Step Onto My Path With Your Head In Hand

  • ਜਉ ਤਉ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਖੇਲਣ ਕਾ ਚਾਉ ॥ ਸਿਰੁ ਧਰਿ ਤਲੀ ਗਲੀ ਮੇਰੀ ਆਉ ॥ ਇਤੁ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਪੈਰੁ ਧਰੀਜੈ ॥ ਸਿਰੁ ਦੀਜੈ ਕਾਣਿ ਨ ਕੀਜੈ ॥੨੦॥: If you desire to play this game of Divine Love with Me, then step onto My Path with your head in hand (after shedding false ego-sense…). When you place your feet on this Path, give Me your head (false ego-sense…), and don’t pay any attention to public opinion ||20||. (sggs 1412).

“With your head in hand” essentially indicates eradication of one’s ego or Haumai. With shedding of the egotism, opinions (ਲੋਕ-ਲਾਜ) of others become ineffective.

This is essentially the death of the body and the mind.

It is a complete surrender of one’s head, that is, his ego (Haumai).

But it takes courage to do this. It is like chewing steel balls or jumping into a fire without getting burnt! Very difficult thing to do indeed!

Those “rare” ones who do it, they reach the Source, the Real Dwelling Place within.

So the Gurbani challenges us: ” ਜਉ ਤਉ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਖੇਲਣ ਕਾ ਚਾਉ ॥ ਸਿਰੁ ਧਰਿ ਤਲੀ ਗਲੀ ਮੇਰੀ ਆਉ ॥”. Very difficult indeed!

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਗਾਖੜੀ ਸਿਰੁ ਦੀਜੈ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਇ ॥: It is very difficult to serve the Satigur (Shabad-Vichaar); (it’s difficult because to do so one must) surrender head (ego, self-conceit…) – give up ownself or selfhood (ਆਪਾ-ਭਾਵ ਦੂਰ ਕਰ ਕੇ). (sggs 649).

Surrender destroys ego (Haumai). It makes one silent or mute -“ਜਿਨਿ ਇਹ ਚਾਖੀ ਸੋਈ ਜਾਣੈ ਗੂੰਗੇ ਕੀ ਮਿਠਿਆਈ – sggs 607”.

Once one experiences his nothingness and realizes his ignorance, then he has nothing to say, and, as the Gurbani says, then that person’s condition becomes that of a “mute” (or “ਗੂੰਗਾ “).

The Guru (Shabad-Guru) is like a flowing River. Surrendering or giving head is like jumping into this River of Existence, which has no ego. Instead, It is a Pure Consciousness that destroys the ego and helps us experience Truth.

We can take plunge now or just wait standing at the shore of This River. It is our choice. The River is always there, ready and willing to accept us and cleanse us, and take us to the Ocean (of Pure Consciousness).

Our ego is like a mountain of ice floating in the Ocean. When it melts, it loses its individual identity (ego or Haumai – separateness, two-ness, division, fragmentation, etc.) and becomes One with the Ocean, the Source.

  • ਆਪੁ ਗਇਆ ਤਾ ਆਪਹਿ ਭਏ ॥: When ego (ਆਪਾ-ਭਾਵ, etc.) is gone, (one) becomes the Lord (ਉਹ ਪਰਮਾਤਮਾ ਦਾ ਰੂਪ ਹੀ ਹੋ ਗਇਆ) Himself (sggs 202).
  • ਇਹੁ ਸਿਰੁ ਦੀਜੈ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਏ ॥: Offer head (to the Guru) by shedding self-conceit (ਆਪਾ-ਭਾਵ ਦੂਰ ਕਰ ਕੇ). (sggs 424).

To put it otherwise, the Gurbani challenges us not to yield to ego (Haumai). Instead, we are urged to yield to the Shabad-Guru.

  • ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਪਹਿ ਵੇਚਿਆ ਮਨੁ ਦੀਆ ਸਿਰੁ ਨਾਲਿ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣੁ ਖੋਜਿ ਢੰਢੋਲਿਆ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਖੋਜਿ ਨਿਹਾਲਿ ॥: (One who has) sold his body and mind to the Guru, and (along with his) mind has given his head as well, by becoming the Gurmukh he has found God (within) to whom he was seeking throughout the three worlds (sggs 20).
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