ਵਿਣੁ ਗੁਣ ਕੀਤੇ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥: Vinu gun keete bhagti n hoi: (sggs 4).

The majority of us are Manmukhs (self-willed...). Essentially a Manmukh is an egoist being who lacks Divine understanding (Aatam-Giaan). As a result, he does not know who he is! Due to ignorance and doubts, he is unaware of his Mool (ਮੂਲ-Source, Origin...) which is ever present within. In this ignorance of his True Nature, many wrong notions, ideas, concepts, and precepts arise about himself and God as he identities with his body-mind-intellect personality (body-consciousness). As a consequent of such bewilderment caused by confusions and doubts, he takes himself as "mortal'', "different from his Real Self'', "helpless", "miserable", and "limited''. Thus, owing to this fundamentally wrong self-identity, man creates separation (veil of false egoism) between himself and the Reality where there is none!

  • ਸੇ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਜੋ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ॥: Se manmukh jo Sabadu n pachhaanahi (sggs 1054).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਅਲਖੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਲਖਿਆ ਵਿਚਿ ਪੜਦਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਸਭੋ ਜਗੁ ਸੋਇਆ ਇਹੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਿਉ ਜਾਈ ॥੧॥: Antari alakh n jaaee lakhiaa vichi paridaa haumai paaiaa. Maya mohi sabho jagi soiaa ihu bharami kahahu kiou jaaee ||1|| (sggs 205).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖੀ ਦੁਹਾਗਣਿ ਨਾਹਿ ਭੇਉ ॥: Manmukhee duhaagan naahi bheou (sggs 1170).
Thus, as declared in the Gurbani, there are very "rare" ones in this world who get to experience the Mool within. The SGGS (Sri Guru Granth Sahib) reveals this truth to us as follows:
  • ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਕੋਟਨ ਮੈ ਕੋਊ ਭਜਨੁ ਰਾਮ ਕੋ ਪਾਵੈ ॥੨॥੩॥: Jan Nanak kotan mai kou bhajanu raam ko paavai ||2||3|| (sggs 219).
  • ਕੋਟਨ ਮੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਕੋਊ ਨਾਰਾਇਨੁ ਜਿਹ ਚੀਤਿ ॥੨੪॥: Kotan mai Nanak ko-oo naarainu jih cheeti ||24|| (sggs 1427).
One may ask, "Why is it so difficult to Realize the Absolute Truth?" What are we lacking? What is it that keep us from Realizing the Mool within? What must we do to experience It? The Gurbani provides us with an authoritative answer and direction as follows:
  • ਵਿਣੁ ਗੁਣ ਕੀਤੇ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥: Vinu gun keete bhagti n hoi(sggs 4).
What it essentially means is that in order to become a fit spiritual student (Sikh) for Spiritual Realization, one has to become a divine-individual (the Gurmukh) fully endowed with some special Divine Qualities. In turn, these divine qualities will assist him in Bagati (understanding of the Gurbani's Giaan or Gurmat).

Dinine Virtues and the Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan) go hand in hand. These observations are helpful:

