Jot Saroop – Mind’s Original Nature

The Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) teaches us that the ONE Creator is Omnipresent in the Creation, including Within all of being.

However, ‘Within’ is NOT a physical or metaphysical location.

Instead, its a Process of Realization, process of BECOMING the ‘Jot Saroop‘ through internalizing the Enlightening spiritual Message of the Shabad (Enlightenment) — making our ‘Surat‘ (Conscience) a Sikh (learner, seeker) of the Shabad, and thus letting the Conscience reign in the Realm of spirituality.

  • ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਧੁਨਿ ਚੇਲਾ ॥ : The SHABAD is my GURU, and my consciousness (Surat) is the disciple (of this SHABAD GURU). (sggs 943).

Call it the Creator, God, Gobind, Rabb, Raam, Hari, Jot (ਜੋਤ), Allah, ‘Noor’ (ਨੂਰ), Light or whatever name you like, but according to the SGGS, the ONE Creator / Hukam is the common denominator of all that exists (Universal Energy).

Mind’s True Identity – Jot Saroop

The Gurbani says we are THAT — the form of God (Jot Saroop: ਰੱਬ ਦਾ ਰੂਪ), part of God: ਰੱਬ ਦਾ ਹਿੱਸਾ) or of the same essence as God. We are Jot Saroop. THIS is our Original Nature. THIS is our Mool. We are part of the same Universal Energy which connects and flows through all beings, things and space. The matter and energy that constitutes the entire Universe is also a part of the individual.

  • ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਅਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੫॥ : This is what Nanak says: O my mind, you are the ‘Jot Saroop’ or embodiment of Light (God)! Recognize your Mool (ORIGIN, Source…) ||5|| (sggs 441).
  • ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਇਹੁ ਰਾਮ ਕੀ ਅੰਸੁ ॥ ਜਸ ਕਾਗਦ ਪਰ ਮਿਟੈ ਨ ਮੰਸੁ ॥੪॥੨॥੫॥ : Kabeer says, now I understand that this (soul / mind) is part and parcel or an offspring of the Omnipresent God (i.e. of the same Essence, Qualities as God). Both God and soul are linked together just as ink from the paper cannot be removed. ||4||2||5|| (sggs 871).
  • ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੀ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਮਉਲੋ ॥: The Creator (Universal Energy) is the divine Light that makes the whole world blossom. (sggs 1083).
  • ਏਕ ਨੂਰ ਤੇ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਉਪਜਿਆ ਕਉਨ ਭਲੇ ਕੋ ਮੰਦੇ ॥੧॥ : Ek Noor Tae Sabh(u) Jag(U) Upajiaa… (sggs 1349).

In short, the Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ) is that each person (at the level of the mind) is his or her own God (ਰੱਬ ਦਾ ਰੂਪ)!

However, the mind is ‘Jot Saroop‘ (God-like-ਰੱਬ ਦਾ ਰੂਪ) ONLY when it has realized its Mool Within. Otherwise, the Gurbani compares it with ‘monkey‘ (ਮਰਕਟ), ‘elephant‘ (ਕੁੰਚਰੁ, ਮੈਗਲੁ), ‘donkey‘ (ਖਰ, ਗਦਹਾ), Camel (ਕਰਹਲਾ), Crow (ਕਊਆ), Deer (ਹਰਣ), Dog (ਸੁਆਨ), Frog (ਦਾਦਿਰਾ), ‘crookedness‘ (ਕੁਟਿਲਤਾ), ‘craziness‘ (ਕਮਲਾ), ‘animals‘ (ਪਸੂ …), ‘wind‘ (ਪਉਣੁ), and so on.

The Gurbani thus REJECTS all nonsense and illogical belief that Rabb or God is separate from man, sitting ‘up there’ somewhere on a lofty planet as concocted and propagated by the self-serving clergy (Pujaaree).

Creator is not separate from man

As ocean is the base of the wave and gold of golden ornaments, similarly, the One Reality is the Substratum of individual consciousness and all subsequent manifestations. Ocean is the metaphor for the one’s True ownself, and the wave is the metaphor for the false ego-sense (Haumai), individual identity or manifestation of the objective world.

  • ਤੋਹੀ ਮੋਹੀ ਮੋਹੀ ਤੋਹੀ ਅੰਤਰੁ ਕੈਸਾ ॥ ਕਨਕ ਕਟਿਕ ਜਲ ਤਰੰਗ ਜੈਸਾ ॥੧॥ : You are me, and I am You—what is the difference between us? We are like gold and the bracelet, or water and the waves ||1|| (sggs 93).
  • ਤਤੁ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਬਾਈ ਸੋਹੰ ਭੇਦੁ ਨ ਕੋਈ ਜੀਉ ॥ : The Essence which is free from the influence of Maya, the Light/Jot of all — I am He and He is me — there is no difference. (sggs 599).

