Why Are We Here? – 6
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In the previous article, we understood that the human life has a definite purpose, and that purpose has been not discovered by us, but has been told to us by the Guru. This purpose of life was defined by Guru Ji with the following quote:
“Yaa jug mehi eaekehi ko aaeiaa.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 251)
Meaning: (Being) has come to this world, for only one purpose; that is union with God.
This is vital information as it transforms our relationship with our Guru. Before this understanding, our relationship with Guru was a formal, ritualistic and a ceremonial type of relationship. Because we have been told that this is our Guru and we need to have respect and reverence for the Guru, so, we started according respect and reverence in line with that we saw others do. In simple words, we adopted the protocol as we observed it. But there was no feeling of dire needs for the Guru and neither was there any desperation about it. But after the understanding of the purpose of life, and realization that a vital role is played by the Guru our relationship transforms in its depth, bonding, and vitality and it creates a new chemistry.
To understand this transformation, let us come to a real-life scenario. Imagine that we are visiting a city which has best cancer research facility in the world, and this particular cancer research center is run by a world-renowned specialist in the field. We have been invited to visit the facility, tour it, and meet with the specialist. During the meeting with the specialist he suggests that it will be prudent to go through the cancer screening, just for peace of mind. Although there were no symptoms of cancer still, we agree to the suggestion and go through the process of testing, and to our dismay tests came out positive. Now, we have to again visit the specialist, the prognosis and treatment will be discussed in detail. This second visit will be vastly different, as now there is a realization that I have cancer and I need the doctor to help me cure. That one test, one diagnosis has changed the equation of relationship. Now there is a special intensity in the relationship and also particular appreciation of the role of the doctor. Now doctor’s instructions and prescriptions have taken an added dimension and urgency and are not merely a routine matter. Now the relationship has become more personal, intimate, and intense and a matter of life and death, it is no longer a formal relationship. This is the type of relationship we have to develop after the diagnosis that we are here for a purpose. We have to be become receptive to Guru’s instructions, directions, and precautions prescribed.
Now let us ask Guru Ji to please tell us if we have a disease which could be compared to cancer. Guru Ji says:
“Haumai roag maanuk kau deenaa.” — (SGGS, Pg. No. 1140)
Meaning: (All) Humans are afflicted by the disease of egotism.
Let us ask Guru Ji about the severity of the disease. Guru Ji says:
“Houmai dheeragh rog hai” (SGGS, Pg. No. 466)
Meaning: Ego is a chronic disease.
But when we go to doctor, no one tells us that we have this disease? There are no tests to detect this disease. How prevalent and severe is this disease? Guru Ji says:
“Joe Joe deesai so so roagee.” — (SSGS, Pg. No. 1140)
Meaning: Whosoever I see is afflicted with disease.
Now it is apparent that what Guru can see, doctors, science, do not see. Let us ask Guru Ji about the prognosis of this disease, Guru Ji calls ego. Guru Ji tells us:
“Roagae Martaa Rogae Janamai. Rogae phir phir jonee bharmai.” — (SSGS, Pg. No. 1140)
Meaning: Because of this disease one dies and is born again because of it. Because of this disease one keeps moving through various incarnations again and again.
Now, if the medical field is not familiar with this disease, they would also not know about its cure, so we will have to seek answer elsewhere. Let us ask Guru Ji can you tell us about it? Guru Ji says:
“Bin Satgur roag kathai na jaavai.” — (SSGS, Pg. No. 1140)
Meaning: Without the True Guru, this disease cannot be cured.
Guru Ji initiates the curing process by transformation of our understanding with a new thought:
“Sabh meh jyot, jyot hai soe. Tis dhai chaanan sabh meh channan hoe. Gur saakhee jyot pargat hoe. Jo tis bhaavai so aartee hoe.” —(SSGS, Pg. No. 13)
Meaning: In all creation the light (the Driver or Power or Force) is Yours. Because of that illumination light is radiant in all beings. Through Guru’s teachings the Divine Light becomes manifest. Whatever is pleasing to Him becomes real worship.
In this quote Guru Ji has shared the following vital information:
– All are alive because of soul within
– Same soul pervades in all
– It is through Guru’s education one experiences soul
– Abiding by Divine Laws is true worship
It is because of that soul, or what Guru Ji refers to as jyot (light), we have ability of cognition, feelings and thought. We use that ability to become aware of ourselves, our surroundings, and everything including sights, sounds, tastes, thoughts, and emotions etc. We are drawing on this power for every activity we engage in, yet we are not aware of its existence. Guru Ji’s effort is not just to draw our attention to it, but much more than that. Guru Ji wants us to be aware of it on a continuous basis. This awareness is not just going to help us achieve the previously discussed purpose but will establish a relationship of life coach with the Guru. This relationship is quite personal and intimate in nature. In this relationship to seeker has felt a desperate need, and relevance of Guru for his/her own existence.
What kind of a relationship should be between a disciple and the master has been portrayed by Bhai Gurdaas Ji in these words:
“Peer mureedhaan pireharree eaehu saak sukhaalaa.” — (Bhai Gurdaas, Vaar 27(7))
Meaning: But dearer than all is the Love of the Guru’s Sikhs for the Guru and this is the relationship which brings happiness.
