Gurbani says Help Yourself Realize the Life’s Ultimate Purpose

We can get any worldly work done by any other person, but we have to do the work of solving our own problems, self-improvement ourselves etc. ourselves. The Gurbani included in the  Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) highlights this principle.

It is so because there is NO concept of transfer of blessing in the Sikhi of Baabaa Nanak. The Unique spirituality of the SGGS is the spirituality of the SELF, for the SELF, by the SELF. Instead the principle of Baabaa Nanak’s Sikhi or Gurmat is:

  • ਆਪਣ ਹਥੀ ਆਪਣਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਕਾਜੁ ਸਵਾਰੀਐ ॥੨੦॥ : (So long there is breathPraan) accomplish the task (of God Realization) yourself ( i.e. with self-efforts, hard work: Shabad-Vichaar …). ||20|| (sggs 474).
  • ਆਪੇ ਬੀਜਿ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਖਾਹੁ ॥ : Whatever you sow, you will reap. (sggs 4).
  • ਲੇਖੈ ਬੋਲਣੁ ਬੋਲਣਾ ਲੇਖੈ ਖਾਣਾ ਖਾਉ ॥ ਲੇਖੈ ਵਾਟ ਚਲਾਈਆ ਲੇਖੈ ਸੁਣਿ ਵੇਖਾਉ ॥ ਲੇਖੈ ਸਾਹ ਲਵਾਈਅਹਿ ਪੜੇ ਕਿ ਪੁਛਣ ਜਾਉ ॥੧॥ : I am accountable for my Speech, Words, and the food I eat. I am accountable for my journey of life (choices I make in life), including what I see and listen while on this journey. I am accountable for the breaths I take (i.e. accountable for how I use my life span), no need to ask anybody about this (there is no doubt this). ||1|| (sggs 15).

According to the SGGS, the purpose of life is to keep learning as long as there is a breath of life, become an Enlightened being (the Gurmukh mindset, Guru Shabad-Oriented), and share with others.

  • ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਰਹੀਐ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਿਛੁ ਸੁਣੀਐ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਹੀਐ ॥ : Nanak, as long as we are in this world, we must keep learning from others and teaching others. (sggs 661).
  • ਖੇਤਿ ਮਿਆਲਾ ਉਚੀਆ ਘਰੁ ਉਚਾ ਨਿਰਣਉ ॥ ਮਹਲ ਭਗਤੀ ਘਰਿ ਸਰੈ ਸਜਣ ਪਾਹੁਣਿਅਉ ॥ : (By applying self-efforts) raising the embankments of the mind’s field, I come to gaze at the lofty Divine mansion (realization of the Creator within). When the mind abides in Bhagti, the Creator is realized within by that person. (sggs 517).
  • ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜੇ ਤੂ ਅਕਲਿ ਲਤੀਫੁ ਕਾਲੇ ਲਿਖੁ ਨ ਲੇਖ ॥ ਆਪਨੜੇ ਗਿਰੀਵਾਨ ਮਹਿ ਸਿਰੁ ਨੀਵਾਂ ਕਰਿ ਦੇਖੁ ॥੬॥ : Fareed, if you consider yourself very intelligent and have a keen understanding, then why you keep pointing out faults, shortcomings of others (i.e. why do you keep judging others to be lesser than you?) Rather, you should look at your own actions, behavior, and deeds. ||6|| (sggs 1378).

In the first stanza of ‘Jap‘, Baabaa Nanak talks about the purpose of human life in question and answer presentation”>format as follows:

  • ਕਿਵ ਸਚਿਆਰਾ ਹੋਈਐ ਕਿਵ ਕੂੜੈ ਤੁਟੈ ਪਾਲਿ ॥ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਰਜਾਈ ਚਲਣਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੧॥ : How then can I become God-Realized being within (‘Sachiaaraa‘)? How can I remove the obstacle of my non-realized state within? O Nanak! (The way to realize Creator within is to) remain within the confines of His Hukam (the System or Law of Nature…) and abide in Sahaj , as (Creator and His Hukam) is contained with us. ||1|| (sggs 1).

