One understands everything whose inner eyes (intuitive vision) are
blessed with the ointment of Spiritual Wisdom (Aatam-Giaan).
In the darkness of Spiritual ignorance, however, one
understands nothing at all; consequently, he wanders around
in the state of transmigration, again and again (sggs 610).

The purpose of the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) is the absolute cessation of the vicious cycle of repeated suffering or transmigratory state. Our True Identity (Joti-Svaroopa) is of the nature of Pure Consciousness and we forget this Reality due to ignorance. On account of this ignorance, Joti-Svaroopa is identified with the body-mind-intellect personality, which is the reason for human bondage leading to the wheel of suffering. The genuine Spiritual texts teach humanity the Spiritual Life, which is beneficial in attaining Spiritual Knowledge, which then helps cut asunder bondage. This final termination of one's seemingly endless cycle of sorrows consists in the complete realization of one's Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...). This is to say that, the total cessation of the movement or migratory state is the same as the attainment of Mool-realization.

  • ਪ੍ਰਣਵਤਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੈਸਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਸੋਇ ॥: Pranvati Nanak giaanee kaisaa hoi. Aapu pashaanai boojhai soi: Prays Nanak, of what nature is the Giaanee (the Wise one, the knower of the Truth...)? (A true Giaanee is he who) recognizes his (Mool-ਮੂਲ, Source, Origin, Essential Nature, etc.), such (Giaanee-ਜੋ ਆਪਣੇ ਅਸਲੇ ਨੂੰ ਪਛਾਣਦਾ ਹੈ) Understands God (sggs 25).
  • ਕਿਨਿ ਬਿਧਿ ਆਵਣੁ ਜਾਵਣੁ ਤੂਟਾ ॥... ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਵਣੁ ਜਾਵਣੁ ਤੂਟਾ ॥: Kin bidhh aavan jaavan thoottaa .... Gurmukh aavan jaavan tootaa: How can one escape from the cycle of transmigration?.... By becoming a Gurmukh (Spiritual Being or one who lives a Divine Life), one escapes the cycle of transmigration (sggs 131).

The Gurbani as well as other Indian scriptures indicate the death of the material body does not mean everything is finished. They say that the bundle of memories or energy move on to the next field of experiences. But we mortals (the Jeevaa: unenlightened or ignorant individual beings) are mentioned not to remember all of this. In the state of Enlightenment or Pure Consciousness, however, there is said to be no further transmigration.

  • ਅਨਿਤ੍ਹ ਹੇਤੰ ਅਹੰ ਬੰਧੰ ਭਰਮ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਲਨੰ ਬਿਕਾਰੰ ॥ ਫਿਰੰਤ ਜੋਨਿ ਅਨੇਕ ਜਠਰਾਗਨਿ ਨਹ ਸਿਮਰੰਤ ਮਲੀਣ ਬੁਧ੍ਹੰ ॥: Anith hetam aham bandham bharam Maya malnam bikaaram. Phirant joni anek jathraagan nah simrant maleen budham: The bonds of worldly love, attachment, egoism, doubt, and Maya are illusory, with which the mortal has bound himself. The mortal with polluted understanding does not contemplate God; he repeatedly passes through the fire of the womb of reincarnation (sggs 1355).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਰੋਗੁ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਕਟੀਐ ਨਾ ਆਵੈ ਨਾ ਜਾਗੁ ॥: When the diseases of Haumai or false ego-sense and doubt are cast out (by applying the Wisdom of the SGGS); there is no comeing and going (i.e., the movement of the Haumai mind freezes). (sggs 47).
  • ਸਚੀ ਕਾਰੈ ਸਚੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਪਲੈ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਸੋ ਨਰੁ ਜੰਮੈ ਨਾ ਮਰੈ ਨਾ ਆਵੈ ਨਾ ਜਾਇ ॥: Sachee kaarai sach milai guramati palai paai. So nar janmai naa marai naa aavai naa jaai: By true action (meditation or Simran), both Truth and the Divine Teaching are realized. Then, one is not subject to birth and death; the cycle of transmigration (sggs 19).

