We humans tend to be arrogant about who or what we are.
Rarely do we realize that, what we believe we are is not really us. Rather it is something simply given to us by others, such as name, family of birth, Jaat, citizenship of a country, religion, status, wealth, inheritance etc.
These things we receive are mere credits or props that we use to define ourselves. They create the illusion of the false ego-sense (Haumai, ‘I-ness’), our sense of the self. Because of our lifelong association with it, we will defend our false ego-sense and the props to the death.
As a result we are dismissive of what does not fit within our own paradigm. We behave hostile to whatever may even remotely threaten our false ego-sense and props.
However, we do not have the capacity nor the time, leave alone the interest or inclination, we need ready made answers. As a result, falsehoods are planted and spread, and we put ourselves in a position to be cheated and exploited.
- ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਨਾਹੀ ਉਧਾਰੁ ॥ ਬਾਬਾ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਆਖੈ ਏਹੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥੨॥੧੧॥ : Without the Perfect Giaan (Wisdom-ਗਿਆਨ), there is no progress (reformation, revival, salvation etc.). Nanak says this after due discernment. ||2||11|| (sggs 886).
History tells that much of what we learn is often incorrect, biased, myths, if not down right false. In many cases these falsehoods or myths lead to exploitation, intolerance, fanaticism, destruction, hostility to what is different, discrimination between one individual and the other being, rituals (Karamkaand, formalities, …), empty promises, ceremonies, superstitions, prayers with the lips, supposed or fabricated anecdotes, counterfeit gods, mystery-mongering, pilgrimages etc. Nowhere is this phenomenon observed more greatly than in organized religion and paid clergy.
Man is endowed with intellect. Using it man can comprehend his present state of limitations, bondage, mental traps, imperfections, demerits, incompleteness etc. He is naturally inclined to Free himself from them and realize Completeness within (Saabat Soorat-‘ਸਾਬਤ ਸੂਰਤਿ’).
- ਕਬੀਰ ਜਾ ਕੀ ਦਿਲ ਸਾਬਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਤਾ ਕਉ ਕਹਾਂ ਖੁਦਾਇ ॥੧੮੫॥: O Kabee! The man who does not have Completeness in his Heart thinks that Rabb is nowhere. ||185|| (sggs 1374).
The Gurmat (Wisdom, Upadesh or Way of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) ENCOURAGES QUESTIONING and guides the questioner to Awaken so as to find his or her own answers. Increasingly more and more people are questioning the emptiness in life, meaning and purpose of their existence etc.
Although the Gurbani is very tasteful (ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦਾ ਰਸ), but everybody cannot taste it. Because it’s tasteful only to those who chose to take it – understand and apply its Wisdom to daily life.
That said, to take Knowledge (ਗਿਆਨ) or not is a personal choice –Knowledge is taken, not given!
- ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਪਰਵਾਹ ਛੁਟਕੰਤ ਸਦ ਦ੍ਵਾਰਿ ਜਿਸੁ ਗ੍ਯ੍ਯਾਨ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਮਲ ਸਰ ਸੰਤ ਸਿਖ ਨਾਈਐ ॥: The Stream of Amrit (-Giaan or spiritual Knowledge) flows constantly from the Door (of the Gur-Shabad). The Sikh Sant (Satsangee of the Gur-Shabad) bathe in the immaculate pool or Srovar of the Gur-Giaan (spiritual Knowledge). (sggs 1401).
- ਸਿਖੀ ਸਿਖਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: Sikhi sikhiaa gur veechaari (sggs 465).
