Giaan Ratan: the Jewel of Wisdom

The Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) is the Giaan-Guru. It’s the Treasure or Jewel of the Wisdom (Giaan, Bibek…) for living a Divine Life (Gurmukh Lifestyle).

Also, the SGGS tells us that Giaan (Wisdom, Knowledge, Virtues…) is ever present within all of us!

  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਰਤਨੁ ਹੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਕਰਾਵਣਹਾਰਾ ॥: Within is the Gur-Giaan (Wisdom, Divine Knowledge), the Divine Jewel, the Bestower of Liberation. (sggs 593).
  • ਮਤਿ ਵਿਚਿ ਰਤਨ ਜਵਾਹਰ ਮਾਣਿਕ ਜੇ ਇਕ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸਿਖ ਸੁਣੀ ॥: If one counsel (Upadesh) of the Guru is listened to, then the gems, jewels and rubies (i.e., Virtues, Wisdom…) Awaken within the mind. (sggs 2).

The Giaan-Guru helps Awaken (ਪਰਗਟ) this Jewel of the Giaan lying dormant within (i.e., the Jewel of Wisdom…).

I turn, it helps realize Liberation from Maya, ignorance, duality (two-ness), Haumai (false ego sense), Bikaar (lust anger, greed, etc.), doubt

Hence, although the food of the gross body-frame is outside. However, the food of the mind (i.e., Wisdom, Virtues, Amrit…) is within!

  • ਮਨ ਰੇ ਥਿਰੁ ਰਹੁ ਮਤੁ ਕਤ ਜਾਹੀ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਢੂਢਤ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਘਰਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਘਟ ਮਾਹੀ ਜੀਉ ॥: O my mind! Remain steady (within) and do not wander around outside (searching for Amrit-Naam, Amrit-Giaan, Sukh or Happiness or Anand…). By searching around on the outside, you will only suffer great pain (for the remedy is within, not outside); Amrit (that will make you Happy…) is found Within the Heart. (sggs 598).

Question: If the Treasure or Jewel of the Gur-Giaan (the Jewel of the Virtues, Divine Knowledge, Wisdom, Truth, etc.) is within each and every person, then what happened to it? Why is it missing?

Answer: According to the SGGS, it has been forgotten on account of one’s own Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.). Furthermore, the Gurbani reveals that it is the Maya (Mayaic intellect – ਮਾਇਕੀ ਬੁੱਧੀ) that deserted the Jewel of the Giaan (Wisdom, Knowledge, ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗੁ…). In other words, it is the mind’s hunger for Maya (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ) that depleted its Treasure of the Giaan (Naam Padaarath…) from within.

Simply put: Bikaar (i.e., lust, anger, greed, attachment, etc.) blind us to the Wisdom or Virtues!

  • ਲਾਲਚ ਬਿਖੁ ਕਾਮ ਲੁਬਧ ਰਾਤਾ ਮਨਿ ਬਿਸਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਹੀਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Allured by the poisons of greed and lust (i.e., Bikaar), the mind has forgotten the Divine Jewel. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 487).
  • ਬਾਬਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹ ਹਿਤੁ ਕੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਰਤਨੁ ਹਿਰਿ ਲੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: O Baabaa! (I have) enshrined attachment (love and affection, ਮੋਹ-ਪਿਆਰ) for Maya, which has taken the Jewel of the Wisdom away (from me). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 482).

As a result of this forgetfulness of the Jewel of Wisdom (Giaan Rattan…), the people in this world wander around lost.

  • ਗਿਆਨ ਵਿਹੂਣੀ ਭਵੈ ਸਬਾਈ ॥: Deprived (abandoned, deserted…) of the Divine Knowledge (Giaan, Wisdom), the entire world (ਸਾਰੀ ਲੁਕਾਈ) wanders around (to stray, err, forget…). (sggs 1034).

Accordingly, the Gurbani makes it crystal clear that we should not have allowed our deluded intellect (Mayaic Budhi) to take away the Jewel of the Wisdom (Giaan-Ratan..). In fact, such intellect is called dog (ਕੁੱਤੀ) in the Gurbani!

