ਮਨਮੁਖ ਖੋਟੀ ਰਾਸਿ ਖੋਟਾ ਪਾਸਾਰਾ ॥: Manmukh khotee raasi khotaa paasaaraa
The capital of the Manmukh (the Mayaic capital that the self-willed collects)
is false, and false is his ostentatious display (ਖੋਟਾ ਖਿਲਾਰਾ). (sggs 116).

False ego-sense or the knowledge "I-ness" is the primary concept, which in turn is the mother of all other concepts. Our lives are full of concepts. If we like particular concepts, we pass them on to others around us or ram them down their throat. Our activities arising from the false concepts are also false. If the cause (i.e., false ego or Haume) is wrong, then the effect must be automatically wrong as well. What are these false concepts? There are many of them. However, all of them are connected to the following three:

  • Identification with the physical body
  • Thinking that sense pleasures are the source of real happiness or eternal peace
  • Believing that material wealth is the source of real security in life

The Gurbani indicates that our Mool (Source, Origin, Joti-svaroopa, etc.) is not this physical body, and vice versa. Therefore, to take this material body as the Mool or to identify with it is the gravest mistake we can commit. According to the Gurbani, our chance of linking with the Mool within depends on our True Identification. If we miss this point, that is, if we blunder in recognizing our True Nature (as Joti-svaroopa), then we will be lost in the pitch darkness of the material existence (Maya).

