Arrogance rots the mind. Hence, it can mislead!
Something similar has happened with the term such as ‘meditation’.
As a result, many schools of meditation have sprung up in the world, each following its own methods and systems. claiming that if you practice these methods and systems, you will achieve a certain form of enlightenment and you can experience or realize an exceptional state of existence.
In short, meditation is awareness, the awareness of our own thoughts. And, one’s actions are the louder expression of one’s thoughts! Hence, meditation is observation, an acute awareness of what is happening around us and also within oneself.
Thus, meditation should not be understood as mere parrying, submission to some scriptural or human authority, or the chanting or mere repetition of words. Such a system or a method implies a mechanical repetition, and such a robotic repetition can only dull the mind. Therefore, it cannot be called meditation.
However, the illiterate and crafty Pujaaree-Vaad in Sikhi have turned Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS upside down!
For example, the SGGS frequently uses the term ‘Simran‘ (‘ਸਿਮਰਨ’…), which is often seen translated in English Teekaa as ‘meditation’ or ‘chanting’.
Similarly, the term ‘Jap’ (‘ਜਪ’, ‘ਜਪੁ’ …) is also often seen translated in English Teekaa as ‘meditation’ or ‘chanting’ etc
There are some other words that are often seen translated in English Teeka as ‘meditation’ (e.g., ‘ਧਿਆਨ’ – Dhiaan or Dhiyan, ‘ਆਰਾਧਣਾ’ – Aaraadhanaa…).
In nutshell, as envisaged by the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS, meditation is not to sit in particular postures with half-closed eyes, staring in the sky!
Also, meditation is not to go sit at particular secluded place or at mountain-tops, or sit in caves, or jungles or basements etc.
- ਅਖੀ ਤ ਮੀਟਹਿ ਨਾਕ ਪਕੜਹਿ ਠਗਣ ਕਉ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (Cheats, ਪਖੰਡੀ) Close their eyes and hold their nostrils (they do such trickery only) to dupe the world. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 662).
- ਉਦਕ ਮਾਹਿ ਜੈਸੇ ਬਗੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਮਾਡੈ ॥੧॥ ਕਾਹੇ ਕਉ ਕੀਜੈ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਜਪੰਨਾ ॥ ਜਬ ਤੇ ਸੁਧੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਮਨੁ ਅਪਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: The heron (standing in the water) appears to be meditating, but it is concentrating on the water (to catch a fish). ||1|| Why do you practice Japa, when your mind is not pure? ||1||Pause|| (sggs 485).
- What’s the use of such meditation if it does not bring about shift or change in one’s thinking (Soch – ਸੋਚ), conduct, actions…?
- What’s the use of such meditation if it does not bring about clear understanding of the Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh or Way of the SGGS…)?
- What’s the use of such meditation if the Gurmat does not become part of one’s very being in daily life (i.e., live by the Wisdom or Virtues of the Gurbani – Gurmukh Lifestyle – “ਸਾਸਿ ਸਾਸਿ”)?
- What’s the use of such meditation if it does not bring about a transmutation of the deluded mind, or if one’s whole being does not get transmuted into a divinity? After all, it’s the mind that needs become the Sikh!
- What’s the use of such meditation if it does not free one from doubts, or Maya, or Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.) without the division between thinker, thought, and thinking, or without the division between meditator, meditation, and the object of meditation?
- What’s the use of such meditation if a genuine spiritual tingle is not produced? In other words, what is the use of such meditation if the Gurbani’s Upadesh (Teaching, Truth, Giaan or Wisdom…) does not get assimilated in the consciousness; or if an uninterrupted flow of the Gurbani’s Wisdom does not get directed towards Higher Awareness or Mool within (Source, Gobind, Raam, Hari, Allah, Jot Saroop, Pure Nature…), without the open expression through the extrovert senses?
The Gurbani gives a clear and straight forward description of many terms, including Simran, Jap, Tap, Aaraadhanaa, Naam, and so on.
- ਸਾਸਿ ਸਾਸਿ ਸਿਮਰਹੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ॥ ਮਨ ਅੰਤਰ ਕੀ ਉਤਰੈ ਚਿੰਦ ॥: With (each) breath, remember ‘Gobind‘ (Mool…). (So that) worry within (your) mind be erased (sggs 295).
- ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਮੇਰੈ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥: (I) heed to the Gur-Shabad, within. (sggs 1154).