  • ਰਤਨ ਵਿਗਾੜਿ ਵਿਗੋਏ ਕੁਤੀ ਮੁਇਆ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਕਾਈ ॥: (The Budhi-intellect) that has defiled and wasted the Jewel (of Giaan) is a dog, and no one pays any attention to the dead (who has died to the Divine Knowledge). (sggs 360).

The SGGS helps us correct this error.

The SGGS tells not to allow Maya take the Jewel of the Wisdom away from us. Consider the following verse:

  • ਮਨ ਕਰਹਲਾ ਵਡਭਾਗੀਆ ਤੂੰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਰਤਨੁ ਸਮਾਲਿ ॥: O camel-like mind, you are so very fortunate; preserve (your) Jewel of Wisdom. (sggs 235).

In the foregoing verse, the Gurbani compares our mind with that of a “camel” (ਕਰਹਲਾ). At the same time, it’s also called “very fortunate” (ਵਡਭਾਗੀਆ)!

First, why is the mind called “camel”?

Attachment to Maya (love of Maya…) makes our mental conditioning (false ego-sense) more and more dense. Such Mayaic mind is akin to a camel. For instance, a camel eats thorny bramble even though it makes his mouth bleed! Similarly, our ignorant or Mayaic mind indulges in sense gratification even though it suffers. As a result, the Mayaic mind knowingly commits demerits.

  • 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, Wisdom…) in his hand, if the man still falls into a well (ignorance, Maya, Bikaar, ਅਉਗਨ / ਬਿਕਾਰਾਂ ਦੇ ਖੂਹ ਵਿਚ…)? (sggs 1376).

Second, why the mind is called “very fortunate” (ਵਡਭਾਗੀਆ) as the same time?

The mind can be one’s worse enemy, and it can also be on’es best friend. It all depends how it’s used!

For one thing, the Gurbani tells us that our mind is Jot-Saroop.

Thus, the Gurbani tells us that – driven by Maya’s love or hunger – the mind is plentiful of demerits (ਅਉਗੁਣ), and, at the same time, the Gurbani tells us that the Divine Virtues (ਗੁਣ) also abide within it as well.

  • ਅਵਗੁਣੀ ਭਰਪੂਰ ਹੈ ਗੁਣ ਭੀ ਵਸਹਿ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: (The mind) is plentiful of demerits, but Virtues dwell within it as well. (sggs 936).

How we can Awaken the Jewel of the Wisdom within?

According to the Gurbani, we can do so through the Shabad-Vichaar or churning the Gurbani, and then living it in daily life – living the Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh or Way of the SGGS…).

  • ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਊਚੋ ਊਚੀ ਪਉੜੀ ਗਿਆਨਿ ਰਤਨਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰੀ ਹੇ ॥੪॥: The Gurmat is the ladder to reach the highest of the high (Knowledge, understanding…), and with the Jewel of Knowledge, egotism is conquered. ||4|| (sggs 1050).
  • ਨਾਮ ਰਤਨੁ ਸੁਨਿ ਜਪਿ ਜਪਿ ਜੀਵਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਕੰਠ ਮਝਾਰੇ ॥੨॥੧੧॥੩੦॥: O Nanak! I live by listening, understanding, and assimilating the Jewel of Wisdom; (thus I remember) the Divine within (i.e., living Divine Life – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ). ||2||11||30|| (sggs 716).

The Wisdom of the SGGS connects us with the Kudrat (Rabb, Universal Energy, Hukam or Law of Nature…).

The SGGS is the means (ਜਰੀਆ, connection, cause, medium …) through which we receive Knowledge of the One (ੴ : “Eko-ਏਕੋ”).

Constantly updating ourselves

“Kudrat” is said to be Infinite – “ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਕਵਣ ਕਹਾ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ”. As such, the Knowledge must also be Infinite.

Therefore, there is plenty to learn throughout one’s life time!

Hence, in nutshell, Knowledge is to learn something new everyday. Therefore, the SGGS asserts that a fresh or new supply of Knowledge should uninterruptedly continue in one’s life – “ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਨੀਤ ਨਵਾ, 660”.

  • ਦਇਆਲ ਤੇਰੈ ਨਾਮਿ ਤਰਾ ॥: O Bountiful! Your Naam (Wisdom, Knowledge, Virtues, Truth…) carries me across (this Bhav Saagar and to the Sukh Saagar). (sggs 660).

