Sikh Research and Education Center
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There are scores of such assertions occurring in both Sri Guru Granth Sahib and in Dassam Granth Sahib of Sri Guru Gobind Singh that in total renunciation of the world by abandoning oneís home and hearth to live in jungles, mountain caves or roam about from place to place, he achieves nothing but only adds to his sufferings. Even living in the material world and mere indulgence in external religious forms, rituals and ceremonies, etc. one does not attain to God. Human redemption lies only when by His Grace one lives in complete love and devotion to the Sat Guru Poora (Godís Light, the Immanent God) within us. For this a person has not to go anywhere or to seek any oneís support or help, but only to reflect his Mind or self on Him (Sat Guru Poora abiding within us). It is by living with God alone, we are blessed with the Divine Qualities and lead the rational life. When in tune with God within us, Discipline would come from within ourselves. The desires are not essentially curbed, but out of love for God, directed toward such things which enhance the Spiritual Growth. Whatever is materially selfish desire, such as, crave for acquisition of material things and power for selfish ends, is the evil desire. Man should not be a slave either of himself, his baser nature or others. In this sense Man should lead a life of objectivity and self denial. He lives within the impurities of the world, quite Detached. It is his nobility, which becomes instrumental in hanging his environment toward betterment. The Real Self in Man thus emerges stronger. The ordinary comforts of life are not to be denied and the body is not subjected to mortification for weakening of the Instincts. Only the nature of the Instincts is to be changed in loving God. The Gurus teach us that the body is the Temple of God, and should be nourished for attainment of higher aims. This is the True Sense of Asceticism, which implies manís liberation.
The central idea of Other Religions is that salvation is to be achieved by extricating the Self (Soul), which is considered to be pure and Divine in nature, from its tragic involvement in the phenomenal world. The Spirit (Soul)) is enmeshed in matter and is thus subjected to Illusion of the material world. The Spirit in all living beings is the same as the Universal Spirit (God). The Spirit (Soul) in living beings forgets its true nature, suffers the delusion of Individuality, and identifies itself with the body in which it is entangled. The illusion of separate identity arises from ignorance and the self identification of the conscious self with an animal body Man thus pays with pain and misery for the ignorance that attaches him with perishable body, subject to numerous ills. The remedy thought out by such seers was the mortification of the flesh, resulting in elimination of the self will, self interest, self centered thinking, wishing and imagining.
These seers, especially of Vedanta Philosophy of Hindus have totally confused themselves about the distinction between the Human Mind, which has the Material Base of the Body, and invariably indulges in all types of material sensual pleasures and other impurities, which needs to be Purified, and the Soul, (Godís Ray of Light) which is verily God Himself abiding in the body in His Immanent Form, Who is of Infinite Virtues, All Pure, All Wise, the Source of Life, Creates and Sustains the body, as long He stays in it. Godís Light or Sat Guru in the body remains Aloof or Unaffected (Nirlaip) from the material effects of the body, just as Sun Rays falling on debris of filth remain unpolluted. Absolute God is in Spirit Form, creates the Material Universe, but remains Unaffected from the Material Universe, transcends it, and is called ďNiranjanaĒ (Unaffected by Matter or Maya), and so are the Rays of Light shed by Him, which are the Cause of All Creation in the IMMANENT FORM OF GOD. How can Immanent God or Sat Guru Poora in all can be got entangled by the ill effects of the Material things? It is the Mind, which is the sum total of all our feelings, thinking and beliefs, which has the Material Base and is the creation of Soul (Ray of Godís Light, as Perfect as God is), which is polluted with the poisonous material based thoughts. In Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS), Soul is called Sat Guru Poora in body as God Himself in Man. It is the Mind which is impure, embodying all the impurities of the material world, which needs to be reflected on Sat Guru Poora in complete love and devotion to get itself purified to become one with God. It is the Mind which is egoistic and creates the separate identity of the organism from God. There is thus the Duality existing in a person, of the selfishness of the Mind embodying all the evils of the material world, and the Divine, Who is All Pure and All Wise. Mind cannot be purified by mortification of the flesh, renunciation of the world and other ascetic practices. In this way we will be dealing with the unending effect of evil of the Mind only, rather increasing more filth in it of its egocentricity of holier than others. The Gurus teach us in SGGS that in this way we are only dealing with Effect of the Material Involvement for their removal, NOT the Unending Cause, which is the Mind within us. We are merely beating the snake hole on its surface, while the serpent remains alive within. (varmi mari sanmp na mar hi, nam na sunhi dora Ė Rag Asa, M.5, p 381 ). We should reflect our Mind on God in us and attain union with Him, thus remove the Duality existing in us. Mind will be purified like God is, we shall become immune from the impurities of the world. Unless the Two different Entities, Mind and Sat Guru Poora, become One Structure, Duality cannot be removed in Man. It is therefore, Sikhism teaches that No One Can Attain Union with Absulute God, except through Sat Guru Poora, the Infinite God in us. Utter confusion exists in all other religious systems and philosophers about the nature and status of Godís Light pervading everywhere and in all, which is Creative and is in the Form of Immanent God. This Central idea needs to be clearly understood, as Uniqueness of the Sikh Teachings from all other religious systems. This Basic Difference of the Sikh Teachings from all other systems, is the crux of the problem. Our (Sikhs) ignorance to this effect has caused all the confusion that exists in us.
