As long as the mortal does not come to understand the mystery of the Shabad,
he will continue to be tormented by death ||3|| (sggs 1126).
But rare is that person, who, by becoming a Spiritual Being
(Gurmukh), understands this mystery (sggs 1139).

The strength of the soul is true understanding, selfless loving, intuitive wisdom (Aatam-Giaan...), non-attachment, etc.. The awakening of this strength within takes place when the ignorance driven emotional roller-coaster and the obstacles of the mind's influences — selfish desires, fears, anger, greed, attachment, self-conceit, enviousness, disappointments of life, stubborn mindedness, etc. — are properly understood and conquered through spiritual living (the Gurmukh Lifestyle). Therefore, the indicates once the instinctive or mayaic mind is brought under control, the mystery of the Shabad will unfold before our inner vision.

  • ਮਨ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬੋਲੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਮਨ ਮਾਰੇ ਬਿਨੁ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥2॥ 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. Without killing the mind, Bhagti is not performed. Says Kabeer, one who knows the secret of this mystery, beholds within his own mind the Divine of the three worlds (sggs 392).
  • ਮੂਸਨ ਮਰਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਨਈ ਮਰਤ ਹਿਰਤ ਸੰਸਾਰ ॥ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਪਿਰੰਮ ਨ ਬੇਧਿਓ ਉਰਝਿਓ ਮਿਥ ਬਿਉਹਾਰ ॥: Moosan maram na jaanee marat hirat sansaar. Prem piramm na bedhio urjhio mith biyuhaar: O Moosan (i.e. the man who is being robbed of his Spiritual inheritance), the Sansaar (material world) does not understand the Mystery of the Divine; it is dying and being plundered. It is not pierced through by the Divine Love; it is entangled in false pursuits (sggs 1364).
  • ਉਲਟਿ ਭੇਦ ਮਨੁ ਬੇਧਿਓ ਪਾਇਓ ਅਭੰਗ ਅਛੇਦ ॥: Oulat bhed manu bedhio paaio abhang ashed: Turning away from the material world, one's mind is pierced through with this mystery, and one realizes the Indestructible, Impenetrable Being (sggs 340).

God is Shabad and Shabad is God. That which is visible or knowable is Immanent. Transcendent is said to be beyond the grasp of the senses. As stressed in the Gurbani, the barrier in understanding the Lord and His written Word (i.e., the Shabad-Gurbani) is ego or Haume-mind. Only when the mind is freed from the clutches of Mayaic desires, greed, etc., we can see the hidden mystery. As repeatedly indicated in the Gurbani, until such mastery over the mind is obtained, we will neither understand the mystery of the Supreme nor His Word.

  • ਗੁਪਤੁ ਪ੍ਰਗਟੁ ਸਭ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਜੇ ਮਨੁ ਰਾਖੈ ਠਾਇ ॥: Gupatu pragatu sabh jaaneeai je manu raakhai thaai: The mysteries of the seen (immanent, apparent...) and the unseen (transcendent, hidden...) are all known, if the mind is kept centered at One Place (ਥਾਂ ਸਿਰ, ਇੱਕ ਟਿਕਾਣੇ ਤੇ...). (sggs 57).
  • ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਸਬਦ ਭੇਦੁ ਨਹੀ ਆਇਆ ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਕਾਲੁ ਸੰਤਾਏ ॥੩॥: Jab lag Shabad bhed nahee aaiaa tab lag kaal santaae ||3||: 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).
  • ਸਬਦਿ ਭੇਦਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਜਾਣਾਈ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਉਮੈ ਜਾਲਿ ਸਮਾਈ ॥੨੯॥: (The Gurmukh) knows the mystery through the Shabad, and inspires others to know it. O Nanak! Burning away (his) ego, (the Gurmukh) merges (in his Mool, Source ...). ||29|| (sggs 941).

