Happy New Year!

With the plastic smiles, it’s that time of annual ‘Parpanch’ or ‘Pakhand’ (ostentation, show off, fuss, hypocrisy, etc.) again to say ‘Happy New Year’, once again!

But, without Awakening, there can be no real happiness or joy!

The Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) tells us that the majority of us follow ‘Parpanch’ or ‘Pakhand’imitate what we see others do!

  • ਦੇਖਾ ਦੇਖੀ ਸਭ ਕਰੇ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝ ਨ ਪਾਇ ॥: The Manmukh does everything seeing (other people do, ਦੇਖਾ ਦੇਖੀ, ਨਕਲ, ਦਿਖਾਵਾ…), but he (himself) has no understanding  (he does not understand the true way of living. (sggs 28).

The Wisdom of the SGGS tells us that the mind inflicted with duality or Maya is ‘Parpanchee’ (deceptive, cunning, 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.

In the worldly sense, it’s considered new year when the 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 temporary, fleeting, illusory, unreal…

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

However, the SGGS would like us to bring about a Real change in life!

And, it would ONLY be a real New Year when we change within (the Real Change) — Positive change in one’s deluded 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 change from negative thinking to positive thinking (enthusiasm, joy, Anand…).
  • It’s a change from a Manmukh-Saakat-Mayadhaaree lifestyle (engrossed in corruption, ‘Parpanch’, body-consciousness, illusion, ‘rat-race’…) to the Gurmukh Lifestyle (Divine Life, Non-Parpanchhee Lifestyle…).
  • It’s a change from untruth (Jhooth) to Truth (Sach) — a change from false, ephemeral, fleeting, or temporary (Asatt) to Permanent (Satt, Atall, etc.).
  • It’s a change from demerits to merits or Virtues.
  • It’s a change from illusion (doubt or Bharam-Jaal, or Maya-Jaal…) to doubt free state.
  • It’s a change from time-bound consciousness to Timelessness (Akaal).
  • It’s a change from the mind’s unstable state (unnatural state, restlessness, Haumai or false ego-sense, mind’s repeated suffering…) to Stable State (Stillness, Natural State of Being, Sahaj, Whole, Saabat, etc.) — a change from impurity to true  Purity of the mind.
  • It’s a change from ignorance to Knowledge (Prachand Giaan or Wisdom, Giaan-Avasthaa, Bibek-Budhi…).
  • 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 oneself (Mool, Truth, Jot Saroop…).

In nutshell, the 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 is a life of positive experiences that touch the innermost core of our being, stir the mind, challenge the intellect

Only an Awakened mind can live such lifestyle. 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 other time or after death! Otherwise it’s all useless even if one lives 100 years or more!

No need to wait for the first of the year as the ‘Parpanchee’ minds do, 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) recognizes the Lord. ||2|| (sggs 349).

The Gurbani — the mirror of the mind — 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, Here and NOW.

  • 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).
  • 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: (1) how each one of us has changed the course of life? (2) What have we linked your mind to?

  • ਕਿਤੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਪੁਰਖਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਵਟਾਇਆ ॥ ਕਾਹੇ ਕਉ ਤੁਝੁ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਲਾਇਆ ॥: O man, how have you changed the course of your life? With what have you linked your mind? (sggs 939).

The Wisdom of the SGGS tells us that the lasting newness lies within (‘ਗੁਣ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਨਵਤਨੁ ਸਦਾ’, ‘ਨੀਤ ਨਵਾ’). In nutshell, changing the course of life is an unceasing revolution within, ever NEW!

  • 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).

When Awakened to Naam (Wisdom, Virtues…) 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 in an individual life and the society.

However, according to the Gurbani, a ‘rare’ person embarks on this Way of Inner Revolution.

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਰਲੇ ਪਾਈਅਹਿ ਜੋ ਨ ਰਚਹਿ ਪਰਪੰਚ ॥੫॥: O Nanak! Rare are those, who do not create ‘Parpanch’. ||5|| (sggs 297).

Called the Gurmukh, Daas, Jan,  Bhagat, etc., the SGGS confirms such “rare” persons do NOT get engrossed in ‘Parpanch’ or ‘Pakhand’!

  • ਸਬਦੀ ਧੋਵੈ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕੋਈ ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥: A rare (person) washes (his mind) with the Shabad (Wisdom, Upadesh, Sikhiaa, Naam…). A rare (person), by becoming the Gurmukh, practices the Truth (sggs 1344).

The Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS wants each of its learner (i.e., Sikh) to mend the doubt-ridden mind by bathing it in the pool of Wisdom and become the ‘rare’ Gurmukh, Here and Now, NOT after death. Because, without Wisdom we stand plundered.

Otherwise, before we know, kaput! The end!
Helloooooooooo New Year!

29 comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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…

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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 .

  7. 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.).
    regards
    Gurpreet Singh

  8. 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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