The spirituality of Baabaa Nanak or the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) is the Sikhi of the self, for the self, and by the self.

  • ਸਬਦਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਸੋ ਮਿਲਿ ਰਹੈ ਜਿਸ ਨਉ ਆਪੇ ਲਏ ਮਿਲਾਇ ॥ : Realizing the Enlightening Message Within the Shabad is to become realized of the Creator; for which one’s Self must bring about this realization. (sggs 27).

According to the Gurbani in SGGS, everyone is responsible for his/her own deeds and not someone else. Therefore to put forth genuine efforts to successfully traverse the ocean of worldly temptations and their corrupting influences is the individual responsibility.

  • ਜੋ ਮੈ ਕੀਆ ਸੋ ਮੈ ਪਾਇਆ ਦੋਸੁ ਨ ਦੀਜੈ ਅਵਰ ਜਨਾ ॥ : What I have done, so have I reaped, I do not blame another for the fruits (of my doings/desires). (sggs 433).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਖਾਏ ਬੂਝੈ ਨਹੀ ਭੂਖ ॥ : Without eating, hunger is not satisfied. (sggs 1149).
  • ਭੁਖਿਆ ਗੰਢੁ ਪਵੈ ਜਾ ਖਾਇ ॥ : A person who is hungry establishes a connection with his body only if he eats food (otherwise death may follow). (sggs 143).
  • ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਇਕੁ ਵਰਤਦਾ ਏਕੋ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ ਜਿਸ ਨਉ ਆਪਿ ਦਇਆਲੁ ਹੋਇ ਸੋ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੨॥ : The One Creator (Hukam) operates Within all, the same Creator remains permeated Within Creation. The Creator’s Naam (or Hukam) is imbued by becoming the Gurmukh (Enlightened mindset) through the Spirituality of the Shabad for that person who has compassion for one’s Self. ||2|| (sggs 27).

That said, absolutely nowhere in the SGGS it is claimed that someone else will take us across Bhav Saagar into Sukh Saagar.

