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Discourse on beyond - II


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The Discourse of Sant Maharaj Rara Sahib with Sangat.


In "Asa Di Var" (Guru Nanak Dev's ode, composed in Rag Asa) in second shalok(hymn) we read, O God, true are your hands; real is the whole universe. All the people too are a reality. True are all your forms. It seems to suggest that world is real (Truth). On a same token, gurbani talks about the world is portrayed as a mountain of smoke or a dream that has no reality. What then is the real truth?

Answer: According to the circumstances, both the above mentioned fundamentals are the truth in their own sphere. In dream, all things are seen there appear to be fully true. In the dreams, one feels joys and sorrows. The wife and children (seen there) seem so dear. If the dream shows separation from them, one starts weeping. Some appear kith and kin, some strangers; gains and losses in the dream cause happiness and sorrow. If in the dream, one is pursued by the dacoits, he keeps hiding moving from place to place to save his life. Their fear is visible in the body; he weeps, he shouts for help, his heart begins to palpitate. When he wakes up, he is suprised to remember the atmosphere of the dream; saying that he had been afraid for nothing (those were dream events) that he had wept for no reason. He rebukes himself for feeling fear and for weeping over the un real dream events. That was a a dream. Thus commands- Guru Maharaj-

This world is as unreal as the dream at night. Whatever is visible is subject to non existence. Why do you bother? SGGS- 808

Further the commandment is-

O fool, you haveset your heart on a dream. The kingship victories and enjoyments of the dream vanish into thin air on waking. On waking one is puzzled over his own behavious. Acheivements have run away. Still one pursues one's businesses. No sucess is acheived. Man is caught in illusion and un reality. What hope is there for the poor thing, the being who misleads his own self- SGGS JI- 707

What we call the waking state is also the big dream of life. The dream in the night lasts for a short time. but this dream (illusion) lasts all through life. In the dream, all happenning appeared to be completely true. In that dream, the whole life's events seemed to be true. But when a man leaves this world and goes to the hereafter the whole life story seems to be a dream.

One kilo of flour is for eating, 2000 kg of flour is also for eating. Similarly a night's dream is very short, while the whole's life dream is much longer. But both are mere dreams. Just as things seen in the dream are unreal, similarly this world and this life are only the creation of imagination (imaginary things); nothing more. Just as the tiger of the dream or dream's deity, and dream's serpent are all nothing more than imaginary things. In the same manner, the tiger, the deity and the serpent of the waking life too have no existence. In fact, they are not there at all. If there is any truth, it's the self. The soul is formless, changeless, and complete bliss. It says steady (unruffled), just as stone stays in its hardness, the water keeps its flowing quality and the sky (ether) stays in its being the medium of sound. Similarly the soul always stays steady in its soul-hood. Except him, nothing else exists in the world. Guru Maharaj Says-

Behold the supreme being everywhere,

Hear the supreme being in all.

Discourse on one and one alone.

The Supreme being has manifested himself in all.

He alone is the creator,

Know not any other than him. SGGS- 846

Names and shapes are all imaginary. The water of the ocean appears to rise in high tides; in fact it is nothing but water. What we see as cloth is nothing more than yarn. What we imagine to be pots is only clay. We see thousands of ornaments of different shapes, sizes, and names. They are only one thing- gold (god in the world). Even the whole visible world is shaped out one God. Countless waves rise from water, thousands of ornaments are made from Gold; so all the universe is nothing else but God in different shapes. The soul is always free and ever living.

When such a beleif lives firmly fixed in the mind, then one obtains complete knowledge (gyan) and one comes to know about the real nature of the world. The world appears to be nothing more than illusion. The world's existence is not truth, but is all false in the past, present and future. In reality it is just One soul on all sides. That soul is formless, not subject to change and it lives in the heart of all.

Various ideas are called the mind. These ideas are like the sky(ether), which is all blank. What is called the world is the creation of the mind (or imagination). It merges into the soul; nothing else but the soul remains. Owing to the illusion, the world appears to be separate from the soul. It is not different from the soul. Just as in the dim light a rope lying in partial darkness appears to be a snake, through our ignorance. With this illusion, we greatly fear and call on others for help. So long as there is darkness (ignorance) we are full of fear and keep trembling with (false) fear. We entertain many imaginary suitations in the mind. But when it is broad day light, rope appears. What is realy is- a rope and not the snake; and we laugh at own ignorance. Thus through the lifelong illusion, we have got into habit of regarding the world as the complete reality. Because of this ignorance, this world appears to us not the outward form of god (which it is), but as a center of happiness and misery, joys, sorrows, and full of the opposites and all the home of sorrows. It seems to be very real thing.

So Guru Maharaj says that just as mountain of smoke is not a fact similarly this world is not reality. It is One God, visible in different shapes and colours. Whatever we see is god himself alone and nothing else.