  • Discrimination of Real and unreal
  • Dispassion or detachment from the unreal
  • Mental control
  • Physical control
  • Self-control and discipline
  • Endurance or forbearance
  • Faith
  • Equanimity
  • Intense longing for Self-realization
Discrimination Of The Real And Unreal: Discriminating Intellect is known as Bibek-Budhi. Without it, man is unable to discriminate between the Eternal (Permanent) and the ephemeral (impermanent). This subtle sense of discrimination helps one to know the difference between Sat & Asat (Truth and falsehood). Thus, a person with discrimination knows that the Absolute Reality alone is Eternal (Sat) and that everything else in this material world being in the framework of time and space is temporary (Asat). The Gurbani says that withoutBibek-Budhi, this precious human life is a total waste:
  • ਦੁਲਭ ਜਨਮੁ ਪੁੰਨ ਫਲ ਪਾਇਓ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਾਤ ਅਬਿਬੇਕੈ ॥: Dulabh janamu punn phal paaio birathaa jaat abibekai (sggs 658).
  • ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੁਧੀ ਸੁਖਿ ਰੈਣਿ ਵਿਹਾਣੀ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸਾ ॥: Bibek budhi sukhi raini vihainee gurmati naami pragaasaa (sggs 772).
  • ਸੋ ਧਨਵੰਤਾ ਜਿਸੁ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ॥: So dhanvantaa jisu budhi bibek (sggs 1150).
  • ਬੂਝੈ ਬੂਝਨਹਾਰੁ ਬਿਬੇਕ ॥: Boojhai bujhanhaaru bibek (sggs 285).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਲੋਭ ਹਲਕੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਭਾਰੀ ਬਿਨੁ ਬਿਬੇਕ ਭਰਮਾਇ ॥੧॥: Antar lobh halaku dukhu bhareei binu bibek bharmaai ||1|| (sggs 1132).
  • ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ॥੩॥: Sadhsangati mili budhi bibek ||3|| (sggs 377).
Dispassion Or Detachment From The Unreal: Dispassion or detachment (or Bairagya ) is the absence of sensual attachment to accepting things for one's own sense gratification. In other words, detachment towards that which are temporary in life (unreal) and attachment to Mool (Real) only constitute. Such detachment must be consequent to developing the quality of discrimination; otherwise detachment will result because of frustration in life and not out of conviction!

Detachment does not mean that one should become inactive or idle. It simply means not to get attached to Maya. One who has developed the most intense Bairaag is never influenced adversely by the inherent charm of the mundane objects. He is fully aware that attachment to the enchanting worldly objects are full of suffering and would deviate a seeker of Truth from the Spiritual Path. Accordingly, he looks upon sense objects with an eye of detachment.

In short, Bairaag is a complete attachment to Spirit, and complete detachment from matter. Therefore, in order to develop intense Bairaag, one's activities must be God-centered. The Divine himself is a Bairaagee. He is in everything yet he is out of everything. He is so near yet he is faraway. In order to merge with such Bairaagee one has to become Bairaagee himself while incarnated.

  • ਮਨਿ ਬੈਰਾਗੁ ਭਇਆ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਦੇਖਣੈ ਕਾ ਚਾਉ ॥: Mani bairaagi bhaiaa darsanu dekhnai kaa chaaou (sggs 50).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬੈਰਾਗ ਨ ਛੂਟਸਿ ਮਾਇਆ ॥੧॥: Bini bairaag n shootasi maya ||1|| (sggs 329).
  • ਮਨਿ ਬਿਰਾਗੈਗੀ ॥ ਖੋਜਤੀ ਦਰਸਾਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Mani bairagegee. Khojatee darasaar ||1||Rahaaou|| (sggs 1230).
  • ਪੂਰਬ ਕਰਮ ਅੰਕੁਰ ਜਬ ਪ੍ਰਗਟੇ ਭੇਟਿਓ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਰਸਿਕ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ॥: Poorab karma ankur jab pragte bhaitio purakhu rasik bairaagee (sggs 204).
Mental Control: Mind is the controller of the senses and sense organs (Indrees or Indriyas). Therefore, mind is the generating place of carnal desires (Vaasnaas) and related fears. Insulated by these desires, man remains in material bondage and separated from his Mool. One of the widely quoted verses of the Gurbani says "Man jeetai jag jeet" meaning that, one who has conquers his mind conquers the material world (sggs 6).

Therefore, in order to become fit for Bhakti or Bhagti one has to establish complete control over his mind. One who has implacably discarded the enjoyment of sense objects for the gratification of senses is said to have control over his mind. If, however, there is a slightest desire for sense gratification, the mind can not be said to have been controlled, even though one may think it is under control. To put it otherwise, the mind that does not get disturbed by the changes in the material world is said to have attained control. That is to say, the mind empty of mundane thoughts (ਫੁਰਨੇ) can easily join with its Mool, while mind full of mundane thoughts remain detached from the Mool. God-realization is said to be beyond the power of thoughts. Our logic fails here. No wonder the Gurbani has addressed mind thousands of times!