In other words, to make the mind gain Understanding (Soojh-Boojh), it must learn everyday. The knowledge protects us from being plundered.

For example, if somebody wants to become a doctor or engineer, that person also needs to attend a medical or an engineering college. Also, if you want to become a pilot, then you have to join a flying school to learn flying and become a pilot, and so on.

  • ਮਨ ਸਮਝਾਵਨ ਕਾਰਨੇ ਕਛੂਅਕ ਪੜੀਐ ਗਿਆਨ ॥੫॥: To instruct the mind one ought to study Knowledge to some extent. ||5|| (sggs 340).
  • ਮਨ ਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿ ਕਾਜ ਸਵਾਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: O mind! With the Gur (-Giaan, Knowledge…), amend yourself (bloom, set right, adorn, reclaim…). (sggs 13).

The SGGS explains this with a beautiful example of a pond.

If there is a continuous supply of fresh and new water into a pond, it will look beautiful (“ਹਰੀਆਵਲਾ”) with green leaves of plants, flowers, vegetation, etc.

However, if there is no fresh or new supply of water into the pond, the same pond will look ugly with dead leaves, dead flowers, dead vegetation; bad smell; etc.

The message is: If a mind stops cultivating or obtaining new or fresh knowledge, it will become stagnated, stubborn, fanatic, unhelpful, bad, etc.

  • ਪਬਰ ਤੂੰ ਹਰੀਆਵਲਾ ਕਵਲਾ ਕੰਚਨ ਵੰਨਿ ॥ ਕੈ ਦੋਖੜੈ ਸੜਿਓਹਿ ਕਾਲੀ ਹੋਈਆ ਦੇਹੁਰੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਮੈ ਤਨਿ ਭੰਗੁ ॥ ਜਾਣਾ ਪਾਣੀ ਨਾ ਲਹਾਂ ਜੈ ਸੇਤੀ ਮੇਰਾ ਸੰਗੁ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਡਿਠੈ ਤਨੁ ਪਰਫੁੜੈ ਚੜੈ ਚਵਗਣਿ ਵੰਨੁ ॥੩੦॥: O pond! (Before, when you had continuous flow of fresh water into you) your leaves were green, and your blossoms were gold. What pain has burnt you, and made your body black? O Nanak! my body is battered (because of no supply of fresh water). I have not received that water which I love. Seeing it (fresh water flowing in), my body blossoms forth, and I am blessed with a deep and beautiful color (But, now, I don’t get that water anymore). ||30|| (sggs 1412).

Therefore, the Gurbani’s Wisdom urges all Sikhs to debug ourselves everyday, and constantly upgrade ourselves by keep on learning everyday, throughout our lives! (“ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਨੀਤ ਨਵਾ)! Because, all awakening begins with an inquiring mind. Baabaa Nanak confirms in the onset of the SGGS:

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਭਗਤਾ ਸਦਾ ਵਿਗਾਸੁ ॥: O Nanak! Bhagats (pious people –Daas, Jan, Gurmukh…) constantly stay in the mode of “Vigaas” (i.e., growth-development-expansion of  their intellect, Knowledge, Inner Blooming, Bliss, ਅੰਤਰ ਖੇੜਾ, ਚਾਨਣਾ, ਮਾਨਸਿਕ ਵਿਗਾਸ…).  By listening to the supreme Wisdom, they remove their Dukh and wickedness (sggs 2-3).

Hence, Baabaa Kabeer urges us that the thirst for Knowledge (Giaan) in general should NEVER fade away; should never cease or stop or quench. Instead, this thirst for Knowledge should ever increase!

  • ਮਾਧਉ ਜਲ ਕੀ ਪਿਆਸ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਜਲ ਮਹਿ ਅਗਨਿ ਉਠੀ ਅਧਿਕਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: O Rabb! (My) thirst for Knowledge (Giaan) does not go away. As I gain Knowledge, the fire of my thirst (or longing) for Knowledge is raging even more! ||1||Pause|| (sggs 323).

A person who is capable of learning everyday but does not do so has no advantage over the illiterate or ignorant person.

