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Spiritual procrastination

Discussion in 'Spiritual Articles' started by vsgrewal48895, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. vsgrewal48895

    vsgrewal48895
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    SPIRITUAL PROCRASTINATION


    ABSTRACT


    Procrastination is the irrational postponement of tasks in general but spiritual procrastination is much more serious. It hinders spiritual growth and amounts to nothing less than a spiritual suicide. In Sikh thought an individual is advised to remember God throughout eight pahars, each three hours long i.e. 24 hours a day. Unfortunately many keep on putting it off till old age. Guru Amardas in Raag Bihagrha and Kabir in Raag Bhairo comments on this:

    ਹਰਿ ਜਪਦਿਆ ਖਿਨੁ ਢਿਲ ਨ ਕੀਜਈ ਮੇਰੀ ਜਿੰਦੁੜੀਏ ਮਤੁ ਕਿ ਜਾਪੈ ਸਾਹੁ ਆਵੈ ਕਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਰਾਮ ॥

    Har japḏi­ā kẖin dẖil na kīj­ī mėrī jinḏuṛī­ė maṯ ke jāpai sāhu āvai ke na āvai rām.

    Do not hesitate for an instant - meditate on the Akal Purkh, O my soul; who knows whether he shall draw another breath? -----Guru Amardas, Raag Bihagrha, AGGS, Page, 540-15

    ਅਬ ਨ ਭਜਸਿ ਭਜਸਿ ਕਬ ਭਾਈ ॥ਆਵੈ ਅੰਤੁ ਨ ਭਜਿਆ ਜਾਈ ॥

    Ab Na Bhajas Bhajas Kab Bhaa-ee, Aavai Ant Na Bhaji-aa Jaa-ee.

    If you do not vibrate and meditate on Akal Purkh now, when will you, O Sibling of Destiny? When the end comes, you will not be able to vibrate and meditate on Akal Purkh. -----Kabir, Raag Bhairo, AGGS, Page, 1159-10

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    Sikh way of life is that of a house holder. He is expected to earn an honest living and share some of its fruits with the others in charity. Many may argue that it is not practical to remember God while attention is on work. One cannot simultaneously count his breaths, inhaling, exhaling or eating (ਸਾਸ-ਗਿਰਾਸ). There can only be one thought in the mind at a time. The emphasis in Sikh thought is on inner cleanliness and focusing the mind. Procrastination in spiritual knowledge is no good; as the Word cannot be contemplated at the last moment says Guru Nanak in Raag Suhi;

    ਨਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਰੂਪੁ ਨ ਰੇਖਿਆ ਕਾਈ ॥ ਅੰਤਿ ਨ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਸਿਮਰਿਆ ਜਾਈ ॥

    Naa Tis Roop Na Raykh-i-aa Kaa-ee, Ant Na Saahib Simri-aa Jaa-ee.

    Akal Purkh has no form or feature; at the very last instant, It cannot suddenly be contemplated. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Suhi, AGGS, Page, 750-15

    ਜਿਹ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਸੁਖਿ ਸੇਜ ਸੋਈਜੈ ॥ ਮਨ ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਜਸੁ ਗਾਵੀਜੈ ॥

    Jih Parsaad Sukh Sayj So-eejai, Man Aath Pahar Ta Ka Jas Gaaveejai.

    By Its Grace, you sleep in a cozy bed. O my mind, sing Akal Purkh’s Praises, twenty-four hours a day. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Gauri sukhmani, AGGS, Page, 269-19

    It is true that in modern times, people are too busy to get involved in spirituality. They do not have the right priorities. It is vital to understand that life is like a dream and human life is very difficult to attain says Guru Arjan;

    ਭਈ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਦੇਹੁਰੀਆ ॥ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਮਿਲਣ ਕੀ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਰੀਆ ॥

    Bhaee Prapat Manukh Dehuria, Gobind Milan Kee Ayh Tayree Baria.

