Good and Bad

The Gurbani tells us that nobody is bad (ਬੁਰਾ). Then why do we see some as bad? According to the Gurbani, it’s because we think ourselves to be good, better, flawless, etc. (ਚੰਗੇ)! This is duality (Doojaa Bhaav, Mayaic consciousness…). Good and bad is a product of this Mayaic consciousness. Mayaic consciousness counters Hukam.

  • ਨਾ ਹਮ ਚੰਗੇ ਆਖੀਅਹ ਬੁਰਾ ਨ ਦਿਸੈ ਕੋਇ ॥: I am not called good, and I see none who are bad (sggs 1015).
  • ਬੁਰਾ ਭਲਾ ਤਿਚਰੁ ਆਖਦਾ ਜਿਚਰੁ ਹੈ ਦੁਹੁ ਮਾਹਿ ॥: One calls others bad and good, as long as he himself is in the control of duality (sggs 757).

The implication is that if we don’t consider ourselves good, then we will not see anybody bad!

In other words, the Gurbani urges us not to think yourself good and others bad. This is keeping and maintaining Samdrishtee (even eye, neutrality, equanimity, sameness, oneness…).

Baabaa Kabeer says that “whoever understands this is a friend of mine”. In other words, if one does not think this way is not a friend of the Gurbani. Good and bad is a product of Mayaic consciousness (Doojaa Bhaav or duality). The Gurbani indicates that when one is able to conquer his own evil nature, godly nature is near at hand. Only grit and great strength of the mind can help in this effort to counter evil tendencies (Bikaars, negativity…). Harmony can be attained only when the evil nature, ignorance and misconception (illusion, doubts etc.) are washed away from the mind. Thus, the Gurbani stresses the importance of cleansing the mind through Viveka-Budhi (sense of discriminatiing or discerning intellect) and Bairaag (spirit of non-attachment). Pure mind alone can lead one towards Spiritual Life (Gurmukh Lifestyle).

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਜਾ ਦਿਨ ਹਉ ਮੂਆ ਪਾਛੈ ਭਇਆ ਅਨੰਦੁ ॥ ਮੋਹਿ ਮਿਲਿਓ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਆਪਨਾ ਸੰਗੀ ਭਜਹਿ ਗੋੁਬਿੰਦੁ ॥੬॥: O Kabeer! (By living the Divine Virtues) on the day when my egotism dies (bad influence of  false ego-sense on my mind…), afterwards there is Bliss within. (Also) I met  my Prabh (Truth, Virtues, Wisdom, Mool…). and now my companions (all senses-ਇੰਦ੍ਰਿਆਂ) are united with Gobind (i.e., Prabh). ||6||(sggs 1364).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਸਭ ਤੇ ਹਮ ਬੁਰੇ ਹਮ ਤਜਿ ਭਲੋ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਐਸਾ ਕਰਿ ਬੂਝਿਆ ਮੀਤੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ਸੋਇ ॥੭॥: O Kabeer! I-ness (Haumai, false ego-sense, Durmat or wicked intellect, bad thinking or ideology…) is the worst of all (thoughts). All thoughts except I-ness (or false ego sense) are good. Whosoever understands this is a friend of mine ||7|| (sggs 1364).

For this to happen, the Gurbani asks us to transcend duality. In other words, our raw ego (Haume), negativity, Bikaars, etc., of the mind must go.

The Gurbani teaches us humility. True humility is the recognition of one’s imperfections. Further, humility is not to consider oneself better than the others. The material conception of life makes us finding faults in others by ignoring our own; because we are lacking. Due to this lack, we are unable to recognize our own imperfections.

  • ਹਮ ਨਹੀ ਚੰਗੇ ਬੁਰਾ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਣਵਤਿ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਤਾਰੇ ਸੋਇ ॥੪॥੧॥੨॥: (One who thinks) I am not good and no one is bad; prays Nanak – (the Lord) ferries him across (the dreadful ocean of Bikaar, Maya…) ||4||1||2|| (sggs 728).
  • ਆਪਸ ਕਉ ਜੋ ਭਲਾ ਕਹਾਵੈ ॥ ਤਿਸਹਿ ਭਲਾਈ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥: One who calls himself good — goodness will not draw near him (sggs 278).

According to the Gurbani, humility is a formidable weapon. This weapon can be used to cut the roots of arrogant pride, false ego-sense (Haumai)…

  • ਗਰੀਬੀ ਗਦਾ ਹਮਾਰੀ ॥ ਖੰਨਾ ਸਗਲ ਰੇਨੁ ਛਾਰੀ ॥ ਇਸੁ ਆਗੈ ਕੋ ਨ ਟਿਕੈ ਵੇਕਾਰੀ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਏਹ ਗਲ ਸਾਰੀ ॥੧॥:  Humility is my spiked club. My dagger is to be the dust of all men’s feet. No evil-doer can withstand these weapons. The Perfect Guru has given me this understanding ||1|| (sggs 628).

The Gurbani tells us that engrossed in the pull of good and bad, we come to ruin. The Gurbani also tells us that the one who is above both, is very rare.

  • ਖਿੰਚੋਤਾਣਿ ਵਿਗੁਚੀਐ ਬੁਰਾ ਭਲਾ ਦੁਇ ਨਾਲਿ ਜੀਉ ॥: By indecision and inner conflict, you will come to ruin. Good and bad both pull at you (sggs 751).
  • ਦੁਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਸੁਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਮੰਧੇ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਸਗਲਾਣਾ ॥ ਦੁਹਹੂੰ ਤੇ ਰਹਤ ਭਗਤੁ ਹੈ ਕੋਈ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਜਾਣਾ ॥੧॥: The whole world is engrossed in (duality -) bad actions and good actions (as determined by the Pujaaree). The Bhagat (Daas, Gurmukh, Jan…) stays away from these two ideas, but such a person is rarely found. ||1|| (sggs 51).

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