ਨਾਚੁ ਰੇ ਮਨ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਆਗੈ ॥: Naachu re man gur kai aagai (sggs 506).

Cosmic Play, the Divine Leelaa, is the mystic dance of the Cosmic Energy encompassing Its Unmanifest and manifest form. From the Unmanifest comes the manifestation, the shadow. Also called Maya or material nature, the manifested (Sarguna, immanent, finite, bounded or differentiated) form of the Cosmic Energy is time-space-causation, the product of man's conditioned consciousness or false ego. While the Unmanifest (transcendent, infinite, unbounded or undifferentiated) nature is spaceless, timeless and causeless — hence called the Mool, Aatmaan, Spirit, Truth, Timelessness, Shakti (Energy or Bhagoutee), and so on. Therefore, the Mool was never created (Akaal Moorati Ajoonee Saibhang). Hence neither the manifest energy nor the Unmanifest Being was ever shaped or fashioned. It simply Is. Its names vary but not Its Essence.

  • ੴ ਸਤਿਨਾਮੁ ..॥: Ik Oankaar satinaam ..: There is One God. His Name is Truth — That which remains unchanged in all periods of Time: the past, present and the future (sggs 1).
  • ਸੁਅਸਤਿ ਆਥਿ ਬਾਣੀ ਬਰਮਾਉ ॥: Suasati aathi bani barmaau: Salutation to God who Himself is Maya, Word and Brahmaan (sggs 4).
  • ਆਪਹਿ ਗਾਵੈ ਆਪਹਿ ਨਾਚੈ ਆਪਿ ਬਜਾਵੈ ਤੂਰਾ ॥: Aapahi gaavai aapahi naachai aapi bajaavai tooraa: O Divine, You Yourself sing, and You Yourself dance. You Yourself blow the bugle (sggs 1252).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਮੋਹੁ ਉਪਜੈ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥: Haumai moh upjai Sansaraa: Out of ego and attachment, the world is born (sggs 1057).
  • The divine emanates existence and is itself beyond existence (Judaism, Daniel Matt).
  • One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Bible, Ephesians 4:6)
  • The Lord is the {vassal's higher self}; it is the Lord who acts in him and through him: "When you see the creature, you see the First and the Last, the Manifested and the Hidden." (Islam, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn al-`Arabi).
  • The supreme Self is neither born nor dies (Veda, Atmaan Upanishad 3).
  • This Essence is not born and can never die. It exists eternally. Some call it energy; others call it spirit. But what is it? No one knows. Any concept we have of what it is can only be an analogy...(Zen Buddhism, Dennis Genpo Merzel).
  • When the ego vanishes, you will realize that Brahman is your own inner consciousness (Ramakrishna).

Thus, in the nucleus of our True Being, there exists no separate identity or difference: all are one. In other words, deep within our Aatmaan we are identical with the Divine Light this very moment. It's the ego-mind that creates divisions or movements (duality or Doojaa Bhaav) in the bottomless pool of Pure Awareness. On account of our conditioned consciousness or spiritual ignorance, we assume separate identify from our Mool. This is the error. The purpose of all religions and the religious texts is to remove this error. The moment this error is eradicated, the True Identity shines forth again. Hence it's all in this body: there is nothing outside of it. As indicated in the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS), the mystery of this Cosmic dance is revealed to those who have realized the Mool within — the Spiritual experience of the liberated and blissful state of one's True Being.

  • ਮਨੁ ਭੂਲਉ ਭਰਮਸਿ ਆਇ ਜਾਇ ॥: Manu bhoolau bharamasi aai jaai: Movements — coming and going — is seen in the mind deluded by doubt (sggs 1187).
  • ਚੇਤਿ ਸੁਚੇਤ ਚਿਤ ਹੋਇ ਰਹੁ ਤਉ ਲੈ ਪਰਗਾਸੁ ਉਜਾਰਾ ॥: Chet suchet chit hoyi rahu tayu lai pargaas ujaaraa: When you are conscious in your Consciousness, you will be Enlightened and Illuminated (sggs 339).
  • ਮਨ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬੋਲੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਮਨ ਮਾਰੇ ਬਿਨੁ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਜੋ ਜਾਨੈ ਭੇਉ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਮਧੁਸੂਦਨੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣ ਦੇਉ ॥: Mann antri bolai sabh koee. Mann maare binu bhagati na hoee. Kahu Kabeer jo jaanai bheu. Manu madhusoodan tribhavan deu: Everyone speaks through the mind (ego). Without killing the mind (ego), devotional worship is not performed. Says Kabeer, one who knows the secret of this mystery, beholds within his own mind the Divine Being of the three worlds (sggs 392).
  • ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਸੁੰਨ ਕਾ ਜਾਣੈ ਭੇਉ ॥ ਆਦਿ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਦੇਉ ॥: Ghati ghati sunn kaa jaanai bheo. Aadi purakh niranjan deo: One who knows the mystery of God the Absolute, who pervades each and every heart, knows the Primal Being, the Immaculate Divine (sggs 943).
  • ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਸਬਦ ਭੇਦੁ ਨਹੀ ਆਇਆ ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਕਾਲੁ ਸੰਤਾਏ ॥: Jab lagu sabad bhed nahee aaiaa tabb lagu kaal santaaye: Jab lagu Shabad bhedu nahee aaiaa tab lagu kaalu santaae ||3||: As long as (the mortal) does not come to understand the mystery of the Shabad, he will continue to be tormented by Kaal (fear of death, ਮੌਤ ਦਾ ਡਰ ...) ||3||. (sggs 1126).
  • Freed from desire, you can see the hidden mystery. By having desire, you can only see what is visibly real (Taoism).