    This human body has been given to you to meet the Creator of the Universe.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 12-6

    ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਨਾਰਾਇਨ ਸੁਧਿ ਲੇਹਿ ॥ ਛਿਨੁ ਛਿਨੁ ਅਉਧ ਘਟੈ ਨਿਸਿ ਬਾਸੁਰ ਬ੍ਰਿਥਾ ਜਾਤੁ ਹੈ ਦੇਹ ॥ ਤਰਨਾਪੋ ਬਿਖਿਅਨ ਸਿਉ ਖੋਇਓ ਬਾਲਪਨੁ ਅਗਿਆਨਾ ॥ ਬਿਰਧਿ ਭਇਓ ਅਜਹੂ ਨਹੀ ਸਮਝੈ ਕਉਨ ਕੁਮਤਿ ਉਰਝਾਨਾ ॥ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਨਮੁ ਦੀਓ ਜਿਹ ਠਾਕੁਰਿ ਸੋ ਤੈ ਕਿਉ ਬਿਸਰਾਇਓ ॥ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਹੋਤ ਨਰ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਸਿਮਰੈ ਨਿਮਖ ਨ ਤਾ ਕਉ ਗਾਇਓ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੋ ਮਦੁ ਕਹਾ ਕਰਤੁ ਹੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਨ ਕਾਹੂ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਕਹਤੁ ਚੇਤਿ ਚਿੰਤਾਮਨਿ ਹੋਇ ਹੈ ਅੰਤਿ ਸਹਾਈ ॥

    Parānī nārā­in suḏẖ lėhi. Cẖẖin cẖẖin a­oḏẖ gẖatai nis bāsur baritha jāṯ hai ḏėh. Ŧarnāpo bikẖi­an si­o kẖo­i­o bālpan agi­ānā. Biraḏẖ bẖa­i­o ajhū nahī samjẖai ka­un kumaṯ urjẖānā. Mānas janam ḏī­o jih ṯẖākur so ṯai ki­o bisrā­i­o. Mukaṯ hoṯ nar jā kai simrai nimakẖ na ṯā ka­o gā­i­o. Mā­i­ā ko maḏ kahā karaṯ hai sang na kāhū jā­ī. Nānak kahaṯ cẖėṯ cẖinṯāman ho­ė hai anṯ sahā­ī.

    O mortal, focus your thoughts on the Akal Purkh. Moment by moment, your life is running out; night and day, your body is passing away in vain. You have wasted your youth in corrupt pleasures, and your childhood in ignorance. You have grown old, and even now, you do not understand, the evil-mindedness in which you are entangled. Why have you forgotten your Master, who blessed you with this human life? Remembering Akal Purkh in meditation, one is liberated. And yet, you do not sing Its Praises, even for an instant. Why are you intoxicated with Maya? It will not go along with you. Says Nanak, think of Akal Purkh, remember It in your mind. It is the Fulfiller of desires, who will be your help and support in the end. -----Guru Tegh Bahadur, Raag Ramkali, AGGS, Page, 902

    It is only through human consciousness that one can make an attempt to grow spiritually. Sikh Gurus analogize human life to twelve hours of the life’s night (4watches/ 3 pahars), with four stages;

    1. In the womb

    2. Childhood

    3. Adulthood

    4. Old age

    Guru Nanak says;

    In the first watch of the night, O my friend, you were cast into the womb, by the Lord's Command.

    ਖਸਮ ਸੇਤੀ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ਵਖਾਣੈ ਉਰਧ ਧਿਆਨਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਗਾ ॥

    Khasam Saytee Ardas VakhaaNai Ourdh Dhiaan Liv Lagaa. -----AGGS, Page, 74-17

    You uttered prayers to Akal Purkh (Husband), while upside-down, and you meditated on It with deep love and affection.

    You came into this Dark Age naked, and you shall depart again naked. As God's Pen has written on your forehead, so it shall be in your consciousness.

    In the second watch of the night childhood, O my friend, you have forgotten to meditate. You are passed around, hand to hand like Krishna in the house of Yashoda. Your mother proclaimed proudly, “This is my son.” My thoughtless, foolish mind thinks not that in the end, nothing shall be mine. You do not know the One who created the creation and hence fail to gather spiritual wisdom within your mind.

    ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਦੂਜੈ ਪਹਰੈ ਵਿਸਰਿ ਗਇਆ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥

    Koh Nanak PraaNee Doojai Pahrai Visar Ga-eaa Dhiaan. -----AGGS, Page, 75-4

    Says Nanak, in the second watch of the night, you have forgotten to meditate.

