GURBANI IS MEANT TO BE APPLIED O brother, follow the Shabad's teachings and dwell in Truth. Practice only Truth, and merge in the Shabad (sggs 30). Doubt departs, and fear runs away, when you focus your consciousness on God's Feet (Divine Name). By becoming Gurmukh (Spiritual Being), practice the Shabad, and God will come to dwell within the mind. In the mansion of the Home within the Self, we merge in Truth (sggs 67). <><><><> If a person is disease-stricken, his mere reading of the medicine's label without taking the medicine will not cure him. In order to be cured of the disease and related pain and suffering, one has to take the medicine and stop mere reading its label. Similarly, the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) is only meant to be applied, otherwise it has no meaning. Mere reading of it or listening to its recitations will not cure us from our psychological illness. Karnee baajhahu bhisti na paai: Without the correct efforts, heavenly existence is not experienced (sggs 952). Freedaa lorhai daakh bijaureeaa kikkar beejai jattu...: Fareed, the farmer plants acacia trees, and wishes for grapes! He is spinning wool, but he wishes to wear silk! (sggs 1379). Hayumai biaapiaa shabad na cheenai phiri phiri joonee aavai: Engrossed in ego, man does not reflect on the Shabad; consequently he is reincarnated over and over again (sggs 732). We are all sick. Our disease is false ego (Haume). The instructions of the Gurbani is like a medicine. Until it is diligently applied to the mind, its mere reading will not have any effect on the healing process. One may be able to gain all sorts of knowledge by reading the scriptures, however, the knowledge without pure Bhagti or Shabad-Surti is empty as married life to an eunuch! One can appease his hunger only by taking food. If he does not make effort to take food, or if he just sits there on account of his fate, he is sure to die of starvation! Similarly, if we desire to rid of our chronic disease of false ego (Haume), we must apply the Divine Teaching of the Gurbani or Shabad-Giaan. Hayumai mail laagee gur shabdee khovai: The filth stuck to the ego is removed through the application of the Shabad (sggs 123). Gallee bhisti na jaaeeai shutai sach kamaai: By mere talk, we can not earn passage to heaven; salvation comes only from the Practice of Truth (sggs 141). Just as we can get rid of a disease with medicine under the instructions of a competent doctor, in the same way, with the stick of collyrium of Self-knowledge (Aatam-Giaan), the Gurbani helps us remove from our eyes the cataract of Maya (illusion, false ego, delusion, mental conditionings, ignorance, wrong identity, etc.). It is this medicine which cures all diseases of the Jeeva (individual being). Hence the Gurbani is the Perfect Doctor of the Soul; for it relieves the Jeeva from its conditionings so that it can Realize its Soul-Nature. However, it will not do the trick if we simply verbalize it. Only when one fully assimilates it will all be well with him! Aapi vaid aapi Naaraain.....: God Himself is the true physician. These physicians of the world only burden the Soul with pain. The Shabad is Amrit, Ambrosial Nectar; it is so delicious to eat. O Nanak, one whose mind is filled with this Amrit — all his pains are dispelled (sggs 963). In reality, the Unconditioned Consciousness (Shabad, Naam, Self, Light, Knowledge, Satguru, etc.) is our True Nature; for it resides deep in the nucleus of our personality. However, in ignorance we have confounded the true Self with the apparatus of the body-mind-intellect, thereby we have forgotten the state of our True Being. By persistently applying the Touchstone of the Gurbani to our life the egoism is quieted, and we become aware of our Essential Nature, which is Eternal Blissful Existence. ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਹੈ ਮਿਲਿ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਈਐ ॥੭॥