Giaan Ratan: the Jewel of Spiritual Wisdom

The Gurbani tells us that the Jewel of the Gur-Giaan (the Jewel of the Divine Knowledge, Aatam Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom, ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗੁ-ਗਿਆਨ ਦੀ ਤਲਵਾਰ…) is ever present within, which brings Liberation from Maya, duality, Haumai, Bikaar, doubt (ਭਰਮ)…

  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਰਤਨੁ ਹੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਕਰਾਵਣਹਾਰਾ ॥: Within is the Gur-Giaan (Wisdom, Divine Knowledge), the Lord’s Jewel, the Bestower of Liberation. (sggs 593).

The Gurbani also tells us that empty of the Giaan (Wisdom, Divine Knowledge), the entire world just wanders around.

  • ਗਿਆਨ ਵਿਹੂਣੀ ਭਵੈ ਸਬਾਈ ॥: Without the Divine Knowledge (Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom), the entire world (ਸਾਰੀ ਲੁਕਾਈ) wanders around. (sggs 1034).

How do we reconcile this? What happened to the Jewel of Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom, Divine Knowledge) that was present within? Where did it go? The Gurbani tells us exactly what happened to the Jewel of the Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom, Divine Knowledge) or how we lost it.

The Gurbani reveals that it is the Maya (Mayaic intellect – ਮਾਇਕੀ ਬੁੱਧੀ) that took away the Jewel of the Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom, Divine Knowledge, ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗੁ…). In other words, it is the mind’s hunger for Maya (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ) that depleted its Treasure of the Giaan (Naam-Dhann…) from within.

  • ਬਾਬਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹ ਹਿਤੁ ਕੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਰਤਨੁ ਹਿਰਿ ਲੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: O Baabaa! (I have) enshrined attachment (love and affection, ਮੋਹ-ਪਿਆਰ) for Maya, which has taken the Jewel of the Spiritual Wisdom away (from me). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 482).

So crystal clear! The Gurbani indicates that we should not have allowed our Mayaic Budhi (illusioned intellect…) to take away the Giaan-Ratan (the Jewel of the Divine Knowledge, Aatam Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom, ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗੁ…). In fact, the Gurbani calls such Mayaic Budhi (illusioned intellect…) the dog (ਕੁੱਤੀ)!

  • ਰਤਨ ਵਿਗਾੜਿ ਵਿਗੋਏ ਕੁਤੀ ਮੁਇਆ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਕਾਈ ॥: (The Budhi-intellect) that has defiled and wasted the Jewel (of Giaan) is a dog, and no one pays any attention to the dead (who has died to the Divine Knowledge). (sggs 360).

The Gurbani tells our camel-like mind to preserve the Jewel of the Spiritual Wisdom – not to let Maya take it away from us.

  • ਮਨ ਕਰਹਲਾ ਵਡਭਾਗੀਆ ਤੂੰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਰਤਨੁ ਸਮਾਲਿ ॥: O camel-like mind, you are so very fortunate; preserve (your) Jewel of Spiritual Wisdom. (sggs 235).

In this foregoing verse, the Gurbani calls our mind “camel” (ਕਰਹਲਾ) and “very fortunate” (ਵਡਭਾਗੀਆ), the same time!

First, why the mind is called “camel”? Attachment to Maya (love of Maya…) makes our mental conditioning (false ego-sense) more and more dense. Such conditioned mind is akin to a camel. For instance, the camel eats bramble even though it makes his mouth bleed! Similarly, our ignorant or Mayaic mind indulges in sense gratification even though it suffers. Thus the Mayaic mind knowingly commits demerits.

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਸਭ ਬਾਤ ਜਾਨਤ ਹੀ ਅਉਗਨੁ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਕਾਹੇ ਕੀ ਕੁਸਲਾਤ ਹਾਥਿ ਦੀਪੁ ਕੂਏ ਪਰੈ ॥੨੧੬॥: O Kabir! The mind knows everything and knowingly it commits demerits. What use is it to have a Lamp (i.e., the Light of Aatam Giaan, Divine Knowledge, Spiritual Wisdom…) in his hand, if the man still falls into a well (ignorance, Maya, Bikaar, ਅਉਗਨ / ਬਿਕਾਰਾਂ ਦੇ ਖੂਹ ਵਿਚ…)? (sggs 1376).