  • ਮਨਿ ਮੈਲੈ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥: ani mailai bhagti n hovayee Naamu n paaiaa jaai (sggs 39).
Physical Control: Man controlled by the sense pleasures is spiritually blind. Physical control means control of the external senses. Human body is equipped with ten sense organs. Five of which are known as cognitive organs (taste, smell, seeing, word, and touch), and the remaining five are called conative organs (legs, hands, tongue, anus, and genital). As the mind is controlled, we also learn to control the external sense organs. Control at the physical level can be very helpful, because happenings at the external level can effect the atmosphere of the mind.
  • ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਰਿਦ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਧਾਰੈ ॥ ਪੰਚ ਜਨਾ ਸਿਉ ਸੰਗੁ ਨਿਵਾਰੈ ॥ ਦਸ ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਕਰਿ ਰਾਖੈ ਵਾਸਿ ॥ ਤਾ ਕੈ ਆਤਮੈ ਹੋਇ ਪਰਗਾਸੁ ॥੧॥: Gur kaa sabadu rid antari dhaarai. Panch janaa siou sangu nivaarai. Das indree kari rakhai vasi. Takai aatamai hoi pargaasu ||1|| (sggs 236).
  • ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਜਿਤ ਪੰਚ ਦੋਖ ਤੇ ਰਹਤ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਕੋਟਿ ਮਧੇ ਕੋ ਐਸਾ ਅਪਰਸ ॥੧॥: Indree jit panch dokh te rahat Nanak koti madhe ko aisaa aparas||1|| (sggs 274).
  • ਉਰਝਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਰਸ ਪ੍ਰੇਰਿਓ ਬਿਖੈ ਠਗਉਰੀ ਖਾਵਤ ਹੇ ॥੧॥: Urjhi rahio indree ras prerio bikhai thagouree khavat hai ||1|| (sggs 821).
  • ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਦਸੇ ਦਸੇ ਫੁਨਿ ਧਾਵਤ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣੀਆ ਖਿਨੁ ਨ ਟਿਕਾਵੈਗੋ ॥:Indree dasai dasai phuni dhaavat trai guneeaa khinu n tikavaigo (sggs 1310).
Self-Control And Discipline: It includes purity of mind, contentment in all situations, interiorization of the mind, and sincere Bhagti. By practicing self-discipline, one learns not to accept everything that is harmful to Spiritual Progress (Aatam-Giaan...). Our senses are continually wander for sense gratification. Due to love of Maya, the mind also remains unstable. The idea is not to cater to these demands of the senses and mind. When we have gained some degree of control over mind and senses, self-control and discipline automatically takes place.
  • ਜਤੁ ਸਤੁ ਸੰਜਮੁ ਸਾਚੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਇਆ ਸਾਚ ਸਬਦਿ ਰਸਿ ਲੀਣਾ ॥੧॥: Jatu satu sanjamu saachu drirraaiaa saach sabadi rasi leenaa ||1|| (sggs 907).
  • ਸਤੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਨਗਰ ਮਹਿ ਕਾਰੀ ॥ ਜਤੁ ਸਤੁ ਸੰਜਮੁ ਸਰਣਿ ਮੁਰਾਰੀ ॥: Sati santokhu nagar mahi kaaree. Jatu satu sanjamu sarani muraaree (sggs 1037).
Endurance Or Forbearance: Forbearance represents man's capacity for tolerance or mental evenness, forgiveness, and humbleness or humility. This quality enables us to endure pleasure and pain, and other pairs of opposite presented by this material world of pluralities (duality or Doojaa-Bhaav). Therefore, the Gurbani urges us to bear good and bad, hot and cold, sufferings and joy, insult and praise, and so on, with mental evenness.
  • ਸੁਖੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਦੋਨੋ ਸਮ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਨੈ ਅਉਰੁ ਮਾਨੁ ਅਪਮਾਨਾ ॥ ਹਰਖ ਸੋਗ ਤੇ ਰਹੈ ਅਤੀਤਾ ਤਿਨਿ ਜਗਿ ਤਤੁ ਪਛਾਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਉਸਤਤਿ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਦੋਊ ਤਿਆਗੈ ਖੋਜੈ ਪਦੁ ਨਿਰਬਾਨਾ ॥ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਇਹੁ ਖੇਲੁ ਕਠਨੁ ਹੈ ਕਿਨਹੂੰ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਾਨਾ ॥੨॥੧॥ : Sukhu dukhu dono sam kari jaanai aouru maanu apamaanaa. Harakh sog te rahai ateetaa tini jagi tatu pashaanaa. Usatat nindaa do-oo tiaagai khojai padu nirabaanaa. Jan Nanak ihu khel kathan hai kinahoon gurmukhi jaanaa ||2||1|| (sggs 219).
  • ਮਨ ਜਿਉ ਅਪੁਨੇ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਭਾਵਉ ॥ ਨੀਚਹੁ ਨੀਚੁ ਨੀਚੁ ਅਤਿ ਨਾਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਹੋਇ ਗਰੀਬੁ ਬੁਲਾਵਉ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Man jiou apune prabh bhaavaou. Neechahu neech neech ati naanaa hoi greeb bulaavaou ||1||Rahaaou|| (sggs 529).
  • ਨਾ ਇਸੁ ਉਸਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਇਸੁ ਸੀਤੁ ॥: Naa isu ousanu nahee isu seetu (sggs 868).
Faith: Faith is firmly believing in the essence of the teachings of the Gurbani. Faith can help us to attempt at a clear and deeper understanding of the Gurbani.
  • ਜੋ ਜੋ ਸੁਨੈ ਪੇਖੈ ਲਾਇ ਸਰਧਾ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਦੁਖੁ ਭਾਗੈ ॥: Jo jo sunai pekhai laeai sardhaa taa kaa janam maran dukhu bhaagai (sggs 381).
  • ਜੋ ਜਨੁ ਸੁਣੈ ਸਰਧਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਸੇਤੀ ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਿਸਤਾਰੇ ॥੧॥: Jo janu sunai sardhaa bhagti setee kar kirpaa hari nisataare ||1|| (sggs 493).
  • ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੇ ਸੇਵਕ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਅਤਿ ਨੀਕੇ ਮਨਿ ਸਰਧਾ ਕਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਧਾਰੇ ॥ ਮੇਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਸਰਧਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਵੈ ਜਨ ਕੀ ਪੈਜ ਸਵਾਰੇ ॥੧॥: Parabh ke sevak bahutu ati neeke mani saradhaa kari hair dhaare. Mere prabhi saradhaa bhagti man bhavai jan kee paij sawaare ||1|| (sggs 982).
  • ਮਿਲਿ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਸਰਧਾ ਊਪਜੈ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਚਾਖੁ ॥: Mili sangati saradha upajai gur sabadee hari rasu chaakhu (sggs 997).
  • ਜਾ ਕੈ ਰਿਦੈ ਬਿਸ੍ਵਾਸੁ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਆਇਆ ॥ ਤਤੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਤਿਸੁ ਮਨਿ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਾਇਆ ॥: Ja kai ridai visvaasu prabh aaiaa. Tatu giaan tisu mani pragataaiaa (sggs 285).
Equanimity: Equanimity is the single pointedness of the mind imbued in Shabad-Vichar, etc. The mind restrained from sense-experiences becomes established in a state of equanimity and purity, free from the memories of the past and worries of the future. Such a mind is said to be fit to fully concentrate upon the Supreme Reality. A person of equanimity can never deviate from the Spiritual Path; like the sky, he will not be tainted by distractions.
  • ਥਿਰੁ ਘਰਿ ਬੈਸਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਜਨ ਪਿਆਰੇ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਤੁਮਰੇ ਕਾਜ ਸਵਾਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Thiru ghar ibaisahu hari jan piaare. Satiguri tumare kaaj savaare ||1||Rahaaou|| (sggs 201).
Intense Longing For Self-Realization: Self-realization or Self rediscovery means freedom or liberation from contaminated consciousness (false self or egoism or Haumai) and linking with the Mool (Source, Origin...) within. When man becomes free from the influence of the illusory material energy (Maya), he attains Liberation.