    In the third watch of the night, adulthood, O my friend, your consciousness is focused on wealth and youth but has not remembered the Name of the Lord, which would release you from bondage. You become confused by Maya reveling in your riches and intoxicated with youth, you waste your life uselessly. You have not traded in righteousness and Dharma; you have not made good deeds your friends.

    ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਤੀਜੈ ਪਹਰੈ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਧਨ ਜੋਬਨ ਸਿਉ ਚਿਤੁ ॥

    Koh Nanak Teejai Pahrai PraaNee Dhan Joaban Seo Chit. -----AGGS, Page, 75-7

    Says Nanak, in the third watch of the night, your mind is attached to wealth and youth.

    In the fourth watch of the night, in old age, O my friend, the Grim Reaper comes to the field and the Messenger of Death seizes and dispatches you, no one knows the mystery of where you have gone. So think of the Lord! No one knows this secret, of when the Messenger of Death will seize you and take you away. All you’re false weeping and wailing will be of no use. In an instant, you become a stranger and obtain exactly what you have longed for.

    ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਚਉਥੈ ਪਹਰੈ ਲਾਵੀ ਲੁਣਿਆ ਖੇਤੁ ॥

    Koh Nanak PraaNee Chauthai Paharai Laavee LuNiaa Khayt. -----AGGS, Page, 75-11

    Says Nanak, in the fourth watch of the night, O mortal, the Grim Reaper has harvested your field.

    Guru Nanak explains the reasons of spiritual procrastination in the four watches of the life’s night;

    ਪਹਿਲੈ ਪਹਰੈ ਰੈਣਿ ਕੈ ਵਣਜਾਰਿਆ ਮਿਤ੍ਰਾ ਬਾਲਕ ਬੁਧਿ ਅਚੇਤੁ ॥

    Pahlai Pahrai RaiN Kai VaNjaaria Mitra Balak Budh Achayt. -----AGGS, Page, 75-12

    In the first watch of the night, O my merchant friend, your innocent mind has a child-like understanding. You drink milk, and you are fondled gently. The parents love their child so much that all are caught in emotional attachment to Maya.

    ਸੰਜੋਗੀ ਆਇਆ ਕਿਰਤੁ ਕਮਾਇਆ ਕਰਣੀ ਕਾਰ ਕਰਾਈ ॥

    Sanjoagee Aaeaa Kirat Kamaa-eaa KarNee Kaar Kraa-ee. -----AGGS, Page, 75-13

    By the good fortune of good deeds done in the past, you have come, and now you perform actions that determine your future. Karma brings human birth. But the responsibility for the future, after that, rests with the individual. Without the Akal Purkh's Name, liberation is not obtained, and one is drowned in the love of duality. Says Nanak, in the first watch of the night, O mortal, you shall be saved by remembering the Akal Purkh.

    In the second watch of the night, O my friend, you are intoxicated with the wine of youth and beauty.

    ਅਹਿਨਿਸਿ ਕਾਮਿ ਵਿਆਪਿਆ ਵਣਜਾਰਿਆ ਮਿਤ੍ਰਾ ਅੰਧੁਲੇ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਚਿਤਿ ॥

    Aehnas Kaam Viaapiaa VaNjaaria Mitra Andhulay Naam Na Chit. -----AGGS, Page, 75-16

    Day and night, you are engrossed in sexual desire, and your consciousness is blind to the Naam.

    The Akal Purkh's Name is not within your heart. All sorts of other tastes seem sweet to you. You have no wisdom at all, no meditation, no virtues, and no self-discipline. Living in falsehood, you are caught in the cycle of birth and death.

    ਤੀਰਥ ਵਰਤ ਸੁਚਿ ਸੰਜਮੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਰਮੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਨਹੀ ਪੂਜਾ ॥

    Tirath Varat Souch Sanjam Naahee Karam Dharam Nahee Pooja. -----AGGS, Page, 75-17

    Pilgrimages, fasts, purification and self-discipline are of no use, nor are rituals, religious ceremonies or empty worship.

    Nanak says that emancipation comes only by loving, devotional worship of the Lord, because people are engrossed in duality.

    In the third watch of the night, O my friend, the white hairs, and land upon the top of the head. Youth wears itself out, and old age triumphs. As time passes, one’s days become fewer. At the last moment, ne repents as to why he was so blind! The Messenger of Death seizes one and carries him away. All his personal belongings are lost in an instant.

