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The Concept Of Maya

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Aman Singh, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. Aman Singh

    Aman Singh
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    Jun 1, 2004
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    Maya means inexplicability. The term Maya is often used in the sense of illusion. Maya is regarded as the material cause of the universe. Maya is so called because the universe is resolve (ma) into it, and is evolved (ya) from it. Maya is one of the bonds of the soul. The world of Maya is usually referred to as a-sat (unreal), which means that the world is other than God who is sat (real). The world which can only be described as inexpressible is some times called Maya. It is neither non-existent nor existent, nor is it both combined. It is of the nature of mithya (illusion) and is therefore eternal. The word Maya has been variously conceptualized and is used to denote different meanings:
    1. That the world is not self-explanatory shows its phenomenal character which is signified by the word ‘Maya’.
    2. The problem of the relation between God and the world has meaning for us who admit that the pure being of God from the intuitive standpoint and wish to know its relation to the world. This incomprehensibility is brought out by the world ‘Maya’.
    3. If God is the cause of the world, which He is, and the world is its effect and dependent on God, which it is; this phenomenon is called ‘Maya’.
    4. The word ‘Maya’ is also used to denote: this whole universe consisting of a series of thoughts and works, means and ends, actions and results, although held together, is transient, illusory, impure, unsubstantial, a mirage, a dream and so on, and yet appears to those who have identified themselves with it to be undecaying, eternal and full of substance.
    However, according to Gurbani (the Sikh Scripture), Maya is defined as that by which man forgets God and develops attachment and love with all things other than God. While the world is dependent on God, the latter is not dependent on the world. The world is not essential being like God; nor is it non-being. Maya is a mythical ‘goddess’, a temptress and an illusion. Guru Nanak says –
    Maya, the mythical goddess,
    Springs from the One, and her womb brought forth
    Three acceptable disciples of the one;
    Brahma, Visnu and Siva.
    Brahma, it is said, bodies forth the world,
    Visnu, it is who sustains it;
    Siva the destroyer who absorbs,
    He controls death and judgement.
    God makes them to work as He wills,
    He sees them ever, they see Him not;
    That of all is the greatest wonder.
    japji, Pauri 30
    The universe is ever in a flux. Everything in this universe keeps on changing. Things come to exist, pass through a period of growth and ultimately change their forms. The universe is impermanent. This impermanent nature of the universe is also termed Maya. Ignorance about the impermanent nature of the universe is also termed as Maya. God as the Spiritual Reality is master and director of His Maya, whereby, He causes fragmentation to appear out of His integral spiritual essence a monadic infinitesimal essence in the form of man who is liable to be subjugated by Maya. It is Maya which brings in ignorance in man to forget his real nature of remaining subservient to God and making him set up as an independent possessive self-existence. It is this ignorance which eventually causes all the frustrations and suffering of man.

    In Asa-di-Var, Guru Nanak says that man is misled by Maya and only a few spiritually enlightened persons can understand Maya and free themselves from its clutches –
    And thou, great man, thy worldly goods
    will not go with thee;
    Maya, the veil of illusion hath misled the world
    And few indeed know this to be so.
    Rag Sorath (SGGS-595)
    Guru Nanak believes that although this universe is impermanent, yet it is real, because it is the creation of the True Being. Universe, as such, is not an illusion:
    "True are Your Continents, Galaxies, stars and other forms….
    True is Your Power, True the World Court
    True is Your Order (Hukam)
    True Your Writ (individual’s destiny)…
    Asa-di-var, (1-463)​
    In Sohila-Arti (Bed-time Prayer), Guru Arjun Dev, the Fifth Guru, has emphasized that in this impermanent, awry and illusionary world only the Brahm-Gyani, knower of the Divine Knowledge, is saved from the spell of Maya –
    The world is awry, is illusionary. The man
    Who knoweth God, the Brahm-gyani, is saved.
    Whom God awakeneth to drink of His Name’s essence.
    He knoweth the Unknowable,
    Whose story can never be told.
    Even Guru Nanak says in Asa-di-Var (41-ii) that ‘kam krodh – kaya ko gale," that is :
    Lust and Wrath waste the body,
    As borax melts the gold,
    But the gold that can stand the test of fire
    Is valued highly by the goldsmith,
    So it is with the souls.
    Man is an animal,
    And egoism is the butcher;
    In the hands of the Creator
    Is the saving grace.
    Maya encourages the vanity of the earthly ways in which self-will (haumai) asserts itself and, under the deceptive belief, man, forgetful of its original source, that is, the Supreme Spirit, sets himself up as an independent entity and has his own way in all things. This situation can also be described as a mental chaos, a state of confusion, absurdity and meaninglessness. In Maya everything is enveloped in delusiveness; nothing is clear. Pain, sorrow and anxiety then overwhelm the mood of man. In Gurbani, it is pointed out that Maya is like a great temptress and man falls under its spell and delusion, and then it does not let him go. He lives a degraded and deluded life full of pain and enxiety, far away from God, and, in that state of delusion, thinks whatever he is doing is right. He lives in the deceptive state of disquiet and discontentment :
    The cravings of mind get never stilled
    With treasures of world though I am filled.
    In this confused state, man even forgets his death because he forgets his Lord. The more a man remains enmeshed in the web of Maya, the more he struggles; and the more he struggles, the more he wallows in the sordidness of uncertainty and confusion, and ****her he gets away from God.

