Happy New Year!

Once again — with the plastic smiles — it’s that time of annual ‘Parpanch’ or Pakhand (ostentation, show off, hypocrisy, Mayaic affair, artifice etc.) to greet or send messages saying ‘HAPPY NEW YEAR’! Specifically Indians are flooded by messages and greetings all year long!

It will indeed be new year if we (individually) do something NEW and positive in life; bring some NEW and positive changes within! If we don’t, then it will be the same OLD same OLD…

In the worldly sense, it’s considered new year when the ticking clock strikes midnight on the last day of the 12th month of the Gregorian calendar.

This is an external change (worldly, material, Mayaic, business …), thus fleeting, illusory, unreal etc.

In truth, what’s ticking away is not the clock (time), what’s ticking away is our life!

Wealth, fame, power, love, relationships etc. may come again and again in one’s life, but time simply perishes.

Such temporary (Mayaic) change in today’s ‘rat race’ cannot bring about a REAL change, reversal or happiness in one’s life.

However, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) would like us to bring about a Real change in life!

Hence it would ONLY be a real New Year when we change within — Positive change in one’s deluded mind, faulty thinking and understanding, corrupt nature, wicked habits, conditioned intellect (Budhi), negative tendencies, Bikaar (i.e. lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride), and so on! In other words:

Hence, without being Awake and Aware there can be no real change, happiness or joy!

In a nutshell, the UNIQUE and REVOLUTIONARY Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS challenges us to live an introspected or examined life, for the unexamined life is not worth living

  • ਮਨ ਕੀ ਪਤ੍ਰੀ ਵਾਚਣੀ ਸੁਖੀ ਹੂ ਸੁਖੁ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: The greatest happiness comes from reading the horoscope of the mind (i.e. reading your own mind’s state or condition). (sggs 1093).

An examined or introspected life on a daily basis is a life of positive experiences that touches the innermost core of our being, stirs the mind, challenges the intellect etc.

Only an Awakened mind can traverse such a Spiritual Life of the Guru’s Shabad. An Awakened mind is an Aware mind. Only an Awakened mind possesses the ability to differentiate between fact and fiction.

Such positive change in thinking can begin Here and Now, not some Afterlife or after death! Otherwise it’s all useless even if one lives 100 years or more!

It doesn’t matter how many years one lives, the important thing is how one lives! The Gurbani’s (SGGS) Wisdom teaches us how to live daily life of Virtues / Wisdom!

As the ‘Parpanchee‘ or ‘Pakhandee‘ minds do, no need to wait for the first of the year and make ambitious resolutions for the new year, only to forget few days later!

  • 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) Realizes the One Creator Within. ||2|| (sggs 349).

The Gurbani (SGGS) being the mirror of the mind reminds us the ultimate purpose of human life — change it for better NOW.

  • ਵੇਲਾ ਸਚੁ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਛਾਣਸੀ ॥੪॥ : The time that is acceptable when the God-Linking shabad is related to. (sggs 422).
  • ਥਿਤੀ ਵਾਰ ਤਾ ਜਾ ਸਚਿ ਰਾਤੇ ॥: The lunar days or the week days become beneficial only when (the mind) becomes imbued in Truth (sggs 842).
  • ਸੋ ਦਿਨੁ ਸਫਲੁ ਗਣਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਮਿਲਾਇਆ ਰਾਮ ॥: That day is fruitful, (the day) Hari-Prabhoo (Mool, Source, Jot Saroop…) is realized (sggs 547).

According to the Spiritual Message of the Shabad (SGGS) the lasting newness lies within (‘ਗੁਣ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਨਵਤਨੁ ਸਦਾ’, ‘ਨੀਤ ਨਵਾ’).

In short, changing the course of life is a continual revolution within, ever NEW (‘ਨੀਤ ਨਵਾ-Neet Navaa‘)!

  • ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਬੁਧਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਈ ਮੇਰੀ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਦਲੀ ਸਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੨॥੨੧॥੭੨॥: Says Kabeer! (Wisdom) has taken away my (worldly) intelligence (ਅਕਲ). With this altered intelligence, now I have obtained Sidhi (Spiritual Perfection…). ||2||21||72|| (sggs 339).

When Awakened to Naam (Shabad, Upadesh, Wisdom, Virtues, Truth, Hukam…) people of all faiths live in ever NEW love and harmony (‘ਪ੍ਰੇਮੁ ਸਦਾ ਨਉਰੰਗੀ’), peace and amity; conduct themselves wisely and 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 in an individual life and the society, and the world.

However, a ‘rare’ person is said to embark on this Way of Inner Revolution. Called the Gurmukh (Daas, Jan, Bhagat etc.) in the SGGS, such ‘rare‘ Enlightened Mind does NOT get engrossed in ‘Parpanch’ or ‘Pakhand‘!

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਰਲੇ ਪਾਈਅਹਿ ਜੋ ਨ ਰਚਹਿ ਪਰਪੰਚ ॥੫॥: O Nanak! Rare are those, who do not create ‘Parpanch’. ||5|| (sggs 297).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕੋਈ ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥: A rare (person), by becoming the Gurmukh, practices the Truth (sggs 1344).

In Short, since without Wisdom we stand plundered, the SGGS asks each of its learner (i.e. Sikh) to mend the conditioned mind by bathing it in the pool of Wisdom and thus become the ‘rare’ Gurmukh (Enlightened Mind) Here and Now, NOT afterlife.

The Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) tells us that the majority of us imitate what we see others do!

  • ਦੇਖਾ ਦੇਖੀ ਸਭ ਕਰੇ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝ ਨ ਪਾਇ ॥: Manmukhs (Unenlightened persons) do everything seeing other people do to make a show (Pakhand, ਦੇਖਾ ਦੇਖੀ, ਨਕਲ, ਦਿਖਾਵਾ…), but they themselves have no understanding of the true way of living. (sggs 28).

A mind inflicted with duality or Maya is ‘Parpanchee‘ by nature (deceptive, cunning, illusioned, crafty, Pakhandee etc.)!

  • ਪਰਪੰਚਿ ਵਿਆਪਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਮਨੁ ਦੋਇ ॥: The mind is engrossed in ‘Parpanch’ and duality (sggs 153).

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.

The durations of days, months, years and seasons are arbitrarily chosen by humans. However, the Gurbani says they all are equally (ਇਕ ਸਾਰ) auspicious in the eyes of the Creator and His Hukam (System-Rule-Law of Nature, Universal Energy…). In other words, the Gurbani holds there is NO such thing as an inauspicious day, hour, month, year, season etc.

  • ਮਾਹ ਦਿਵਸ ਮੂਰਤ ਭਲੇ ਜਿਸ ਕਉ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰੇ ॥: The months days and moments are auspicious when (we) become good (i.e., abide in Naam, Wisdom, Virtues, Truth, Hukam etc.). (sggs 136).
  • ਥਿਤੀ ਵਾਰ ਤਾ ਜਾ ਸਚਿ ਰਾਤੇ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਸਭਿ ਭਰਮਹਿ ਕਾਚੇ ॥੭॥: The lunar days or the week days become beneficial only when (the mind) becomes imbued in Truth. Those who do not live by the Naam (Wisdom, Virtues, Hukam, Truth etc.), all of them keep on wandering (doubt-ridden…) due to ignorance or falsehood. ||7|| (sggs 842).
  • ਥਿਤੀ ਵਾਰ ਸਭਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਸੁਹਾਏ ॥: All the lunar days and the week days look beauteous if one contemplates the Shabad (i.e. remember Upadesh, Naam, Wisdom, Virtues, Truth, Hukam…). (sggs 842).
  • ਥਿਤੀ ਵਾਰ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਮੁਗਧ ਗਵਾਰ ॥: Only idiots and fools observe the lunar days and the week days (i.e., good and bad, omens). (sggs 843).

