satnaam sada satnaam
dandauth bandhana ji
… a great article for those trapped in religion, written by another blessed soul in the sangat.
Without The Name, there is No Worship
( bin naavai pooj na ho-ay.)p.489SGGS
Why are we here i.e. what is the purpose of this life? How we came into this life form. What happens when I die? What is a soul. What happens to this soul after the physical death. Do we go somewhere else after death.
Can an individual do something which can affect whatever happens to the soul after death or it is pre-determined. How shall one conduct/live the life? Which actions, what sort of knowledge, and what religion should one practice?
Does any organized religion provides answers to above questions? Let us explore the fundamental truth about the life.
Body is house for the soul and Lord. Creative force through sexual energy creates a body and soul comes to live in this creation. Soul is image or the ray of light the which got separated from the Origin and represents the Giver. Creation by virtue of its materialistic nature is perishable. However, the soul does not die and transfers from one body/house to another until it completes its journey and finds its way back to the Origin. Soul carries your account of doings/deeds.
The Giver lives in its creation no matter how small/ugly/bad (otherwise they won’t be here). Actually we can say that creation lives in the Creator. The Giver provides the necessities of living to everyone until it has experienced for what it was created for.
aapay jorh vichhorhay kartaa aapay maar jeevaa-idaa. ||15||
The Creator Himself unites and separates; He Himself kills and rejuvenates. ||15||
jaytee hai taytee tuDh andar.
As much as there is, is contained within You.(SGGS p. 1033)
So we have two sets of parents, one’s who helped in creation of the body and soul from and representing The Giver. What shape/form a body takes and where a soul goes is governed by the Law of Karma i.e. one’s own deeds to balance the account( who did whatsoever to whomsoever). Body perishes and mingles with dust but soul lives thus The Giver is our real Father & Mother & home. Being present in everything the concepts of sex/shape/form/name/look/worldly religion etc. does not apply to the God.
Through the journey, mind (materialistic realization of soul/light/energy) gets dirtier as it wanders away from the Truth and engulfs into the illusionary world. Mind being expansionist always want/ seeks more of anything & everything such as beauty, money, house, property, prestige, happiness, control etc. Under the influence of five vices lust, anger, ego, greed & attachment, mind always seeks out for happiness/pleasure/comfort.
However, such happiness is short-lived/temporary because once experienced mind looses interest and needs something else. Cries over loss of something, feels sorrow and regrets or repents. Everything being in motion under the law of karma, the cycle continues with mind getting filthier & filthier.
Organized religion steps in with its tradition of prayers of asking for more. With offerings, performing rituals, recital of holy verses, worship of deity’s & religious entities of past so on — (long list) human beings keep asking for more/happiness. They worship the past, worries about the future and forget the present where Giver is actually living and experiencing. People praise the gone (past), statues, holy verses/books but condemns/dislikes and slanders the present. Past is already lived/experienced/seeded and has evolved into present. Live in present because that is where the action is and the crop from the seed of deed is to be reaped (fate/naseeb/bhaag).
Prayers for worldly possessions are like a trade because;
-you are not content with what you have (result of your actions)
-you are offering a fraction of whatever you possess( was given) and ask for much more (smart/clever)
-you don”t appreciate what was given (supreme creation, healthy body etc.)
-shows you don’t love The Giver but his materialistic creation
-shows that you don’t trust that God will provide for all the necessities
Once a thought of something is born, the One living inside already knows about it. If it is His Will it will be answered. By asking for it you are working against the Will(Giver’s) and contributing to the negativity. At same time if you gain something you have to loose something to keep your account balanced.
People wear religious robes/clothes or symbols to please/worship who ? Soul/mind do not have any clothes. You was born with no clothes, you will go naked after death. When the soul goes to court you will be judged based on the deeds recorded in your account, the worldly materials do not accompany you. Are you trying to show others that you are superior, religious, good, closer to Giver, have authority, and should be appreciated or acknowledged (Ego, hypocrisy). Your religion has been made for you by others, communicated by tradition, determined to fixed forms/rituals by imitation, and retained by habit.
galeeN asee changee-aa aachaaree buree-aah.
