O Kabeer! The snake of separation (from the Mool, Source, Origin...) abides within the mind;
it does not comply with any mantra (does not acknowledge Gur-Giaan;
Gurbani's Teaching, Instruction, Wisdom; Naam; Gurmukh Lifestyle...). (sggs 1368).

The idea of separateness arises when, in ignorance, we think that we are the individuals, that there is the world and that there is God beyond the cosmos. But in reality, neither God nor the universe nor the cosmos is separate from us. It is the man's conditioned consciousness, limited state of understanding, thoughts-stuff, vanities, self-conceit, material concepts, Mayaic intellect, extroverted mind or false ego (Haume or false "I-ness") that forms the sense of separateness from the Source (Mool). Being timeless, spaceless, nameless and attributeless, the Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...) as such is indivisible.

However, false ego gives one the false sense or notion of separateness as an individual. In other words, whenever there is a sense of individuality or "I am the body" idea, it causes apparent separation in the Conscious Principle. To live life in a sense of separate identity constitutes bondage Mayaic lifestyle). In essence, therefore, separation is none other than the obliviousness of our Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...), which gives rise to the sense of duality or "two-ness" (Doojaa Bhaav). Wherever there is a sense of separateness from the Mool there is agitation and movement in the consciousness until this sense of separateness is lost. This false sense of separateness is also called Maya or illusion. As defined in the Gurbani, this Mayaic illusion is such that it makes us forget the Mool ("Hari Visrai"), gives rise to emotional attachment ("Moh Upjai"), and creates duality ("Bhaau Doojaa") where there is none.

  • ਦੁਰਜਨੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਭਾਉ ਹੈ ਵੇਛੋੜਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਰੋਗੁ ॥: Durjan doojaa bhaav hai veshoraa haumai rog: Duality is the evil person; and the disease of egotism is the separation (from God) (sggs 1094).
  • ਏਹ ਮਾਇਆ ਜਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਮੋਹੁ ਉਪਜੈ ਭਾਉ ਦੂਜਾ ਲਾਇਆ ॥: Eh Maya jit Hari visrai moh upjai bhaau dooja laya: This is Maya, by which the Lord is forgotten; emotional attachment and love of duality is born (sggs 921).
  • ਕਾਹੇ ਗਰਬਸਿ ਮੂੜੇ ਮਾਇਆ ॥: Kaahe garbas moorhay maaiaa: You fool! Why are you so proud of Maya? (sggs 23).

To further understand "separation", consider the following. The wave is the cover on the ocean; ornament is the cover on the gold; and the pot is the cover on the clay. Similarly, false ego is the cover, movement or screen on our Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...). For the wave to think it is separate from the ocean is its ignorance. Also, for the ornament and pot to think they are separate from their source — that is the gold and the clay, respectively — is their mistake. In reality, the wave and the ocean are just the same water. There is no difference, although they appear to be different. The difference is created only by the name and form only. It is only when the wave identifies itself with the name and form assumes itself to be separate. In the same way, when the false "I" identifies with the body-mind, it sees the objective world of names and forms, and mistakenly takes itself to be separate from the Ultimate Truth. But in reality, there is "no-two". All Consciousness is one, massive Homogenous Unity. In other words, when the Consciousness identifies with the name, form, time, space, color and attributes, it itself causes the sense of separateness.

  • ਆਪੇ ਫਰਕੁ ਕੀਤੋਨੁ ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਆਪੇ ਬਣਤ ਬਣਾਵਣਿਆ ॥: Aape farak keeton ghat antar aapay banat banaavaniaa: The Consciousness itself instills the sense of separation within our hearts; it itself creates this objective world (sggs 125).
  • ਸੰਜੋਗੁ ਵਿਜੋਗੁ ਉਪਾਇਓਨੁ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟੀ ਕਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਰਚਾਇਆ ॥: Sanjog vijog upaaion saristee kaa mool rachaaiaa: The appearance of union and separation is the foundation of the Universe (sggs 509).
  • ਚੰਚਲ ਚਪਲ ਬੁਧਿ ਕਾ ਖੇਲੁ ॥: Chanchal chapal budh kaa khel: Body is the play-thing of fickle and unsteady intellect (sggs 152).

The sense of separateness is sustained by the body apparatus, which is the play of Maya. In other words, all separateness comes via mind and body. Now that we identify with the body we think that we are separate from the Source — the Mool. Thus the separation starts from within. When the ocean is there, the waves are there. When the body is there, the false ego is there. Once the "I-am-ness" has arisen, all manifestation or Maya is seen. Since this conditioned consciousness or the sense of existence (Haume) depends on the body, it is temporary. For anything that depends on something else for its sustenance is false (Koorr..), thus impermanent. The body remains so long the play of Maya is present.