    Maya has three gunas (attributes) : namely, Sattavs (intellect), Rajas (passion) and Tamas (indolence). The characteristics of these gunas are : Sattava is the power of nature that illuminates and reveals all manifestations. It stands for goodness, purity, intelligence and brightness. It gives health, strength, vitality, joy, cheerfulness and attracts pleasantness and knowledge. These good qualities sometimes even cause ego-centricity and perversion. Rajas means energy, passion, craving and attachment. It is the motive force for action. It is activating and exciting. Its functions are to move things, overcome resistance and perform actions. It is responsible for all motion and chance that goes on throughout the nature. In nature, it manifests as the force of winds. Tamas means the power that restrains, obstructs and checks. It envelopes the other two gunas by counter-acting the tendency of Rajas to do acts and Sattava to reveal. It is the restricting and binding attribute of Maya. Its function is to restrict motion. It is the cause of indolence, dullness and inertia.

    In Sri Guru Granth Sahib, there are many illustrations depicting the power of these gunas (urges). In the visible world, these gunas are described to be great inciters which keep man occupied throughout his life. It is Maya which, with the assistance of these gunas, creates desires in the mind of a man and propels him to do action. Action done under the influence of Maya could be good, passionate for cravings or steeped in ignorance; man develops attachment with the worldly things and does not wish to part with them. Under the over-all influence of Maya, man works under five instincts, namely, Kam (pleasure), Krodh (anger), Lobha (greed), Moh (attachment) and Ahankar (ego), which, in the Holy Scripture of the Sikhs, are called the five dominent passions, or five robber agents, of Maya. In sukhmani, Guru Arjun Dev, the Fifth Guru, says –
    O Lord, Nanak hath taken refuge in Thee;
    Through Thy Grace, O Divine Guru, drive
    Lust, wrath, greed, attachment, self-love
    from his heart.
    Ashtapadi, 6 Slok 1.
    It is man’s duty to control his rajas (passion) and tamas (indolence) by means of his sattaya (intellect) nature which seeks for the truth of things and right law of action. Even when we act under the influence of our Sattaya nature, we are not completely free. Sattaya binds us to the world as much as the other two gunas. The difference is that our desires for truth and virtue are nobler. The sense of ego is still very much operative. We must rise above our ego and grow into the Supreme Self of which the ego is an expression. When we make our individual being one with the Supreme, we rise above nature of Maya with his gunas and free ourselves from the bonds of the world.

    Imprints of the action carried by a man go with him, even after his death, as inherited tendencies. For noble deeds he is rewarded and for ignoble deeds he is punished which are reflected in his next birth. In Pauri 33 of Japji, it is mentioned that man acts under the temperament inherited which is not changeable in the normal circumstances. Under the influence of his ego (Haumai), man performs new actions, he then lands himself into the cycle of birth and death.