    ਬੁਧਿ ਵਿਸਰਜੀ ਗਈ ਸਿਆਣਪ ਕਰਿ ਅਵਗਣ ਪਛੁਤਾਇ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਤੀਜੈ ਪਹਰੈ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਚੇਤਹੁ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥

    Budh Visarjee Gaee SiaaNap Kar AvgaN Pachtaa-ey, Koh Nanak PraaNee Teejai Paharai Prabh Chaytoh Laa-ey. -----AGGS, Page, 76-2 & 3

    Your intellect and wisdom have departed, and now you repent for the evil deeds you committed. Says Nanak, O mortal, in the third watch of the night, let your consciousness be lovingly focused on God.

    In the fourth watch of the night, O my friend, your body grows old and weak. Your eyes go blind, your ears do not hear any words, and your tongue is unable to taste. In such a state, one lives only with the help of the others. With no virtue within, how can anyone find peace? The self-willed Manmukh comes and goes in reincarnation.

    ਖੜੁ ਪਕੀ ਕੁੜਿ ਭਜੈ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਆਇ ਚਲੈ ਕਿਆ ਮਾਣੁ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਚਉਥੈ ਪਹਰੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥

    Kharh Pakee Kurh Bhajai Binsai Aaey Chalai Kia MaaN, Koh Nanak PraaNee Chauthay Paharai Gurmukh Sabd Pachaan. -----AGGS, Page, 76-6

    When the crop of life has matured, it bends, breaks and perishes; why take pride in that which comes and goes? Says Nanak, O mortal, in the fourth watch of the night, the Gurmukh recognizes the Word of the Sabd. Your breath comes to its end, O my friend, and your shoulders are weighed down by the tyrant of old age. Not one iota of virtue came into you, being bound and gagged by evil, you are driven along.

    ਗੁਣ ਸੰਜਮਿ ਜਾਵੈ ਚੋਟ ਨ ਖਾਵੈ ਨਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਜੰਮਣੁ ਮਰਣਾ ॥

    GouN Sanjam Jaavai ChoaT Na Khavai Na Tis JanmaN MarNa. -----AGGS, Page, 76-8

    One who departs with virtue and self-discipline is not struck down, and he is not consigned to the cycle of birth and death. The Messenger of Death and his trap cannot touch him. Through loving devotional worship, he crosses over the ocean of fear. He departs with honor, and merges in intuitive peace and poise; all his pains depart. Says Nanak, when the mortal becomes Gurmukh, he is saved and honored by the True Akal Purkh.-----Guru Nanak, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page, 74, 75 & 76.

    Guru Ramdas and Guru Arjan vouch the sayings of Guru Nanak similarly in Siri Raag, AGGS page, 76 & 77.

    Kabir describes the life of a human like a lamp in Raag Asa;

    ਤੇਲ ਜਲੇ ਬਾਤੀ ਠਹਰਾਨੀ ਸੂੰਨਾ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਰੇ ਬਉਰੇ ਤੁਹਿ ਘਰੀ ਨ ਰਾਖੈ ਕੋਈ ॥ਤੂੰ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਿ ਸੋਈ ॥

    Tayl Jalay Baatee Thehraanee Soona Mandar Ho-ee, Ray Baouray Toh Ghraa Na Raakhai Ko-ee, Toon Raam Naam Jap So-ee.

    But when the oil is burnt, the wick goes out, and the mansion becomes desolate. O mad-man, no one will keep you, for even a moment. Meditate on the Name of that
    Akal Purkh. -----Kabir, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 478-1 & 2

    There are times when one makes appropriate decisions to delay tasks. Many of us, however, postpone projects for irrational reasons and without strong justification? This is procrastination. You know when you are procrastinating. It feels awful. But if it feels so bad, why do you continue to do it?

    Guru Angad describes the eight pahars, the twenty four hours of day and night, for spirituality;

    ਚਉਥੈ ਪਹਰਿ ਸਬਾਹ ਕੈ ਸੁਰਤਿਆ ਉਪਜੈ ਚਾਉ ॥ਸਤੀ ਪਹਰੀ ਸਤੁ ਭਲਾ ਬਹੀਐ ਪੜਿਆ ਪਾਸਿ ॥

    Chauthay Pahar Sabaah Kai Surtiaa Oupjai Chaou, Satee Pahree Sat Bhlaa Bahee-ai
    Parhia Paas.

