Writer Maxim Gorky is attributed with the following statement: ‘Freedom is the first five minutes in which you were born to cry naked, nameless, without a sense of any separative psyche, not knowing what is right, what is wrong and without human grudge. Five minutes after birth society decided your name, nationality, religion and other attributes. Then we grow defending and promoting things we didn’t choose, endlessly for the rest of our life. Thus compassion is gone and illusion is invited’.
Thus, human minds get taken over by outer domination — fake God separate from man, fake hell and heaven afterlife, fake salvation afterlife, judgement after death, distorted and corrupted spirituality, concocted narratives, blindly entrenched beliefs, dogmas, superstitions and doubts, worthless rituals (Karamkaand), religious paraphernalia, religious robes, religious bathing, outer purity, locations of pilgrimage (Tirath), Bikaar or vices, sense gratifications, etc.
In a nutshell, liberation — Mukti, salvation, freedom, Emancipation — in the Unique Sikhi of Baabaa Nanak or Gurmat means the realization of Creator (Truth) Within while still alive whereas in Semitic and Hindu religions generally it means going to heaven after death etc. Gurmat rejects Hindu and Semitic notions of Mukti unequivocally.
- ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੀ ਆਗਿਆ ਆਤਮ ਹਿਤਾਵੈ ॥ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਸੋਊ ਕਹਾਵੈ ॥ : He, who abides by God’s Hukam (Cosmic System-Rule-Law of Nature), is a liberated person while still alive. (sggs 275).
- ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਜਾਗਿ ਰਹੇ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਈ ॥ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਗਤਿ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੪॥: He, who remembers God constantly, becomes a liberated person while still alive through Inner Enlightenment. ॥4॥ (sggs 904).
- ਓਹੁ ਧਨਵੰਤੁ ਕੁਲਵੰਤੁ ਪਤਿਵੰਤੁ ॥ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਜਿਸੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਭਗਵੰਤੁ ॥: He is a living liberated who keeps God in Heart. Such a person is indeed wealthy, honorable and of noble birth. (sggs 294).
Unlike all traditional religions, the Gurbani (SGGS) teaches us liberate ourselves from the slavery of the outer domination while still alive (Jeevan Mukta) — Mukti, salvation, freedom or liberation from psychological time, relativist consciousness, illusion, conditioned mind, worldly temptations, Bikaar (i.e. lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride; and their countless variations), etc.
- ਜਰਾ ਜੋਹਿ ਨ ਸਕਈ ਸਚਿ ਰਹੈ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਸੋ ਆਖੀਐ ਜਿਸੁ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਹਉਮੈ ਜਾਇ ॥: One, who dwells on God, does not suffer moral decline. He alone is called liberated-in-life, from within whom Haumai (fasle ego-sense) is eradicated. (sggs 1009).
- ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਸੋ ਆਖੀਐ ਮਰਿ ਜੀਵੈ ਮਰੀਆ ॥ : (As Enlightened or Gurmukh Mindset) one who subdues (Haumai or false ego-sense, self-centeredness, corrupting worldly temptations etc.) is a ‘Jeevan Mukta‘. (sggs 449).
- ਸੁਰਗ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਬੈਕੁੰਠ ਸਭਿ ਬਾਂਛਹਿ ਨਿਤਿ ਆਸਾ ਆਸ ਕਰੀਜੈ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਦਰਸਨ ਕੇ ਜਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਮਾਂਗਹਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਦਰਸਨ ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਿ ਮਨੁ ਧੀਜੈ ॥੧॥ : All yearn for the pleasure of heaven through ‘Mukti‘ (liberation, salvation) and continuously place their hope in it. But the devotees, who long for Vision of God, do not ask for ‘Mukti, as they are satisfied having the Blessed Vision. (sggs 1324).
- ਰਾਜੁ ਨ ਚਾਹਉ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਚਾਹਉ ਮਨਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲਾਰੇ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਮਹੇਸ ਸਿਧ ਮੁਨਿ ਇੰਦ੍ਰਾ ਮੋਹਿ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਹੀ ਦਰਸਾਰੇ ॥੧॥ : (O God, I) neither desire for empire (Bhugati or materiality) nor liberation (Mukti); (my) mind longs for the love of your lotus feet (Virtues / Wisdom). Whereas others search for Brahma, Shiva, Sidhas, Munis and Indra, I yearn for the Blessed Vision of my God. (sggs 534).
