The Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) tells us that the man due to ignorance of his own True Nature (i.e., Jot Saroop) searches for Joy in gross objects, thereby creating problems and ‘Dukh‘ for himself.
Call it Gobind, Rabb, Raam, Hari, Jot (ਜੋਤ), Noor (ਨੂਰ), Light or whatever name you like but according to the SGGS, the Reality or Rabb is ONE and is the common denominator of all that exists (Universal Energy, Hukam or System-Rule-Law of Nature, ਨਿਯਮ…).
This Hukam (Universal Energy, System-Rule-Law of Nature functions constantly everywhere and in everyone, without any discrimination (ਭੇਦ-ਭਾਵ).
- ਏਕ ਨੂਰ ਤੇ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਉਪਜਿਆ ਕਉਨ ਭਲੇ ਕੋ ਮੰਦੇ ॥੧॥: The entire universe has taken place from One ‘Noor‘ (One Universal Energy, Light, Hukam-System or Law of Nature, ਕੁਦਰਤ ਦਾ ਨਿਯਮ). So who is good, and who is bad? ||1|| (sggs 1349).
Man’s True Identity – Jot Saroop
The Gurbani says we are THAT — the form of Rabb (Jot Saroop: ਰੱਬ ਦਾ ਰੂਪ), part of Rabb: ਰੱਬ ਦਾ ਹਿੱਸਾ) or of the same essence as Rabb. We are Jot Saroop. THIS is our True Nature. THIS is our Mool.
- ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਅਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੫॥: Thus says Nanak – O mind! You are embodiment of Pure Light (Pure Consciousness, Pure Nature, Original or Real Nature, Wisdom, Virtues – Jot Saroop …)! Recognize your Mool (ਅਪਣੇ ਆਪ ਦੀ ਪਛਾਣ, recognition of mind’s Original or True Nature – Jot Saroop…) ||5|| (sggs 441).
- ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਇਹੁ ਰਾਮ ਕੀ ਅੰਸੁ ॥: Says Kabeer! This (i.e., soul that dwells within) is Raam‘s Ansh (of same essence as Rabb – Jot Saroop). (sggs 871).
In short, the Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ) is that each person is his or her own Rabb!
The Gurbani thus REJECTS all nonsense and illogical belief that Rabb is separate from man, sitting ‘up there’ somewhere on a lofty planet as the lie is spread by the crafty and illiterate paid clergy.
Rabb 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 (i.e., Rabb, Universal Energy or System-Rule-Law of Nature…), the 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 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|| There is only one ‘Joti’ in all being and this ‘Joti’ is none other than That Rabb. With the Light of that ‘Joti’ there is Light (Soojh Boojh–understanding etc.) in all beings. 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., the meaningful Poojaa of this all-pervading Light) is that whatever is happening in Rabb’s Hukam (System-Rule-Law of Nature) is pleasing to beings. ||3|| (sggs 663).
Gurbani says know yourself
- 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. From the very childhood, our minds are filled with non-facts, biases, rigidity, lies, doubts, confusion, Pakhand (hypocrisy), anti-Gurmat stand of the corrupt Pujaare-Vaad, meaningless rituals or Karamkaand in Gurdwaras, etc.
In short, the Truth or the mind’s Pure 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 repeatedly stresses the basic truth of the mind’s True 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 ॥: Raam (Universal Energy…) in every Soul, and each Soul is in Raam. This is realized through Reflecting on the Gur-Giaan (Divine Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad…). (sggs 1153).
Some individual beings may Realize this Truth in moments. Those who do Realize, for them this is what the Gurbani has to say:
- ਆਤਮਾ ਬਾਸੁਦੇਵਸ੍ਯ੍ਯਿ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਜਾਣੈ ਭੇਉ ॥ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਦਾਸੁ ਹੈ ਸੋਈ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਦੇਉ ॥੪॥: One who understands the mystery of the soul and the Omnipresent Rabb; Nanak is a slave to him; (as) he himself is (like) the Immaculate Rabb. ||4|| (sggs 469).
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 dealings), the effort becomes a self-defeating one.
That’s where the Gur-Wisdom (Gur-Giaan) 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 True 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
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.
- ਰਾਜ ਭੁਇਅੰਗ ਪ੍ਰਸੰਗ ਜੈਸੇ ਹਹਿ ਅਬ ਕਛੁ ਮਰਮੁ ਜਨਾਇਆ ॥: As is the story of the rope and the snake (i.e., rope mistaken for a snake in darkness), some mystery has now been explained (to me). (sggs 658).
- ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਬਾਣਿ ਬਜਰ ਕਲ ਛੇਦੀ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਿਆ ਪਦੁ ਪਰਗਾਸਾ ॥ ਸਕਤਿ ਅਧੇਰ ਜੇਵੜੀ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਚੂਕਾ ਨਿਹਚਲੁ ਸਿਵ ਘਰਿ ਬਾਸਾ ॥: The Gur-arrow (of Wisdom or Giaan) 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-Giaan or Wisdom, then ONLY the shining Jot remains, within!
- ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਹਉਮੈ ਗਈ ਜੋਤਿ ਰਹੀ ਸਭ ਆਇ ॥: When the Satigur (Giaan or Wisdom) is realized, the false ego-sense is dispelled, then ONLY the shining Jot remains or stays behind, within! (sggs 510).
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).
- ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੀ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਮਉਲੋ ॥: (The Universal Energy) is Jot Saroop (with this Jot or Light) the whole world blossoms forth. (sggs 1083).
- ਆਪੇ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੀ ਬਾਲਾ ॥: (Universal Energy or Rabb) Himself is Jot Saroop (Embodiment of Light or Energy…), and ever young (i.e., exalted, eminent, etc.). (sggs 1021).
- 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).