    In the fourth watch of the early morning hours, a longing arises in their higher consciousness for remembering the Akal Purkh. Throughout the other seven watches of the day, it is good to speak the Truth, and sit with the spiritually wise.-----Guru Angad, Raag Majh, AGGS, Page, 146-10 & 12

    Procrastination is a behavior pattern that can have emotional roots and may result from low tolerance, hostility, poor understanding or inadequate self-management etc.

    ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਸਭ ਬਾਤ ਜਾਨਤ ਹੀ ਅਉਗਨੁ ਕਰੈ ॥ਕਾਹੇ ਕੀ ਕੁਸਲਾਤ ਹਾਥਿ ਦੀਪੁ ਕੂਏ ਪਰੈ ॥

    Kabir Man Jaanai Sabh Baat Jaanat He Aougan Karay, Kaahay Kee Kuslaat Haath Deep Kooey Parai.

    Kabir, the mortal knows everything, and knowing, he still makes mistakes. What
    good is a lamp in one's hand, if he falls into the well? -----Kabir Sloke 216, AGGS, Page, 1376-4

    Procrastination carries many consequences, including guilt, stress, anxiety, lack of much progress as felt by the individual, and ultimately a failure. The most consistent result is that the individual is too busy in daily chores, leading to more procrastination, more unfinished tasks in the day, and more stress.
    Reasons of procrastination:

    1. It is due to a discomfort in getting started on spirituality.

    2. Lack of self confidence in being able to understand the hymns of AGGS.

    3. Being overwhelmed, getting nowhere in spirituality and not knowing where and how to start.

    4. Unrealistic ideals can lead us to shy away from the spiritual chores and leaving everything to the 4rth Pahar, old age, keeping the hope alive that we really can get in everything if we just get started.

    5. In situations where we feel not getting anywhere in spiritual growth, it is natural for us to express our resentment by not doing the spiritual chores of Naam, which is asked of us by our faith. It is a sophisticated form of sulking.

    6. If you have become totally used to putting things off, it can be immensely difficult to take the first step towards breaking the habit. To love spiritually is a daunting task. It just does not exist out there and it requires one to make a commitment in one’s life.

    7. Inability to concentrate, when the mind is flying aimlessly like a bird, lacking a motivation, it can be a symptom of depression, sleeping problems, lack of energy and appetite.

    Overcoming Procrastination;

    1. To whom the AGGS looks huge; one can always read it in smaller amount. One may start by doing paths in stages like five pauris of japji in the morning and Rehras or kirtan Sohila in the evening.

    2. If you have Low Tolerance, remember that your short term efforts can lead to long-term goals. So, if you have a low tolerance for reading long paths or five nit names, take heart.

    3. If you are bothered because of lack of understanding, focus on learning. You are simply not going to like every situation but you can always learn something from it.

    4. If you have low self-esteem; remember that habits are hard to break; Habits originate from repeated actions, which originate from the thoughts in the mind. In order to break a habit the thought process has to be straightened. Procrastination also hardens from habit. New habits will be needed, and these take time and commitment to develop. Don’t set yourself up for failure by assuming you can change a habit overnight. Forget about past procrastination and lapses and focus on completing one Path in the morning and one in the evening without the stress of procrastination. Confidence gained through each completed path will allow you to complete additional paths. Remember it usually takes two weeks to make or break most habits.

    5. If you have displaced blame; remember success have little or nothing to do with happiness and should be treated as such. It should not be considered a measuring stick for your worth as a person. A key factor in coping with procrastination is directing attention away from oneself, and directing it toward the spiritual path at hand.

    6. Enlist a study partner, who has more knowledge about the Gurbani. Designate a specific time each week for meeting your partner in the Gurudwara or any other place so that it becomes part of your routine.

    7. Do not study AGGS silently; but loudly so that the sound acts another point of focus.

    8. To understand the sacred text, use a dictionary or the translations of Gurbani.

    9. Reinforce your objectives and goals. Develop a clear mental picture of the completed task and remind yourself how good you’ll feel when you’re finished.
    Procrastination is our enemy in spiritual progress; we can be who we want to be. We must learn to be part of a tomorrow.