Clearly, ‘Dhiann‘ is essentially to heed the Gur-Shabad within, uninterruptedly (Persistant Bhagti) – to pay attention, to reflect, to contemplate, to live daily life by the Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…).
‘Simran‘ as envisaged by the Gurbani is to constantly remember the Wisdom (Giaan) and Virtues, and then live daily life accordingly, with each breath (Saas Saas).
In other words, it’s to uninterruptedly remember the Divine Virtues or the Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani (Naam…), and then habitually and unalterably live it in daily life – keep the mind and intellect uninterruptedly linked to it’s Mool or Jot Saroop within. This is being Awake and Aware (ਜਾਗਰਤ ਅਵਸਥਾ – Gurmukh Lifestyle).
‘Jap‘ as envisaged by the Gurbani is to understand the Gurbani (to realize Wisdom, ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਚੰਡ ਗਿਆਨ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤ ਕਰਨਾ…), and then maintain constant remembrance of that Understanding (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ…) when transacting with the outside world of objects, emotions, and thoughts (ਫੁਰਨੇ, desires…).
In nutshell, through the Shabad-Vichaar, the Gurbani urges to remember the Divine Wisdom and Virtues with each breath so it will become a part of one’s very being in daily life (the Gurmukh Lifestyle).
- ਜਪੁ ਤਪੁ ਸਭੁ ਇਹੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਹੈ ਸਾਰੁ ॥੫॥੨॥੪॥: This Shabad is the essence of all Japp and Tapp. ||5||2||4|| (sggs 661).
When the Divine Wisdom (Brahm-Giaan, ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ…) of the Gurbani becomes the part of one’s very being, the mind becomes stabilized within (ਅਡੋਲ). When the mind so established in inner silence engages in Shabad-Vichaar, it becomes ‘Simran‘…
Such ‘Simran‘ is the true Bhagti. Spiritual Knowledge and Mool is realized through such ‘Simran‘ or meditation. Apparently, the Gurbani is asking the mind to remember its Jot Saroop, each and every breath (‘ਸਾਸਿ ਸਾਸਿ ਸਿਮਰਹੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ॥’)!
To sum up in simple Punjabi: ਮਨ ਬੁਧੀ ਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਅਪਨੇ ਮੂਲ ਨਾਲ ਜੁੜਿਆ ਰਹਿਣਾਂ ਹੀ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਹੈ ।
Also, as envisaged by the Gurbani, the purpose of meditation is not to become somebody, but to become humble. For, according to the Gurbani, humility is the Essence of all Virtues (‘ਮਿਠਤੁ ਨੀਵੀ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਗੁਣ ਚੰਗਿਆਈਆ ਤਤੁ ॥’).
To put it otherwise, the meditation as envisaged by the Gurbani needs to be practiced unbrokenly, with each and every breath! That is, one’s entire daily life has to become a meditation (the Gurmukh Lifestyle)!
- ਆਰਾਧਉ ਤੁਝਹਿ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਅਪਨੇ ॥ ਊਠਤ ਬੈਠਤ ਸੋਵਤ ਜਾਗਤ ਸਾਸਿ ਸਾਸਿ ਸਾਸਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਪਨੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: O my Suaamee (Mool, Hari, Gobind, Raam, Allah…)! I only engage in Your Aaraadhanaa. Standing up and sitting down, while sleeping and awake (i.e., continually – ਸਦਾ), with each and every breath, I remain engaged in Hari’s Jap. ||1||Pause|| sggs 1298).
Clearly, the connection of each breath is with the mind! For example, when the mind is linked to its Jot Saroop (True Nature…), it will invariably be in the mode of positive thinking, positive energy, positive actions, etc. However, to the contrary, if the mind is disconnected from its Jot Saroop, it will certainly be in the mode of negative thinking, negative energy, negative actions laced with lust, anger, greed, attachment, and pride, etc.).
To confirm this, one can conduct a simple experiment on oneself. For example, watch your breathing pattern when you are frightened, or when you are engaged in sensuous activity, or when you are angry! To see the difference, compare it with the breathing pattern when in touch with your Jot Saroop!
Understandably, the Gurbani reminds us to retain only the Tatt Budhi or Tatt Giaan (‘ਤਤੁ ਬੁਧਿ’, ‘ਤਤੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ’ – Essence of the Wisdom of the Gurbani…), and burn away all other intellect (Mayaic or worldly intellect, ਸਾਰੀਆਂ ਸਿਆਣਪਾਂ…). Because, people without the Divine Knowledge are plundered. This is the Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ).
