The Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ) is that unless one is spiritually Awakened, he is not yet alive — he is as dead (Aatmac Maut-ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤੇ ਮਰਿਆ)!
Consider the following verses (and many more alike) in which we are told that anybody who has forsaken the Shabad (Hukam, Naam, Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani…) or the Mool (Source, Jot, Pure Presence…) is as dead in this world!
- ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜਿਨੀ ਨ ਸੇਵਿਓ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਕੀਤੋ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਆਇਓ ਮਿਰਤਕੁ ਹੈ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ॥: (Those Jeev) who have not served the “Satiguru” – have not engaged in the Shabad-Vichaar – (in this way) no Divine Wisdom has dawned in their Heart, (they may appear as alive but they) are as dead in the world (spiritually dead-ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ). (sggs 88).
- ਸੋ ਜੀਵਿਆ ਜਿਸੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸਿਆ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਜੀਵੈ ਕੋਇ ॥: (In reality) Only that person is truly alive within whose mind That (Mool, Prabh…) abides. O Nanak! No one else is truly alive (sggs 142).
- ਹਰਿ ਬਿਸਰਤ ਸੋ ਮੂਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: One who forgets “Hari” (Mool, Virtues, Wisdom, Truth…) is dead (death of divine life – ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 407).
Clearly, here the Gurbani is talking about the “dead” or “alive” from a spiritual standpoint!
From a spiritual standpoint, the Gurbani Teaches us that to be born is one thing but to be truly alive quite another!
Simply put, to be born is to be just biologically here in this world — the gross-body consciousness, ego-centric personality. In the gross-body consciousness, we confound our Jot-Sraoop (spiritual truth, our True Nature…) with the body-mind-intellect or an egocentric personality.
However, on the other hand, to be truly alive is a totally different dimension — the dimension of spirituality, the dimension of Gurmukh Lifestyle, the dimension of Divine Life, the dimension of Awakened State, the dimension of being established in Brahm-Giaan (Divine Wisdom, Divine Virtues…); the dimension of knowing the own self; the dimension of seeing the True Nature; the dimension of Mool-realization (Source, Jot, Hari, Gobind, Raam, Gusaaee, Allaah…) etc.
- ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪੈ ਸੋ ਜੀਵੈ ॥: O Nanak! That person alone lives who understands the Naam (Shabad, Hukam, Brahm Giaan, the Divine Wisdom…). (sggs 200).
- ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸਦ ਜੀਵੈ ਨਹੀ ਮਰਤਾ ॥: Brahm Giaanee ever lives and never dies (sggs 273).
- ਜੀਵਨੋ ਮੈ ਜੀਵਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਭਾਏ ਰਾਮ ॥: Jeevano mai jeevanu paaiaa… (sggs 442).
There are two polarities in us: the head and the Heart. Gurmukh-hood means a great synthesis of both, head and Heart. When the Pure Heart is joined together with a sharp Bibek-Budhi of the Gurbani (Parchand Giaan or the sharp Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani), then there is a great change, a transformation. That’s what being truly alive or Aware is all about (Aatmak Jeevan – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ). The Gurbani Teaches us:
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਇ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨਹੀ ਮਰਨਾ ॥੪॥੬॥੯॥: Become the Gurmukh, and you shall never have to die again (spiritual death – ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ). ||4||6||9|| (sggs 872).
Thus, to be truly alive, the Gurbani urges us to move from the biological dimension to the spiritual dimension (realm of Truth, Gurmukh-hood, Brahm Giaan, Divine Wisdom…). If one keeps living at just biologically level, in fact he lives not. He only appears to live — he is living purposelessly, fruitlessly.
However, to move from the biological realm to the spiritual realm is difficult and arduous — the greatest challenge there is! It is like racing along the razor’s edge or chewing the steel balls with the teeth of wax…
- ਮੈਣ ਕੇ ਦੰਤ ਕਿਉ ਖਾਈਐ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: How can iron be chewed with the teeth of wax? (sggs 943).
- ਮਾਨ ਮੋਹ ਮੇਰ ਤੇਰ ਬਿਬਰਜਿਤ ਏਹੁ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਖੰਡੇ ਧਾਰ ॥: To forsake pride, attachment, and the sense of “mine and yours” (ego-sense), is the path of the double-edged sword (sggs 534).
Thus, to move from the biological realm to the spiritual realm is a quantum leap from the body-consciousness to the soul-consciousness, from the visible to the Invisible, from the form to the Formless, from the perishable to the Imperishable, from the material to the Immaterial, from the mortal to the Immortal, from the time to the Timelessness, from Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.) to the Divine Virtues, from the Mamukh lifestyle to the Gurmukh Lifestyle, from out to in…
However, Truth can only be there when deceit, falsehood, dissimulation, mental crookedness, lust, anger, greed, etc., are all defeated and thus one’s total energy is available and focused on the ONE. Only then one will be truly alive (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ)!
- ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋਈ ਜੀਵਿਆ ਜਿਨਿ ਇਕੁ ਪਛਾਤਾ ॥੬॥: O Nanak! That person alone lives who recognizes (or realizes) the One (Mool, Prabh…). ||6|| (sggs 319).