Spiritual Efforts

Giaan (spiritual Wisdom or Divine Knowledge of the Gurbani) can be explained, but cannot be given as a readymade package, or made to an order.

SGGS impartially provides Giaan to ALL. So, it’s up to each learner (i.e., Sikh: ਸਿਖਿਆ ਲੈਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ) whether to take-accept-understand-assimilate-believe-remember-live this Giaan with faith (ਭਰੋਸਾ) or not…

Tremendous emphasis is put on spiritual efforts (“ਉਦਮ”-Uddam…) by the Gurbani. For they are essential to spiritual progress and unfoldment.

As we know it, efforts are even necessary in worldly pursuits (ਦੁਨਿਆਈ ਕਿਰਤ) let alone, spiritual Realization!

  • ਹਲੁ ਜੋਤੈ ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰੇ ਮੇਰਾ ਪੁਤੁ ਧੀ ਖਾਇ ॥: Halu jotai oudamu kare meraa putu dhee khaai (sggs 166).

For example, if someone is hungry, he cannot “substitute” anybody for himself: he must eat himself to appease his hunger. Also, if someone wants to get married, he cannot “substitute” anybody for himself to take “Phere” in his place: he must take “Phere” himself…

Similarly, if someone wants to realize his Mool (Source, Jot…), he cannot “substitute” anybody for himself: he must realize himself. Thus, intense spiritual Uddam (Shabad-Vichaar) is essential for spiritual success!

The wise ones tell us to remember one thing: If we want something as sublime as spiritual Realization and want it cheaply in the form of a “readymade” package, we put ourselves in a position to be cheated by the religious con-artists (those who use the Gurbani or Dharma as business (“ਰੋਟੀਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ” ਧੰਧਾ; “ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ” )!

Accordingly, the Gurbani urges us to resolve our own affairs ourselves through intense spiritual Uddam (Shabad-Vichaar). Nobody else can do it for us.

  • ਆਪਣ ਹਥੀ ਆਪਣਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਕਾਜੁ ਸਵਾਰੀਐ ॥੨੦॥: (So long there is breath – Praan) With own hands (with self-efforts, ਉੱਦਮ ਕਰ ਕੇ: Shabad-Vichaar …), resolve your own affair yourself. ||20|| (sggs 474).
  • ਸਗਲ ਉਦਮ ਮਹਿ ਉਦਮੁ ਭਲਾ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਜੀਅ ਸਦਾ ॥: Of all self-efforts, the best self-effort is to persistently engage in Naam-Jap (Understanding the Gurbani’s Giaan…). (sggs 266).
  • ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰਤ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਹੋਆ ॥: Oudamu karat manu nirmalu hoaa (sggs 99).
  • ਆਪੈ ਜਪਹੁ ਆਪਨਾ ਜਾਪ ॥੫॥: Aapai japahu aapanaa jaap (sggs 343).

Divine Grace is directly proportional to the intensity of our own spiritual Uddam (Shabad-Vichaar). In other words, as is the aspiration, so is the reward.

  • ਆਪਿ ਬੀਜਿ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਖਾਇ ॥: As we plant, so we harvest and eat (sggs 25).
  • ਜੇਹੀ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਤੇਹਾ ਤਿਨ ਰਾਹੁ ॥: As is (beings’) awareness, so is (their) way (sggs 25).
  • ਜੈਸਾ ਸੇਵੈ ਤੈਸੋ ਹੋਇ ॥੪॥: Jaisaa sevai taiso hoi ||4|| (sggs 223).
  • ਜੇਹੀ ਮਨਸਾ ਕਰਿ ਲਾਗੈ ਤੇਹਾ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਏ ॥: Jehee mansaa kari laagai tehaa phalu paae (sggs 116).

Man is not the creature of his circumstances – through spiritual efforts (Shabad-Vichaar), we can change our thinking (ਸੋਚ) if we want to. Thereby, we can change our actions and their results. Accordingly, Shabad-Vichaar is said to be the most excellent action in the Gurbani (ਊਤਮ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਬਦ ਬੀਚਾਰ ॥ (sggs 158)).

Therefore, our intellect’s (ਬੁਧਿ-Budhi) function or job is to understand the Gurbani through the spiritual Uddam (Shabad-Vichaar). This human life is said to be the opportunity to do just that!

  • ਮਨ ਸਮਝਾਵਨ ਕਾਰਨੇ ਕਛੂਅਕ ਪੜੀਐ ਗਿਆਨ ॥੫॥: To instruct the mind (to raise Consciousness to Higher Dimension, one) ought to study Divine Knowledge to some extent. ||5|| (sggs 340).
  • ਮਾਨਸ ਦੇਹ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨਹ ਪਾਵੈ ਕਛੂ ਉਪਾਉ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਕਾ ਕਰੁ ਰੇ ॥: (You) will not obtain this human body again; make plan (take measure) for liberation (sggs 220).
  • ਗਿਆਨ ਰਤਨਿ ਸਭ ਸੋਝੀ ਹੋਇ ॥: Giaan ratani sabh sojhee hoi (sggs 364).

As the Gurbani reminds us, thus Aatmic Giaan (spiritual Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad) is must to reconcile the Mayaic mind, and to keep it stabilized within (ਅਡੋਲ).