The Supreme Spirit, by eclipsing Itself in delusion or Maya, manifests as ever-changing material phenomena; hiding and distorting the Divine Presence (Mool) within. Therefore, the dance of Maya and its principle of relativity (duality or Doojaa Bhaav) is the dance of the external phases of consciousness: the dance of the unawakened mind, the dance of names and forms or time-space-causation, the dance of creation-preservation-destruction, the dance of false self or ego or objective human body, the dance of illusoriness or phenomenal world, the dance of unenlightened existence, the dance of Mayaic efforts or mayaic intellect, the dance of ignorance, the dance of body-consciousness or bondage, the dance of evil passions, the dance of conditioned consciousness, the dance of suffering, the dance of desires and fears, the dance of past-present-future, or simply the dance of Manmukhtaa (material consciousness).

  • ਸਕਤੀ ਘਰਿ ਜਗਤੁ ਸੂਤਾ ਨਾਚੈ ਟਾਪੈ ਅਵਰੋ ਗਾਵੈ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥: Saktee ghari jagatu sootaa naachai taapai avaro gaavai munmukhi bhagati na hoee: The world is asleep in Maya, the house of Shakti; it dances, jumps and sings in duality. The materialist or Manmukh has no devotion (sggs 506).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਅਲਖੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਲਖਿਆ ਵਿਚਿ ਪੜਦਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਸਭੋ ਜਗੁ ਸੋਇਆ ਇਹੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਿਉ ਜਾਈ ॥੧॥: Antar alakh na jaaee lakhiaa vich pardaa haumai paaiaa. Maya moh sabho jag soiaa ihu bharam kahahu kiou jaaee ||1||: The Unseen God dwells within (the Jeeva - an individual being), but (the Jeeva) cannot see (understand, comprehend, etc.) This; (because, within the Jeeva) is the veil of egotism. In emotional attachment to Maya, all the world is asleep. Tell me, how can this doubt (of the Jeeva's) be dispelled? ||1|| (sggs 205).
  • ਮਨੁ ਮੈਲਾ ਹੈ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ॥: Manu mailaa hai doojai bhaai: The mind is polluted by the love of duality (sggs 121).

The dance of the Unmanifest is Hidden, beyond the reach of the outer mind or the external phases of consciousness. It's the dance of "Nowness", which has no coming or going. It cannot be verbalized, heard or seen; for it is not physical. It can only be experienced within when the outer mind subsides and the mind of the Soul-consciousness shines forth. Hence this dance is Spiritual: Formless, Subtle, Light, Love, Spirit, Energy (Shakti), Unconditioned Consciousness, Celestial Silence or Peace or Dancing Emptiness (Sunn Samaadhi), Sahaj (natural state of Pure Being), Mool-realization, God-experience, Nirvana-experience, Jeevanmukti-experience, Shabad-Surti, Oneness, Turiyaa (Chauthaa Pada), Bliss, or simply Gurmukhtaa (Spiritual Awakening).