    We all have our own preferred way of progressing in spirituality but a few questions to self are in order;

    1. Do you feel you are letting yourself down by putting things off?

    2. Do you think of yourself as lazy?

    3. Do you compare yourself unfavorably with others because of your procrastinating? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may well have developed the habit of putting things off. Visualize what you could achieve, as you progress in spirituality, when anger and empty rituals etc. are gone. Guru Arjan in Raag Parbhati says;

    ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਮਹਾ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਾ ॥ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਬਿਸਥਾਰਾ ॥ਕਰਿ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਤਨਿ ਚਕ੍ਰ ਬਣਾਏ ॥ ਅੰਤਰ ਕੀ ਮਲੁ ਕਬ ਹੀ ਨ ਜਾਏ ॥ਇਤੁ ਸੰਜਮਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਕਿਨ ਹੀ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਭਗਉਤੀ ਮੁਦ੍ਰਾ ਮਨੁ ਮੋਹਿਆ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਪਾਪ ਕਰਹਿ ਪੰਚਾਂ ਕੇ ਬਸਿ ਰੇ ॥ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਨਾਇ ਕਹਹਿ ਸਭਿ ਉਤਰੇ ॥ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਕਮਾਵਹਿ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਸੰਕ ॥ ਜਮ ਪੁਰਿ ਬਾਂਧਿ ਖਰੇ ਕਾਲੰਕ ॥ਘੂਘਰ ਬਾਧਿ ਬਜਾਵਹਿ ਤਾਲਾ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਕਪਟੁ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਬੇਤਾਲਾ ॥ਵਰਮੀ ਮਾਰੀ ਸਾਪੁ ਨ ਮੂਆ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਜਿਨਿ ਤੂ ਕੀਆ ॥ਪੂੰਅਰ ਤਾਪ ਗੇਰੀ ਕੇ ਬਸਤ੍ਰਾ ॥ ਅਪਦਾ ਕਾ ਮਾਰਿਆ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਤੇ ਨਸਤਾ ॥ਦੇਸੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਪਰਦੇਸਹਿ ਧਾਇਆ ॥ ਪੰਚ ਚੰਡਾਲ ਨਾਲੇ ਲੈ ਆਇਆ ॥ਕਾਨ ਫਰਾਇ ਹਿਰਾਏ ਟੂਕਾ ॥ ਘਰਿ ਘਰਿ ਮਾਂਗੈ ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਾਵਨ ਤੇ ਚੂਕਾ ॥ਬਨਿਤਾ ਛੋਡਿ ਬਦ ਨਦਰਿ ਪਰ ਨਾਰੀ ॥ ਵੇਸਿ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ਮਹਾ ਦੁਖਿਆਰੀ ॥

    Man Meh Krodh Mhaa Ahankaraa, Pooja Kareh Bahut Bistharaa, Kar Isnan Tan Chakar BaNaaey, Antar Ki Mal Kabhi Na Jaaey, It Sanjam Prabh Kin Hi Na Paa-i-aa,Bhag-utee Mudraa Man Mohi-aa Maa-i-aa, Paap Karahi PanchaaN Kay Bas Ray, Tirath Naa-ay Kaheh Sabh Utray, Bahur Kamaaveh Ho-ay Nisank, Jam Pur BaaNDh Kharay Kaalank, Ghooghar BaaDh Bajaaveh Taalaa, Antar Kapat Fireh Baytaalaa, Varmee Maaree Saap Na Moo-aa, Parabh Sabh Kichh Jaanai Jin Too Kee-aa, PooNar Taap Gayree Kay Bastaraa, Apdaa Kaa Maari-aa Garih Tay Nastaa, Days Chhod Pardayseh Dhaa-i-aa, Panch Chandaal Naalay Lai Aa-i-aa, Kaan Faraa-ay Hiraa-ay Tookaa, Ghar Ghar MaaNgai Tariptaavan Tay Chookaa, Banitaa Chhod Bad Nadar Par Naaree, Vays Na Paa-ee-ai Mahaa Dukhi-aaree.