This statement coming from a true disciple of Guru Arjan Dev Ji and it not only sums up succinctly the benefits of that relationship, but it also provides us with a model to follow. Bhai Sahib was not just a disciple of Guru Arjan Dev Li but also Guru Ji’s scribe who wrote Adi Granth. In addition, Bhai Sahib’s own writings have been approved and accorded status of Gurbani by Guru Ji. Now if we look at these writings with understanding of their relationship it truly can become inspiring for us.
We can see inkling of this relationship from the life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. When Bhai Lehna Ji met Guru Nanak Dev Ji for the first time in 1532, he was so completely mesmerized by that first meeting that he decided to stay on at Kartarpur. As we know he was on way to Jwalamukhi leading a group of pilgrims from his village Khadur on a holy pilgrimage. Not only did he give up his plans for the journey but also changed course of his life. He accepted Guru Nanak Dev Ji as his master and dedicated his life to him. One day in Kartarpur Guru Nanak Dev Ji put on a strange garb and went to a cremation ground and started behaving strangely to test his followers and to select his successor. The strange behavior made some people quickly withdraw from that place. Others were still around when Guru Nanak Dev Ji started throwing money and declaring to them to take it and go away. Guru Ji watched the whole scene in amusement and said this is what you all want. People were grabbing money and returning home happy with their bounty. Still quite a few remained there and now Guru Ji tried to make them run away with a stick in his hand and threatening gestures. Thus, most of the remaining ran away and now Guru started pelting stones and rocks to remaining few that were left. Now even the remaining beat a hasty retreat even Bhai Buddha Ji was hiding behind the tree trunks. Finally, only Bhai Lehna Ji was left. Guru Ji was furious at him still being there and asked him why he was still here? Bhai Lehna Ji replied because he has no where else to go to. Bhai Lehna Ji, a rich trader from Khadur with properties, wealth, family, position and prestige was already feeling the pain of separation from his Guru. Let us hear from him in his own words:
“ Kis hee ko-ee koe munj nimaanee eik too. Kio na mareejai roe jaa laag chit na aavehee.” — (SSGS, Pg. No. 791)
Meaning: Some have their support, some others have different support, but for poor like me, you are the only support. If you are not in my remembrance, I feel like dying by crying out.
Now this is a feeling of despondency, melancholy that could be looked down by wearing the glasses of worldly success and independence, but for those who have been imbued by love of their master, everything else is insignificant. To them it does not even matter what others think of them. Bhai Lehna Ji dedicated his life to his master in full humility and a deep faith. The master has chiseled Bhai Lehna into a beautiful living statue of love. Guru Nanak Dev Ji was so impressed with the transformation of Bhai Lehna that he called him Angad, part of his body, flesh of his flesh and appointed him as his successor. Guru Ji had elevated the disciple spiritually and now Guru Ji said he in turn can turn other lives. Now this is the role of Guru.
We can see that Bhai Lehna has been transformed into Guru Angad by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, yet Guru Angad Dev Ji feels the pain of separation after Guru Nanak Dev Ji left for his heavenly abode. His anguish he has expressed in these words:
“Jis pyareae sio(n) naehu tis aagai mar challeeai. Dhhrig jeewan sansar taakai paachhae jeewanaa.” — (SSGS, Pg. No. 83)
Meaning: Die before the one whom you love; to live after he dies is to live a worthless life in this world.
Here, we see how Guru Angad Dev Ji feels the pain of separation from Guru Nanak Dev Ji, his caste, his wealth, family status, status in the community, even his position as Guru notwithstanding, still he has intense yearning to being connected to Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Such is the bonding strength of this relationship. In fact, if we study lives of Guru Amar Das Ji, Guru Ram Das Ji, and Guru Arjun Dev Ji we can witness similar feelings of reverence, and adoration that they experienced too. But Guru Angad Dev Ji can be termed as first seeker who obtained grace from the master and became a successor, master himself and in the process, he has created a living model for us to hone our lives.
A question to ponder over is why to have such a relationship with the master and what will be the benefit? Guru Ji provides us with answer to this question as:
“Sachaa prem piaar gur poorae thae paaeeai.” (SGGS, Pg. No.1422)
Meaning: True love and affection (of God) are obtained from the Perfect Guru.
Now, before we close this Chapter it will be pertinent to ask what the consequences of failure will be to develop this type of relationship. Guru Ji even provides answer for it:
“Satgur saethee ganath j rakhai halath palath sabh tis kaa gaeiaa. — (SGGS, Pg. No. 307)
Meaning: One who enters into a calculated relationship with the True Guru loses everything, this world and the next.
This is the relationship that we need to cultivate, and it should be done full heartedly. Let us pray for such a loving relationship to blossom that will transform our lives.
Purpose # 2: Realization of the Need of Guru
Thought: I need to develop a close personal relationship with the Guru, as I have realized Guru’s need.
Quote: “Peer mureedhaan pireharree eaehu saak sukhaalaa.”
Meaning: But dearer than all is the Love of the Guru’s Sikhs for the Guru, and this is the relationship which brings happiness.
Action: I will always pray that I develop a personal and intimate relationship with my Guru. I will share all my happiness, grief and sorrows with Guru.
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