However, from a practical standpoint, there are countless transmigratory states we continually go through on a day-to-day, breath-to-breath and moment-to-moment basis — beginning and ending of constant stream of events in conditioned consciousness. Although the scriptures tirelessly draw our attention to these, but, due to our ignorance, we remain unmindful of them.For example, on account of duality (Doojaa Bhaav), we are born every moment! It is because our restless and rambling ego-mind is born every moment. Defiled by wrong notions and concepts, the sense-blind mind constantly and restlessly comes and goes hither and thither like a blade of grass in wind. In one instant it flies from here to mars and beyond! Furthermore, we experience death and rebirth with every breath. Just imagine if there is no coming of the next breath! One will be instantaneously dead. But each breath in duality brings us a new birth or life. Also, we feel reborn everyday upon waking up in duality from the deep sleep. Thus, each new day-moment-breath in duality constitutes a rebirth. Hence, in essence, from a practical standpoint, transmigration also means taking the appearance of duality as Reality.

  • ਜਨਮ ਮਰਣ ਕਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਘਣੋ ਨਿਤ ਸਹਸਾ ਦੋਈ ॥: Janam maran daa dukh ghano nit sahasaa doee: Caught in duality, one constantly suffers the great pain of transmigration (sggs 422).
  • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੂਆ ਖਿਨੁ ਊਭਿ ਪਇਆਲੀ ਜਬ ਲਗਿ ਸਬਦ ਨ ਜਾਨੇ ॥: Ihu manooaa khin oobhi paiaalee jab lag sabad na jaane: This mind flies in an instant from the upper regions to the nether regions, as long as it does not realize the Shabad Self, God, Truth, etc. (sggs 1345).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਬੰਧਨ ਟਿਕੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਖਿਨੁ ਖਿਨੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਸੰਤਾਏ ॥: Maya bandhan tikai naahee khin khin dukh santaaye: Bound by Maya, the mind is not stable. Each and every moment, it suffers in pain (sggs 247).
  • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਭੂਲਾ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਫੇਰੇ ॥: (The Wisdom of the Bani) turns the deluded mind around (sggs 118).

Man's life-span is being reduced daily by each passing moment and breath. So the Gurbani asks us not to waste them in frivolous pursuits. Instead, it repeatedly urges us to utilize our daily life through each breath and each moment for Spiritual Enlightenment. Only then we can realize total cessation of the transmigratory process while incarnated in this body, "here" and "now". We do not have to wait until after death to experience this Higher State of Immortality. That is to say, if we desire to set ourselves free from the painful rotation of rebirths and related suffering in the world, we must realize our real Self here on this earth, for what happens after death is immaterial. Therefore, the point stressed in the scriptures is that we must attain Enlightenment while living in this body. This Higher state is also termed as "Jeevanmukti" or being "living liberated". If we cannot experience this state of Freedom while living, we will not experience it after death. This is the truth and reality.

  • ਹਰਿ ਧਿਆਵਹੁ ਸਾਸਿ ਗਿਰਾਸਿ ॥: Har Dhiaavahu saas giraas: Meditate on the Self (God), with every breath and morsel of food (sggs 82).
  • ਜੀਵਤ ਪਾਵਹੁ ਮੋਖ ਦੁਆਰ ॥: Jeevat paavahu mokh duaar: Attain the Gate of Liberation while yet alive (sggs 343).

The Gurbani indicates that except for the state of "Jeevanmukti" (or being living liberated), all other pursuits or all other ends of human life would not give permanent joy, peace or happiness. Therefore, the Gurbani guides the entire mankind attain the absolute cessation of the mind's dross so that each person can pursue the Divine goal of becoming "living liberated" here while incarnated. But, unfortunately, as apparent, instead of developing Enlightened Beings, the organized world religions are adding to people's ignorance and suffering — in addition to religious bigotry and reactionary spirituality, they teach people to hate each other.

