In other words, the subject matter of the unique and new Message of the Gurmat (Giaan or Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) is how to live life HERE and NOW while we are alive, at this very moment!
- ਆਜੁ ਮਿਲਾਵਾ ਸੇਖ ਫਰੀਦ ਟਾਕਿਮ ਕੂੰਜੜੀਆ ਮਨਹੁ ਮਚਿੰਦੜੀਆ ॥: O Sheikh Farid! Here and now (Rabb) can be realized, (so) control the senses that stir the mind. (sggs 488).
- ਰੇ ਮਨ ਮੈ ਤਉ ਛਿਨ ਛਿਨ ਸਮਝਾਵਾ ॥: O mind!I make you understand every moment. (sggs 340).
- ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ਖਿਨੁ ਖਿਨੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਲਿ ॥: O my mind! Every moment, remember the Naam (Wisdom…). (sggs 1259).
At this moment, NOT after death
The Gurbani’s edict is: It’s all HERE and NOW!
- ਬੇਣੀ ਕਹੈ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਰੇ ਭਗਤਹੁ ਮਰਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਕਿਨਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੫॥: Says Baynee – O Bhagat! Listen (to this truth): Nobody has ever attained liberation after death. ||5|| (sggs 93).
- ਮੂਏ ਹੂਏ ਜਉ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਦੇਹੁਗੇ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਨੈ ਕੋਇਲਾ ॥: If You liberate me after I am dead, no one will know that I am liberated! (sggs 1292).
Fittingly, according to the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS, Sikhs (learners, ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ) are not to wait for some sort of judgement day after death of the physical body. For Sikhs, each moment of life is judgement time!
- ਅਬਹਿ ਨ ਮਾਤਾ ਸੁ ਕਬਹੁ ਨ ਮਾਤਾ ॥: One who is not intoxicated (with the Divine Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…) NOW, will never be intoxicated. (sggs 855).
The Gurbani’s advice, thus, is to become liberated (Mukat-ਮੁਕਤ) HERE and NOW, at this very moment — NOT AFTER DEATH.
However, we are constantly bombarded with opinions disguised as facts and truth! For example, the paid clergy tells us ‘how to find salvation after death’! That’s totally anti-Gurmat.
Also, as the Gurbani asserts, it’s important to remember that my battle or competition is with my own self, NOT anybody else. In other words, my struggle is with my own mind, NOT with others — conquer your own mind, conquer the world!
- ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗੁ ਲੈ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਲੂਝੈ ਮਨਸਾ ਮਨਹਿ ਸਮਾਈ ਹੇ ॥੩॥: Taking up the Sword of the Spiritual Wisdom, struggle with the mind, and (all Mayaic desires, thoughts, ਫੁਰਨੇ, ਖੋਟੀ ਮਨਸਾ, etc., ) born of the mind are nipped within the mind. ||3|| (sggs 1022).
This battle of life consists of a constant spiritual and psychological battle going on between the two contending forces. These two forces or magnetic poles are (1) Bibek Budhi (pure discriminating intellect attuned to its Mool), and (2) the doubt-ridden or sense-infatuated mind under the delusive influence of the false ego-sense (Haumai). Haumai or false-ego-sense is like a thread. It connects or links all the senses (Indriyas) on itself.
The battlefield of these opposing forces is the human body with its physical and mental or soul faculties. The Gurbani calls this human body the ‘field of action’ — the field (‘ਖੇਤ’, ‘ਧਰਤੀ’) on which all activities of one’s life take place.
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰਿਆ ਸਬਦਿ ਕਸਵਟੀ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਨਾਲਿ ਝਗੜਾ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਨਾਲਿ ਸਥ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਮੰਝਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥: Applying the Touchstone of the Shabad, by becoming the Gurmukh, the Gurmukh conquers 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).
Since the human body is also called the medium of practicing ‘Dharma‘ in the Gurbani, battle is waged between the Divine Virtues or the discriminating intellect (Bibek Budhi) and the ignoble, uncontrolled activities of the blind mind.
The Gurbani is not referring to only one particular battle. Because, life is a series of battles between Spirit and matter (Maya), mind and body, life and death, wisdom and ignorance, health and disease, form and formless, eternal and fleeting, self-control and temptations, discriminating intelligence and the blind or sense-bent mind, and so on.
Thus, from cradle to grave (from the moment of conception to death) man fights innumerable battles — many varieties of inner and outer conflicts.
- ਮਿਥਿਆ ਮੋਹ ਬੰਧਹਿ ਨਿਤ ਪਾਰਚ ॥੧॥: (Man) constantly entangles in false attachments and conflicts. ||1|| (sggs 743).
The Wisdom or Bibek-Budhi of the Gurbani represents the power of impartial self-analysis and discerning introspection for the aspiring seeker (Sikh). The Gurbani teaches us that this power of one’s introspection can and must be invoked to review the conflicts of the daily life in one’s instinctive mind to determine the favorable or unfavorable outcome.