According to the Gurbani, the purpose of human life is to attain Freedom from the repeated suffering and the fear of death. Accordingly, this is a very fundamental qualification for contemplation (Bhagti, Shabad-Vichaar...). It is said that other divine qualities will follow if we have a burning yearning within for Self-realization.

  • ਉਪਜੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਰਸੁ ਚਾਉ ॥ ਮਨ ਤਨ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਇਹੀ ਸੁਆਉ ॥: Upajee preeti prem rasu chaaou. Man tan antari ihee suaaou (sggs 290).

With intense longing for Spiritual Realization comes the Awareness that we are Spirit Soul, for God has made us in His Pure Image (Joti-Svaroopa). Divine Grace is directly proportional to the intensity of one's love for the Mool. Accordingly, the Gurbani tells us to abandon our longing for the worldly objects, and, instead, develop intense yearning for our the Mool. An illustration of such longing is given in the Gurbani as follows:

  • ਗੋਂਡ ॥ ਮੋਹਿ ਲਾਗਤੀ ਤਾਲਾਬੇਲੀ ॥ ਬਛਰੇ ਬਿਨੁ ਗਾਇ ਅਕੇਲੀ ॥੧॥ ਪਾਨੀਆ ਬਿਨੁ ਮੀਨੁ ਤਲਫੈ ॥ ਐਸੇ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਬਾਪੁਰੋ ਨਾਮਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਜੈਸੇ ਗਾਇ ਕਾ ਬਾਛਾ ਛੂਟਲਾ ॥ ਥਨ ਚੋਖਤਾ ਮਾਖਨੁ ਘੂਟਲਾ ॥੨॥ ਨਾਮਦੇਉ ਨਾਰਾਇਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਗੁਰੁ ਭੇਟਤ ਅਲਖੁ ਲਖਾਇਆ ॥੩॥ ਜੈਸੇ ਬਿਖੈ ਹੇਤ ਪਰ ਨਾਰੀ ॥ ਐਸੇ ਨਾਮੇ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਮੁਰਾਰੀ ॥੪॥ ਜੈਸੇ ਤਾਪਤੇ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਘਾਮਾ ॥ ਤੈਸੇ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਬਾਪੁਰੋ ਨਾਮਾ ॥੫॥੪॥: Mohe laagtee taalaabelee... (sggs 874).
Tool For Self-Analysis: The degree of our success in Spiritual endeavors will depend to the degree Ddivine Qualifications are awakened in us. Accordingly, they can be used as a tool for self-analysis. No other mundane qualification matters.These Divine Qualities help one to become God-centered person (the Gurmukh).

Divine Attributes are part of man's True Nature (Soul-consciousness). However, in most part they lie dormant in us. The Divine Virtues are ideal of a sincere seeker. By keeping them in mind, we can practice and guide our self-efforts to cleanse the mind of conditioning...

By constant practice one surely can gain the Realization of the Mool. On the other hand, by merely performing fruitive activities or superficial religious rituals, one surely faces the danger of gliding down again into the cycle of repeated suffering.

Attention, concentration, and contemplation leads one enters into the deeper meaning of the Gurbani. The more we reflect on the Gurbani, the more we realize its inner meanings.

— T. Singh