ਇਕਿ ਭਰਮੇ ਇਕਿ ਭਗਤੀ ਲਾਏ ॥(Raag Raamkali M. 5, GGS. 894-7).
    Some wander around, while others are linked to His devotional worship.
    ਅਪਣਾ ਕੀਆ ਆਪਿ ਜਣਾਏ ॥੩॥
    He Himself makes Himself known. ||3||

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