  • ਸਾਕਤ ਨਿਰਗੁਣਿਆਰਿਆ ਆਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥ ਰਕਤੁ ਬਿੰਦੁ ਕਾ ਇਹੁ ਤਨੋ ਅਗਨੀ ਪਾਸਿ ਪਿਰਾਣੁ ॥: Saakat nirgunaariaa apnaa moolu pashaanu. Rakatu bindu kaa ihu tano agnee paasi piraanu: O Saakat (i.e., devoid of Virtues...)! Recognize your own Mool (Source, Jot...)! This body is made of blood and semen (i.e., this body you are so proud of is not your Mool...). Remember it will be consigned to fire (of pyre in the end). (sggs 63).
  • ਪਾਂਚ ਤਤ ਕੋ ਤਨੁ ਰਚਿਓ ਜਾਨਹੁ ਚਤੁਰ ਸੁਜਾਨ ॥ ਜਿਹ ਤੇ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਲੀਨ ਤਾਹਿ ਮੈ ਮਾਨੁ ॥੧੧॥: Panch tat ko tanu rachiyo jaanahu chatur sujaanu. Jih te oupajiou Nanakaa leen taahi mai maanu ||11|| (sggs 1427).
Even though we are something other than this material body, the majority of us (over 99.9 percent) still identify ourselves with it. Why? The main reason we identify ourselves with the physical body is our ignorance of the Mool. Accordingly, the Gurbani repeatedly reminds us that whosoever identifies himself with this bundle of bones and flesh with nine holes called body is a "Saakat" who is devoid of all Virtues. Now the question arises: If we are not this body, then who are we? What is our True Identification?
  • 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).
The Gurbani declares that we are the the part-and-parcel or Ansh of the Divine Light (Joti-svaroopa). Our physical body is merely the vesture (Cholaa) of this Divine Spark. That's all. After the death of one's body, the Spirit Soul moves on. Thus, like any other material object, our body is temporary, while our real Self is Immortal (Amrit) oe Eternal. Therefore, this body is Asat or false (impermanent), and our Mool is Sat or True (permanent).
  • ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਇਹੁ ਰਾਮ ਕੀ ਅੰਸੁ ॥: Kahu Kabeer ihu Raam kee ansu (sggs 871).
The ultimate goal, aim or purpose of human existence is to become linked to the Mool within. This is Self-realization. Once we Realize this Pure Awareness within, then we recognize that "He is me, and I am He". The reminds us:
  • ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਾਮ ਮਹਿ ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨਸਿ ਗੁਰ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥: Aatam mahi Raam Raam mahi aatam cheenas Gur beechaaraa: God is in the Soul, and the Soul is in God. This is realized through Reflecting (on the Teachings) of the Guru (1153).
  • ਤਤੁ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਬਾਈ ਸੋਹੰ ਭੇਦੁ ਨ ਕੋਈ ਜੀਉ ॥: Tat niranjan joti sabaaee soham bhed na koee jeeo: The essence, the immaculate Lord, the Light of all — I am He and He is me — there is no difference (sggs 599).
  • Tat tvam asi: Thou art That (Sam Veda).
  • Prajnanam Brahma: Consciouness is God (Rig Veda).
  • Ayam Aatma Brahma: The Aatma Brahm (Atharva Veda).
  • Aham Brahma Asmi: I am Brahm (Yajur veda).
Another false concept is the notion that more and more I gratify my senses for attaining worldly pleasures, the more happy I will be. Not true at all, declare the Gurbani. To the contrary, we are time and again reminded by the Gurbani that it is the sense-pleasure that is responsible for our forgetfulness of the Mool in the first place, which result in our sorrows and sufferings.
  • ਦੁਖੁ ਦਾਰੂ ਸੁਖੁ ਰੋਗੁ ਭਇਆ ਜਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਤਾਮਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥: Dukh daaroo sukh rog bhaiaa jaa sukh taami n hoee: Suffering is (or becomes) the medicine, and Sukh (or pleasure becomes cause of) the disease; but if (the Real - spiritual or ਆਤਮਕ) Sukh (is experienced or Realized), then (no Dukh remains) (sggs 469).
This leads to the question: Why do mortals then become attached to worldly pleasures in the first place? The Gurbani explains us that it is the Maya, the Cosmic Charmer, that allures us to enjoy the mundane objects in a futile effort of satisfying the unceasing demands of our senses. A person under the influence of the tripple-qualitied Maya becomes infected with the poison of lust, greed, anger, attachment, false ego, enviousness, stubborn mindedness, and their numerous variation. Consequently, the Jeeva (individual being) gets caught in the vicious cycle of repeated suffering.
  • ਏਹ ਮਾਇਆ ਜਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਮੋਹੁ ਉਪਜੈ ਭਾਉ ਦੂਜਾ ਲਾਇਆ ॥: Eh Maya jit Hari visrai moh upjai bhaaou dooja laaiaa: This is Maya, by which the Lord is forgotten; emotional attachment and love of duality is born (sggs 921).
The illusive Maya creates duality in our mind. Because of this pluralistic phenomena of Maya-vision, every material Sukha or happiness appears to be followed by Dukha or sorrow. If there is a laughter, there is a cry; if there is a birth, there is a death; if there is a rich, there is a poor; so on and so forth. As everything in the world is in the state of constant flux, there can be found no permanent or everlasting happiness. This is the edict of the Gurbani.
  • 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).
  • ਖਿਨ ਮਹਿ ਕਉੜੇ ਹੋਇ ਗਏ ਜਿਤੜੇ ਮਾਇਆ ਭੋਗ ॥: Khin mahi kaiourre hoi gae jitarre maya bhog: In a moment, all pleasures of the material world (because of which the Lord was forgotten, even those) become bitter (sggs 135).
The real or eternal happiness comes from attaching our mind to the Shabad or Naam (Shabad-Vichaar). Instead, due to our ignorance of the Mool, we seek everlasting happiness in never lasting sense objects. If we want True Joy, then, the Gurbani's advice is to get attached to the Divine Name (Divine Knowledge, Aatam-Giaan). Without being connected to our Mool within, we can neither have Transcendental Intelligence (Shudha Budhi) nor steady mind, without which there is no possibility of Eternal Peace or Happiness.
  • ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਜਾਪਿ ਮਨ ਸੁਖਾ ॥ ਈਹਾ ਊਹਾ ਤੇਰੋ ਊਜਲ ਮੁਖਾ ॥੨॥: Gur ka shabad jaapi man sukhaa. Eehaa oohaa tero oojal mukhaa ||2||: By uttering the Guru-Shabad God's Word), mind becomes peacefu (blissful, etc.). Here and hereafter, your face will be radiant (i.e., ਤੂੰ ਸੁਰਖ਼ਰੂ ਹੋਵੇਂਗਾ) ||2|| (sggs 889).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਲਾਏ ॥: Maya moh Gur Shabad jalaaye: Shabad burns the mortal's love for Maya (sggs 412).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਪਾਵਹੁ ਸੂਖ ਘਨੇਰੇ ॥੧॥: Gurmukhi Naamu japahu man mere. Nanak pavahu sookh ghanere: O my mind, by becoming a Gurmukh, engage in Naam Jap (understanding of the Gurbani...). O Nanak, (as a result of the Naam Jap) you will obtain manifold Happiness (sggs 264).
Another false concept is the belief that material wealth is the source of real security in one's life. This idea is totally fallacious, asserts the Gurbani. In reality, this entire material world is false (temporary), what to speak of mortals with finite life! How an impermanent thing can provide another impermanent thing with a permanent security? Not possible at all.

