Immensely Profound Yet Simple

The Gurbani’s Teaching is immensely profound yet simple. For instance, the Gurbani time and again reminds us to understand (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ) couple of things through serious Shabad-Vichaar:

The one is our perceptible physical body, which is time-bound – it diminishes each moment, and ultimately ends. Thus, it proceeds from a particular point (e.g., birth) to a particular point (e.g., death). In between these two points, it goes through constant change: Childhood ———- adulthood ———- old age ———– death!

The Gurbani says everything we see in this world is subjected to the influence of Maya. Thus false or ephemeral, including our physical body. For all forms are a five-elemental play.

  • ਜਹ ਦੇਖਾ ਤਹ ਜੇਵਰੀ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਸਨਬੰਧੁ ॥: Wherever (I) look, there (I see) the rope of attachment to Maya. (sggs 551).
  • ਏਹੁ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਸਭ ਮੂਲੁ ਹੈ ਮਾਇਆ ॥: Ehu sareeru sabh moolu hai Maya (sggs 1065).
  • ਪੰਚ ਤਤ ਰਚਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਨਿਵਾਜਿਆ ॥: Panch tat rachi joti nivaajiaa (sggs 1337).

Also, the Gurbani reminds that anything that is under the influence of Maya is subjected to the “Jaraa Rog” (disease of old age – ਜਰਾ ਰੋਗ). That is, the body that is born, will perish, its just a matter of time!

  • ਜੋਬਨ ਬੀਤਿ ਜਰਾ ਰੋਗਿ ਗ੍ਰਸਿਓ ਜਮਦੂਤਨ ਡੰਨੁ ਮਿਰਤੁ ਮਰਿਓ ਹੈ ॥: Joban beeti jaraa rogi grasio jamadootan dannu miratu mario hai (sggs 1388).
  • ਚਿੰਤਾ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਕੀਜੀਐ ਜੋ ਅਨਹੋਨੀ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਕੋ ਨਾਨਕ ਥਿਰੁ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਇ ॥੫੧॥ ਜੋ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਸੋ ਬਿਨਸਿ ਹੈ ਪਰੋ ਆਜੁ ਕੈ ਕਾਲਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਇ ਲੇ ਛਾਡਿ ਸਗਲ ਜੰਜਾਲ ॥੫੨॥ : Worry about something that is unnatural. Nanak, this is the rule (of Nature) in the world that nothing is everlasting. ||51|| Whatever takes birth, will die today or tomorrow. Nanak, shun all worldly temptations with corrupting influences and live life with Godly Virtues. ||52|| (sggs 1429).

When the perceptible (‘ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ’) has perished, it become imperceptible (‘ਅਨਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ’).

  • ਆਵਨੁ ਜਾਵਨੁ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਅਨਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ॥: Aavanu jaavanu drisat andrisati (sggs 281).

The second is that, our Mool (Joti-Svaroopa, our True Nature, …), which was ever imperceptible, remains so (i.e., Unchanged, Undying, free of “Jaraa Rog“….).

However, our deluded mind (the illusioned, doubt-ridden, in love with Maya…) confounds his Mool with the gross and fleeting physical body-frame.

  • ਮੂਲੁ ਨ ਬੂਝੈ ਆਪੁ ਨ ਸੂਝੈ ਭਰਮਿ ਬਿਆਪੀ ਅਹੰ ਮਨੀ ॥੧॥: Engrossed in doubt and egotism, (The mortal does) not know the Mool; he does not understand his ownself. ||1|| (sggs 1186).

This sense of separateness or individuality that arises on account of the veil of “I-ness” or “Haumai“, constitutes the whole problem.

This is the reason the Gurbani repeatedly urges us to Realize our Mool within, here and now – not at some other time or not after death. Without that, there is nothing.

  • ਮੂਲਹੁ ਭੁਲਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਏ ॥੨॥: (One who) has forgotten (his) Mool (Source, Jot…), (he) wastes away his life. ||2|| (sggs 664).

The Gurbani gives us the necessary Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom…) to keep oneself truly Alive, Aware, or Awake! The Giaan of the Gurbani helps us eradicate doubts (Bharam) and Realize the Mool within – the real Friend. Thus, the Gurbani is the Giaan-Guroo!

We are given this Gurbani so that – by becoming its serious students ( Sikh – ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ) – we can understand it and then unravel the mystery of life through the Bibek-Budhi (Aatam-Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom…) of the Gur-Shabad, not through the circus of our Mayaic mind (self-willed concepts, rituals, Karamkaand, Bhekh, etc., that have been repudiated in the Gurbani).

  • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਹਚਲੁ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਵਸੀਅਲੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣਿ ਰਹੈ ॥: Internalization of the spiritual Message of the Shabad (the Gurmukh-Hood State of Mind) enables its Essence to be Rooted (Mool) within the mind permanently. (sggs 945).
  • ਸਿਖੀ ਸਿਖਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ ਨਦਰੀ ਕਰਮਿ ਲਘਾਏ ਪਾਰਿ ॥ : Sikhi is contemplation on Guru’s teaching (Instructions, Wisdom, Counsel, Guide, Upadesh, Giyan, Bibek) and acting on it. Being blessed by the Grace of the Guru’s teaching one then crosses the ocean of worldly temptations and their corrupting influences (Bhav Saagar). (sggs 465).

In nutshell, immensely profound yet simple, the Words of the Gurbani are capable of jolting us into our Joti-Svaroopa (Mool), or Awareness of our True Nature, here and now. The Words of the Gurbani cuts to the core without wasting effort on non-essentials.

  • ਦੇਖੌ ਭਾਈ ਗ੍ਹਾਨ ਕੀ ਆਈ ਆਂਧੀ ॥ ਸਭੈ ਉਡਾਨੀ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੀ ਟਾਟੀ ਰਹੈ ਨ ਮਾਇਆ ਬਾਂਧੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਦੁਚਿਤੇ ਕੀ ਦੁਇ ਥੂਨਿ ਗਿਰਾਨੀ ਮੋਹ ਬਲੇਡਾ ਟੂਟਾ ॥ ਤਿਸਨਾ ਛਾਨਿ ਪਰੀ ਧਰ ਊਪਰਿ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਭਾਂਡਾ ਫੂਟਾ ॥੧॥: O brother, the storm of Spiritual Wisdom or Enlightenment has struck my mind. (This storm of Wisdom) has blown away my mind’s Bharam (doubts, confusion, superstition etc.) and bonds of Maya like the thatched walls of my hut. ||1||pause|| The pillar of my double-mindedness and the beam of my emotional bonds of the hut has come crashing down. The thatched roof of worldly desires (supported on the beam of attachment) has fallen to the ground and the pitcher of evil intellect has broken. ||1|| (sggs 331).

Thus, the Gurbani is not meant to be merely wrapped up in the designers wrapping and worship as an idol. However, by doing just that, the Pujaaree-group apparently has  watered down the profound Teaching of the Gurbani for Golak (Maya), similar to watering down of the Teaching of the Vedas by their Pujaaree-group!


  1. Brother Parkash ji,
    Guru’s Shabad appears in Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji with diversity of language dialects depending on place and time. It expounds on God’s message related to INN MANN through UNN MANN. Enlightenment of spirituality to INN MANN is rigorously dependant on understanding, acceptance, and execution of such message. In order to internalise the meaning of the Gurbani text, it requires knowledge of Grammar and vocabulary, and to see in what context the sentence structure is set out. In my opinion whoever is capable of teaching should be good enough as long as one remains in focus with true learning. When devotion to God enhances within, then sense of realisation accrue and meanings of Gurbani text become natural. Please keep on exploring the Shabad Guru.

  2. I finf that sometimes the messages from Bhagat Banee are complex so difficult to get the true understanding therein.I think that most of the times the messages of Banee as given thru ist.second,third,fourth,fifth and ninth Nanak do clarify the complexity of hidden messages
    from Banee thru Bhagats.
    So it is imortant to understand Gurbanee in totality.Sporadic understanding may be inconclusive for its true messages.
    As I observe there is a SINGLE ULTIMATE ENTITY as starting context for understanding of the whole of Gurbanee.If this SINLE ULTIMATE ENTITY is followed and kept in mind,Gurbanee understanding may be greatly simlified and its profoundness may start revealing of its own…without need for any GIYANEE or OTHER EXTERNAL SOURCE.


  3. Thank you Vir Jee for sharing the Vichaar.
    • ਕਬੀਰ ਮਾਇਆ ਡੋਲਨੀ ਪਵਨੁ ਵਹੈ ਹਿਵ ਧਾਰ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਬਿਲੋਇਆ ਤਿਨਿ ਖਾਇਆ ਅਵਰ ਬਿਲੋਵਨਹਾਰ ॥੧੯॥: Kabeer maya dolanee pavanu vahai hiv dhaar. Jini biloiaa tini khaaiaa avar bilovanhaar (sggs 1365).
    • ਤਨੁ ਕਰਿ ਮਟੁਕੀ ਮਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਬਿਲੋਈ ॥ ਇਸੁ ਮਟੁਕੀ ਮਹਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੰਜੋਈ ॥੨॥ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਬਿਲੋਵਨਾ ਮਨ ਕਾ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਪਾਵੈ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਧਾਰਾ ॥੩॥: Tanu kari matakee man maahi biloee. Isu matakee mahi Sabadu sanjoee. ||2|| Hari kaa bilovanaa man kaa beechaaraa. Gur prasaadi paavai amrit dhaaraa ||3|| (sggs 478).