: Antar Shabad nidhaan hai mil aap gavaayiyai ||7||: Deep within is the treasure of the Shabad; it is obtained only by eradicating selfishness and conceit (i.e., all Bikaars) ||7|| (sggs 228). ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਦੇਹੀ ਸੋਧਿ ਤੂੰ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਇਸੁ ਦੇਹੀ ਵਿਚਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਹੈ ਪਾਈਐ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਹੇਤਿ ਅਪਾਰਿ ॥੮॥੧੦॥੩੨॥: Ih mann dehee sodhi tu gur shabdi veechaari. Nanak is dehee vich naam nidhaan hai paaeeai gur kai het apaar ||8||10||32||: Rreform this mind and body, by contemplating the Shabad. O Nanak, Within this body is the treasure of the Naam; it is found through the Infinite Love of the Guru ||8||10||32|| (sggs 427). The body is the field (Khet) of actions, and through actions we attain experiences. The Gurbani tells us to perform certain actions and to refrain from others. It further tells us to perform actions without attachment. Thus, to live by the Gurbani requires disciplining every fiber of our nerve system. Application of the Touchstone of the Shabad-Giaan (Self-knowledge) to our daily activities supersedes all other philosophy, logic, advice, psychology and all speculations of the intellect. It keeps the awareness in the eternity of the "now". Amal ji kitiya dunee vichi se dargah ogaahaa: Those actions which are done in this world, will be examined in the Divine Court, or the Law of Karma (sggs 1383). Freedaa amal ji keetai dunee vich Dargah aaye Kammi: Fareed, only good actions done in the world will be of any use in the Divine Court (sggs 1383). Applying the Gurbani means to live earnestly by its instructions. Thinking of One God alone, speaking of This alone, conversing of This alone with others, and serving This alone is the practice of the spiritually Wise who has applied the Gurbani to their day-to-day living. The intellect of such seeker is filled with Beauty and Bliss, his vision is right, and his mind is free of the passion for sensual enjoyment. He knows that the Truthful or Righteous living is greater than the Truth. Firmly established in the conviction that this world and its objects are illusion (transient) like the blueness of the sky, he is free of attraction and repulsion. ਸਚਹੁ ਓਰੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਉਪਰਿ ਸਚੁ ਆਚਾਰ ॥: Sachahu orai sabh kayu upari sach aachaar: Truth is higher than everything; but higher still is truthful living (sggs 62). ਪੂਰਾ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਿਞਾਪੈ ॥ ਸਦਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਰਵੈ ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਰਸਨਾ ਰਸੁ ਚਾਖੈ ਸਚੁ ਸੋਈ ਹੇ ॥੧੩॥: Pooraa sewak Shabad sinjhaapai ...: His perfect servant attains realization through the Shabad. Deep within his heart, he dwells forever upon the Shabad; he tastes the sublime essence of the True Lord with his tongue ||13|| (sggs 1046). The Men of Light tell us that the ornament of such an earnest devotee who lives by the Word is devotion, and the jewel of his devotion is consciousness of non-duality (absence of Doojaa Bhaav). He is full of spiritual Wisdom which is decorated with unshaken meditation on the Divine Name; the decoration of this meditation is his renunciation of sense gratification; and the pearl of this renunciation is pure and unfathomable Peace, which cuts asunder the roots of all sorrows and suffering. Such perfect and taintless being lives in the shoreless ocean of Bliss (Anand); for he is free of those practices that breed miseries, anxiety, anguish and self-limitations. However, as the Gurbani points out to us, instead of applying the Intuitive Wisdom of the Gurbani to the apparatus of our body-mind-intellect, instead of applying the whip of the Divine Name to it, instead of applying the Divine Presence to it, instead of applying the dust of the true devotees to it (i.e., their Sangat or company), instead of applying the apprehension of God to it, instead of applying the Love of the real Self to it, instead applying the perfume of surrendering