The Gurbani teaches that true spirituality is to compassionately consider others. Specifically, the Gurbani says know others as you want yourself to be known.
- ਆਪੁ ਜਨਾਇ ਅਵਰ ਕਉ ਜਾਨੈ ਤਬ ਹੋਇ ਭਿਸਤ ਸਰੀਕੀ ॥੪॥: As you see yourself, see others as well; only then will you become included (joined, united, a partner, ਭਿਸਤ ਦਾ ਬਰਾਬਰ ਦਾ ਹੱਕਦਾਰ / ਭਾਈਵਾਲ / ਸਾਂਝੀਵਾਲ…) in heaven (the State beyond Maya…). ||4|| (sggs 480).
However, a deluded mind does not and cannot grasp this simple truth.
The Gurbani’s Divine Wisdom teaches us that there is but One Absolute Reality. This one Supreme Essence is the substratum (Support-Aadhaar) of all. It is this Infinite Reality, the Homogeneous Oneness, the highest plane of Pure Consciousness, which runs in and through all beings. This is the Gurbani’s Supreme Truth.
In other words, a person must first understand himself (i.e., his own Essential Nature, his Mool...), and then understand others as himself (ਆਪਣੇ ਆਪ ਨੂੰ ਸਮਝ ਕੇ ਦੂਜਿਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਆਪਣੇ ਵਰਗਾ ਸਮਝਣਾਂ). A person of such Awareness lives peacefully with all, and dies peacefully.
The implication is that without first understanding himself, a person’s moss of doubts (Bharam) will remain. And without eradication of one’s own moss of doubts, he cannot see or treat others as his own-self.
- ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਆਪਾ ਚੀਨੈ ਮਿਟੈ ਨ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੀ ਕਾਈ ॥੨॥੧॥: O Daas Nanak! Without Realizing one’s own self (Original, Essential, or True Nature, etc. – ਆਪਣਾ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਪਰਖਣ ਤੋਂ ਬਿਨਾ, etc.), the moss of doubt (ignorance of one’s True Nature, etc.) is not eradicated (from the mind) ||2||1|| (sggs 684).
The Gurbani says there is no “other” at all. For the One Light has become everything!
- ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਹਰਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥: O my mind, without “Hari“, there is no other at all (sggs 47).
- ਏਕ ਨੂਰ ਤੇ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਉਪਜਿਆ ਕਉਨ ਭਲੇ ਕੋ ਮੰਦੇ ॥੧॥: From this One Light, the entire universe has welled up. So who is good, and who is bad? ||1|| (sggs 1349).
Thus, the Gurbani says “Gobind” (Mool: Raam, Hari, Thaakur, Prabh, Allah…) in me is “Gobind” in all.
- ਸਭੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਹੈ ਸਭੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਹੈ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਈ ॥: Sabhu Gobindu hai… (sggs 485).
- ਜੋ ਦੀਸੈ ਸੋ ਤੇਰਾ ਰੂਪੁ ॥: Jo deesai so taeraa roopu (sggs724).
The names and forms are not Real, for they change, and that which changes cannot be Real. On this token everything we see around us, in fact, the whole phenomenal world, is unreal. If the test of Reality is that it does not change, then is there anything Real? The Gurbani says there is something that never changes, that is there in the beginning, in the middle, and in the end. It is not only Unchanging, it is everywhere, in the small as well as in the big, in the good as well as in the bad! This Ultimate Reality cannot be fully explained or defined. All that can be said about it is that it is the substratum (Aadhaar) of everything. Things originate from it, subsist on it, and ultimately merge in it.
- ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋ ਸਾਲਾਹੀਐ ਜਿ ਸਭਸੈ ਦੇ ਆਧਾਰੁ ॥: O Nanak, praise the One who gives Support to all (sggs 791).
The diversity is only in terms of names and forms, but, at the Transcendental level, there is nothing but Unity.
The feelings of diversity or “otherness” is the ego-mind (Haumai) in action. Because in the divided consciousness(Haumai or Mayaic intellect, Manmukhtaa…), there is always the feeling of “Me” and “You”, which now marks all our relationships, is a potent cause of disunity. When there is no sense of “Me” and “You” and “otherness”, there is only the selflessness, true love, peace, harmony, joy, and happiness.
- ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੈਲੁ ਭਰ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: O my mind, you are filled with the filth of egotism (sggs 35).
The Gurbani says that the True Nature of our mind is Jot Saroop. Thus, we all are One with the Cosmic Energy (Hukam, Natural Law…). But due to the madness of the rebellious ego-mind (Haumai), we do not see that way. Consequently, we have made this world the play of the self-centered ego, which is inherently selfish. This is why the Gurbani time and again says the ego-mind must dissolve and disappear.
The true human Dharma or the Divine Wisdom (Brahm-Giaan) expounded in the Gurbani is comprehensive and complete. The universality of the Gurbani thus lies in the fact that it deals directly with the human mind and personality. The potentials and possibilities of the inner personality that are pertinent and applicable to the human race at all times are addressed at great length.
The truth is that we carry two personalities – the body and the Real Self (Mool, Source, Jot, True Nature….). According to the Gurbani, the greatest hurdle is our identification with the temporary body/mind/intellect component and not with the immortal Mool within. Unlearning this habit and seeing the Mool as our Essence brings about a change in our entire outlook. As a result, instead of perceiving the differences in the universe, one sees Totality or Reality. The Gurbani’s Divine Wisdom cultivated through Shabad-Vichhar affords us the ability to live with Unity in thought, word and action (the Gurmukh Lifestyle).