  4. “ਪ੍ਰਥਮੇ ਮਾਖਨੁ ਪਾਛੈ ਦੂਧੁ”

    Now this is really profound !!!!!

    So the butter-knowledge that our Gurus and bhagats were rewarded with, had to be passed onto us as milk-verses because of the limitations or confines of the medium of expression that we comprehend. So through rigorous shabad-vichaar churning, we can claim our share of butter. Interesting and deep.

    A slightly alternative explanation of “ਪ੍ਰਥਮੇ ਮਾਖਨੁ ਪਾਛੈ ਦੂਧੁ” as given by Prof Sahib Singh is that the Butter (Creator) was already (ਪ੍ਰਥਮੇ) existing but the Milk (Creation) came into being later (ਪਾਛੈ) , and the Butter manifested itself latently wide-spread in the Milk. This explanation also leads to the same direction for us – Keep churning the Milk through Shabad Vichaar to get to the Butter.

    Thanks Vir Jio for your churning directives.

    Bhul Chuk Maaf.

  5. Thank you Bhai Sahib Ji for sharing your Vichaar.

    ਮੂਲੁ used in the first verse stands for the ‘main reason’ whereas in the second verse it refers to the ‘Prime Source’.

    Yes, you got it!

    So the same words, even spelt exactly the same way can have different implications altogether.

    Being in the framework of time and space (Maya), human language is limited. But, unfortunately, the Guroos and Bhagats had to use limited human language to explain the UNLIMITED.
    The Baanee came to the Gurus and Bhagats directly from the Source (“ਧੁਰ”), as “Butter” only (Brahm-Giaan…). But they had to use our limited human languages to communicate it to rest of us.
    Thus, we got it like “milk”. TO SEPRATE THE “BUTTER” FROM THE Lassee (Maya…), THIS MILK OF THE GURBANI NEEDS TO BE THOROUGHLY CHURNED THROUGH THE SERIOUS SHABAD-VICHAAR. This is indicated in the following verse:
    • ਪ੍ਰਥਮੇ ਮਾਖਨੁ ਪਾਛੈ ਦੂਧੁ ॥: Prathme maakhanu pachhai doodhu: First (comes) butter, and then the milk. (sggs 900).
    In a near future, we might have a post on this and more…
    • ਕਬੀਰ ਮਾਇਆ ਡੋਲਨੀ ਪਵਨੁ ਝਕੋਲਨਹਾਰੁ ॥ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਮਾਖਨੁ ਖਾਇਆ ਛਾਛਿ ਪੀਐ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥੧੮॥: Kabeer maya dolanee pavanu jhakolanhaaru. Santahu maakhanu khaaiaa shaashi peeai sansaaru (sggs 1365).
    • ਬਾਵਨ ਅਖਰ ਸੋਧਿ ਕੈ ਹਰਿ ਚਰਨੀ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਇ ॥੧੭੩॥: Baavan akhar sodi kai hari charanee chitu laai (sggs 1373).

  6. Immensely profound yet simple !!!!! So very true.

    I read somewhere that ‘simplicity’ is in itself very ‘complex’ to espouse.

    Thnaks Vir Jio for repeatedly pounding on us the ‘profund simplicity’. Hopefully one day it will make its home within us too.

    While going through this piece, I had to re-read a verse several times over and then look up for its explanation. Just for the benifit of anyone else who could perhaps get a bit confused like me, I am sharing my predicament and subsequent finding.

    The verse being referred here is –

    ਏਹੁ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਸਭ ਮੂਲੁ ਹੈ ਮਾਇਆ

    While trying to compehend the profoundness of this ostensibly simple verse, I was initially put off by the usage of ਮੂਲੁ in this verse in comparison to the usage in other verses like

    ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਅਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ

    Only after some research did I realise that the ਮੂਲੁ used in the first verse stands for the ‘main reason’ whereas in the second verse it refers to the ‘Prime Source’.

    So the verse ਏਹੁ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਸਭ ਮੂਲੁ ਹੈ ਮਾਇਆ is actually drawing a reference to those who don’t remember the Almighty and their body falls prey to duality (as implied in the immediately following verses – Dooje bhaae bharam bhulaaya , Har na cheteae sadaa dukh paaye bin har chete dukh paaedaa) become the chief reason (the meaning of MOOL here) for getting engrossed in Mayaa.

    So the same words, even spelt exactly the same way can have different implications altogether. And there are many other such words in Gurbani. Maybe a few researched pieces on such words could immensely benifit a few like me and help us to understand the ‘profundness’ a bit more ‘simply’.

    Bhul Chuk Maaf.

    PS: I think there’s a typo in the following line –

    However, our deluded mind (the illusioned, doubt-ridden, in love with Maya…) confounds his Mool with the gross and fleeting physical body-frame.

    Did you mean to write ‘this’ or ‘His’?

    Deep Regards

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