  • ਜਿਨਿ ਆਤਮ ਤਤੁ ਨ ਚੀਨ੍‍ਆਿ ॥ ਸਭ ਫੋਕਟ ਧਰਮ ਅਬੀਨਿਆ ॥: Jini aatam tatu n cheenhiaa. Sabh fokat dharma abeeniaa: Whoever does not Realize the Essence or Reality of the Soul (ਆਤਮਾ ਦੀ ਅਸਲੀਅਤ...), all his religious acts are of no value - worthless (sggs 1351).
  • ਥਾਨਸਟ ਜਗ ਭਰਿਸਟ ਹੋਏ ਡੂਬਤਾ ਇਵ ਜਗੁ ॥: Thaansatt jag bhrishat hoye doobtaa iv jag: The holy places of worship in the world are polluted, and so the world is drowning (sggs 662).

The Freedom or "Mukti" from the cycle of repeated suffering follows the complete eradication of ignorance. Blinded by this ignorance, man is concerned about the externalities of the world. As a result, the ultimate realization, the final evolutionary frontier which is within man himself, remains beyond his understanding and reach. Thus, due to lack of understanding and doubts resulting from our confused states of mind, most of us act in unseemingly ways. Consequently, we get caught and bound by Mayaic efforts.

  • ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਨ ਬੂਝੈ ਫਿਰੈ ਇਆਣੀ ॥: Manmukh na boojhai firai iaanee: The Manmukh, material being, does not understand; he wanders around in ignorance (sggs 1049).
  • ਭਰਮ ਮੋਹ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਅੰਧਾਰ ॥੧॥: Bharam moh agiaan andhaar ||1||: Doubt, emotional attachment and ignorance (ignorance of our True Nature or ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ) - these are all envelopments of darkness ||1|| (Sggs 675).
  • ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਇਸੁ ਤਨਹਿ ਜਲਾਏ ॥: Agiaan trisanaa is tanahi jalaaye: Spiritual ignorance and desire burn this human body (sggs 1067).

What is ignorance? Ignorance is the absence of Spiritual Wisdom (Aatam Giaan) and discriminating intellect (Bibek Budhi). It is unawareness of one's Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...), which is ever present within. Foolishness, false egoism, "I-am-ness", Maya, illusion, finiteness, time and space, delusion, doubts, conditioned consciousness and duality are some other names for it. In ignorance, wrong notions, ideas, concepts and precepts arise about oneself as he falsely identities with his body-mind-intellect personality or gross material consciousness. In which one takes himself physical body as the base point and sees himself existing in time, form and space. As a consequent of this confusion and doubt, he takes himself as "mortal'', "weak", "different from his Mool'', "helpless", "miserable", "sufferer" and "limited''. On account of this fundamentally wrong self-identity, there arises separation or division between man his Pure Being where there is none! In other words, when consciousness objectifies itself and regards itself as its own object of observation, there is ignorance. In ignorance man sees objects as real. For example, ocean alone is real, the wave is a name and a form. But in delusion, as long as one sees the wave as a wave, it is not seen as ocean. However, when it is seen that the wave is just a name and a form and not the reality, then the ocean is seen. In other words, as long as the notion of wave persists the ocean is not apprehended. Similarly, as long as the notion of object persists, the division (duality or false ego-consciousness) between the seer and the seen also remains. This is ignorance.

  • ਗਿਆਨ ਹੀਣੰ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਪੂਜਾ ॥ ਅੰਧ ਵਰਤਾਵਾ ਭਾਉ ਦੂਜਾ ॥: Giaan heenan agiaan poojaa. Andh vrtaavaa bhaayu doojaa: Bereft of Spiritual Wisdom, (people) worship ignorance. In the love of duality (in love of Maya, their) conduct or behavior (keeps them mentally blind or ignorant of their spiritual life). (sggs 1412).
  • ਅਗਿਆਨੀ ਜਗਤੁ ਅੰਧੁ ਹੈ ਭਾਈ ਸੂਤੇ ਗਏ ਮੁਹਾਇ ॥੨॥: Agiaanee jagat andh hai bhaaee soote gae muhaai ||2||: O brother, (due to the love of Maya and lack of understanding of spiritual life - ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ) in ignorance the world is blind; people sleeping in this ignorance are plundered (they lose their spiritual wealth - ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਰਾਸਿ-ਪੂੰਜੀ ਲੁਟਾਣਾਂ) ||2|| (sggs 603).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਗੁਬਾਰੁ ॥: Maya mohu agiaan gubaar: Attachment to Maya (worldliness or illusion) leads to the darkness of ignorance (sggs 1262).