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

  • ਕਿਤੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਪੁਰਖਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਵਟਾਇਆ ॥ ਕਾਹੇ ਕਉ ਤੁਝੁ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਲਾਇਆ ॥ (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? (sggs 939).

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

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਜਨਮੇ ਗਵਨੁ ਮਿਟਾਇਆ ॥ ਅਨਹਤਿ ਰਾਤੇ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਲਾਇਆ ॥ : 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. (sggs 940).

Now the year has changed. When will we change ourselves? Whether we change or not, time keeps ticking. Before we know, kaput! The end!

Helloooooooooo New Year!


  1. Leaving the stillness of this moment, humans celebrate the movements of psychological time. Leaving the unchanging awareness which is right here right now, in which all of your imagined life happens, you keep on moving further, but in imagination. Abiding in this unchanging awareness, and abiding as this awareness is What is called chewing iron balls, and that too for a relative mind ! Staying home , a home of your being is not easy for the restless mind. All the New Years are only in mind, otherwise beloved is always here, ever fresh , go within , drench and go beyond the phenomenon of time, hence there is no new year but that which is ਨੀਤ ਨਵਾਂ . Live it but beyond the concept of living , beyond the concept of someone’s living as there is no one as someone who lives but living itself, life itself ! A fresh living , an eternal living ! ਸਤਿ ਕਰਤਾਰ

  2. the above mentioned are literal translation of the Gurbani but not the spiritual meaning

    Totally agree with you.

    Gurbani rejects the idea of reincarnation and teaches us all about the present life.

    Again, totally agree with you. In fact we have a separate post on this subject at https://www.gurbani.org/gurblog/a-long-journey/

    Thank you Bhai Sahib Ramjit Singh Mann Ji for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Respected Tarlok Singh ji, I noticed you mentioned the following in your comment: 1. The filth of countless incarnations 2. In my past life 3. The process can take more than one life.
    Please excuse my ignorance, the above mentioned are literal translation of the Gurbani but not the spiritual meaning. I am
    certain you are aware of that Gurbani rejects the idea of reincarnation and teaches us all about the present life. In short the reincarnation is mental turmoil or bhatknaa due to engrossed with maya (vices).
    Ramjit Singh Mann

  4. Sir
    Can u write Gurbaani script also in English before translation ,so I can understand the Gurmukhi also.

  5. WE ALL ARE BOUND BY MAYA IN EITHER FORM,KAAM,KRODH,MAD,LOBH n MOH,ME FROM KAAM KRODH n MOH(for my daughter at Singapore,n flight forbidden) not the greed,but the last one only difficult to remove but not the greed,HELP WAHE GURU PL.


  7. Flow of money is required not greed 4 money.Greed,worst evil of negativity, deprives other from natural justice.

  8. Thank you Bhai Sahib Ji for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    The Gurmat’s “Abinaasee Prabhu” is within.

    Surely, then His Grace is also within — directly proportional to our own efforts (Shabad-Vichaar, practice…)!!

    So, the Gurbani urges:
    • ਆਪਣ ਹਥੀ ਆਪਣਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਕਾਜੁ ਸਵਾਰੀਐ ॥੨੦॥: (sggs 474).
    • ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਖੋਜਹਿ ਸੇਈ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਹੋਰਿ ਫੂਟਿ ਮੂਏ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੀ ॥੨੦॥: (sggs 911).
    • ਆਪਿ ਬੀਜਿ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਖਾਇ ॥: (sggs 25).
    • ਮਨ ਸਮਝਾਵਨ ਕਾਰਨੇ ਕਛੂਅਕ ਪੜੀਐ ਗਿਆਨ ॥੫॥: (sggs 340).

