Happy New Year!

The illusion of time-space-causation comes into being only if we hold on to the memory of the past and anxiety of the future.

The Gurbani indicates that the mind inflicted with duality or Maya is “Parpanchee” (deceitful, cunning, fraudulent, etc.)!

  • ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਪਰਪੰਚਿ ਲਾਗੇ ॥: In the love of duality, (by forgetting their Mool, Jeeva) remain attached to “Parpanch” (sggs 842).
  • ਪਰਪੰਚਿ ਵਿਆਪਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਮਨੁ ਦੋਇ ॥: The mind is engrossed in “Parpanch” and duality (sggs 153).

However, the Gurbani also confirms that there are those in this world who are NOT engrossed in “Parpanch”; but they are very “rare”!

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਰਲੇ ਪਾਈਅਹਿ ਜੋ ਨ ਰਚਹਿ ਪਰਪੰਚ ॥੫॥: O Nanak! Rare are those, who do not create “Parpanch”. ||5|| (sggs 297).

These days, a popular and common expression is: “happy new year”.

This is “Parpanchee”. What’s “new” and what’s so “happy” about such “Parpanch”?

We consider it as the new year when — at the stroke of the midnight — the current year changes to the next.

This is an external change (worldly, material, Mayaic …), thus temporary, fleeting, illusory, unreal…

This is not the Real Change (permanent…) the Gurbani would like us to bring about!

Such Mayaic change cannot bring about a REAL change or reversal in life.

In other words, it would ONLY be a real New Year when we change within (the Real Change) — Positive change in one’s illusioned mind, defiled nature, wicked habits, corrupt intellect (Budhi), negative tendencies, faulty thinking and understanding, and so on! In other words:

It’s a change from a Manmukh lifestyle (engrossed in “Parpanch”, body-consciousness, self-will, Saakat, Mayadhaaree…) to the Gurmukh Lifestyle (Divine Life, Un-Parpanchhee Lifestyle…).

  • It’s a change from untruth to Truth (Sach).
  • It’s a change from demerits to the Divine Virtues.
  • It’s a change from illusion (Bharam-Jaal or Maya-Jaal) to Reality.
  • It’s a change from false, ephemeral, fleeting, or temporary (Asatt) to the Permanent (Satt, Atall, etc.).
  • It’s a change from time-bound to Timelessness (Akaal).
  • It’s a change from unstable state (unnatural state, restlessness…) to Stable State (Stillness, Natural State of Being, Sahaj, Whole, Saabat, etc.) — a change from impurity to Purity of the mind.
  • It’s a change from ignorant or doubt-ridden mind to the Divine Knowledge (Prachand Giaan, Giaan-Avasthaa, Sahaj …).
  • It’s a change from corrupt intellect (Haumai or ego-ridden-Budhi) to Bibek-Budhi (discriminating or discerning intellect, ਵਿਚਾਰਵਾਨ ਬੁ੍ੱਧੀ…).
  • It’s a change from the memory and anxiety of the past and future to the Eternity of the present moment (NOW, mindfulness…).
  • It’s a change from NOT knowing to knowing our Mool (Source, Jot, Reality…).

Such positive change can begin Here and Now! No need to wait for the first of the year as the “Parpanchee” minds do to make new year’s resolutions, only to forget few days later! Otherwise it’s all useless even if we live 100 years!

  • ਜੇ ਸਉ ਵਰ੍ਹ੍ਹਿਆ ਜੀਵਣਾ ਭੀ ਤਨੁ ਹੋਸੀ ਖੇਹ ॥੪੧॥: Even if (one) lives for hundred years, (still, in the end) the body will become dust (sggs 1380).
  • ਜੇ ਸਉ ਵਰ੍ਹਿਆ ਜੀਵਣ ਖਾਣੁ ॥ ਖਸਮ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਸੋ ਦਿਨੁ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥੨॥: If (one) were to live and eat for hundred years, that day (of one’s life) alone would be authentic (acceptable, approved, auspicious…), when (one) recognizes the Lord. ||2|| (sggs 349).