  • ਜੋ ਤੁਧੁ ਭਾਵਹਿ ਸੇਈ ਨਾਚਹਿ ਜਿਨ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਏ ॥: Jo tudhu bhaavahi seyee naachahi jin gurmukhi sabadi liv laaye (sggs 506).
  • ਨੇੜੈ ਨੇੜੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਕਹੈ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਭੇਦੁ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਕੋ ਲਹੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Nerrai nerrai sabhu ko kahai. Gurmukhi bhedu virala ko lahai ||1|| Rahaaou ||: Everyone says that (God) is near, (God)is near (i.e., just for the sakeing saying). But rare is that person, who, by becoming the Gurmukh, understands this mystery. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1139).
  • ਲਾਗੀ ਚੋਟ ਮਰੰਮ ਕੀ ਰਹਿਓ ਕਬੀਰਾ ਠਉਰ ॥: Laagee chot maramm kee rahio Kabeeraa thaur: Struck by the Mystery of the Divine, Kabeer remains silent (sggs 1374).

The Dance Of Maya:

The outer mind is born every moment. All concepts exist in this unsteady mind. On account of ignorance, when mind rests in false ego or distorted vision which is not based on fact, the consciousness becomes conditioned and reflects through the senses, from which arises the illusion of self-limitation of the consciousness. When thus repeatedly experienced and thought of, the ego-sense and the illusion of self-limitation acquire a false validity. Maya is the imagination of the deluded mind, that never ends, and never exists.

As defined in the Gurbani, the Maya is that hallucination which makes us (1) forget the Self ("Hari Visrai"), (2) gives rise to emotional attachment ("Moh Upjai"), and (3) creates duality ("Bhaau Doojaa") where there is none. Hence Maya, the inherent power of the Divine Energy, gives rise to the form: time-space-causation phenomena. In other words, our non-apprehension of Reality and the consequent misapprehensions are together called Maya: the play of the deluded or ego-mind. On account of the rise of false ego-sense, the form, objective body or the phenomenal world is seen. Therefore, all that is seen (form) is Maya's trap. To put it otherwise, egoism or nameness is creation. Every form so created is transient. Thus, the creation, preservation and destruction of the form is Maya's dance: the movement of the form as seen in the mirror of the ego-mind.

  • ਏਹ ਮਾਇਆ ਜਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਮੋਹੁ ਉਪਜੈ ਭਾਉ ਦੂਜਾ ਲਾਇਆ ॥: This is Maya, by which (1) "Hari" (Mool) is forgotten; (2) (worldly) attachment is born, and (3) the love of duality is set (sggs 921).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਪਿੜ ਬੰਧਿ ਨਾਚੈ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਣਿਆ ॥: Maya kaaran pirr bandhi naachai doojai bhaai dukh paavaniaa: For the sake of Maya, they set the stage and dance, but they are in love with duality, and they obtain only Dukha or suffering (sggs 122).
  • ਮਿਲਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਗਵਾਈ ॥: Mil Maya surti gavaayee: By associating with the Maya (illusion), the mortal loses Divine Understanding (sggs 989).

We, the Jeeva (ego or individual beings), with unending imaginations (ਮਾਇਕੀ ਫੁਰਨੇ) of the conditioned mind are the dancers in this Maya's dance. So long we continue to imagine the phenomenal world to be real, we subject ourselves to an unenlightened existence called the birth and death cycle — the experience of total pattern of successive earthly lives. So long the deluded body-mind-intellect personality continues, the dance of illusoriness also continues. As the doubts are removed, one realizes the transient nature of the world-appearance, fraught with impermanence and change, and the dance of Maya ceases to be. Then one awakens to Cosmic dance in his Pure Being, unbounded and undivided.

  • ਮਾਇਆ ਕੈ ਅਰਥਿ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਲੋਕ ਨਾਚੇ ਕੋ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੀ ॥: Maya kai arathi bahut lok naache ko viralaa tatu beechaaree: So many people dance for the sake of Maya; how rare are those who contemplate reality (sggs 506).
  • ਮਾਟੀ ਕੋ ਪੁਤਰਾ ਕੈਸੇ ਨਚਤੁ ਹੈ ॥ ਦੇਖੈ ਦੇਖੈ ਸੁਨੈ ਬੋਲੈ ਦਉਰਿਓ ਫਿਰਤੁ ਹੈ ॥: Maattee ko putaraa kaisae nachat hai. Dekhai dekhai sunai bolai daurio firat hai: How the puppet of clay (man with his perishable body) dances! He looks and listens, hears and speaks, and runs around (sggs 487)!
  • ਫਰੀਦਾ ਦੁਨੀ ਵਜਾਈ ਵਜਦੀ ਤੂੰ ਭੀ ਵਜਹਿ ਨਾਲਿ ॥ ਸੋਈ ਜੀਉ ਨ ਵਜਦਾ ਜਿਸੁ ਅਲਹੁ ਕਰਦਾ ਸਾਰ ॥: Fareedaa dunee vajaaee vajdee toon bhee vajahi naal. Soee jeeo na vajadaa jis alahu karadaa saar: O Fareed, the world dances to the tune of Maya, and you dance with it as well. That being alone does not dance with it, who is under the care of the Divine -- i.e., who has abanadoned Maya's attachment (sggs 1383).

