These days, a popular and common expression is: “happy new year”.
What’s so “new” or what’s so “happy” about such “Parpanch” (ostentation, deception, illusion, show off…)? The Gurbani tells us that the majority of us follow Pakhand – imitate what we see other people do, “Dekhaa Dekhee” or people see people do!
The Gurbani indicates that the mind inflicted with duality or Maya is “Parpanchee” (deceitful, cunning, crafty, etc.)! Tthe Gurbani also confirms that there are those in this world — although “rare” — who are NOT engrossed in “Parpanch”!
- ਪਰਪੰਚਿ ਵਿਆਪਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਮਨੁ ਦੋਇ ॥: The mind is engrossed in “Parpanch” and duality (sggs 153).
- ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਰਲੇ ਪਾਈਅਹਿ ਜੋ ਨ ਰਚਹਿ ਪਰਪੰਚ ॥੫॥: O Nanak! Rare are those, who do not create “Parpanch”. ||5|| (sggs 297).
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.
It’s considered new year when — at the stroke of the midnight — the current year changes to the next.
This is an external change (worldly, material, Mayaic, business …), thus temporary, fleeting, illusory, unreal…
This is not the change the Gurbani would like us to bring about in life! Because, such temporary (Mayaic) change cannot bring about a REAL (permanent) change or reversal in one’s life.
In other words, it would ONLY be a real New Year when we change within (the Real Change) — Positive change in one’s deluded mind, faulty thinking and understanding, corrupt nature, wicked habits, conditioned intellect (Budhi), negative tendencies, Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.), and so on! In other words:
- It’s change from negative thinking to positive thinking (enthusiasm, joy…).
- It’s a change from a Manmukh lifestyle (engrossed in “Parpanch”, body-consciousness, self-will, Saakat-hood, Mayadhaaree life…) to the Gurmukh Lifestyle (Divine Life, Non-Parpanchhee Lifestyle…).
- It’s a change from untruth (Jhooth) to Truth (Sach).
- It’s a change from demerits to merits or Virtues.
- It’s a change from illusion (doubt or Bharam-Jaal, or Maya-Jaal…) to Reality or doubt free state.
- It’s a change from false, ephemeral, fleeting, or temporary (Asatt) to the Permanent (Satt, Atall, etc.).
- It’s a change from time-bound consciousness to Timelessness (Akaal).
- It’s a change from the mind’s unstable state (unnatural state, restlessness…) to Stable State (Stillness, Natural State of Being, Sahaj, Whole, Saabat, etc.) — a change from impurity to true Purity of the mind.
- It’s a change from ignorant or doubt-ridden mind to the Divine Knowledge (Prachand Giaan or Wisdom, Giaan-Avasthaa…).
- It’s a change from corrupt intellect (Haumai or ego-ridden-Budhi) to Bibek-Budhi (discriminating or discerning intellect…).
- 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 one’s Mool (Source, Jot Saroop, Reality…), which is ever NEW (“ਗੁਣ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਨਵਤਨੁ ਸਦਾ”).
- It’s change from mind’s wanderings or mind’s repeated suffering (mind’s continuous coming and going) to freezing of the mind’s uncontrolled movements.
Such positive change in thinking (mind) can begin Here and Now! No need to wait for the first of the year as the “Parpanchee” minds do to make ambitious resolutions for the new year, only to forget few days later! Otherwise it’s all useless even if we live 100 years!
- 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, here and now.
The 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॥: True and acceptable is the time, when one recognizes the Shabad. ||4|| (sggs 422).
- ਥਿਤੀ ਵਾਰ ਤਾ ਜਾ ਸਚਿ ਰਾਤੇ ॥: (These) lunar and solar days are auspicious, when (mortals) get imbued with Truth (sggs 842).
- 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 (1) how each one of us has changed the life’s course? (2) With what have you linked your mind?
- ਕਿਤੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਪੁਰਖਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਵਟਾਇਆ ॥ ਕਾਹੇ ਕਉ ਤੁਝੁ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਲਾਇਆ ॥: O man, how have you changed the course of your life? With what have you linked your mind? (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! (The Giaan or Wisdom of the Gumat) has taken away my (worldly-ਮਨਮੱਤ) Budhi (i.e., intelligence, wisdom, ਅਕਲ). With this changed Budhi, now I have obtained Sidhi (Spiritual Perfection…). ||2||21||72|| (sggs 339).
When Awakened to Naam (Wisdom, Virtues, Shabad…) people of all faiths live in ever NEW love and harmony (“ਪ੍ਰੇਮੁ ਸਦਾ ਨਉਰੰਗੀ”), peace and amity, higher mental and spiritual state; conduct themselves truthfully and righteously; live without fear of injustice or oppression; respect each other; enjoy equality and human rights; see the same self in everybody, and so on. The natural result of such inner change brings about overall prosperity and happiness.
- 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 learner (student, Sikh) to mend the doubt-ridden mind by bathing it in the pool of Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) and become the “rare” Gurmukh, Here and Now. Because, those without the Wisdom are plundered.
Otherwise, before we know, kaput! The end!
Helloooooooooo New Year!