Our body is the food for this false ego-sense (Haumai) without which the manifestation or Maya is not present. When the wave subsides, only ocean remains, which was there before the wave. Similarly, when the false ‘I’ consciousness subsides or when the false ego-sense is annihilated, only the Jot Saroop remains, which was present prior to the movement of the false ego-sense (Haumai) or body-consciousness.

However, this false ego-sense (Haumai) kills our True Nature.

False ego-sense (Haumai) feels real because we attach our ego to some perceived parameters in some form, such as power, status, beauty, youth, strength, wealth, possessions, education or knowledge, Jaat Paat etc. Prior to the movement of the false ego-sense (Haumai), the Gurbani tells us our mind is Jot Saroop.

Baabaa Nanak makes it crystal clear in the following Shabad who we already are at this very moment, HERE and NOW!

  • ਸਹਸ ਤਵ ਨੈਨ ਨਨ ਨੈਨ ਹੈ ਤੋਹਿ ਕਉ ਸਹਸ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਨਨਾ ਏਕ ਤੋਹੀ ॥ ਸਹਸ ਪਦ ਬਿਮਲ ਨਨ ਏਕ ਪਦ ਗੰਧ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਹਸ ਤਵ ਗੰਧ ਇਵ ਚਲਤ ਮੋਹੀ ॥੨॥ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਹੈ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਤਿਸ ਕੈ ਚਾਨਣਿ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਸਾਖੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਜੋ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਸੁ ਆਰਤੀ ਹੋਇ ॥੩॥ : (Being pervasive everywhere and in all beings) Thousands of eyes of all of us are Rabb’s eyes — Rabb has no separate eyes. Thousands of forms of all of us are Rabb’s forms — (being Formless) Rabb has no separate form. Thousands of feet of all of us are Rabb’s feet — Rabb has no separate feet. Thousands of noses of all of us are Rabb’s noses — Rabb has no separate nose. I am amazed by this wonder. ||2|| The light flowing in everyone is from the same Supreme Light (i.e. the One Creator). The Light that aluminates all is from the same (One Creator). But the knowledge of this ‘Joti’ comes only with the Teachings of the Guru (through the Guru’s Wisdom it is understood that Rabb is present within all beings as ‘Joti’ and that we are jot-Saroop.). The Aarti (i.e. meaningful Poojaa of this all-pervading ‘Joti‘) is that whatever is happening in Hukam (System-Rule-Law of Nature, Universal Energy) is pleasing to beings. ||3|| (sggs 663).

Gurbani says know yourself

The Gurbani asks the mind to retrace its steps back to its Original Nature it was born with — ‘Saabat Soorat’ or Jot Saroop, which is unaffected by the duality.

  • ਬਾਬਾ ਨਾਂਗੜਾ ਆਇਆ ਜਗ ਮਹਿ ਦੁਖੁ ਸੁਖੁ ਲੇਖੁ ਲਿਖਾਇਆ ॥ : O brother, one has come naked in this world (not only physically naked, but also with naked/clean slate of the mind – Intact Consciousness, Saabat Soorat, NO vices/Bikaar…); it is here in life that Jiva has written his/her own account of sorrow and happiness in life). (sggs 582).
  • ਜੇਹਾ ਬੀਜੈ ਸੋ ਲੁਣੈ ਕਰਮਾ ਸੰਦੜਾ ਖੇਤੁ ॥ : Life is the field of actions; I alone will reap all that I sow. (sggs 134).

Having said that, the true Dharma of the mind is to imbibe in in its True Nature. The mind has no other religion or Dharma.

  • ਜਿਨਿ ਆਤਮ ਤਤੁ ਨ ਚੀਨ੍‍ਆਿ ॥ ਸਭ ਫੋਕਟ ਧਰਮ ਅਬੀਨਿਆ ॥ : Whoever does not Realize the Essence or Reality of the Soul (ਆਤਮਾ ਦੀ ਅਸਲੀਅਤ…), all his religious acts are of no value – worthless (sggs 1351).

However it is not easy for a mortal to recognize or accept this Truth. Because it is not easy for the mortal to ignore the immediate reality of the enchanting world of gross objects in which he is born into and conditioned into. From the very childhood, our minds are filled with non-facts, biases, rigidity, lies, doubts, confusion, Pakhand (hypocrisy), anti-Gurmat stand of the self-serving Pujaaree (clergy), meaningless rituals or Karamkaand in homes and Gurdwaras, superstitions etc.

In short, the Truth or the mind’s Original Nature (Jot Saroop) is hidden among the layers of attractions of this mundane world, which seems enchanting and mirage-like. Furthermore, it is hidden among the layers of the false ego-sense or Haumai (layers of lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, etc.).

That is why the Gurbani in SGGS repeatedly stresses the basic truth of the mind’s Original Nature or Jot Saroop as that which is Eternal, Unchanging (‘ਅਚੁਤ ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ’…) etc., which transcends the finite worldly existence.

  • ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਾਮ ਮਹਿ ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨਸਿ ਗੁਰ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥ : Omnipresent God (Universal Energy…) is in soul, and soul is in Omnipresent God. This is realized through Reflecting on the Guru’s Shabad. (sggs 1153).