All of our baser desires are nothing but corruption and frauds of the false "I-ness". In reality, desires and false ego are one in essence. One cannot exist without the other. Desires gushes out from the forgetfulness of our Mool and the dissatisfaction created by the unceasing demands of the senses within. Once we are united with these desires, all our world is separate. Hence, due to the inner division, we become a divided lot. With a separate identity, we live in the deluded (Mayaic) mind. As such we neither change nor improve ourselves. We are neither on this shore or the other shore. We simply drift in between, both dead and alive at the same time. As repeatedly indicated in the Gurbani, that person who is able to end this separation while alive is very "rare", the rest of us depart with the pain of separation (Birahaa) and suffering .

  • ਸੰਜੋਗੀ ਮਿਲਿ ਏਕਸੇ ਵਿਜੋਗੀ ਉਠਿ ਜਾਇ ॥: Sanjogee mil ayksay vijogee uth jaai: Some attain union with the Absolute, while others depart in separation (sggs 18).
  • ਮੈ ਮਨਿ ਤਨਿ ਬਿਰਹੁ ਅਤਿ ਅਗਲਾ ਕਿਉ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਮੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਘਰਿ ਆਇ ॥: Mai man tan birahu at aglaa kiou pareetam milai ghar aai: Within my mind and body is the intense pain of separation; how can the Pure Self come and meet me within? (sggs 39).
  • ਬਿਛੁਰਤ ਮਰਨੁ ਜੀਵਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਮਿਲਤੇ ਜਨ ਕਉ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਦੀਜੈ ॥: Bichhurat maran jeevan har miltay jan kaou darsan deejai: Separation is death, and Union with the Self is life. Please bless Your humble servant with Your Darshan (sggs 1268).
  • ਬਿਰਹਾ ਬਿਰਹਾ ਆਖੀਐ ਬਿਰਹਾ ਤੂ ਸੁਲਤਾਨੁ ॥ ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜਿਤੁ ਤਨਿ ਬਿਰਹੁ ਨ ਊਪਜੈ ਸੋ ਤਨੁ ਜਾਣੁ ਮਸਾਨੁ ॥: Birahaa birahaa aakheeai birahaa tu sulataan. Fareedaa jit tanu birahu na oopajai so tanu jaan masaan: Many talk of the Birahaa; O Birahaa, you are the ruler. Says Fareed Sahib, that body, within which Birahaa does not well up - look upon that body as a cremation ground (sggs 1379).

Simply put, the idea of separation is nothing but spiritual ignorance, evil-mindedness, foolishness, selfishness, attachments, stubbornness, doubts, etc. This body identity arises due to extroversion and wandering of the mind. To continue in this state will only keep us in endlessly entangled in the worldliness or Maya. But our faulty knowledge "I-ness" does not accept it. Hence the troubles or suffering start. All things such as sense gratification, evil doings, passions, religious rituals, corruption, and so on, relate to the false ego (Haume). So long as we remain in body-consciousness and Mayaic efforts or consciousness, separation or individuality remains, and we are unable to sustain or endure the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...). Mind so puffed up with egoism is easily lured away by the "otherness", says the Gurbani.

  • ਮਨਿ ਖੋਟੇ ਦਯਿ ਵਿਛੋੜੇ ॥: Man khotay dayi vichhorhay: The evil-minded are consigned to separation from the Absolute (sggs 306).
  • ਭਰਮੁ ਭੇਦੁ ਭਉ ਕਬਹੁ ਨ ਛੂਟਸਿ ਆਵਤ ਜਾਤ ਨ ਜਾਨੀ ॥: Bharam bhayd bhaou kabahu na chhootas aavat jaat na jaanee: Doubt, separation and fear are never eradicated, and the mortal continues the repeated suffering, as long as he does not know the Self (sggs 1127).
  • ਮਨ ਕਹਾ ਲੁਭਾਈਐ ਆਨ ਕਉ ॥: Mann kahaa lubhaaeeai aan kaou: O my mind, why are you lured away by otherness? (sggs 1208).
  • ਫਿਰਿ ਪਛੁਤਾਵਹਿਗਾ ਮੂੜਿਆ ਤੂੰ ਕਵਨ ਕੁਮਤਿ ਭ੍ਰਮਿ ਲਾਗਾ ॥: Fir pachhutaavhigaa moorhiaa toon kavan kumat bharam laagaa: Later, you will regret and repent-you fool! Why are you engrossed in evil-mindedness and skepticism? (sggs 93).

As we can see, man's entire problem relates to his sense of existence as a separate individual. Hence, as the Gurbani empgasizez, this idea of separateness must go. That's why the Gurbani time and again tries to hammer the fact into our head that there is only one Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...) in all. Furthermore, the Mool never remains separate from us even when we feel separate from Him. That Universal Principle is always there — in our waking state, dream state, deep sleep state and Turiyaa state. In fact none can survive without it. In its absence, the body is simply pronounced dead.