The Gurbani reminds us that the ultimate purpose of human life is to change it for better and make it Worthy while incarnated in the human body and, ultimately, realize one’s Spiritual Nature (Mool, Source, Jot Saroop…) within.

  • ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਤੂੰ ਆਇਆ ਲਾਹਾ ਲੈਣਿ ॥: O mortal, you came to earn a (Spiritual) Profit. (sggs 43).

The Supreme Message of the Gurbani is (if we want to put it in words): We must change from not knowing oneself to “Knowing Oneself” (Truth-abidance…).

  • ਵੇਲਾ ਸਚੁ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਛਾਣਸੀ ॥੪॥: (The person who) recognizes the Shabad, true and acceptable is (his) time (life). ||4|| (sggs 422).
  • ਥਿਤੀ ਵਾਰ ਤਾ ਜਾ ਸਚਿ ਰਾਤੇ ॥: (These) lunar and solar days are auspicious, when (mortals) get imbued with Truth (sggs 842).
  • ਸੋਈ ਦਿਵਸੁ ਭਲਾ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਇ ਪਰਮ ਗਤਿ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: O my brother! Only that day is auspicious (for a person), when (he) obtains the supreme status (Highest Spiritual State…) by Praising Hari’s Virtues. ||Pause|| (sggs 395).
  • ਚਚਾ ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲ ਗੁਰ ਲਾਗਾ ॥ ਧਨਿ ਧਨਿ ਉਆ ਦਿਨ ਸੰਜੋਗ ਸਭਾਗਾ ॥: CHACHAA (an alphabet of the Gurmukhi): (When one) got attached to the Gur-Lotus-Feet (i.e., when one got attached to the Gur-Virtues, Gur-Giaan…), (consider) those days blessed, (and consider those) conjunctures blessed (sggs 254).
  • ਸੋ ਦਿਨੁ ਸਫਲੁ ਗਣਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਮਿਲਾਇਆ ਰਾਮ ॥: That day is fruitful, (the day) Hari-Prabhoo (Mool, Source, Jot…) is realized (sggs 547).

Therefore, the Gurbani asks how each one of us has changed the course of his/her life:

  • ਕਿਤੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਪੁਰਖਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਵਟਾਇਆ ॥: O man, how have you changed the course of your life? (sggs 939).

In nutshell, changing the course of life is a revolution within —  intellect must Awaken to the Divine Knowledge

  • ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਬੁਧਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਈ ਮੇਰੀ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਦਲੀ ਸਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੨॥੨੧॥੭੨॥: Says Kabeer (O Lord)! You have taken away my (worldly) wisdom, (now that worldly) Budhi has transmuted, I have attained Spiritual Perfection. ||2||21||72|| (sggs 339).

However, according to the Gurbani, a “rare” one embarks on this Way of Inner Revolutionary. Such person is called the Gurmukh, Bhagat, Daas, Jan, etc., in the Gurbani.

  • ਸਬਦੀ ਧੋਵੈ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕੋਈ ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥: A rare (person) washes (his mind) with the Shabad. A rare (person), by becoming the Gurmukh, practices the Truth (sggs 1344).

The Gurbani wants each of its seeker (learner, student, Sikh) to mend the doubt-ridden mind with the Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) and become the “rare” Gurmukh, Here and Now. One without the Wisdom is plundered.

Otherwise, before we know, kaput! The end!

Helloooooooooo New Year!

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  1. Baljit Soni

    Enjoyed reading gurbani interpretation and the comments that followed. The impression I got after reading is it is very difficult or even not possible in one lifetime to attain that state of divinity while you are alive. My experience is it
    requires practice (P). P to be in remembrance and to practice peace. That’s when our understanding turns into reality.