Therefore, the Gurbani stresses the necessity for daily introspection in life so that one may clearly discern which force — the good or the evil, positive or negative — has won the daily battle. ‘Good’ being that which expresses Truth, Virtues, and Wisdom and attracts the mind to its Mool (Source, Jot Saroop or True Nature…) within. And ‘evil’ being ignorance, delusion, doubt, and Haumai (false ego-sense), or anything which repels the mind from its Mool.
- ਰਾਜਨ ਰਾਮ ਰਵੈ ਹਿਤਕਾਰਿ ॥ ਰਣ ਮਹਿ ਲੂਝੈ ਮਨੂਆ ਮਾਰਿ ॥: He who lovingly remembers Raam (- Naam: Wisdom…), he overpowers his mind and fights (with Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, etc.) in this world-arena. (931 sggs).
But those who have developed introspection are as grave as the ocean! But what’s Introspection?
Every person is the best judge of his or her mind.
- ਮਨ ਕੀ ਪਤ੍ਰੀ ਵਾਚਣੀ ਸੁਖੀ ਹੂ ਸੁਖੁ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: The greatest happiness comes from reading the horoscope of the mind (i.e., reading your own mind’s state or condition). (sggs 1093).
Called in the Gurbani (SGGS) by many terms such as ‘Manu Khoji – ਮਨੁ ਖੋਜਿ’, ‘Khoju Dil – ਖੋਜੁ ਦਿਲ’, ‘Aapaa cheenai – ਆਪਾ ਚੀਨੈ’, ‘Aapu Vichaari – ਆਪੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ’, ‘Mann Kee Patree Vaachanee – ਮਨ ਕੀ ਪਤ੍ਰੀ ਵਾਚਣੀ’, etc., introspection is the ability to stand aside, observe, search, inquire, and review without any prejudice the conflicts of the day in one’s mind to ascertain the favorable or unfavorable outcome.
To put it otherwise, it’s the impartial intuitive self-analysis or discerning introspection by which one analyzes the actions and assesses the strengths of the opposing armies of his Good and evil tendencies (Bikaar– lust, anger, greed, etc.).
- ਬੰਦੇ ਖੋਜੁ ਦਿਲ ਹਰ ਰੋਜ ਨਾ ਫਿਰੁ ਪਰੇਸਾਨੀ ਮਾਹਿ ॥: O man! Search your own heart every day, and do not wander around in perplexity (distress, trouble…). (sggs 727).
Only he who does introspection with a pure discriminating reasoning (Bibek Budhi), patient and vigilance can change his deluded mind.
When the mind is carefully studied and debugged, it reveals to us our demerits, defects, shocking crookedness, perversions, weaknesses, etc. In the beginning, all of this will not be pleasing to one’s false-ego-sense at all!
- ਆਪੁ ਖੋਜਿ ਖੋਜਿ ਮਿਲੇ ਕਬੀਰਾ ॥੪॥੭॥: O Kabeer! Those who have realized the Divine (Nature, Wisdom, Virtues…) have done so by searching and searching their own self or self-discovery (NOT realized with the help of Karamkaand of the Pujaarees-Vaad). ||4||7|| (sggs 1155).
In nutshell — in order to win the battle of life — the Wisdom of the Gurbani teaches to turn the outgoing mind (i.e., extrovert) around, and turn it within (i.e., introvert). The Gurbani’s Divine Wisdom teaches:
- ਬਾਹਰਿ ਜਾਤਉ ਉਲਟਿ ਪਰਾਵੈ ॥੫॥: (Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad) turns the outgoing mind around. ||5|| (sggs 414).
Gurmukh wins and Manmukh loses
Now, per the Gurbani, who is sure to win this battle of life and who is sure to lose it?
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਿਤਾ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਹਾਰਿਆ ॥੧੭॥: Becoming the Gurmukh, (one) wins (the battle of life) whereas a Manmukh loses it. ||17|| (sggs 310).
- ਦਾਗੇ ਹੋਹਿ ਸੁ ਰਨ ਮਹਿ ਜੂਝਹਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਦਾਗੇ ਭਗਿ ਜਾਈ ॥: These who have burned (with Virtues or Wisdom their Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, etc.) fight bravely (with Bikaar...) in the battle (of life), and those who have not run away (i.e., lose the battle of life). (sggs 970).
The term ‘ਦਾਗੇ-Daagae’) is pretty significant in the foregoing verse. Literally, ‘Daaganaa’ is dehorning process of removing the horns of livestock when their horn buds are burned or cut out, never to comeback. The Gurbani urges us to burn (‘Daaganaa’) our Bikaar so they don’t ever comeback! The Gurbani roars:
- ਅਗੋ ਦੇ ਜੇ ਚੇਤੀਐ ਤਾਂ ਕਾਇਤੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਸਜਾਇ ॥: If the mortal is conscious before hand (ਸਾਵਧਾਨ – wise, prudent or heedful about own responsibilities…), then why he be punished later (i.e., then he will not have to suffer later in life). (sggs 417).