    Actions taken under the influence of Maya (illusion) and its gunas such as Sattaya, Rajas and Tamas and Haumai (ego) create bondages in the path of a man’s progress towards union with God from whom the soul originated. Maya misleads a man from love for God towards attachment for lower passions and desires. All actions and creations under the influence of Maya are deceitful and keep a man steeped in bondage and away from the Lord: Baba maya ki rachna dhohu (Sri Rag, SGGS-15). The Holy Scriptures provides illustrations about punishment given to man for his wrong-doings.
    "Hate, conflict, sensual desire, anger,
    emotional attachment, falsehood, corruption, immense greed and deceit; so many lifetimes are spent in these ways,
    Says Nanak : uplift those minds, O Lord, show your mercy."
    It becomes quite clear that God has preordained for every man. Wherever man transgresses that preordination, under the influence of Maya and ego, he has to face the consequences.

    The fundamental techning of Sikhism is that man should exercise discipline to become selfless, or haumai-less (ego-less). Unless man removes the obstacle of haumai (ego), he cannot achieve his spritual goal. Man, while performing his active life, must try to detach himself from the worldly attachments. Guru Arjun Dev has said –
    The hunger for worldly wealth in never satisfied,
    The world’s thirst is not quenched;
    But let a man detach himself from worldly attachments,
    And after his trial he shall prosper,
    When through the Lord’s Infinite Mercy in the mind’s temple
    I encountered the True Guru,
    The lamp of wisdom was lighted.
    I understood then what victory and defeat are,
    I grasped life’s purpose.
    Rag Gauri (SGGS-235)

    The more a man is detached from the world of Maya, the closer he gets to the Lord. The Sikh Scriptures exhort that man should live in the world like the proverbial lotus which grows in the quagmire (with can be alluded to as the world of Maya), unmindful of its surroundings, blossoming and remaining in the quagmire, yet detached, bestowing its beauty and bounty to the surrounding.

    Similarly, man performing his pre-ordained duties, if he is detached from the worldly desires generated by the agents and instincts controlled by Maya, the closer he will get to the presence of the Lord. In this is the salvation for him.
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  3. vsgrewal48895

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    Mar 12, 2009
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    Dear Aman Ji,

    Here are my two cents on the subject;



    ਮਾਇਆ ਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਬਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਬਿਮੋਹਿਤ ਬਿਰਲਾ ਬੂਝੈ ਕੋਈ ॥​

    Mā¬i¬ā cẖiṯar bacẖiṯar bimohiṯ birlā būjẖai ko¬ī.

    The marvelous image of Maya is so fascinating; how few understand this?
    -----Namdev, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 485-2​

    ਇਸੁ ਜਰ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਘਣੀ ਵਿਗੁਤੀ ਇਨਿ ਜਰ ਘਣੀ ਖੁਆਈ ॥ ਪਾਪਾ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਮੁਇਆ ਸਾਥਿ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਆਪਿ ਖੁਆਏ ਕਰਤਾ ਖੁਸਿ ਲਏ ਚੰਗਿਆਈ ॥

    Is jar kāraṇ gẖaṇī viguṯī in jar gẖaṇī kẖu­ā­ī. Pāpā bājẖahu hovai nāhī mu¬i¬ā sāth na jā¬ī. Jis no āp kẖu¬ā¬ė karṯā kẖus la¬ė cẖangi¬ā¬ī.

    For the sake of this wealth, so many were ruined; because of this wealth, so many have been disgraced. Wealth with out evil-doing it comes not and in death it accompanies not. Those, whom the Creator Akal Purkh Itself cast off - first It strips them of their goodness.-----Guru Nanak, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 417-17 & 18

    Maya creates bondage and attachment to material things in life, including personal temporary relationships, which in a spiritual sense is caused by emotions.

    ਹੇ ਅਜਿਤ ਸੂਰ ਸੰਗ੍ਰਾਮੰ ਅਤਿ ਬਲਨਾ ਬਹੁ ਮਰਦਨਹ ॥ ਗਣ ਗੰਧਰਬ ਦੇਵ ਮਾਨੁਖ੍ਯ੍ਯੰ ਪਸੁ ਪੰਖੀ ਬਿਮੋਹਨਹ ॥

    Hay Ajit Soor Sangraamn Ut Balnaa Boh Mariner, Gan GanDharab Dayv Maanukh-yaN Pasu Pankhee Bimohneh.