    Within the mind dwell anger and massive ego. Worship services are performed with great pomp and ceremony. Ritual cleansing baths are taken, and sacred marks are applied to the body. Still, the filth and pollution with in never depart. No one has ever found God in this way. The sacred ear rings, ritualistic hand gestures, are made, but the mind remains enticed by Maya. They commit sins, under the influence of the five thieves. They bathe at sacred shrines, and claim that everything has been washed off. Then they commit them again, without fear of the consequences. The sinners are bound and gagged, and taken to the City of Death. The ankle-bells shake and the cymbals vibrate, but those who have deception within wander lost like demons. By destroying its hole, the snake is not killed. God, who created you, knows everything. You worship fire and wear saffron colored robes. Stung by your misfortune, you abandon your home. Leaving your own country, you wander in foreign lands. But you bring the five rejects with you. You have split your ears, and now you steal crumbs. You beg from door to door, but you fail to be satisfied. You have abandoned your own wife, but now you sneak glances at other women. God is not found by wearing religious robes; you are utterly miserable! -----Guru Arjan, Raag Parbhati, AGGS, Page, 1348-8

    Do something, anything. Now! Do not wait for the fourth watch, old age before you start on spirituality. Learning to get started without any fanfare may be the quickest way to start.

    ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਚਉਥੈ ਪਹਰੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥

    Koh Nanak PraaNee Chauthay Pahrai Gurmikh Sabd PachaaN.

    Says Nanak, O mortal, in the fourth watch of the night, the Guru willed recognizes the Word of the Sabd. -----Guru Nanak, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page, 76-6

    Spiritual progress is a difficult task as controlling the mind is only possible through Lord’s Grace. Grace is bestowed only if one performs good deeds and selfless service;

    ਦਸ ਦਿਸ ਖੋਜਤ ਮੈ ਫਿਰਿਓ ਜਤ ਦੇਖਉ ਤਤ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਬਸਿ ਆਵੈ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਜੇ ਪੂਰਨ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਹੋਇ ॥

    Das Dis Khojat Main Firio Jat Dekhou Tat Soey, Man Bus Aavai Nanaka Jay Pooran Kirpa Hoey.

    I have tried to find in all ten directions, the way to control my mind in vain. The mind comes to be controlled, O Nanak, if the Akal Purkh blesses one with Its Perfect Grace. -----Guru Arjan, Thiti Gauri, AGGS, Page, 298-17

    Arrange your reading of AGGS in an Easy Way. Give yourself generous time off in your timetable. There should be no hurry. One should take his time. Akhand Paths i.e. non stop reading AGGS in 48 hours has no spiritual value. It should be done at one’s own pace. Consider your Way of Life. One should start by cleaning inner filth as per AGGS’s teachings. Guru Arjan ponders on laziness and Kabir on inner deception;

    ਚੰਗਿਆਈ ਆਲਕੁ ਕਰੇ ਬੁਰਿਆਈ ਹੋਇ ਸੇਰੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਜੁ ਕਲਿ ਆਵਸੀ ਗਾਫਲ ਫਾਹੀ ਪੇਰੁ ॥

    Cẖaʼngi▫ā▫īʼn ālak kare buri▫ā▫īʼn ho▫e ser. Nānak aj kal āvsī gāfal fāhī per.

    He is reluctant to do good, but eager to practice evil. O Nanak, today or tomorrow, the feet of the careless fool shall fall into the trap. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Gujri Ki Vaar, AGGS, Page, 518-11

    ਭੋਰੇ ਭੋਰੇ ਰੂਹੜੇ ਸੇਵੇਦੇ ਆਲਕੁ ॥

    Bẖorė bẖorė rūhṛė sėvėḏė ālak.

    O my foolish and silly soul, why are you too lazy to serve?-----Guru Arjan, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 1095-19

    ਚਿਤਵਤ ਪਾਪ ਨ ਆਲਕੁ ਆਵੈ ॥

    Cẖiṯvaṯ pāp na ālak āvai.

    The mortal does not hesitate to think about sin.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Bhairo, AGGS, Page, 1143-9

    ਦਿਲ ਮਹਿ ਕਪਟੁ ਨਿਵਾਜ ਗੁਜਾਰੈ ਕਿਆ ਹਜ ਕਾਬੈ ਜਾਂਏਂ ॥

    Dil Meh KapaT Nivaz Gujaarai Kia Huj Kaabai Jaanayn.

