ਕਹਾ ਨਰ ਅਪਨੋ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਵੈ ॥ Kahaa nar apne janamu gavaavai:
O man! Why do you waste your life? (sggs 1231).

As repeatedly mentioned in the Gurbani, this human form we take so granted is very difficult to obtain.

  • ਅਨਿਕ ਜਨਮ ਭ੍ਰਮਤੌ ਹੀ ਆਇਓ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਨਮੁ ਦੁਲਭਾਹੀ ॥: Anik janam bhramto he aayio maanas janam dulbhaahee: Man wanders through countless incarnations, until finally he attains this priceless human birth (sggs 1207).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਨਮੁ ਦੁਲੰਭੁ ਹੈ ਹੋਇ ਨ ਬਾਰੈ ਬਾਰ ॥ ਜਿਉ ਬਨ ਫਲ ਪਾਕੇ ਭੁਇ ਗਿਰਹਿ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨ ਲਾਗਹਿ ਡਾਰ ॥੩੦॥: Kabeer maanas janam dulambh hai hoi n baarai baar. Jiou ban phal paake bhui girahi bahuri naa laagahi daar ||30||: Kabeer, it is so difficult to obtain this human body; it does not just come over and over again. It is like the ripe fruit on the tree; when it falls to the ground, it cannot be re-attached to the branch ||30|| (sggs 1366).
  • ਇਸ ਦੇਹੀ ਕਉ ਸਿਮਰਹਿ ਦੇਵ ॥ ਸੋ ਦੇਹੀ ਭਜੁ ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਸੇਵ ॥੧॥: Is dehee kaou simrahi Dev. So dehee bhaj Hari kee sev ||1||: Even the demigods long for this human body. (You have obtained this humsn body, so) through this body, think of serving the Lord ||1|| (sggs 1159).
What's so special about this human form? The Spiritual Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan) is meant for human beings, not for animals. To put it otherwise, among all the living species, only human beings are most fit to be instructed about the nature of the Truth, or the Essence of the Divinity (Mool). In other words, God's devotion (Bhagti-to Understand and abide in the Gurmat...) is most possible in this human body.

This leads to an another question: Are we really living and using this human life any better than animals? Is our conduct any better than animals? Or, are we foolishly wasting it away?