- ਮੁਕਤਿ ਬਪੁੜੀ ਭੀ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਤਿਆਗੇ ॥: A spiritually Wise forsakes even liberation. (sggs 1078).
For example, all traditional religions of the world tell people that God (or whatever name you want to use) is separate from you, sitting on a throne in the sky somewhere ‘up there’ or ‘there yonder’. They want people to be fearful of this concocted God’s wrath and they want you to be blindly under His domination, as if God is some sort of dictator and we all must be under His dictatorship etc.!
In fact, Christian clergy will tell you that the only way to God is through Jesus! If you do not follow him then you go to hell, and you have no hope to get into the Kingdom of God, up there!
The clergy of the Judaism claims they are the only chosen people of God!
Muslim clergy will label you ‘Kaaffir‘ (infidel) unless you are a Muslim — a ‘Kaaffir‘ does not even deserve to live!
It’s equally embarrassing for the rest of the Pujaaree groups of other organized religions, including Sikhi of the Pujaaree (clergy: Granthis, Parcharaks, Ragis, Dhadees etc.) and the freeloading Deraa-Vaad Baabaas (ਵੇਹਲੜ) etc.!
What a cynical view of Dharma, Spirituality, God, and religion!
Instead, the Gurbani teaches us practical spirituality, One All-pervading Universal Energy (Hukam: Cosmic System-Rule-Law of Nature), compassion and Love, Oneness, virtuous living, respect and equality etc.
Simply put, the Gurbani asserts people talk about salvation of others and being saved themselves – the savior and the saved – ONLY until they have Realized God within! In other words, once a person Realizes God within (Truth), that person transcends his/her slavery of the outer domination!
- ਤਾਰਨ ਤਰਨੁ ਤਬੈ ਲਗੁ ਕਹੀਐ ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਤਤੁ ਨ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥ ਅਬ ਤਉ ਬਿਮਲ ਭਏ ਘਟ ਹੀ ਮਹਿ ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥੨॥੫॥: (People talk of) salvation and being saved (i.e., the savior and the saved) as long as they do not understand the Essence of Reality. Says Kabeer! (I have) now become Pure within my Heart; my mind has become Happy. ||2||5|| (sggs 1104).
- ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਘਰ ਮਹਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਟੋਲੈ ਸੋ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਹੀ ॥: (The Divine Virtues, Wisdom, Spiritual tranquility, Naam, Shabad, Amrit, Prabh, ਆਤਮਕ ਸੁਖ…) all that is within the Heart-Home; not outside. Who searches outside is deluded by doubts (sggs 102).
- ਪੁਹਪ ਮਧਿ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਸੁ ਬਸਤੁ ਹੈ ਮੁਕਰ ਮਾਹਿ ਜੈਸੇ ਛਾਈ ॥ ਤੈਸੇ ਹੀ ਹਰਿ ਬਸੇ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਘਟ ਹੀ ਖੋਜਹੁ ਭਾਈ ॥੧॥: As the fragrance abides in the flower and the reflection in the mirror, so the Divine dwells uninterrupted (in all. Hence) O Brother! Search for Him within your Heart ||1|| (sggs 684).
- ਕਾਇਆ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਆਪੇ ਵਸੈ ਅਲਖੁ ਨ ਲਖਿਆ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਮੁਗਧੁ ਬੂਝੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭਾਲਣਿ ਜਾਈ ॥: (Prabhoo) Himself dwells within the (Inner) body; (but) He is Invisible and cannot be seen. The foolish Manmukh does not understand (this mystery), (consequently) he goes out searching outside (sggs 754).
Clearly, the Gurbani teaches us an Inner Rule or an Inner discipline — a revolution Within!