But, due to our readiness to engage and associate with doubts, likes and dislikes (i.e., duality), worldly traps, Vaasnaas (latent tendencies…), Haumai, etc., some of us may not grasp this Truth. For when we engage in this search (ਖੋਜ) while caught in the worldliness (Mayaic deeds), the effort becomes a self-defeating one.

That’s where the Gur-Wisdom (Gur-Giyan) guides us and rescues us. The Gur-Giann urges us to Understand that the entire universe is a manifestation of the One Formless Reality (Jot). The Gurbani wants us to remember at all times that mind’s Original or Original Nature is this Jot Saroop. For that, the Gurbani advises us to surrender and look inward and search for our True Identity – Jot Saroop, which is beyond all limiting features and functions of the gross body-frame.

  • ਗਤਿ ਮਿਤਿ ਪਾਈ ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨੀ ॥੪॥ : Understanding my ownself, (now, I) have come to realize the value of development (i.e., expansion-progress-blooming of intellect). (sggs 227).

Non-apprehension of Jot Saroop

This Energy ‘Jot Saroop‘ is always active, urgent and compelling. Our mind and false ego-sense numbs and blinds our senses hampering our ability to reach experience our Jot Saroop within. This is why a precondition for Happiness is that the mind has to be stilled and silenced.

  • ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖਦਾਤਾ ਸਚੇ ਸੋਭਾ ਪਾਇਦਾ ॥੩॥ : Jot Saroop is ever the giver of Happiness. The mortal who realizes his Jot Saroop becomes glorious. ||3|| (sggs 1036).

Consider a man walking at night imagines a snake on a rape lying on the ground. He runs for a stick to hit the snake. When he realizes that there is no such thing as a snake, but there is only an innocent rope, his fear disappears since the snake vision itself is falsified. His problem is dissolved and his search for a stick also ends.

  • ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਬਾਣਿ ਬਜਰ ਕਲ ਛੇਦੀ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਿਆ ਪਦੁ ਪਰਗਾਸਾ ॥ ਸਕਤਿ ਅਧੇਰ ਜੇਵੜੀ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਚੂਕਾ ਨਿਹਚਲੁ ਸਿਵ ਘਰਿ ਬਾਸਾ ॥ : The Gur-arrow (of Wisdom or Giyan) has pierced the dark state (of my mind -imaginations, ਫੁਰਨੇ…) and the state of illumination (light of Wisdom) has dawned upon me. In the darkness of Maya, I mistook the rope for the snake, but that is over, and now I dwell in the Home (within – state of ever Bliss, Jot Saroop…). (sggs 332).

Hence, the experience of a deluded mind is only due to the non-apprehension of its real ‘Aadhaar’ (Support or Substratum). Knowledge or apprehension of this real ‘Aadhaar’ would remove the illusion called mind (Gurmukh Lifestyle…).

In short — according to the Gurmat Wisdom — False ego-sense (Haumai or deluded mind) disappears by realizing the Satigur’s Giyan-Wisdom, then ONLY the shining Jot remains, within!

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਹਉਮੈ ਗਈ ਜੋਤਿ ਰਹੀ ਸਭ ਆਇ ॥ : When the Satigur (Giyan-Wisdom) is realized, the false ego-sense is dispelled, then ONLY the shining Jot remains or stays behind, within! (sggs 510).
  • ਕਉਨ ਵਡਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਵਡਿਆਈ ॥ ਸੋ ਵਡਾ ਜਿਨਿ ਰਾਮ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ … ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਇਹੁ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਭਜਨ ਨਾਹੀ ਛੁਟਕਾਰਾ ॥੩॥੪੪॥੧੧੩॥ : Nobody is great (high, big etc.) with the glory he got due to Maya (material wealth) in the world. (He) alone is great, who is attuned to Raam (Mool, Jot Saroop etc.). ||1||Pause|| … Says Nanak, after consideration (I) have come to this point or conclusion: Without connecting with ‘Hari’ (i.e., Mool, Jot Saroop etc.) there is no escape (freedom or liberation from Maya, Trishanaa etc.). ||3||44||113|| (sggs 188).

Thus the term ‘Jot’ or Light conferred in the Gurbani is not used in the sense of grosser light of candles, electric bulbs, and so on. It denotes the Universal or Cosmic Energy, Infinite Wisdom, System-Rule-Law of Nature etc. that vibrates, creates, guides, controls, directs, sustains and animates every particle of the Cosmos.

  • ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੀ ਤਤ ਅਨੂਪ ॥ ਅਮਲ ਨ ਮਲ ਨ ਛਾਹ ਨਹੀ ਧੂਪ ॥੧੧॥ : That Jot Saroop which is the Essence of the whole world is incomparable. (Jot Saroop) is stainless, there is no darkness of ignorance and there is no fire (of Bikaar: lust anger, greed, etc.). ||11|| (sggs 344).

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