Pursuit of Knowledge must lead to truthful living. Therefore, unless Knowledge changes one’s life in the direction of Truth — man’s essential state — it’s useless. One can spend all his life hearing about Truth; reading loads of books about Truth; contemplating day and night on Truth; teaching or preaching Truth; writing volumes about Truth; giving sermons on Truth; following all religions, paths or cults of the world; but none of these will help Realize the Divine Presence within unless one lives a truthful life in the “now” and “here”. Baabaa Nanak says:
- ਸਚਹੁ ਓਰੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਉਪਰਿ ਸਚੁ ਆਚਾਰ ॥੫॥: Sachahu orai sabh kayu upari sach aachaar ||5||: Everything is underneath (lower than, ਉਰ੍ਹੇ, …) Truth; the truthful living (living with Truth) is the highest (i.e., the superior form of living, ਸਭ ਤੇ ਉੱਪਰ …) ||5|| (sggs 62).
- ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਮਹਲੁ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਸਾਚੁ ਨ ਚੀਤਿ ॥: Tab lag mahal na paaeeai jab lag saach n cheeti: As long as the Truth does not enter into the consciousness, the Divine Presence is not realized (sggs 58).
The realm of Truth is pathless. Inward Divine Realization is complete only when we come to assert and actually live the Truth. Without such positive assertion, the seeker may reach only the dull void which in itself is not the fulfillment of man’s inward Realization of the Reality. For instance, removing thirst is not the fulfillment of drinking water, but it must provide to the drinker the positive joy of fullness and comfort. Therefore, as indicated in the Gurbani, the stress should be laid on practice (ਅਮਲ – implementation, living the Truth …). Above all religions is this One Religion of Truth.
Living truthfully means living righteously. This is Dharma or True Religion — nondogmatic and nonsectarian. The practice of this Religion of truthfulness is Light: Love, Naam-consciousness or Shabad-Surti, God-consciousness, Spirituality, Divine Life, Harmony, Peace, Spiritual Beauty and Power, Knowledge, Forgiveness, Objectivity, Timelessness, Pure Being, Oneness, Detachment, Viveka, Selflessness, Fearlessness, Freedom, Stillness, and so on.
To the contrary, performing untruthfully or unrighteously is irreligiousness or Adharma: egoism, ignorance, materiality, divided consciousness (Doojaa Bhaav or duality), fanaticism, fear, hatred, revenge, sense-slavery, reaction, “I, me, mine, you”, time and space, names and forms, prejudices, differences, conflicts, divisiveness, bondage, perverted understanding, possessiveness, hurt, clouded judgment, falsehood, corruption, crookedness, misery, pain and suffering, inner restlessness, acquisition and rejection, and so on.
At present, all organized religions are dogmatic and sectarian. Why? Because they are mixture of Divine “truth” and human “error”. It is the human “error” that makes the religion dogmatic and sectarian. Once the human “error” — all nonessentials — from a religion is completely removed, only Divine “truth” remains over. And then the religion becomes what it is meant to be: it becomes Dharma or True Religion.
- ਕੂੜਹੁ ਕਰੇ ਵਿਣਾਸੁ ਧਰਮੇ ਤਗੀਐ ॥: Koorhahu karae vinaas dharamae tageeai: Spiritually, one is destroyed through falsehood; through Dharma, one prospers (sggs 518).
- ਨਹ ਬਿਲੰਬ ਧਰਮੰ ਬਿਲੰਬ ਪਾਪੰ ॥: Nah bilanb dharamam bilamb paapam: Do not delay in practicing Dharma; delay in committing sins (sggs 1354).
- But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Bible, Mat 6:33).
- Of the falsehood there is no endurance; and of the Truth there is no change (Gita 2:16).
- But the raiment of righteousness- that is the best (Quran 7:26). Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and rancour (Quran 5:2).
- Lead others, not by violence, but by righteousness and equity ….Righteousness can be practised only when we have freed our mind from passions of egotism (The Gospel Of Buddha, compiled by Carus) ….But one in whom truth and righteousness exist –such a one is pure and is a holy person (Buddha, Dhammapada:393).
- ਕਿਵ ਸਚਿਆਰਾ ਹੋਈਐ ਕਿਵ ਕੂੜੈ ਤੁਟੈ ਪਾਲਿ ॥ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਰਜਾਈ ਚਲਣਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੧॥: How can you become Truthful (“Sachiaaraa”)? How can the wall of falsehood (Koorh) be torn away? (The process, ਵਿਧੀ, ਤਰੀਕਾ…) is that (one should) walk (in the Way) of the Hukam (the System or Law of Nature…). O Nanak! (this process…) has been pre-ordained. ||1|| (sggs 1).