    If someone has deception in his heart, what good is it for him to utter prayers? And what good is it for him to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca?-----Kabir, Raag Parbhati, AGGS, Page, 1349-16

    ਲੋਕੁ ਅਵਗਣਾ ਕੀ ਬੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਗੰਠੜੀ ਗੁਣ ਨ ਵਿਹਾਝੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਣ ਕਾ ਗਾਹਕੁ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਕੋਈ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਗੁਣ ਪਾਈਅਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰੇਇ ॥

    Loak AvguNaa Ke Bannai Ganthrhee GouN Na Vihaajhai Koey, GouN Ka Gahak Nanaka Virla Ko-ee Hoey, Gur Parsadi GuN Pai-e-aa Jis No Nadar krei.

    People tie up bundles of demerits; no one deals in virtue. Rare is that person, O Nanak, who purchases virtue. By Guru's Grace, one is blessed with virtue, when the Akal Purkh bestows Its Glance of Grace. -----Guru Amardas, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 1092-14 & 15

    There is evidence that spiritual progress leads to physical, mental, and emotional improvement in the person’s life by the service of the humanity leading to mental tranquility by Its Grace.

    ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਮਹਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੀਐ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰੇ ਮਲੁ ਧੋਇ ॥

    Nij Ghar Mahal Pachhaanee-ai Nadar Karay Mal Dho-ay.

    Within the home of the self, recognize Akal Purkh’s Mansion, Its Presence is realized when It bestows Its Glance of Grace and washes away human pollution. -----Guru Nanak, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page, 18-16

    Conclusion:

    Procrastination ends only with spiritual progress. This progress leads an individual to become calm to the degree that he understands himself with evolvements of thoughts. He also needs an understanding of the others. As he develops a right understanding, and sees more and more clearly the internal relations of things in terms of cause and effect he ceases to fuss and fume. In stead of worrying and grieving, he learns to remains poised, steadfast and serene. Otherwise he repents says Guru Tegh Bahadur in Raag Sorath;

    ਮਨ ਕੀ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਮਾਹਿ ਰਹੀ ॥ਨਾ ਹਰਿ ਭਜੇ ਨ ਤੀਰਥ ਸੇਵੇ ਚੋਟੀ ਕਾਲਿ ਗਹੀ ॥ਦਾਰਾ ਮੀਤ ਪੂਤ ਰਥ ਸੰਪਤਿ ਧਨ ਪੂਰਨ ਸਭ ਮਹੀ ॥ ਅਵਰ ਸਗਲ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਏ ਜਾਨਉ ਭਜਨੁ ਰਾਮੁ ਕੋ ਸਹੀ ॥ਫਿਰਤ ਫਿਰਤ ਬਹੁਤੇ ਜੁਗ ਹਾਰਿਓ ਮਾਨਸ ਦੇਹ ਲਹੀ ॥ਨਾਨਕ ਕਹਤ ਮਿਲਨ ਕੀ ਬਰੀਆ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਕਹਾ ਨਹੀ ॥

    Man kī man hī māhi rahī, Nā har bẖajė na ṯirath sėvė cẖotī kāl gahī, Ḏārā mīṯ pūṯ rath sampaṯ ḏẖan pūran sabẖ mahī, Avar sagal mithi¬ā ė jān¬o bẖajan rām ko sahī, Firaṯ firaṯ bahuṯė jug hāri¬o mānas ḏėh lahī, Nānak kahaṯ milan kī barī¬ā simraṯ kahā nahī.

    All hopes and desires in the mind of an individual remain unfulfilled. Further, he has not meditated on the Akal Purkh. Nor has he performed service at sacred shrines. So death seizes him by the hair. One must understand that a wife, friends, children, carriages, property, total wealth, all the things and indeed the entire world are false. The Akal Purkh's meditation alone is true. Wandering, wandering around for so many ages, he has grown weary, and finally he obtained this human body. Says Nanak, this is the opportunity to meet the Master. Why do you not remember Akal Purkh in meditation? -----Guru Tegh Bahadur, Raag Sorath, AGGS, Page, 631

    Virinder S. Grewal
    Williamston, MI
     
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