Looking at it from an another angle, nonapprehension of our Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...) creates in us misapprehension that we are finite, helpless, tearful, desperate, weak-minded, fearful, and sorrowful individuals. Our nonapprehension of Truth and the consequent misapprehensions are together called Maya or ignorance. Full of material designations, only in the heart of the ignorant man grows the dreadful tree of wickedness, infatuation, corruption, selfishness, crookedness, unrighteousness, foolishness, unhappiness, mental restlessness, evil personality, evil tendencies, evil thoughts, evil speech, evil actions, worldly entanglements, and so on. It is because of this an ignorant person is visited by repeated suffering.

  • ਬਨਿਤਾ ਬਿਨੋਦ ਅਨੰਦ ਮਾਇਆ ਅਗਿਆਨਤਾ ਲਪਟਾਵਏ ॥: Banitaa binod anand Maya agiaanataa lapataavaye: In ignorance, I cling to the pleasures of woman and the joys of Maya (sggs 458).
  • ਮਹਾ ਮੋਹ ਅਗਿਆਨਿ ਤਿਮਰਿ ਮੋ ਮਨੁ ਰਹਿਓ ਉਰਝਾਈ ॥: Mahaa moh agiaan timar mo manu rahiou ourajhaaee: In the utter darkness of emotional attachment and Spiritual ignorance, my mind remains entangled (sggs 632).
  • ਅਨਜਾਨਤ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਮਹਿ ਰਚੈ ॥: Anajaanat bikhiaa mahi rachai: In ignorance, people are engrossed in corruption (sggs 277).
  • ਦਿਤੈ ਕਿਤੈ ਨ ਸੰਤੋਖੀਅਹਿ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਤਿਸਨਾ ਬਹੁ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧ੍ਹਾਰੁ ॥: Ditai kitai na santokheeahi antar tisanaa bahu agiaan andhyaar: Those filled with great desire, ignorance and darkness, no matter what they are given, they are not satisfied (sggs 316).
  • ਦਹ ਦਿਸ ਧਾਇ ਮਹਾ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਕਉ ਪਰ ਧਨ ਛੀਨਿ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਹਰਿਓ ਹੈ ॥: Dah dis dhaai mahaa bikhiaa kaou par dhan sheen agiaan hario hai: Man runs around in the ten directions, for the sake of the great poison of corruption. He steals the wealth of others, and in the end, he is destroyed by his own ignorance (sggs 1388).

Man's ignorance of his Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...) is said to be the source of his all troubles and calamities. In ignorance the real appears to be unreal and vice versa. Owing to mental conditioning, the ignorant Jeeva (individualized consciousness) perceives what he thinks he perceives. On account of ignorance, when the notion of false ego-sense arises, at that very moment the perception of duality (delusion, hallucination, Doojaa Bhaav, etc.) also arises. The deluded person then abandons all right thinking or Spiritual Inquiry into the Truth and embraces his foolishness as Bliss. Our non-seeing of the Truth is the cause of the world-appearance, which is the source of all other phenomena.

  • ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰੁ ਮਹਾ ਪੰਥੁ ਬਿਖੜਾ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਿ ਭਾਰਿ ਲਦਿ ਲੀਜੈ ॥: Agiaanu andheru mahaa panthu bikharhaa ahankaari bhaari ladi leejai (sggs 1326).
  • ਅਗਿਆਨੀ ਮਾਨੁਖੁ ਭਇਆ ਜੋ ਨਾਹੀ ਸੋ ਲੋਰੈ ॥: Agiaanee maanukh bhaiaa jo naahee so lorai: (Under the pull of the sweet Maya) man has become ignorance (he has lost his intellectt, etc.); he looks for things that do not exist (forever - things that are impermanent, false, ephemeral, etc.) do not exist (sggs 212).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਦੁਖੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਹੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਪੜਦਾ ਦੂਰਿ ਪਈਆਸਿ ॥: There is ignorance and pain of doubt within, like a separating veil (i.e., veil of ignorance) between the man and God (sggs 40).
  • ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਦੁਹੇਲਾ ॥: Doojai bhaai agiaan duhelaa: In the love of duality and ignorance, you will suffer (sggs 226).