If truthfully investigated, we will find that, although we repeatedly go through the Gurbani, but our instinctive mind seldom let the Gurbani go through us! Why? Because one's habitual reading of the Gurbani (or any other scripture for that matter) is undertaken in stubborn mindedness and in businesslike manner; without hand-in-hand intense subjective discipline and without reflecting and contemplating on their sublime essence. In other words, our study of the scriptures is undertaken with the help of the pick ax of word meanings to either gratify our ego or make a mere academic acquaintance with them. Thus, it seems we are merely satisfied with the superficial dictionary meaning of the scriptures. It is stressed in the Gurbani the mystery of the Shabad can be understood only through right understanding.

  • ਪੜਿਐ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦੁ ਬੁਝਿਐ ਪਾਵਣਾ ॥: Parriai naahee bhedu bujhiai paavanaa: Not by reading (books), but through Understanding, is the Mystery Realized (that the Lord is Limitless...) (sggs 148).
  • ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਬਿਦਿਆ ਬਿਗਿਆਨਿ ॥: Mukti nahee bidiaa bigiaani: Liberation does not come from learning without understanding (sggs 903).
  • ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਪੜੈ ਨਹੀ ਬੂਝੈ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਬਿਧਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਲੂਝੈ ॥: Doojai bhaai parhai nahee boojhai. Tribidh maya karan loojhai: One who reads, while attached to duality, does not understand. He yearns for the three-qualitied Maya (sggs 127).
  • ਤਿਸੁ ਰਸੁ ਆਇਆ ਜਿਨਿ ਭੇਦੁ ਲਹਿਆ ॥: Tis ras aaiaa jin bhed lahiaa: This Sublime Essence comes only to one who knows the Divine Mystery (sggs 97).

So that we all can appreciate how the visible or knowable Word of the Shabad-Gurbani can be encircled with mystery, consider the stanza on page 477 of the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS). The superficial or word-meaning of this stanza as found in some available translations goes like this:

  • ਆਸਾ ॥ ਫੀਲੁ ਰਬਾਬੀ ਬਲਦੁ ਪਖਾਵਜ ਕਊਆ ਤਾਲ ਬਜਾਵੈ ॥ ਪਹਿਰਿ ਚੋਲਨਾ ਗਦਹਾ ਨਾਚੈ ਭੈਸਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਰਾਵੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਾਜਾ ਰਾਮ ਕਕਰੀਆ ਬਰੇ ਪਕਾਏ ॥ ਕਿਨੈ ਬੂਝਨਹਾਰੈ ਖਾਏ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਬੈਠਿ ਸਿੰਘੁ ਘਰਿ ਪਾਨ ਲਗਾਵੈ ਘੀਸ ਗਲਉਰੇ ਲਿਆਵੈ ॥ ਘਰਿ ਘਰਿ ਮੁਸਰੀ ਮੰਗਲੁ ਗਾਵਹਿ ਕਛੂਆ ਸੰਖੁ ਬਜਾਵੈ ॥੨॥ ਬੰਸ ਕੋ ਪੂਤੁ ਬੀਆਹਨ ਚਲਿਆ ਸੁਇਨੇ ਮੰਡਪ ਛਾਏ ॥ ਰੂਪ ਕੰਨਿਆ ਸੁੰਦਰਿ ਬੇਧੀ ਸਸੈ ਸਿੰਘ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਏ ॥੩॥ ਕਹਤ ਕਬੀਰ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਰੇ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਕੀਟੀ ਪਰਬਤੁ ਖਾਇਆ ॥ ਕਛੂਆ ਕਹੈ ਅੰਗਾਰ ਭਿ ਲੋਰਉ ਲੂਕੀ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੁਨਾਇਆ ॥੪॥੬॥: Aasaa || Feelu rabaabee baladu pakhaavaj kaooaa taal bajaavai ...: Aasaa. The elephant is the guitar player, the ox is the drummer, and the crow plays the cymbals. Putting on the skirt, the donkey dances around, and the water buffalo performs devotional worship||1||. The Lord, the King, has cooked the cakes of ice, but only the man of rare understanding eats them ||1||Rahaaou or Pause||. Sitting in his den, the lion prepares the betel leaves, and the muskrat collects the betel nuts. Going from house to house, the mouse sings of joy, and the turtle blows on the conch-shell||2||. The son of the sterile woman goes to get married, and the golden canopy is spread out for him. He marries a beautiful and enticing young woman; the rabbit and the lion sing their praises||3||. Says Kabeer, listen, O Saints - the ant has eaten the mountain. The turtle says, "I also need a burning coal." Listen to this mystery of the Shabad ||4||6|| (sggs 477).