    O emotional attachment, you are the invincible warrior of the battlefield of life; you totally crush and destroy even the most powerful. You entice and fascinate even the heavenly heralds, celestial singers, gods, mortals, beasts and birds. ------ Guru Arjan, Sahskriti Slokes, AGGS, Page, 1358-2


    Maya (ਮਾਇਆ) as defined by Mahan Kosh includes the world and its entanglements. (1) ਭੁਲੇਖਾ, ਭ੍ਰਮ, ਅਵਿਦਿਆ, ਅਗਿਆਨਤਾ (2) ਧਨ, ਦੌਲਤ (3) ਮਾਤਾ (4) ਹੇ ਮਾਂ ! ਹੇ ਮਾਤਾ (5) ਭਲਾਉਣ/ਭਰਮ ਉਪਜਾਉਣ ਵਾਲੀ ਸ਼ਕਤੀ (6) ਸਰੀਰਕ ਭਾਵ ਦੁਨਿਆਵੀ or starch, farina; goddess of wealth, Lakshmi; wealth, riches, money, mammon,; illusionary or illusory world of senses, material world; illusion, illusory phenomena. Guru Arjan ponders in Raag Suhi;

    ਭਰਮ ਲੋਭ ਮੋਹ ਮਾਇਆ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਛੂਟੇ ਤੇ ਏਕੰਕਾਰ ॥

    Bharam Lobh Moh Maya Vikaar, Bharam Chhootay Tay Aikankaar.

    Doubt, greed, emotional attachment, immoral acts come from Maya. Freed from illusion one realizes the One Akal Purkh. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Suhi, AGGS, Page, 736-14

    There are three qualities of Maya that are interconnected, interrelated and interdependent with the three vital forces of the body.

    These are sativa, rajas and tamas.

    Sativa includes equilibrium, goodness, truth, compassion, stillness and peace.
    Rajas includes thinking, planning and taking decisions.
    Tamas includes greed, anger, jealousy, and laziness.

    Materialism is wealth seeking and a materialistic (ਸਾਕਤ ) prefers extravagance, is superficial, believes the bigger the pay check the more important the person, competitive, selfish, preoccupied with money, believes they deserve to have whatever they want (sense of entitlement), seeks status and power relative to peers, believes there is nothing wrong with marrying partly for money, disdains financial insecurity, avoids losing status and control, looking good is more important than comfort, believes in success through appearances, second place is not good enough, manipulative, has a need for applause, not generous, loves to win awards, does things primarily for own benefit, gets angry when they don't get when they want, used to getting their way, prefers instant gratification.

    Materialism is the general theory that the ultimate constituents of reality are material or physical bodies, elements or processes. It is a form of monism in that it holds that everything in existence is reducible to what is material or physical in nature. It is opposed to dualistic theories which claim that body and mind are distinct, and directly antithetical to a philosophical idealism that denies the existence of matter. It is hostile to abstract objects, if these are viewed as more than just a manner of speaking. An implication of materialism is that the diverse qualitative experiences we have are ultimately reducible to quantitative changes in objects or in our physiological functioning. All the properties of things, including persons, are reducible to properties of matter. The stones/matter is not inert and is alive by human definition. These contain a lyrical sound singing praises of Akal Purkh with embodied energy and lifting the veil between this world and the Divine world on the other side.

    Although the terms referring to psychic states such as intention, belief, desire and consciousness itself have a different sense and use than terms referring to material events, a consistent materialist would deny that mentalist terms have reference to anything other than physical events or physiological changes in our brains. The enormous advances in the sciences have contributed storehouses of empirical data that are often used to support materialism. Many philosophers have been attracted to materialism both because of its reductive simplicity and its association with scientific knowledge.