Sri Guru Nanak Devís Composition, in Rag Maru, Sohela 33, pages 1033-34 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib -
ď(People raise villages and towns for their residence, and build forts for their protection)
God has raised the town of human body for Himself to abide in it. In the Tenth Gate of this town, He abides. It is He Who creates the human body for Himself to abide in it. This place is Ever Stable and Immaculate. (1)
Within this fortress there are the balconies and bazars, and the Lord Himself deals with the goods, and takes care of them. The Hard Doors of the Tenth Gate are closed by God Himself, and are wide opened through His Light (Gur Sabad or Sat Gur Poora). (2)
Within the township of the body, is the Cave, where He abides. There are Nine other Gates of the township of the body, which function under the Lordís Will. Within the Tenth Gate abides the Infinite God. He the Unfathomable One, on His Own reveals unto us. (3)
God has put Air, Water and Fire together in the township of the body; such is the Wonder of the Lord. The fire is extinguished by putting water on it; whereas He has put fire in the sea! (4)
He creates the Earth, the abode of Righteousness. It is He alone Who Creates and Destroys everything, but Himself remains Detached (Nirlaip). (Another Wonder) In the Air He puts the Life Current , but when He withdraws His Light, the whole Show crumbles like the dust. (5)
O Lord, the whole of vegetation is like the she gardener of Yours; the Air is like the Fly-Brush over Your Head; and the Sun and Moon are like two lamps. (Another wonder), the Moon is lit by the rays of Sun i.e. emergence of Emotional Reason in Man. (6)
By the Grace of God (His Light Ė Sat Guru Poora), one contemplates God, and by uttering His Praises attains to the state of Spiritual Poise; then the five birds (passions of the mind) do not fly about, or the mind ceases to wander. The human life becomes fruitful by attaining to Godís Nectar. (7)
The mind is thus illumined by the Lordís Presence; this Light cannot be compared by the light of neither any star nor moon, nor sun nor the lightening in the sky. This State of Mind has neither form nor sign. The state is unutterable, and one who is blessed with such a state truly enjoys. (8)
The Rays of Godís Light spreads out and there is illumination everywhere in this township of the body. This God Himself does, and He witnesses it. There the Automatic Melody rings in oneís Mind, which is the state of Fearlessness. (9)
When the Automatic Melody rings , one gets rid of his Fears and Doubts. Such a person then clearly sees that God pervades everywhere and everything is under His control. O Lord, everyone equally belongs to You. When one realizes Him through Sat Guru Poora (His Light in him), he looks Beauteous singing His Praises at His Door. (10)
The Primal Lord, Who is not affected by Maya, is Immaculate, Who has no other as equal. Oneís egoism is completely purged out, when he loves Him and He abides in him. (11)
Whosoever quaffs the Nectar Name of God blessed by Sat Guru Poora (God in Man), then he does not recognize any other person (of his worship). God is alone Infinite and Transcendent; He alone tests all for approval and accepts only those who are worthy. (12)
Lord, contemplation of Your Truth is deep, too deep thought. No one knows how vast is Your Expanse. Every one seeks union with You, but he alone attains to You, whom You blesses. (13)
You alone is Embodiment of Compassion, Righteousness and Truth, and the only Giver of these Virtues. You alone is Self Sufficient and Care free One and Inexhaustible are Your Treasures. You are ever Compassionate to all, and it is through Your Grace one meets with You. (14)
You see everyone, and it is through You all see. It is You alone, Who establishes and also disestablishes all. It is You, Who unites and separates; destroys and revives. (15)
All the Creation is contained in You. You watch all, seated within the township of the Body Temple. Nanak makes this true supplication, that whosoever sees the Lordís Vision, he attains to Peace. (16)Ē
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