If we allow our relativist consciousness to take this stanza on its face value — mere superficial or word-to-word dictionary meanings — it would read strange, unintelligent, weird, meaningless and even incongruous. To understand and appreciate the true gist of this Shabad-Gurbani, therefore, we must attempt to solve the mystery!

The mystery of this stanza is hidden in the verse of the "Rahaaou". Rahaaou means "Pause". Rest of the verses of this Shabad simply elaborate on this main verse. After reading this Rahaaou-verse, if we do not pause to think and understand its real essence, we are sure to miss out the real Spiritual Essence of the entire Shabad.

As we know it, the very style of the Gurbani's teaching is couched in variety of similes, allegories, metaphors, figurative or mystic representations. It takes a convenient worldly object and describes it in such a poetic style so as to express some of the subtler philosophical truths and thereby convey some deeper spiritual message of unworldly wisdom.

Many figurative or mystic representations have been made in this stanza of the Gurbani. For instance, in the Rahaaou-verse, allegories of "Kakareeaa" and "mango" have been eloquently used. "Kakareeaa" are the buds of an unwanted plant called "Akk" in Punjabi, which is so bitter, acrid and unpleasant no person wants to eat or touch. Additionally, to drive the message deep in our heads, more allegories, more metaphors or similes such as a "wedding" party, "barren woman's son", "mountain", and many animals have been used in the remaining verses.

Now let's attempt to look into this stanza verse-by-verse, starting with the "Rahaaou" verse.

ਰਾਜਾ ਰਾਮ ਕਕਰੀਆ ਬਰੇ ਪਕਾਏ ॥ ਕਿਨੈ ਬੂਝਨਹਾਰੈ ਖਾਏ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Raajaa raam kakreeaa baray pakaaye. Kinai Boojhanhaarai khaaye||1||Rahaaou or Pause||": Here the worldly or sense-blind mind covered with material consciousness (Maya) is likened to "Kakareeaa". But, upon realizing its Spiritual Nature (or by becoming a Gurmukh), the same "Kakareeaa" like mind gets transformed into its Original State — Pure Awareness, Joti-Svaroopa, Mool... — it then tastes sweet like "mango" ("Bare"). However, as indicated in this verse, those who can taste and appreciate the sweetness of this "mango" are very rare in this world. Another interesting thing to note in these two allegories of "Kakareeaa" and "mango" is the subtle similarity in their outer looks. To the physical eyes both look alike. One can easily be mistaken for the other. But their nature and qualities are of diametrically opposing type. Similarly, the material mind (the Manmukh) with ordinary consciousness mistakenly takes phenomenal world to be real, and his physical body to be the real Mool. But it's not true. The one who by awakening the Divine Grace within comes to understand this Truth, is indicated here to be very rare person in this world!

  • ਸਚਿ ਰਤੇ ਸੇ ਟੋਲਿ ਲਹੁ ਸੇ ਵਿਰਲੇ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ॥: Sach ratay say tol lahu say virlay sansaar: Seek and find those who are imbued with Truth; they are so rare in this world (sggs 994).
  • ਸਭੋ ਸਚੁ ਸਚੁ ਸਚੁ ਵਰਤੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕੋਈ ਜਾਣੈ ॥: Sabho sach sach sach vartai gurmukh koee jaanai: All is Truth; Truth, and Truth alone is pervading; how rare is the Gurmukh, spiritual being, who knows this (sggs 754).
  • ਗੁਹਜ ਰਤਨ ਵਿਚਿ ਲੁਕਿ ਰਹੇ ਕੋਈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਕਢੈ ਖੋਤਿ ॥: Guhaj ratan vich luki rahe koee gurmukh sevak kadhai khoti: Hidden within the body are the jewels of mystery; how rare is that selfless Gurmukh, who digs them out (sggs 309).
  • ਙਆਨੀ ਤਤੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੀਚਾਰੀ ॥: Giaanee tatu gurmukh beechaaree: The true people of spiritual wisdom are who have become Spiritual beings (Gurmukhs), who contemplate the essence of Reality (sggs 251).

