Sharing In Virtues

The Gurbani tells us that a person without Virtues (ਗੁਣ) is as useless as a cow without milk; a bird without wings; vegetation or crop without water; an emperor without respect, etc.

  • ਦੁਧ ਬਿਨੁ ਧੇਨੁ ਪੰਖ ਬਿਨੁ ਪੰਖੀ ਜਲ ਬਿਨੁ ਉਤਭੁਜ ਕਾਮਿ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਕਿਆ ਸੁਲਤਾਨੁ ਸਲਾਮ ਵਿਹੂਣਾ ਅੰਧੀ ਕੋਠੀ ਤੇਰਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਾਹੀ ॥੧॥:  A cow without milk; a bird without wings; vegetation without water – totally useless! What is an emperor, without respect? The chamber of the soul is so dark, without the Naam (i.e., ਗੁਣ, Virtues, Wisdom, Truth…. ||1|| (sggs 354).

The Gurbani is the “Gun Bani-ਗੁਣ ਬਾਣੀ” (Gun = Virtues). The more we gain Aatam-Giaan or Spiritual Knowledge from the Gurbani, the more Divine Virtues Awaken within.

  • ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੇ ਗੁਣ ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥੪॥੫॥: “Janu” Nanak utters the Bani of the Divine Virtues [i.e., the Divine Wisdom (“Gur-ਗੁਰ”) and the Divine Virtues (“Gun-ਗੁਣ”) are embedded in the Gurbani]; one gets absorbed in the Hari Naam through the Gurbani (i.e., living by the Divine Wisdom and the Divine Virtues of the Gurbani). ||4||5|| (sggs 494).

In other words, dealing (ਲੇਨ ਦੇਨ – taking or giving) a Sikh should be in Virtues. In fact, the Gurbani Speaks of One Universal Dharma of Virtues.

  • ਹਮ ਸੰਤਨ ਕੀ ਰੇਨੁ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਹਮ ਸੰਤਨ ਕੀ ਸਰਣਾ ॥ ਸੰਤ ਹਮਾਰੀ ਓਟ ਸਤਾਣੀ ਸੰਤ ਹਮਾਰਾ ਗਹਣਾ ॥੧॥ : I’m surrender to Sant (Gur-Giaan, Virtues…); thus I’m the dust of Sant; Sant are my all-powerful Support; and Sant are my ornament (that make me look beautiful). ||1|| (sggs 614).
  • ਸੰਤਨ ਸਿਉ ਮੇਰੀ ਲੇਵਾ ਦੇਵੀ ਸੰਤਨ ਸਿਉ ਬਿਉਹਾਰਾ ॥ ਸੰਤਨ ਸਿਉ ਹਮ ਲਾਹਾ ਖਾਟਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਭਰੇ ਭੰਡਾਰਾ ॥੨॥ : My dealings are with the Sant (Gur-Giaan, Virtues…), and my business is with the Sant. I have earned the profit (spiritual profit) with Sant, (so) the treasures of Bhagti are filled within me. ||2|| (sggs 614).

The Gurbani cites an example of the honey bee that focuses on the nectar of flowers, and collects only honey (“ਮਧੁਪ ਮਖੀਰਾ”)!

Similarly, we are urged to churn the Gurbani and collect the Divine Virtues in life (Divine Qualities, ਆਤਮਕ ਗੁਣ, ਦੈਵੀ ਗੁਣ…). For only Virtues can be conducive to the Divine Life (the Gurmukh-nature-Lifestyle). In fact, the Gurbani tells us that Bhagti (“ਭਗਤਿ”), or obtaining the Spiritual Wisdom (Aatm-Giaan) of the Gurbani is not even possible without Virtues!

  • ਵਿਣੁ ਗੁਣ ਕੀਤੇ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥: Without acquiring Virtues, Bhagti can not be performed (sggs 4).
  • ਗੁਣ ਵੀਚਾਰੇ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਣ ਮਹਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: One who contemplates the Divine Virtues is a Giaanee – spiritually wise. Through Virtues, Wisdom is received. (sggs 931).

Devoid of the Divine Virtues, the Gurbani indicates one remains in a mentality of Manmukh, Saakat, Mayadhaaree !

  • ਗੁਣ ਵਿਹੂਣ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਲੁ ਧਾਰੀ ॥ ਵਿਣੁ ਗੁਣ ਜਨਮਿ ਮੁਏ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੀ ॥੩॥: (Those) without Virtues, bear the filth of Maya (in their minds). Without Virtues, the egotistical takes birth and dies. ||3|| (sggs 367).
  • ਮਾਇਆਧਾਰੀ ਅਤਿ ਅੰਨਾ ਬੋਲਾ ॥ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਸੁਣਈ ਬਹੁ ਰੋਲ ਘਚੋਲਾ ॥: Mayadhaaree ati annaa bolaa… (sggs 313).

Accordingly, the Gurbani time and again reminds us to share in the Divine Virtues only.

  • ਸਾਝ ਕਰੀਜੈ ਗੁਣਹ ਕੇਰੀ ਛੋਡਿ ਅਵਗਣ ਚਲੀਐ ॥: Share Virtues; (in this way, one can) walk (on the Path of Spiritual Life by) abandoning faults (from within himself). (sggs 766).

The Gurbani, however, cautions us of the pastime of our Mayaic mind, which likes to collect demerits!

  • ਲੋਕੁ ਅਵਗਣਾ ਕੀ ਬੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਗੰਠੜੀ ਗੁਣ ਨ ਵਿਹਾਝੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਣ ਕਾ ਗਾਹਕੁ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਕੋਈ ਹੋਇ ॥: People tie up bundles of demerits; no one deals in Virtues. O Nanak! Rare is the purchaser appropriator of Virtues. (sggs 1092.