  • ਨਾ ਵੇਛੋੜਿਆ ਵਿਛੁੜੈ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥: Naa vaychhorhiaa vichhurhai sabh mahi rahiaa samaai: Even in separation, The Self is not separated from us; He is pervading and permeating amongst all (sggs 46).
  • ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਤਨਿ ਵੇਦਨ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਰਹੁ ਲਗਾਵੈ ॥: Mere man tan vaydan gur birahu lagaavai: My mind and body are afflicted with the pain of separation (from the Mool). (sggs 94).

When there is no false sense of individuality left, there is no feeling of separation. Such person is called Gurmukh or spiritual being in the Gurbani. There is no sense of separation in a Gurmukh for he has subdued his false ego or Mayaic mind.

Opposite to the Gurmukh is called the Manmukh in the Gurbani. Due to their materialistic mentality (Mayaic intellect), Manmukhs suffer in separation from their Mool; for they do not understand the mystery that they are the nameless, spaceless, and attributeless Pure Consciousness. But the Gurbani assures us that if we want to we all once again may regain our Original Source (Mool), "here" and "now". So it is with ourselves - if one knows and understands the Mool, his separateness vanishes.

  • ਹਰਿ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਈਐ ਲਹਿ ਜਾਹਿ ਵਿਜੋਗੀ ॥: Har gurmukh naam Dhiaaeeai lahi jaahi vijogee: The Gurmukh meditates on the Divine Name, and separation from the Self is ended (sggs 514).
  • ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਸੰਗਿ ਖੇਲਹਿ ਵਰ ਕਾਮਨਿ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਖੋਜਤ ਮਨ ਮਨੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖੀ ਦੁਹਾਗਣਿ ਨਾਹਿ ਭੇਉ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਰਾਵੈ ਸਰਬ ਪ੍ਰੇਉ ॥: Hari prabh sang khelahi var kaamani Gurmukh khojat man mane ||1||Rahaaou||. Manmukh duhaagan naahi bheou. Oh ghat ghat raavai sarab preou: By becomingThe Gurmukhs (True spiritual Beings, etc.) the soul-bride who (so) play with the Lord; their minds become filled. ||1||Pause|| The self-willed Manmukhs, suffering in separation, do not understand this mystery that the same True Lord resides within all beings (sggs 1170).
  • ਆਪਣੈ ਭਾਣੈ ਜੋ ਚਲੈ ਭਾਈ ਵਿਛੁੜਿ ਚੋਟਾ ਖਾਵੈ ॥: Aapnai bhaanai jo chalai bhaaee vichhurh chotaa khaavai: One who walks according to his own ego-mind, O Siblings of Destiny, becomes separated and suffers (sggs 601).

Thus, by becoming a spiritual being (Gurmukh), one can rip apart this false screen of painful separation. How can one become a Gurmukh? To become a Gurmukh, we must eradicate falsehood from within — false ego, evil mindedness, corruption of the material consciousness, limitedness, sense gratification, ignorance, illusion or Maya. To transcend Maya or falsehood, the Manmukh (material or ego-consciousness) in us must disappear. Not tomorrow, not some other time or other place, not after death. It must go "here" and "now"

  • ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਮੇਰਾ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਤਾਂ ਉਤਰਹਿ ਸਭਿ ਬਿਓਗ ॥: Vadbhaagee mayraa parabh milai taan utrahi sabhi biog: By great good fortune, I unite with the Self, and then all pain of separation departs (sggs 135).
  • ਤਿਥੈ ਸੋਗੁ ਵਿਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਵਿਆਪਈ ਅਸਥਿਰੁ ਜਗਿ ਥੀਆ ॥: Tithai sog vijog na viaapaee asthir jag theeaa: There, one does not suffer sorrow or separation; he becomes stable and immortal in the world (sggs 516).

As the separation is forgetfulness of our Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...), the demise of separation is nothing but re-knowing or rediscovering our Origin. We are part of that Universal Consciousness at this very moment. Therefore, other than conviction and concentration, we do not need any sense-object to understand that we are eternally Unconditioned Consciousness. Neither we are this body-mind nor Maya. We are the "Joti-Svaroopa". This false ego sense "the snake of separation" that has arisen on the Absolute and out that comes the illusion which covers the Truth. Since this state of illusion is temporary, it has to end.

  • ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਅਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੫॥: Iou kahai Nanaku man toon joti saroopu hai apanaa moolu pashaanu ||5||: Thus says Nanak - O mind! Your "Saroop" (your own, True State) is "Joti" (Divine Light)! Recognize your Mool (Source, Origin, Reality...) ||5|| (sggs 441).
  • ਤਿਨ੍‍ ਸੋਗੁ ਵਿਜੋਗੁ ਕਦੇ ਨਹੀ ਜੋ ਹਰਿ ਕੈ ਅੰਕਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥: Tinh sog vijog kaday nahee jo har kai ank samaai: They never suffer sorrow or separation; they are merged in the True Being (sggs 1281).

There would not be any separation if we identify with the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...). Separation is felt when we are not with the Mool within. Thus all separation or union (division) exists within and not without. Through conditioned thinking, it is the false ego sense that sees separation or wants union. In other words, our ego wants God, but God does not want the filth of our ego because it hides its true identity. Therefore, as indicated in the Gurbani, the urgent task is to wipe out the inner division (Daal, divisions...) and become one with the Mool within. This is the demand of the man's life. The way out is to disown the mind and the body identification (false ego or Haume). To attain that, there is no need to go elsewhere. Going "elsewhere" means moving away from our Mool. But in reality this is exactly we all do — move towards the objective world than towards the Mool! This ignorance, separation or forgetfulness of our essential nature is our "loss", says the Gurbani.

  • ਸਾਹਾ ਸੰਜੋਗੁ ਵੀਆਹੁ ਵਿਜੋਗੁ ॥: Saahaa sanjog veeaahu vijog: Union with the Pure Consciousness is my wedding date, and separation from the objective world is my marriage (sggs 152).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਇਆ ਸਭ ਬਿਖੁ ਹੈ ਨਿਤ ਜਗਿ ਤੋਟਾ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ॥: Haumai Maya sabh bikh hai nit jag totaa sansaar: Egoism-Maya are total poison; in these, people continually suffer loss in this world (sggs 300).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਿਲਾਵੜਾ ਨਾ ਵੇਛੋੜਾ ਹੋਇ ॥: Nanak sabad milaavrhaa naa vaychhorhaa hoi: O Nanak, through the Shabad, union is obtained; there is no more separation (sggs 56).
  • ਓਨਾ ਸੋਗੁ ਵਿਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਵਿਆਪਈ ਹਰਿ ਭਾਣਾ ਭਾਇਆ ॥: Onaa sog vijog na viaapaee har bhaanaa bhaaiaa: Sorrow and separation do not cling to them at all who are in tune with the Divine Will (sggs 1249).

Although one may know he is the Mool, but full abidance in That Pure Consciusness may not happen immediately. Why? We have based everything on the body and do not understand its reality. Since we have been associated with this falsehood so long, to eradicate that habit will take some time. That is why, as the Gurbani says, the urgent task right now is to become established in the Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan or Spiritual Wisdom) through the Shabad-Vichaar.

To do that it is necessary to remind ourselves constantly that we are not the body and mind, but we are the Joti-Svaroopa. In other words, meditation is not this body-mind meditating as a separate entity, but it is the consciousness meditating on itself. No amount of reading books or performing unmeaning rituals will do any good. Through meditation and wisdom, once we are separated from the objective world and reunited with our Mool within, "then there is no more separation", says the Gurbani. Then spontaneously and instantaneously we become the Total manifest. This is Mool-realization.

  • ਪੜੇ ਰੇ ਸਗਲ ਬੇਦ ਨਹ ਚੂਕੈ ਮਨ ਭੇਦ ਇਕੁ ਖਿਨੁ ਨ ਧੀਰਹਿ ਮੇਰੇ ਘਰ ਕੇ ਪੰਚਾ ॥: Parhay rey sagal bayd nah chookai man bhayd ik khin na Dheereh mayray ghar kay panchaa: I have read all the Vedas, and yet the sense of separation in my mind still has not been removed; the inner evil passions are not quieted, even for an instant (sggs 687).
  • ਸਚੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਸਾਚਉ ਚਵੈ ਛੂਟੈ ਸੋਗ ਵਿਜੋਗੁ ॥: Sach bhaavai saachaou chavai chhootai sog vijog: One who loves the Truth and speaks the Truth, escapes from the sorrow of separation (sggs 1010).
  • ਜਿਸੁ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਬਿਓਗੁ ॥: Jis simrat sukh paaeeai binsai biog: Contemplating the Source, peace is obtained, and separation is ended (sggs 817).
  • ਨਾਮ ਰਤੇ ਕੇਵਲ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ਸੋਗ ਬਿਜੋਗ ਬਿਸਰਜਿਤ ਰੋਗ ॥: Naam ratay kayval bairaagee sog bijog bisarjit rog: Imbued with the Naam, I am detached from the world; I have forgotten sorrow, separation and disease (sggs 504).

— T. Singh