our false ego to the Self within, we adorn it with evil passions, religious paraphernalia, ritual marks, ornaments, scented oils, perfumes, ashes, rosaries, make-up, and so on. Also, we adorn our inner subtle equipment with poisonous fume of discord, which leads us into a self-created state of fretfulness. Na bheejai raagee naadee bedi...: God is not won over by music, songs or reading the scriptures. He is not won over by empty wisdom, knowledge or Yoga. He is not won over by feeling sad and depressed forever. He is not won over by beauty, wealth and pleasures. He is not won over by wandering naked at the places of pilgrimage. He is not won over by giving donations in charity. He is not won over by living alone in the wilderness. He is not won over by fighting and dying as a warrior (Shaheed). He is not won over by acting as the dust of the masses. He is won only by the Naam uttered with heartly love and complete involvement of the mind. O Nanak, God is thus won over only by uttering His Name (sggs 1237). Naayu neer changiaaeeaa sat parmal tann vaas...: Bathe in the waters of Goodness and apply the scented oil of Truth to your body, and your face will become radiant (sggs 16). Satgur parchai mann mundraa paaee gur kaa shabad tann bhasam drirhayeeaa: My mind wears the ear-rings of the True Guru’s acquaintance; I apply the ashes of the Shabad to my body (sggs 836). We have today more people who talk on the Gurbani than those who learn it; and more who read the Gurbani than those who understand its real meaning. But, very few are trying to live the Gurbani. Especially many among the so-called educated class who generally reason to themselves that the SGGS is the greatest Granth in the world explaining a wondrous spiritual philosophy to read, sing and appreciate rather than to live by it! Consequently, what we are now witnessing is a miserable travesty of the Truth of the scriptures, obscured and distorted by self-seeking Bhais, Raagees, Kathaakaars, Giaanees, Paathees, Pujaarees, Parchaaraks, Sants, and the scheming intellects who have their own selfish purpose and plans to swindle the unsuspecting people. The cheap practices of ignoring the Truth now seems to be the accepted routine in temples and other houses-of-god. This is religious corruption which does not bless anyone except the temple institutions and their trustees. As far as the devotion (Bhagti) is concerned, such negative practices can only bring a destruction of the very ethical and moral integrity of the followers. ਕਾਲੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਜੋਗੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਨਾਹੀ ਸਤ ਕਾ ਢਬੁ ॥ ਥਾਨਸਟ ਜਗ ਭਰਿਸਟ ਹੋਏ ਡੂਬਤਾ ਇਵ ਜਗੁ ॥ ਕਲ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਅਖੀ ਤ ਮੀਟਹਿ ਨਾਕ ਪਕੜਹਿ ਠਗਣ ਕਉ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥1॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Kaal naahee jog naahee naahee sat kaa dhab. Thaanasatt jag bharisat hoy doobahaaiv jag. Kal mahi raam naam saar. Akhee ta meetahi naak pakarrahi thagan kou sansaar ||1|| rahaaou ||: No, no, this is not the time, when people know the way to Yoga and Truth. The holy places of worship in the world are polluted, and so the world is drowning. In this Dark Age of Kali Yuga, the Lord's Name is the most sublime. Some people try to deceive the world by closing their eyes and holding their nostrils closed. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 662). ਦੇਖਾ ਦੇਖੀ ਸ੍ਵਾਂਗੁ ਧਰਿ ਭੂਲੇ ਭਟਕਾ ਖਾਹਿ ॥੧੩੫॥