Life of Security and Sukh

A common requirement of all beings, irrespective of region and faith, is to have a life of security and Sukh (Happiness, peace, Joy etc.). But, the question is: where to find these? As taught by the Gurbani, in fact, a majority of us lack proper guidance and direction in this search. This causes confusion.

In confusion, as stressed in the Gurbani of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS), we are driven to seek these in the world outside in the form of education, titles, pride of caste (Jaat-Paat), status, wealth, power, and so on. But the irony is that these are all perishable or ephemeral and can give only a false sense of Sukh and security. The time and again tells us that Sukha and security have to be sought only within oneself and not from any outside object, place or person. Due to our deluded consciousness, however, many of us do not understand this truth.

Man’s search for psychological security continues so long he is centered in psychological false-ego-sense (Haumai). Egoism and its projections (i.e. vices/Bikaar) are illusion — the corruption of the deluded consciousness. Due to mental conditionings, man takes his body as his true identity, and the gross objects of the world as the source of eternal Sukh and security. Caused by this illusion, he/she takes it for granted that his worldly possessions (money, education, titles, property, spouse, children, and so on) are the source of real Sukha and security in the life. The Gurbani counsels this belief to be totally fallacious. Why?

The nature of the material world is constant change. Consequently, everything we see is constantly in the flux of change. Nothing stays the same.

Having said that, the commonsense would dictate that the Sukha and security which is dependent on something we may lose can NOT be permanent.

For example, a child is born; he then goes through youth, adulthood, old age, and ultimately death. The same is true of other worldly objects. In it, nothing is permanent. Whatever we see is changeable and perishable, thus finite and insecure. This is also the law of birth and death. Now, how an impermanent thing can provide another impermanent thing with a permanent Sukh and security? Not possible at all; for nothing is secure here. ‘Insecure’ cannot be the source of ‘Secure’. However, in deluded consciousness, we become slave of our ‘defiled’ senses and the instinctive mind.

  • ਦੁਖੀ ਦੁਨੀ ਸਹੇੜੀਐ ਜਾਇ ਤ ਲਗਹਿ ਦੁਖ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਚੇ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨੁ ਕਿਸੈ ਨ ਲਥੀ ਭੁਖ ॥ ਰੂਪੀ ਭੁਖ ਨ ਉਤਰੈ ਜਾਂ ਦੇਖਾਂ ਤਾਂ ਭੁਖ ॥ ਜੇਤੇ ਰਸ ਸਰੀਰ ਕੇ ਤੇਤੇ ਲਗਹਿ ਦੁਖ ॥੨॥ : Worldly wealth is obtained by enduring much pain; one also feels much pain after it is lost. Nanak, without the eternal Naam, hunger (of Maya) is never satisfied. By merely looking at beauty, longing for beauty does not get satisfied; when one sees (the beauty), one hungers even more for it!. As many as are the pleasures of the body, that many are also the pains/troubles that afflict it. ||2|| (sggs 1287).
  • 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).
  • ਮਮਤਾ ਮੋਹ ਧ੍ਰੋਹ ਮਦਿ ਮਾਤਾ ਬੰਧਨਿ ਬਾਧਿਆ ਅਤਿ ਬਿਕਰਾਲ ॥ : Intoxicated with the wine of emotional attachment, love of worldly possessions and deceit, and bound in bondage, man has become wild and hideous. (sggs 806).
  • ਹਉ ਹਉ ਕਰਤੀ ਸਭ ਮੁਈ ਸੰਪਉ ਕਿਸੈ ਨ ਨਾਲਿ ॥ : Entire world has been consumed by indulging in the false ego-sense of their worldly possessions, but this worldly wealth does not accompany anyone after death. (sggs 84).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਖੋਟੀ ਰਾਸਿ ਖੋਟਾ ਪਾਸਾਰਾ ॥ ਕੂੜੁ ਕਮਾਵਨਿ ਦੁਖੁ ਲਾਗੈ ਭਾਰਾ ॥ ਭਰਮੇ ਭੂਲੇ ਫਿਰਨਿ ਦਿਨ ਰਾਤੀ ਮਰਿ ਜਨਮਹਿ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੭॥ : The wealth of the self-willed Manmukhs (that they collect throughout their lives) is false, and false is their ostentatious display. They practice falsehood, and suffer terrible pain. Deluded by doubt, they wander day and night; through birth and death, they waste their lives ||7|| (sggs 116).

Thus, none of the worldly objects can permanently remove our sense of insecurity and lack of Sukh. But strangely enough, in material wealth and possessions we seek everlasting security, and Peace!

Then, how does a person find the real Sukha and security in life? Apparently, the sense of true security does not come from procuring material wealth. As indicated in the Gurbani, it comes when one discovers the real Freedom or fearlessness: liberation from desires or false ego-sense (Haumai). Thus, one can find true security only in the experience of the Divine Presence within.

  • ਪ੍ਰਣਵਤਿ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤੀ ॥੬॥੫॥੧੭॥ : Nanak submits – if one recognizes the divine Hukam (Universal System-Rule-Law of Nature, ਕੁਦਰਤੀ ਨਿਯਮ…), Sukha pervails in one’s life day and night (i.e. all the time). ||6||5||17|| (sggs 156).
  • ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇ ਮਹਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ : Meditating on the Naam, supreme Sukha is experienced. (sggs 103).
  • ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਤਾ ਕਿਆ ਕਾੜਾ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਵੰਤਾ ਤਾ ਜਨੁ ਖਰਾ ਸੁਖਾਲਾ ॥ ਜੀਅ ਪ੍ਰਾਨ ਮਾਨ ਸੁਖਦਾਤਾ ਤੂੰ ਕਰਹਿ ਸੋਈ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੧॥ : (One who believes) Eternal and Imperishable God is never anxious. (One who believes) God to be the Source of Spiritual Peace. (One who believes God) feels truly at peace. (One who believes God) to be the giver of life-breath, Sukh, and everything happens according to your divine Hukam (Universal System-Rule-Law of Nature, ਕੁਦਰਤੀ ਨਿਯਮ…), then one experiences Bliss. ||1|| (sggs 131).
  • ਆਪੁ ਗਇਆ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਮਿਲਿ ਸਲਲੈ ਸਲਲ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੨॥ : upon shedding false ego-sense, Sukh is realized; and becomes one with God as water mingles with water. ||2|| (sggs 22).

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