All forms are a result of the play of the five elements or Maya, including the human body. With the form of the body, false ego-sense appears. All human sufferings begin after this psychological construction called false ego-sense (Haumai) has arisen.
The Gurbani asserts that without understanding or knowing one’s own true self, his doubts (Bharam) will not leave him alone!
- ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਆਪਾ ਚੀਨੈ ਮਿਟੈ ਨ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੀ ਕਾਈ ॥: O Daas Nanak! Without Realizing one’s own self (Mool, Original, or True Nature, etc. – ਆਪਣਾ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਪਰਖਣ ਤੋਂ ਬਿਨਾ, etc.), the moss of doubt (ignorance of one’s True Nature, etc.) is not eradicated (from the mind) ||2||1|| (sggs 684).
We are not the body
Simply put, false ego-sense means accepting this gross body as oneself.
The Gurbani Teaches us the body-consciousness or “I-am-the body” idea is erroneous – mistaken identity. This error arises out of love or attachment to gross body-frame, which is indicative of Haumai (false ego-sense), Bharam (doubts), Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.), hunger for Maya (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ) …
Hence, body-consciousness is Maya-consciousness, for according to the Gurbani, the gross body is nothing but Maya!
- ਇਹੁ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਪੁਤਲਾ ਵਿਚਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਦੁਸਟੀ ਪਾਈ ॥: This body is the puppet of Maya. The evil of egotism is within it (sggs 31).
Due to material conditionings, the consciousness mistakenly attaches itself to the body, and, in this body identity, it then works through innate tendencies, attributes, dispositions or Maya. In this ignorance, we take our physical body as the base point and see ourselves existing in time and space.
- ਕਾਇਆ ਮਿਟੀ ਅੰਧੁ ਹੈ ਪਉਣੈ ਪੁਛਹੁ ਜਾਇ ॥: The body is (just) the blind dust (ignorant, inert in itself, etc.), go and ask the soul. (sggs 511).
Therefore, the Gurbani has painstakingly explained the need to understand the difference between one’s external body (“ਬਿਦੇਹੀ”-Bidehee; Pindaa-ਪਿੰਡਾ…), and one’s Soul that is Formless, Immortal, and Undying (“ਦੇਹੀ ਗੁਪਤ”-Gupat Dehee; Inner Kaaiaa, subtle body…). The external body has a temporary existence, and is visible to the physical eyes (“ਬਿਦੇਹੀ ਦੀਸੈ”). To the contrary, the Gupat Dehee or Kaaiaa (“ਦੇਹੀ ਗੁਪਤ”) cannot be seen with the physical eyes of the external body.
- ਦੇਹੀ ਗੁਪਤ ਬਿਦੇਹੀ ਦੀਸੈ ॥: Dehee (ਦੇਹੀ – subtle body within) is hidden; Bidehee (ਬਿਦੇਹੀ – gross, external body) is seen (sggs 900).
Opposite of the body-consciousness is the Shabad-Consciousness (Shabad-Surti consciousness of the Divine Wisdom or Giaan).
- ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਭਵ ਸਾਗਰੁ ਤਰੀਐ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਖਾਣੇ ॥: O Nanak! With consciousness focused on the Shabad, one crosses over the terrifying world-ocean (of Maya). (sggs 938).
We are even not the mind
The mind is a phantom! In fact, all religions exist because there exists this phantom called the mind.
The Spiritual Knowledge (Brahm-Giaan) of the Gurbani is meant to annihilate body-consciousness (Mayaic-mind, Haumai…) and jolt the mind into abiding in its Mool (Source, Origin, True Nature, Joti…).
But this will not happen until we gain insights into the disorder created by the conditioned thinking (Soch) of the conditioned or “Pardaesee” mind (strange, wandering, alien, outsider…).
- ਮਨੁ ਪਰਦੇਸੀ ਜੇ ਥੀਐ ਸਭੁ ਦੇਸੁ ਪਰਾਇਆ ॥੭॥: If the mind becomes a stranger (to its Mool, within), then all the world becomes a stranger to him. ||7||(sggs 767).
