Wake up! Wake up! O sleepers (sleeping in the love of Maya),
see that the traveling merchant (i.,e., Jeeva)
is to depart (i.e., death is coming near) (sggs 418).
Wake up, O mind! Wake up! Why are
you sleeping unaware? (sggs 726).
While alive, physical sleep is a basic necessity of one's material body, as fundamental to its health and well-being as air, food and water. The Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) does not intend to deprive the body of this need. However, beyond the physical sleep, there is an another type of "sleep"; which is subtle, seemingly endless and dreadful delusion, illusion or deception of Maya, Haume (egotism), forgetful of the Divine Naam, material consciousness (Manmukh life style) etc. The Gurbani reveals it to us that, in this horrific state of endless slumber are "asleep" the Jeeva (individual beings) of entire world for countless incarnations! It is this endless slumber from which the Gurbani commands us to awake and arise.
  • ਇਕੋ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜਾਗਤਾ ਹੋਰੁ ਜਗੁ ਸੂਤਾ ਮੋਹਿ ਪਿਆਸਿ ॥: Eiko satgur jaagataa hor jag sootaa mohi piaas: Only the True Guru (Self or God) is awake; the rest of the world is asleep in emotional attachment and desire (sggs 592).
  • ਬਿਕਾਰ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਾਦਿ ਸੋਇਓ ਸੂਝ ਬੂਝ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥: Bikaar Maya maadi soeiou soojh boojh na aavai (sggs 408).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਸਭੋ ਜਗੁ ਸੋਇਆ ਇਹੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਿਉ ਜਾਈ ॥: Maya mohi sabho jag soeiaa eihu bharam kahahu kio jaaee: In emotional attachment to Maya, all the world is asleep. Tell me, how can this doubt be dispelled? (sggs 205).
  • ਮਨੁ ਸੋਇਆ ਮਾਇਆ ਬਿਸਮਾਦਿ ॥: Mann soeiaa maaeiaa bisamaad: The mind is asleep, fascinated by Maya (sggs 182).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਇਆ ਸੂਤੇ ॥ ਅਪਣਾ ਘਰੁ ਨ ਸਮਾਲਹਿ ਅੰਤਿ ਵਿਗੂਤੇ ॥ ਪਰ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਬਹੁ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਜਾਲੈ ਦੁਖੇ ਦੁਖਿ ਨਿਵਾਸੀ ਹੇ ॥੧੫॥: Manmukh haumai maya soote. Apnaa ghar na samaalahi ant vigoote. Par nindaa karahi bahu chintaa jaalai dukhe dukh nivaasee he ||15||: The self-willed Manmukhs are asleep (i.e., unaware of the ultimate purpose of life, etc.) in egotism and Maya. (From Bikaars) They do protect their own Homes (Heart etc,), and are ruined in the end. They slander others, and burn in great anxiety; they always live in pain and suffering ||15|| (sggs 1049).
  • ਕਰਤਬ ਕਰਨਿ ਭਲੇਰਿਆ ਮਦਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਸੁਤੇ ॥: Kartab karan bhalaeriaa madi Maya sutae: Sleep in the intoxication of Maya, people do their evil deeds (sggs 321).
  • ਏ ਸੂਤੇ ਅਪਣੈ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੀ ॥: Eae sootae apanai ahankaaree: They are all asleep in egotism (sggs 1128).
  • ਕਿਆ ਸੋਵਹਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਿਸਾਰਿ ਗਾਫਲ ਗਹਿਲਿਆ ॥: Kiaa sovahi naam visaar gaafal gahiliaa: Why are you sleeping in forgetfulness of the Name, O careless and foolish mortal? (sggs 398).
  • ਭੋਲਾਵੜੈ ਭੁਲੀ ਭੁਲਿ ਭੁਲਿ ਪਛੋਤਾਣੀ ...: Bholaavarhae bhullee bhulli pashotaanee ....: Deluded by doubt, misled and confused, the Soul-bride later regrets and repents. Abandoning her Husband Lord, she sleeps (in doubts and illusion), and does not appreciate His Worth. Leaving her Husband Lord, she sleeps, and is plundered by her faults and demerits. The night (i.e., life) is so painful for this bride. Lust, anger and egotism destroy her. She burns in egotism. When the Soul-swan flies away, by the Command of the Lord, her dust mingles with dust. O Nanak, without the True Name, she is confused and deluded, and so she regrets and repents (sggs 1111).
  • ਆਤਮੁ ਨ ਚੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਭਰਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਸੂਤਾ ॥੧॥: Aatam na cheenaih bharmai vich sootaa ||1||: People do not remember their Soul-Nature; they are asleep in doubts ||1|| (sggs 362).
  • ਸੰਸਾ ਇਹੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਹੈ ਸੁਤਿਆ ਰੈਣਿ ਵਿਹਾਇ ॥: Sansaa ihu sansaar hai sutiaa rain vihaai: This world is an illusion; people pass their life-nights sleeping (sggs 36).
  • ਭ੍ਰਮ ਮਹਿ ਸੋਈ ਸਗਲ ਜਗਤ ਧੰਧ ਅੰਧ ॥: Bhram mahi soee sagal jagat dhandh andh: The whole world is asleep in doubt; it is blinded by worldly entanglements (sggs 380).
  • ਆਸਾ ਵਿਚਿ ਸੁਤੇ ਕਈ ਲੋਈ ॥: Aasaa vich sutae kayee loee: So many are asleep in worldly desires (sggs 423).
  • ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਸੁਤੇ ਕਬਹਿ ਨ ਜਾਗਹਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹ ਪਿਆਰ ॥: Doojai bhaae sutae kabahi na jaagahi Maya moh piaar: Asleep in the love of duality, they never wake up; they are in love with, and attached to Maya (sggs 508).
  • ਬਾਵਰ ਸੋਇ ਰਹੇ ॥: Baavar soe rahae: The crazy ones are asleep (sggs 406).
  • 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).