    The lower instincts are necessary for progeny but indulgence in them causes spiritual decline or obstructs spiritual growth and lowers the span of life. Love/lust both leads to attachment due to human sensual emotions leading to momentary pleasure or long lasting happiness in a material sense. There is difference between pleasure and happiness so is there between lust and love. Love is long lasting bliss/happiness creating bondage and attachment, while lust and pleasure are for that moment in life. This universal and apparently inconsistent emotion seems almost incapable of definition. Guru Arjan refers to three qualities of Maya in Raag Asa created by God;

    ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਮਾਇਆ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਕੀ ਕੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਵਨ ਬਿਧਿ ਤਰੀਐ ਰੇ॥ਘੂਮਨ ਘੇਰ ਅਗਾਹ ਗਾਖਰੀ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਪਾਰਿ ਉਤਰੀਐ ਰੇ ॥

    Thrai Gun Maya Braham Kee Keenee Khohu Kavan Bidh Tareeai Ray, Ghooman Ghayr Agaah Gaakhree Gur Sabdee Paar Utree-ai Ray.

    God has created Maya of three qualities; tell me how it can be crossed over? The whirlpool is awesome and unfathomable; only through the Word of the Guru's Sabd is one carried across. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 404-3

    ਦੋਸੁ ਨਹੀ ਕਾਹੂ ਕਉ ਮੀਤਾ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹ ਬੰਧੁ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਕੀਤਾ ॥

    Dos Nahee Kaahoo Ka-o Meetaa, Maya Moh Bandh Prabh Keetta.

    No one is at fault, my friend. God created the bondage of emotional attachment to Maya.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 257-11

    ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਮੇਰੈ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਕੀਨਾ ਆਪੇ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਏ ॥ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਇਸੁ ਜਗ ਮਹਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਕਰਮਿ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਏ ॥

    Maya Mohu Mayrai Prabh Keena Aapay Bharam Bhulaa-ay, Gurbaanee Is Jag Meh Chaanan Karam Vasai Man Aa-ay.

    Emotional attachment to Maya is created by God; and misleads us through illusion and doubt. Gurbani is the Light to illuminate this world; by Its Grace, it comes to abide within the mind. -----Guru Amardas, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page, 67-9

    Guru Arjan further describes that Akal Purkh is the only One free of bondage/attachment;

    ਮੁਕੰਦ ਮਨੋਹਰ ਲਖਮੀ ਨਾਰਾਇਣ ॥ਦ੍ਰੋਪਤੀ ਲਜਾ ਨਿਵਾਰਿ ਉਧਾਰਣ ॥ ਕਮਲਾਕੰਤ ਕਰਹਿ ਕੰਤੂਹਲ ਅਨਦ ਬਿਨੋਦੀ ਨਿਹਸੰਗਾ ॥

    Mukanḏ manohar lakẖmī nārā▫iṇ.Ḏaropaṯī lajā nivār uḏẖāraṇ. Kamlakant Kareh Kantoohal Anad Binodee Nehsangaa.

    Liberator, Enticing God of Lakshmi, Savior of Dropadi's honor, andCreator of Maya, miracle-worker, absorbed in delightful play is unattached. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 1082-12

    None escapes its clutches, even the three gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva were enticed and bound by three modes of Maya and were far away from salvation. Guru Amardas describes it in the following hymn;

    ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਬਿਸਨੁ ਮਹੇਸੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੀ ॥ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਬਧਕ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨਿਰਾਰੀ ॥

    Barahmaa Bisan Mahays Veechaaree, Tarai Gun BaDhak Mukat Niraaree.

    Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, engaged in contemplation are bound by the three qualities and far away from liberation. -----Guru Amardas, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 1049-19

    Attachment is of two kinds;

    1. Divine or spiritual.

    ਏਹ ਕਿਨੇਹੀ ਆਸਕੀ ਦੂਜੈ ਲਗੈ ਜਾਇ ॥ਨਾਨਕ ਆਸਕੁ ਕਾਂਢੀਐ ਸਦ ਹੀ ਰਹੈ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ਚੰਗੈ ਚੰਗਾ ਕਰਿ ਮੰਨੇ ਮੰਦੈ ਮੰਦਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਆਸਕੁ ਏਹੁ ਨ ਆਖੀਐ ਜਿ ਲੇਖੈ ਵਰਤੈ ਸੋਇ ॥

    Ayh Kinay-hee Aaskee Doojai Lagai Jaa-ey, Nanak Aasak Kandhee-aa Sad He Rahai Samaa-ey, Changai Changaa Kar Manay Mandai Mandaa Hoey, Aasak Ayh Na Aakhee-ai Je Laykhai Vartai Soey.

