ਸਭੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਤਿਨਾ ਕਾ ਸਫਲੁ ਹੈ ਜਿਨ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਕੀ ਮਨਿ ਲਾਗੀ ਭੁਖਾ ॥:
Sabhu janamu tinaa kaa safalu hai jin hari ke naam kee mani laagee bhukhaa (sggs 588).

The Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) says that the value or the fruit of human life is realized when we practice the Lord's Bhagti (loving devotion) through the Guru's service. We can serve the Guru by allowing the Gurmat (the Gurbani's Aatam Giaan...) to be the foundation of our lives. The Gurbani contained the do's and don'ts of the Gurmat. So long one does not halt the external pursuits and seeks the Divine Life (Gurmukh Lifestyle), his life remains fruitless. By becoming the Gurmukh (Mool-realized being...), one's life becomes fruitful. Thus, with conscientious learning from the Gur-Shabad through the Shabad-Vichaar one's Virtues bear fruits and attains true understanding of the outer world (Miri aspect) as well as the inner world (Piri aspect) and subtle sense of values.

  • ਨਿਹਫਲੁ ਤਿਨ ਕਾ ਜੀਵਿਆ ਜਿ ਖਸਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਹਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਅਵਰੀ ਕਉ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਇ ॥: Nihafal tin kaa jeeviaa ji khasam na jaanahi aapanaa avaree kaou chit laai: Fruitless is the life of those who do not know their Lord, and who center their consciousness on others (sggs 509).
  • ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਾ ਤੇ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਮਾਈ ॥ ਤਬ ਇਹ ਮਾਨਸ ਦੇਹੀ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਇਸ ਦੇਹੀ ਕਉ ਸਿਮਰਹਿ ਦੇਵ ॥ ਸੋ ਦੇਹੀ ਭਜੁ ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਸੇਵ ॥੧॥ ਭਜਹੁ ਗੋੁਬਿੰਦ ਭੂਲਿ ਮਤ ਜਾਹੁ ॥ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਨਮ ਕਾ ਏਹੀ ਲਾਹੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਜਰਾ ਰੋਗੁ ਨਹੀ ਆਇਆ ॥ ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਕਾਲਿ ਗ੍ਰਸੀ ਨਹੀ ਕਾਇਆ ॥ ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਬਿਕਲ ਭਈ ਨਹੀ ਬਾਨੀ ॥ ਭਜਿ ਲੇਹਿ ਰੇ ਮਨ ਸਾਰਿਗਪਾਨੀ ॥੨॥ ਅਬ ਨ ਭਜਸਿ ਭਜਸਿ ਕਬ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਆਵੈ ਅੰਤੁ ਨ ਭਜਿਆ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਜੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਰਹਿ ਸੋਈ ਅਬ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਫਿਰਿ ਪਛੁਤਾਹੁ ਨ ਪਾਵਹੁ ਪਾਰੁ ॥੩॥ ਸੋ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਜੋ ਲਾਇਆ ਸੇਵ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਹੀ ਪਾਏ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਦੇਵ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿ ਤਾ ਕੇ ਖੁਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੇ ਕਪਾਟ ॥ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਜੋਨੀ ਬਾਟ ॥੪॥ ਇਹੀ ਤੇਰਾ ਅਉਸਰੁ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਾਰ ॥ ਘਟ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਤੂ ਦੇਖੁ ਬਿਚਾਰਿ ॥ ਕਹਤ ਕਬੀਰੁ ਜੀਤਿ ਕੈ ਹਾਰਿ ॥ ਬਹੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਕਹਿਓ ਪੁਕਾਰਿ ਪੁਕਾਰਿ ॥੫॥੧॥੯॥: Gur sevaa te bhagati kamaaee .... (sggs 1159).
  • ਸਫਲ ਜਨਮੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਣੁ ॥: Safal janam hovai paravaan. Gur paarabraham nikat kar jaan (sggs 193).
  • ਰਤਨ ਜਨਮੁ ਸਫਲੁ ਗੁਰਿ ਕੀਆ ਦਰਸਨ ਕਉ ਬਲਿਹਰੀਐ ॥: Ratan janam safal gur keeaa darasan ko balihareeai (sggs 213 ).
  • ਸਭੁ ਸਫਲਿਓ ਜਨਮੁ ਤਿਨਾ ਦਾ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਿਨਾ ਮਨੁ ਜਿਣਿ ਪਾਸਾ ਢਾਲਿਆ ॥: Sabh safaliou janam tinaa daa Gurmukh jinaa manu jin paasaa dhaaliaa (sggs 78).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਵਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵਹੁ ਜਨਮ ਜਨਮ ਕੇ ਦੂਖ ਨਿਵਾਰੇ ॥: Gurmukh fal paavahu har naam dhiaavahu janam janam ke dookh nivaare (sggs 767).