: Dekhaa dekhee swaang dhar bhoole bhatakaa khaahi: People look at one another and wear religious robes, but they are deluded and lost (sggs 1371). The Gurbani is a very simple and basic human document which outlines man's God-ward journey and his charter of duties. It takes into account the entire spectrum of human life. Therefore, its teachings have relevance to day-to-day life in the world. In essence, it asks us to perform Truthfully or Righteously, while constantly remaining in Divine Communion. This is Dharma. Although we know deep inside that we must live by the Gurbani's instructions, but we are unable to live it in action. Why? Because, although we do go through the Gurbani (or any holy texts for that matter) again and again, but we never allow the Gurbani to go through us! In other words, any reading or listening of the scriptures without gaining Intuitive Understanding is totally unavailing. As a result, our minds are not at this moment tuned into the Gur-Shabad, and therefore not fully prepared or willing for cultivating Shabad-Surti (God Consciousness). Our daily life is full of its natural contentions and usual competitions. The result is that we end up living a wrong life in all our worldly contacts and experiences, undergoing tensions, strains, creating chaos within for ourselves, and confusion outside for others around us. The Gurbani questions us: ਬਿਲਾਵਲੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ ਐਸੇ ਕਾਹੇ ਭੂਲਿ ਪਰੇ ॥ ਕਰਹਿ ਕਰਾਵਹਿ ਮੂਕਰਿ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਪੇਖਤ ਸੁਨਤ ਸਦਾ ਸੰਗਿ ਹਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਕਾਚ ਬਿਹਾਝਨ ਕੰਚਨ ਛਾਡਨ ਬੈਰੀ ਸੰਗਿ ਹੇਤੁ ਸਾਜਨ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਖਰੇ ॥ ਹੋਵਨੁ ਕਉਰਾ ਅਨਹੋਵਨੁ ਮੀਠਾ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਮਹਿ ਲਪਟਾਇ ਜਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਅੰਧ ਕੂਪ ਮਹਿ ਪਰਿਓ ਪਰਾਨੀ ਭਰਮ ਗੁਬਾਰ ਮੋਹ ਬੰਧਿ ਪਰੇ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਹੋਤ ਦਇਆਰਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਭੇਟੈ ਕਾਢੈ ਬਾਹ ਫਰੇ ॥੨॥੧੦॥੯੬॥: Bilaaval Mahalaa 5 || Aise kaahe bhool pare ...: Bilaaval Mahalaa 5. Why do you wander in delusion like this? You act, and incite others to act (evil Karma), and then deny it. The Lord is always with you; He sees and hears everything. ||1||Pause||You purchase glass (worldliness), and discard gold (Truth or Divine Name); you are in love with your enemy (Maya), while you renounce your true friend (God or HIs Name). That which exists (Truth or Divine Name), seems bitter; that which does not exist (illusion or Maya), seems sweet to you. Engrossed in corruption, you are burning away. The mortal has fallen into the deep, dark pit (of attachment), and is entangled in the darkness of doubt, and the bondage of emotional attachment. Says Nanak, when God becomes merciful (when the Divine Mercy is awakened within), one meets with the Guru, who takes him by the arm, and lifts him out ||2||10||96|| (sggs 823). In the desire of acquiring scriptural knowledge, many scholars resort to endless study of scriptural texts, giving very little or no consideration to living by them. Caught in this race of acquiring mere book-knowledge they may even resort to a system, path or a sect of their own. This is nothing but a state of Spiritual stagnation which may be encountered in even evolved beings. With such book-knowledge one may impress upon simpletons, gain name and wealth, make followers, get appreciation from others, build a little empire, and so on, but he will not find himself or God. ਸਾਸਤ ਸਿੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਬੇਦ ਚਾਰਿ ਮੁਖਾਗਰ ਬਿਚਰੇ ॥ ਤਪੇ ਤਪੀਸਰ ਜੋਗੀਆ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਗਵਨੁ ਕਰੇ ॥ ਖਟੁ ਕਰਮਾ ਤੇ ਦੁਗੁਣੇ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰਤਾ ਨਾਇ ॥ ਰੰਗੁ ਨ ਲਗੀ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਤਾ ਸਰਪਰ ਨਰਕੇ ਜਾਇ ॥੫॥: Saasat Simrit bed chaar mukhaabar bichaare ...: People may recite by heart the Shaastras, the Simritees and the four Vedas; they may be ascetics, great, self-disciplined Yogis; they may visit sacred shrines of pilgrimage and perform the six ceremonial rituals, over and over again, performing worship services and ritual bathings. Even so, if they have not embraced love for the Supreme Lord, then they will surely go to hell || 5|| (sggs 70). God cannot be realized through scholarship or speculations. As the light from even millions of burning lamps is of no avail to a blind person, so too, the repeated reading (Nitnems, Paaths, etc.) or study of numerous scriptures