Acting Without Being

The Gurbani time and again urges us to become the Gurmukh. Obviously, “Being” and “Becoming” is very important to the Gurbani.

The Gurbani puts tremendous emphasis on living by this Divine Wisdom in daily life. Not out of any fear, compulsion, or ulterior motives but naturally, spontaneously (Sahaj-ਸਹਜ).

A person who lives at the level of Aatmaa (soul-nature, Original Blissful Nature…) is called the “Gurmukh” (Daas, Bhagat, Jan…) in the Gurbani. A Gurmukh lives a Divine Life not out of any fear, compulsion, or ulterior motive. He lives such Spiritual Lifestyle because he has to be living such Lifestyle. That is his nature.

In other words, the one who has become the Gurmukh cannot stop living the Gurbani’s Wisdom in daily life, spontaneously and effortlessly (Sahaj – Natural State of Being). It is his nature to live the Divine Life (constantly with each and every breath – “ਸਾਸਿ ਸਾਸਿ”). He just cannot help being Divine! For he cannot be otherwise.

Thus, a person who has become the Gurmukh is always Good or Divine, naturally. In other words, he is not Good because of some fear, ulterior motive, self-interest, selfishness, gaining power (political or otherwise), etc. He is Good because he knows he is Goodness itself!

Spontaneity is the Original Nature of the Heart (Gurmukh-hood). On the other hand, one who is overly identified with the outgoing mind (i.e., a Manmukh) cannot be spontaneous.

The Truth is Timeless. That Timelessness is Now, and that is Being. Being is always shining (“Joti Saroop(u)“). Because, by becoming the Gurmukh, once the Gurmukh-hood is realized, living unbroken Divine Life becomes natural, spontaneous, effortless…

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕਰਮ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਿਹਕਰਮਾ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕਰੇ ਸੁ ਸੁਭਾਏ ਜੀਉ ॥੬॥: Gurmukhi karam… (sggs 131).

On the other hand, a Manmukh (opposite of the Gurmukh) may try to look spiritual from an ulterior motive, which others cannot detect. Or it may be he is trying to look spiritual or good because he expects by looking so he will get some rewards that he cannot otherwise get. Or, he may be trying to look spiritual or good because of some fear. Or, he may be blatantly selfish; whatever good he does may only be a cloak to hide his real motive of swindling money (Golak), gaining power, political or otherwise.

Thus a Manmukh (a self-willed mind…) may try to look spiritual or good as only a means to an selfish end! The truth is, one with such a wicked mind pretending to look spiritual or good to others is likely to do more harm than good by the manner in which he will function. A person with such a crooked mind may give some material help, but, in doing so, he may cause much moral damage. He may exploit people, or he may impose a particular political philosophy on them under the pretext of doing them good…

  • ਅੰਦਰਹੁ ਝੂਠੇ ਪੈਜ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਫੈਲੁ ॥: False within (but looking) honorable on the outside are wide-spread in the world (sggs 431).
  • ਭੇਖ ਦਿਖਾਵੈ ਸਚੁ ਨ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥: (To show off, the stubborn fool) ostensibly wears religious robes, but does not practice Truth (sggs 738).
  • ਅਧਿਕ ਤਿਆਸ ਭੇਖ ਬਹੁ ਕਰੈ ॥: Excessive thirst for Maya makes people wear all sorts of religious garbs (sggs 352).
  • ਕਰਤੂਤਿ ਪਸੂ ਕੀ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਾਤਿ ॥ ਲੋਕ ਪਚਾਰਾ ਕਰੈ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤਿ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮਲੁ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਛਪਸਿ ਨਾਹਿ ਕਛੁ ਕਰੈ ਛਪਾਇਆ ॥: (Although one born from human category) belongs to the human specie, but his deeds are that of animals. (However, he) day and night humbugs or show off to people (that he is a human, ਬੰਦਾ…)! Outside (on his body) is the religious dress but in his mind is the filth of Maya. (However, the filth of the mind) cannot concealed by trying to conceal it with (outwardly wearing religious robes). (sggs 267).
  • ਗਲੀ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਜਪਮਾਲੀਆ ਲੋਟੇ ਹਥਿ ਨਿਬਗ ॥ ਓਇ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਸੰਤ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਹਿ ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ ॥੧॥: Who have rosaries around their necks, and glittering jugs in their hands, (just because of such religious paraphernalia) they should not be called the Divine’s Sant — they are thugs of Banaras (i.e., religious conmen, robbers, cheats…). (sggs 476).
  • ਲਖ ਠਗੀਆ ਪਹਿਨਾਮੀਆ ਰਾਤਿ ਦਿਨਸੁ ਜੀਅ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: Lakh thageeaa… (sggs 471).