The dance of Maya (or imagination) sets in motion with the birth of the body. In ignorance of the Unconditioned Reality (Mool), we perform causative or negative Karma (Mayaic efforts), which in turn keeps our worldly or transmigratory existence in a spin. To put it in simple language, the Sansaar or illusive flow of the world-appearance is the stage, on which we dance to the tune of our Mayaic efforts or Mayaic intellect. The result is repeated suffering.

  • ਜਿਉ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਭਾਵੈ ਤਿਵੈ ਨਚਾਵੈ ॥: Jiyu prabh bhaavai tivai nachaavai: As it pleases the Divine, people dance (sggs 278).
  • ਤ੍ਰਿਹੁ ਗੁਣ ਬੰਧੀ ਦੇਹੁਰੀ ਜੋ ਆਇਆ ਜਗਿ ਸੋ ਖੇਲੁ ॥: Trihu gun banddhee dehuree jo aaiaa jagi so khel: The three qualities of Maya hold the body in bondage; whoever comes into the world is subject to their play (sggs 21).
  • ਬੰਧਨ ਬੰਧਿ ਭਵਾਏ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਪਇਐ ਕਿਰਤਿ ਨਚੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਨਚਿ ਨਚਿ ਹਸਹਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਸੇ ਰੋਇ ॥: Badhan bandh bhavaaye soi. Paiai kirati nachai sabhu koi. Nach nach hasahi chalahi se roi: Bound in bondage, peole spin around. According to their actions, so do all people dance. Those who dance and dance and laugh (in attachment to Maya), will weep on their ultimate departure (sggs 465).
  • ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨ ਨਾਚੈ ਜਿਸੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਭੇਟੈ ਪੂਰਾ ॥: Kahu Nanak so bahuri na naachai jis gur bhettai pooraa: Says Nanak, one who meets with the True Guru (Realization of the Spirit, Self or Unconditioned Consciousness), does not have to dance the dance of reincarnation again (sggs 884).

The mind's love of Maya makes it dance to the beats of ignorance, restlessness, craving for sensual pleasures, fears, vagrant tendencies, defilements, unsteadiness, impurity, derangements, vain thoughts, attachments, undevelopment of the soul, and so on. Our minds are in bondage due to our desires and fears, and so on. Sufferings befall who cling to mind and body and are attached. Such ill-directed mind free to escape through the defiled senses wanders about as it likes, where it wishes, according to its liking. Torrents of evil passions — lust, anger, greed, attachment, self-conceit, enviousness, stubborn mindedness (with their numerous variations) — penetrate such undisciplined mind without any resistance. Suffering follows if one thinks, speaks, and acts with such an imbalanced and bonded mind.

  • ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਇਸੁ ਮਨਹਿ ਨਚਾਏ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਕਪਟੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਣਿਆ ॥: Maya mohu isu manahi nachaaye aantari kapatu dukhu paavaniaa (sggs 122).
  • ਛੂਟਨ ਕੋ ਸਹਸਾ ਪਰਿਆ ਮਨ ਬਉਰਾ ਰੇ ਨਾਚਿਓ ਘਰ ਘਰ ਬਾਰਿ ॥: Shootan ko sahasaa pariaa mann bouraa re naachio ghar ghar baari: Now unable to escape, O crazy mind, it is made to dance door to door (sggs 336).
  • ਰਾਜਿ ਰੰਗੁ ਮਾਲਿ ਰੰਗੁ ॥ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਤਾ ਨਚੈ ਨੰਗੁ ॥: Raaji rangu maali rangu. Rangi rattaa nachai nangu: Intoxicated with power and thrilled with wealth, people delight in their pleasures, and dance about shamelessly (sggs 142).
  • ਨਚਿ ਨਚਿ ਟਪਹਿ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਹਿ ॥: Nachi nachi tapahi bahatu dukhu paavahi: People dance and dance and jump all around (in Maya), but they only suffer in terrible pain (sggs 159).

"Anybody who has belly is Maya-stricken", declares the Gurbani. People do all sorts of things to fill this belly. Many do the dance of wandering around in the world; some dance in the street and beg; prostitute comes to dance in the bazaar and others do the dance of watching her; some do the dance of singing Kirtan for the sake of bread; some perform the dance of intoxication with power and wealth; while others dance with the musical instruments for enhancing physical health or for celebrating special events; and so on. Grasping to Maya, we become attached to its mirage-like appearance. Chasing it for the sake of sex, power, worldly profit and glory, we slip farther from the Truth.

