Fear

The Gurbani perfectly diagnoses the subtle diseases of our minds and offers the right treatments!

A case in point is “fear” (ਡਰ, ਸਹਮ, ਭੈ, ਖੌਫ, etc.).

Before we consider it’s treatment or cure, first, let’s ask the Gurbani about the root cause of “fear”.

According to the Divine Doctor in the Gurbani, the root cause of “fear” is doubt (Bharam-“ਭਰਮੁ”).

In other words, if the mind is doubt-ridden, it will be fearful. This simply means that once the doubt (Bharam-“ਭਰਮੁ”) is eradicated, “fear” departs:

  • ਹਮਰਾ ਭਰਮੁ ਗਇਆ ਭਉ ਭਾਗਾ ॥: With the departure of my doubt, (my) fear has fled away (sggs 655).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਭਰਮੁ ਗਇਆ ਭਉ ਭਾਗਾ ॥: Antari bharamu gaiaa bhaou bhaagaa (sggs 1061).
Fear is part of the mind — “ਭਉ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਹੋਇ”

The Gurbani tells us that the doubt-ridden mind is full of fears (e.g., the fear of the unknown or unexpected; the fear of desires, life, death, insult, loss, damage, injury, thoughts, feelings, memories, harm, old age, pain, accident, poverty, unfavorable or undesirable results/situations/circumstances, and so on). Fears salt and pepper the unfulfilled desires that create attachment and leads to anger, resentment, jealous nature, depression, worry, inability to face critical moments in life, estrangement from Truth or our Mool (Source), etc.

  • ਭੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਜੰਮੈ ਭੈ ਮਰੈ ਭੀ ਭਉ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: In fear (one is) born, and in fear (he) dies; fear always exists in (his) mind (sggs 149).
  • ਡਰਿ ਡਰਿ ਡਰਣਾ ਮਨ ਕਾ ਸੋਰੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Dari dari maranaa man kaa soru (sggs 151).
  • ਡਰਿ ਡਰਿ ਪਚੇ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਵੇਚਾਰੇ ॥: Dari dari pache manmukh vechaare (sggs 677).

According to the Gurbani, the biggest escape from fear is abidance in our Mool through Naam (Shabad, Hukam, Gur-Giaan, or Wisdom of the Gurbani)…

  • ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਤਿਆ ਭਾਰੁ ਨ ਭਰਮੁ ਤਿਨਾਹ ॥: Those who are imbued with the love of the Name of the Lord are not loaded down by doubt (sggs 23).
  • ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਗੁਰ ਚਰਣੀ ਲਾਗਾ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਭਰਮੁ ਗਇਆ ਭਉ ਭਾਗਾ ॥: Manu tanu… (sggs 1061).
As the depth of Love for the Mool increases, the intensity of fear decreases

In other words, when our Heart is filled with the Pure Fear of the One (Pure Fear of Hukam — reverence or respectfulness of Hukam, Love, ਹੁਕਮ ਦਾ ਅਦਬ-ਸਤਕਾਰ, ਪ੍ਰੇਮ…) — detachment (“ਬੈਰਾਗੁ”) arises within and all fears depart! The Gurbani confirms this as follows:

  • ਡਡਾ ਡਰ ਉਪਜੇ ਡਰੁ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਤਾ ਡਰ ਮਹਿ ਡਰੁ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਈ ॥ ਜਉ ਡਰ ਡਰੈ ਤ ਫਿਰਿ ਡਰੁ ਲਾਗੈ ॥ ਨਿਡਰ ਹੂਆ ਡਰੁ ਉਰ ਹੋਇ ਭਾਗੈ ॥੧੯॥: DADDA (a letter of the Gurmukhi alphabet): When the Fear (of the One) wells up, (worldly) fears depart. (Worldly) fears are absorbed into that Fear. When (anyone) rejects the Fear (of the One), then (worldly) fears again cling to (him). (But, by keeping the Fear of the One in his mind, if he) becomes fearless, then fears (of his mind) run away. ||19|| (sggs 341).
  • ਏਕ ਆਸ ਹਰਿ ਮਨਿ ਰਖਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੂਖੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਭਉ ਜਾਇ ॥੧॥: O Nanak! Enshrine only hope of (the One Prabh-Mool) in the Heart, (this way) pain, doubt and fear depart. ||1|| (sggs 281).
  • ਭੈ ਤੇ ਬੈਰਾਗੁ ਊਪਜੈ ਹਰਿ ਖੋਜਤ ਫਿਰਣਾ ॥: Bhai te bairaagu oopjai Hari khojat phirnaa (sggs 1102).

As emphasized in the Gurbani, the goal is to achieve the consciousness of fearlessness (“ਨਿਰਭੈ ਪਦੁ” — ਉਹ ਆਤਮਕ ਦਰਜਾ ਜਿੱਥੇ ਕੋਈ ਡਰ ਨੇੜੇ ਨਹੀਂ ਆ ਸਕਦਾ). Absence of fear is absence of pretending. Absence of pretending means nonattendance of false self or egotism (Haumai). In the nonattendance of false ego-sense (Haumai), there is no appearance of fear.

  • ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਇਆ ਭਰਮੁ ਗਵਾਏ ॥: (The Gurmukh) rids (himself) of egotism-Maya-doubt (sggs 1059).
  • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰੀ ॥: The mind becomes pure when ego is killed (sggs 1049).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਨਾਵੈ ਨਾਲਿ ਵਿਰੋਧੁ ਹੈ ਦੁਇ ਨ ਵਸਹਿ ਇਕ ਠਾਇ ॥: Haumai naavai naal virodhu hai… (sggs 560).

So, in nutshell, in order to overcome fears, annihilation of doubts (Bharam-ਭਰਮ) is must. The Gurbani assures us that both doubt and fear can be overcome by the Grace of the Gur-Giaan (by grace of the Divine Knowledge or Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad…):

  • ਫੂਟੋ ਆਂਡਾ ਭਰਮ ਕਾ ਮਨਹਿ ਭਇਓ ਪਰਗਾਸੁ ॥: (With the Gur-Giaan) the egg of doubt (shell of doubt-ਭਰਮ ਦਾ ਪੜਦਾ) has burst; the mind is Enlightened (Illumined-ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ, Aatm-Giaan…). (sggs 1002).
  • ਭ੍ਰਮ ਭੈ ਛੂਟੇ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦ ॥: Bhram bhai chhute gur parsaad (sggs 915).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਭਰਮ ਭਉ ਭਾਗੈ ॥: Gur kai sabadi bharam bhaou bhaagai (sggs 686).

In other words, only the storm or explosion of the bomb of Gur-Giaan (“ਗੋਲਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ” — Wisdom or Bibek-Budhi of the Gurbani…) can lift the doubt-ridden mind into its Mool (Source, Jot…), destroying the fortress of doubt (Bharam-ਭਰਮ), Maya, duality, deluded mind, ignorance, Haumai, Bikaars

  • ਦੇਖੌ ਭਾਈ ਗ੍ਯ੍ਯਾਨ ਕੀ ਆਈ ਆਂਧੀ ॥ ਸਭੈ ਉਡਾਨੀ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੀ ਟਾਟੀ ਰਹੈ ਨ ਮਾਇਆ ਬਾਂਧੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Behold, O brother! (When) the storm of Spiritual Wisdom comes, (then) the thatched hut of doubt gets blown away; supported by bonds of Maya (this thatched hut of doubt) cannot continue to remain behind (the storm of Spiritual Wisdom or Aatam-Giaan). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 331).
  • ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਪਲੀਤਾ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਹਵਾਈ ਗੋਲਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਚਲਾਇਆ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਅਗਨਿ ਸਹਜੇ ਪਰਜਾਲੀ ਏਕਹਿ ਚੋਟ ਸਿਝਾਇਆ ॥੪॥: Prem Paleetaa surati havaaee golaa giaanu chalaaiaa… (sggs 1161).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨਿ ਗਵਾਈ ॥: Antari agiaanu dukhu bharamu… (sggs 1291).
Fear departs by Realizing Truth — “ਸਚੁ” (Sachu)

The Gurbani says Truth (“ਸਚੁ”-Sachu) is the “Khasam” of all (Master, Husband…). Truth makes one fearless and gives strength and meaning to existence:

  • ਮਨ ਰੇ ਸਚੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਭਉ ਜਾਇ ॥: Fear departs by attaining Truth (sggs 18).
  • ਇਹੁ ਸਚੁ ਸਭਨਾ ਕਾ ਖਸਮੁ ਹੈ ਜਿਸੁ ਬਖਸੇ ਸੋ ਜਨੁ ਪਾਵਹੇ ॥: Ihu sachu sabhanaa kaa khasam hai… (sggs 922).
  • ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਭਰਮੁ ਗਇਆ ਤਿਨਿ ਸਾਚੁ ਪਛਾਨਾ ॥੬॥: Jis kaa bharamu gaiaa tini saachu pachhaanaa (sggs 330).

The Gurbani says when doubts (Bharam-ਭਰਮ) and fears are overcome, Truth and Bliss (Anand) are realized.

  • ਭਰਮੁ ਚੁਕਾਇਆ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥: Eternal Sukh (ਸੁਖ-Happiness, Peace, Joy…) is attained when doubts are dispelled. (sggs 114).
  • ਗਇਆ ਭਰਮੁ ਰਹਿਆ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦਾ ॥੩॥੨੦॥: Gaiaa bharamu rahiaa paramaanandaa (sggs 327).

Thus the understanding of the Gurbani (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ, Giaan, Bibek…) leads us to realize the state of fearlessness (“ਨਿਰਭੈ ਪਦੁ”). In other words, one who knows Truth of his Mool gains fearlessness, Eternal Joy, Bliss ..:

  • ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਹ ਭਜਨ ਤੇ ਨਿਰਭੈ ਪਦੁ ਪਾਵੈ ॥੨॥੧॥: ||1|| O Nanak! By uniting That (i.e., Mool), the state of fearlessness is attained. ||2||1|| (sggs 726).
Filed Under: Doubts, Fear, Fearlessness, Giaan, Wisdom, Ignorance, Gurbani
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24 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Harvinder singh

    Very well argued

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