These days, a popular and common expression is: “happy new year”.
What’s so “new” or what’s so “happy” about such “Parpanch” (ostentation, deception, illusion…)? The Gurbani tells us that the majority of us follow Pakhand – imitate what we see other people do, “Dekhaa Dekhee”, people see people do!
The Gurbani indicates that the mind inflicted with duality or attached to Maya is “Parpanchee” (deceitful, cunning, crafty, etc.)!
- ਪਰਪੰਚਿ ਵਿਆਪਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਮਨੁ ਦੋਇ ॥: The mind is engrossed in “Parpanch” and duality (sggs 153).
- ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਪਰਪੰਚਿ ਲਾਗੇ ॥: In the love of duality, (by forgetting their Mool, Jeeva) remain attached to “Parpanch” (sggs 842).
The illusion of time-space-causation comes into being only if we hold on to the memory of the past and anxiety of the future.
However, the Gurbani also confirms that there are those in this world — although “rare” — who are NOT engrossed in “Parpanch”!
- ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਰਲੇ ਪਾਈਅਹਿ ਜੋ ਨ ਰਚਹਿ ਪਰਪੰਚ ॥੫॥: O Nanak! Rare are those, who do not create “Parpanch”. ||5|| (sggs 297).
We consider it as the new year when — at the stroke of the midnight — the current year changes to the next.
This is an external change (worldly, material, Mayaic, business …), thus temporary, fleeting, illusory, unreal…
Hence, this is not the change the Gurbani would like us to bring about in life! Because, such temporary (Mayaic) change cannot bring about a REAL (permanent) change or reversal in one’s life.
In other words, it would ONLY be a real New Year when we change within (the Real Change) — Positive change in one’s illusioned mind, faulty thinking and understanding, corrupt nature, wicked habits, conditioned intellect (Budhi), negative tendencies, Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.), and so on! In other words:
- It’s a change from a Manmukh lifestyle (engrossed in “Parpanch”, body-consciousness, self-will, Saakat-hood, Mayadhaaree life…) to the Gurmukh Lifestyle (Divine Life, Un-Parpanchhee Lifestyle…).
- It’s a change from untruth to Truth (Sach).
- It’s a change from demerits to the Divine Virtues.
- It’s a change from illusion (Bharam-Jaal or Maya-Jaal) to Reality or doubt free state.
- It’s a change from false, ephemeral, fleeting, or temporary (Asatt) to the Permanent (Satt, Atall, etc.).
- It’s a change from time-bound to Timelessness (Akaal).
- It’s a change from unstable state (unnatural state, restlessness…) to Stable State (Stillness, Natural State of Being, Sahaj, Whole, Saabat, etc.) — a change from impurity to Purity of the mind.
- It’s a change from ignorant or doubt-ridden mind to the Divine Knowledge (Prachand Giaan or Wisdom, Giaan-Avasthaa…).
- It’s a change from corrupt intellect (Haumai or ego-ridden-Budhi) to Bibek-Budhi (discriminating or discerning intellect…).
- It’s a change from the memory and anxiety of the past and future to the Eternity of the present moment (NOW, mindfulness…).
- It’s a change from NOT knowing to knowing one’s Mool (Source, Jot, Reality…), which is ever NEW (“ਗੁਣ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਨਵਤਨੁ ਸਦਾ”).
Such positive change can begin Here and Now! No need to wait for the first of the year as the “Parpanchee” minds do to make ambitious resolutions for the new year, only to forget few days later! Otherwise it’s all useless even if we live 100 years!
- ਜੇ ਸਉ ਵਰ੍ਹ੍ਹਿਆ ਜੀਵਣਾ ਭੀ ਤਨੁ ਹੋਸੀ ਖੇਹ ॥੪੧॥: Even if (one) lives for hundred years, (still, in the end) the body will become dust (sggs 1380).
- ਜੇ ਸਉ ਵਰ੍ਹਿਆ ਜੀਵਣ ਖਾਣੁ ॥ ਖਸਮ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਸੋ ਦਿਨੁ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥੨॥: If (one) were to live and eat for hundred years, that day (of one’s life) alone would be authentic (acceptable, approved, auspicious…), when (one) recognizes the Lord. ||2|| (sggs 349).