The Gurbani indicates that most of us deal throughout our life with this ignorance only! In other words, the ignorance is all-pervasive, equally distributed throughout the material world. This is why the scriptures say we must detach from the material world and its objects, and get adhered to Spiritual Life and Wisdom. We must collect our energies that are scattered in the worthless activities and transmute them within, so that we can understand time-space-causation, beginning-middle-end or past-present-future; whereby we can understand the eternity of the moment at hand.

  • ਅਸੰਖ ਮੂਰਖ ਅੰਧ ਘੋਰ ॥: Asankh moorakh andh ghor: There are countless fools, blinded by ignorance (sggs 4).
  • ਗਿਆਨ ਵਿਹੂਣੀ ਭਵੈ ਸਬਾਈ ॥: Giaan vihoonee bhavai sabaaee: Without the Divine Knowlege, the entire world wanders about (sggs 1034).

The Truth can be realized only when ignorance comes to an end. How can we get rid of ignorance? This ignorance can neither be eradicated by any mundane work nor any Mayaic activities of ours. The only thing that can completely cut the roots of ignorance is the sword of Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan). Besides Divine Knowledge, whatever there may be is nothing but ignorance.

  • ਜਹ ਗਿਆਨ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਮਿਟੰਤੁ ॥: Jah giaan pragaas agiaan mittant: Wherever Spiritual Wisdom appears, ignorance is dispelled (sggs 791).
  • ਮਰਿ ਜੰਮੈ ਵਾਰੋ ਵਾਰਾ ਵਧਹਿ ਬਿਕਾਰਾ ਗਿਆਨ ਵਿਹੂਣੀ ਮੂਠੀ ॥: Mar janmai vaaro vaaraa vadhahi bikaaraa giaan vihoonee moothee: People die to be reborn, repeatedly, while their sins increase; without Spiritual Wisdom, they are deluded (sggs 583).
  • ਉਪਜੈ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਛੀਜੈ ॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਰਸਿ ਗਗਨੰਤਰਿ ਭੀਜੈ ॥: Oupajai giaan duramat shheejai. Amrit ras gaganantar bheejai: (In the state of Awareness) Spiritual Wisdom arises within, and evil-mindedness departs; (in this Higher state) the mind becomes drenched with the Rasa of the (Naam) Amrit (sggs 974).
  • ਗਿਆਨ ਰਤਨੁ ਬਲਿਆ ਘਟਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ਜਾਇ ॥: Giaan ratan baliaa ghat chaanan agiaan andheraa jaai: With the sparkling jewel of Spiritual Wisdom, the heart is illumined, and ignorance is dispelled (sggs 368).
  • ਤਹ ਜੋਤਿ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ਅਨੰਦ ਰਸੁ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਗਵਿਤਾ ॥: Tah joti pragaas anand ras agiaan gavitaa: There, the Divine Light and the essence of bliss are manifest, and ignorance is eliminated (sggs 512).
  • ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ਬਿਨਸਿ ਬਿਨਾਸਿਓ ਘਰਿ ਵਸਤੁ ਲਹੀ ਮਨ ਜਾਗੇ ॥: Agiaan andheraa binas binaasio ghar vasatu lahee mann jaage: With the awakening of the mind, the darkness of ignorance has been dispelled; within the Home of my inner being, I have found the Genuine Article--the Self (sggs 172).
  • ਬੰਧਨ ਤੋੜੈ ਸਚਿ ਵਸੈ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅਧੇਰਾ ਜਾਇ ॥: Bandhan torrai sach vasai agiaan adheraa jaai: They break their bonds, and dwell in Truth, and the darkness of ignorance is dispelled (sggs 551).