The sense-bent, deluded or conditioned mind is Maya. Once caught in the vertex of Maya, one loses control over his senses and plunges into the pitch darkness of ignorance (of his True Nature as "Joti-Svaroopa"). Here is a step-by step analysis of this descent. Man's brooding over objects of the senses causes attachment to them. From such attachment, lust or craving develops; from unfulfilled lust or craving, anger arises; from anger, mental delusion arises; from delusion comes bewilderment or loss of memory of one's True Nature; the loss of such memory causes loss of discerning intelligence or the discriminating faculty (Viveka-Budhi); upon loss of discrimination, one falls down into the material consciousness (Manmukh life style); which, in turn, brings annihilation of his spiritual life.

  • ਰਸਨਾ ਸੋਈ ਲੋਭਿ ਮੀਠੈ ਸਾਦਿ ॥: Rasanaa soee lobh meethai saadi: The tongue is asleep, in the greed of eatning sweet flavors (sggs 182).
  • ਸ੍ਰਵਣ ਸੋਏ ਸੁਣਿ ਨਿੰਦ ਵੀਚਾਰ ॥: Sravan soe sun nind veechaar: The ears are asleep, listening to slanderous stories (sggs 182).
  • ਨੈਨਹੁ ਨੀਦ ਪਰ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥: Nainahu need par drisatt vikaar: The eyes are asleep in corruption, gazing upon the beauty of another (sggs 182).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਸੂਤਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਪਿਆਰਿ ॥: Manmukhi sootaa Maya mohi piaar: The Manmukhs are asleep, in love and attachment to Maya (sggs 160).
  • ਉਰਝਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਰਸ ਪ੍ਰੇਰਿਓ ਬਿਖੈ ਠਗਉਰੀ ਖਾਵਤ ਹੇ ॥੧॥: Urjh rahio indree ras prerio bikhai thagouree khavat hai ||1||: (Man) lures in the pleasures of the senses is eating poison (of Bikaars, sense-objects, etc., ||1|| (sggs 821).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਰੋਗੁ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਕਉ ਦੀਨਾ ॥....: Haumai rog maanas kayu deenaa ....: Mankind is afflicted with the disease of egotism. The disease of sexual desire overwhelms the elephant. Because of the disease of vision, the moth is burnt to death. Because of the disease of the sound of the bell, the deer is lured to its death. Whoever I see is diseased. Only my True Guru, the True Yogi, is free of disease. Because of the disease of taste, the fish is caught. Because of the disease of smell, the bumblebee is destroyed. The whole world is caught in the disease of attachment. In the disease of the three qualities of Maya, corruption is multiplied (sggs 1140).