is of no use to a person who does not live by the character of the Divine Word. Self-realization comes with true actions, not with mere words. Galleen Yoga Na Hoyee: By mere words, one can not attain Divine Union (sggs 730). Kiya parheeai kiyaa guneeai. Kiya Ved kitaabaan suneeai. Parhe sune kiyaa hoee. Jayu sahaj na milio soee: What use is it to read, and what use is it to study? What use is it to listen to the Vedas and the Puraanas? What use is reading and listening, if naturally or spontaneously (Sahaj) the Self is not realized? (sggs 655). The Gurbani is a way of teaching and practice. Therefore, the Gurbani is only meant to be lived in actions. For example, if we want to know the sweetness of honey, we must taste it ourselves. Similarly, if we want to attain the Spiritual Wisdom (Aatam-Giaan), we must apply the Gurbani to our daily lives. Without it, we will remain nothing but learned "fools"! One may know all the right verses, quote them effectively, be brilliant in discourses and discussions, but so long he is not intensely mindful of its true teaching, and than live by it, obstacles to Self-knowledge are bound to be there. The Gurbani says: Moorakh Shabad na cheenayee soojg boojh nah kaayi: The fool does not think of the Shabad. He has no understanding, no comprehension (sggs 938). ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਦਿਸੈ ਸਬਦੁ ਕਮਾਇ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਅਉਹਾਣੀ ਕਦੇ ਨਾਹਿ ਨਾ ਆਵੈ ਨਾ ਜਾਇ ॥: Sahib meraa sadaa hai disai Shabad kamaai. Oh aouhaanee kade naahi n aavai n jaai: My master is eternal. He is seen by practicing the Shabad. He never perishes, He does not come and go - He neither takes birth nor does he die (sggs 509). Pariyaa moorakh aakheeyai jis lab lobh ahankaar: That educated person who is full of greed, arrogant pride and egotism, is known to be a fool (sggs 140). The feeling of "ups" and "downs" of our life merely shows that the Gurbani has not been taken to the heart and translated into actions. In order for us to link with the Divine Essence, the Gurbani thus emphasizes on Spiritual practice of Shabad-Kamaaee (diligent reading and listening of the Truth, Spiritual Inquiry, meditation, practice, etc.) which, in turn, gives rise to Shabad-Surti (God-consciousness). By repeatedly reflecting on the Gurbani the mind acquires the power to return to its Source, within. Ih mann dehee sodhi tu gur shabdi veechaari: So reform this mind and body, by contemplating the Shabad (sggs 427). Merely identifying with a particular religion, path, system, caste or social class will not change us. Because most of us use the religion in the pretext of serving our bodies and minds only. Instead of acting on the teaching, we just play with it. Also, giving oneself a particular name will not bring about the inner change either. Further, learning mere words is not sufficient; for mere verbal knowledge is ineffective. Words are play of the mind and are meaningful only at the level of the mind. For example, if one is thirsty, he cannot drink the word "water", nor he can satisfy his thirst. It acquires meaning only with the actual drinking. Similarly, the Timeless Reality is beyond words; its experience comes through living the Gur-Shabad in actions. ਸਚੁ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਬਦੁ ਹੈ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: Sachu karanee Sabad hai saar: The practice of Truth is the essence of the Shabad (sggs 114).. Uthe amlaan te hone ne niberhe kise naheen teri jaat pushnee: There, you will be judged by what you practice, not by your caste or social class (Sufi Bulle Shah). Spiritual philosophy in action is religion. The only way to know if a person is really religious is to watch his actions; for the religions show their true face in action. Therefore, it is not what we say, but what we do that matters. The person who is truly religious manifests signs such as discriminating intellect (Viveka Budhi), non-attachment (Bairaag), love and compassion for