  9. Only Grace of Abinaasee Prabhu can initiate changes in the mind and one can become true Gurmukhi.

  10. Enjoyed reading gurbani interpretation and the comments that followed. The impression I got after reading is it is very difficult or even not possible in one lifetime to attain that state of divinity while you are alive. My experience is it
    requires practice (P). P to be in remembrance and to practice peace. That’s when our understanding turns into reality.

  11. The flow of money is equally important and all wordly celebarations (Purpuch) should be viewed in this context only.
    Purpunch is also supported from THE CREATOR and only rares are one who are kept away from its Purpuch that is also the game plan of THE CREATOR.

  12. MERE MANN EKAS SION CHIT LAEAE. EKAS BIN SABH DHANDH HAI SABH MITHIA MOH MAEAE. (SGGSJI PANNA 44). Yes we need economic progress but inner peace , happiness, bliss and joy comes from living the teachings of GURBANI. Living a balanced life is the key message of GURBANI.

  13. Nobody is saying it’s easy – it’s like “Chewing Iron”.
    Nothing is easy!
    As about quotations, the Gurbani is full of many more related verses, but all cannot be given from a space point of view. Please note that the meanings of the verses you quoted are literal translation. The Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS does not support the concept of reincarnation. See this post for more. Welcome to the Gurbani Blog!

    Please note the Gurbani in SGGS critiques/rejects/debunks belief in reincarnation/transmigration.

  14. Dear T Singh Jeo;

    How to achieve that status isn’t made explicitly clear by you. The spiritual change isn’t like a physical change (switching on a light bulb and you remove darkness in an instant! Or a chemical change where you mix two elements/chemicals and get the third one instantly!), its a long process, because “ਜਨਮ ਜਨਮ ਕੀ ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਮਲੁ ਲਾਗੀ ਕਾਲਾ ਹੋਆ ਸਿਆਹੁ ॥
    The filth of countless incarnations sticks to this mind; it has become pitch black.” Ank 651. Param Pad is rising above the three Gunas of Maya and five Viakaras (that are within Maya) and its not easy. Yatha Gurwak “ਏਕ ਨਗਰੀ ਪੰਚ ਚੋਰ ਬਸੀਅਲੇ ਬਰਜਤ ਚੋਰੀ ਧਾਵੈ ॥
    In the one village of the body, live the five thieves; they have been warned, but they still go out stealing.

    ਤ੍ਰਿਹਦਸ ਮਾਲ ਰਖੈ ਜੋ ਨਾਨਕ ਮੋਖ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਸੋ ਪਾਵੈ ॥੧॥
    One who keeps his assets safe from the three modes and the ten passions, O Nanak, attains liberation and emancipation. ||1||” Ank 503. Also, “ਪੰਚ ਪੂਤ ਜਣੇ ਇਕ ਮਾਇ ॥ The One Mother gave birth to the five sons,” Ank 865. The solution is “ਰਹਤ ਰਹਤ ਰਹਿ ਜਾਹਿ ਬਿਕਾਰਾ ॥
    Your evil ways shall be slowly and steadily blotted out,
    ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥
    by the Shabad, the Incomparable Word of the Perfect Guru.” Ank 259. The process can take more than one life. No wonder Bhagat Kabir Ji told us about himself while addressing to the Lord “ਪੂਰਬ ਜਨਮ ਹਮ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਰੇ ਸੇਵਕ ਅਬ ਤਉ ਮਿਟਿਆ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥
    In my past life, I was Your servant; now, I cannot leave You.” Ank 970. It is clear that Bhagat Kabir Ji couldn’t reach the Param Pad in one life. While your article is appreciated, I may say that you seemed to have solved the problem in minutes/instantly!

    Best Regards.
    Guru’s Singh
    Tarlok Singh…

  15. The real newness lies ‘within’ and can perpetually stay ‘renewed’ by regular assimilation of Gurbani.

    ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਨੀਤ ਨਵਾ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਦਾਤਾਰੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (sggs 660).
    Thank you Bhai Sahib Jio!

