Gurbani Says Help Yourself To Realize The Ultimate Purpose Of Life

There is lot of “Paakhand” or fraud goes on in the name of religion and god.

The Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) time and again reminds us that nobody has power to change the System or Law of Nature (Hukam, 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 or Wisdom cannot be made to an order, gifted, inherited, purchased or stolen. Wisdom can only be Realized.

The SGGS in that sense is an emperor, unselfishly having only the best interest of the learner or student (i.e., Sikh) at heart, while expecting nothing in return. The SGGS is a Treasure Trove of Wisdom, which encourages us becoming responsible, dutiful, and shows us a Way of living a Divine Life (Gurmukh Lifestyle).

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.

Similarly, 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, the Divine has given you the food, and now it’s your responsibility to put it in your mouth!

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਖਾਏ ਬੂਝੈ ਨਹੀ ਭੂਖ ॥: Without eating, hunger is not satisfied.  (sggs 1149).
  • 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 merely uttering the word “sugar, sugar” one cannot taste the sweetness of sugar. By merely uttering the word “fire, fire” one cannot drive the cold away. By merely uttering the word “doctor, doctor” one cannot cure the illness. By merely uttering the word “money, money” one cannot have money (or enjoy it). By merely uttering the word “Chandan, Chandan” one cannot make its fragrance appear (i.e., cannot manifest or experience sandalwood’s fragrance). Similarly, by merely uttering the word “Knowledge” one cannot live it. “Karanee” is supreme (practice, implementation, ਅਮਲ, ਕਮਾਈ, Putting the Shabad Giaan – Knowledge / Wisdom – to work, live it, do it, etc.), like the rising sun in the sky (Kabit Savaiye, Bhai Gurdaas).

The SGGS repeatedly reminds us that the Divine (Rabb or Universal Energy, Divine Wisdom or Virtues…) 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 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. No third-party or an outside agency will come to do it for you. For 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…). O Nanak! When you are kind to yourself, then you get absorbed in the Truth. ||1|| (sggs 518).

For example, if you are hungry, you have to eat food yourself. You cannot ask someone else to eat the 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!

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

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

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).
  • ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਣਾ ਲਿਖਿ ਲੈ ਜਾਹੁ ॥ ਆਪੇ ਬੀਜਿ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਖਾਹੁ ॥: Whatever Karma (deeds, actions) you do, you yourself write that (Sanskaar, result, ਫਲ…). Whatever you sow, you will reap. (sggs 4).
  • ਜੇਹਾ ਬੀਜੈ ਸੋ ਲੁਣੈ ਕਰਮਾ ਸੰਦੜਾ ਖੇਤੁ ॥: (Body is the) field (of man’s Karma); whatever (he) sows so does (he) reap (sggs 134).
  • ਜਿਨੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇਆ ਗਏ ਮਸਕਤਿ ਘਾਲਿ ॥: Those who pondered over the Naam (Wisdom, Truth…), they departed after putting in toil (fulfilling life’s work successfully). (sggs 8).

The Gurbani reminds us that the purpose (“Kaaj“) of human life is to realize one’s Mool (Truth, True Nature or Jot Saroop, Divine Life of Wisdom or Virtues, Hukam…). Furthermore, the Gurbani time and again reminds to have the direct and personal experience of it.

  • 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).
  • ਆਪਣਾ ਕਾਰਜੁ ਆਪਿ ਸਵਾਰੇ ਹੋਰਨਿ ਕਾਰਜੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥: (Jeev-individual being) resolves his own affair (i.e., the Purpose of life of Mool Realization) himself; anyone else cannot do this work (for him). (sggs 351).

The Gurbani brings us to the very frontier of the Divine Knowledge (Brahm-Giaan) and makes us face the immensity of the One Divine (Rabb, Universal energy…). 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).
  • 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 “ਸਤੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਗਿਆਨ” (“Satu Santokhu Giaan“)! It is Freedom from Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.), and living daily life with Divine Virtues such as Truth (ਸਤ), contentment (ਸੰਤੋਖ), mercy (ਦਯਾ), patience (ਧੀਰਜ), Sahaj (ਸਹਜ-Natural State of Being), Wisdom (ਗਿਆਨ)…

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).

Perhaps now we can appreciate as to 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. 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 ॥ ਧਿਆਇਦਿਆ ਤੂੰ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਮਿਲੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਉਤਰੀ ਚਿੰਤ ॥੧॥ : Make the effort and live (spiritual life); by so performing ‘Sukh’ (Joy, Peace, Happiness…) is enjoyed. O Nanak! By remembering the Naam one realizes Prabhu (Hukam: System-Rule-Law of Nature…) and the anxiety vanishes. ||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 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 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”. This “everything” also include the Divine Grace and Blessing!

The Gurbani tells us in the onset that success (Mool-abidance) 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 (Gurmukh Lifestyle) 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 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 that doctor’s prescribed medication 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 or Wisdom…). (sggs 266).

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-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 crafty and greedy Pujaaree system, and the Pujaare groups (Ragi, Bhai, Kathaakaar, Deraa-Vaad, Baabaa-Vaad, Sant-Vaad, so called ‘foolish scholars’, etc.).

The Gurbani wants us to Inquire through Shabad-Vichaar until there is no mind left (doubts, illusion, ignorance, Haumai…). This is made possible with 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!


  1. A Quote in this Context worth understanding as

    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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