Just as anything that has been created out of one thing partakes of it's nature and qualities. Just as a small seed grows into the shape of a huge tree; in fact it is evolved shape of that every seed. It (tree) may be very beautiful and very expensive, but it is only the spread of that small seed. As Guru Maharaj has ordained-

I have seen seeds of many sorts being sown.

When the fruit ripens, the seed appears in the same one form. SGGS - 736

All things are the adobe of God Almighty; in whatever dwelling it lives, it is known by the different names. He alone is the creator and Doer; everything happens according to the will of God. It has spread in countless waves or tibes; it is difficult to recognize different shapes of light (knowledge); that god is the sole Maker and is indestructible. Always, always and yet always, He is Merciful One; remembering him, one gets into bliss- thus sayeth Nanak. SGGS - 275.

There are give elements in the world- first is Name, second is shape, third is truth, the fourth is the mind and the fifth one is bliss. Out of these Sat(truth), Chit (super consciouness/mind) and Anand (pure happiness/bliss) is God himself. He is called Sat Chit Anand. Name and shape can also be called Maya (false appearance) and seem ( to exist) for a short period.

Name and form (the physical world) appears resting on the universal soul (Sat Chit Anand). Name and shape are false concepts. Inside and outside this whole scene, it is all filled with the soul. Name and shape depend on Sat-Chit-Anand (Godly qualities). Sat Chit Anand (God Almighty) is ever lasting. Just as water always exist in the ocean, whatever it's shapes and names. Some time they are alled waves, bubbles and foam; sometime these are not there. We have to link our mind with Sat Chit Anand (God), leaving the names and shapes which are false entities. When our mind is joined to one Universal Soul, it will be the end of all the miseries and sorrows. To the extend, one's mentality gets distanced from names and shapes, to that extend it will be merged in God, the sole reality. To that extend, one's mentality gets distanced from names and shapes, to that extend it will be merged in God, the sole Reality. To that extent, one would enjoy happiness and peace of mind.

In the end, after hard practice, when the stage of name and shape is passed; and through the Grace and Guru's and great souls, one's inner eyes are opened and one gets divine vision, then name and shape also become a part of WaheGuru. This universe will appear the visible shape of God and one's self will get merged in Wahe-Guru (God Almighty). For example, water and waves are just one thing, the ocean never sees the waves (as separate from itself), for it is steady and calm and is itself (ocean itself) in the shape of waves and waters. Realized souls never feel the titles of names and shapes, for all the universal scene, to them it all their own self, God himself. The sum total of all this is called God or Creator.

O my eyes, God has filled his light in you. So you should see nothing but God in all beings and things. See nothing except God in all. The sighter is blessed with the glimpse of God.

This universe that you see around you is all the form of God, that comes in your sight. Through the grace of the Guru, you see and realize that all is One God- no second.

There is no one other than God.

We are blind of eyes (spiritual) sight. If we get some true Guru, he will restore sight to our vision. SGGS JI- 922

When god-realized vision is attained one realizes onself. Nothing is visible except God himself. All is God. God is all.

Everything is Gobind(God); everything is Gobind. There is nothing other than God. SGGS JI- 485

To be Continued !

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Question: What is the biggest hurdle in the attainment of True knowledge?

Answer: The biggest hurdle in the path of attaining true knowledge is our habit of regarding the physical body as our true self. The body is subject to so many ills and full of urine and excreta. Looking upon this body as our true self is certainly the biggest obstruction in the spiritual path.

The atheist philosopher Charavak says that this gross body is our soul. It is visible to all. Something (the soul) which can’t be seen, which has no shape, which has no dimensions has no existence at all. This body can be seen by all; hence we call it our own self.

All persons say, I am a child, I am a young person, I am an old man, I am Bhraman, I am a khatri (castes), I m a black, I am a white, I m brown, I m a vaish, I am a shudra (other caste), I am beautiful, I am male, I am female, I am fat, I am lean and thin, I am tall, I m short-stature etc. All that speaks I, I and I am full of ego mentality.

All these qualities are and have always been associated with gross body. Implying that this body of flesh is our soul, we have attachment to this body and go on saying, I am a young man, I am old, I am a child, I am a Khatri, I am black, I am fair, I am male, I am female, I am fat, I am think, I am tall, I am short-sized. Our affection is always for the things other than the soul. Anything which is the subject of affection can’t be the soul. The soul is far different from these things. We say “my body”, that implies that I am different from the body, just as we say ‘My house’; that means I am separate (owner) and the body is a separate entity. So my body means that in reality I am different and the body is different. We say ‘my body’. If myself was identical with body, we would say ‘ I am the body’. Hence we are separate from the body, as “my house’ suggests that I am not the house. I am different. So this grown body can’t be the soul. When a person dies, his body is cremated. The soul is never born, never dead. It is immortal, so is learnt from the religious scriptures. To believe that the soul is this body with nine gates (organs) is the height of foolishness.

