The Gurbani is the Doctor of life and death!
The Gurbani — Brahm Giaan, Divine Wisdom or the Divine Virtues of the Gur-Shabad, Gur-Upadesh… — is the Spirituous “Medicine” that heals a sick mind that has been wounded by ignorance, Maya (illusion), doubts, duality, Haumai (“I-ness”)…
The question is: When does this experience of primary illusion (Maya) or sickness (infliction, pain, ਰੋਗ…) start?
The Gurbani indicates it all starts with childhood — the five elemental play. The function of childhood is to know that we exist (i.e., the self awareness, “I”-ness, Haumai, “I”-consciousness…). Prior to that, one has no experience of the “I”-consciousness. When this “I”-ness appears, the love for existence is the result of this primary illusion (i.e., Maya). Once a person comes to know that he exists, then, he feels like enduring eternally — always wants to exist, always wants to survive, always wants to prolong the life. And, all because of that Maya, thus the struggle begins! In other words, in the state of “I”-ness, one loves the state of being alive and wants to perpetuate it as long as possible! In nutshell, bound by Maya, man considers himself to be immortal!
- ਜਨਮਤ ਮੋਹਿਓ ਮੋਹਨੀ ਮਾਇਆ ॥: (But) ever since (man’s) birth, (he) has been enticed by the fascination of Maya (ਠਗਣੀ ਮਾਇਆ). (sggs 251).
- ਹੋਇ ਆਮਰੋ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਮਹਿ ਬੈਠਾ ਕਰਣ ਕਾਰਣ ਬਿਸਰੋਹੀ ॥੨॥: (Man bound by Maya) sits in his body-home considering himself to be immortal; and forgets the Cause of causes (Mool, Source…). ||2|| (sggs 609).
- ਜਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਾਣਾ ਤਾ ਜੰਮਿਆ ਪਰਵਾਰਿ ਭਲਾ ਭਾਇਆ ॥ ਲਿਵ ਛੁੜਕੀ ਲਗੀ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਅਮਰੁ ਵਰਤਾਇਆ ॥: Jaa tisu bhaanaa taa jammiaa… (sggs 921).
It’s not that Jeeva (individual beings) were born as two separate entities. No. The Jeeva is born as one, but he adopted the second aspect due to the mind’s love for Maya (illusion, ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ). Akin to split peas or split lentils (“ਦਾਲਿ”), the Jeeva identifies with his body, and thus behaves as split or separate from its Mool (Source, Origin, Jot, True Nature…).
- ਬੀਉ ਬੀਜਿ ਪਤਿ ਲੈ ਗਏ ਅਬ ਕਿਉ ਉਗਵੈ ਦਾਲਿ ॥ ਜੇ ਇਕੁ ਹੋਇ ਤ ਉਗਵੈ ਰੁਤੀ ਹੂ ਰੁਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: Beeou beeji pati lai gaye ab kiou ougavai daali... (sggs 468).
The reason “Hari Naamu” (“ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ”) or “Gur Sabadu” (“ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ“) is said to be the Ultimate Medicine is that it cures the sickness and diseases of the illusioned mind: ignorance, Maya (illusion), doubts, duality, Haumai (“I-ness”)…
- ਰੋਗ ਦੋਖ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਨਿਵਾਰੇ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਅਉਖਧੁ ਮਨ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਸਾਰੇ ॥: Through the Gur-Shabad (Gur-Upadesh, Brahm-Giaan, Divine Wisdom…), become free of the diseases and Vikaar (lust, etc.). Keep the mind under the control of the Naam-medicine (sggs 1148).
- ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਅਵਖਧੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਰਸੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਵੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Hari Hari Naamu… (sggs 374).
The Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani purifies the sense organs; concomitantly, the mind sheds all its Vikaar or Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.) and becomes pure. And when the mind is pure (filled with Naam, Shabad, Hukam…), the Word of the Gurbani becomes intelligible. Without such purification, it is not possible to understand and assimilate the Gurbani. Ultimately, that purification leads to Mool-realization, which is the purpose of life. By reflecting on the Gur-Shabad, Sach (ਸਚ, Truth…) gets predominant, the mind gets purified and then the Spiritual Wisdom is made possible.
- ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਏਹ ਪੂਜਾ ਥਾਇ ਪਾਈ ॥੫॥: By dying in the Shabad, the mind becomes Immaculate. O Saints! Such Poojaa is meaningful (acceptable, useful, etc.) ||5||. (sggs 910).
- ਮਨੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਪਰਤੀਤਿ ਹੋਇ ਹਉਮੈ ਤਜੇ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥: When one’s mind dies in the Shabad gains Knowledge and conviction, and (he) sheds egotism and “Vikaar” (sggs 162).
If and when the mind deviates from Sach (ਸਚ, Truth…), there is some disorder which is termed “sickness” (“ਰੋਗ”). On account of this disorder, the Rajo quality (ਰਜੋ ਗੁਣ) makes us wander in all directions, and the Tamo quality (ਤਮੋ ਗੁਣ) claims doership for those activities. Now, how do the doctors rectify our bodily sickness? We wait patiently in a doctor’s clinic, until the doctor is able to examine us, diagnose the problem and prescribe medicines. Similarly, approaching the Gurbani with the same patience and determination, we learn from the Gurbani, and acquire the Divine Wisdom quickly. This Ultimate Medicine of Truth rectifies the disorder of the mind and then the sickness is cured.
People who have their minds afflicted with this disorder (“sickness”) are called Manmukhs in the Gurbani. The people who have overcome this disorder by applying the Ultimate Medicine of the Gurbani’s Divine Wisdom (Upadesh…) are called Gurmukhs in the Gurbani.
- ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਰੋਗੀ ਰੋਗੀ ਸਗਲ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝਹਿ ਰੋਗੁ ਗਵਾਵਹਿ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਵੀਚਾਰਾ ॥੧॥: The Manmukh ever remains afflicted with the disease of duality; the entire (self-willed) world remains diseased. (But) the Gurmukh understands (ਸਹੀ ਜੀਵਨ-ਜੁਗਤਿ), and through Reflecting on the Gur-Shabad gets rid of the disease (from within). ||1|| (sggs 1130).
Shabad (Naam, Hukam, Brahm-Giaan…) is the antidote to the primary illusion (Maya). We see this in the world that those in power do not want anyone else to come to power. Also, those who are rich cannot tolerate anyone else becoming rich. However, the Gurbani is ever glad to instruct everybody! The Gurbani will show us how to discard what is unessential, and benefit from what is essential. Birds peck through dust and leaves to get at even a tiny grain that might lie hidden beneath. Likewise, the Gurbani shows us how to take only what is important, and ignore what is harmful.
- ਨਾਨਕ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਮਾਰਣੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥੨॥:O Nanak! Shabad is the killer of Maya (ਮਾਇਆ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਭਾਵ ਮੁਕਾਣ ਦਾ ਵਸੀਲਾ), and it is obtained by becoming the Gurmukh ||2|| (sggs 853).
- ਨਾਨਕ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਮਾਰਣੁ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥੧॥: Nanak maya kaa maaranu Hari Naamu hai gurmukhi paya jaai (sggs 513).
- ਜਲਤ ਅਨਿਕ ਤਰੰਗ ਮਾਇਆ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨ ਹਰਿ ਰਿਦ ਮੰਤ ॥: Jalat anik trang maya gur giaan hari rid mant (sggs 508).
Our minds are heavily conditioned, fragmented, and deep in contradiction. The Gurbani’s Divine Wisdom Guides us to reverse this whole process of chaos, conflict, to a state of Wisdom, simplicity, naturalness, and order (Sahaj)…
ਸੋ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਕਥੀਅਲੇ ਸੋ ਵੈਦੁ ਜਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਰੋਗੀ ॥: One is said to be a Guru, a Sikh, and a physician, who knows the patient’s illness (sggs 503).