all living beings (Daya), Self-knowledge (Aatam-Giaan), selfless service, meditation (Jap or Naam-Simran), righteous living, goodness, fearlessness, mental steadfastness, tranquility, magnanimity, true humility, contentment, sweet speech, unselfishness, relinquishment, pure vision, intuitively balanced consciousness, immutability, freedom from craving (Vaasnaas or latent tendencies) for sense gratification, and so on. These are the natural, non-intentional, and spontaneous qualities of a person who is established in truthfulness; for he is free of those practices that breed miseries, anxiety, anguish and self-limitations. Sachaa saahib sach parkhai saachai hukami chalaaee he: The True Being appraises the mortals on the Touchstone of Truth, and issues His True Command (sggs 1023). Karmee aapo aapnee ke nerhai ke door: According to our actions, some get near God, while others slip ****her away (sggs 9). The role of the Gurbani is to equip us so that we can dispel our false ego; for ignorance lasts as long as one is in the control of this obstinate error. However, we cannot act correctly without the proper understanding of the Gurbani (or any other scriptural text for that matter). Once it is properly understood and realized, the confirming action is up to us. Nobody can act for another, just as nobody can eat for another. The Gurbani shows us the goal. However, the obstacles are discovered and overcome by us, the seekers, through earnestly living by its Teaching (Gurmat or Shabad-Giaan). If we do not apply the Gurbani rightly, it only means that we have not understood it rightly. The Gur-Shabad (Divine Word) never fails, but, in bondage, we fail the Gur-Shabad! Andari heeraa laal banaiaa. Gur kai shabadi parakhi parkhaaiaa: Diamonds and rubies are produced deep within the self. They are assayed and valued through the Shabad. Those who have gathered Truth, speak Truth; they apply the Touch-stone of the Truth (sggs 112). Bed pukaarai vaacheeai...: The Vedas proclaim, and the words of Vyaasa tell us, that the silent sages, the servants of the Lord, and those who practice a life of spiritual discipline are attuned to the Naam, the Treasure of Excellence (sggs 57). The Gurbani's message is that there is no purpose in merely rolling the beads nor the tongue singing the praise of God without devotion; but the mind should concentrate on Him. There is also no need for empty rituals or peculiar robes because God has nothing to do with them. Also, there is no need of shouting during worship or prayers as God is not deaf. Further, mere listening or memorizing of scriptures is not enough. To make real Spiritual Progress, we must struggle hard to apply every Word of it in our daily life. Bhekh bhavnee hathu na jaanaa Nanakaa sach gahi rahe: I know of no religious bodily-dress or garbs, pilgrimages, or stubborn fanaticism; O Nanak, I only holdfast to the Truth (sggs 844). Kabeer Mullan munaare kiya charhe saanyee na bahraa hoi. Jaa kaaran tu baang de dil hee bheetar joi: Kabeer says: O Mullah, why do you climb to the top of the minaret? God is not deaf. Look within your own Heart for Him, for whose sake you shout your prayers (sggs 1374). The Shabad, Naam or Hukam is the Truth, the foundation stone of the universe. The practice of truthfulness, therefore, is the prerequisite to other Spiritual Virtues. Mere reading or listening about the truthful living will not remove the contaminated ego; for the Truth is only meant to be applied. In other words, one can express Truth only by the denial of the false — in action. The voice of the Divinity speaks as vibrations of Truth in our Soul. The scriptures therefore exhorts all of us to practice it. Sach bin sat santokh naa paavai: Without the truth, no one finds purity or contentment (sggs 1040). Sach khnad vasai Nirankaar: In the realm of truth the Formless God dwells (sggs 8). Sat santokh kaa dharo dhiaan. Kathnee katheeai Brahm giaan: Center yourself and meditate on truth and contentment. Speak the speech