Sunday, February 22, 2015

If only - one is a Gurmukh

There are various reasons that we (Sikhs) do not understand the true message of Gurbani. The most compelling reason among all is our lack of appreciation of the differences between the following three terms, Vidya, Avidya, and Brahmvidya. Gurbani has many references to these at various places, for instance:
ਵਿਦਿਆ ਵੀਚਾਰੀ ਤਾਂ ਪਰਉਪਕਾਰੀ ॥ (ਅੰਗ ੩੫੬)

viḏi▫ā vīcẖārī ṯāʼn par▫upkārī. (Ang 356)

ਮਾਧੋ ਅਬਿਦਿਆ ਹਿਤ ਕੀਨ ॥ ਬਿਬੇਕ ਦੀਪ ਮਲੀਨ ॥ (ਅੰਗ ੪੮੬)

Māḏẖo abiḏi▫ā hiṯ kīn. Bibek ḏīp malīn. (Ang 486)

ਪਾਧਾ ਪੜਿਆ ਆਖੀਐ ਬਿਦਿਆ ਬਿਚਰੈ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥
ਬਿਦਿਆ ਸੋਧੈ ਤਤੁ ਲਹੈ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥ (ਅੰਗ ੯੩੭)
Pāḏẖā paṛi▫ā ākẖī▫ai biḏi▫ā bicẖrai sahj subẖā▫e.
Biḏi▫ā soḏẖai ṯaṯ lahai rām nām liv lā▫e. (Ang 937)

It is evident from the above verses that the people who study or teach in schools, colleges, or universities will not be able to derive the true meanings of Gurbani, because in those institutions, Vidya/Education is only studied/taught and is not analyzed/researched (vīcẖārī). The Vidya/Education that has been thoroughly analyzed can only be beneficial for our spiritual upliftment. Otherwise, educators (as opposed to researchers) are known to engage in bickering and therefore, degrade their intellect.

ਅਕਲਿ ਏਹ ਨ ਆਖੀਐ ਅਕਲਿ ਗਵਾਈਐ ਬਾਦਿ ॥ (ਅੰਗ ੧੨੪੫)
Akal eh na ākẖī▫ai akal gavā▫ī▫ai bāḏ. (Ang 1245)

ਖੋਜੀ ਉਪਜੈ ਬਾਦੀ ਬਿਨਸੈ (ਅੰਗ ੧੨੫੫)
Kẖojī upjai bāḏī binsai (Ang 1255)

The above verses have been written in context of the educators/scholars or Pandits of that time, and apply cent per cent to the scholars of today as well, because the Sikh scholars of today are also engaged in useless bickering. The scholars are usually limited to reading, while Gurmukhs analyze whatever they have read and investigate how much is the truth in that. That is why Gurmukhs have never been impressed with trivial literature (emanated from Manmat), while plain educators can’t even distinguish what is Manmat and what is not. This understanding can only come when one considers his own Mat (intellect) to be inferior to his Antar-aatma (inner voice).

ਤੂ ਸਮਰਥੁ ਵਡਾ ਮੇਰੀ ਮਤਿ ਥੋਰੀ ਰਾਮ ॥ (ਅੰਗ ੫੪੭)
Ŧū samrath vadā merī maṯ thorī rām. (Ang 547)

The educators or scholars never had this virtue and neither can they ever have it. But if such a virtue does appear in a scholar, then he will never call himself a scholar, and will rather become a Gurmukh. That is why, understanding Gurbani is the domain of a Gurmukhonly.

ਬਾਣੀ ਬਿਰਲਉ ਬੀਚਾਰਸੀ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਇ ॥ (ਅੰਗ ੯੩੫)
Baṇī birla▫o bīcẖārsī je ko gurmukẖ ho▫e. (Ang 935)

Consequently, only if someone has “learned from Gurbani” instead of “reading Gurbani”, can comprehend it. Off late, scholars have also realized that there is no dictionary that can help us understand Gurbani, because Gurbani in itself is an independent language. A language in which the knowledge of “formless” is provided, and which is not a subject of interest in colleges and universities.

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