In order to reorient us to the Spiritual Goal, the Gurbani wants to keep in mind that (a) the human birth is very rare thus precious; (b) it does not happen again and again; and (c) it's most suitable for God-realization. Therefore, we time and again reminded to make the best use of this rare and wonderful opportunity and not waste it in frivolous pursuits. Accordingly, the Gurbani's call to us is to "Awake! Awake!" from this long state of delusion most of us are in.

  • ਜਾਗਹੁ ਜਾਗਹੁ ਸੂਤਿਹੋ ਚਲਿਆ ਵਣਜਾਰਾ ॥: Jaagahu jaagahu sootiho chaliaa vanajaaraa: Wake up! Wake up! O sleepers (sleeping in the love of Maya), see that the travelling merchant (i.,e., Jeeva) is to deaprt (i.e., death is coming near) (sggs 418).
  • ਜਾਗ ਲੇਹੁ ਰੇ ਮਨਾ ਜਾਗ ਲੇਹੁ ਕਹਾ ਗਾਫਲ ਸੋਇਆ ॥: Jaag laehu rae manaa jaag laehu kahaa gaafal soeiaa: Wake up, O mind! Wake up! Why are you sleeping unaware? (sggs 726).
  • ਜੋ ਜਾਗੇ ਸੇ ਉਬਰੇ ਸੂਤੇ ਗਏ ਮੁਹਾਇ ॥: Jo jaagae sae oubarae sootaae geae muhaae: Those who remain awake and aware are saved, while those who sleep are plundered (sggs 34).
Since the unending state of our "sleep" or delusion is none other than the perversions or "impurities" of our mind, awakening from it is to rid the mind of these perversions. How can be go about doing it? In other words, once we wake up, then what?

Let's ponder over it. While physically asleep, our eyes are closed and thereby we see nothing. Upon waking up, our eyes become wide open and we can see things again. So logically the Gurbani wants us to "awake" from our perpetual delusion, and see beyond "Sootak" (impurity or corruption of the mind) — see the Enlightened ones (Saadh-Sangat or Gurmukhs), see God pervading in everything etc.

  • ਲਪਟਿ ਰਹੇ ਮਾਇਆ ਰੰਗ ਮਾਤੇ ਲੋਚਨ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਸੂਝੀ ॥: Lapat rahe Maya rang maate lochan kashhoo na soojhee: They (those full of desires) remain engrossed in Maya, inntoxicated with the pleasures of their wealth; their eyes see nothing else at all (sggs 672).
  • ਗਿਆਨ ਅੰਜਨੁ ਜਿਹ ਪਾਇਆ ਤੇ ਲੋਇਨ ਪਰਵਾਨੁ ॥: Giaan anjan jih paaiaa te loin paravaan: Those eyes, to which the ointment of spiritual wisdom is applied, are approved (sggs 1103).
  • ਸੋ ਜਨੁ ਸਾਚਾ ਜਿ ਅੰਤਰੁ ਭਾਲੇ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਦਰਿ ਨਿਹਾਲੇ ॥: So jan saachaa ji antar bhaale: Gur kai sabad har nadar nihaale: That humble being, who searches within himself, through the Guru's Shabad, sees the Lord with his eyes (sggs 1065).