The river is characterized as fast, turbulent, slow, calm, clean and muddy if the water in the river is fast, turbulent, slow, calm, clean and muddy, respectively. Similarly, the mind is said to be agitated, worried, anxious, stressful, vulgar, clean, pure and calm if the thoughts are agitated, worried, anxious, stressful, vulgar, clean, pure and calm, respectively.
Just as a drunkard person sees objects moving, the ignorant one sees movement in this world and sees diversity in the unity. Thus, the mind is able to veil the All pervading, Infinite Consciousness and confound it with the inert physical body-frame. Once so confounded with the limited body consciousness, the Soul can no longer express its omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence.
- ਮਾਇਆ ਡੋਲੈ ਬਹੁ ਬਿਧੀ ਮਨੁ ਲਪਟਿਓ ਤਿਹ ਸੰਗ ॥: Maya wavers many ways, the mind clings to this (Maya, also wavers many ways). (sggs 258).
- ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਕੋਈ ਖੋਜਹੁ ਭਾਈ ॥ … ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਨਹੀ ਆਵਨ ਜਾਨਾ ॥ ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਭਰਮੁ ਗਇਆ ਤਿਨਿ ਸਾਚੁ ਪਛਾਨਾ ॥੬॥ ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਰੂਪੁ ਨ ਰੇਖਿਆ ਕਾਈ ॥ ਹੁਕਮੇ ਹੋਇਆ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਬੂਝਿ ਸਮਾਈ ॥੭॥ ..: O brother! Let someone search this mind … This mind does not come and go. (One) whose doubt is dispelled, knows the Truth. ||6|| This mind has no form or outline. It happens in Hukam (Law Of Nature) and, by understanding Hukam, it gets absorbed into Hukam again …. (sggs 330).
The mind’s True Nature
The SGGS reminds the mind of its True Nature — “Joti Saroop(u)-ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ”.
- ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਅਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੫॥: Thus says Nanak – O mind! You are “Joti Saroop(u)” (Pure Light or Consciousness, Pure Nature, Original or Real Nature …)! Recognize your Mool (Source, Origin, Base, Reality, Divine Nature…) ||5|| (sggs 441).
The Gurbani asserts that the One “Joti” is the True Base (Adhaar) or Substratum of all. As ocean is the base of the wave, similarly, the This One Reality is the Substratum of our ego-consciousness and all subsequent manifestations. Ocean is the metaphor for the one’s True Self, and the wave is the metaphor for the false ego-sense arising on the True Self. Our body is the food for this false ego-sense 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, only the “Joti Saroop(u)-ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ” remains, which was present prior to the appearance of the physical body or the rise of the false ego-sense (Haumai).
- ਜੋਤਿ ਜੀਅ ਅਸੰਖ ਦੇਇ ਅਧਾਰੁ ॥੫॥: “Joti” is the Base (Substratum, Support…) of innumerable beings. ||5|| (sggs 1190).
Simply put, the mind is the separation from its Mool. Wider the gap of this separation, denser the mind — thicker the Haumai or false ego-sense. Hence, the mind happens to us, we don’t happen to the mind!
However, instead, the Gurbani says the mortal thinks himself as ego-center (Haumai). That is, the majority of us mistakenly confound our Mool with the body-mind-intellect personality. The fire of this ego-center (lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, stubbornness, enviousness, etc.) burns within and keeps our doubt-ridden mind separated from its Mool (Source…).
- ਕਬੀਰ ਪਰਦੇਸੀ ਕੈ ਘਾਘਰੈ ਚਹੁ ਦਿਸਿ ਲਾਗੀ ਆਗਿ ॥: O Kabeer! The kilt (of sense-organs) of this alien (i.e., mind-“ਮਨੁ ਪਰਦੇਸੀ”) has caught fire on all four sides (i.e., fire of Bikaar – lust, anger, greed, etc.). (sggs 1366).
Immediate knowledge of mind’s True Nature — “Joti Saroop(u)-ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ”
“Joti” simply means Light. The word “Saroop(u)” (or Saroop) is made of two words, namely “Sa” or “Sva” and “Roopu“. The first part “Sva” means “your own”, and the second part “Roop(u)” means “true state, true embodiment, etc. The SGGS asserts we are That “Joti-Saroopu” — the true state of the mind prior to the movement of the false ego-sense (Haumai).