  2. prakash S Bagga

    The flow of money is equally important and all wordly celebarations (Purpuch) should be viewed in this context only.
    Purpunch is also supported from THE CREATOR and only rares are one who are kept away from its Purpuch that is also the game plan of THE CREATOR.

  3. J

    Respected T Singh Ji

    Fantastic article, thanks for keeping us focused on the task in hand.


  4. Harbans Singh Kandola

    MERE MANN EKAS SION CHIT LAEAE. EKAS BIN SABH DHANDH HAI SABH MITHIA MOH MAEAE. (SGGSJI PANNA 44). Yes we need economic progress but inner peace , happiness, bliss and joy comes from living the teachings of GURBANI. Living a balanced life is the key message of GURBANI.

  5. Tarlok Singh Sahota

    Dear T Singh Jeo;

    How to achieve that status isn’t made explicitly clear by you. The spiritual change isn’t like a physical change (switching on a light bulb and you remove darkness in an instant! Or a chemical change where you mix two elements/chemicals and get the third one instantly!), its a long process, because “ਜਨਮ ਜਨਮ ਕੀ ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਮਲੁ ਲਾਗੀ ਕਾਲਾ ਹੋਆ ਸਿਆਹੁ ॥
    The filth of countless incarnations sticks to this mind; it has become pitch black.” Ank 651. Param Pad is rising above the three Gunas of Maya and five Viakaras (that are within Maya) and its not easy. Yatha Gurwak “ਏਕ ਨਗਰੀ ਪੰਚ ਚੋਰ ਬਸੀਅਲੇ ਬਰਜਤ ਚੋਰੀ ਧਾਵੈ ॥
    In the one village of the body, live the five thieves; they have been warned, but they still go out stealing.

    ਤ੍ਰਿਹਦਸ ਮਾਲ ਰਖੈ ਜੋ ਨਾਨਕ ਮੋਖ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਸੋ ਪਾਵੈ ॥੧॥
    One who keeps his assets safe from the three modes and the ten passions, O Nanak, attains liberation and emancipation. ||1||” Ank 503. Also, “ਪੰਚ ਪੂਤ ਜਣੇ ਇਕ ਮਾਇ ॥ The One Mother gave birth to the five sons,” Ank 865. The solution is “ਰਹਤ ਰਹਤ ਰਹਿ ਜਾਹਿ ਬਿਕਾਰਾ ॥
    Your evil ways shall be slowly and steadily blotted out,
    ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥
    by the Shabad, the Incomparable Word of the Perfect Guru.” Ank 259. The process can take more than one life. No wonder Bhagat Kabir Ji told us about himself while addressing to the Lord “ਪੂਰਬ ਜਨਮ ਹਮ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਰੇ ਸੇਵਕ ਅਬ ਤਉ ਮਿਟਿਆ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥
    In my past life, I was Your servant; now, I cannot leave You.” Ank 970. It is clear that Bhagat Kabir Ji couldn’t reach the Param Pad in one life. While your article is appreciated, I may say that you seemed to have solved the problem in minutes/instantly!

    Best Regards.
    Guru’s Singh
    Tarlok Singh…

    • T. Singh Post author

      Nobody is saying it’s easy – it’s like “Chewing Iron”.
      Nothing is easy!
      As about quotations, the Gurbani is full of many more related verses, but all cannot be given from a space point of view.
      Thank you Bhai Sahib Jio for sharing. Welcome to the Gurbani Blog!

  6. Karamjeet Singh

    Very well said Veer T Singh Ji,

    The real newness lies ‘within’ and can perpetually stay ‘renewed’ by regular assimilation of Gurbani. I don’t exactly recall the complete shabad but another gurbani ‘tuq’ reaffirms … ‘Sahib mera neet navaan, sadaa sadaa daataar ‘

    Deep Regards

    • T. Singh Post author

      The real newness lies ‘within’ and can perpetually stay ‘renewed’ by regular assimilation of Gurbani.

      ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਨੀਤ ਨਵਾ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਦਾਤਾਰੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (sggs 660).
      Thank you Bhai Sahib Jio!

  7. Jang Mucker

    After reading your all Shri Gurbani Ji’s explanation ma soul is fully satisfied within . Thank you all ma brothers ; Happy Divine New Year Greetings .

  8. Bal singh

    Excellent as usuall!

  9. Gurpreet Singh

    Satkar jog gurmukh T.Singh jio
    Sat bachan ji.
    ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਬੁਧਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਈ ਮੇਰੀ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਦਲੀ ਸਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ
    It’s a change from Bharam-Jaal (illusion) to Brahm-Giaan (Divine Knowledge, Aatm-Giaan, etc.).
    Gurpreet Singh

  10. Bhai Harbans Lal

    New Year is the time when greeting cards, gifts, and good wishes keep pouring in from friends and relatives. They are believed to be expressing sentiments but with a lot of money exchanging hands. The expression of sentiments is wrapped in expensive packages and psychological hang-ups…

    While reading about birthday and ageing (avadh) in Sri Guru Granth Sahib I was made to realize that at the time of any New Year or any birthday, when our circle of friends and relatives are expressing jubilation, we lose another year from our given life span. And this loss may not be insignificant for many of us with graying of the hair.

    As we grow older and amass wisdom and wealth, we proportionately give up opportunity to enjoy those treasures. Bhagat Kabir, while writing in the Guru Granth (page 91) brings home this lesson as follows.
    ਜਨਨੀ ਜਾਨਤ ਸੁਤੁ ਬਡਾ ਹੋਤੁ ਹੈ ਇਤਨਾ ਕੁ ਨ ਜਾਨੈ ਜਿ ਦਿਨ ਦਿਨ ਅਵਧ ਘਟਤੁ ਹੈ ॥
    jannee jaanat sut badaa hot hai itnaa ko na jaanai je din din avaDh ghatat hai.
    Every mother celebrates and takes pleasure in believing that her child is growing up with every birthday she celebrates; she does not realize that, day by day, her son’s or daughter’s life is actually diminishing by a year per birthday.

    Guru Arjan brings this point home with another perspective on page 207 of the Guru Granth.

    ਰਾਜੁ ਜੋਬਨੁ ਅਵਧ ਜੋ ਦੀਸੈ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਘਾਟਿਆ ॥
    raaj joban avaDh jo deesai sabh kichh jug meh ghaati-aa.
    Power and authority, youth and possessions – whatever is seen in this world, all of them are continuously fading away.

    On page 247 of the Guru Granth, Guru Arjan further describes the plight of our shortsightedness in counting our growing wealth and influence as something ever-increasing:

    ਹਉ ਸੰਚਉ ਹਉ ਖਾਟਤਾ ਸਗਲੀ ਅਵਧ ਬਿਹਾਨੀ ॥
    ha-o sancha-o ha-o khaattaa saglee avaDh bihaanee. rahaa-o.
    I think that I am earning profits and getting richer with advancing age, without realizing that my life span is declining in similar proportions.

    Then, should the New Year or a new birthday be an occasion for euphoria or introspection? The answer is neither yes nor no. The answer may be qualified based on what aspect of our growth and our life span we look at.

    A considerable amount of research, based on the foundational assumption of a finite human life span, has begun to focus on the concept of life span independent of yearly calendars of events. It may be called life expectancy that is spiritually rich and free of dependence on a calendar. It is rather a healthy life expectancy, an active life expectancy, a disability-free life expectancy, an altruistic life span, a functional life expectancy, and a purposeful life expectancy. A life that is gift to enjoy and that is opportunity to fulfill its fundamental objectives…

    The New Year introspection may lead us to a solemn declaration that we will endeavor further to building inner bridges to reality so that we may empower our own potential as well as help others to shift the global mind towards eternal reality…

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