First Verse: ਫੀਲੁ ਰਬਾਬੀ ਬਲਦੁ ਪਖਾਵਜ ਕਊਆ ਤਾਲ ਬਜਾਵੈ ॥ ਪਹਿਰਿ ਚੋਲਨਾ ਗਦਹਾ ਨਾਚੈ ਭੈਸਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਰਾਵੈ ॥੧॥: Feelu rabaabee baladu pakhaavaj kaooaa taal bajaavai. Pahiri cholnaa gadahaa naachai bhaisaa bhagti kraavai ||1||: The material mind is vast in its combinations of time, space and form. The majority of us move through such undisciplined and unwise Mayaic mind. It is shown in this verse that, before one's mundane mind is transformed into Pure Mind i.e., Mool...), it is of the animal-nature. To illustrate the point, here the example is given of an elephant ("Feelu"), ox ("Baladu"), crow ("Kaooaa"), donkey ("Gadahaa") and water buffalo ("Bhaisaa"). The elephant symbolizes false ego; the ox symbolizes ignorance or indolence; the crow symbolizes material cleverness which enjoys eating worldly "filth"; the donkey symbolizes lust; the water buffalo symbolizes uncontrolled conduct or intoxication with Maya. Also, as the donkey arising each day, habitually grazes on green grass, similarly, the Gurbani tells us our stubborn and selfish minds keep reading the Word daily without grasping its true understanding.

  • ਹਰੀ ਅੰਗੂਰੀ ਗਦਹਾ ਚਰੈ ॥ ਨਿਤ ਉਠਿ ਹਾਸੈ ਹੀਗੈ ਮਰੈ ॥1॥ ਮਾਤਾ ਭੈਸਾ ਅੰਮੁਹਾ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਕੁਦਿ ਕੁਦਿ ਚਰੈ ਰਸਾਤਲਿ ਪਾਇ ॥੨॥: Haree angooree gadahaa charai. Nit outhi haasai heegai marai ||1|| Maataa bhaisaa ammuhaa jaai. Kudi kudi charai rasaatal paai ||2|| (sggs 493).
  • ਮਨ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਮਤਾਗਲੁ ਮਤਾ ॥: Mann kee mati mataagalu mataa: The intellect of the mind is like a drunken elephant (sggs 351).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਪਸੂ ਭਏ ਬੇਤਾਲੇ ॥੬॥: Binu boojhai pasu bhaye betaale ||6||: Without understanding, people become beast (-nature) and demon ||6|| (sggs 224).
  • ਇਕਨਾ ਨਾਦ ਨ ਬੇਦ ਨ ਗੀਅ ਰਸੁ ਰਸ ਕਸ ਨ ਜਾਣੰਤਿ ॥ ਇਕਨਾ ਸੁਧਿ ਨ ਬੁਧਿ ਨ ਅਕਲਿ ਸਰ ਅਖਰ ਕਾ ਭੇਉ ਨ ਲਹੰਤਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੇ ਨਰ ਅਸਲਿ ਖਰ ਜਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਣ ਗਰਬੁ ਕਰੰਤਿ ॥੨॥: Iknaa naad n beda n geea rasu ras kas n jaananti. Iknaa sudhi na budhi na akali sar akhar kaa bheou na lahanti. Nanak se nar asali khar je bin gun garabu kranti ||2||: (Those who are blind from the mind) do not have taste for understanding the Naad and the (essence of) Vedas; nor (they have) understanding of (other worldly) tastes. (These blind-minded) are not blessed with Awareness, intelligence (wisdom...), or reservoir of reasoning (intellect...); they do not grasp the mystery of the Word (i.e., ਅਖਰ ਦਾ ਭੇਦ...). O Nanak! Those who are very proud of themselves without any Virtues, they in reality are just donkeys ||2|| (sggs 1246).