  • ਕੋਈ ਜਾਨੈ ਕਵਨੁ ਈਹਾ ਜਗਿ ਮੀਤੁ ॥ ਜਿਸੁ ਹੋਇ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਲੁ ਸੋਈ ਬਿਧਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਰੀਤਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਬਨਿਤਾ ਸੁਤ ਬੰਧਪ ਇਸਟ ਮੀਤ ਅਰੁ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਪੂਰਬ ਜਨਮ ਕੇ ਮਿਲੇ ਸੰਜੋਗੀ ਅੰਤਹਿ ਕੋ ਨ ਸਹਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਮਾਲ ਕਨਿਕ ਲਾਲ ਹੀਰਾ ਮਨ ਰੰਜਨ ਕੀ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਹਾ ਹਾ ਕਰਤ ਬਿਹਾਨੀ ਅਵਧਹਿ ਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥ ਹਸਤਿ ਰਥ ਅਸ੍ਵ ਪਵਨ ਤੇਜ ਧਣੀ ਭੂਮਨ ਚਤੁਰਾਂਗਾ ॥ ਸੰਗਿ ਨ ਚਾਲਿਓ ਇਨ ਮਹਿ ਕਛੂਐ ਊਠਿ ਸਿਧਾਇਓ ਨਾਂਗਾ ॥੩॥ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਸੰਤ ਪ੍ਰਿਅ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਮ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੇ ਤਾ ਕੈ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਗਾਈਐ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਈਹਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਆਗੈ ਮੁਖ ਊਜਲ ਸੰਗਿ ਸੰਤਨ ਕੈ ਪਾਈਐ ॥੪॥੧॥ : O mind, a RARE is the one in this world who knows about Spiritual Realization. Only that person knows the Way of Spiritual Realization who has compassion for one’s Self, that person’s Way of life becomes Unique. ||1||Pause|| (NOTE: In the preceding Rahaou verse Guru Arjan Ji is addressing the MIND about Spiritual Realization of the Creator. Therefore, the Spiritual Message of the next verse is with regard to family and associates of the MIND – senses and innumerable thoughts) O mind, all my senses and thoughts that remain close to me; they originate with and are partner throughout my life, yet (due to attachment to Maya) do not assist that Inner Journey of realization of the Creator within. ||1|| O mind, (Although my senses and thoughts) are an invaluable treasure for my emancipation yet are imbued in Maya. (Imbued in Maya) my life has passed in deeds of selfishness; the result of which I have not realized Contentment. ||2|| (These deeds of selfishness) can create mammoth pride, immense wealth and enormous power (‘elephant’ is metaphor for pride; ‘chariots’ pulled by ‘horses’ that run faster than the ‘wind’ is metaphor for Power; ‘Dhanee Bhooman’ – Wealthy landlord; ‘four types of armies’ is metaphor for enormous power ). None of these offer assistance along the Journey of Spirituality and one departs without Spiritual realization. ||3|| Seekers of realization of the Creator within remain imbued in Divine Naam (Divine Giaan-Wisdom / Virtues). Nanak, (remaining imbued in Divine Naam provides) Spiritual Bliss Here and Now and in future (i.e. remaining moments of this life); I achieved this goal through the company of my Guru. ||4||1|| (sggs 700).
  • ਪ੍ਰਥਮੇ ਮਨੁ ਪਰਬੋਧੈ ਅਪਨਾ ਪਾਛੈ ਅਵਰ ਰੀਝਾਵੈ ॥ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਜਪੁ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਜਾਪੈ ਮੁਖ ਤੇ ਸਗਲ ਸੁਨਾਵੈ ॥੨॥ : First teach your own mind, only then try motivating other. One can do so by understanding and internalizing the Divine Naam (Wisdom / Virtues) in his/her mind and then reciting to others. ॥2॥ (sggs 381).
  • ਸਚੁ ਤਾ ਪਰੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਜਾ ਸਿਖ ਸਚੀ ਲੇਇ ॥ ਦਇਆ ਜਾਣੈ ਜੀਅ ਕੀ ਕਿਛੁ ਪੁੰਨੁ ਦਾਨੁ ਕਰੇਇ ॥ : The Creator is Realized when the authentic Counsel (spiritual Wisdom-Giaan, Advice, Direction etc.) is received by the mind. Realize Compassion for one’s self, provide for the needs of the Conscience. (mind, self). (sggs 468).

In ‘Sidh Gost’ Bani, Sidhas (Yogis) asked Baabaa Nanak to discourse on: 

  • ਕਿਤੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਪੁਰਖਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਵਟਾਇਆ ॥ ਕਾਹੇ ਕਉ ਤੁਝੁ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਲਾਇਆ ॥ ਕਿਤੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਆਸਾ ਮਨਸਾ ਖਾਈ ॥ ਕਿਤੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਕਿਤੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਦੰਤਾ ਕਿਉ ਖਾਈਐ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਾਚਾ ਕਰਹੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥੧੯॥ : (Towards Realization of the Creator WITHIN) what is the method of traversing the human life? (While traversing the human life towards Realization of the Creator) what is focus of your mind? (While traversing the human life towards Realization of the Creator) what is the method for eliminating the mental distractions of temporal life? (While traversing human life) how did the Enlightenment towards Realization of the Creator WITHIN come into bein? (Under taking renunciation without Enlightenment) is akin to chewing iron without teeth! Nanak, provide a discourse to our questions in relation to the Creator’s Realization. ॥19॥ (sggs 939-940).

