The Gurus and Bhagats were not only God-Connected Within, they were also excellent communicators, poets, and presenters. They effectively used idioms / metaphors to explain very complex spiritual ideas. Hence impregnated with spiritual Wisdom and suggestions, numerous idioms can be found in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS).
Since the entirety of the Gurbani is for the Mind, idioms / metaphors etc. express the subtlety of the spiritual experiences of the Gurus and Bhagats. They draw the reader’s attention, Awaken the defiled senses, magnify and boost the Message of the Shabad.
Thus idioms / metaphors etc. capture subtle nuances of spirituality and create imagery in the mind and make the reader see things in a new way, improve understanding, and so on.
Also, in order to impart the spiritual Message of the Shabad, all 35 contributors of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) have used terms that were already within the use and within the psyche of people of the time.
However, they have used these terms as examples (ਹਵਾਲਾ), but explicitly with new meanings and understanding to fit the new spiritual paradigms of Sikhi or Gurmat.
For instance, the SGGS has used the examples (ਹਵਾਲਾ) of the Mythical bridge (‘ਸੇਤੁ’) built with stones by the monkey army of Raam over the ocean connecting the mainland India and ‘Lanka‘ (presently known as ‘Sri Lanka‘)!
Again, it should be clearly understood that the Gurbani (SGGS) has used Myths idiomatically as examples (ਹਵਾਲਾ), but any Myth used in the Gurbani is NOT the subject matter of the Gurbani. The Gurbani is NOT about Myths. The Gurbani NEVER promotes or deals with Myths in the spiritual sense. Hence they are NOT transformed into acceptable accounts in the Gurbani.
The Gurbani’s (SGGS) bridge (‘ਸੇਤੁ’) is spiritual in nature, which takes us across the ocean of life (Material world or material reality) — linking the worldly mind to the Formless Creator WITHIN.
How can one build such subtle bridge connecting the mind to its Jot Saroop Within which cannot be seen by the physical receptors?
The Gurbani (SGGS) asserts one can build this bridge by BECOMING THE GURBANI (‘ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਬਣੀਐ’) – Internalizing the spiritual Message (Advice, Guidance, Instruction etc.) of the Gur-Shabad.
- ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਬਣੀਐ ॥: The Satgur’s Bani (the God-Connecting Shabad-Guru) is the embodiment of the Creator; (therefore) BECOME THE GURBANI (to Realize the Creator). (sggs 304).
In a nutshell to BECOME THE GURBANI is a Shabad Based Conscience that carries us beyond Bhav Saagar to Sukh Saagar – Connecting us to the Creator Within.
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬਾਂਧਿਓ ਸੇਤੁ ਬਿਧਾਤੈ ॥ ਲੰਕਾ ਲੂਟੀ ਦੈਤ ਸੰਤਾਪੈ ॥ ਰਾਮਚੰਦਿ ਮਾਰਿਓ ਅਹਿ ਰਾਵਣੁ ॥ ਭੇਦੁ ਬਭੀਖਣ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਰਚਾਇਣੁ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਾਇਰਿ ਪਾਹਣ ਤਾਰੇ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕੋਟਿ ਤੇਤੀਸ ਉਧਾਰੇ ॥੪੦॥ : The spirituality of the Shabad (or Internalization of the Message of the Shabad (Enlightened or Gurmukh State of the Mind) Bridges me with the Creator. (This bridge saved) my Invaluable spirituality from being plundered into sorrow by my vices. The (Virtues of the) Beautiful Omnipresent Creator eliminated the epitome of (my vices: Bikaar) that was my (Raavan of) false ego-sense. The spirituality of the Shabad provides Invaluable Advice to me as a seeker of spiritual Message. The spirituality of the Shabad transforms my vice-burdened spirituality to one that reaches its objective. The spirituality of the Shabad enables successful outcomes for all beings who are on the Journey of spirituality. ॥40॥ (sggs 942).
Here, in the above ‘Paurhee‘, Baabaa Nanak has RE-DEFINED all the terms used in the Mythical story. All terms are given a new context!
In nutshell, Internalization of the Message of the Shabad creates a Spiritual Bridge linking the Creator Within. Then one can go across to his Real Home Within (‘Nij Ghar’, Jot-Saroop etc.). This is to say that, without Realizing the Essence (Tatt Giaan – ਤੱਤ ਗਿਆਨ) of the Shabad within (Naam, Hukam etc.), one can not link with his True Self within.
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਾਚੈ ਰਹੈ ਸਮਾਏ ॥: The spirituality of the Shabad or Internalization of the Message of the Shabad (Mental State of Gurmukh-Hood remains absorbed in the Creator. (sggs 942).
Otherwise, what’s the use of reasoning and intellect; or reading Gurbani and listening to its recitations (or any other scriptures for that matter); or talking about religion, Dharma, spirituality, the Creator etc.?
- ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੋ ਦੇਇ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਇ ॥: ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੋ ਦੇਇ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਇ ॥: The Gur-Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom…) is the Naam Padaarath. (Hence, the Guru) makes the Hari Naam firm (resolved, stable, strong, properly understood, ਪੱਕਾ, ਦ੍ਰਿੜ, etc., in the mind of the sincere seeker of Truth – ਜਗ੍ਯਾਸੂ…). (sggs 759).
- ਤੀਰਥੁ ਸਬਦ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਹੈ ॥: To Reflect on the Shabad (Shabad-Vichaar) is the pilgrimage (because of this) Spiritual Wisdom arises within. (sggs 687).
But, as the Gurbani asserts, rare is the one who reflects on the True Shabad within. Stumbling around in delusion, the rest of us just keep searching It in the gross objects of the mirage-like enchanting – Maya!
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਾਚੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਚੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਨੁ ਭੀਜੈ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਬੂਝੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜੋਗੀ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਪਛਾਣੈ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਣੈ ॥੬੯॥ : The spirituality of the Shabad —the Message/Enlightenment of the Shabad (Gurmukh-Hood State of the Mind) brings one to contemplate on the Essence of the Creator-Connecting Shabad. The spirituality of the Shbad brings brings Realization of the Creator-Connecting Baanee. The spirituality of the Shabad accords one the exceptional Creator-Imbued Mind. The spirituality of the Shabad creates Realization (of the Creator) Within my Conscience (Nij Ghar). The spirituality of the Shabad Internalizes the Way towards Creator-Realization (Within the Conscience-Nij Ghar). Nanak Realized the One Creator through the spirituality of the Shabad. ॥69॥ (sggs 946).