Before the mind gets to realize its Essential Nature ("Joti-Svaroopa" ), it is wedded to the sensual enjoyments of the material world. Participants in this illusory wedding are mind's various animal propensities (Raajsic and Taamsic nature). They all play, sing and dance to their own tunes — material demands — in this deceptive wedding party. Just as a blind cannot see a garden of beautiful flowers, just as a drunkard cannot be instructed in the subtleties of spirituality, just as hair cannot grow on a tortoise's shell, just as a dead cannot get up and run, just as a lotus cannot grow on a rock, and just as there is no oil in the sand grains, similarly, the mind's animal-nature is not conducive for Spiritual quest.

Second Verse: ਬੈਠਿ ਸਿੰਘੁ ਘਰਿ ਪਾਨ ਲਗਾਵੈ ਘੀਸ ਗਲਉਰੇ ਲਿਆਵੈ ॥ ਘਰਿ ਘਰਿ ਮੁਸਰੀ ਮੰਗਲੁ ਗਾਵਹਿ ਕਛੂਆ ਸੰਖੁ ਬਜਾਵੈ ॥੨॥: Baith singhu ghari paan lagaavai ghees galuray liaavai. Ghar ghar musree mangal gaavahi kachhooaa sankhu bajaavai: Continuing on, in this verse we are given more information about our animal-nature. The lion ("Singhu") represents our mind's cruel, greedy and merciless nature. The muskrat ("Ghees") represents our mind's unceasing cravings. Inflated ego, death, restless senses and mind are symbolized by the mouse ("Musree"). Because of the turtle's ("Kachhooaa") attachment to water and, upon seeing danger, it contracts itself in its shell, it represents our mind's bondage or attachment to material objects, and fears and contraction from associating with the Good, within and without. Such mind, instead of being in selfless service, serves only its own animal propensities. Just as the mouse with a basket tied around its waist cannot enter its hole, similarly, the conditioned mind tied with the basket of inflated ego cannot enter the realm of its Original Source, Mool.

  • ਰੇ ਮਨ ਮੂਸ ਬਿਲਾ ਮਹਿ ਗਰਬਤ ਕਰਤਬ ਕਰਤ ਮਹਾਂ ਮੁਘਨਾਂ ॥: Re mann moos bilaa mahi garabat karatab karat mahaan mughanaan: O mind, you are a mouse, living in the mousehole of the body; you are so proud of yourself, but you act like an absolute fool (sggs 1387).ਆਵ ਘਟੈ ਨਰੁ ਨਾ ਬੁਝੈ ਨਿਤਿ ਮੂਸਾ ਲਾਜੁ ਟੁਕਾਇ ॥: Aav ghatai naru naa bujhai niti moosaa laaj tukaai: Man's life is diminishing, but he does not understand. Each day, the mouse of death is gnawing away at the rope of life (sggs 41).
  • ਊਂਦਰ ਦੂੰਦਰ ਪਾਸਿ ਧਰੀਜੈ ॥ ਧੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਵੀਜੈ ॥: Oondar doondar paas dhreejai. Dhur kee sevaa Raam raveejai: Silence the mouse (of the mind) scurrying around within you. Serve God by Simran (chanting His Name), this is the Sevaa of the Primal Being (ਧੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ) (sggs 905).