Baabaa Nanak discoursed the above questions of Sidhas (Yogis) as follows:

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਜਨਮੇ ਗਵਨੁ ਮਿਟਾਇਆ ॥ ਅਨਹਤਿ ਰਾਤੇ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਲਾਇਆ ॥ ਮਨਸਾ ਆਸਾ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਲਾਈ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਮੇਟੇ ਖਾਈਐ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਾਰੇ ਤਾਰਣਹਾਰੁ ॥੨੦॥ : Being born into the Spirituality on account of the Satgur ends the cycle of spiritual death (‘Gavan’). (While traversing the human life towards Realization of the Creator) the mind is immersed in undivided focus and love of the Shabad. (While traversing the human life towards Realization of the Creator) attractions of the temporal life are eliminated through internalizing the Message of the Shabad. (While traversing the human life) Enlightenment towards Realization of the Creator came from within the Message of the Shabad. (Renunciation is) undertaking the body, mind or soul attractions of temporal life (without the Enlightenment of the Shabad) is akin to chewing iron without teeth. Nanak, (the discourse in relation to the creator’s Realization is that) the Creator is to be Realized WITHIN the seeker itself. ॥20॥ (sggs 940).

What they have provided us with is the Shabad (Upadesh, Enlightening Message, Advice, Direction, Guide) to successfully travel on the path of spiritual Journey in life.

Therefore, Baabaa Nanak’s Sikhi squarely puts responsibility on each one us to have the direct and personal experience of Spiritual Realization.

  • ਆਪਣਾ ਕਾਰਜੁ ਆਪਿ ਸਵਾਰੇ ਹੋਰਨਿ ਕਾਰਜੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਕਾਰਜਿ ਸਤੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਦਇਆ ਧਰਮੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਕੋਈ ॥੩॥ : (One) resolves his own affair himself (i.e. the ultimate Purpose of life of God Realization); anyone else cannot do this work (for him). Only a rare Guru’s follower (Gurmukh-Hood Mindset) understands that his Realization of God requires the virtues like Godly Contentment, Compassion and Dharma. ||3|| (sggs 351).
  • ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਣਾ ਲਿਖਿ ਲੈ ਜਾਹੁ ॥ ਆਪੇ ਬੀਜਿ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਖਾਹੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੁਕਮੀ ਆਵਹੁ ਜਾਹੁ ॥੨੦॥ : (The Internal cleansing is by a spirituality of) Internalizing (the Naam: Shabad, Hukam, Virtues, Giaan-Wisdom) through sustained deeds. Whatever you sow, you will reap. Nanak, (to reap as one saw) is the Hukam of the Creator pertaining to my cycle (of spirituality at the mind’s level). ॥20॥ (sggs 4).
  • ਜੇਹਾ ਬੀਜੈ ਸੋ ਲੁਣੈ ਕਰਮਾ ਸੰਦੜਾ ਖੇਤੁ ॥ : Life is the field of actions; I alone will reap all that I sow. (sggs 134).
  • ਜਿਨੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇਆ ਗਏ ਮਸਕਤਿ ਘਾਲਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਤੇ ਮੁਖ ਉਜਲੇ ਕੇਤੀ ਛੁਟੀ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੧॥ : Those who diligently and arduously Realized (acquired / practiced) Naam (spiritual Wisdom, divine Virtue), they, O Nanak, Realize God (become ‘Sachiaaraa-ਸਚਿਆਰਾ’ in their spiritual Journey) by overcoming / freeing themselves from the primary affliction (of Koorh-ਕੂੜ). ॥1॥ (sggs 8).

Baabaa Nanak in his Bani (ਬਾਣੀ) titled ‘JAP‘ (‘॥ ਜਪੁ ॥’) tells us that he walked in his life on the Spiritual Path and experienced Spiritual Realization. In the same breath, Baabaa Nanak Directs each one of us to walk on this Spiritual Path ourselves.

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਗਇਆ ਜਾਪੈ ਜਾਇ ॥੩੪॥ : Says Nanak — (I) have walked on the Spiritual Path and have Realized or Understood (i.e. Spiritual Realization); now you walk on this Spiritual Path and Realize or Understand yourself. ॥34॥ (sggs 7).