Thus, one's ignorance will not go away without Divine Knowledge. And this Divine Knowledge which consists in wiping out the dross of the mind arises through Shabad-Vichaar. Then one comes to understand the Truth, the Divine Essence.

  • 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).

Everything is within this body, ignorance as well as the Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan). Just as poison is antidote to poison, weapons are destroyed by other weapons, a thorn removes another thorn, dirt cleans dirt, and enemies kill other enemies, even so this ignorance when inquires into seeks to destroy itself and then seeks the Light of True Knowledge within. In other words, the moment we become aware of ignorance or Maya, it folds its tent and leaves forever, never to comeback again. Upon cessation of ignorance or Maya, we come to know how it arose in the first place. Also, then we realize that this ignorance, Maya or ego-sense is not a real entity but the superimposition of the false self on the Mool. When investigated with the help of the Shabad-Vichaar, the superimposition is destroyed, and ignorance ends. Just as when the dirt is removed, the real substance is made manifest, similarly, when ignorance is dispelled, Truth is realized. Simply stated, just as when enemy rejoices after destroying other enemy, even so this ignorance or Maya rejoices when it is destroyed! That is to say, ignorance expands by means of ignorance, and yields greater darkness. When it seeks Spiritual Wisdom, it feeds on Spiritual Wisdom and grows into this Wisdom in the end, loosing itself in the process.

  • ਹਉਮੈ ਦੀਰਘ ਰੋਗੁ ਹੈ ਦਾਰੂ ਭੀ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਹਿ॥: Houmai deeragh rogu hai daaroo bhee isu maahi: Ego is a chronic disease, but it contains its own cure as well (sggs 466).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਤੇ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ਨਾ ਕਿਛੁ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥: Nanak man hee te man maaniya na kish marai na jaayi: O Nanak, through the (Higher) mind, the (lower) mind is satisfied, and then, nothing comes or goes (sggs 514).
  • ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਮਨੁ ਉਲਟੋ ਮਰੈ ਜੇ ਗੁਣ ਹੋਵਹਿ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: Man mahi man ulto marai je gun hovahi naal: The (lower) mind turns inward, and merges with the (Higher) mind, when it is with virtue (sggs 935).
  • 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).

Sense-slavery, psychological states or modes, the sense of individuality, relativist consciousness, ego-mind and world-appearance as well all subsequent grief, adversity, birth and death are born of the darkness of ignorance. When ignorance of the deluded mind ceases to be, the inner Light shines brightly, and the Divine Knowledge with all good qualities blossoms within. As a result, selfish desires, fear, dissipation of energy, mental distractions and distress come to and end, just as the ocean becomes calm when the wind ceases to agitate its surface. The rise of the Divine Knowledge puts an end to the perception of the world illusion, leading to absolute cessation of the transmigratory states.

The choice is ours. We can choose either to be with ignorance or to be with our Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...). The advice of the Gurbani is to be firmly rooted in the Mool realization that we are "Joti Svaroop"...

  • ਗਿਆਨ ਰਤਨੁ ਸਦਾ ਘਟਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਅੰਧੇਰੁ ਗਵਾਇਦਾ ॥: Giaan ratan sadaa ghatt chaanan agiaan andher gavaaidaa: The Jewel of Spiritual Wisdom ever illumines the heart; (when this Truth is realized within) the darkness of Spiritual ignorance is dispelled (sggs 1063).

When the ego "I" is there, the awareness of Mool is absent. When the Spiritual Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan) arises, ego-mind ceases to be. When the Pure Mind is awakened (Higher State), the false mind (lower state) looses its false characteristics psychological limitations and conditionings. Simply put, the ego-mind or Maya which arose in ignorance perish in Divine Knowledge. To say it otherwise, when the confused mind or physical ego dies, Truth shines forth from behind the mind.

Clearly, all hallucination or delusion exist so long one is devoid of Shabad-Vichaar. It is only the untruth or ignorance that is always afraid and devoid of Inner-inquiry, Naam, Bhagati...