  • ਏ ਨੇਤ੍ਰਹੁ ਮੇਰਿਹੋ ਹਰਿ ਤੁਮ ਮਹਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਧਰੀ ਹਰਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਦੇਖਹੁ ਕੋਈ ॥: Ae netrahu meriho hari tum mahi joti dharee hari bin avari na dekhahu koee: O my eyes, the Lord has infused (His) Light into you; therefore, without the Lord, you don't see another (i.e., you see the entire world as the Lord's manifestation). (sggs 922).
  • ਤੁਝ ਬਿਨੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ਨਦਰਿ ਨਿਹਾਰਿਆ ॥: Tujh bin avar na koi nadar nihaariaa: (O God) Without You, my eyes see no other at all (sggs 398).
  • ਸੇ ਨੇਤ੍ਰ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ਜਿਨੀ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਪੇਖਾ ॥: Se naetr paravaan jinee darasan paekhaa: Those eyes which behold the Blessed Vision of the Lord's Darshan are approved and accepted (sggs 103).
  • ਨੇਤ੍ਰ ਸੰਤਨ ਕਾ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਪੇਖੁ ॥: Netr santan kaa darasan pekh: With your eyes, behold the Blessed Vision of the Saints (sggs 190).
  • ਨੈਨੀ ਪੇਖਤ ਸਾਧ ਦਇਆਲ ॥: Nainee pekhat saadh dayiaal: With your eyes, see the kind, Holy people (sggs 298).
  • ਉਨ੍‍ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਦੇਖਉ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਨੈਨ ॥: Ounh kai sang dekhou prabh nain: In their association (Holy Company), I see God with my eyes (sggs 391).
  • ਹਰਿ ਜਨ ਦੇਖਹੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਨੈਨੀ ॥: Har jan dekhahu satgur nainee: O humble servants of the Lord, see the True Guru with your eyes (sggs 800).
  • ਸਤਗੁਰੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਤ ਆਖੀ ਸੂਝੈ ॥: Satgur milai ta aakhee soojhai: If he meets the True Guru, then he sees (Reality) with his eyes (sggs 935).
  • ਨੈਨੀ ਦੇਖਿ ਦਰਸੁ ਮਨੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤੈ ਸ੍ਰਵਨ ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੁਣਈਆ ॥: Nainee dekh daras manu tripatai sravan bani gur sabad sunaeeaa: Seeing the Blessed Vision of His Darshan with my eyes, my mind is satisfied; with my ears, I listen to the Guru's Bani, and His Shabad (sggs 833).
  • ਪ੍ਰਿਅ ਪੇਖੀ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਪਾਏ ਸਗਲ ਨਿਧਾਨ ॥: Pria pekhee drisat paaye sagal nidhaan: Seeing Beloved with eyes, all treasures are obtained (sggs 372).
  • ਏਕੋ ਏਕੀ ਨੈਨ ਨਿਹਾਰਉ ॥: Eko ekee nain nihaarou: With my eyes, I see the One and Only Lord (sggs 386).
  • ਅਖੀ ਸੰਤੋਖੀਆ ਏਕ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥: Akhee santhokheeaa ek liv laai: Embracing love for the One Lord, mine eyes are content (sggs 560).
  • ਸੋ ਹਰਿ ਨੈਨਹੁ ਕੀ ਪੂਤਰੀ ॥: So har nainahu kee pootaree: That Lord is the light of my eyes (sggs 874).

