Stuck Half-Way

Consider the following verse of the Gurbani:

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਸਿਖ ਸਾਖਾ ਬਹੁਤੇ ਕੀਏ ਕੇਸੋ ਕੀਓ ਨ ਮੀਤੁ ॥ ਚਾਲੇ ਥੇ ਹਰਿ ਮਿਲਨ ਕਉ ਬੀਚੈ ਅਟਕਿਓ ਚੀਤੁ ॥੯੬॥: O Kabeer! (Those who) have made many students and disciples (ਚੇਲੇ-ਚਾਟੜੇ), but have not made the Mool (their) Friend; (although) they set out to meet Hari (Mool, within), but (their) consciousness failed (them) half-way. ||96|| (sggs 1369).

Stuck half-way in what? In other words, why does the consciousness fail them in the midst of their journey? Because, in the middle of their journey they got stuck in the mire of Maya – the mind’s hunger for Maya; attachment to worldly objects, worldly pleasures, worldly wealth, worldly honor (ਝੂਠੀ ਵਡਿਆਈ) and titles (Sant, Siri 108, etc.); burning desires (Trishanaa), doubts, Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc. – “ਸੈਸਾਰ ਗਾਰ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਸਾਗਰ”), and so on.

  • ਤਿਤੁ ਸਰਵਰੜੈ ਭਈਲੇ ਨਿਵਾਸਾ ਪਾਣੀ ਪਾਵਕੁ ਤਿਨਹਿ ਕੀਆ ॥ ਪੰਕਜੁ ਮੋਹ ਪਗੁ ਨਹੀ ਚਾਲੈ ਹਮ ਦੇਖਾ ਤਹ ਡੂਬੀਅਲੇ ॥੧॥: ||1||: That (world) pool, (in which people) have made their homes, there is the fire (of Maya in it, instead of) the water! In the mud of emotional attachment, (their) feet cannot move. As we see, (many Jeeva stuck in this mire of attachment) are drowning there. ||1|| (sggs 12).
  • ਅਟਕਿਓ ਸੁਤ ਬਨਿਤਾ ਸੰਗ ਮਾਇਆ ਦੇਵਨਹਾਰੁ ਦਾਤਾਰੁ ਬਿਸੇਰੋ ॥: Associating with Maya, (Jeeva) is stuck to their children and spouses (i.e., kith and kin); (as a result, Jeeva) has forgotten the Generous Giver (sggs 1302).
  • ਇਆ ਧਨ ਜੋਬਨ ਅਰੁ ਸੁਤ ਦਾਰਾ ਪੇਖਨ ਕਉ ਜੁ ਦਇਓ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਹੀ ਮਾਹਿ ਅਟਕਿ ਜੋ ਉਰਝੇ ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਪ੍ਰੇਰਿ ਲਇਓ ॥੩॥: ||3||: This wealth, youth, children and spouse which (Parmeshar) has given to see (i.e, remaining detached, because) – this is all just a passing show. Stuck in these, (Jeeva) get entangled; (they) are carried away by senses. ||3|| (sggs 336).
  • ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੀ ਕੂਈ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਰਸ ਪੰਕਜ ਅਤਿ ਤੀਖ੍ਯ੍ਯਣ ਮੋਹ ਕੀ ਫਾਸ ॥: Doubt is the well, thirst for (Mayaic) pleasure is the mud (in that well), and severe is the noose of the emotional attachment (sggs 204).
  • ਪੰਕਜ ਮੋਹ ਸਰਿ ਹਾਂ ॥: In the pool (of the world) is the mud of attachment (sggs 409).
  • ਸੈਸਾਰ ਗਾਰ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਸਾਗਰ ਪਤਿਤ ਮੋਹ ਮਾਨ ਅੰਧ ॥: Saisaar gaar bikaar saagar… (sggs 1306).

As Bhagat Kabeer Sahib indicates, many get used to having many students and disciples (ਚੇਲੇ-ਚਾਟੜੇ) serving them and worshipping them in their elaborate Dere (ਡੇਰੇ), etc., and thus forget the target of their human life in the process (which is “ਹਰਿ ਮਿਲਨ”: Mool-realization).

  • ਡਡਾ ਡੇਰਾ ਇਹੁ ਨਹੀ ਜਹ ਡੇਰਾ ਤਹ ਜਾਨੁ ॥: Dadaa deraa ihu nahee jah deraa tah jaan: Daddaa (a letter of the Gurmukhi alphabet): This worldly Deraa is not (the True Deraa-ਇਹ ਸੰਸਾਰੀ ਡੇਰਾ ਸਚਾ ਡੇਰਾ ਨਹੀ); (therefore) know that Deraa which is (True-ਸਚਾ ਡੇਰਾ). (sggs 256).
  • ਗਲੀ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਜਪਮਾਲੀਆ ਲੋਟੇ ਹਥਿ ਨਿਬਗ ॥ ਓਇ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਸੰਤ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਹਿ ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ ॥੧॥: Galee jinnaah… (sggs 476).
  • ਆਪੋ ਆਪੈ ਪੂਜਾ ਹੋਇ ॥: Aapo aapai poojaa hoi (sggs 951).

