There exist good qualities (Divine Nature or Virtues: truthful living, and so on) and not so good qualities (demonic nature or qualities, etc.) in us – human beings. The Gurbani explains the way these two inclinations in us propel our actions and lifestyle in this world.
The Gurmat (the Giaan/Teaching of the Gurbani) is synonymous with the truthful living.
- ਸਚਹੁ ਓਰੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਉਪਰਿ ਸਚੁ ਆਚਾਰ ॥੫॥: Sachahu orai sabhu k0 upari sachu aachaar ||5|| (sggs 62).
The Gurbani is the manual for the righteous/truthful living. It repeatedly shows how we – human beings – ought to live and also how ought not to live. Because:
- ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਮਹਲੁ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਸਾਚੁ ਨ ਚੀਤਿ ॥: As long as the Truth does not enter into the consciousness, the Divine Presence is not realized (sggs 58).
Thus, to prove God is essentially to improve oneself. It would be easier to know and understand our godly status (Joti-Svaroopa), as well as our true relationship with others if our behavior and conduct is pure (higher conduct, ਉੱਚਾ ਆਚਰਣ…). To the contrary, if our behavior and conduct is corrupt or impure, the more difficult it would be to look within ourselves, and properly relate to other entities in this world. In the spirit of doing good to others, whatever little good one does decorously and judiciously will certainly aid one in understanding and knowing his own true identity as Cosmic Consciousness, “Joti-Svaroopa”…
Otherwise there is no real meaning to life.
- ਲੋਭਾਦਿ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਪਰ ਗ੍ਰਿਹੰ ਜਦਿਬਿਧਿ ਆਚਰਣੰ ॥ ਤਜਿ ਸਕਲ ਦੁਹਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਦੁਰਮਤੀ ਭਜੁ ਚਕ੍ਰਧਰ ਸਰਣੰ ॥੩॥: Forsake greed, and do not look upon other’s home (ਪਰਾਏ ਘਰ ਵਲ ਦੇਖਣਾਂ…), and give up conduct that is “Jadibidhi” (against the established norms of moral, ethics …). Renounce all evil deeds and evil inclinations, and hurry to the Lord’s Sanctuary ||3|| (sggs 526).
As the Gurbani indicates, true behavior can shine forth only when one is free from Bikaars (lust, anger, greed, and so on). Thus, the Gurbani’s advice is to follow the Gurmat, which imparts the truthful and ethical way of life.
Living truthfully/righteously is the true Dharma — non-dogmatic. The practice of this Dharma of truthfulness or righteousness is Light: Shabad-Surti, Giaan, God-consciousness, Spirituality, Divine Life (Gurmukh Lifestyle), and so on.
To put it otherwise, one who opts for this Way of Living would gradually move towards the higher purpose of life, and become the Gurmukh and never lose his way in this material existence. But one with lower quality tendencies (the Manmukh) ends up acting contrary to the Gurmat leading to Mayaic entanglements. In other words, one’s conduct is the direct result of his conditioning, qualities, innate tendencies, latent memories or dispositions (Vaasnaas)…
At the moment the majority of us primarily live an external life; that is, the life of a Manmukh (self-willed, materialist, the denier of Truth and truthful living…). Internal or spiritual life relates to Truth or Pure Consciousness, while the external life relates to falsehood. A Gurmukh is quintessence of internal life and a Manmukh of external life. Thus, the key to living a virtuous conduct in this life is becoming a Gurmukh., “here” and “now”, not after death or some other time. As the lotus flower grows in mud but ever remains immaculate; so does a Gurmukh who, while living in the midst of Maya, remains unaffected. On the other hand, a frog eats slimy scum even though he lives with the lotus! This is the characteristic of a Manmukh that is destructive to the society and unconducive to his own spiritual unfoldment.
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਬਦਿ ਅਚਾਰਿ ॥: By becoming the Gurmukh, (by obtaining the righteous, higher…) conduct through the Shabad, attain (Mool, Realization ..). (sggs 941).
- ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਚੇਤਹਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਵੀਚਾਰਹਿ ਇਹੁ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਕਾ ਆਚਾਰੁ ॥: The conduct of the Manmukh (self-willed…) is that (he) does not think of the Divine Naam (Hukam, Gur-Giaan…), and does not ponder on the Shabad (Gur-Shabad Vichaar..). (sggs 508).