    What sort of love is this, which clings to duality Nanak, he alone is called a lover, who remains forever immersed in absorption. But one who feels good only when good is done for him, and feels bad when things go badly - do not call him a lover. He trades only for his own account. -----Guru Angad, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 474-4 & 5

    2. Physical attachment- wealth, parents, siblings, spouse, children, friends, society, and even pets etc. It is also defined as deep, tender affection, romantic attraction, a sense of oneness, intense desire, infatuation, sexual feelings, emotional attachment, and an enthusiastic predilection can all be called love, and to love is to feel or express any of these.

    ਕਾਇਆ ਹੰਸ ਕਿਆ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਹੈ ਜਿ ਪਇਆ ਹੀ ਛਡਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਏਸ ਨੋ ਕੂੜੁ ਬੋਲਿ ਕਿ ਖਵਾਲੀਐ ਜਿ ਚਲਦਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥

    Kaaeia Hans Kia Preet Hai Peiaa Hee Chadd Jaaey. Ės no kūṛ bol kė kẖavālī▫ai jė cẖalḏi▫ā nāl na jā▫e.

    What love is this between the body and soul, which ends when the body falls? Why feed it by telling lies? When you leave, it does not go with you.-----Guru Amardas, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 510-19

    Family Attachments;

    ਹਉਮੈ ਮਮਤਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਸੰਗਿ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਰਾਮ ॥ ਮਾਤਾ ਪਿਤ ਭਾਈ ਸੁਤ ਚਤੁਰਾਈ ਸੰਗਿ ਨ ਸੰਪੈ ਨਾਰੇ ॥

    Houmain Mamta Maya Sung Na Jaa-ee Ram, Mata Pit Sut Chaturaa-ee Sung Na Sanpai Naray.

    Egotism, worldly attachment, and the lures of Maya shall not go with you. Mother, father, family, children, cleverness, property and spouses - none of these shall go with you. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 437-11

    Guru Tegh Bahadur ponders in Raag Sorath, page 634 that the world is entangled in its own pleasures; no one is for anyone else. The wife, who loves you so much, cries,” Ghost! Ghost!” as soon as the swan-soul leaves the body.

    Kabir in Raag Asa describes in Raag Asa, page 478 that the world is entangled in its own pleasures; no one is for anyone else. Tell me, whose mother is that, whose father is that, and which man has a wife? When the pitcher of the body breaks, no one cares for you at all. Everyone says,” Take him away, take him away! Sitting on the threshold, his mother cries, and his brothers take away the coffin. Taking down her hair, his wife cries out in sorrow, and the swan-soul departs all alone.

    ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਮੋਹਿ ਵਿਆਪਿਆ ਬੈਰਾਗੁ ਉਦਾਸੀ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਚੀਨੈ ਸਦਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਹਰਿ ਦਰਗਹਿ ਪਤਿ ਖੋਇ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਖੋਈਐ ਨਾਮਿ ਰਤੇ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥

    Manmukh Moh Viapia Bairag Udasee Na Hoay, Sabd Na Cheenai Sadaa Dukh Har Dargahi Pat Kho-ay, Ha-umai Gurmukh Kho-ee-ai Naam Ratay Sukh Ho-ay.

    The self-willed person is engrossed in the love of worldly pleasures and falsehood, he cannot practice love for Truth. They do not comprehend the Word of the Sabd. They suffer in pain forever, and lose their honor in the Court of the Akal Purkh. The Guru willed rid them of worldly love of passion through the service of the Guru and enjoy bliss of God’s love. -----Guru Amardas, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page, 29-10

    ਦੇਖਿ ਕੁਟੰਬੁ ਮੋਹਿ ਲੋਭਾਣਾ ਚਲਦਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ ਨ ਜਾਈ॥ਸਤਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵਿ ਗੁਣਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਤਿਸ ਦੀ ਕੀਮ ਨ ਪਾਈ॥

    Daekh Kuttunb Moh Lobhana Chaldiaa Naal Na Jaaee, Satgur Sayv Gun NiDhaan Paa-i-aa Tis Dee Keem Na Paa-ee.