Third Verse: ਬੰਸ ਕੋ ਪੂਤੁ ਬੀਆਹਨ ਚਲਿਆ ਸੁਇਨੇ ਮੰਡਪ ਛਾਏ ॥ ਰੂਪ ਕੰਨਿਆ ਸੁੰਦਰਿ ਬੇਧੀ ਸਸੈ ਸਿੰਘ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਏ ॥੩॥: Bans ko poot beeaahan chali-aa suinay mandap chhaaye. Roop kanniaa sundar bedhee sasai singh gun gaaye ||3||": Here the allegory of "Bans Ko Poot - meaning "barren woman's son - is of a great significance in this entire stanza. In reality, a barren woman has no son! This expression symbolizes one's association with psychological construct ego-Maya (illusion, conditioned Consciousness, ignorance, etc.). Consider this example. A mirror reflects a face held close to it, but the real face is beyond the mirror! Similarly, man's attitudes and character reflect as the ego-sense in one's Mool, but his attitudes and character is not his Mool. Therefore, it is said that ego-Maya or mind does not exist anymore than a "barren woman's son"; because, there is in truth nothing else but the Mool. This is why the ego is called "homeless" in the Gurbani. That is, ego is but an idea based on a false association of the self with the physical elements. Our fanciful conviction that unreal is real is deep rooted in us by repeated imagination of the conditioned mind. Just as a river of water in a mirage is unreal, similarly, the world that arose from memory is no more real than a "barren woman's son" or a pie-in-the-sky. Therefore, to expect everlasting happiness from this impermanent body and other material objects is nothing but spiritual ignorance. Body-consciousness alone is the seed for this dreamlike world-as-an-object-of-perception: it is as illusory and unreal as the "barren woman's son" getting married under the golden canopy in the sky ("Suinay mandap chhaaye"), or the lunatic's enjoyment of the taste of fruits reflected in a mirror! Even as the silkworm weaves its cocoon and thus binds itself, the Jeeva (unenlightened individual being) fancies this mirage-like universe and gets caught in it. So long this objective universe is perceived, one does not realize the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...).

  • ਫਰੀਦਾ ਦਿਲੁ ਰਤਾ ਇਸੁ ਦੁਨੀ ਸਿਉ ਦੁਨੀ ਨ ਕਿਤੈ ਕੰਮਿ ॥: Fareedaa dil ratta is dunee siyu dunee na kitai kam: Fareed, though the mind is imbued with this material world; but this material world is of no use to it at all (sggs 1383). ਇਹੁ ਨੀਘਰੁ ਘਰੁ ਕਹੀ ਨ ਪਾਏ ॥: Ih neeghar ghar kahee na paae: This ego is homeless; it will never find a home (sggs 1347).ਪੰਚ ਪੂਤ ਜਣੇ ਇਕ ਮਾਇ ॥ ਉਤਭੁਜ ਖੇਲੁ ਕਰਿ ਜਗਤ ਵਿਆਇ ॥ ਤੀਨਿ ਗੁਣਾ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਰਚਿ ਰਸੇ ॥: Panch poot jane ik maai. Outabhuj khel kari jagat viaai. Teen Guna kai sangi rachi rase. In kaou shodi oopari jan base: Maya gave birth to the five sons (i.e. all evil passions), and began the play of the created world. With her three qualities (Taams, Raajas, Saatav) joined together, they celebrate. Renouncing these three qualities, the seeker rise above them (sggs 865).
  • ਸੁਖ ਕਉ ਮਾਗੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਦੁਖੁ ਨ ਮਾਗੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਸੁਖੈ ਕਉ ਦੁਖੁ ਅਗਲਾ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥: Sukh kaou maangai sabh ko dukh n mangai koi. Sukhai kaou dukh agalaa manmukh boojh na hoi: Every one asks (begs, craves, wishes, etc.) for Sukh (happiness, pleasures, joy, peace, etc) and none asks for Dukh (suffering, misery, etc). But in the wake of Sukh, there comes Dukh. The self-willed Manmukhs do not understand this (sggs 57).

Thus, the time, space and forms have validity so long we are conscious of them through the ego consciousness. When we shift this finite ego-sense towards its Real Source, the Infinite Awareness, the names and forms merge back into Totality, as it were! That is to say, upon freeing the consciousness from imagination, memory and latent tendencies through meditation ("Singh Gun Gaaye" or Naam-Simran), the fear-stricken mind that was wedded to illusory existence (Maya) before becomes wedded to the bride of its Pure Consciousness or "Joti-Svaroopa" ("Roop Kannia") within.

