The Gurbani reminds us that the purpose (“Kaaj“) of human life is to realize one’s Mool (Source, Jot, Prabhu, Hari, Raam, Gobind, Allah...), within. Furthermore, the Gurbani places great emphasis on direct and personal experience of it.
- ਯਾ ਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਏਕਹਿ ਕਉ ਆਇਆ ॥: (Man) has come into this world to become One (ਇਕ ਹੋਣ ਵਾਸਤੇ ). (sggs 251).
The Gurbani brings us to the very frontier of the Divine Wisdom (Brahm-Giaan) and makes us face the immensity of the Formless unknown. Although, to dive in it is up to us; however, the Gurbani never gets tired of reminding us if we have taken the plunge!
- ਕਵਨ ਕਾਜ ਸਿਰਜੇ ਜਗ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਜਨਮਿ ਕਵਨ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥: For what purpose (we are) born in the world? What (have we) gained by taking the birth (i.e., have we used it for the purpose of realizing one’s Mool within: Source, Jot, Prabhu, Hari, Raam, Gobind…)? (sggs 970).
Mool-realization simply means “I am full”, “I don’t require anything at all” — full to the brim with “ਸਤੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਗਿਆਨ” (“Satu Santokhu Giaan“)! It is Freedom from lust, anger, greed, etc.
Now, can someone else realize the purpose (“Kaaj“) of life for someone else? The Gurbani’s answer is NO! For it comes only by one’s own “Uddam” (effort, hard work: Shabad-Vichaar).
For example, if you are hungry, you have to eat food yourself. You cannot ask someone else to eat food for you. If your child is hungry and whining, try telling him, “stop whining, I will eat food for you!”. Let’s see what the child would say!!
Similarly, if you want to get married, you cannot substitute someone else to take the “Phere” for you. You have to do it yourself. If you substitute someone else, then that person also takes your bride/bridegroom!!
Similarly, if one wants to realize his Mool (i.e., the purpose of life), you cannot ask someone else to do it for you. You have to do it yourself and engage in Bhagti yourself. Accordingly, the Gurbani Teaches us that one has to resolve the affair of his life himself, through his own efforts (Shabad-Vichaar to obtain the Amrit of the Divine Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad…). Thus the Gurbani’s Divine Wisdom (Brahm Giaan) not only makes man Hari-like but also avers that this great privilege has got its own severe responsibilities!
- ਆਪਣ ਹਥੀ ਆਪਣਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਕਾਜੁ ਸਵਾਰੀਐ ॥੨੦॥: (So long there is breath — Praan) With own hands (with effort, ਉੱਦਮ ਕਰ ਕੇ: Shabad-Vichaar …), resolve your own affair yourself. ||20|| (sggs 474).
- ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਖੋਜਹਿ ਸੇਈ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਹੋਰਿ ਫੂਟਿ ਮੂਏ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੀ ॥੨੦॥: Those who seek Prabhu (i.e., Mool …), they obtain (i.e., realize their Mool within ); others die fragmented in their egotism (i.e., die without realizing their Mool). ||20|| (sggs 911).
- ਆਪੈ ਜਪਹੁ ਆਪਨਾ ਜਾਪ ॥੫॥: Aapai japahu aapanaa jaap (sggs 343).
- ਜਿਨੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇਆ ਗਏ ਮਸਕਤਿ ਘਾਲਿ ॥: Jinee Naamu dhiaaiaa … (sggs 8).
Perhaps now we can appreciate as to why Mool-realization cannot be made to an order or given to somebody as a mundane gift wrapped up as a ready-made package! It’s a personal experience. This is essentially what the Gurbani is telling us in a reasoning way. To look at it from an another angle, to know if it is sugar (not something else!) and to know if it is sweet, one must taste it. Because the proof of the sweetness is in the mouth not in the sugar! Of course one can begin by asking around, but, it is only by tasting it one’s all doubts will dissolve and his knowledge will become first hand and unshakable.
- ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰੇਦਿਆ ਜੀਉ ਤੂੰ ਕਮਾਵਦਿਆ ਸੁਖ ਭੁੰਚੁ ॥: Make the self-effort; with this performance or practice “Sukh” (Joy, Peace…) is enjoyed. (sggs 522).
Therefore, the Gurbani teaches us that to realize one’s Mool within is the real pilgrimage, and the seeker has to work hard and go alone on this Inner pilgrimage!
Accordingly, the Gurbani never gets tired of reminding us that the Truth is not outside – it is within! If the Truth was outside us, then one could go in a group (company, crowd, hoard of people…). However, since the Truth is not outside us but within us, we cannot go there in a company or a group! In other words, the Truth cannot be collective because it is not objective. It is subjective. It is our Innermost core. Thus, the path has to be traveled alone. As such, the Gurbani says only you can penetrate it. Nobody else can neither penetrate it for you nor go with you. Thus, if it is an outside answer, it cannot be reached. Unless it undulates within “I am That – Jot Saroop“, we will not be able to understand. It cannot come from outside, because all objective understanding is impermanent.
- ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਘਰ ਮਹਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਟੋਲੈ ਸੋ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਹੀ ॥: Sabh kichhu ghar mahi… (sggs 102).
The Gurbani indicates our effort (Shabad-Vichaar) needs to be coupled with surrender (submission of Haumai or egotism). When effort is coupled with surrender, the effort becomes “effortless effort” (“ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਏ”)! If we rely only on our effort (without surrendering Haumai or egotism), we will not succeed. Similarly, if we just sit back and relax (i.e., no efforts: No Shabad-Vichaar) and wait for the Divine Grace or Blessing first, we will not succeed either. According to the Gurbani, “everything is within”. This “everything” also include the Divine Grace and Blessing!!!
The Gurbani tells us in the onset that success (Mool-realization) is made possible by Gurprasaadi (ਗੁਰਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ): Grace or Blessing of the Gur-Giaan (Divine Wisdom of the SGGS…)! The Gurbani reveals the daily life of such person as follows:
- ਤਤੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਲਾਇ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਸਮੇਟਿਆ ॥: Withdrawing attention (from worldly distractions, extroversion, etc., he) fixes the attention on the Divine Wisdom (sggs 520).
Thus, the possibility of success in resolving our primary “Kaaj” arises only when we have done all that we can do (i.e., giving our 100% first). In other words, we need to put our faith (ਭਰੋਸਾ) in action. It is not enough to have faith (ਭਰੋਸਾ) in a doctor, one has to take the medicine to get cured!
- ਸਗਲ ਉਦਮ ਮਹਿ ਉਦਮੁ ਭਲਾ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਜੀਅ ਸਦਾ ॥: Of all self-efforts, the best self-effort is to persistently engage in Naam-Jap (Understanding the Gurbani’s Giaan…). (sggs 266).
- ਥਿਰੁ ਘਰਿ ਬੈਸਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਜਨ ਪਿਆਰੇ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਤੁਮਰੇ ਕਾਜ ਸਵਾਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: O beloved “Hari Jan”! Remain steady in the Heart-Home (with full attention and stillness, ਅਡੋਲ, ਹਿਰਦੇ-ਘਰ ਵਿਚ ਟਿਕ ਕੇ…). The Satigur (Divine Guide, ਸੱਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ…) resolves your “Kaaj” (i.e., the Purpose of life of becoming One with your Mool, within). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 201).
We learn from the Gurbani that the spiritual living (Gurmukh Lifestyle) is subtler than than all other life-styles. In other words, the art of spiritual living is subtler than all other arts, more demanding than all other sciences, more precise than literature, more adventurous than space-walk!
To avoid such arduous lifestyle required for Mool-realization, the human mind’s tendency is to look for a “ready-made” package! Which, unequivocally, invites sheer fraud!
The entire Gurbani’s spirit asks us to remember one thing: If we want something as sublime as Mool-realization and want it cheaply in the form of a “ready-made” package, we put ourselves in a position to be cheated and fooled by the religious con-artists!