The body is the covering of the soul; so this covering is called food- based sheath causal (anamaye kosh). Beyond that is the abstract body (sukhsham sirar) and the causal self (Karan Sirar). In that abstract, there are three sheaths out of five, namely- vital sheath, mental sheath and intellectual sheath. Out of these three, one is the life center, which many people to be soul. About this too, there are two theories. One group regards the sense organs as the soul. I see, I hear, I stay, I Walk. Thus the concept of self seems to comprise the soul because I am the seer, I am the hearer, I walk; so some conclude that these, sense organs are the soul. That is my identity. But this is illusion, because we have affection for these sense organs (eye, ear, etc). Just as we have the love for the body. These sense organs are not the soul. That in which we have the feel of I-ness can’t be the soul. In these organs we have the sense of I-ness, just as I say my eyes are weak, my ears are deaf, my hands shake, and my foot is paining. So we call these sense organs my ear, my eye etc. That means that “the real I” is different from these organs, just “my house” implies that I am not the house, but separate. Some others believe that life itself is the soul. All organs perform their functions (seeing, hearing etc). So long as we are alive. When life breath leaves the body, the body becomes a corpse. The dead body is burnt, some immerse it in water, without life-breath body is nothing. The body is valued only so long there is life in it. The body is adorned, it is made stout with foods and drinks, so for this reason some think that this life breath itself is the soul.

People say, “I am hungry, I m thirsty. Hunger and thirst can be felt only by the living; not by eyes or ears or the nose. I am hungry seems to suggest that life is the soul. Then life would be the soul. Man develops love for life and fears lest my life should leave my body. We say my life; that means that I am separate, and life is separate (it is mine). So life can’t be identical with the soul. Others says that if you don’t recognize life to be the same as the soul, the mind is surely the soul. Mind should be called the soul, because without the mind, the sense organs can have no knowledge, When we are taking our meals, the house wife enquired if the salt and pepper is in the correct quantity in the pulses. Often times we say, I was eating absentmindedly, I will reply to your question after I eat the next morsel. The feel of joy and sorrow is experienced by the mind not by the eyes, ears, nose, and hands. People say, I am happy. I am feeling miserable, therefore, mind is proved to be soul.

If we accept mind as the soul, that too is a baseless argument. Often we say, my mind is not steady; my mind has no taste for prayers and holy reading. We call the mind as ours; we feel love for it. We say my mind that proves that I am separate and mind is separated. Therefore mind too can’t be called the soul (it is my mind, like my house, my book), because the soul can’t belong to me.

If mind is not the soul, then intellect can be accepted as the soul. The soul which is the adobe of bliss. People are heard saying, I enjoy myself, I do this act, I returned there, I would go to the next world. It seems correct designate the intellect as the soul. But when we say, my intellect is very sluggish, about an other we say that his intellect is very sharp, we talk of my-ness. My intellect means, I develop love for it. My intellect means that I am separate and my intellect is separate (my quality).

We say intellect is not the soul, but inside the intellect lives the soul, which is the centre of bliss. That may be the soul. The sheath of bliss is also called source body. It is also called ignorance as well as lack of knowledge. Also such experiences are narrated as; last night I enjoyed sound sleep, full of bliss. I had no consciousness then, I knew nothing. This condition is called ignorance and also absence of knowledge , it is also called illusion (Maya). If someone says that this bliss of illusion (in sound sleep, when we have no consciousness) is the soul it can’t be the soul. But if someone says, that the soul is one that is the on-looker of this bliss of unconsciousness; that the soul is the light which is witness to this ignorance (unconsciousness) then the fact is that the soul is never born, never dead and is the form of perfection. Then we will certainly decide on it as our real self. Such a soul is surrounded by five covers (five sheaths or koshas). It is different from all these. That is one’s real self.

This upshot of this whole discussion is that we regard this body, full of urine, excreta as our self and develop affection for it that is the cause of gross ignorance. The biggest hurdle in the path of true knowledge is believing this dirty body full of urine and excreta as our real self. Regarding other covers such as life and sense organs, mind, intellect, bliss as our soul are other strata of ignorance. These are covering of ignorance. For achieving divine knowledge, it is very necessary to keep company with great mean who are self-realized souls, also perfect faith in siri guru granth sahib ji, listening to bani, contemplating it and believing in it with full faith. The man is always forgetting his rela self under the influence of maya (illusion)-

O my mind, your real self is all light; Realize yourself – SGGS Ji- 441

The soul and God are one and the same. Therefore-

Everywhere see god, hear god, speak of only one reality that is god (there is no second duality). Don’t recognize anyone other than God, who has spread himself all through the universe. SGGS Ji- 846

On account of ignorance, we regard this dirty body full of urine and excreta as our real self and so we suffer no end of miseries.

Lord! What can I say? Such is illusion-

Under it’s influence are objects not such as thought to be. SGGS Ji- 657

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