Clearly, it's the Soul's Awakening the Gurbani is talking about here. This Light of awareness or the right kind of Self- Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan) that confers on the individual inner purity, perfection and everlasting peace (Bliss or Anand). So the Gurbani's Teaching (Gurmat) is the essence of spiritual striving, wherein the central import is the appeal to each Soul to strive for inner Awakening of its True Nature ("Joti-Svaroopa"). The Gurbani asks us to realize God's presence not only within oneself but in others as well, and also realize sincerely that all are subject to God's Hukam (Will). Alertness or self-imposed discipline leads to Awakening. Therefore, the Gurbani urges us not to waste this human birth in frivolous pursuits, since one is not sure what might be in store in the next. The fully "Awakened" ones are termed Gurmukhs (Spiritual Beings) in the Gurbani. The mental condition of such Enlightened ones (Awakened from the illusion of Maya) is described in the Gurbani as follows:

  • ਗਿਆਨੀ ਜਾਗਹਿ ਸਵਹਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥: Giaanee jaagahi savahi subhaae: The spiritually Wise wake and sleep in Peace (sggs 646).
  • ਕਿਆ ਸਵਣਾ ਕਿਆ ਜਾਗਣਾ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਤੇ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥: kiaa savanaa kiaa jaaganaa gurmukhi tae paravaan: Who is asleep, and who is awake? Those who are Gurmukh are approved (sggs 312).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਸੋਇ ਰਹੇ ਸੇ ਲੂਟੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਾਬਤੁ ਭਾਈ ਹੇ ॥: Manmukh soe rehae sae loottae gurmukh saabat bhaaee hae (sggs 1024).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਾਗੈ ਨੀਦ ਨ ਸੋਵੈ ॥: Gurmukh jaagai need na sovai: The Gurmukh remains awake and aware (alert); he does not fall sleep to Maya (sggs 944).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਸਿਆ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਭਗਤੀ ਰਤਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੇ ਸੁਖਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੩॥: Gurmakhi aap pashaaniaa Harinaam vasiaa manni aai. Andin bhagti rattiaa harinaame suh samaai ||3||: By becoming the Gurmukh, (one) understands his own Self (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ. spiritual Lifestyle, etc.). The Lord’s Name comes to dwell within his mind. Imbued with the devotion to the Lord’s Name, night and day, he merges in Peace (ਆਤਮਕ ਆਨੰਦ, Joy, etc.) ||3|| (sggs 162).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਮਾਰਣੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥੨॥: Nanak Maya kaa maaran Sabad hai gurmukh paaiaa jaai ||2||: O Nanak, Shabad is the killer of Maya (ਮਾਇਆ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਭਾਵ ਮੁਕਾਣ ਦਾ ਵਸੀਲਾ), and it is obtained by becoming the Gurmukh ||2|| (sggs 853).
  • ਨੀਦ ਭੂਖ ਸਭ ਪਰਹਰਿ ਤਿਆਗੀ ਸੁੰਨੇ ਸੁੰਨਿ ਸਮਾਵੈ ॥: Need bhookh sabh parahari tiaagee sunnae sunn samaavai: They have totally renounced material sleep and hunger, and through deep meditation, they are absorbed into the Absolute Reality (sggs 442).
  • ਚਾਲਤ ਬੈਸਤ ਸੋਵਤ ਹਰਿ ਜਸੁ ਮਨਿ ਤਨਿ ਚਰਨ ਖਟਾਨੀ ॥: Chaalat baisat sovat hari jas mani tani charan khattaanee: Walking, sitting and sleeping, they remain in God-consciousness; they treasure His Feet (Naam) in their mind and actions (sggs 404).
  • ਸਉਦੇ ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਉਚਰਹਿ ਉਠਦੇ ਭੀ ਵਾਹੁ ਕਰੇਨਿ ॥: Soude vaahu vaahu oucharahi outhadae bhee vaahu kareni: While asleep or awake, they chant "Waaho! Waaho!" (sggs 313).
  • ਸਹਜੇ ਜਾਗਣੁ ਸਹਜੇ ਸੋਇ ॥: Sahaje jaagun sehujae soe: They awaken in Intuitive Peace and Poise (Sahaj Avasthaa); they sleep in Intuitive Peace and Poise (sggs 236).
  • ਜਨਮ ਜਨਮ ਕਾ ਸੋਇਆ ਜਾਗੁ ॥: Janam janam kaa soeiaa jaag: I have awakened from the sleep of countless incarnations (sggs 892
  • ਯਯਾ ਜਾਰਉ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਦੋਊ ॥ ਤਿਸਹਿ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਸੁਖ ਸਹਜੇ ਸੋਊ ॥: Yayaa: jaaro duramati dooo. Tisahi tiaagi sukh sahaje so-oo: Yayya: Burn away duality and evil-mindedness. Give them up, and sleep in intuitive peace and poise (sggs 253).
  • ਸੁਣਿ ਸਖੀਏ ਮੇਰੀ ਨੀਦ ਭਲੀ ਮੈ ਆਪਨੜਾ ਪਿਰੁ ਮਿਲਿਆ ॥: suni sukheeeae maeree need bhalee mai aapanurhaa pir miliaa: Listen, O my companions: now I sleep well, since I found my Husband Lord (sggs 249).
  • ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਸੰਤਨ ਕੈ ਸੋਇਓ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਗਿਓ ॥: Saadhsangat parasaadi santan kai soeiou mann jaagiou: By the Grace of the godly Beings, my sleeping mind has been awakened (sggs 215).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਸੋਇ ਰਹੇ ਸੇ ਲੂਟੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਾਬਤੁ ਭਾਈ ਹੇ ॥: Manmukh soi rehe se loote gurmukh saabat bhaaee hae (sggs 1024).
  • ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਬੁਧਿ ਅਰਪੀ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਕਉ ਤਬ ਹਮ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੋਏ ॥: Manu tanu budhi arapee thaakur kaou tab ham sahaji soeae (sggs 214).
  • ਜੇ ਘਰੁ ਬੂਝੈ ਆਪਣਾ ਤਾਂ ਨੀਦ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥: Je ghar boojhai aapanaa taan need na hoee: (with God's Grace) one who understands his True Home (True Nature, Soul-consciousness or Self-realization), does not sleep (the slumber caused by the love of Maya) (sggs 418).

— T. Singh