As a result, ignorance becomes the source of our troubles — bondage and suffering. Ignorance or untruth depends upon external things; for it is unreal. When the true spirit of Spiritual Inquiry arises there is total cessation of the false ego-mind. Shabad-Vichaar is like the termite which eats it away. In other words, the Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan) arises when the senses and the ego-mind cease. This Higher state is called inner Simplicity, Sahaj-Avasthaa, Turiyaa, Chauthaa Pada, Dasam Duaar, Immortality, Spiritual Enlightenment, "Joti-Svaroopa", Gurmukhhood, and so on. This is the state of no-death, no-sorrows, no-transmigration, no-duality, no-mind or no-ego, no this or that.

  • ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਈਐ ਹਉਮੈ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਗਵਾਪੈ ॥: Har har naam dhiaaeeai houmai agiaan gavaapai: Meditating on the Divine Name, egotism and ignorance are eliminated (sggs 1092).
  • ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੀ ਬਿਨੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥: Is maaree bin giaan na hoee: Without killing this (ego-mind), one does not obtain Spiritual Wisdom (sggs 238).
  • ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਆਪਾ ਚੀਨੈ ਮਿਟੈ ਨ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੀ ਕਾਈ ॥: Jan Nanak binu aapaa cheenai mitai na bhram kee kaaee: O Daas Nanak! Without Realizing one’s own self (Mool, Original, or True Nature, etc. - ਆਪਣਾ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਪਰਖਣ ਤੋਂ ਬਿਨਾ, etc.), the moss of doubt (ignorance of one's True Nature, etc.) is not eradicated (from the mind) ||2||1|| (sggs 684).
  • ਙਿਆਨੀ ਤਤੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੀਚਾਰੀ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਾ ਕਉ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਧਾਰੀ ॥੫॥: Giaanee tatu gurmukh beechaaree. Nanak Jaa Kaou kirapaa dhaaree ||5||: Unto whom God bestows His Grace, he, by becoming the Gurmukh, contemplates the essence of Reality ||5|| (sggs 251).
  • ਸਾਬਤੁ ਰਖਹਿ ਤ ਰਾਮ ਭਜੁ ਨਾਹਿ ਤ ਬਿਨਠੀ ਬਾਤ ॥: Saabat rakhahi taa raam bhaj naahi taa binathee baat (sggs 1376).

So the Gurbani urges us to become a Gurmukh (Spiritual Being...) and remain established in the Divine Knowledge. Not knowledge in the intellectual sense, but the knowledge of Aatmaan and Parmaatam and the realization of their Oneness. The opposite of Spiritual Life is material life (Manmukh). The difference between these is this: The Spiritual Life, which is of the nature of Immaculate Wisdom, seeks "preferable" - ealization of the Mool or cessation of repeated suffering. While the material life, which is of the nature of ignorance, seeks "pleasurable": sensory pursuits or Maya. Thus, being of the diametrically opposing nature, these cannot be performed together by the same person. That is to say, if we want to be a Gurmukh then we need discard Manmukh in us. To the contrary, if we want to be a shortsighted Manmukh then we need discard Gurmukh in us. According to the Gurbani, the ignorant one selects delectable Manmukh (or material lifestyle) in order to gratify his limited body-consciousness. But the wise one selects Divine Life (Gurmukh): Freedom in the Unlimitedness.