of God’s spiritual wisdom (sggs 344). The instructions to find the Truth are given in the Gurbani. It is up to us to act and use the directions provided in such instructions. Because, nobody else can make the Self-realization to order or purpose. One must earn it himself. Man must find out himself through Shabad-Surti (God Consciousness) what he truly is and then remain in his real state of Being. The only difference between a Gurmukh (Spiritual Being) and a Manmukh (material being in unenlightened existence) is that the Gurmukh practices Gur-Shabad, while the Manmukh practices worldliness. If an opportunity is given to both the Manmukh and the Gurmukh to choose between material gains and Spiritual Benefits, the general tendency of the Manmukh will be to favor the former. But the Spiritually inclined characters (Gurmukhs) will prefer the latter because their goal is to avoid worldly pleasures and serve God (the real Self) in some way or the other. How can we become Gurmukh? As indicated in Gurbani, we can become Gurmukh by smoldering the Gur-Shabad into us, "here" and "now". Mere mechanical or dry reading of the scriptures shows nothing but ego's stubbornness. In all earnestness, once the Gurmat is applied to one's life, it will take him within, the Home of the his true Self. How a Gurmukh acts is summarized as follows: Gurmukhi appnaa mann maariyaa Shabadi kasvatee laai..: The Gurmukh has conquered his own mind, by applying the Touchstone of the Shabad. He fights with his mind, he settles with his mind, and he is at peace with his mind. All obtain the desires of their minds, through the Love of the True Shabad. They drink in the Ambrosial Nectar of the Naam forever; this is how the Gurmukhs act. Those who struggle with something other than their own mind, will depart having wasted their lives. The Manmukhs, through stubborn-mindedness and the practice of falsehood, lose the game of life. Those who conquer their own mind, by awakening the Divine Grace within, lovingly focus their attention on the Lord. O Nanak, the Gurmukhs practice Truth, while the Manmukhs suffer repeatedly (sggs 87). Mere mann gurmukhi dhiaai hari soi. Gur kaa shabad manni vasai taa mann tann nirmal hoi: O my mind, become Gurmukh, and meditate on God. The Shabad abides within the mind, and the body and mind become pure (sggs 32). Gur kaa shabad antri vasai taa hari visre na jaai: If the Shabad abides deep within, then you will not forget God (sggs 31). Before applying the Gurbani, first we must learn the philosophy. In other words, one must know what he is trying to apply. Once we know the philosophy, then through practice we realize the goal. Otherwise, without knowing the philosophy we may not know what we are trying to apply, thus, creating more disturbance, frustration, conflict, and disconcerting feelings. True scriptures are the source of true philosophy. ਬੂਝਹੁ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: Boojhahu giyani Shabad beechaari: O wise one, understand by reflecting on the Shabad (sggs 840). ਵਰਤੁ ਨੇਮੁ ਨਿਤਾਪ੍ਰਤਿ ਪੂਜਾ ॥ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਸਭੁ ਭਾਉ ਹੈ ਦੂਜਾ ॥੭॥: Varat nem nitaaparti poojaa. Bin boojhai sabh bhaaou hai doojaa ||7||: Without genuine understanding of the Divine, all fasts, religious rituals and daily worship services are just love of duality ||7|| (sggs 841). The reason all religions, paths or systems exist is the *******ed ego. Its thinning is impossible so long as there are deep rooted Vaasnaas in our subconsciousness. By sincerely applying the Gur-Shabad to our daily life, we can make the mind concentrate and calm (purified). With the Shabad-Surti (Unconditioned Consciousness) comes the dispassion, the state where all diffused thoughts are absent. When the Shabad-Surti remains unshaken or unbroken, it becomes Sahaj-Avasthaa (natural state of Being). Thus, the practice of the Gur-Shabad or living with the Truth is power in itself. By removing all predispositions, it makes the mind single-pointed