- ਜੇ ਕੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੇਤੀ ਸਨਮੁਖੁ ਹੋਵੈ ॥ ਹੋਵੈ ਤ ਸਨਮੁਖੁ ਸਿਖੁ ਕੋਈ ਜੀਅਹੁ ਰਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਨਾਲੇ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਚਰਨ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਧਿਆਏ ਅੰਤਰ ਆਤਮੈ ਸਮਾਲੇ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਛਡਿ ਸਦਾ ਰਹੈ ਪਰਣੈ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੋਏ ॥ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਸੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਸਨਮੁਖੁ ਹੋਏ ॥੨੧॥: If a Sikh turns (as ‘Sunmukhu‘) to the Guru (i.e., whose mind – NOT body – remains connected with the Gur-Giaan or Wisdom, ਅੰਦਰੋਂ ਮਨ ਕਰਕੇ, ਸਰੀਰ ਕਰਕੇ ਨਹੀ). (That Sikh) remembers the Gur-Wisdom in his Heart, and maintains it within his mind. Renouncing selfishness and conceit, Gur-Wisdom remains always his Support (ਟੇਕ), and he does not consider anyone except the Gu-Wisdom (as his Support). Says Nanak! Hear, O Satsangees, such a Sikh can remain as ‘Sunmukhu’ (i.e., his mind united to the Wisdom of the Guru). (sggs 919).
Hence, Wisdom or Sikhi cannot be thrusted upon somebody by force (ਧੱਕੇ ਨਾਲ). If it could be thrusted upon somebody, Baabaa Nanak would have thrusted it upon his two sons Sri Chand and Lakhmi Das; Guru Amardas Ji would have thrusted it upon his son Mohan; and Guru Ramdas Jee would have thrusted it upon his son Prithy Chand; …
- ਪੁਤ੍ਰੀ ਕਉਲੁ ਨ ਪਾਲਿਓ ਕਰਿ ਪੀਰਹੁ ਕੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਮੁਰਟੀਐ ॥ ਦਿਲਿ ਖੋਟੈ ਆਕੀ ਫਿਰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਬੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਭਾਰੁ ਉਚਾਇਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਛਟੀਐ ॥: Sons (of Baabaa Nanak: Sri Chand and Lakhmi Das) did not obey (Baabaa Nanak’s) Word; they turned their backs on Him as Guru. The evil-hearted ones become rebellious; they carry loads (of vices, Bikaar, defects…) on their backs. (sggs 967).
- ਮੋਹਣੁ ਕਮਲਾ ਹੋਇਆ ਚਉਬਾਰਾ ਮੋਹਰੀ ਮਨਾਇਆ॥ ਮੀਣਾ ਹੋਇਆ ਪਿਰਥੀਆ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਤੋਂਡਕ ਬਰਲੁ ਚਲਾਇਆ॥: Mohan (son of Guru Amardas) got insane (ਝੱਲਾ, ਬੇ-ਅਕਲ…) and Mohart (the second son) lived in a lofty house and started getting served by the people. Prithy Chand (son of Guru Ramdas) came out as dissembling scoundrel and using his oblique nature spread his mental sickness all round. (Bhai Gurdas, Vaar 26 Paurhee 33).
Aptly, the Gurbani asserts you cannot give Knowledge or Wisdom (Giaan) to somebody as a mundane gift either, or as a ready-made package, or make it to an order, or blow it into somebody’s ear, or spit it into somebody’s mouth!
Furthermore, none else can take it for anybody either. It’s just as nobody can eat for anybody else – if you are hungry, you must eat yourself! If you want to get married, then you need to take ‘Phere‘ yourself; you cannot substitute somebody else for you!
- ਬਿਨੁ ਖਾਏ ਬੂਝੈ ਨਹੀ ਭੂਖ ॥: Without eating, hunger is not satisfied. (sggs 1149).
In short, Knowledge or Wisdom is the subject of willingly taking (ਲੈਣਾਂ). You may explain it to somebody, but you cannot force somebody to take it if that person is unwilling or uninterested to receive it. In other words, you have the choice of either taking it or not taking it. In other words, you have the choice to either follow Baabaa Nanak, or follow Auranzeb or Babar etc.!