We are good at talking, but our actions are bad.
manhu kusuDhaa kaalee-aa baahar chitvee-aah.
Mentally, we are impure and black, but outwardly, we appear white. p.85
As the life cycles continue the account keeps growing depending upon good/bad deeds or actions and soul keeps moving away from the Origin/Truth. Good deeds can be rewarded with good life/body but they can not take you out of the life cycle.
Union or harmonious relation with the Origin is our true end. To re-unite with the Creator, expansion has to stop and contraction has to begun to nullify the account. For that you have to control your mind i.e. exercise control over five vices which are actually five disciples of the Giver. Do you think that it can be done without the Lord’s help and grace. Are they going to listen to you or their Master.
So how do we clean our mind, bring it to peace and control it. To receive Giver’s grace what we should/can one do. Answer is simple show your love for Him by doing (not by saying/reciting only), live in accordance to the Will (no praying for worldly things), consider you are nothing, ask for forgiveness & to be blessed with the Naam( Name of the Giver). Only enchanting/reciting the Naam cleans/control the mind and bring it to peace in the present.
bhaykhee haath na laDhee-aa sabh baDhee jamkaal.
Nothing is obtained by wearing religious robes; all will be seized by the Messenger of Death.
naanak galaa jhoothee-aa sachaa naam samaal. ||1||
O Nanak, talk is false; contemplate the True Name. ||1|| p.1089
jaytee hai taytee tuDh jaachai karam milai so paa-idaa. ||13||
All that are, beg from You; You are attained only by Your Grace. ||13||
karam Dharam sach haath tumaarai.
You hold karma and Dharma in Your hands, O True Lord. (p. 1033)
Where is this Naam, how you will get it. You have to pray for it, you will get it only through Giver’s( Gur) grace through a guru( who has realized the Lord in himself). Do you think anyone who is still under the influence of five, does not have Naam himself, have yet to experience or achieve union with the Giver, can give it to you.
Within the cave of this body, there is one beautiful place.
poorai gur ha-umai bharam chukaa-i-aa.
Through the Perfect Guru, ego and doubt are dispelled.
gur kai sabad ih gufaa veechaaray.
Through the Word of the Guru, search this cave.
naam niranjan antar vasai muraaray.
The Immaculate Naam, the Name of the Lord, abides deep within the self.
har gun gaavai sabad suhaa-ay mil pareetam sukh paavni-aa. ||4||
Sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord, and decorate yourself with the Naam. Meeting with your Beloved, you shall find peace. (p.120)
sareerahu bhaalan ko baahar jaa-ay.
Those who look outside the body, searching for the Lord,
naam na lahai bahut vaygaar dukh paa-ay.
shall not receive the Naam; their efforts bear no fruit and they suffer
gur parsaadee sachaa har paa-ay.
By Guru’s Grace, the True Lord is found.
man tan vaykhai ha-umai mail jaa-ay.
Within your mind and body, see the Lord, and the filth of egotism shall depart. (p. 124)
When the mind is filthy, everything it does is filthy. By washing/cleaning the body or wearing clean clothes, the mind is not cleaned. Falsehood even practiced thousand times is still false. The attachment to Maya won’t cease and you will die only to be reborn, over and over again.
Those who make pilgrimages to sacred(?) shrines, observe ritualistic fasts and make donations to charity while thinking/taking pride, their actions are useless. Because of the underlying desire/benefit for himself or for family members ( who/ where is the real family), offerings, rituals and organized religions are all just entanglements and bad/good are bound up in them. Those things are primarily done, for the sake of family in ego and attachment and are just more bonds. Without the divine wisdom and True Name, the world is engrossed in these blind entanglements. These things will be of no use to you as they won’t take you to your real family/home.
khayhoo khayh ralaa-ee-ai taa jee-o kayhaa ho-ay.
