The Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS is the ‘Medicine’ that heals a sick mind wounded with suffering inflicted by Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.), bad impact of Maya‘s illusion, ignorance, doubts, two-ness or duality (Doojaa Bhaav), false ego-sense (‘I-ness’, Haumai ), and so on.
The question is: When does this experience of primary, Mayaic illusion start?
The Gurbani indicates it all starts with childhood — the five elemental play.
The function of childhood is to know that we exist (i.e., the self awareness, ‘I’-ness, Haumai, ‘I’-consciousness…).
Prior to that, one has no experience of the ‘I’-consciousness. When this ‘I’-ness appears, the love for existence is the result of this primary illusion (i.e., Maya). Once a person comes to know that he exists, then, he feels like enduring eternally — always wants to exist, always wants to prolong the life, thus always wants to survive etc.
- ਯਾ ਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਏਕਹਿ ਕਉ ਆਇਆ ॥ ਜਨਮਤ ਮੋਹਿਓ ਮੋਹਨੀ ਮਾਇਆ ॥: (Man) is born in this life only to become ONE (with Prabh, Mool, etc. – through Naam…). (But) ever since (man’s) birth, (he) has been enticed and deceived by Maya. (sggs 251).
Because of this Mayaic illusion, the struggle begins!
- ਜਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਾਣਾ ਤਾ ਜੰਮਿਆ ਪਰਵਾਰਿ ਭਲਾ ਭਾਇਆ ॥ ਲਿਵ ਛੁੜਕੀ ਲਗੀ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਅਮਰੁ ਵਰਤਾਇਆ ॥ ਏਹ ਮਾਇਆ ਜਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਮੋਹੁ ਉਪਜੈ ਭਾਉ ਦੂਜਾ ਲਾਇਆ ॥: According to Hukam (System-Rule-Law of Nature), the child is born, and the family is pleased. (After birth) Connection (with Hukam, Mool or Jot Saroop) snaps, and (the child) becomes attached to (Mayaic) desires; (thereafter) the script of Maya runs its course (ਮਾਇਆ ਉਸ ਉਤੇ ਆਪਣਾ ਜੋਰ ਪਾ ਲੈਂਦੀ ਹੈ). This is Maya, by which (1) ‘Hari’ (Mool) is forgotten; (2) (worldly) attachment is born, and (3) the love of duality is set (sggs 921).
- ਦਸ ਮਾਸ ਮਾਤਾ ਉਦਰਿ ਰਾਖਿਆ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਲਾਗੀ ਮਾਇਆ ॥: For ten months you was guarded in mother’s womb, and then afterward (after birth) you were overwhelmed by Maya. (sggs 481).
In other words, in the state of ‘I’-ness, one loves the state of being alive and wants to perpetuate it as long as possible! In nutshell, bound by Maya, man considers himself to be immortal!
- ਹੋਇ ਆਮਰੋ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਮਹਿ ਬੈਠਾ ਕਰਣ ਕਾਰਣ ਬਿਸਰੋਹੀ ॥੨॥: (Man bound by Maya) sits in his body-home considering himself to be immortal; and forgets the Cause of causes (Mool, Source…). ||2|| (sggs 609).
It’s not that Jeeva (individual beings) were born as two separate entities or two minds. NO!
Akin to split peas or split lentils (‘ਦਾਲਿ’), the Jeeva identifies with his body, and thus behaves as split or separate from its Mool (True Nature or Jot Saroop …).
- ਬੀਉ ਬੀਜਿ ਪਤਿ ਲੈ ਗਏ ਅਬ ਕਿਉ ਉਗਵੈ ਦਾਲਿ ॥: Those who planted the seed (of Hari Naam-ਹਰੀ ਦਾ ਨਾਮ ਬੀਜ) have departed with honor; (but) for now the seed cannot sprout (because of duality, fragmentation-ਦਾਲ ਵਾਂਗ ਦੋ-ਫਾੜ, ਭਾਵ ਦੁਚਿੱਤਾ-ਪਨ…). (sggs 468).
The reason Naam or Shabad (Wisdom…) is said to be the Ultimate Medicine is that it cures the subtle diseases of the illusioned mind — Bikaar (i.e. lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride…), ignorance, doubts, duality, Haumai (‘I-ness’), depression, stress, tension, anxiety, worries, stubborn mindedness etc.
- ਰੋਗ ਦੋਖ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਨਿਵਾਰੇ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਅਉਖਧੁ ਮਨ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਸਾਰੇ ॥: Through the Gur-Shabad (Gur-Upadesh, Brahm-Giaan, Divine Wisdom…), become free of the diseases and Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.). Keep the mind under the control of the Naam-medicine (sggs 1148).
- ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਅਵਖਧੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਰਸੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਵੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Who kept the Naam-Medicine in their mouths (the disease of spiritual death was removed from within them) with the blessing of Gur-Shabad they drank Amrit of Naam (Wisdom) which gives spiritual life. (sggs 374).
- ਦੁਖ ਮਹੁਰਾ ਮਾਰਣ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ॥ ਸਿਲਾ ਸੰਤੋਖ ਪੀਸਣੁ ਹਥਿ ਦਾਨੁ ॥ ਨਿਤ ਨਿਤ ਲੇਹੁ ਨ ਛੀਜੈ ਦੇਹ ॥ ਅੰਤ ਕਾਲਿ ਜਮੁ ਮਾਰੈ ਠੇਹ ॥੧॥ ਐਸਾ ਦਾਰੂ ਖਾਹਿ ਗਵਾਰ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਖਾਧੈ ਤੇਰੇ ਜਾਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Sufferings that have become poison due to Vikaar (i.e. lust, anger, greed etc.), the divine Naam (Giaan or Wsdom) is the antidote. Grind it up in the mortar of contentment, make the Daan (i.e. giving of Giaan or Wisdom etc. to help others or needy) a grindstone in your hand. Take this (medicine) everyday, and your body will not pine and waste away (i.e. diminute). Otherwise you will have to bear the brunt of Vikaar. ||1|| O foolish (mind)! Take such medicine, by which (the bad impact of) Vikaar leave you alone (i.e. stay at bay). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1257).