    Gazing upon their families, people are lured and trapped by emotional attachment, but none will go along with them in the end. Serving the True Guru, one finds the Akal Purkh, the Treasure of Excellence. Its Value cannot be estimated. -----Guru Amardas, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page, 32-8

    In Sikh Thought we are looking for the Love of True Naam and all other kind of love is false (ਕੂੜ). The Will of the Akal Purkh gives the love of True Naam when one is blessed with Its Grace.


    As spiritual awakening begins, motivations inevitably shift from the egocentric materialism toward the desire to serve others. This kind of service is seen as absolutely necessary if the awakening and development are to continue; spiritual growth requires a life of service.

    Guru Arjan in Raag Asa describes the attributes of Maya;

    ਮਤਾ ਕਰਉ ਸੋ ਪਕਨਿ ਨ ਦੇਈ ॥ਸੀਲ ਸੰਜਮ ਕੈ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਖਲੋਈ ॥ਵੇਸ ਕਰੇ ਬਹੁ ਰੂਪ ਦਿਖਾਵੈ ॥ਗ੍ਰਿਹਿ ਬਸਨਿ ਨ ਦੇਈ ਵਖਿ ਵਖਿ ਭਰਮਾਵੈ ॥ਘਰ ਕੀ ਨਾਇਕਿ ਘਰ ਵਾਸੁ ਨ ਦੇਵੈ ॥ਜਤਨ ਕਰਉ ਉਰਝਾਇ ਪਰੇਵੈ ॥ਧੁਰ ਕੀ ਭੇਜੀ ਆਈ ਆਮਰਿ ॥ਨਉ ਖੰਡ ਜੀਤੇ ਸਭਿ ਥਾਨ ਥਨੰਤਰ ॥ਤਟਿ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਨ ਛੋਡੈ ਜੋਗ ਸੰਨਿਆਸ ॥ਪੜਿ ਥਾਕੇ ਸਿੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਬੇਦ ਅਭਿਆਸ ॥ਜਹ ਬੈਸਉ ਤਹ ਨਾਲੇ ਬੈਸੈ ॥ਸਗਲ ਭਵਨ ਮਹਿ ਸਬਲ ਪ੍ਰਵੇਸੈ ॥ਹੋਛੀ ਸਰਣਿ ਪਇਆ ਰਹਣੁ ਨ ਪਾਈ ॥ਕਹੁ ਮੀਤਾ ਹਉ ਕੈ ਪਹਿ ਜਾਈ ॥ਸੁਣਿ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪਹਿ ਆਇਆ ॥ਗੁਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਮੋਹਿ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਇਆ ॥ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਸਿਆ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਇ ਅਨੰਤਾ ॥ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਮਿਲਿਓ ਨਾਨਕ ਭਏ ਅਚਿੰਤਾ ॥ਘਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਇਹ ਨਾਇਕਿ ਹਮਾਰੀ ॥ਇਹ ਆਮਰਿ ਹਮ ਗੁਰਿ ਕੀਏ ਦਰਬਾਰੀ ॥

    Maṯā kara¬o so pakan na ḏė¬ī, Sīl sanjam kai nikat kẖalo¬ī, vės karė baho rūp ḏikẖāvai, Garihi basan na ḏė¬ī vakẖ vakẖ bẖarmāvai, Gẖar kī nā¬ik gẖar vās na ḏėvai, Jaṯan kara¬o urjẖā¬ė parėvai, Ḏẖur kī bẖėjī ā¬ī āmar, Na¬o kẖand jīṯė sabẖ thān thananṯar, Ŧat ṯirath na cẖẖodai jog sanni¬ās, Paṛ thākė simriṯ bėḏ abẖi¬ās, Jah baisa¬o ṯah nālė baisai, Sagal bẖavan meh sabal parvėsai, Hocẖẖī saraṇ pa¬i¬ā rahaṇ na pā¬ī, Kaho mīṯā ha¬o kai peh jā¬ī, Suṇ upḏės saṯgur peh ā¬i¬ā, Gur har har nām mohi manṯar driṛ¬ā¬i¬ā, Nij gẖar vasi¬ā guṇ gā¬ė ananṯā, Parabẖ mili¬o Nānak bẖa¬ė acẖinṯā, Gẖar mėrā ih nā¬ik hamārī, Ih āmar ham gur kī¬ė ḏarbārī.