The Gurmat urges us to the Naam always, and talk only about the Truth. According to the Gurbani, those who are content within can alone perform the true service. The implication is that if we are not fully content within, then our service will be in greed, selfishness and corruption. Those who are content do not engage in sinful activities. Instead, they do good deeds and live truthfully and righteously in Dharma. They thus burn away the bonds of the bewitching Maya (illusion, darkness of ignorance etc.), and live simple and pious life. If one serves the Guru with arrogance, mental speculations, material logic, and clever cunningness, then he will neither understand the Naam (Shabad) nor God. Therefore, one must serve Him with the feeling of utmost sincerety, humbleness and Love. Such service to the Guru is fruitful and rewarding - it bestows the precious Gem of Mool-realiazation.

  • ਨਾਮੁ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵ ॥੧॥: Naam hamaarai Gur kee sev ||1|| (sggs 1145).
  • ਜਨਮੁ ਤ ਇਹੁ ਸਕਯਥੁ ਜਿਤੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਹਰਿ ਰਿਦੈ ਨਿਵਾਸੈ ॥: Janam t ihu sakayath jit naam har ridai nivaasai: Life is fruitful, when Naam abides in the Heart (sggs 1393).
  • ਸਭੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਤਿਨਾ ਕਾ ਸਫਲੁ ਹੈ ਜਿਨ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਕੀ ਮਨਿ ਲਾਗੀ ਭੁਖਾ ॥: Sabhu janamu tinaa kaa safalu hai jin hari ke naam kee mani laagee bhukhaa(sggs 588).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵਿ ਜਿਨਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਛਾਤਾ ਸਫਲ ਜਨਮੁ ਜਗਿ ਆਇਆ ॥: Satgur sev jin naam pashaataa safal janam jag aaiaa (sggs 602).

The Gurmat stresses on controlling (conquering, annihilating, killing etc.) the mind. If the mind can be refined and directed towards the right path, there will be only Bliss (Anand) in the life, there can be no sorrows. For this we need spiritual knowledge (Aatam-Giaan), which is boxed in the Gurbani as the fragrance is boxed in the flower. Aatam-Giaan follows sincere Bhagti. The heart and mind filled with sincere love and compassion (Daya) is the true sign of Bhagti.

  • ਮਤਿ ਸਤ ਭਾਇ ਭਗਤਿ ਗੋਬਿੰਦਾ ॥: Mati sat bhaai bhagati gobindaa: Wisdom, truth and love all come from Bhagti of Gobind (Mool...). (sggs 1331).
  • ਜਨਮੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਸਫਲੁ ਹੋਇ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਲਾਇਹੁ ਭਾਉ ॥: Janam padaarath safal hoi mann mahi laaihu bhaaou (sggs 963).
  • ਭੁਗਤਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਦਇਆ ਭੰਡਾਰਣਿ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਵਾਜਹਿ ਨਾਦ ॥: Bhugati giaan daiaa bhandaaran ghatt ghatt vaajahi naad (sggs 6).
  • ਕਰਤਾ ਮੰਨਿ ਵਸਾਇਆ ॥ ਜਨਮੈ ਕਾ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥: Karataa mann vasaaiaa. Janamai kaa fal paaiaa (sggs 132).