  • ਮੂਲੁ ਨ ਬੂਝਹਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਸੇ ਪਸੂਆ ਸੇ ਢੋਰ ਜੀਉ ॥: Moolu na boojhahi aapanaa se pasooaa se dhor jeeou: Those who do not understand their own Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...); they are beasts and they are cattle (i.e., great fools of animal intellect-ਡੰਗਰ ਬੁਧੀ ਵਾਲੇ ਮਹਾਂ ਮੂਰਖ)! (sggs 751).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਤਤੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਨੀ ਪਸੂ ਮਾਹਿ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥੩॥: Manmukh tatuna jaananee pasoo maahi samaanaa ||3|| (sggs 1009).
Just as animals are unfit to be taught about the Reality, among the human beings those who behave, think, and act like animals are also unfit to be instructed into the nature of the Truth. As the Gurbani says, no matter how many things are tried upon them, they will not mend or change their conduct. The end result is that they depart having wasted their lives.
  • ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਲੋਕੁ ਸਮਝਾਈਐ ਕਦਹੁ ਸਮਝਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਰਲਾਇਆ ਨਾ ਰਲੈ ਪਇਐ ਕਿਰਤਿ ਫਿਰਾਇ ॥: Manmukh lok samjhaaeeai kadhu samjhaaiaa jaai. Manmukh ralaaiaa naa ralai paiai kirati phiraai: Even if  tried to teach the self-willed Manmukhs, but they cannot really be taught? (Because of their nature and conduct) the self-willed Manmukhs do not fit in at all (even if they try associating with the Gurmukhs). Because of their past actions, they are wander in the cycle of reincarnation (sggs 87).
There is one thing very peculiar about a camel, which interestingly also applies to human beings. For example, the camel loves to eat bramble (Kikkar) even though it makes his mouth bleed. Similarly, the mind of an ignorant and deluded man (the Manmukh) indulges in sense gratification even though his body and mind suffer terrible pains because it!
  • ਮਨ ਕਰਹਲਾ ਮੇਰੇ ਪਿਆਰਿਆ ਵਿਚਿ ਦੇਹੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮਾਲਿ ॥: Man karhalaa mere piaariyaa vich dehee joti samaal: O my dear beloved camel-like mind, take care of the Divine Light that dwells within the body (sggs 235).
  • ਕੂਪੁ ਭਰਿਓ ਜੈਸੇ ਦਾਦਿਰਾ ਕਛੁ ਦੇਸੁ ਬਿਦੇਸੁ ਨ ਬੂਝ ॥ ਐਸੇ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਨੁ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਬਿਮੋਹਿਆ ਕਛੁ ਆਰਾ ਪਾਰੁ ਨ ਸੂਝ ॥੧॥: Koop bhario jaise daadiraa kashu des bides na boojh. Aise meraa man bikhiaa bimohiaa kashu aaraa paar na soojh ||1||: Ad a well is filled with frogs, (but those frogs in the well) knows nothing of its own country or other lands (outside the well); just so, my mind, infatuated with corruption (trapped in the well of Maya), understands nothing about this world or the next ||1|| (sggs 346).
The human beings may be divided into two groups: those who are engaged in Pure conduct (the Gurmukh), and those who are engaged in impure conduct (the Manmukh). The Pure conduct is that which is in accordance with the Gurbani. Those who are engaged in such Pure conduct by persistent self-effort (Shabad-Vichaar...) certainly make Spiritual Progress in life, and gradually rise to God-consciousness or Shabad-Surti. On the other hand, those who in their bodily inclinations are engaged in simply pleasing their senses (impure activities) are full of animal propensities.
  • ਧ੍ਰਿਗੁ ਧ੍ਰਿਗੁ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥ ਪੂਰੇ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵ ਨ ਕੀਨੀ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਭਾਇਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Dhrigu dhrigumanmukhi janamu gavaaiaa...: Cursed, cursed is the self-willed Manmukh, who wastes his life away. He does not serve the Perfect Guru; he does not love the Name of the Lord (Naam: Giaan...). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1130).
There are four things common in animals and  men: eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. Due to mental delusion and degradation of the Soul, man conducts himself in these animal propensities, and remains in emotional attachment to material existence. Because of such conditioning, he can never ascend himself to Higher Consciousness. Thus illusioned in the dense forest of ignorance, he tries to dominate the material nature; subjecting himself to its adverse effects (lust, anger, greed, attachment, false pride, enviousness, and stubborn mindedness; and their numerous variations).
