Beast of Burden

A donkey or an ass is known to be the beast of burden. It carries burden day and night, without knowing for who he is doing it, and why he is doing it. It is happy so long its belly is filled!

Similarly, we carry the crushing load of Haumai (egotism), and, in madness, we work day and night like a donkey to develop material wealth, without caring for the Eternal Spirit or advancement in Spiritual Understanding (Aatam-Giaan). As a result, we end up working like a donkey to cultivate nothing but ignorance. Such life style (Manmukh lifestyle) corrupts our sensory apparatus.

We are repeatedly reminded by the Gurbani that the human life is meant for churning the Truth. Instead, most of us just churn falsehood!

The life of those churning falsehood is like the donkey who grazes upon the green grass; arising each day, he laughs and brays, and then dies. Or, like the intoxicated bull who runs around wildly, romps, eats and then falls into hellish existence.

  • ਹਰੀ ਅੰਗੂਰੀ ਗਦਹਾ ਚਰੈ ॥ ਨਿਤ ਉਠਿ ਹਾਸੈ ਹੀਗੈ ਮਰੈ ॥੧॥ ਮਾਤਾ ਭੈਸਾ ਅੰਮੁਹਾ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਕੁਦਿ ਕੁਦਿ ਚਰੈ ਰਸਾਤਲਿ ਪਾਇ ॥੨॥: The donkey (i.e., the foolish mind) grazes upon the green grass (of Bikaar or Maya …); arising each day, (the mind) laughs and brays (like a donkey), and (finally) become perplexed. ||1|| | (The stubborn mind) is like the intoxicated buffalo. It romps (in egotism) and eats (the crop of Bikaar, Maya …) and then is ruined completely (live a hellish existence or low life…).  ||2|| (sggs 326).

The Gurbani also tirelessly urges us to move from the consciousness of the time-space-causation into the timeless-formless-causeless Self. Subjugation of the beat of Maya — freedom from all attachments and ignorance — is the end of the dance of the conditioned mind, and the beginning of the Spiritual Dance of the Unconditioned Consciousness. The experience of Spiritual Dance is the ultimate maturing of the Jeeva (individual being) from the time-bound consciousness into the Timeless Consciousness (Joti-svaroopa). The reason the majority of us (over 99.9 percent) are unable to experience this Spiritual Dance within is our animal-consciousness.

  • ਢੀਲੁ ਰਬਾਬੀ ਬਲਦੁ ਪਖਾਵਜ ਕਊਆ ਤਾਲ ਬਜਾਵੈ ॥ ਪਹਿਰਿ ਚੋਲਨਾ ਗਦਹਾ ਨਾਚੈ ਭੈਸਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਰਾਵੈ ॥੧॥: ਫੀਲੁ ਰਬਾਬੀ ਬਲਦੁ ਪਖਾਵਜ ਕਊਆ ਤਾਲ ਬਜਾਵੈ ॥ ਪਹਿਰਿ ਚੋਲਨਾ ਗਦਹਾ ਨਾਚੈ ਭੈਸਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਰਾਵੈ ॥੧॥: (The mind’s animal nature) plays the guitar of the elephant-nature (egoism…); it plays drums of the ox-nature (indolence, ignorance…); it plays cymbals of the crow-nature (material cleverness…). (The mind’s animal nature) performs dance of the donkey-nature (lust…), and perform Bhagti of the buffalo-nature (uncontrolled conduct or intoxication with Maya…) ||1||. (sggs 477).

Played out in the eternity of the “Now”, the Spiritual Dance is the Dance of Enlightenment, Pure Consciousness, Divine Vision (Darshan) or direct communion with the True Self within: recognition of Oneness of the world of plurality. To such a person (the Gurmukh), the ever changing phenomenal world is a Dance of Joy in the Infinite Bliss within.

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