It said that we humans are living in the ‘age of information’.
There is an avalanche of information – internet, media…
However, ironically – although humanity has always been confused – we humans never have been this confused with existence and our life in general. Life seems to have become insanely complicated and we know not why.
We seem to have so much and yet we feel so empty, miserable, hollow, unstable, crazy, and agitated inside. In utter confusion, we look outwards (the world of see, touch, smell, hear and taste) and wander around confused; focusing on family, relationships, wealth, power, influence, etc. We thus struggle to make sense of our lives and find answers.
- ਐਸੀ ਠਗਉਰੀ ਪਾਇ ਭੁਲਾਵੈ ਮਨਿ ਸਭ ਕੈ ਲਾਗੈ ਮੀਠੀ ॥੨॥: (Maya) confuses (misleads etc.) a person by administering such intoxicant that (Maya) seems sweet to everyone’s mind. ||2|| (sggs 673).
As the Gurbani is cognizant of the importance of the human birth as well its impermanence, its views about the human life are based on a sound common sense.
Accordingly, the Gurbani is neither mystic nor dogmatic. For it does not want us to waste our precious and rare human birth in doubts, formalities, empty religious paraphernalia, nonsense rituals (Karamkaand), etc.
Hence, it seems as the common sense is not common anymore!
In other words, we suffer because we don’t control our instinctive and impulsive mind. Infected with the virus of Haumai (false ego-sense) and the hunger of Maya, it is out of whack.
- ਮਨ ਰੇ ਕਹਾ ਭਇਓ ਤੈ ਬਉਰਾ ॥: O mind, why have you gone crazy? (sggs 220).
The Majority of us have our minds ridden with the hunger or love of Maya (restlessness, wanderings, imaginations, Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.), Haumai or false ego-sense, and so on. As a result, common sense of the Gurbani’s Bibek-Budhi (Wisdom, reasoning…) is missing from the mind.
- ਮਨੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੈ ਫਧਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਬਿਸਰਿਓ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਨਾਮੁ ॥: The mind is entangled in Maya; it has forgotten the Divine Naam (Wisdom, Virtues, Truth… (sggs 1428). .
Because of our mind’s hunger or love of Maya (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ), the greedy and crafty Pujaaree-Vaad (Ragi, Bhai, Granthi, Giaanee, Kathaakaar, Deraa-Vaad, Baabaa-Vaad, Sant-Vaad, Jathedaar-Vaad, Takhat-Vaad, foolish and dishonest so called scholars, etc.) is having pretty easy time to deceive and defraud people (ਛਲ-ਕਪਟ), misleading them further from the Truth of the Gurbani; just as the greedy and ignorant Pandits have been misleading (“ਪੰਡਿਤ ਪਾੜੀ ਬਾਟ”) people for centuries. The Gurbani attest to this as follows:
- ਕਾਦੀ ਕੂੜੁ ਬੋਲਿ ਮਲੁ ਖਾਇ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਜੀਆ ਘਾਇ ॥ ਜੋਗੀ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਅੰਧੁ ॥ ਤੀਨੇ ਓਜਾੜੇ ਕਾ ਬੰਧੁ ॥੨॥: Telling lies, the Qazi eats filth (of taking bribe and what pertains to others …). The Brahmin kills (inflicts pain on people by mistreating and misguiding them: ਆਤਮ-ਘਾਤੀ..), and then takes (cleansing, ਤੀਰਥ-ਇਸਨਾਨ) baths. The Yogi is (mentally or spiritually) blind, and does not know the way of life (ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਜਾਚ). These three are the cause of destruction of spiritual life (of their own and other people by leading them astray from the Way of Truth.) ||2|| (sggs 662).
Hence, Rabb or any other outside agency cannot be blamed for our sorrows or troubles. Therefore, as time and again emphasized by the Gurbani, the urgent task at hand is to annihilate one’s own instinctive mind, here and now. To this end, the Gurbani asks us to become the Gurmukh, for only by becoming a Gurmukh one can conquer the mind by killing Haumai (false ego-sense).
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਨੁ ਜੀਤਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰਿ ॥: The Gurmukh conquers his mind by killing his Haumai (false ego-sense). (sggs 946).
Without getting the better of the mind, Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan) or Divine Life (Gurmukh Lifestyle) is not possible. Although this is like racing along the razor’s edge for the majority of us, but what other option we have? Therefore, through churning the Gurbani, we must become Lamp unto ourselves, here and now.
- ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਉਜਾਰੋ ਦੀਪਾ ॥ ਬਿਨਸਿਓ ਅੰਧਕਾਰ ਤਿਹ ਮੰਦਰਿ ਰਤਨ ਕੋਠੜੀ ਖੁਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਅਨੂਪਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: The Satigur’s Shabad is like the light of the lamp (through which the Light of Giaan or Wisdom emanates – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦਾ ਚਾਨਣ). (When the Giaan-Light from this Lamp of the satigur’s Shabad enters in the body-temple) It dispels the darkness of ignorance from the body, and opens the beautiful chamber of Jewels (Virtues, ਆਤਮਕ ਗੁਣ-ਰਤਨਾਂ ਦੀ). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 821).
The important thing is to use that Lamp (ਅਮਲ, implementation…) to tread the Way in life. Otherwise, the Gurbani asks, what’s the use of having the lamp in hand if, despite the lamp in hand, we fall into a well (of ignorance, Maya, Bharam…)?
- ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਸਭ ਬਾਤ ਜਾਨਤ ਹੀ ਅਉਗਨੁ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਕਾਹੇ ਕੀ ਕੁਸਲਾਤ ਹਾਥਿ ਦੀਪੁ ਕੂਏ ਪਰੈ ॥੨੧੬॥: O Kabir! The mind knows everything and knowingly it commits demerits. What use is it to have a Lamp (i.e., the Light of Aatam Giaan, Divine Knowledge, Spiritual Wisdom…) in his hand, if the man still falls into a well (ignorance, Maya, Bikaar, ਅਉਗਨ / ਬਿਕਾਰਾਂ ਦੇ ਖੂਹ ਵਿਚ…)? (sggs 1376).
The Gur-Shabad is likened to a Lamp (the Light of Divine Knowledge – ਆਤਮ ਗਿਆਨ ਦਾ ਚਾਨਣ, ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦਾ ਚਾਨਣ). If we allow it in our daily life, the Light of this Shabad-Lamp can remove the darkness of ignorance (the ignorance of our Mool-ਮੂਲ) from within.
The Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS tells us that this Shabad (Wisdom, Upadesh, Naam…) is located deep within our very Being. Of course, to cultivate Shabad-Surti (Shabad-Consciousness) or to Awaken it from its dormancy will require ਘਾਲਣਾਂ / ਕਮਾਈ (Uddam, practice, self-efforts, willingness, earnestness, etc.).
- ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਹੈ ਮਿਲਿ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਈਐ ॥੭॥: Within is the Treasure of the Shabad; (but) it is obtained by eradicating self-conceit (ਪਰੰਤੂ ਆਪਾ-ਭਾਵ ਤਿਆਗ ਕੇ ਮਿਲਦਾ ਹੈ) ||7|| (sggs 228).
The Universal Teaching of the SGGS can be appreciated only if we are cool-headedly open to its true understanding. Common sense must prevail. However, because of “Golak-ਗੋਲਕ” (greed, hunger of Maya…), we cannot expect helping hand from the corrupt Pujaaree-Vaad or the Gurdwara committees (who are in love with Golak and chieftainship-ਝੂਠੀ ਚੌਧਰ, power, etc., instead of propagating the true meanings of the Gurbani).