Due to our body or material consciousness, we feel secure if we have money. On the contrary, we feel insecure if we do not have money. Since the Mayaic mind (Manmukh: self-willed...) love falsehood, this whole idea — that the material wealth is the real source of security in material life — is fallacious.

  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਖੋਟੀ ਰਾਸਿ ਖੋਟਾ ਪਾਸਾਰਾ ॥: Manmukh khotee raasi khotaa paasaaraa: The capital of the Manmukh (the Mayaic capital that the self-willed collects) is false, and false is his ostentatious display (ਖੋਟਾ ਖਿਲਾਰਾ). (sggs 116).

Upon inquiry we find that the feeling of insecurity comes from the fear of the unknown. Amassing of any amount of money can not remove this fear. To the contrary, the more wealth one has, the more fear he has! With more wealth comes the fear of losing it or someone stealing it. Therefore, the sense of true security comes from not amassing money, but from the mental state of fearlessness.

How can one become fearless? What is the source of this Divine State of fearlessness? The Gurbani declares that the fearlessness is the Virtue of a Gurmukh, a True Being who has Realized his Mool within. However, without true humility, one can not be a Gurmukh; and without Spiritual Wisdom, one cannot attain humility and Self-realization. What it means is that, in order for one to be fearless, he must lift himself to the platform of Transcendental Consciousness, the state of Spiritual Perfection.

Therefore, attaining true security is not in amassing material wealth, but in becoming linked tp the Mool within. To put it otherwise, the true security is the question of Higher Consciousness which is beyond any mundane wealth, political power, scholarships, material education and social success.

  • ਸਰਨਿ ਪਰਿਓ ਨਾਨਕ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਕੀ ਅਭੈ ਦਾਨੁ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਓ ॥੨॥੩॥੧੨॥: Saran pario Nanak thaakur kee abhai daan sukh paao ||2||3||12||: Nanak has entered the Sanctuary of his Lord, and has received the blessings of fearlessness and peace ||2||3||12|| (sggs 498).
The forgetfulness of our True Nature (Joti-Svaroop) results in seeing diversity, which gives rise to mental concepts. Inasmuch as man is already overwhelmed by countless false concepts, he keeps adding new to the already existing ones! The object of teachings and instructions of all world Masters and the scriptures is for the removal of these false worldly concepts.

The more we abandon our false concepts, the more we will become Awake and Aware; consequently, the more we will Realize our Mool within. Accordingly, the Gurbani challenges us for completely shedding all wrong concepts (Maya). The filth of selfishness and falsehood does not stick to those who by the Divine Grace ever remain Awake and Aware in Aatam-Giaan. As the Divine Name (Giaan...) abides deep within the Heart; the individual light merges into the Supreme Light.

  • ਛੋਡਹੁ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਕੂੜ ਕਬਾੜਾ ॥ ਕੂੜੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਕਾਲੁ ਉਛਾਹਾੜਾ ॥ ਸਾਕਤ ਕੂੜਿ ਪਚਹਿ ਮਨਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਦੁਹੁ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਪਚੈ ਪਚਾਈ ਹੇ ॥੬॥: Shodahu praanee koor kabaadaa ...: O mortal, abandon falsehood and your worthless ways (ਨਿਰੇ ਮਾਇਆ ਦੇ ਮੋਹ ਦੀਆਂ ਗੱਲਾਂ, etc.). Death (of one's spiritual life, ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ, etc.) viciously kills the false beings (the death-experience is extremely painful to the false, etc.). The Saakat (one separated from the Truth, etc.) is ruined through his falsehood and his egotistical mind. On the path of duality, he (thus) rots away ||6|| (sggs 1025).

— T. Singh