Pursuit of knowledge must lead to truthful living. Therefore, unless knowledge changes one’s life in the direction of Truth — man’s essential state — it’s useless. One can spend all his life hearing about Truth; reading loads of books about Truth; contemplating day and night on Truth; teaching or preaching Truth; writing volumes about Truth; giving sermons on Truth; following all religions, paths or cults of the world; but none of these will help Realize the Divine Presence unless one lives a truthful life in the “now” and “here”. This is but Baabaa Nanak means in the following verse:
- ਮਨਹਠ ਬੁਧੀ ਕੇਤੀਆ ਕੇਤੇ ਬੇਦ ਬੀਚਾਰ ॥ ਕੇਤੇ ਬੰਧਨ ਜੀਅ ਕੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮੋਖ ਦੁਆਰ ॥ ਸਚਹੁ ਓਰੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਉਪਰਿ ਸਚੁ ਆਚਾਰੁ ॥੫॥ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਊਚਾ ਆਖੀਐ ਨੀਚੁ ਨ ਦੀਸੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਇਕਨੈ ਭਾਂਡੇ ਸਾਜਿਐ ਇਕੁ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਤਿਹੁ ਲੋਇ ॥ ਕਰਮਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਸਚੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਧੁਰਿ ਬਖਸ ਨ ਮੇਟੈ ਕੋਇ ॥੬॥ : There are so many stubborn minded (self-centered) people who perform austerities and so many who deliberate on the Vedas to obtain liberation. They create so many obstacles and entanglements for themselves whereas a Gurmukh (Enlightened being…) obtains liberation. Truth is higher than everything, but higher still is truthful living. ॥5॥ Regard everyone exalted as there is no one of low caste. The One, Whose Light shines everywhere creates all. It is the immutable Hukam (Cosmic Law) that one realizes the Creator through one’s deeds only. ॥6॥ (sggs 62).
- ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਮਹਲੁ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਸਾਚੁ ਨ ਚੀਤਿ ॥: Tab lag mahal na paaeeai jab lag saach n cheeti: As long as the Truth does not enter into the consciousness, the Divine Presence is not realized (sggs 58).
Thus, the Gurbani puts tremendous importance on truthful living. Why?
Dishonesty never goes unpunished. If someone is dishonest and prosperous at the same time, we may think it like a travesty of justice. While the prosperity of a dishonest person may go unpunished for a while, but it is only a question of time before he pays for his dishonesty. Why?
The Gurbani’s God dwells within the body.
So, while human beings can be duped, can the Indweller be so duped?
The Gurbani’s answer is no.
We cannot hide from the All-pervading and All-seeing Consciousness.
- ਹਰਿ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਨਾਲੇ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਨਾਲੇ ਕਹੁ ਤਿਸੁ ਪਾਸਹੁ ਮਨ ਕਿਆ ਚੋਰਈਐ ॥: The Lord is inside (each being – ਅੰਗ-ਸੰਗ), and (also) outside. (Then) tell me, O mind! How can You hide anything from Him (i.e., All-pervading: ਸਰਬ-ਵਿਆਪਕ)? (sggs 861).
The Gurbani tells us we cannot hide our actions (ਕਰਤੂਤ, deeds, conduct, work, business, manner of our life, etc.) from the All-knowing Presence within. However, in our foolishness, ignorance, evil-mindedness and egotism (Manmukhtaa), we think we can trick the All-watching Presence within
- ਅਗਹੁ ਦੇਖੈ ਪਿਛਹੁ ਦੇਖੈ ਤੁਝ ਤੇ ਕਹਾ ਛਪਾਵੈ ॥੩॥: ||3|| Agahu dekhai pichhahu dekhai tujh te kahaa chhapaavai ||3||: (while looting and bringing the loot home, one) looks in front, and looks behind ( so nobody can see him), but (The fool does not understand that O Lord!) where could (he) hide from You? ||3|| (sggs 156).
- ਲੂਕਿ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਕਿਸ ਤੇ ਜਾ ਵੇਖੈ ਸਦਾ ਹਦੂਰਿ ॥ ਥਾਨ ਥਨੰਤਰਿ ਰਵਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਭਰਪੂਰਿ ॥੩॥: Looki kamaavai kis te jaa vekhai sadaa hadoori. Thaan thanantar rav rahiaa meraa prabh bharpoor ||3||: From whom (are you) trying to hide your actions? The ever-present God sees all. My God is totally pervading all places and interspaces (ਹਰੇਕ ਥਾਂ ਵਿਚ ਪੂਰੇ ਤੌਰ ਤੇ ਵਿਆਪਕ). ||3|| (sggs 48).