where all mental activities cease to be. Ultimately, this focussed concentration leads to Shabad-Vichaar (Spiritual or Self-inquiry). How quickly one realizes the Sahaj or intuitive Peace depends on the intensity of the practice or self-effort. Therefore, the Gurbani is not given to us for mere ritualistic and mechanical reading or singing, nor for parrot-like memorization or showoff ceremonies. It is given to us for a very specific reason, that is, to understand the proper Spiritual philosophy and then act upon it. If that does not happen, then the Gurbani declares that there is no difference between a human being engaged in reading or listening to Gurbani and a beast engaged in filling his belly. Once the Gurbani is properly understood, we then come to possess all the essentials of right lifestyle — right thought, right speech, right action, and so on — which makes the proper behavior. From that point on, one does not only know the Truth, but he also lives by It. ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕਛੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਪਸੁ ਜਿਉ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰਉ ॥: Gurmati suni kashu giyan na upjio pasu jiyu udar bharau: Despite listening to God's teaching (Gurmat), no spiritual wisdom has welled up within me; like a beast, I fill my belly (sggs 685). ਪੜੀਐ ਗੁਨੀਐ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਭੁ ਸੁਨੀਐ ਅਨਭਉ ਭਾਉ ਨ ਦਰਸੈ ॥ ਲੋਹਾ ਕੰਚਨੁ ਹਿਰਨ ਹੋਇ ਕੈਸੇ ਜਉ ਪਾਰਸਹਿ ਨ ਪਰਸੈ ॥੧॥ ਦੇਵ ਸੰਸੈ ਗਾਂਠਿ ਨ ਛੂਟੈ ॥ ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਦ ਮਤਸਰ ਇਨ ਪੰਚਹੁ ਮਿਲਿ ਲੂਟੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Parheeai guneeai naam sabh suneeai anabhaou bhaaou n darsai. Lohaa kanchan hiran hoi kaisae jaou paarasahi n parasai ||1|| Dev sansai gaanth n shootai. Kaam krodhh Maya mada matasar in panchahu mil loote ||1|| Rahaaou ||: All read, hear and reflect upon God's Name; but (due to lust, anger, etc.) they cannot develop the Divine Love, and they cannot Experience God within. How can iron be transformed into gold, unless it touches the Philosopher's Stone? ||1|| Lust, anger, Maya, intoxication (with pride. arrogance, etc.) and jealousy - these five have combined to plunder the world. (As a result) the knot of skepticism from within does not get untied ||1||Pause|| (sggs 973-974). ਇਹੀ ਅਚਾਰ ਇਹੀ ਬਿਉਹਾਰਾ ਆਗਿਆ ਮਾਨਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਹੋਇ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਰੀ ॥ ਜੋ ਇਹੁ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋ ਭਉਜਲੁ ਪਾਰਿ ਉਤਾਰੀ ॥੩॥੨੮॥: Ihee achaar ihee biuhaaraa aagiaa maan bhagat hoi tumhaaree. Jo ih mantra kamaavai Nanak so bhavjal paar utaaree ||3||28||: This is right conduct, and this is the correct lifestyle to obey the Divine Will; this is your Bhagti - devotional worship. One who practices this Mantra, O Nanak, swims across the ocean (of the worldliness)||3||28|| (sggs 377). When a wooden log is on fire, it makes crackling noise and flames. But when the log is completely burnt, then no more noise is heard! Our deluded mind (false ego) is the log; attached to the worldliness it makes noise (restlessness) and the flames of desire and fear are seen. By applying the Gur-Shabad, when the burning is over, it becomes quite (Sahaj). Such Pure Mind (Pure Self, Pure Aatmaan, or Pure Budhi) is the voice of God. The more one advances towards the Shabad-Surti, the more he becomes detached from the worldliness. Bhai re gurmati saach rahaau. Saache saach kamavaanaa saachai shabad kamaau: O brother, follow the Shabad's teachings and dwell in truth. Practice only truth, and merge in the Shabad (sggs 30). Gurmukhi shabad kamaaeeai Har vasia mann aaye: By becoming Gurmukh (Spiritual Being), practice the Shabad, and God will come to dwell within the mind (sggs 67). ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਸਭੁ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਛਾਨਿਆ ॥: Gur Sabadee sabh Brahm pachhaaniaa: Through the Shabad, I have realized that all is God (sggs 1043).