  • ਜਿਉ ਮੰਦਰ ਕਉ ਥਾਮੈ ਥੰਮਨੁ ॥ ਤਿਉ ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਮਨਹਿ ਅਸਥੰਮਨੁ ॥: As a buiding is supported by its pillars, so does the Gur-Shabad supports the mind. (sggs 282).
  • ਗਿਆਨ ਕਾ ਬਧਾ ਮਨੁ ਰਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥੫॥: Giaan ka badhaa manu rahai gur bin giaanu n hoi ||5|| (sggs 469).
  • ਗਿਆਨ ਰਤਨਿ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਜੀਐ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਨ ਮੈਲਾ ਹੋਇ ॥: Giaan Ratani manu maajeeai Bahurri n mailaa hoi (sggs 992).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਭਇਆ ਪਾਇਆ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥: Kabeer manu seetal bhaiaa paaiaa brahm gian (sggs 1373).

The Gurbani also reminds us that any amount of religious rituals and formalities will not do the trick. The powerful sway of our hunger for Maya (“ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ”) easily deludes and distracts our spiritual efforts. The Gurbani wants us to keep away from Karamkaand:

  • ਕਰਮ ਕਾਂਡ ਬਹੁ ਕਰਹਿ ਅਚਾਰ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਧ੍ਰਿਗੁ ਧ੍ਰਿਗੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰ ॥੩॥: (Those who) perform all sorts of (religious) rituals and formalities, (but remain) devoid of the Naam, (such Karamkaand or rituals only give rise to) egotism (in them and their lives just remain) disdainful. ||3|| (sggs 162).
  • ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਘਰ ਗਾਲੇ ॥: Doojai bhaai bahutu ghar gaale (sggs 1160).
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  1. sukhwant singh

    Today everything is available ready-made. Sukhmani Sahib at the cost of Rs 500/-& Akhand Path cost about Rs 5100/- to 11000/-(alongwith langer).For spiritual progress someone needs to do Path or Sewa himself not by others( Pathese). You have to do your Nitnem by yourself, you have to take bath at Amrit Vela by yourself. Your Nitnem cannot be done by other(Pathi/Bhai). You cannot Pay money for your Nitnem.
    So ਆਪਣ ਹਥੀ ਆਪਣਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਕਾਜੁ ਸਵਾਰੀਐ ॥੨੦॥: (So long there is breath-Praan) With own hands (with self-efforts, ਉੱਦਮ ਕਰ ਕੇ…), resolve your own affair yourself. ||20|| (sggs 474).

  2. Prakash S Bagga

    I shall be looking eagerly for your next schedule Sir,

  3. Prakash S Bagga

    I think we are more trapped by SANTDOM.

    • T. Singh Post author

      I think we are more trapped by SANTDOM.

      Coincidentally, the next scheduled post is about Sant and Deraavaad! They have done tremendous damage to the Teaching of the Gurbani by misleading people away from the True Instruction (“ਸਿਖੀ ਸਿਖਿਆ”) of the Gur-Shabad and put them on the path of Karamkaand, dogmas, Bhekh (ਭੇਖ-garbs), Maya or worldly entanglements (“ਆਲ ਜਾਲ”, ਪੁੱਠੀ ਮੱਤ), etc., from which the Gurbani frees us!
      Thank you Bhai Sahib Jio.

  4. Trilochan Singh Duggal

    Requirements for affluent social living are different and thus achieved success is always temporary with limited shelf life. It isn’t possible without academic procurement of a professional degree, one has to work hard to achieve such status. Then how difficult and strenuous effort would it require to read Gur-Shabad, understand and achieve BRAHAM GIAN? One must make efforts to understand Gurbani, yes Shabad-Vichhar is a good way forward, and it forbid us from falling into traps of GURUDOM.

  5. Prakash S Bagga

    My understanding is that one is being directed thru Gurbaanee to recognise the DIVINE LAW(HUKUMu) and then get to know The PRABHu (ULTIMATE LORD ) a quote as
    “Kahu NANAK Jin Hukumu Pachaataa,Prabh sahib Kaa Tin Bhed Jataa”

  6. ravinder singh

    Gurbani tells us to live life according to the divine law with wisdom and humility to attain divine grace for self realization.

    • T. Singh Post author

      We can understand that “divine law” (Hukam) and “wisdom” through the self-Uddam of Shabad-Vichaar!
      • ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੮॥: Through the Gur-Shabad, recognize Hukam (sggs 223).
      • ਬੂਝਹੁ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: O wise one, understand through Shabad-Vichaar.(sggs 840).

      Thank you Bhai Sahib Jio for incessantly sharing Shabad-Vichaar.

  7. Prakash S Bagga

    There is one thing very important to be observed in Gurbaanee is thatHARi NAAu & HARi NAAMu and RAAM NAAMu are same word.So RAAM NAAMu as envisaged in Gurbaanee is specifically being refered as Gurmati Raam Naamu .
    Similarly one can find RAAM NAAMAA and HARi NAAMA ..surprisingly they all are sameas
    Gurmati Raam Naamu.

  8. Prakash S Bagga

    Since the only GIYAANu in SGGS ji is all NAAMu (RAAM NAAMu) and this can be given only by SATiGuRu. So unless one meets SatiGuRu this GIYAANu is not possible
    I should further clarify that RAAM NAAMu as envisaged in SGGS ji is GURMATi RAAM NAAMu i e RAAM NAAMu as per WISDOM OF GuRu.

    • T. Singh Post author

      Thank you Bhai Sahib Jio for incessantly sharing Shabad-Vichaar.
      • ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਆਰਾਧੀਐ ਪੂਰਨ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (sggs 218).
      • ਰਾਜਾ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਮੋਰਾ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (sggs 1159).
      • ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੋ ਦੇਇ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਇ ॥ (sggs 759).

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