Now, the question is: Why some in life just tie up bundles of demerits (faults, Bikaars, ਅਵਗਣ…) instead of Virtues, and some get rid of them?

  • ਸੰਤਾ ਨਾਲਿ ਵੈਰੁ ਕਮਾਵਦੇ ਦੁਸਟਾ ਨਾਲਿ ਮੋਹੁ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥: They (i.e.,  abusive) inflict their hatred upon Sant (Gur-Giaan, Virtues…), and they love the wicked (Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, etc.). (sggs 649).

The Gurbani indicates Haumai or egoistic mind enjoys being absorbed in Mayaic qualities (Rajo, Tamo, and Sato) instead of Virtues! So, the problem is our deluded mind:

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਸਭ ਬਾਤ ਜਾਨਤ ਹੀ ਅਉਗਨੁ ਕਰੈ ॥: O Kabir! The mind knows everything and knowingly it commits demerits (sggs 1376).

Where there is Haume (false ego-sense), there is the consummate enemy called lust (Kaam). Where there is lust, there is the compelling, coercive materialistic desire of indulging in Maya or sensory temptations.

The Gurbani asserts that Jeeva (individual beings) are brimful with demerits ( ਅਵਗੁਣ / ਅਉਗਨ ). The Gurbani also tells us that Virtues abide within Jeeva as well. By becoming the Gurmukh, one can obtain Virtues from the Inner-Srovar (“ਸਰੀਰਿ ਸਰੋਵਰਿ”) via churning the Gurbani (Shabad-Vichaar...).

  • ਅਵਗੁਣੀ ਭਰਪੂਰ ਹੈ ਗੁਣ ਭੀ ਵਸਹਿ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: (The mortal) is overflowing with demerits, but Virtues dwell within him as well. (sggs 936).
  • ਸਰੀਰਿ ਸਰੋਵਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਪਰਗਟਿ ਕੀਏ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਥਿ ਤਤੁ ਕਢੀਏ ॥੪॥੫॥੫੭॥: The body-Srovar (body-pool) yields Virtues. O Nanak! By becoming the Gurmukh, who churns this (body-pool through Shabad-Vichaar), discovers Knowledge (ਤੱਤ ਗਿਆਨ…). ||4||5||57|| (sggs 367).

Two things are clear from the above verses: 1) demerits are foreign to our soul (external, unnatural, not inherent, etc.). And 2) Virtues are native (inherent, natural, etc.). For one’s Mool — the Treasure of all Virtues — is ever present within!

The message of the Gurbani centers on one’s own improvement or self-development — becoming the Gurmukh (who accepts Hukam, ਹੁਕਮੀ ਬੰਦਾ…) through the Bhagti of the Shabad-Vichaar.

  • ਜਿਨ ਗੁਣੁ ਪਲੈ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਮਾਣਕ ਵਣਜਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥: O Nanak! They alone deal in the gem (of Naam, Shabad, Wisdom…) who have Virtue in their purse (i.e., Heart). (sggs 948).
  • ਮਾਨੈ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਸਭੇ ਗੁਣ ਗਿਆਨ ॥: (One who) accepts the Divine Hukam, he is blessed with all Divine Virtues and total Spiritual Wisdom. (sggs 944).

The Gurbani tells us that Virtues (ਗੁਣ) are the best friends. They never desert a person, and always protect him!

  • ਸਜਣ ਸੇਈ ਨਾਲਿ ਮੈ ਚਲਦਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ ਚਲੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ॥ ਜਿਥੈ ਲੇਖਾ ਮੰਗੀਐ ਤਿਥੈ ਖੜੇ ਦਿਸੰਨਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (Virtues – ਗੁਣ) alone are my friends, who (always) travel along with me; and where the accounts are called for (i.e., wherever I’m in trouble, my Virtues) appear standing with me. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 729).

10 replies on “Sharing In Virtues”

Sat Sri Akaal.
thank tou for your articles… alway is a blessing to rerad it.
with respect.
Dr. Sabbar Singh Khalsa.

Yes it is very much true that we have to gain virtues. Man has to gain/develop those virtues /qualities which are in GOD. In Mool Mantar :-
ੴ – indicates that we have to try to attain virtue of Unity.
ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ – indicates that we have to try to attain virtue of Truth/truth full life
ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ – indicates that we have to try to attain virtue of honest earning
ਨਿਰਭਉ – indicates that we have to try to attain virtue of fearless (because GOD
has no fear & He is also fearless)
ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ – indicates that we have to try to attain virtue of No Enemy(because GOD
has no enemy)
ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ – indicates that we have to try to become Example/Picture of truth
ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ – indicates that we have to try for freedom from life/ Birth or death
ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥ – Above virtues will come by Grace of GURU,
if anyone attains/gets above virtues/qualities he/she becomes GOD
ਹਰਿ ਜਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹੋਇਆ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਹਰਿ ਇਕੇ

Bhai Sahib T. Singh jio,
Your efforts are meaningful and the Gurbani messages come out clear. Those who read and understand may one day in life would realise what they have had missed out. To enlighten someone with GUR-SHABAD is the best gift ever that one could offer. Please keep it up, it is helping us all.

Gurbani is eternal package with full of virtues, provided one believes and live accordingly. Gurmukhs who remain dedicated and submitted to God’s WILL surely could enlighten others if one chooses to develop one’s mind. Such is one device to help eradicate indwelling egoist nature. It is true to quote that a man is known by the company he keeps, but one must ensure that he is in the company of the true God lovers; fake groups are common so one must be aware of.

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