The urgent need to strive for salvation through Bhagti during human birth is emphasized, since time is precious and once lost cannot be recalled. The Gurbani repeatedly reminds us that even a moment not spent in the Lord’s thoughts will be a great loss and is a moment of sorrow; while those moments spent in His thoughts are indeed blessed. But the difficulty level of this effort is also stressed in the Gurbani.

  • ਸਭੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਸਫਲਿਉ ਕੀਆ ਕਰਤੈ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮਿ ਵਖਾਣੀਆ ॥: Sabh janam safaliou keeaa karatai har raam naam vakhaaneeaa: The Creator has made my life totally fruitful; I chant the Name of the Lord (sggs 576).
  • ਸਫਲ ਜਨਮੁ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਕੀਨਾ ਰਾਮ ॥: Safal janam har paaiaa Nanak prabh keenaa raam: Realizing the Lord, my life has become fruitful; O Nanak, the Lord has fulfilled me (sggs 845).
  • ਸੁਫਲੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਬ ਹੂਆ ਜਉ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਜਸ ਮਹਿ ਪਾਗਿਓ ॥: Safal janam Nanak tab hooaa jaou prabh jas mahi paagio: My life becomes fruitful, O Nanak, only when I am absorbed in the Praises of God (sggs 1008).
  • ਜੀਵਨਾ ਸਫਲ ਜੀਵਨ ਸੁਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਪਿ ਜਪਿ ਸਦ ਜੀਵਨਾ ॥: Jeevanaa safal jeevan sun har jap jap sad jeevanaa: Fruitful is the life of one who hears about the Lord, and chants and meditates on Him; heattains eternal life (sggs 1019).
  • ਸਾਕਤ ਜਾਇ ਨਿਵਹਿ ਗੁਰ ਆਗੈ ਮਨਿ ਖੋਟੇ ਕੂੜਿ ਕੂੜਿਆਰੇ ॥: Saakat jaai nivahi gur aagai man khote koor kooiaare: The faithless cynics go and bow before the Guru, but their minds are corrupt and utterly false (sggs 312).

The following question may rise in one's bosom: "If I don't have a living Guru, then how am I to remove my doubts or confusion (Bharam, Dubidhaa etc.)? Although, the Knowledge about God (Brahm-Giaan) is available from the SGGS, nonetheless the Gurbani also strongly recommends Shabad-Vichaar, and staying attuned with the Aantar-Aatamaa. The Gurbani compares the nature of the Spiritual Association with that of the sandalwood and Paaras (touchstone) - whatever comes into their contact is uplifted. Because in such Spiritual Company, a lowly conditioned Jeeva (unit consciousness) is uplifted and transformed into Divine Consciousness! In the presence of such Holy Company, one finds the energy, integrity, understanding, and persistence to liberate himself from the domain of the false ego regime (Haume). However, the Gurbani has specified a strict criteria as to what a real Saadh-Sangat is (Satsangat kaisee jaaneeyai. Jithai eko naam vakhaaneeyai, sggs 71). The Association of the Gurmukhs can sweep our "filthy" minds clean and help us become established in Pure Awareness and attentiveness. But they are very rare. Also, they are not easily decipherable from the imitation because they have risen above any worldly labels or dogmas. Their ways are unique and distinct ("Bhagataa kee chaal niraalee", sggs 981). Their greatness get camouflaged by their simplicity and humility. Such True and Wise ones ravel constantly in the Universal Consciousness, radiating selfless love, compassion, service (Nishakaam Sevaa), sacrifice, and deep peace to all. To recognize a true Saadh-Sangat, one needs the basic understanding of spirituality (power of discrimination or Viveka-Budhi, intuition etc.). In this regard, the Wisdom of the Gurbani can guide us. The Gurmukhs have no interest in either making followers or asking anyone to change his religion. Instead, they want people to change themselves within for good by undoing (i.e., unlearning) all the negativity and the defilement (inner "filth" or corruption) collected in our lives, knowingly or unknowingly. They do not compete with religions: they just retell the Truth for their own time, place and circumstances. People call them by different names, and give them all sorts of titles and labels, but real ones care less. God's true devotees are always present on this earth ("Har jug jug bhagat upaaiaa, sggs 451."). But, our "Sang" in the past and present has been insincere or superficial (a road block to full Enlightenment). Because, we expect others to change, but not ourselves! It is very rare one indeed who wants to walk on a "two-edged sword"! The Gurbani says that there is no difference between the Lord and His humble servants.