Without such transformation, it is not possible to understand and assimilate the Gurbani. Ultimately, that purification leads to Mool-abidance, which is the purpose of life. By reflecting on the Gurbani, Virtues such as Truth (Sach-ਸਚ) gets predominant, then the mind gets purified and the intellect Awakens to the Wisdom.
- ਮਨੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਪਰਤੀਤਿ ਹੋਇ ਹਉਮੈ ਤਜੇ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥: When one’s mind dies in the Shabad gains Knowledge and conviction, and (he) sheds egotism and ‘Bikaar’ (lust, anger, greed etc.). (sggs 162).
- ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਏਹ ਪੂਜਾ ਥਾਇ ਪਾਈ ॥੫॥: Sabadi mrai manu nirmalu santahu Eh Poojaa Thaai Paaee (sggs 910).
If and when the mind deviates from Truth (Sach-ਸਚ), there is some mental disorder which is termed ‘sickness’ (‘ਰੋਗ’). On account of this disorder, the Rajo quality (ਰਜੋ ਗੁਣ) makes our mind wander in all directions, and the Tamo quality (ਤਮੋ ਗੁਣ) claims doership for those activities.
Now, how do the doctors rectify our bodily sickness? We wait patiently in a doctor’s clinic, until the doctor is able to examine us, diagnose the problem and prescribe medication.
Similarly — approaching the Gurbani with the same patience, trust, and determination — we learn from the Gurbani, and gain Wisdom. Whosoever is willing to take this Ultimate Medicine of Truth rectifies the disorder of the mind and then the sickness is cured.
- ਅਉਖੀ ਘੜੀ ਨ ਦੇਖਣ ਦੇਈ ਅਪਨਾ ਬਿਰਦੁ ਸਮਾਲੇ ॥: Aware of his innate nature, (a Wise person) does not see the difficult hour (i.e. a Wise man makes difficult times easy ). (sggs 682).
People who have their minds afflicted with this disorder (‘sickness’) are called in the Gurbani Manmukhs, Saakat, Mayadhaaree, etc.
- ਦੁਖ ਮਹਿ ਜਨਮੈ ਦੁਖ ਮਹਿ ਮਰਣਾ ॥ ਦੂਖੁ ਨ ਮਿਟੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸਰਣਾ ॥ ਦੂਖੀ ਉਪਜੈ ਦੂਖੀ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਕਿਆ ਲੈ ਆਇਆ ਕਿਆ ਲੈ ਜਾਹਾ ਹੇ ॥੧੨॥: (A Manmukh, a mentally blind person) is born in pain, and dies in pain. Pain is not relieved without seeking the Sanctuary of the Gur-Giaan (living daily life by the Guru’s Wisdom or Bibek). In pain he is born, and in pain he perishes. What has he brought with himself? And what will he take away (i.e., he will have nothing to show for in his life except pain)? ||12|| (sggs 1033).
The people who have overcome this disorder by applying the Ultimate Medicine of the Gurbani’s Wisdom (Upadesh…) are called Gurmukhs in the Gurbani.
- ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਰੋਗੀ ਰੋਗੀ ਸਗਲ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝਹਿ ਰੋਗੁ ਗਵਾਵਹਿ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਵੀਚਾਰਾ ॥੧॥: The Manmukh ever remains afflicted with the disease of duality; the entire (self-willed) world remains diseased. (But) the Gurmukh understands (ਸਹੀ ਜੀਵਨ-ਜੁਗਤਿ), and through Reflecting on the Gur-Shabad gets rid of the disease (from within). ||1|| (sggs 1130).
Ultimate Medicine (i.e., Gur-Giaan, Bibek or Wisdom) prescribed by the Physician of the Gurbani helps transcend Maya while living in the midst of it!
Owning to jealousy, we see this in the world that those in power do not want anyone else to come to power. Also, those who are rich cannot tolerate anyone else becoming rich.
However, the Gurbani is ever glad to instruct everybody in the world, equally!
The Gurbani teaches us how to discard what is unessential, and benefit from what is essential.
Birds peck through dust and grass to get at even a tiny grain that might lie hidden beneath. Likewise, the Gurbani shows us how to take only what is important, and ignore what is harmful and unessential.
- ਨਾਨਕ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਮਾਰਣੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥੨॥:O Nanak! Shabad is the killer of Maya (ਮਾਇਆ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਭਾਵ ਮੁਕਾਣ ਦਾ ਵਸੀਲਾ), and it is obtained by becoming the Gurmukh ||2|| (sggs 853).
- ਨਾਨਕ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਮਾਰਣੁ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥੧॥: Naam (Wisdom, Virtue, Truth…) is an antidote to Maya and through the Guru, which is obtained or realized by becoming the Gurmukh. (sggs 513).
Our minds are heavily conditioned, fragmented, and deep in contradiction. The Gurbani’s Wisdom Guides us to reverse this whole process of chaos, conflict, to a state of Wisdom, simplicity, naturalness, and order (Sahaj), Sukh Saagar…
- ਸੋ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਕਥੀਅਲੇ ਸੋ ਵੈਦੁ ਜਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਰੋਗੀ ॥: One is said to be a Guru, a Sikh, and a physician, who knows the patient’s illness (sggs 503).