Second, why the mind is called “very fortunate” (ਵਡਭਾਗੀਆ)? For one thing, the mind is said to be the true Image of the Divine Light (Jot-Svaroopa, Mool, Light…).

  • ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਅਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੫॥: Iou kahai Nanaku man toon joti saroopu hai apanaa moolu pashaanu ||5|| (sggs 441).

Thus, the Gurbani tells us that – driven by Maya’s love or hunger – the mind is brimful with demerits, and, at the same time, the Gurbani tells us that the Divine Virtues (ਗੁਣ) also abide within it as well.

  • ਅਵਗੁਣੀ ਭਰਪੂਰ ਹੈ ਗੁਣ ਭੀ ਵਸਹਿ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: (The mortal) is overflowing with demerits, but Virtue dwells within him as well. (sggs 936).

The Gurbani also tells us as to how we can abide in the Giaan-Ratan (the Jewel of the Divine Knowledge…) again. That is, through the Shabad-Vichaar, and living the Gurmat (Aatam Giaan of the Gurbani…).

  • ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਊਚੋ ਊਚੀ ਪਉੜੀ ਗਿਆਨਿ ਰਤਨਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰੀ ਹੇ ॥੪॥: The Guru’s Teachings are the ladder to reach the highest of the high (Spiritual Realization…), and with the the Jewel of Spiritual Wisdom, egotism is conquered. ||4|| (sggs 1050).
Giaan Ratan: the Jewel of Spiritual Wisdom was last modified: April 17th, 2013 by T. Singh
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4 comments Leave a comment

  1. Karamjeet Singh

    Very educative piece once again.

    Very clearly, the problem, the facts and the remedy have been brought out citing examples from Gurbani.

    The Problem:
    How to keep the ‘gyaan tatan’ intact?

    The fact:
    ਅਵਗੁਣੀ ਭਰਪੂਰ ਹੈ ਗੁਣ ਭੀ ਵਸਹਿ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: (The mortal) is overflowing with demerits, but Virtue dwells within him as well. (sggs 936).

    The Solution:
    ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਊਚੋ ਊਚੀ ਪਉੜੀ ਗਿਆਨਿ ਰਤਨਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰੀ ਹੇ ॥੪॥: The Guru’s Teachings are the ladder to reach the highest of the high (Spiritual Realization…), and with the the Jewel of Spiritual Wisdom, egotism is conquered. ||4|| (sggs 1050).

    Thanks again for your enlightening efforts.

    Deep Regards

    • T. Singh Post author

      Thank you Veer Ji for sharing your Vichaar.

      • ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਉਲਟੀ ਹੋਵੈ ਗਿਆਨ ਰਤਨੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਤਾਹਾ ਹੇ ॥੨॥: (sggs 1056).

  2. Balwant Singh Seera

    I am very gratful for such an enlightening piece literature.Its rightly said that shabd vichar is the only way we can internalise the philosophy of gurmat .My humble suggestion is that each and every gursikh must at least complete one sahaj pathh in a year all by himself.This will bring awakening in our mind the gyan ratan will shine.

    thanks and regards
    Balwant Singh Seera

    • T. Singh Post author

      Thank you Vir Ji for sharing your Vichaar.

      My humble suggestion is that each and every gursikh must at least complete one sahaj pathh in a year all by himself.This will bring awakening in our mind the gyan ratan will shine.

      Yes. If I may add, each line must be read 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 verse indicates:
      • ਪੀਸਤ ਪੀਸਤ ਚਾਬਿਆ ਸੋਈ ਨਿਬਹਿਆ ਸਾਥ ॥੨੧੫॥: Peesat peesat chaabiaa soeee ibhiaa saath (sggs 1376).

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