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸਾਧ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਫਲ ਜਨੰਮ ॥: Nanak saadh kai sang safal janamm: Nanak, in the Company of the Holy, one's life becomes fruitful (sggs 272).
  • ਸਫਲ ਜਨਮੁ ਹੋਆ ਮਿਲਿ ਸਾਧੂ ਏਕੰਕਾਰੁ ਧਿਆਏ ਰਾਮ ॥: Safal janam hoaa mil saadhoo ekankaar dhiaae raam (sggs 782).
  • ਸਫਲ ਜਨਮੁ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਜਗ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਨਾਉ ਜਾਪੇ ॥: Safal janam tis kaa jag bhneetar saadhasang naaou jaape (sggs 750).
  • ਉਤਮ ਸਲੋਕ ਸਾਧ ਕੇ ਬਚਨ ॥ ਅਮੁਲੀਕ ਲਾਲ ਏਹਿ ਰਤਨ ॥ ਸੁਨਤ ਕਮਾਵਤ ਹੋਤ ਉਧਾਰ ॥ ਆਪਿ ਤਰੈ ਲੋਕਹ ਨਿਸਤਾਰ ॥ ਸਫਲ ਜੀਵਨੁ ਸਫਲੁ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਸੰਗੁ ॥: Outam salok saadh ke bachan. Safal jeevan safal taa kaa sang ... (sggs 295).
  • ਮਹਾ ਪਵਿਤ੍ਰ ਸਾਧ ਕਾ ਸੰਗੁ ॥: Mahaa pavitr saadh kaa sang (sggs 392).
  • ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਭਇਓ ਮੁਕਤਾ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਪੇਖਤ ਭੋਰੀ ॥: Saadhasangat Nanak bhaiou mukataa darasan pekhat bhoree (sggs 1216).
  • ਸਾਧ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਤਜੈ ਸਭੁ ਆਪੁ ॥: Saadh kai sang tajai sabh aap: In the Company of the Holy, one renounces all selfishness (sggs 271).
  • ਸਫਲ ਜਨਮੁ ਇਸੁ ਜਗ ਮਹਿ ਆਇਆ ॥ ਜਾਸੁ ਰਸਨ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਸੁ ਭਨੀਐ ॥ ਆਇ ਬਸਹਿ ਸਾਧੂ ਕੈ ਸੰਗੇ ॥ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵਹਿ ਰੰਗੇ ॥: Safal janam is jagg mahi aaiaa. Jaas rasan har har jas bhaneeai. Aai basahi saadhoo kai sange. Anadin naam dhiaavahi range (sggs 1174).
  • ਸਫਲ ਸਫਲ ਭਈ ਸਫਲ ਜਾਤ੍ਰਾ ॥ ਆਵਣ ਜਾਣ ਰਹੇ ਮਿਲੇ ਸਾਧਾ ॥: Safal safal bhaee safal jaatraa. Aavan jaan rahe mile saadhaa (sggs 687).
  • ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਉਪਜੈ ਬਿਸ੍ਵਾਸ ॥: Saadhasangat oupajai bisvaas (sggs 343).

This earth is the best place to know and experience God, and the lives of the Gurus and Bhagats prove this. Their Bhagti was unflinching. Therefore, every moment of human life is an auspicious time; an opportunity to overcome all sorrowful memories and take a step towards a fruitful life.

  • ਸਾ ਵੇਲਾ ਸੋ ਮੂਰਤੁ ਸਾ ਘੜੀ ਸੋ ਮੁਹਤੁ ਸਫਲੁ ਹੈ ਮੇਰੀ ਜਿੰਦੁੜੀਏ ਜਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਮੇਰਾ ਚਿਤਿ ਆਵੈ ਰਾਮ ॥: Saa velaa so moorat saa gharree so muhat safal hai meree ji(n)durreeeae jit har meraa chit aavai raam: That time, that moment, that instant, that second is so fruitful, O my soul, when my Lord comes into my mind (sggs 540).

— T. Singh