Ways of the World

The Gurbani urges us to renounce ways of the worldly people (ਲੋਗਾ ਰੀਤਿ, ਲੋਕ ਲਾਜ etc.) for the world is consumed by hidden fire (of worldly temptations and their corrupting influences – Maya). Because, if one cares about what worldly people think, then he/she will always be their prisoner!

  • ਪ੍ਰਥਮੇ ਤਿਆਗੀ ਹਉਮੈ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ॥ ਦੁਤੀਆ ਤਿਆਗੀ ਲੋਗਾ ਰੀਤਿ ॥ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਦੁਰਜਨ ਮੀਤ ਸਮਾਨੇ ॥ : (With Naam: Giyan-Wisdom…) first, I renounced my love of egotism (ਹਉਮੈ). Second, I renounced the ways of the world. Then I gave up the three qualities of Maya and understood enemy and friend as the same (friend only). (sggs 370).
  • ਗੂਝੀ ਭਾਹਿ ਜਲੈ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ਭਗਤ ਨ ਬਿਆਪੈ ਮਾਇਆ ॥੪॥ : The world is being consumed by this (Maya’s) HIDDEN FIRE, but Maya does not cling to the Bhagat. ||4|| (sggs 673).

A real Bhagat (the Gurmukh/Enlightened being) is never recognized by his/her own family or community! To the contrary, upon seeing you practice Bhagati, the family members, relatives, friends, neighbors etc. immediate start behaving contemptuously — rolling eyebrows, crossing eyes, laughing sarcastically, calling names, and so on. Thus, if anything, they become the source of distraction and hurdle to seekers of the Truth.

  • ਭਗਤਾ ਤੈ ਸੈਸਾਰੀਆ ਜੋੜੁ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਆਇਆ ॥ : There can never be true alliance or connection (of nature, thinking, habits etc.) between the Bhagats (Gurmukh, Daas, Jan etc.) and the worldly people. (sggs 145).
  • ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਦਾਸ ਸਿਉ ਸਾਕਤ ਨਹੀ ਸੰਗੁ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਬਿਖਈ ਓਸੁ ਰਾਮ ਕੋ ਰੰਗੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਮਨ ਅਸਵਾਰ ਜੈਸੇ ਤੁਰੀ ਸੀਗਾਰੀ ॥ ਗਾਡਰ ਲੇ ਕਾਮਧੇਨੁ ਕਰਿ ਪੂਜੀ ॥ ਜਿਉ ਕਾਪੁਰਖੁ ਪੁਚਾਰੈ ਨਾਰੀ ॥੧॥ ਬੈਲ ਕਉ ਨੇਤ੍ਰਾ ਪਾਇ ਦੁਹਾਵੈ ॥ ਗਊ ਚਰਿ ਸਿੰਘ ਪਾਛੈ ਪਾਵੈ ॥੨॥ ਸਉਦੇ ਕਉ ਧਾਵੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਪੂੰਜੀ ॥੩॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਿ ਚੀਤ ॥ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਹਰਿ ਸਾ ਮੀਤ ॥੪॥੯੧॥੧੬੦॥ : A Saakat (Unenlightened mind or thought process) does not associate with a spiritually Enlightened person. (Because) the ‘Saakat‘ is caught in the clutches of sensuousness, while the spirituality Enlightened person is imbued with the love of God. ||1||Pause|| There association would be like an untrained person riding a decorated mare, or an impotent man trying to seduce a woman. ||1|| There association would be like a person trying milk a bull by putting a cord around its legs, or a person trying to chase a lion while riding a cow. ||2|| There association would be like worshipping a sheep mistaking it for ‘Kamdhenu‘, or a person going to market to buy merchandise without any money. ||3|| Nanak, realize God’s Naam in the mind. Remember the Creator who is like a Best Friend. ||4||91||160|| (sggs 198).

The Gurbani urges us not be concerned as to what family members or worldly people would think if you started practicing Bhagti (living the Gurmukh Lifestyle). What the Gurbani says matters the most. If one is sincere, nothing can stop his Spiritual Unfoldment.

  • ਤੇਰੀ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਛੋਡਉ ਕਿਆ ਕੋ ਹਸੈ: I will not renounce Your Bhagti, O Lord; what does it matter if people laugh at me? (sggs 1170).
  • ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਸਿਮਰਹ ਨਾਮੁ ਤਜਿ ਲਾਜ ਲੋਕਾਣੀਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Ignoring the criticism of others, night and day remember Naam (Wisdom/Virtues…) ||1|| Pause || (sggs 399). …).

In this context, the best example can be given of Baabaa Nanak – people contemptuously would call him names such as spirit, demon, etc. Did this sort of worldly nonsense cause him to give up his Unique and Revolutionary Gurmat Bhagti? No! Guru Nanak’s life teaches us very important lesson: One must give up shame or reserve (Lok-Laaj) when it comes to Bhagti. Spiritual glory and behavior of God-intoxicated beings are beyond the understanding of an ordinary human being of limited spiritual vision.

