True Knowledge or the Knowledge of Truth (ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ) enables one to perceive the Aatmaa (Niraakaar-ਨਿਰਾਕਾਰ), and not notice the gross body. That is, when such a Gurmukh (or a Brahm Giaanee) sees somebody, he only perceives his Aatmaa, and he does not take notice of that person’s external appearance or his body.
In other words, if he perceives the external appearance of a person instead of the Aatmaa, then that person is not established in the Knowledge of Truth (ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ). Which means that person is simply a Manmukh (self-willed, who, because of his mind attached to the gross body only perceives the body, not the Aatmaa…). Remember that the Gurbani talks about two mentality-groups only: Gurmukh and Manmukhs. If one does not have a Gurmukh mentality, then he is a Manmukh.
How the person of the True Knowledge is able to see the Aatmaa in all? According to the Gurbani, when the Gur-Giaan abides in the mind, then God is naturally seen in all.
- ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਰਤਨੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਸਭੁ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥ Following the Guru’s Teachings, the Jewel of Spiritual Wisdom (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ…) abides in the mind, and then God is naturally seen in all. (sggs 1417).
In other words, a truly evolved soul such as a Gurmukh (Brahm Giaanee…) does not let his mind dwell on anything but the Formless One; for he has understood the nature of the Aatmaa through the Gur-Shabad.
- ਚਿਤ ਮਹਿ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਸਚਿ ਵਸੈ ਭਾਈ ਜੇ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਸਮੋਇ ॥੨॥: O brother! If the Guru’s spiritual Wisdom permeates (in one’s consciousness-ਚਿਤ ਵਿਚ ਟਿਕ ਜਾਏ), then the Lord abides in the consciousness (of that person). ||2|| (sggs 637).
Thus, Shabad-Vichaar or contemplation/reflection on the Gur-Giaan enables clarity of thought in the mind of a Gurmukh. So a Brahm Giaanee (a man of True Knowledge) sees only Aatmaa, and does not give importance to external appearances.
- ਨਾਨਕ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕਾ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥੩॥: O Nanak, the Brahm Giaanee – the knower of Truth – is absorbed in God’s Dhiaan (meditation) ||3|| (sggs 273).
- ਆਤਮ ਰਸੁ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਚੀਨਾ ॥: The Brahm Giaanee has known the Essence of the soul (ਆਤਮਾ ਦਾ ਆਨੰਦ). (sggs 272).
To the contrary, a Manmukh’s mind is often in a confused state. Why? Because he lacks the True Knowledge (ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ). Consequently, he sees only the body – he only takes notice of external appearances (Aakaar or ਆਕਾਰ instead Nirakaar or ਨਿਰਾਕਾਰ). Hence, he will keep spending his time and energy in worldly matters. For a true Giaanee, this would be an undesirable state of affairs, for he will make a full use of his Viveka-Budhi (discerning intellect).
The Gurbani tells us that contemplation (reflections, meditation…) on the Gur-Giaan rids our minds of confusion and doubt. The True Knowledge washes of the “filth” of ignorance and false ego-sense (Haumai) from within, enabling clarity of thoughts.
- ਅੰਤਰਿ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਹਉ ਬੁਧਿ ਹੈ ਸਚਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਲੁ ਖੋਹੁ ॥: Within the intellect are ignorance and ego; through the True Shabad, this filth is washed off (sggs 441).
The Gurbani asks us (including the so called Saints) to keep the Gurmukh company — beyond material nature; beyond the conditioned mind; beyond any illusion…
- ਸੰਤਹੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਗਤਿ ਪਾਈ ॥: O saints! (One) who become the Gurmukh, attains the state of Liberation (ਉੱਚੀ/ਗਿਆਨ ਵਾਲੀ ਆਤਮਕ ਅਵਸਥਾ…). (sggs 911).