  • ਸੁਆਦ ਮੋਹ ਰਸ ਬੇਧਿਓ ਅਗਿਆਨਿ ਰਚਿਓ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥: Suaad moh ras bedhio agiaan rachio sansaar: Engrossed in ignorance, the world is pierced through with attachment to tastes and pleasures (sggs 297).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਸੋਇ ਰਹੇ ਸੇ ਲੂਟੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਾਬਤੁ ਭਾਈ ਹੇ ॥: Manmukh soi rahe se loote gurmukh saabat bhaaee hay (sggs 1024).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਅਗਿਆਨਿ ਕੁਮਾਰਗਿ ਪਾਏ ॥: Manmukh agiaan kumaarag paaya: Manmukhs in ignorance take the path of evil (sggs 231).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਤਿਮਰ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅਧੇਰੁ ਚੁਕਾਇਆ ॥: Nanak Gurmukh giaan praapat hovai timar agiaan andher chukaaiaa: O Nanak, the spiritual wisdom (ਉੱਚੀ ਸਮਝ, etc.) is attained by becoming the Gurmukh, and the pitch-black darkness of ignorance is dispelled (sggs 512).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਮਿਟਿਆ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ॥: Antar sabad mitiaa agiaan andheraa: When the Shabad deep within the nucleus of the Self is realized, the darkness of ignorance is dispelled (sggs 798).
  • ਗਿਆਨ ਵਿਹੂਣੀ ਪਿਰ ਮੁਤੀਆ ਪਿਰਮੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥: Giaan vihoonee pir muteeaa piram na paaiaa jaai: Those who are utterly lacking in Spiritual Wisdom are separated from the Divine; they cannot obtain Divine Love (sggs 38).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਲੇ ਧਾਵਤੁ ਬੰਧਾ ॥: Brahm giaanee le dhaavat bandhaa: Brahm Giaanee — the knower of Truth — keeps his wandering mind in check (sggs 273).

In nutshell, the Gurbani summarizes all of this as follows: "ਕਉਣੁ ਸੁ ਮੁਕਤਾ ਕਉਣੁ ਸੁ ਜੁਗਤਾ ...: Koun su mukataa koun su jugataa ...: Who is that person who is liberated and remains in God-consciousness? Who is that person who is Spiritually Wise, and talks about Spiritual matters? Who is the householder? Who is that person who has transcended Maya? Who is that person who value this human life? ||1|| How is one bound (to Maya), and how is one freed of his bonds? How can one escape from the cycle of transmigration? What are good Karma? Who remains beyond the effect of Karma (while living amidst of Maya)? Who chants the Divine Name, and inspires others to chant it? ||2|| Who is happy, and who is sorrowful? Who is Sunmukh (Gurmukh or one living a Divine Life), and who is Bemukh (Manmukh or one living a material lifestyle)? How can one link with God? How is one separated from God? Who can reveal this to me? ||3|| What is that Word, by which the wandering mind can be restrained? What are those teachings, by which we may endure pain and pleasure alike? What is that lifestyle, by which one may come to meditate on the Supreme Being? How may one engage in Divine's Kirtan? ||4|| The Gurmukh is liberated, and he remains linked to God-consciousness. The Gurmukh is the Spiritually Wise, and he talks about Spiritual matters. Blessed is the Gurmukh, even as a householder he remains untouched by Maya. The Gurmukh knows the value of the human life. ||5|| Egotism is bondage; by becoming a Gurmukh, one is emancipated. By becoming a Gurmukh (Spiritual Being or one who lives a Divine Life), one escapes the cycle of transmigration. By becoming a Gurmukh, one performs Good Karma. By becoming a Gurmukh, he remains beyond the effect of Karma (while living amidst of Maya). It is the nature of the Gurmukh to do everything in natural state of Being (Sahaj-Subhaaye). ||6|| The Gurmukh is happy, while the Manmukh is sorrowful. The Gurmukh turns toward the Divine Self (within), and the Manmukh turns the other way. As a Gurmukh, thus, one becomes linked with God, while the Manmukh remains separated from God. Only the Gurmukh can reveals the true way (of life). ||7|| The Gurmukh's Word is the Divine Teaching, by which the wandering mind is restrained. Through the Gurmukh's Divine Teachings, one can endure pain and pleasure alike. To live as Gurmukh is the right Lifestyle (Divine Life) by which we can meditate on God (within) and engage in Divine's Kirtan. ||8|| God Himself (who resides within each one of us) created the entire make (of Gurmukh and Manmukh). He Himself acts, and causes others to act. He Himself establishes the world-play. (Thus) From the Oneness, the same One has become everything. O Nanak, ultimately, everything will merge into that One once again. ||9||2||36|| (sggs 131).

— T. Singh