  16. Very well said Veer T Singh Ji,

    The real newness lies ‘within’ and can perpetually stay ‘renewed’ by regular assimilation of Gurbani. I don’t exactly recall the complete shabad but another gurbani ‘tuq’ reaffirms … ‘Sahib mera neet navaan, sadaa sadaa daataar ‘

    Deep Regards

  17. After reading your all Shri Gurbani Ji’s explanation ma soul is fully satisfied within . Thank you all ma brothers ; Happy Divine New Year Greetings .

  18. Satkar jog gurmukh T.Singh jio
    Sat bachan ji.
    ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਬੁਧਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਈ ਮੇਰੀ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਦਲੀ ਸਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ
    It’s a change from Bharam-Jaal (illusion) to Brahm-Giaan (Divine Knowledge, Aatm-Giaan, etc.).
    Gurpreet Singh

  19. New Year is the time when greeting cards, gifts, and good wishes keep pouring in from friends and relatives. They are believed to be expressing sentiments but with a lot of money exchanging hands. The expression of sentiments is wrapped in expensive packages and psychological hang-ups…

    While reading about birthday and ageing (avadh) in Sri Guru Granth Sahib I was made to realize that at the time of any New Year or any birthday, when our circle of friends and relatives are expressing jubilation, we lose another year from our given life span. And this loss may not be insignificant for many of us with graying of the hair.

    As we grow older and amass wisdom and wealth, we proportionately give up opportunity to enjoy those treasures. Bhagat Kabir, while writing in the Guru Granth (page 91) brings home this lesson as follows.
    ਜਨਨੀ ਜਾਨਤ ਸੁਤੁ ਬਡਾ ਹੋਤੁ ਹੈ ਇਤਨਾ ਕੁ ਨ ਜਾਨੈ ਜਿ ਦਿਨ ਦਿਨ ਅਵਧ ਘਟਤੁ ਹੈ ॥
    jannee jaanat sut badaa hot hai itnaa ko na jaanai je din din avaDh ghatat hai.
    Every mother celebrates and takes pleasure in believing that her child is growing up with every birthday she celebrates; she does not realize that, day by day, her son’s or daughter’s life is actually diminishing by a year per birthday.

    Guru Arjan brings this point home with another perspective on page 207 of the Guru Granth.

    ਰਾਜੁ ਜੋਬਨੁ ਅਵਧ ਜੋ ਦੀਸੈ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਘਾਟਿਆ ॥
    raaj joban avaDh jo deesai sabh kichh jug meh ghaati-aa.
    Power and authority, youth and possessions – whatever is seen in this world, all of them are continuously fading away.

    On page 247 of the Guru Granth, Guru Arjan further describes the plight of our shortsightedness in counting our growing wealth and influence as something ever-increasing:

    ਹਉ ਸੰਚਉ ਹਉ ਖਾਟਤਾ ਸਗਲੀ ਅਵਧ ਬਿਹਾਨੀ ॥
    ha-o sancha-o ha-o khaattaa saglee avaDh bihaanee. rahaa-o.
    I think that I am earning profits and getting richer with advancing age, without realizing that my life span is declining in similar proportions.

    A considerable amount of research, based on the foundational assumption of a finite human life span, has begun to focus on the concept of life span independent of yearly calendars of events. It may be called life expectancy that is spiritually rich and free of dependence on a calendar. It is rather a healthy life expectancy, an active life expectancy, a disability-free life expectancy, an altruistic life span, a functional life expectancy, and a purposeful life expectancy. A life that is gift to enjoy and that is opportunity to fulfill its fundamental objectives…

    The New Year introspection may lead us to a solemn declaration that we will endeavor further to building inner bridges to reality so that we may empower our own potential as well as help others to shift the global mind towards eternal reality…

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