As indicated in the Gurbani, the steps for realizing one’s Jot Saroop entail eradicating the false ego-sense, renouncing the crooked ways of the objective world, and transcending the three Gunas of Maya. To accomplish this task, the conviction that “we are the “Joti-Saroop(u)” and not the physical body” is must.
To that end, the Gur-Shabad is the indispensable aid. For the Gur-Shabad is like ice (“ਹਿਵ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਸਬਦੁ”) that cools the mind with Aatam-Giaan (Gurmat, Teaching of the Gurbani, Wisdom or Divine Knowledge of the Gurbani…).
- ਅੰਤਰਿ ਅਗਨਿ ਸਬਲ ਅਤਿ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਹਿਵ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰ ਦੀਜੈ ॥: The powerful fire of Maya (desires, Bikaars…) is raging greatly within (Jeeva-individual beings); (O Raam!) Give (me) the ice-cold Gur-Shabad (so that the raging fire of Maya may be quenched). (sggs 1325).
The mind that dies in the Shabad (Shabad-Vichaar) gains the Divine Wisdom, which makes the mind stable (“ਨਿਹਚਲੁ”) and helps transcend Maya and recognize the Truth. The Shabad-Vichaar insures Jeeva’s constant “Vigaasu-ਵਿਗਾਸੁ” (growth of Aatam-Giaan, Divine Knowledge, Inner Blossoming …).
- ਜਿਉ ਮੰਦਰ ਕਉ ਥਾਮੈ ਥੰਮਨੁ ॥ ਤਿਉ ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਮਨਹਿ ਅਸਥੰਮਨੁ ॥: As a pillar supports a building, similarly, the Gur-Shabad is the mind’s support. (sggs 282).
Because — according to the Gurbani — it’s only the Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom…) that can stabilize the doubt-ridden mind. In nutshell, without Shabad-Vichaar, true understanding of the Spiritual Wisdom of the Gurmat cannot be realized and the mind cannot be annihilated (conquered …).
- ਮਨ ਸਮਝਾਵਨ ਕਾਰਨੇ ਕਛੂਅਕ ਪੜੀਐ ਗਿਆਨ ॥੫॥: To instruct the mind one ought to study Knowledge to some extent. ||5|| (sggs 340).
Hence, the Gurbani urges us to go beyond Maya or body-consciousness (“Basai Thaani Oochai-ਬਸੈ ਥਾਨਿ ਊਚੈ”) by inculcating the outgoing mind (“ਮਨ ਸਮਝਾਵਨ”) with the Wisdom or Bibek-Budh of the Gurbani obtained through its constant churning (Shabad-Vichaar). Because, according to the Gurbani, the mind can only be annihilated by Spiritual Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad (“ਗਿਆਨ ਕਾ ਬਧਾ ਮਨੁ ਰਹੈ”).
In nutshell, the Gurbani reminds the fickle mind of its True or Original Nature — “Joti Saroopu-ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ”.
Therefore, if we have to think, the Gurbani teaches us to think “I am “Joti Saroop(u)”-ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ” (Unconditioned Consciousness, Pure Awareness …).
The SGGS provides us with the immediate Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan) of that which already exists — “Joti Svroop(u) – ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ”. This Divine Knowledge is the only means of realizing the Mool!
- ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕਾ ਭੋਜਨੁ ਗਿਆਨ ॥: Spiritual Wisdom (ਉੱਚੀ ਸਮਝ, etc.) is the food of the Brahm Giaanee – the knower of Truth. (sggs 273).
The nature of the Gurmukh (Bhagat, Daas, Jan, Brahm-Giaanee, Jeevanmukta...) is the Nature of Aatmaa (“Joti Saroopu-ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ”…) or Pure Awareness and there are no external features by which such an individual can be identified. Only such Gursikhs (learners of the Wisdom of the SGGS) solve the Riddle!
Clearly, since the SGGS is the Giaan-Guru, the Way of the Gurbani is the Way of the Divine Wisdom or Giaan realized through proper Understanding. Because, as the Gurbani indicates, one is sure to get plundered due to lack of Wisdom (Giaan Ratan)!
- ਗਿਆਨ ਵਿਹੂਣਾ ਕਿਛੂ ਨ ਸੂਝੈ ॥: Without Spiritual Wisdom, (one) understands nothing at all (sggs 1044).