  • ਕਰਤੂਤਿ ਪਸੂ ਕੀ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਾਤਿ ॥ ਲੋਕ ਪਚਾਰਾ ਕਰੈ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤਿ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮਲੁ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਛਪਸਿ ਨਾਹਿ ਕਛੁ ਕਰੈ ਛਪਾਇਆ ॥: kartoot pasoo kee maanas jaat. Lok pachaaraa karai din raat. Bahri bhekh antar mal Maya. Shapasi naahi kashu karai shapaaiaa: They (ਮਾਇਆ-ਧਾਰੀ ਜੀਵ - those in love with Maya, etc.) belong to the human species, but they act like animals. Day and night, they make show (ਲੋਕ ਦਿਖਾਵੇ ਦੇ ਕੰਮ). Outwardly, they (those who act like animals) wear religious robes, but within is the filth of Maya. They cannot conceal (their inner filth with outwardly wearing religious robes) (sggs 267).
What separates men from animals is the faculty of Discriminating Intellect called Bibek-Budhi; which allows man to discriminate between the eternal (permanent) and the ephemeral (impermanent). This subtle sense of discrimination helps one to know the difference between Sat and Asat (truth and falsehood). A person with awakened faculty of Bibek-Budhi knows that the Absolute Reality alone is eternal (Sat) and that everything else in this material world being in the framework of time and space is temporary (Asat). The Gurbani says that withoutBibek-Budhi, this precious human life is a total waste:
  • ਦੁਲਭ ਜਨਮੁ ਪੁੰਨ ਫਲ ਪਾਇਓ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਾਤ ਅਬਿਬੇਕੈ ॥: Dulabh janam punn phal paaio birathaa jaat abibekai (sggs 658).
Animals lack the Divine quality of discriminating intellect. That's why animals act the way they act. For example, animals have neitherBibek-Budhi nor interest in inquiring into the reality of the Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...), or the body. But if a man endowed with the Divine Quality of Bibek-Budhideliberately chooses not to use it, than he descends to the animal level by the perpetual existence of his animal-like conduct and conscious. In such mental conditioning, just as animals he is also not interested in Transcendental Knowledge and devotion (Bhagti).
  • ਏਕ ਭਗਤਿ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਜਿਹ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਕੈ ਨਾਹਿ ਮਨਿ ॥ ਜੈਸੇ ਸੂਕਰ ਸੁਆਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਮਾਨੋ ਤਾਹਿ ਤਨੁ ॥੪੪॥: Ek bhagti bhagwaan jih praanee kai naahi man. Jaise suukar suaaan Nanak mano taahi tan ||4||4||: That person, who does not feel devotion to God in his mind — O Nanak, know that his body is like that of a pig and a dog ||4||4|| (sggs 1428).
  • ਸਾਰੰਗ ਮਹਲਾ ੯ ॥ ਕਹਾ ਨਰ ਅਪਨੋ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਵੈ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਦਿ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਰਸਿ ਰਚਿਓ ਰਾਮ ਸਰਨਿ ਨਹੀ ਆਵੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਸਗਲ ਹੈ ਸੁਪਨੋ ਦੇਖਿ ਕਹਾ ਲੋਭਾਵੈ ॥ ਜੋ ਉਪਜੈ ਸੋ ਸਗਲ ਬਿਨਾਸੈ ਰਹਨੁ ਨ ਕੋਊ ਪਾਵੈ ॥੧॥ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਤਨੁ ਸਾਚੋ ਕਰਿ ਮਾਨਿਓ ਇਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਆਪੁ ਬੰਧਾਵੈ ॥ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋਊ ਜਨੁ ਮੁਕਤਾ ਰਾਮ ਭਜਨ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਵੈ ॥੨॥੩॥: Saarang Mahalaa 9 || Kahaa nar apne janamu gavaavai ...:  Saarang Mahalaa 9. O man! Why do you waste your life? Intoxicated with Maya and its corrupt pleasures, you don't seek the Lord's Sanctuary. ||1||Pause|| This whole world is like a dream; why does seeing it (the mortal) becomes greedy? Everything that has been created will perish; nothing will remain (here forever). ||1|| (The mortal) sees this false (perishable) body as true (permanent); in this way, he gets himself in bondage (Maya's entanglements). O servant Nanak, he is the liberated (from Maya's bondage), who applies his consciousness to God's meditation ||2||3|| (sggs 1231).
To be merely interested in the satisfaction of bodily demands like animals is the Spiritual ignorance so much talked about in the Gurbani. It is essentially akin to the animal conscious — the conscious of eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. Such defective animal conscious has no link with the Truth. In fact, as we know it, man's behavior can be even worse than that of animals. In that sense, man can even learn a thing or two from them!