JAP‘ (‘॥ ਜਪੁ ॥’) as envisaged by the SGGS is a process of Realization — listening to the Gurbani (with complete involvement of the mind), Knowing or Understanding, Believing or Accepting, Internalizing (i.e. BECOMING the Gurbani – ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਬਣੀਐGurbani Baneeai‘ – ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਪ੍ਰਵਾਨ ਹੋ ਗਈ ਜਾਂ ਘਰ ਕਰ ਗਈ …), then Emulating or applying it in daily life when transacting with the outside world of objects, emotions, and thoughts.

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਬਣੀਐ ॥ : The Satgur’s Bani (the God-Connecting Shabad-Guru) is the embodiment of the Creator; (therefore) BECOME THE GURBANI (to Realize the Creator). (sggs 304).
  • ਮੈ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਆਧਾਰੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਲਾਗਿ ਰਹਾਉ ॥੮॥ : The Gurbani (i.e. the Enlightening spiritual  Wisdom of the Guru Shabad) is my Base or Support of my life. Attuned to the Guru Shabad I remain spiritually alive. ||8|| (sggs 759).
  • ਜਿਨ ਕਉ ਪੂਰਬਿ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਤਿਨ ਸਤਗੁਰੁ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਆਇ ॥੪॥ : (Moments of) my past wherein I imbued my Consciousness within the Enlightenment of the Shabad are moments wherein I had come to realize the Creator-Connecting Guru. ||4|| (sggs 27).

Theses rungs of the ladder of Spiritual Evolution. ‘Stuckness‘ at any rung on the way up on this Spiritual Ladder will undoubtedly stop Spiritual Evolution.

  • ਏਤੁ ਰਾਹਿ ਪਤਿ ਪਵੜੀਆ ਚੜੀਐ ਹੋਇ ਇਕੀਸ ॥ : In this Way of spiritual Journey one can climb the spiritual ladder (i.e. Elevate his Consciousness) to BECOME one with Rabb within. (sggs 7).

However, there is a lot of ‘Paakhand‘ or fraud goes on in the name of the Gurbani, religion, Spirituality and god.

The SGGS time and again reminds us that nobody has the power to change the divine Hukam (Cosmic System-Rule-Law, ਕੁਦਰਤ ਦਾ ਨਿਯਮ):

  • ਭਾਈ ਮਤ ਕੋਈ ਜਾਣਹੁ ਕਿਸੀ ਕੈ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਾਥਿ ਹੈ ਸਭ ਕਰੇ ਕਰਾਇਆ ॥ : O brother! Let none think that they have any power. All (i.e., old age, death, so called evil spells, air, water, fire, solar systems…) act per the System or Law of Nature (Hukam, ਕੁਦਰਤ ਦਾ ਨਿਯਮ). (sggs 168).

Bibek (discerning Intellect) cannot be made to an order, gifted, inherited, purchased or stolen. Wisdom can only be Realized, with self-efforts. Accordingly, the Gurbani in SGGS teaches us NOT to be dependent on other human beings:

  • ਮਾਨੁਖ ਕੀ ਟੇਕ ਬ੍ਰਿਥੀ ਸਭ ਜਾਨੁ ॥ : (O human) realize that dependence on other people (to give you Wisdom/Virtues as a readymade package, or to get rid of your own vices/Bikaar etc.) is in vain. (sggs 281).
  • ਜਿਸੁ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਪਹਿ ਕਰਉ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਸੋ ਅਪਨੈ ਦੁਖਿ ਭਰਿਆ ॥ : Whosoever human being I approach to ask for help, I find that person full of his/her own troubles. (sggs 497).

The SGGS in that sense is an emperor, unselfishly having only the best interest of the seeker or learner (i.e. Sikh) at heart, while expecting nothing in return. The SGGS is a Treasure Trove of Spiritual Advice, Guidance, Direction, Wisdom, (Upadesh, Message etc.) which encourages us becoming responsible, dutiful, and Provides us Guidance for living a Divine Life (Gurmukh Lifestyle).

If you have food in front of you and you are hungry, isn’t your responsibility to make effort and put that food in your mouth? Are you just going to chant ‘food, food’ and hope your hunger will be satisfied? In fact, it’s your responsibility to put the food in your mouth! 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!!