Therefore, it is very risky to judge a person by how he appears outwardly. The Gurbani does not advise to do it.

For example, a person may speak sweet and wise words, but in his heart he may be harboring a vengeance, resentment, grudge, hatred, fraud, deception, etc. The Gurbani caution us:

  • ਸਿਆਮਲੰ ਮਧੁਰ ਮਾਨੁਖ੍ਯ੍ਯੰ ਰਿਦਯੰ ਭੂਮਿ ਵੈਰਣਹ ॥ ਨਿਵੰਤਿ ਹੋਵੰਤਿ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਚੇਤਨੰ ਸੰਤ ਸ੍ਵਜਨਹ ॥੬੦॥: A person (may look) beautiful and speak sweet words, (but if he) harbors vengeance (i.e., Bikaar)  in the farm of (his) heart; (then his) bowing is false. True Satsangee Jan (the Gurmukh, Daas, Bhagat…) remain conscious or cognizant (of this fault…). ||60||(sggs 1359).
  • ਠਗ ਦਿਸਟਿ ਬਗਾ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਗਾ ॥: Thag disati bagaa liv laagaa: (You: Lewd) look like a thug; pretending to meditate, you pose like a crane (sggs 1351).

Hence, “Being” and “Becoming” (i.e., the Gurmukh-hood) is always more important to the Gurbani.

Accordingly, throughout the 1430 pages of the SGGS, we are asked to become the Gurmukh! A Gurmukh’s whole life becomes a model of practical spirituality, a model for others to follow. He is the example of what spirituality is. He is also its meaning and justification.

  • ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਵਣੇ ਹਉਮੈ ਅੰਧੁ ਗੁਬਾਰੁ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਵਣਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥੧॥: The Manmukh do deeds in the pitch darkness of egotism (ignorance). O Nanak! (However, those who have) become the Gurmukh drink the Amrit by reflecting on the Shabad (sggs 646).

Our minds are tremendously doubt-ridden, confused, conditioned, fragmented, deep in contradiction, etc. This conflict in the mind leads to total chaos. As taught in the SGGS, Being is nothing other than the reversal of this whole process of chaos to a State of Original Blissful Nature (“Joti Saroopu”, Mool…) –  our Original Face (“Saabat Soorati”-“ਸਾਬਤ ਸੂਰਤਿ”).

  • ਬਾਰਿ ਵਿਡਾਨੜੈ ਹੁੰਮਸ ਧੁੰਮਸ ਕੂਕਾ ਪਈਆ ਰਾਹੀ ॥ ਤਉ ਸਹ ਸੇਤੀ ਲਗੜੀ ਡੋਰੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਨਦ ਸੇਤੀ ਬਨੁ ਗਾਹੀ ॥੧॥ : In this alien forest (of the world – ਸੰਸਾਰ-ਰੂਪ ਬਿਗਾਨੀ ਜੂਹ), there is Hummas (chaos, tumult, the heat from the fire of Mayaic desires…) and Dhummas (confusion…); shrieks (ਚੀਕ ਚਿਹਾੜਾ, ਪੁਕਾਰਾਂ, ਦੁਹਾਈ…) resound from this path (of Maya…). (But) O Beloved (O Prabhoo, I…) Nanak is in love with You, (consequently, I am) going across (this world-) jungle Blissfully (ਆਤਮਕ ਆਨੰਦ ਨਾਲ). ||1|| (sggs 520).

The Supreme Reality (Paramaatam which is timeless-causeless-formless) is already perfect and complete, whereas man’s soul body (Kaaiaa) is still maturing, still evolving. One day, it will penetrate the mystery of the Oneness of man and Parmaatam.

So, we see that man is both being and becoming.

Proper understanding of the Gur-Shabad and then constantly living that understanding in daily life helps us in our evolution, changes patterns in our life by cleansing up the doubt-ridden mind.

The Gurmukh knows he is not the body-frame. We are not what we are aware of. We are separate from that which we are aware of.

The Gurbani Teaches us to become the Gurmukh and claim the Being of ourselves as “Joti Saroopu” (“ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ”).


  1. One can observe that the most common word in gurbaanee is GURMUKH(i) {A matra of Bihariwith its last letter} so its meaning should be understood in this context.
    One can also find that GURMUKH(i) is well defined in Gurbaanee. Similarly MUNMUKH (u) is also characterised for one not being familiar with SABAD(u).

  2. Very Nice Comment Roopji……It is very well explained that we all are Human Beings and Not Human Doings. Be a Observer. Always be in Blissful and loveful mood as much as one can as this is what Gurbani teaches us that Bliss and Love is our True Nature….Thanks Bhai-Sahabji for this interpretation…..

  3. I just love u bhai sahib Ji. This being is just Sat Chit Anand. Love in love with itself

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