- ਆਪਣ ਹਥੀ ਆਪਣਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਕਾਜੁ ਸਵਾਰੀਐ ॥੨੦॥: (So long there is breath – Praan) With own hands (with effort, ਉੱਦਮ ਕਰ ਕੇ: Shabad-Vichaar …), resolve your own affair yourself. ||20|| (sggs 474).
- ਆਪਣਾ ਕਾਰਜੁ ਆਪਿ ਸਵਾਰੇ ਹੋਰਨਿ ਕਾਰਜੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥: (Jeev-individual being) resolves his own affair (i.e., the Purpose of life of Mool Realization) himself; anyone else cannot do this work (for him). (sggs 351).
For example, a teacher teaches the entire class. However, students who listen to the teacher with full attention, willingness and interest excel, and those who don’t fail or do bad in exam.
Similarly, somebody can explain the spiritual Knowledge of the Gurbani to us, but whether to take it or leave it is up to an individual. The Gurbani says its the nature of some people that upon hearing the Divine Naam (Giaan or Wisdom, Virtues, Truth, Shabad, Hukam…), they feel like they have been stung by a scorpion!
- ਨਾਮੁ ਸੁਨਤ ਜਨੁ ਬਿਛੂਅ ਡਸਾਨਾ ॥੨॥: If he (i.e., Saakat – separated from Truth) hears Divine Naam (i.e., Divine Knowledge, Giaan…), he feels like he has been stung by a scorpion ||2||. (sggs 892).
But in order to take Wisdom or Mati (ਮੱਤ), the prerequisite is one has to admit he lacks it. In other words, the Gurbani tells us that Truth (Sach) can enter within only if the mind-vessel is fist emptied of its existing garbage – falsehood, hunger for Maya (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁਖ), Bikaars (lust, anger, greed etc.), doubts etc.
- ਕੂੜੈ ਕੀ ਪਾਲਿ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਨਿਕਲੈ ਸਚੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥: (When) the wall of falsehood is torn down from within, Truth comes to dwell in the mind. (sggs 591).
The Gurbani’s spiritual Knowledge is available to everybody. However, if the learner (i.e., a Sikh) is not interested in taking it, there is nothing SGGS can do – if he hears from one ear and let it out from the other!
- ਕਬੀਰ ਸਾਚਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਕਿਆ ਕਰੈ ਜਉ ਸਿਖਾ ਮਹਿ ਚੂਕ ॥ ਅੰਧੇ ਏਕ ਨ ਲਾਗਈ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਂਸੁ ਬਜਾਈਐ ਫੂਕ ॥੧੫੮॥: The Satiguru can’t do anything, when there is a lapse (deception, etc.) in Sikhs (learners). (The Satguru’s Knowledge, Giaan…) can’t affect the blind (i.e., mentally blind – ignorant); it is as useless as blowing into bamboo. ||158|| (sggs 1372).
The SGGS indicates that taking the Guru’s Mati (Wisdom) is Bhagti.
- ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਤੂੰ ਲੇਹਿ ਇਆਨੇ ॥ ਭਗਤਿ ਬਿਨਾ ਬਹੁ ਡੂਬੇ ਸਿਆਨੇ ॥: You ignorant fool, take the Gurmati (i.e., Divine Wisdom or Aatmic-Giaan of the Gur-Shabad); without (this) Bhagti, even many clever have drowned (in perplexity). (sggs 288).
- ਊਤਮ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਬਦ ਬੀਚਾਰ ॥੩॥: The ultimate action is Reflections on the Shabad – Shabad Vichaar ||3|| (sggs 158).
- ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜਿਨੀ ਨ ਸੇਵਿਓ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਕੀਤੋ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਆਇਓ ਮਿਰਤਕੁ ਹੈ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ॥: (Those beings) who have not served the ‘Satiguru‘ (through the Shabad-Vichaar), no Wisdom has Awakened within them, (they may appear as alive but they) are as dead in the world (spiritually dead-ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ). (sggs 88).