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਖਾਏ ਬੂਝੈ ਨਹੀ ਭੂਖ ॥ : Without eating, hunger is not satisfied. (sggs 1149).

Bhai Gurdaas Ji (the original scribe of SGGS) reminds us that if a person is disease-stricken, his mere reading of the medicine’s label without taking the medicine will not cure him. In order to be cured of the disease and related pain, one has to take the medicine and stop mere reading the label.

Further, Bhai Gurdaas Ji says 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.

  • ਖਾਂਡ ਖਾਂਡ ਕਹੈ ਜਿਹਬਾ ਨ ਸ੍ਵਾਦੁ ਮੀਠੋ ਆਵੈ ॥ ਅਗਨਿ ਅਗਨਿ ਕਹੈ ਸੀਤ ਨ ਬਿਨਾਸ ਹੈ ॥ ਬੈਦ ਬੈਦ ਕਹੈ ਰੋਗ ਮਿਟਤ ਨ ਕਾਹੂ ਕੋ॥ ਦਰਬ ਦਰਬ ਕਹੈ ਕੋਊ ਦਰਬਹਿ ਨ ਬਿਲਾਸ ਹੈ ॥ ਚੰਦਨ ਚੰਦਨ ਕਹਤ ਪ੍ਰਗਟੈ ਨ ਸੁਬਾਸੁ ਬਾਸੁ ॥ ਤੈਸੇ ਗਿਆਨ ਗੋਸਟਿ ਕਹਤ ਨ ਰਹਤ ਪਾਵੈ॥ ਕਰਨੀ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਭਾਨ ਉਦਤਿ ਅਕਾਸ ਹੈ ॥ : By mere saying (repeating, chanting or uttering again and again) the word ‘sugar, sugar’ one cannot taste the sweetness of sugar. By mere saying the word ‘fire, fire’ one cannot drive the cold away. By merely uttering the word ‘doctor, doctor’ one cannot cure the illness. By mere saying the word ‘money, money’ one cannot have money (or enjoy it). By mere chanting the word ‘Chandan, Chandan‘ one cannot make its fragrance appear (i.e., cannot manifest or experience sandalwood’s fragrance). Similarly, by mere saying the word ‘Knowledge’ one cannot live it. ‘Karanee‘ is supreme (implementation, practice, putting the spiritual Wisdom or Advice of the Gurbani to work, live it, walk it, do it, ਅਮਲ, ਕਮਾਈ etc. — walk the talk!), like the rising sun in the sky (Kabit Savaiye, Bhai Gurdaas).

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!

This is all commonsense. However, commonsense is not common anymore. It has been destroyed by the self-serving Pujaaree groups and the Pujaaree system.

The SGGS repeatedly reminds us that the Creator (Universal Energy…) resides within all beings. If the Divine is within, then the Divine Grace is also within. Implication is that if the Divine Grace is within everybody, then each one of us is responsible to put forth efforts to Awaken it, realize it and use it. In other words, everybody has to favor himself and become kind or compassionate (‘ਮਿਹਰਵਾਨ’) to himself. The Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ) is that NO third-party or an outside agency will come to do it for you. Simply because, it cannot be made to an order!

  • ਜਾ ਤੂੰ ਤੁਸਹਿ ਮਿਹਰਵਾਨ ਅਚਿੰਤੁ ਵਸਹਿ ਮਨ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ ਜਾ ਤੂੰ ਤੁਸਹਿ ਮਿਹਰਵਾਨ ਨਉ ਨਿਧਿ ਘਰ ਮਹਿ ਪਾਹਿ ॥ ਜਾ ਤੂੰ ਤੁਸਹਿ ਮਿਹਰਵਾਨ ਤਾ ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ ਕਮਾਹਿ ॥ ਜਾ ਤੂੰ ਤੁਸਹਿ ਮਿਹਰਵਾਨ ਤਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਹਿ ॥੧॥ : When you are kind to yourself, then (the Truth, Divine Wisdom or Virtues…) spontaneously come to dwell within the mind. When you are kind to yourself, then you obtain (realize) the nine treasures within. When you are kind to yourself, then you live according to the Gur-Mantra (Naam, Shabad, Truth, Wisdom, Virtues, Advice, Upadesh ….). O Nanak! When you are kind to yourself, then you get absorbed in the Truth. ||1|| (sggs 518).