- ਸਭ ਬੁਧੀ ਜਾਲੀਅਹਿ ਇਕੁ ਰਹੈ ਤਤੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥: All (Mayaic) intellect (ਸਾਰੀਆਂ ਹੀ ਸਿਆਣਪਾਂ) are unavailing (useless, futile…); only the Essence of Spiritual Wisdom lasts (remains…). ||4|| (sggs 1413).
Clearly, Sikhi is Giaan Maarag (Way of the Wisdom) — the Way of the Shabad-Vichaar (Reflections on the Gurbani, living the Wisdom of the Gurbani each breadth…).
- ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਤੁਮ ਗੁਰਸਿਖਹੁ ਸਚਾ ਇਹੈ ਸੁਆਉ ॥: O GurSikhs! Listen to the Upadesh (Giaan or Spiritual Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad). This alone is the true purpose of life (sggs 963).
In nutshell, the Gurbani speaks at the level of the mind (ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਅੰਦਰ ਦੀਆਂ ਗੱਲਾਂ ਕਰਦੀ ਹੈ — ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਵਿਚਾਰ…), therefore, one becomes Sikh at the level of the mind, NOT at the level of body-consciousness (i.e., Maya).
Hence, as emphasized by the Gurbani, Sikhi is the inner game of the Shabad-Surt (Naam-consciousness, Aatam Giaan, Gurmukh-hood …). Simply put: Shabad-Surti or Shabad-Consciousness is to constantly live by the Wisdom (Giaan) or Bibek-Budhi of the Gur-Shabad. It is to burn Haumai (false ego-sense) and die in the Shabad.
Hence, the Gurbani asks us to practice the Giaan-Jap (‘ਗਿਆਨੁ ਜਪਹੁ’). And the Giaan (Wisdom) is the subject of the Budhi, not the gross external body-frame. The Gurbani says:
- ਐਸਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ॥ ਹੋਵਹੁ ਚਾਕਰ ਸਾਚੇ ਕੇਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਈ ਰਵੈ ॥ ਬਾਂਧਨਿ ਬਾਂਧਿਆ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਭਵੈ ॥੨॥: O my mind! Understand such Giaan or Wisdom, (on account of which you) become the ‘Chaakar’ or attendant of Truth (i.e. walk on the way of Truth – ਸਚ ਦੇ ਮਾਰਗ ਤੇ ਚਲੋ…). ||1||Pause|| Verbally everyone talks about Wisdom and meditation. But (it is seen that) the whole world is wandering in the noose of attachment to Maya (i.e., by mere talks one cannot become a ‘Chaakar’ of Truth). (sggs 728).
In this way, the Jap envisaged by the Gurbani is ‘Ajapaa Jaap‘ – the letter ‘A’ in ‘Ajapaa‘ indicates without the external senses (i.e., tongue, etc.). That is, constant or unbroken Awareness of one’s Mool (ਮੂਲ or Joti-Svaroopa)!
- ਅਜਪਾ ਜਾਪੁ ਨ ਵੀਸਰੈ ਆਦਿ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥: (The mind which has become stable) becomes immersed in the Primal (Lord such a way that it) does not forget “Ajapaa Jaapu”. (sggs 1291).
Hence, the Jap as taught to us by the Gurbani is performed within (Nij Ghar-ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ) — with the support of the Budhi — to realize Brahm Giaan (Divine Knowledge, Spiritual Wisdom, ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਚੰਡ ਗਿਆਨ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤ ਕਰਨਾ…). In Other words, for meditation, one should sit within (Nij Ghar-ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ), with identification with the Mool (Jot Saroop…) only, and have confirmed ‘I-am-not-the-body‘. Not mere words, but with conviction that the mind is Jot Saroop. So the Gurbani asks to hold tight to Naam Sevaa, and give up all clever tricks (‘ਚਤੁਰਾਈ’).
Clearly, the Gurbani is a revolutionary Siddhaant! However, the illiterate and crafty Pujaaree system (ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਲਾਣਾ, Bhai, Ragi, Parchaarak, Deraa -Vaad, etc.) has reduced it to empty rituals (Karamkaand), manufactured fake stories (ਗੱਪ ਕਹਾਣੀਆਂ), etc, from which the Gurus and Bhagats freed us.