  • ਕੇਤੇ ਨਚਹਿ ਮੰਗਤੇ ਗਿੜਿ ਮੁੜਿ ਪੂਰਹਿ ਤਾਲ ॥: Kate nachahi mangate girri murri poorahi taal: So many beggars dance, spinning around to the beat (sggs 464).
  • ਜਿਉ ਬੇਸ੍ਵਾ ਕੇ ਪਰੈ ਅਖਾਰਾ ॥...: Jiou besvaa ke parai akhaaraa. Kaapar pahiri karahi seegaaraa. Poore taal nihaale saas. Vaa ke gale jam kaa hai phaas: (The mentally blind, fool, sinner, corrupt, etc.) person is like the prostitute, who comes to dance, wearing beautiful clothes, decorated and adorned. She dances to the beat, exciting the breath of those who watch her. But, (because of her corrupt lifestyle - ਵਿਕਾਰੀ ਜੀਵਨ) the noose (or fear) of death is around her neck (sggs 1165).
  • ਨਿਰਤਿ ਕਰੇ ਬਹੁ ਵਾਜੇ ਵਜਾਏ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਅੰਧਾ ਬੋਲਾ ਹੈ ਕਿਸੁ ਆਖਿ ਸੁਣਾਏ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਲੋਭੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਅਨਲ ਵਾਉ ॥ ਦੀਵਾ ਬਲੈ ਨ ਸੋਝੀ ਪਾਇ ॥: Nirati karae bahu vaajae vajaaeae. Ihu mmanu andhaa bolaa hai kisu aakhi sunaaeae. Antari lobhu bharamu anal vaaau. Deevaa balai na sojhee paai: One may dance and play numerous instruments; but this mind is blind and deaf, so for whose benefit is this speaking and preaching? Deep within is the fire of greed, and the dust-storm of doubt. The lamp of knowledge is not burning within him, so he has no understanding (sggs 364).

The temple dancers tie bells around their ankles to earn their living. In hypocrisy, many dance to their showoff devotion. Many unrighteously dance to please God for hours, whilst their consciousness is filled with evil. With false intentions, many disciples play the music, and their so-called gurus dance and roll around in dust; all for the sake of bread. Many delight the dance of rhythmic hand-motions, peculiar body gestures, and so on.

  • ਘੂੰਘਰ ਬਾਧਿ ਭਏ ਰਾਮਦਾਸਾ ਰੋਟੀਅਨ ਕੇ ਓਪਾਵਾ ॥: Ghoonghar baadhi bhaye raamadaasaa rotteean kae opaavaa: The temple dancers tie bells around their ankles to earn their living (sggs 1003).
  • ਪਾਖੰਡਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਨਿਰਤਿ ਦੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥: Paakhandi bhagati nirati dukhu hoi: The dances and the worship of the hypocrites bring only suffering -- Dukh (sggs 364).
  • ਪਗ ਨਾਚਸਿ ਚਿਤੁ ਅਕਰਮੰ ॥ ਏ ਲੰਪਟ ਨਾਚ ਅਧਰਮੰ ॥: Pagg naachasi chitu akaramam. Ae lanpattt naach adharamam: You dance, but your consciousness is filled with evil. You are lewd and depraved - this is such an unrighteous dance! (sggs 1351).
  • ਪਉੜੀ ॥ ਸਚਾ ਅਲਖ ਅਭੇਉ ਹਠਿ ਨ ਪਤੀਜਈ ॥ ਇਕਿ ਗਾਵਹਿ ਰਾਗ ਪਰੀਆ ਰਾਗਿ ਨ ਭੀਜਈ ॥ ਇਕਿ ਨਚਿ ਨਚਿ ਪੂਰਹਿ ਤਾਲ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਕੀਜਈ ॥ ਇਕਿ ਅੰਨੁ ਨ ਖਾਹਿ ਮੂਰਖ ਤਿਨਾ ਕਿਆ ਕੀਜਈ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਹੋਈ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਕਿਵੈ ਨ ਧੀਜਈ ॥ ਕਰਮ ਵਧਹਿ ਕੈ ਲੋਅ ਖਪਿ ਮਰੀਜਈ ॥ ਲਾਹਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਜਈ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤੀ ਅਸਨੇਹਿ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਘੀਜਈ ॥੧੭॥: Pourree || Sachaa alakh abheou hathi n pateejaee ...: Pourree. The True, Unseen, Mysterious (God) is not won over by stubbornness. Some sing according to traditional Raag, but the Lord is not pleased by these Raag. Some dance and dance in perfect beat, but this is not the way of worship (either). Some refuse to eat; (tell me) what can be done with these fools? (i.e., how can it be explained to them that the Truth is not realized like this, etc.). By such acts, their thirst (desires) greatly increase; (consequently) nothing (done in stubbornness) can bring them satisfaction. Somany are tied down by rituals; they hassle themselves to death. In this world, the true profit (ਨਾਮ ਹੀ ਖੱਟੀ) comes by drinking in the Amrit Naam, Name of the Lord. By becoming the Gurmukh, (one) attains (the Bliss of) Bhagti (devotion) of the Lord ||17|| (sggs 1285).