- ਕਾਯਉ ਦੇਵਾ ਕਾਇਅਉ ਦੇਵਲ ਕਾਇਅਉ ਜੰਗਮ ਜਾਤੀ ॥ ਕਾਇਅਉ ਧੂਪ ਦੀਪ ਨਈਬੇਦਾ ਕਾਇਅਉ ਪੂਜਉ ਪਾਤੀ ॥੧॥ ਕਾਇਆ ਬਹੁ ਖੰਡ ਖੋਜਤੇ ਨਵ ਨਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਨਾ ਕਛੁ ਆਇਬੋ ਨਾ ਕਛੁ ਜਾਇਬੋ ਰਾਮ ਕੀ ਦੁਹਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਜੋ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੰਡੇ ਸੋਈ ਪਿੰਡੇ ਜੋ ਖੋਜੈ ਸੋ ਪਾਵੈ ॥ ਪੀਪਾ ਪ੍ਰਣਵੈ ਪਰਮ ਤਤੁ ਹੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਹੋਇ ਲਖਾਵੈ ॥੨॥੩॥: The body is the temple and God dwells in it; the body is the place of pilgrimage, of which I am a pilgrim (searching for God Within my body). Searching God within the body is like burning incense, lighting of lamps and offering delicious food on leaf plates in Poojaa. ||1|| When I searched my body within, I found the new Treasure (of Naam) which I was searching outside. (Since I have realized within my ownself) the Glory of Raam (now I can say that) nothing comes, and nothing goes (i.e. I don’t go through repeated scuffing in my daily life). ||1||Pause|| The elements that make up the physical body are exactly the same elements that make up the Universe. If you contemplate on this, then you will realize the Reality of it. Peepaa prays – If Satguru is met (Wisdom of Truth: ਸੱਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ), then the Greatest Reality (Real Source, Creator, ਅਸਲੀਅਤ, ਤੱਤ, ਸੱਚ) is revealed (Within). ||2||3|| (sggs 695).
The Gurbani thus teaches us to get out from the slavery of outer domination for the illusion is outside. But, the Spiritual Factor is inside!
- ਨਾਨਕ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਬੰਧੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਕਰਾਏ ॥੪॥੩॥: O Nanak! Manmukh remain in bondage; (but those who) become Gurmukh become liberated. ||4||3|| (sggs 559).
- ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਿ ਖੋਲੇ ਕਪਾਟ ॥ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਭਏ ਬਿਨਸੇ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਥਾਟ ॥੪॥੪੩॥੧੧੨॥ : Nanak says, the Guru has Enlightened my mind. I am liberated and my doubts have been dispelled. ||4||43||112|| (sggs 188).
Undoubtedly, the Gurbani is truly a revolutionary Siddhaant — the assertion of Truth, authentic Experience or Realization, Vision of Reality, the Timeless and Universal Wisdom etc.! It Liberates the entire humanity from the slavery of any outside agency, outside domination or any rule from the outside.
- ਆਪਿ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਕਰੈ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਸੁ ਜਨ ਕਉ ਸਦਾ ਨਮਸਕਾਰੁ ॥੮॥੨੩॥ : Nanak, I bow in reverence forever to that person who has liberated himself, and who inspires others to liberate themselves (from repeated suffering due to ignorance, falsehood etc.). ||8||23|| (sggs 295).
- ਨਾਨਕ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਭੇਟਿਐ ਪੂਰੀ ਹੋਵੈ ਜੁਗਤਿ ॥ ਹਸੰਦਿਆ ਖੇਲੰਦਿਆ ਪੈਨੰਦਿਆ ਖਾਵੰਦਿਆ ਵਿਚੇ ਹੋਵੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ॥: O Nanak! Meeting the Satigur (ਸੱਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ) then one learns the perfect Way to live life. (Thus following that) he is liberated while laughing, playing, dressing and eating (i.e. one remains free from worldly temptations and their corrupting influence while living in the world). (sggs 522).
To the Contrary, the self-serving Pujaaree system (clergy) of all traditional religions tell you there is a God ‘up there’ etc. and be scared of His wrath. This is how they are able to enslave the masses in fear, greed etc.
However, the Gurbani wants to free the entire humanity. So it urges all to step Inward.
To Free us from any domination from the outside, the Gurbani tells not to depend on an outside agency for resolving our life’s affairs. Instead, we can and we must resolve our own affairs, ourselves, here and now:
- ਆਪਣ ਹਥੀ ਆਪਣਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਕਾਜੁ ਸਵਾਰੀਐ ॥੨੦॥: (So long there is breath — Praan) accomplish the task (of God Realization) yourself ( i.e. with self-efforts: Shabad-Vichaar …). ||20|| (sggs 474).