But mere reading will achieve little, unless it impacts our thinking (i.e, mind, thoughts, ਸੋਚ)!

Therefore, the bottom line is for a Sikh Awakening of the Giaan (Knowledge) within is must in order to live a purposeful life, for Giaan (Knowledge) is the giver of real gifts (“Daataa-ਦਾਤਾ) in life!

  • ਗੁਰੁ ਦਾਤਾ ਸਮਰਥੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਡੁਬਦਾ ਲਏ ਤਰਾਇ ॥੨॥: The Guru (Giaan, Knowledge…) is the giver (of gifts),  the Guru (Giaan, Knowledge…) is All-powerful, and (Giaan, Knowledge…) is within all of us (in our brain). The Guru (Giaan, Knowledge…) understands Rabb (Universal Energy, Kudrat…), and in case you are failing or sinking in life, this Guru (Giaan, Knowledge…) can rescue you. (sggs 49).

As evident, Sikhi we see out there today is not a Sikhi of the SGGS. Instead, it’s a Sikhi of the crafty Pujaaree. As Baabaa Nanak asserts – mere brandishing religious paraphernalia on one’s ephemeral body-frame is not a Sikhi of the SGGS.

  • ਭੇਖੁ ਭਵਨੀ ਹਠੁ ਨ ਜਾਨਾ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਸਚੁ ਗਹਿ ਰਹੇ ॥੧॥: I know nothing about religious robes, pilgrimages or stubbornness; O Nanak, I only hold tight to the Truth ||1|| (sggs 843).
Unfortunately, the illiterate and deceptive Pujaaree groups have made the SGGS an object of worship like an idol – Karamkaand (rituals), keeping it wrapped in expensive clothes (Rumaalaas), reading it in ritualistic manners (Akhand Paaths, Nit-Nem, etc.), displaying it on expensive Palkis, traveling it in helicopters, empty bowing, performing Mayaic prayers in front of the SGGS, filling Golak (money, business, ਧੰਧਾ) on its name, etc.

6 replies on “Giaan Ratan: the Jewel of Wisdom”

I am very gratful for such an enlightening piece literature.Its rightly said that shabd vichar is the only way we can internalise the philosophy of gurmat .My humble suggestion is that each and every gursikh must at least complete one sahaj pathh in a year all by himself.This will bring awakening in our mind the gyan ratan will shine.

thanks and regards
Balwant Singh Seera

Thank you Vir Ji for sharing your Vichaar.

My humble suggestion is that each and every gursikh must at least complete one sahaj pathh in a year all by himself.This will bring awakening in our mind the gyan ratan will shine.

Yes. If I may add, each line must be read with love and earnest Vichaar (Reflections…) to obtain its true understanding (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ), only that will be of avail (ਉਹੀ ਕੰਮ ਆਵੇਗਾ). Essentially this is what the following verse indicates:
• ਪੀਸਤ ਪੀਸਤ ਚਾਬਿਆ ਸੋਈ ਨਿਬਹਿਆ ਸਾਥ ॥੨੧੫॥: Peesat peesat chaabiaa soeee ibhiaa saath (sggs 1376).

Very educative piece once again.

Very clearly, the problem, the facts and the remedy have been brought out citing examples from Gurbani.

The Problem:
How to keep the ‘gyaan tatan’ intact?

The fact:
ਅਵਗੁਣੀ ਭਰਪੂਰ ਹੈ ਗੁਣ ਭੀ ਵਸਹਿ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: (The mortal) is overflowing with demerits, but Virtue dwells within him as well. (sggs 936).

The Solution:
ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਊਚੋ ਊਚੀ ਪਉੜੀ ਗਿਆਨਿ ਰਤਨਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰੀ ਹੇ ॥੪॥: The Guru’s Teachings are the ladder to reach the highest of the high (Spiritual Realization…), and with the the Jewel of Spiritual Wisdom, egotism is conquered. ||4|| (sggs 1050).

Thanks again for your enlightening efforts.

Deep Regards

Thank you Veer Ji for sharing your Vichaar.

• ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਉਲਟੀ ਹੋਵੈ ਗਿਆਨ ਰਤਨੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਤਾਹਾ ਹੇ ॥੨॥: (sggs 1056).

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