The Gurbani reminds us that the ultimate purpose of human life is to change it for better and make it Worthy while incarnated in the human body and, ultimately, realize one’s Spiritual Nature (Mool, Source, Jot Saroop…) within.
- ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਤੂੰ ਆਇਆ ਲਾਹਾ ਲੈਣਿ ॥: O mortal, you came to earn a (Spiritual) Profit. (sggs 43).
The Supreme Message of the Gurbani is (if we want to put it in words): We must change from not knowing oneself to Knowing Oneself (Truth-abidance…).
- ਵੇਲਾ ਸਚੁ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਛਾਣਸੀ ॥੪॥: True and acceptable is the time, when one recognizes the Shabad. ||4|| (sggs 422).
- ਥਿਤੀ ਵਾਰ ਤਾ ਜਾ ਸਚਿ ਰਾਤੇ ॥: (These) lunar and solar days are auspicious, when (mortals) get imbued with Truth (sggs 842).
- ਸੋਈ ਦਿਵਸੁ ਭਲਾ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਇ ਪਰਮ ਗਤਿ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: O my brother! Only that day is auspicious (for a person), when (he) obtains the supreme status (Highest Spiritual State…) by constantly remembering and living the Divine Virtues. ||Pause|| (sggs 395).
- ਚਚਾ ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲ ਗੁਰ ਲਾਗਾ ॥ ਧਨਿ ਧਨਿ ਉਆ ਦਿਨ ਸੰਜੋਗ ਸਭਾਗਾ ॥: CHACHAA (an alphabet of the Gurmukhi): (When one) got attached to the Gur-Lotus-Feet (i.e., when one got attached to the Gur-Virtues or Wisdom, consider) those days blessed, and auspicious the conjuncture (sggs 254).
- ਸੋ ਦਿਨੁ ਸਫਲੁ ਗਣਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਮਿਲਾਇਆ ਰਾਮ ॥: That day is fruitful, (the day) Hari-Prabhoo (Mool, Source, Jot…) is realized (sggs 547).
Therefore, the Gurbani asks how each one of us has changed the course of his/her life:
- ਕਿਤੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਪੁਰਖਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਵਟਾਇਆ ॥: O man, how have you changed the course of your life? (sggs 939).
In nutshell, changing the course of life is a revolution within — intellect must Awaken to the Divine Knowledge…
- ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਬੁਧਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਈ ਮੇਰੀ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਦਲੀ ਸਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੨॥੨੧॥੭੨॥: Says Kabeer! (The Giaan or Wisdom of the Gumat) has taken away my (worldly-ਮਨਮੱਤ) Budhi (i.e., intelligence, wisdom, ਅਕਲ). With this changed Budhi, now I have obtained Sidhi (Spiritual Perfection…). ||2||21||72|| (sggs 339).
- ਸਾਚ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਸਦਾ ਨਉਤਨ ਸਬਦਿ ਨੇਹੁ ਨਵੇਲਓ ॥: The intellect of Truth is EVER FRESH, and the love (for the Truth) nurtured through the Shabad is ever NEW. (sggs 242).
When Awakened to the Divine Knowledge, people of all faiths live in ever NEW love and harmony (“ਪ੍ਰੇਮੁ ਸਦਾ ਨਉਰੰਗੀ”), peace and amity, higher mental and spiritual state; conduct themselves truthfully and righteously; live without fear of injustice or oppression; respect each other; enjoy equality and human rights; see the same self in everybody, and so on. The natural result of such inner change brings about overall prosperity and happiness.
However, according to the Gurbani, a “rare” one embarks on this Way of Inner Revolutionary. Such person is called the Gurmukh, Bhagat, Daas, Jan, etc., in the Gurbani.
- ਸਬਦੀ ਧੋਵੈ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕੋਈ ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥: A rare (person) washes (his mind) with the Shabad. A rare (person), by becoming the Gurmukh, practices the Truth (sggs 1344).
The Gurbani wants each of its seeker (learner, student, Sikh) to mend the doubt-ridden mind by bathing it in the pool of the Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) and become the “rare” Gurmukh, Here and Now. The Gurbani asserts that the one without the Wisdom is plundered.
Otherwise, before we know, kaput! The end!
Helloooooooooo New Year!