  • ਕੋਈ ਆਖੈ ਭੂਤਨਾ ਕੋ ਕਹੈ ਬੇਤਾਲਾ ॥ ਕੋਈ ਆਖੈ ਆਦਮੀ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਵੇਚਾਰਾ ॥੧॥: (For not following the worldly ways…) Some call (Nanak) ‘Bhootanaa’ (a ghost…); some call ‘Betaalaa’ (demon…); Some call ‘Vaechaara’ (wretched, helpless, poor…). ||1|| (sggs 991).

If people can call Guru Nanak demon, ghost etc. then what to speak of us! Think about it!

The Gurbani further Enlightens us regarding the strange ways of the world.

  • ਖੋਟੇ ਕਉ ਖਰਾ ਕਹੈ ਖਰੇ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ॥ ਅੰਧੇ ਕਾ ਨਾਉ ਪਾਰਖੂ ਕਲੀ ਕਾਲ ਵਿਡਾਣੈ ॥੩॥ ਸੂਤੇ ਕਉ ਜਾਗਤੁ ਕਹੈ ਜਾਗਤ ਕਉ ਸੂਤਾ ॥ ਜੀਵਤ ਕਉ ਮੂਆ ਕਹੈ ਮੂਏ ਨਹੀ ਰੋਤਾ ॥੪॥ ਆਵਤ ਕਉ ਜਾਤਾ ਕਹੈ ਜਾਤੇ ਕਉ ਆਇਆ ॥ ਪਰ ਕੀ ਕਉ ਅਪੁਨੀ ਕਹੈ ਅਪੁਨੋ ਨਹੀ ਭਾਇਆ ॥੫॥ ਮੀਠੇ ਕਉ ਕਉੜਾ ਕਹੈ ਕੜੂਏ ਕਉ ਮੀਠਾ ॥ ਰਾਤੇ ਕੀ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਐਸਾ ਕਲਿ ਮਹਿ ਡੀਠਾ ॥੬॥ ਚੇਰੀ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਨਹੀ ਦੀਸੈ ॥ ਪੋਖਰੁ ਨੀਰੁ ਵਿਰੋਲੀਐ ਮਾਖਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਰੀਸੈ ॥੭॥ : Ignorant people consider falsehood to be true; (unfortunately) they are not wise to recognize the true. The blind (mentally blind i.e. ignorant or foolish) man is known as an appraiser (or wise); this is the sign of Kal Yuga (i.e. Kal Yuga = corrupt state of the mind). ||3|| A person in love with Maya (worldly attractions and their corrupting influences) is called spiritually Awake, and the person who is spiritually Awake is called asleep. The worldly people consider the spiritually alive person dead but does not grieve over the one who is spiritually dead. ||4|| A person who is on a spiritual journey is considered lost in life and the one who is actually lost in life (worldly pursuits etc.), his coming into this world is deemed fruitful. Worldly people like the worldly wealth which is fleeting and pass on others, but do not like divine Naam-Wealth which could actually be their own. ||5|| There are those who call Sweet (i.e. divine Naam) as bitter and the bitter (vices/Bikaar) as sweet. In Kali Yuga (corrupt state of the mind) this is being seen that the one who is imbued in divine life is slandered. ||6|| People serve the Maya, the maid of God, but not God. No butter can be obtained by churning a pond water (i.e. the way of the world is like churning the pond water and expecting to experience Bliss…). ||7|| (sggs 229).
  • ਜੀਵਨ ਤਲਬ ਨਿਵਾਰਿ ॥ ਹੋਵੈ ਪਰਵਾਣਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਧਿਙਾਣਾ ਕਲਿ ਲਖਣ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ … ਜੇ ਕੋ ਸਤੁ ਕਰੇ ਸੋ ਛੀਜੈ ਤਪ ਘਰਿ ਤਪੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਨਾਉ ਲਏ ਬਦਨਾਵੀ ਕਲਿ ਕੇ ਲਖਣ ਏਈ ॥੩॥ : (O Pujaaree) renounce selfishness from your life (‘Talab‘ of life – selfishness, sense slavery, ਖ਼ੁਦ-ਗ਼ਰਜ਼ੀ…). Swayed by selfishness people oppress the powerless and to them this oppression is acceptable; deem this oppression as the sign of Kali Yuga (i.e. the so called Kali Yuga is the corrupt state of the mind which plays in the minds of people and nowhere else). ||1||Pause||  … If someone practices Truth, he is looked down by others; if one claims to practice Tapa (i.e. penance), if one claims to practice Tapa (i.e. penance), his senses are out of control. If someone remembers Naam (i.e. live a life of Wisdom/Virtues, Truth…) then he is defamed; these are the signs of Kali Yuga (i.e. man’s corrupt state of the mind). ||3|| (sggs 902).

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1 comment

  1. Well articulated thoughts supported by Gurbani.

    As long as we are convinced we are right, we should pay no heed to how will the ‘world’ take it.

    “Le de k apne paas faqat ik nazar to hai
    Kyon dekhein zindagi ko kisi ki nazar se hum”

    Regards

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