First, for example, animals do not eat everything and all the time. In fact, different animals in the animal-kingdom have different mode of eating habits depending upon their environment, body structure, and so on. Also, they eat only certain things and only when they are hungry. To the contrary, man can consume all kind of junk all the time. Like the mad dog running around in all directions, the greedy and selfish person, unaware, consumes everything, edible and non-edible alike.

Second, animals mate only in certain time or certain season of the year. To the contrary, to fulfill his sexual desire, man does not even respect social customs or code of conduct. Similar observations can be made regarding man's other animal propensities as well.

  • ਦੀਨੁ ਬਿਸਾਰਿਓ ਰੇ ਦਿਵਾਨੇ ਦੀਨੁ ਬਿਸਾਰਿਓ ਰੇ ॥ ਪੇਟੁ ਭਰਿਓ ਪਸੂਆ ਜਿਉ ਸੋਇਓ ਮਨੁਖੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਹੈ ਹਾਰਿਓ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Deen bisaariyo re divaane deen bisaariyo re ...:  O madman, You have forgotten your Dharma; you have forgotten your Dharma. Like animals, you fill your belly and sleep; you have wasted and lost this human life. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1105).
  • ਬਿਖਿਆ ਮਹਿ ਕਿਨ ਹੀ ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਿ ਨ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਜਿਉ ਪਾਵਕੁ ਈਧਨਿ ਨਹੀ ਧ੍ਰਾਪੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਕਹਾ ਅਘਾਈ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : Bikhiaa mahikin hee tript na paayee ...: No one has ever found satisfaction in poison (Maya's dealing). (As) the fire is not satisfied by more fuel; (Similarly) without the Lord (the Lord's Name-Giaan), one cannot be satisfied ||Pause|| (sggs 672).
Love for the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...) and attachment to Maya are the two separate ways. We fall in love with Maya instead of struggling with our deluded mind. In this conditioned stage, we tear up our own roots and harbor only false intentions, arrogant pride, egoism, selfishness, wickedness, and conceit. Thus, in misbehavior, we waste this gemlike human body, which is so precious and difficult to obtain.
  • ਕਮਲਾ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਭੀਤਿ ਕਮਲਾ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਭੀਤਿ ਹੇ ਤੀਖਣ ਮਦ ਬਿਪਰੀਤਿ ਹੇ ਅਵਧ ਅਕਾਰਥ ਜਾਤ ॥ ਗਹਬਰ ਬਨ ਘੋਰ ਗਹਬਰ ਬਨ ਘੋਰ ਹੇ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਮੂਸਤ ਮਨ ਚੋਰ ਹੇ ਦਿਨਕਰੋ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਖਾਤ ॥: Kamlaa bharam bheet kamlaa bharam he teekhan mad bipareet he avadh akaarath jaat. Gahabar ghan ghor gahabar ghan ghor he grih moosat man chor he dinkaro andin khaat: Maya is the wall of doubt — Maya is the wall of doubt. It is such a powerful and destructive intoxicant; it corrupts and wastes away one’s life. In the terrible, impenetrable world-forest — in the terrible, impenetrable world-forest, the thief of the mind is plundering man’s house (inner house) in broad daylight; night and day, this life is being consumed. (sggs 461).
The stubborn-mindedness or fanaticism results from the practice of falsehood. The sign of such person is that he always shows love for Maya (evil passions, Bikaar...) who rob him off his Spiritual Wisdom. He lives in a castle of sand (delusion). His deluded mind enjoys the games of worldly enjoyments and pleasures (the tastes of Maya), because he believes them to be permanent (Sat). Death does not even come to his mind. Instead, what comes to his mind is hate, conflict, lust, anger, emotional attachment, falsehood, corruption, demerits, immense greed and deceit. He cries for the possessions of others. This is how the doubt-ridden Manmukh (material being) wanders around in the world. As his mind is not interested in true Dharma, he loses the game of life.
  • ਦੂਜੜੈ ਕਾਮਣਿ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲੀ ਹਰਿ ਵਰੁ ਨ ਪਾਏ ਰਾਮ ॥ ਕਾਮਣਿ ਗੁਣੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਏ ਰਾਮ ॥ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਏ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਇਆਣੀ ਅਉਗਣਵੰਤੀ ਝੂਰੇ ॥: Doojarre kaaman bharam bhoolee Hari var na paaye Raam ..:  The soul-bride (i.e., Jeeva, etc.) who has been led astray by duality and doubt, does not attain her Beloved (the Lord). (Such) Soul-bride does not cultivate any virtue (ਆਤਮਕ ਗੁਣ), and she wastes her life in vain. (And such) self-willed, ignorant and disgraceful Manmukh (Soul-bride, Jeeva, etc.) wastes her life in vain, and in the end, she comes to grief (sggs 439).

The Gurbani has vivid descriptions of how uselessly we mortals waste our lives. As the Gurbani reminds us: the first twelve years of our life pass in childhood; for another twenty years, we do not practice any self-discipline; and for another thirty years, we do not worship the Lors in any way. At the end, we are old, our organs of action begin to tremble, our tongue becomes incapable of speaking Truth, and in regrets and repents, tears flow copiously from our eyes. Then, its too late to hope to practice Dharma, Shabad-Vichaar, etc.! The next thing we know is the noose of Death hanging over our head, which comes so quickly it carries away everything in a moment what we had tried to preserve all our life as our own. The Gurbani summarizes ten-stages in which we humans waste our lives away:

1. ਪਹਿਲੈ ਪਿਆਰਿ ਲਗਾ ਥਣ ਦੁਧਿ ॥: Pahilai piyaar laggaa thann dudh.
2. ਦੂਜੈ  ਮਾਇ ਬਾਪ ਕੀ ਸੁਧਿ ॥: Doojai maayi baap kee sudh.
3. ਤੀਜੈ ਭਯਾ ਭਾਭੀ ਬੇਬ ॥: Teejai bhayaa bhaabhee beb.
4. ਚਉਥੈ ਪਿਆਰਿ ਉਪੰਨੀ ਖੇਡ ॥: Chayuthai piyaar upanne khed.
5. ਪੰਜਵੈ ਖਾਣ ਪੀਅਣ ਕੀ  ਧਾਤੁ ॥: Panjvai khaan peean kee dhaat.
6. ਛਿਵੈ ਕਾਮੁ ਨ ਪੁਛੈ ਜਾਤਿ ॥: Shivai kaam na pushai jaat.
7. ਸਤਵੈ ਸੰਜਿ ਕੀਆ ਘਰ ਵਾਸੁ ॥: Sattvai sanj keeyaa ghar vaas.
8. ਅਠਵੈ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਹੋਆ ਤਨ ਨਾਸੁ ॥: Athvai krodh hoyaa tan naas.
9. ਨਾਵੈ  ਧਉਲੇ ਉਭੇ ਸਾਹ ॥: Naavai dhayulae ubhe saah.
10. ਦਸਵੈ ਦਧਾ ਹੋਆ ਸੁਆਹ ॥: Dasvai dadhaa hoyaa suaah.

The Spiritual Wisdom or Divine Light of the Gurbani reveals to us very important concepts. The first is that the Supreme Being has made man in His True Image (Joti-Svaroop), hence, the man's real nature is Divine. Second, the only aim of human life is to realize the essence of this Divinity. Accordingly, the Gurbani urges us that if by reading scriptures this understanding does not arise in our mind, then we are worse than the beasts, worms and insects.

  • ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕਛੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਪਸੁ ਜਿਉ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰਉ ॥: Gurmati suni kashu giaan n upjio pasu jiou udar bharaou: Despite listening to the Gurmati (Shabad-Giaan, Divine Teaching of the Gur-Shabad, etc.), (if) no spiritual wisdom (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਕੁਝ ਭੀ ਸੂਝ) wells up within (me); (then it would be) like a beast (routinely) filling its belly (sggs 685).
How can we turn the tide around? In other words, how can we become Spiritually fit? As revealed in the Gurbani, while a Manmukh (ego-being) represents the essence of animal propensities, a Gurmukh (Spiritual Being) represents the essence of Divinity. Therefore, the true Wisdom is in becoming no other than a Gurmukh.

Now, what is a Gurmukh? This term seems to have been widely misunderstood as many define it based on their own foolishness or fool-o-sophy, rather than the Gurbani. According to the Gurbani (sggs), the Gurmukh is: the Gurmukh is linked to his Mool within (ਮੂਲ, Source, Origin Truth...), and ever remains so; he is contented in all situations (Sach Santokhee); he is the follower of the Truth; his mind is linked to Antar-Aatmaa; his Akal (ਅਕਲ , wisdom, intellect, reason, etc., follows the Gurbani; he restrains his mind instead of following his mind; his state is that of "ਇਕ ਮਨਿ ਇਕ ਚਿਤਿ " - Ik Mani Ik Chiti; he is detached in the midst of Maya - ਮਾਇਆ ਵਿਚ ਉਦਾਸੀ; he is established in Viveka-budhi - ਜਿਸ ਨੂੰ ਗੁਰਮਤ ਦੀ ਪੂਰੀ ਸੋਝੀ ਹੈ; he knows all the "Way of the soul" ("ਜਾਨੈ ਆਤਮ ਕੀ ਰਹਤ", ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ, ਅਮਲੀ ਜੀਵਨ, ਹੁਕਮੀ ਜੀਵਨ); he is Jeevan Mukat (living Liberated or Enlightened); he is Aatam or Brahm Giaanee; ; he is established in Chauthaa Pada or Turiyaa Avasthaa (Tenth Gate, Sahaj Avasthaa - Natural State of Being; Sunn Samaadhi, ਆਤਮਕ ਅਡੋਲਤਾ, Shabad-Surti, etc.), saintly nature even though he may deal with countless unsaintly people.

  • ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰਹਿ ਮਨਹੁ ਤਜਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥: Aap pachhaanahi Sabadi marahi manahu taj vikaar: (The one who has become the Gurmukh) realizes his own (True) Self; he dies in the Shabad, (and through the Shabad) he banishes Bikaars from his mind (sggs 430).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰਿਆ ਸਬਦਿ ਕਸਵਟੀ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਨਾਲਿ ਝਗੜਾ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਨਾਲਿ ਸਥ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਮੰਝਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥: Guramukh aapanaa manu maariaa sabad kasavatee laai. Mann hee naal jhagarraa mann hee naal sath mann hee manjh samaai: Applying the Touchstone of the Shabad, by becoming the Gurmukh, the Gurmukh conqueres his mind (prevents it from falling in love with Maya, etc.). He fights with his mind (its evil inclinations: ਬਿਕਾਰ-ਬਿਰਤੀ), he settles with his mind (make his mind understand), and he becomes immersed (in the auspicious nature of: ਸ਼ੁਭ-ਬਿਰਤੀ) his mind (sggs 87).
  • ਰਹੈ ਉਦਾਸੁ ਆਸ ਨਿਰਾਸਾ ਸਹਜ ਧਿਆਨਿ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਣਵਤਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਛੂਟਸਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਗੀ ॥੪॥੨॥੩॥: Rahe udaas aas niraasaa sahaj dhiyan bairaagee ...: Prays Nanak, By becoming the Gurmukh, whoever remains detached and free of desire in the midst of desire — and whoever, unattached, intuitively meditates (ਅਡੋਲਤਾ ਦੀ ਸਮਾਧੀ ਵਿਚ ਟਿਕਿਆ ਰਹਿ ਕੇ) and remains loving attuned to the Name — he is released (from bondage, Bikaars, Maya's clutches, etc.). ||4||2||3|| (sggs 1126).
To the contrary, a Manmukh hates holiness. Instead, he harbors lust, anger, greed, attachment, arrogant pride, enviousness and stubborn mindedness. Consequently, he becomes the embodiment of these evil instincts, and wanders around in doubt and duality. As a result, he practices excessive indulgences and falsehood. He cannot Reflect on One Truth because his mind is filthy and polluted; deep within, it is soiled and stained by the love of Maya (ignorance, delusion, and ego-sense, etc.). Such individuals render themselves unfit for attaining perfection or intuitive understanding of the Shabad; for their intellect is dimmed by material contamination. Tossed by the waves of lust, anger and greed, they suffer in pain. As paper breaks down and dissolves in water, the Manmukhs waste away in delusion. As Manmukhs we chase after the mirage of Maya, and end up wandering in the dense forest of material existence like animals in human garb. Hence the life of a Manmukh is useless; he comes and goes in shame.
  • ਬਹਰੇ ਕਰਨ ਅਕਲਿ ਭਈ ਹੋਛੀ ਸਬਦ ਸਹਜੁ ਨਹੀ ਬੂਝਿਆ ॥ ਜਨਮੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਹਾਰਿਆ ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਅੰਧੁ ਨ ਸੂਝਿਆ ॥੩॥: Bahre karan akal bhaee hoshee Sabad sahaj nahee boojhiaa ..: (O mortal) your ears are deaf (from the Lord's Praises), and your intellect is worthless, and you do not intuitively understand the Shabad. By becoming the self willed Manmukh, you have wasted this human life; Not seeking the (Sacctuary of the) Guru, you remain (spiritually) blind, and (consequently, you) have no understanding (of the spiritual life - ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ) ||3|| (sggs 1126).
The Shabad (or Naam-Giaan...) is the sweetest and most sublime essence of the Divinity. By tasting it, its flavor is experienced, and the nature of our Mool is understood. By becoming a Gurmukh, the disease of false ego is dispelled, and one comes to know the One Reality. By abandoning the conceptualizing tendency of the mind, he strives by every means to remain vigilant in the Divine Knowledge (Aatam Giaan). He discards the relationship between the knower and known, seer and scene, doer and the action (subject-object relationship or duality). Hence, as the Gurbani roars, the true way of living human life is no other than living in Shabad-Surti, by becoming the Gurmukh .
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਪਿਰੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਓ ਰੋਵੈ ਅਵਗੁਣਿਆਰੀ ਝੂਠੀ ॥: Bin Sabdai pir na paaio janam gavaaio rovai avguniaaree jhoothee: Without the Shabad, the (Jeeva, soul-bride, etc.) cannot attain her Husband Lord. the virtuless, the false (Jeeva, soul-bride, etc.) wastes her life away, weeping and wailing (sggs 583).

— T. Singh