However, the self-serving Pujaaree (clergy) and the custodians of ALL traditional religions want people to be the slave of or dependent on an outside agency that is vengeful, wrathful, jealous, angry etc. This way it’s much easier for them to exploit and manipulate the masses, propagate duality, hatred, fear, pitting people against one another (i.e., ‘us versus them’) etc.
- ਹਮਰਾ ਭਰਮੁ ਗਇਆ ਭਉ ਭਾਗਾ ॥: With the departure of my doubt, (my) fear has fled away (sggs 655).
The Beauty of the Gurmat Siddhaant is that once you step Inward, you free yourself from the slavery of the outside nonsense — you act spontaneously, not according to any rule imposed by others or by one’s own conditioned mind.
Once inside or Within, you keep going until you become established in ‘Sahaj’ (Natural State of Being, Spontaneous State of Being, State of Giaan-Wisdom etc.), ‘Sunn Samaadhi’ (stillness, nothingness, spiritual Silence, State Free of attachment to Mayaic thoughts, false ego-sense or Haumai etc.), ‘Pad Nirabaan’ (Nirvaanaa, liberation, eternal happiness etc.) etc.
Here the response is Total, Undivided, Untainted, Unconditioned, non-violent, Total Freedom.
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬਿਗਸੈ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥: The Gurmukh (Spiritual Being) blossoms forth through Sahaj (sggs 1173).
- ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਸਹਜਿ ਮਨੁ ਰਾਤਾ ॥: (By becoming the Gurmukh, his) mind remains intuitively absorbed in Sunn Samaadhi (where there are no Mayaic thoughts, noise of the Haumai, etc.). (sggs 904).
- ਨਾਮਿ ਰਤਾ ਸੋਈ ਨਿਰਬਾਣੁ ॥੩॥: One who is imbued with Naam (Wisdom / Virtues), remains Free from worldly temptations and their corrupting influences. ॥3॥ (sggs 385).
Here the actor (imposter or distorted mind) completely disappears, the scene and the seer become one — here the mind is completely Free of all conditioning, and it cannot be manipulated by anybody or anything. Reality is only when the mind is not. Death of the mind is death of the negative impact of Maya.
- ਫਾਹੇ ਕਾਟੇ ਮਿਟੇ ਗਵਨ ਫਤਿਹ ਭਈ ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤ ॥: When one conquers his (own) mind, victory (Fatih-‘ਫਤਿਹ’) is obtained; (Maya’s) snares are cut (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੇ ਮੋਹ ਦੇ ਬੰਧਨ ਕੱਟੇ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਹਨ); and one’s (Mayaic-ਮਾਇਆ ਪਿਛੇ ਭਟਕਣਾ) wanderings cease. (sggs 258).
What a revolutionary Siddhaant, indeed!
Hence, true or real Mukti (liberation) is to continuously remain in Bliss (Ananad) while alive — freedom from both Dukh and Sukh or duality.
- ਤੈਸਾ ਹਰਖੁ ਤੈਸਾ ਉਸੁ ਸੋਗੁ ॥ ਸਦਾ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਤਹ ਨਹੀ ਬਿਓਗੁ ॥ ਤੈਸਾ ਸੁਵਰਨੁ ਤੈਸੀ ਉਸੁ ਮਾਟੀ ॥ ਤੈਸਾ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਤੈਸੀ ਬਿਖੁ ਖਾਟੀ ॥ ਤੈਸਾ ਮਾਨੁ ਤੈਸਾ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੁ ॥ ਤੈਸਾ ਰੰਕੁ ਤੈਸਾ ਰਾਜਾਨੁ ॥ ਜੋ ਵਰਤਾਏ ਸਾਈ ਜੁਗਤਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਓਹੁ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਕਹੀਐ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ॥੭॥: As is joy, so is sorrow to him (i.e. a liberated person). In that state, there is everlasting Bliss and no separation (from Hukam, Wisdom, Virtues…). As is gold, so is dust to him. As is nectar, so is bitter poison to him. As is honor, so is dishonor to him. As is the beggar, so is the king to him. Whatever (Hukam or law of Nature) sets in rotation, that is the proper way (rational, befitting, etc.). O Nanak! That person (who follows this proper way) is known as living Liberated (Jeevan Mukta, living dead, etc.). ||7|| (sggs 275).