Search, Seek and Understand

The Gur-Shabad tells us that the Gurbani is the subject of searching (ਖੋਜ) and understanding (ਬੂਝਿ). It is only with the Search (ਖੋਜ) and Understanding (ਬੂਝਿ) comes the Liberation, Emancipation, Freedom, Linking with the Mool (ਮੂਲ – Source, Origin, Reality…).

  • ਖੋਜ ਬੂਝਿ ਜਉ ਕਰੈ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥ ਤਉ ਭਵਜਲ ਤਰਤ ਨ ਲਾਵੈ ਬਾਰਾ ॥੪੦॥: Khoj boojhi jaou kare beechaaraa. Taou bhavjal tarat n laavai baaraa ||40|| When someone searches (God), and by Understanding engages in Vichaar (reflection, contemplation…), then (he) crosses over the Bhavjal (dreadful ocean of Maya, etc.) in no time. ||40|| (sggs 342).

Clearly, the Gurbani is not the subject of mere reading as in Akhand-Paath, Nit-Nem, and so on.

This is the Gurbani’s edict.

  • ਪੜਿਐ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦੁ ਬੁਝਿਐ ਪਾਵਣਾ ॥: Parriai naahee bhedu bujhiai paavanaa: Not by reading (books), but through Understanding, is the Mystery Realized. (sggs 148).
  • ਖੋਜੀ ਉਪਜੈ ਬਾਦੀ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਹਉ ਬਲਿ ਬਲਿ ਗੁਰ ਕਰਤਾਰਾ ॥: Kojee oupajai baadee binasai haou bali bali gur kartaaraa: The searcer (Seeker-ਖੋਜਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਮਨੁੱਖ) grows (in Spirtual or Divine Life – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ), and the arguer (debater, disputant, etc.) annihilates (or ruins his Spirtual or Divine Life – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ). O (my) Gur! O (my) Creator Lord! I am a sacrifice to You (sggs 1255).

Khoj (ਖੋਜ-searching, seeking…) leads to Samajh (ਸਮਝ, ਸੋਚ, ਸੂਝ, ਸੁਧ, ਮੱਤ, ਹੋਸ, perception, grasp, intelligence, sanity, acuteness, understanding, reorganization, ਗੁਰ-ਸਬਦ ਨੂੰ ਪਛਾਣ ਲੈਣਾਂ/ਸਮਝ ਲੈਣਾਂ, etc.).

Then comes Boojh (ਬੂਝ-Understanding, Comprehension, Realization, Awareness, ਉੱਚੀ ਮਤਿ, ਅਪਣੇ ਮੂਲ ਨਾਲ ਡੂੰਘੀ ਸਾਂਝ, ਵਿਵੇਕ-ਬੁਧ, etc.).

The process of “Samajh” needs the support of the mind and senses (ਗਿਆਨ-ਇੰਦ੍ਰੇ or Giaan-Indrees) to grasp. “Samajh” helps one know truth and untruth (Satt and Asatt).

  • ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਸਮਝਾਵਹਿ ॥: Gur kai sabadi mann kaou samajhaavahi: Through the Gur-Shabad, (who by becoming the Gurmukh searches Him by Gurmat) instructs (his) mind. (sggs 1028).

Boojh” is the next stage, which is beyond the mind and senses. Therefore, “Boojh” does not need the support of the mind and senses. That is, Giaan-Indrees cease to be here. Because, only the world of the gross objects is in the purview of the senses, not the Formless (Nirankaar).

  • ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਮਾਵੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਹਰਿ ਸੋਈ ॥੩॥: Gur sabadi samaavai boojhai hari soee ||3||: Who merges in the Gur-Shabad, comes to Understand the Lord. ||3|| (sggs 160).

Thus, “Boojh” is not the subject of reading, but “Khoj“. For “Khoj” leads to “Samajh“, and “Samajh” to “Boojh“.

Mere reading leads to more egotism (Haumai), pride, deception, fraud, empty rituals (Karamkaand), and so on.

Boojh” is the stage of Realization of Nirankaar (Formless). Now perhaps we can appreciate as to why it is said the Formless is beyond the grasp of the senses. This is the stage of “Budhi Badalee” – transmutation of Mayaic Budhi (worldly intelligence, or worldly mind, or worldly wisdom, etc.).

  • ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਬੁਧਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਈ ਮੇਰੀ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਦਲੀ ਸਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੨॥੨੧॥੭੨॥: Kahi Kabeer budhi hari laee meree budhi badalee sidhi paaee ||2||21||72||: Says Kabeer (O Lord)! You have taken away my (worldly) wisdom (ਹਉਮੈ ਵਾਲੀ ਅਕਲ), (now that worldly) Budhi has transmuted, I have attained Spiritual Perfection. ||2||21||72|| (sggs 339).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੋਈ ਬੂਝੈ ਗੁਣ ਕਹਿ ਗੁਣੀ ਸਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੧॥: Gurmukhi hovai soee boojhai gun kahi gunee samaavaniaa ||1||: One who becomes the Gurmukh, he Understands (God). Uttering (God’s) Virtues, (the Gurmukh) remains absorbed in God’s of Virtues. ||1|| (sggs 110).

Now, just pause for a moment and think those who (run Gurdwaras and their Bhais) promote mere reading of the Gurbani in the form of Akhand Paaths, etc., for the sake of Golak (money, revenue). Are they really promoting Gurmat (Teaching of the Gurbani…), or fraud on the name of Gurmat?

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  1. Jagjit

    Can you ellaborate on why the process of “ Samajh” needs the support of the senses.


    • Dr. A. Singh

      For example, to grasp the subject matter in school/college, one has to read books (with the support of the eyes), listen to the teacher/instructor (with the support of the ears), get to the campus (with the support of the legs, hands, eyes, ears) walk to the class-room (with the support of the legs)…

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