The wind dances incessantly. Stars, planets and their moons dance in the space. Electrons dance around the nucleus of each atom in different circular orbits. According to the medical scholars, each cell of our very body is said to go through the dance of about six trillion reactions every second, and about 98 percent atoms of the human body dance to their end to exchange for the new ones every year.

  • ਖੰਡ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੰਡ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਨਾਚੇ ਜਿਨ ਲਾਗੀ ਹਰਿ ਲਿਵ ਤੁਮਾਰੀ ॥ ਜੀਅ ਜੰਤ ਸਭੇ ਹੀ ਨਾਚੇ ਨਾਚਹਿ ਖਾਣੀ ਚਾਰੀ ॥: Khand brahamand trai gun naache jin laagee har liv tumaaree. Jeea jant sabhe hee naache naachahi khaanee chaaree: The planets and solar systems dance in the Maya's three qualities. Those who are imbued in Your Divine Consiousness perform the dance (of walking in Your Bhaanaa or Will). The beings and creatures, and the four sources of creation dance in Maya (sggs 506).

The Spiritual Dance:

The experience of Spiritual dance is the ultimate maturing of the Jeeva (individual being) from the consciousness of the time-space-causation into the timeless-formless-causeless Mool. Hence, the Spiritual dance is not physical. Subjugation of the beat of Maya — freedom from all attachments and ignorance — is the end of the dance of conditioned mind, and the beginning of the Spiritual dance of the Unconditioned Consciousness. The reason we are unable to experience this Celestial dance at the present time is our animal nature.

  • ਢੀਲੁ ਰਬਾਬੀ ਬਲਦੁ ਪਖਾਵਜ ਕਊਆ ਤਾਲ ਬਜਾਵੈ ॥ ਪਹਿਰਿ ਚੋਲਨਾ ਗਦਹਾ ਨਾਚੈ ਭੈਸਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਰਾਵੈ ॥: Dheel rabaabee balad pakhaavaj kaooaa taal bajaavai. Pahiri cholna gadahaa naachai bhaisaa bhagati karaavai: (At the present) Our mind's animal nature plays the guitar of the elephant-nature (egoism); it plays drums of the ox-nature (indolence, ignorance, etc.); it plays cymbals of the crow-nature (material cleverness); and perform dance of the donkey-nature (lust), and perform devotional worship of the buffalo-nature — uncontrolled conduct or intoxication with Maya (sggs 477).

Played out in the eternity of the "now", the Spiritual dance is the dance of Enlightenment, Unconditioned Consciousness, Divine Vision (Darshan) or direct communion with the Mol within (Source...): recognition of Oneness of the world of plurality. To such a person, the ever changing phenomenal world is a dance of Joy in the Infinite Bliss. In other words, when the false ego-sense ("I-ness"), the mind-born son of the Unconditioned Reality is overcome, the trap of illusion known as mirage-like world-appearance ceases to be. This is Self-realization, the apprehension of the mystery of the Unconditioned Reality. Hence the Dance of the Supreme can only be experienced within, when the mind is fully surrounded on all sides by the intuitive Peace and Wisdom. Therefore, it can neither be fully described nor passed on to others like an empirical knowledge or a gift. By abiding deep within the nucleus of one's personality, one must search and experience it himself.