But the question is: Why do we get stuck in this mud of Maya in the first place? It is because – as the Gurbani tells us – we don’t recognize the difference between good and evil (ਚੰਗਾ ਮੰਦਾ)…

  • ਸਰ ਅਪਸਰ ਕੀ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਜਾਣਹਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਕੀਚ ਬੁਡਾਹੀ ਜੀਉ ॥੨॥: ||2||: (O mind! You) do not know the difference between good and evil; (as a result you) again and again sink into the mud (of Maya, Bikaar…). ||2|| (sggs 598).
  • ਕਲਰ ਕੇਰੀ ਛਪੜੀ ਕਊਆ ਮਲਿ ਮਲਿ ਨਾਇ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਮੈਲਾ ਅਵਗੁਣੀ ਚਿੰਜੁ ਭਰੀ ਗੰਧੀ ਆਇ ॥: Kallar keree chhapparree… (sggs 1411).

The Gurbani tells us that the path to Mool-Realization is very arduous – like racing along the razor’s edge (“ਏਹੁ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਖੰਡੇ ਧਾਰ”).

  • ਫਰੀਦਾ ਗਲੀਏ ਚਿਕੜੁ ਦੂਰਿ ਘਰੁ ਨਾਲਿ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਨੇਹੁ ॥ ਚਲਾ ਤ ਭਿਜੈ ਕੰਬਲੀ ਰਹਾਂ ਤ ਤੁਟੈ ਨੇਹੁ ॥੨੪॥:  O Fareed! The Path is muddy (with Maya, Bikaar…), and the House of my Beloved (Mool), whom I love, is far away (i.e., arduous, difficult…). If I go out, my blanket (i.e., Budh, intellect…) will get drenched (with rain and mud: Maya, Bikaar…), but if I do not go, then my heart will be broken ||24||. (sggs 1379).
  • ਵਾਟ ਹਮਾਰੀ ਖਰੀ ਉਡੀਣੀ ॥ ਖੰਨਿਅਹੁ ਤਿਖੀ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਪਿਈਣੀ ॥ ਉਸੁ ਊਪਰਿ ਹੈ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਮੇਰਾ ॥ ਸੇਖ ਫਰੀਦਾ ਪੰਥੁ ਸਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਰਿ ਸਵੇਰਾ ॥੪॥੧॥: Vaat hamaaree kharee udeenee. Khanniahu tikhee bahut pieenee … (sggs 794).
  • ਮਾਨ ਮੋਹ ਮੇਰ ਤੇਰ ਬਿਬਰਜਿਤ ਏਹੁ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਖੰਡੇ ਧਾਰ ॥: Maan moh mer ter bibarajit ehu maaragu khande dhaar (sggs 534).

The Gurbani reminds us that we cannot remove the mud (of Maya, Bikaar, etc.) by simply sinking more and more into it! In other words, the Gurbani reminds us that sinking more and more in the mire of Maya is not the remedy!

  • ਕੀਚੜਿ ਡੂਬੈ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Keecharri doobai mailu n jaai ||1||Pause|| (sggs 685).

Now, can we escape this deadly mire? According to the Gurbani yes, we can by becoming the Gurmukh (who understands-remembers-and-lives the Wisdom of the Gurbani…); NOT following those who themselves are stuck in this mud…

  • ਬਾਘੁ ਮਰੈ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰੀਐ ਜਿਸੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਦੀਖਿਆ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਹਰਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਨ ਮਰਣਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਕੀਚੜਿ ਹਾਥੁ ਨ ਬੂਡਈ ਏਕਾ ਨਦਰਿ ਨਿਹਾਲਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਉਬਰੇ ਗੁਰੁ ਸਰਵਰੁ ਸਚੀ ਪਾਲਿ ॥੮॥: Whosoever is blessed with the Satgur’s “Deekhiaa” (Teaching of the Gur-Shabad), he slays (controls…) his mind, and thus the tiger (Kaal-Kalpanaa that devours his Spiritual Life within) also dies within. Who understands himself (i.e., Spiritual Life), unites with his Mool within and then dies not again. The One (Parmeshar) sees (him) with Grace, (accordingly, his) hand does not get muddy (with Maya, Bikaar…). O Nanak! The those who become the Gurmukh are saved (from this mud of Maya, Bikaar). Guru is the pool (of Naam, Spiritual Wisdom, Virtues…) and the True Wall (that protects from this mud). (sggs 1411).
  • ਪੰਕਜ ਮੋਹ ਨਿਘਰਤੁ ਹੈ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਗੁਰੁ ਨਿਘਰਤ ਕਾਢਿ ਕਢਾਵੈਗੋ ॥: Pankaj moh nigharatu hai praanee Guru nigharat kaadhi kadhaavaigo (sggs 1311).
  • ਮੋਹ ਚੀਕੜਿ ਫਾਥੇ ਨਿਘਰਤ ਹਮ ਜਾਤੇ ਹਰਿ ਬਾਂਹ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਪਕਰਾਇ ਜੀਉ ॥: Moh cheekarri phaathe nigharat ham jaate Hari prabhoo pakaraai jeeou (sggs 446).
Filed Under: Bikaars, demerits, Passions, 5, five thieves, Gurbani, Maya, Illusion, Dream
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16 Comments Leave a Reply to Trilochan Singh Duggal

  1. Trilochan Singh Duggal

    Whether English language or English letters as in Roman writing, but it was not my intentional explanation for Shabad Guru. Sometimes the deep meaning of similar words with ‘Matras’ appear so apparent, but as the mind develops further and further the true meaning opens up and eventually one becomes totally immersed in HIS command. Reading and understanding is essential and grammar helps to achieve satisfaction. Please refer to Gurbani grammar by Professor Sahib Singh ji- karak roop and Bhai Kahan Singh ji-page 419. No one is perfect until salvation stage is accomplished, let us keep striving.

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