Accordingly, the Gurbani Advises us that one has to resolve the affair of his life himself, through his own efforts. Thus the Gurbani’s Divine Wisdom not only makes man God-like but also avers that this great privilege has got its own severe responsibilities!

Hence, the SGGS teaches us that if one wants to realize or abide in his/her Mool within (Truth, Jot Saroop, Wisdom, Virtues etc.) – the purpose of life) – you cannot ask someone else to do it for you.

  • ਯਾ ਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਏਕਹਿ ਕਉ ਆਇਆ ॥ ਜਨਮਤ ਮੋਹਿਓ ਮੋਹਨੀ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ : (Man) is born in this life only to become ONE (with Prabh, Mool, etc. – through Naam…). (But) ever since (man’s) birth, (he) has been enticed and deceived by Maya. (sggs 251).

The Gurbani brings us to the very frontier of the Divine Knowledge and makes us face the immensity of the One Creator. 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 are we born in the world? What have we gained by taking the birth? (sggs 970).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਇਹੁ ਤਨੁ ਜਾਇਗਾ ਕਵਨੈ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਸਾਧ ਕੀ ਕੈ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਇ ॥੨੮॥ : O Kabeer! This body will perish; put it on the good path. So, associate with the ‘Saadh’ (Gur-Giaan, Wisdom, Virtues…) and live life of Virtues. ||28|| (sggs 1365).

Mool-realization simply means ‘I am full’, ‘I don’t require anything at all’ — full to the brim with Virtues. It is Freedom from Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.), and living daily life with Divine Virtues such as Truth (ਸਤ), Godly contentment (ਸੰਤੋਖ), mercy (ਦਯਾ), patience (ਧੀਰਜ), Sahaj (ਸਹਜ-Natural State of Being), Wisdom (ਗਿਆਨ) etc.

Perhaps now we can appreciate why Mool-abidance 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 that requires self-efforts. This is essentially what the Gurbani is telling us in a reasoning way.

  • ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰੇਦਿਆ ਜੀਉ ਤੂੰ ਕਮਾਵਦਿਆ ਸੁਖ ਭੁੰਚੁ ॥ ਧਿਆਇਦਿਆ ਤੂੰ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਮਿਲੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਉਤਰੀ ਚਿੰਤ ॥੧॥ : Make the earnest effort and earn spiritual profit; by doing so enjoy ‘Sukh‘ (Joy, Peace…)! Nanak, by focusing on Naam, you realize God Within and your anxiety will vanish. ||1|| (sggs 522).

Therefore, the Gurbani teaches us that to realize Truth within is the real pilgrimage in Sikhi, and the seeker has to work hard and go alone on this Inner pilgrimage (Inner Tirath)!

Accordingly, the Gurbani never gets tired of reminding us that the Truth is not outside – it is within! If the Truth was outside of us, then one could go in a group (company, crowd, hoard of people…). However, since the Truth is not outside of 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 ॥ : (The Divine Virtues, Wisdom, Spiritual tranquility, Naam, Shabad, Amrit, Prabh, ਆਤਮਕ ਸੁਖ…) all that is within the Heart-Home; not outside. Who searches outside is deluded by doubts (sggs 102).

The Gurbani says our efforts (Shabad-Vichaar) needs to be coupled with surrender (submission of mind impacted with the negativity of Haumai or false ego-sense). When effort is coupled with surrender, the effort becomes ‘effortless effort’ (‘ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਏ’)!

If we rely only on our effort (without surrendering the negativity of the mind), 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, which also include the Divine Grace or Blessing!