  • ਹਉ ਬਾਹੁੜਿ ਛਿੰਝ ਨ ਨਚਊ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਉਸਰੁ ਲਧਾ ਭਾਲਿ ਜੀਉ ॥੨੧॥੨॥੨੯॥: Haou baahurr shinjh n nachaooo Nanak aousar ladhaa bhaal jeeou ||21||2||29||: O Nanak! I have searched, and found this opportunity (of Naam-Simran). (As a result) I will not have to dance (or wander) in this wrestling arena (of the world, or of the life) again. ||21||2||29|| (sggs 74).
  • ਕਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਵਾਜਾ ਪਗ ਬਿਨੁ ਤਾਲਾ ॥: Kar binu vaajaa pag binu taalaa: Play the instrument without hands, and dance without feet. Pannaa (sggs 412).
  • ਮਨ ਰੇ ਛਾਡਹੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਪ੍ਰਗਟ ਹੋਇ ਨਾਚਹੁ ਇਆ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੇ ਡਾਂਡੇ ॥: Mann rae shaadahu bharam pragat hoi naachahu iyaa maya kae daandae: O people, O victims of this Maya, abandon your doubts and dance out in the open — surrender to the Divine within without fear and wavering (sggs 338).
  • The dance of the people of God is subtle and light. They walk like a leaf on water. On the inside, they are like a mountain, they are weighty like a hundred thousand mountains, but on the outside they are as light as straw. (Sufi Shams Tabriz).

How can we prepare ourselves for this Silence dance of the Transcendental Consciousness, which is performed without the help of physical hands, feet and musical instruments? In other words, what is the paraphernalia of this Unseen dance? How can we subjugate the beat of Maya on which this body-mind-intellect individuality keeps dancing? In other words, how can we replace the beat of Maya with the beat of the Transcendental Vibratory Sound of the Divinity within? The Gurbani offers us wonderful answers to all such inner inquiries.

The Gurbani urges us to do the following: control (purify) the conditioned mind; become detached and desireless; transform the animal nature of the mind into Divine Nature or Unconditioned Consciousness; make shedding of your egoism from within the beat of the drum; play this beat of the drum in the mind; make your hands the cymbals, your eyes the tambourine and your forehead the guitar you play; let the sweet flute music resound in your ears; move your mind like the rhythmic hand-motions; make tinkling of the ankle bells the shedding of sorrows and worries; make Celestial Bliss the dramatic body-gestures; make the Spiritual virtues your beautiful decorations; make your intellect your instrument, and love your tambourine; let the Divine Love be the perfect beat; let your two cymbals be the truth and contentment; let your ankle bells be the lasting Vision of the Divine; let your harmony and music be the elimination of duality; let the fear of God (morality...) within your heart and mind be your spinning dance; keep the company of the true seekers, who love the Divine Teachings of the Gur-Shabad (Gurmat); becoming a Spiritual being (Gurmukh); practice Naam-Simran; focus consciousness on the Divine; remain awake within; cultivate Divine Knowledge (Aatam Giaan) through the Shabad-Vichaar; know the Divine Unity within, "here" and "now"; live by the Hukam (Eternal Law, Will, etc.); eliminate evil passions, cravings, selfishness, fears, and doubts; and so on.