    Whatever I resolve, she (Maya) does not allow it to come to pass. She stands blocking the way of goodness and self-discipline. She wears many disguises, and assumes many forms, and she does not allow me to dwell in my own home. She forces me to wander around in different directions. She has become the mistress of my home, and she does not allow me to live in it. If I try, she fights with me. In the beginning, she was sent as a helper, but she has overwhelmed the nine continents, all places and interspaces. She has not spared even the river banks, the sacred shrines of pilgrimage, the Yogis and Sannyaasees, or those who tirelessly read the Simritees and study the Vedas. Wherever I sit, she sits there with me. She has imposed her power upon the whole world. Seeking meager protection, I am not protected from her. Tell me, O my friend: unto whom should I turn for protection? I heard of Akal Purkh’s Teachings, and so I have come to the True Guru. The Guru has implanted the spell of the It's Name, Akal Purkh, within me. And now, I dwell in the home of my own inner self; I sing the Glorious Praises of the Infinite God. I have met God, O Nanak, and I have become care-free. My home is now my own, and she is now my mistress. She is now my servant, and the Guru has made me intimate with the Akal Purkh. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 371

    ਮਾਥੈ ਤ੍ਰਿਕੁਟੀ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਕਰੂਰਿ ॥ਸਦਾ ਭੂਖੀ ਪਿਰੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਦੂਰਿ ॥ਐਸੀ ਇਸਤ੍ਰੀ ਇਕ ਰਾਮਿ ਉਪਾਈ ॥ਉਨਿ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਖਾਇਆ ਹਮ ਗੁਰਿ ਰਾਖੇ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥ਪਾਇ ਠਗਉਲੀ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਜੋਹਿਆ ॥ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਬਿਸਨੁ ਮਹਾਦੇਉ ਮੋਹਿਆ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਲਗੇ ਸੇ ਸੋਹਿਆ ॥ਵਰਤ ਨੇਮ ਕਰਿ ਥਾਕੇ ਪੁਨਹਚਰਨਾ ॥ਤਟ ਤੀਰਥ ਭਵੇ ਸਭ ਧਰਨਾ ॥ਸੇ ਉਬਰੇ ਜਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸਰਨਾ ॥ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਸਭੋ ਜਗੁ ਬਾਧਾ ॥ਹਉਮੈ ਪਚੈ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਮੂਰਾਖਾ ॥ਗੁਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਾਹ ਪਕਰਿ ਹਮ ਰਾਖਾ ॥

    Māthai ṯarikutī ḏarisat karūr, Bolai ka¬uṛā jihbā kī fūṛ, Saḏā bẖūkẖī pir jānai ḏūr, Aisī isṯarī ik rām upā¬ī, Un sabẖ jag kẖā¬i¬ā ham gur rākẖė mėrė bẖā¬ī, Pā¬ė ṯẖag¬ulī sabẖ jag johi¬ā, Barahmā bisan mahāḏė¬o mohi¬ā, Gurmukẖ nām lagė sė sohi¬ā, varaṯ nėm kar thākė punharcẖanā, Ŧat ṯirath bẖavė sabẖ ḏẖarnā, Sė ubrė je saṯgur kī sarnā, Mā¬i¬ā mohi sabẖo jag bāḏẖā, Ha¬umai pacẖai manmukẖ mūrākẖā, Gur Nānak bāh pakar ham rākẖā.

    A frown creases her forehead, and her look is evil. Her speech is bitter, and her tongue is rude. She is always hungry, and she believes her Husband to be far away. Such is Maya, the woman, which the One Akal Purkh has created. She is devouring the whole world, but the Guru has saved me, O my Siblings of Destiny. Administering her poisons, she has overcome the whole world. She has bewitched Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Only those Guru willed who are attuned to the Naam are blessed. Performing fasts, religious observances and atonements, the mortals have grown weary. They wander over the entire planet, on pilgrimages to the banks of sacred rivers. But they alone are saved, who seek the Sanctuary of the True Guru. Attached to Maya, the whole world is in bondage. The foolish self-willed are consumed by their egotism. Taking by the arm, Guru Nanak has saved us. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 394


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