The Gurbani tells us in the onset that success (Mool-abidance) is made possible by Gurprasaad (ਗੁਰਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ): Grace or Blessing of the Gur-Giaan (Spiritual Advice, Guidance, Message, Wisdom of the SGGS…)! The Gurbani reveals the daily life of such Enlightened person (Gurmukh minset) 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).
  • ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰ ਪੀਰਾ ਗਹਿਰ ਗੰਭੀਰਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਜਗੁ ਬਉਰਾਨੰ ॥ : Shabad (Giaan, Upadesh, Naam, Wisdom…) is the Guru and Peer; (with this Shabad, a person) becomes profoundly earnest; (however) without the Shabad the world is gone crazy (sggs 635).

Thus, the possibility of success in resolving our primary ‘Kaaj‘ arises only when we have fulfilled personal responsibility (i.e. giving our 100% first). In other words, we need to put our faith in self-efforts as prescribed by the Guru. It is not enough to have faith (ਭਰੋਸਾ) in a doctor, one has to take that doctor’s prescribed medication as well in order to get cured!

  • ਸਗਲ ਉਦਮ ਮਹਿ ਉਦਮੁ ਭਲਾ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਜੀਅ ਸਦਾ ॥ : Of all efforts the most sublime effort is, for the mind to realize the divine Naam (Wisdom / Virtues). (sggs 266).

We learn from the Gurbani that the spiritual living (Gurmukh Lifestyle) is subtler 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-abidance, 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-abidance 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 — the self-serving and greedy Pujaaree system, and the Pujaare groups, Baabaa or Deraa-Vaad, Saadh or Sant-Vaad etc.

The Gurbani wants us to inquire through Shabad-Vichaar until there is no mind left (doubts, delusion, ignorance, Haumai…). This is made possible with self-effort! Our life is our own responsibility, to make or to mar! Accordingly, the Gurbani repeatedly reminds us if we don’t arrive ‘Home‘ (within) Here and Now (not after death), then there is nobody to blame!

  • 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).

Ending Note

Apart from the Divine Hukam (the law of consequences) that keeps everything under, there is no other law of nature (ਕੁਦਰਤੀ ਨਿਯਮ) that can be worshipped to solve one’s problems. Yet, owing to utter ignorance, many go to Pakhnadee con artists, fraud Baabaas, pray and worship at tombs (of Pir etc.) and the so called religious places in futile to achieve something without having to work hard! The Gurbani Counsels us:

  • ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਨ ਪੜਉ ਹਰਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਹੋਰੁ ਨ ਪੂਜਉ ਮੜੈ ਮਸਾਣਿ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਰਾਚਿ ਨ ਪਰ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਵਾ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਨਾਮਿ ਬੁਝਾਈ ॥ : I do not indulge in duality, I don’t worship anybody else except God, so (to solve my problems) I don’t go to worship at any tombs (of Pir etc.) and cremation grounds. Because, lured by worldly desires, I don’t look with greed on anybody else’s possessions, instead I accept the Divine Naam (GiyanWisdom / Virtues…) to quench my worldly desires (base mindedness). (sggs 634).
  • ਆਪਣਾ ਕਾਰਜੁ ਆਪਿ ਸਵਾਰੇ ਹੋਰਨਿ ਕਾਰਜੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ : (One) resolves his own affair himself (i.e. the ultimate Purpose of life of God Realization); anyone else cannot do this work (for him). (sggs 351).

8 comments

  1. A Quote in this Context worth understanding as
    SALOK

    ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰਹੁ ਵਡਭਾਗੀਹੋ ਸਿਮਰਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਇ

    ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਸੁ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਸਭ ਸੁਖ ਹੋਵਹਿ ਦੂਖੁ ਦਰਦੁ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਜਾਇ ॥੧

    Make the effort, O very fortunate ones, and meditate on the Lord, the Lord King.
    O Nanak, remembering THE LORD in meditation, One shall obtain total peace, and ones pains, troubles and doubts shall depart. ||1||

  2. Veer ji , you have very rightly stated that it is us, we who will have to endeavour to achieve the purpose for which we are born.Sri Guru Granth Sahibji at every step guide us on this.Thanks for a thought provoking write up.

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