I-Am-the-Body Idea

The Gurbani of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) Teaches us that ‘I-am-the body’ idea is erroneous – mistaken identity. This error arises out of the body-consciousness or body-attachment (ਦੇਹ-ਅੱਧਿਆਸ, Mayaic consciousness, conditioned or contaminated consciousness, etc.).

The Spirituality of the Guru’s Shabad removes doubts (ਭਰਮ-ਜਾਲ:Bharam-Jaal).

During ‘Sidh Gosti’ (debates with Siddhs), Sidhas posed many questions to Nanak. Three of those questions were (1) Who is your Guru? (2) How do you become a disciple? (3) Where does the Shabad reside? Nanak answers them with the following most underscored verse from ‘Sidh Gosti’ composition:

  • ਤੇਰਾ ਕਵਣੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਤੂ ਚੇਲਾ॥ : Who is your Guru (i.e. what’s the Source of your Enlightenment or Wisdom) that you adhere to? (sggs 942).

Baabaa Nanak’s reply:

  • ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਧੁਨਿ ਚੇਲਾ ॥ : The SHABAD is my GURU, and my consciousness (Surat) is the disciple (of this SHABAD GURU). (sggs 943).

Literally, Surat (ਸੁਰਤਿ) = Consciousness, memory, recollection, Budh, Soch-ਸੋਚ etc..

Now, the ‘Shabad-ਸਬਦੁ‘, ‘Surat-ਸੁਰਤਿ’, and ‘Dhun-ਧੁਨਿ’ are all Formless.

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਜੋ ਹਮ ਜੰਤੁ ਬਜਾਵਤੇ ਟੂਟਿ ਗਈਂ ਸਭ ਤਾਰ ॥ ਜੰਤੁ ਬਿਚਾਰਾ ਕਿਆ ਕਰੈ ਚਲੇ ਬਜਾਵਨਹਾਰ ॥੧੦੩॥ : Kabeer, my body-consciousness (love of the body etc.) is gone as all the strings of the instrument (of the the body – ਦੇਹ-ਅੱਧਿਆਸ ਦਾ ਵਾਜਾ) that I (always) played are broken. (Now) What can the poor instrument (body) do, when the Player (the mind, who was playing this instrument of the body within) has departed. ||103|| (sggs 1369).

In nutshell, the Gurbani tells us that neither the Guru (Giyan-ਗਿਆਨ) is a physical body nor the Sikh (i.e. the mind or Consciousness) is physical.

Thus, the Gurbani here rejects (Khandan) the body-consciousness, body-attachment, ‘I-am-the-body’ idea (or ਦੇਹ-ਅੱਧਿਆਸ).

If we mistakenly confound our Real Identity or Mool (Origin, Jot Saroop) with the gross body-frame, then that’s our Bharam (ਭਰਮ-doubt). The Gurbani labors to remove this Bharam (of body-consciousness or ‘I am the body’ idea.

But, on account of Bharam-Jaal (doubts, ignorance, etc.), we are calling this body ‘you’ and ‘I, me’. However, as asserted by the Gurbani, neither ‘you’ is body, nor ‘I, me’ is body. It is something else that animates this body from Within. That is the Real ‘us’ of ‘you’ and ‘me’, which is formless. When that Real Factor (which is common Factor in all of us – the Real ‘us’) departs from this body, then the body instrument becomes dead – there remains no ‘ਸੁਰਤਿ ਧੁਨਿ – Surt Dhun’ in it.

Now, how can we remove the Bharam (doubt)? The Gurbani teaches we can remove this Bharam (doubt) through the constant Shabad-Vichaar (Inner Inquiry, Investigation, Reflections, Search or Khoj)

  • ਗੁਰਿ ਪੂਰੈ ਸਭੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਚੁਕਾਇਆ ॥ : The Perfect Guru has dispelled all doubts. (sggs 178).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਭਰਮੁ ਨ ਚੂਕਈ ਨਾ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਹਉਮੈ ਜਾਇ ॥੬॥ : Without the Shabad, doubt is not dispelled, and egotism is not eliminated from within. ||6|| (sggs 67).
  • ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਭਰਮ ਕਾ ਨਾਸੁ ॥ : By the Grace of the Gur-Giyan or Wisdom, doubt is dispelled. (sggs 294).
  • ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੇ ਪਰਦੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਖੋਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : The Satigur (i.e., Sach Daa GiyanKnowledge of Truth) has removed the veil of doubt (from within). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 385).
  • ਗਿਆਨੁ ਭਇਆ ਤਹ ਕਰਮਹ ਨਾਸੁ ॥੩॥ : When the spiritual Wisdom wells up within, then the (love of Mayaic efforts or) deeds end. ||3|| (sggs 1167).
  • ਨਿਰਮਲ ਬਾਣੀ ਭਰਮੁ ਚੁਕਾਇਆ ॥ : Free of any contamination Bani of the Guru has dispelled all my doubts. (sggs 221).
  • ਪਾਧਾ ਪੜਿਆ ਆਖੀਐ ਬਿਦਿਆ ਬਿਚਰੈ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥ ਬਿਦਿਆ ਸੋਧੈ ਤਤੁ ਲਹੈ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਬਿਦਿਆ ਬਿਕ੍ਰਦਾ ਬਿਖੁ ਖਟੇ ਬਿਖੁ ਖਾਇ ॥ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਚੀਨਈ ਸੂਝ ਬੂਝ ਨਹ ਕਾਇ ॥ ॥੫੩॥ : That religious teacher is said to be well-educated who naturally lives life according to the Divine Wisdom. By reflecting on the Wisdom, he realizes the essence of reality and focuses his mind on the Naam (the Divine Wisdom/ Virtues/ Hukam…). The Manmukh sells his knowledge (learning, etc.); he earns poison (of Maya), and eats this poison (that brings him spiritual death). The fool does not Reflect on the Shabad. He has no understanding, no comprehension ||53|| (sggs 938).

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1 comment

  1. Sub: To control on the ragis

    all the ragis as they become popular they start demanding in lacs and they only want to travel in air. that means if any place dose,t have air or can’t afford to pay in lacs they will not go for prachar.

    they have forgot the teaching of gurbani. poors can’t have kirtan or khatha.

    this should be controlled and takhat sahib should direct them to all the places where ever sangat wants them and the pay should be considered by the takhatshahib by the grade.

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