  • ਸਚਾ ਤਾਲੁ ਪੂਰੇ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਚੁਕਾਏ ਸਬਦੇ ਨਿਰਤਿ ਕਰਾਵਣਿਆ ॥: Sachaa taal poorae Maya mohu chukaaye sabadae nirati karaavaniaa (sggs 121).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਿਰਤਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਾਗੈ ਭਾਉ ॥: Gurmukhi nirati hari laagai bhaau: The Spiritual being's (Gurmukh) dance is to embrace love for the Divine (sggs 364).
  • ਕਰ ਕਰਿ ਤਾਲ ਪਖਾਵਜੁ ਨੈਨਹੁ ਮਾਥੈ ਵਜਹਿ ਰਬਾਬਾ ॥ ਕਰਨਹੁ ਮਧੁ ਬਾਸੁਰੀ ਬਾਜੈ ਜਿਹਵਾ ਧੁਨਿ ਆਗਾਜਾ ॥: Kar kari taal pakhaavaju nainahu maathai vajahi rabaabaa. Karanahu madhu baasuree baajai jihavaa dhuni aagaajaa: (Bring mind and consciousness in one tune - ਇਕ ਸੁਰ...) Make this the clapping of the hands, make eyes (inner eyes of Vichaar...) the drums, (then in the) forehead the Rabaab (or music automatically starts to) play - the sweet flute music resounds in ears, and Dhuni (sound) vibrates in tongue. (sggs 884).
  • ਨਾਰਦੀ ਨਰਹਰ ਜਾਣਿ ਹਦੂਰੇ ॥ ਘੂੰਘਰ ਖੜਕੁ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਵਿਸੂਰੇ ॥ ਸਹਜ ਅਨੰਦ ਦਿਖਾਵੈ ਭਾਵੈ ॥ ਏਹੁ ਨਿਰਤਿਕਾਰੀ ਜਨਮਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥: Naaradee narhad jaani hadoore. Ghoongar kharraku tiaag visoorae. Sahaj anand dikhaavai bhaavai. Ehu niratikaaree janam na aavai: To know the Divine is ever "here" and "now" is the Naarad-Bhagti, the tinkling of the ankle bells is the shedding of sorrows and worries, and the dramatic gestures of acting are celestial bliss. Such a dancer is not reincarnated again (sggs 885).
  • ਨਾਚਨੁ ਸੋਇ ਜੁ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਨਾਚੈ ॥ ਝੂਠਿ ਨ ਪਤੀਐ ਪਰਚੈ ਸਾਚੈ ॥: Naachan soi ju mann siau naachai. Jhooth na pateeai parachai saachai(sggs 872).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗਾਵੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਚੈ ਹਰਿ ਸੇਤੀ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਵਣਿਆ ॥: Gurmukh gaavai gurmukh naachai hari saetee chit laavaniaa: With their consciousness focussed on the Divine within, the Spiritual beings, Gurmukhs, sing Divine praises, and their mind perform the dance (of Simran or meditation) (sggs 124).
  • ਐਸੀ ਨਿਰਤਿ ਨਰਕ ਨਿਵਾਰੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਾਗੈ ॥: Aisee nirati narak nivaarai Nanak gurmukh jaagai: Such a dance eliminates hellish existence; O Nanak, the Spiritual being, Gurmukh, remains wakeful (sggs 381).
  • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਨਾਚੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਆਗੈ ਅਨਹਦ ਸਬਦ ਧੁਨਿ ਤੂਰ ਵਜਈਆ ॥: Ihu manu naachai satgur aagai anahad sabad dhuni toor vajeeaa: When this mind dances before the Satguru within, the unstruck Transcendental Vibratory Sound current resounds, vibrating the Celestial melody (sggs 834).
  • ਜਬ ਨਾਚੀ ਤਬ ਘੂਘਟੁ ਕੈਸਾ ਮਟੁਕੀ ਫੋੜਿ ਨਿਰਾਰੀ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਆਪੈ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੀ ॥: Jabb naachee tabb ghooghatu kaisaa matakee forri niraaree. Nanak aapai aapu pashaanai gurmukhi tatt beechaaree: Just as a woman when dancing does not cover her face with a veil, similarly, the seeker breaks the veil of of Maya and becomes detached. O Nanak, by becoming a Spiritual (Gurmukh), realize your own self, contemplate the essence of Reality (sggs 1112).
  • ਨਾਚੁ ਰੇ ਮਨ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਆਗੈ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਭਾਣੈ ਨਾਚਹਿ ਤਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਅੰਤੇ ਜਮ ਭਉ ਭਾਗੈ ॥: Naachu rae mann gur kai aagai. Gur kai bhaanai naachahi taa sukh paavahi antae jamm bhau bhaagai (sggs 506).

Thus, Realization of the Mool within is the Realization of the Undanced dance. Here ends the outer mind's dancing with Maya, followed by awakening of the Intuitive Peace or Stillness (Sunn, ceasing of the Mayaic thoughts...) within, the greatest achievement one can attain while living. When the Supreme Truth (Sat) is gradually and directly penetrated and experienced, the desires, fears, ignorance and related mental fetters maintaining bondage break asunder, and the seeker rises through successive stages of realization to the full attainment of Unconditioned Consciousness. The knower of such undivided rhythmic dance of the Pure Being within is liberated from Dukha (suffering): the dance of the birth-death cycle.

  • ਅਬ ਮੋਰੋ ਨਾਚਨੋ ਰਹੋ ॥: Ab moro naachano raho: Now I no more dance (to Maya). (sggs 1203).
  • ਪਾਖੰਡਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਨਿਰਤਿ ਦੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥੩॥ ਏਹਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਜਨੁ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰੈ ॥: Paakhand bhagti nirati dukh hoi. Ehaa bhagati janu jeevat marai ||3||: The dances of the show-off worship of the hypocrites bring only pain. True true devotion is to remain dead while yet alive -- to live in the world but without attachment to Maya ||3|| (sggs 364).
  • ਸੇਈ ਨਾਚਹਿ ਜੋ ਤੁਧੁ ਭਾਵਹਿ ਜਿ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੀ ॥: Saeee naachahi jo tudhu bhaavahi ji gurmukh sabad veechaaree: O Divine, they alone know the dance, who live Spiritual Life in accordance with Your Hukam (Will or Eternal Law), and who, as Spiritual beings (Gurmukhs), contemplate the Divine Word (sggs 506).

— T. Singh