Fourth Verse: ਕਹਤ ਕਬੀਰ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਰੇ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਕੀਟੀ ਪਰਬਤੁ ਖਾਇਆ ॥ ਕਛੂਆ ਕਹੈ ਅੰਗਾਰ ਭਿ ਲੋਰਉ ਲੂਕੀ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੁਨਾਇਆ ॥੪॥੬॥: Kahat Kabeer sunahu ray santahu keetee parbat khaaiaa. Kachhooaa kahai angaar bhi loraou lookee sabad sunaaiaa ||4||6||: From a spiritual standpoint, the ant ("Keetee") is indicated in the Gurbani to be the symbol of humility and humbleness, and the mountain ("Parabat") is indicated to be the symbol of inflated ego. Since the turtle ("Kashooaa") loves to dwell in water, additional qualities attributed to it include mental coolness, compassion, love and purity. "Lookee" is a very tiny insect which, like the mosquito, bites in the dark inflicting severe pain. Similarly, the "Lookee" of Maya bites us in the darkness of our ignorance and worldly attachments, inflicting repeated pains and sorrows (Dukha) on us. Here Kabeer Sahib asks the so called saints to listen to this: upon transcending Maya, the egoistic mind gains Spiritual virtues like humility, humbleness, love, compassion, truthfulness, and so on. As a result, the seeds of bondage and ignorance get burnt in the fire ("Angaar") of purity, Self-knowledge or Aatam-Giaan, which dawns upon us on account of the meditation on the Divine Name ("Singh Gun Gaaye"). To put it otherwise, subjugation of the beat of Maya - freedom from all attachments and ignorance - is the end of the fragmented mind, and the beginning of the Spiritual Mind or Unconditioned Consciousness. The experience of this Spiritual State is the ultimate maturing of the Jeeva (unenlightened individual being) from the consciousness of the time-space-causation into the timeless-formless-causeless Self. Then the same mind shares the understanding of the Shabad with others ("Lookee Shabad Sunaaiaa").

  • ਖਿੰਥਾ ਗਿਆਨ ਧਿਆਨ ਕਰਿ ਸੂਈ ਸਬਦੁ ਤਾਗਾ ਮਥਿ ਘਾਲੈ ॥: Khinthaa giaan dhiaan kari sooee sbadu taagaa mathi ghaalai: A true Yogi makes spiritual wisdom his patched coat, meditation his needle, and inserts the thread of the Shabad in it (sggs 477).
  • ਅਲਹ ਲਹੰਤਾ ਭੇਦ ਛੈ ਕਛੁ ਕਛੁ ਪਾਇਓ ਭੇਦ ॥ ਉਲਟਿ ਭੇਦ ਮਨੁ ਬੇਧਿਓ ਪਾਇਓ ਅਭੰਗ ਅਛੇਦ ॥: Allah lahantaa bhed shai kashu kashu paaiou bhed. Ulati bhed manu bedho paaio abhang ashed: Trying to understand the Divine my delusion has disappeared, and now bit by bit, I understans the mystery of the Divine: Turning away from the delusion, my mind is pierced through with this mystery, and I have realized the Indestructible and Impenetrable Divine (sggs 340).
  • ਇਸੁ ਏਕੇ ਕਾ ਜਾਣੈ ਭੇਉ ॥ ਆਪੇ ਕਰਤਾ ਆਪੇ ਦੇਉੁ ॥: Isu eke kaa jaanai bheu. Aaape karata aape deyu: One who knows the mystery of the One God, he knows He Himself is the Creator and the Illuminator (sggs 930).

From all of this, it is clear the Spiritual Substance and the real essence of the scriptural message are beyond the grasp of the divided or modified consciousness (Mayaic Budhi). Therefore, a valuable lesson imparted by this wisdom packed stanza is that a seeker must not feel satisfied with a superficial, word-to-word dictionary meanings of the Gurbani (or any other scriptures for that matter). If he does, it would be suicidal. For if listened, read or studied in body-consciousness, the Spiritual Knowledge (Aatam Giaan) has no meaning. It becomes meaningful only when by moving away from the dominance of ego consciousness its mystery is solved! If we are truly in love with mystery, it will reveal to us within!

— T. Singh