When the body mingles with dust, what happens to the soul?
jalee-aa sabh si-aanpaa uthee chali-aa ro-ay.
All clever tricks are burnt away, and you shall depart crying.(p.17)
chhod jaahi say karahi paraal.
You shall have to abandon the straw which you have collected.
kaam na aavahi say janjaal.
These entanglements shall be of no use to you.
sang na chaaleh tin si-o heet.
You are in love with those things that will not go with you.
vasat paraa-ee ka-o uth rovai.
He cries for the possessions of others.
karam Dharam saglaa ee khovai.
He forfeits all the merits of his good deeds and religion.(p.551)
tosaa banDhhu jee-a kaa aithai othai naal.
For the journey of the soul, gather those supplies which will go with you here and hereafter.
gur pooray tay paa-ee-ai apnee nadar nihaal.
These are obtained from the Perfect Guru, when God bestows His Glance of Grace.(p.49)
poojaa karai sabh lok santahu manmukh thaa-ay na paa-ee. ||4||
Everyone worships Him, O Saints, but the manmukh (run by mind) is not accepted or approved. ||4||
ਨਾਮੋ ਪੂਜ ਕਰਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
naamo pooj karaa-ee. Worship the Naam, the Name of the Lord.(p.910)
Once there was a King who had several Queens. One day he gathered them and told that he is very happy & will give whatever they ask for. Some asked for jewellary, few for palaces & maids while others for expensive clothes. One of them demanded nothing. King called her and asked her what does she want. She had the true knowledge and said I want You because I love you. King asked you don’t want money, jewellary or palaces etc. She replied that if I have you I will have access to all those things because its you who own them.
To demonstrate your love you have to stop asking for materialistic things(maya) and ask only for Him to come. Giver wants to see your love/longing, commitment & belief/faith. It is said Lord is looking for the true devotees Himself for otherwise He does know of His existence.
Naam nectar (cosmic energy) obtained with the grace of the Lord (Gur) through service and blessings of gifted entities (Guru) is the only thing which cleans the mind run by five disciples. Constant remembrance (seeing the Lord in everything around you), love, kindness & compassion (without qualification), truthfulness in your deeds (no Selfishness) etc will help/add to the positive energy created which is essential for cleansing the dirt gathered through the life cycles. Guru who has already realized the Lord within himself (through blessings or blessed One’s, dedication/determination, complete surrender & living by His Will), helps to bring out the Naam from the body by maintaining the nectar (positive energy), analyzing and correcting as required. You can not walk away or forget your Guru for it shows lack of love/commitment/faith (you will go back to zero).
pabar tooN haree-aavlaa kavlaa kanchan vann.
O lotus, your leaves were green, and your blossoms were gold.
kai dokh-rhai sarhi-ohi kaalee ho-ee-aa dayhuree naanak mai tan bhang.
What pain has burnt you, and made your body black? O Nanak, my body is battered.
jaanaa paanee naa lahaaN jai saytee mayraa sang.
I have not received that water which I love. p.1410
The above is possible in a human body, because it is equipped as such and can perform action/deeds which can help in creating the necessary environment. It is not possible in other life forms. They are starting points. That is why gurbani says this is your chance to turn the page on your spiritual aspects of life. Don’t be an animal in human body, because who knows when you will get this chance again. Everything is created for some purpose. Everything in universe is on the move. Even soil and rock slowly dissolve into water to add minerals, which eventually help in growth of the creation.
However one must not forget the simple law of physics that more distance is traveled by the objects, which are circling/orbiting farther away from the axle/center. More efforts will be required if you have carried yourself farther from the Truth/Origin.
Guru Nanak Ji came to this world and introduced the worship of The Giver( One &Only) by reciting the Naam (true name of Giver) to bring salvation to masses. After ages of meditation (bhagti) Guru Ji brought this concept of enchanting naam to the people. It was latest modification to the practiced religions, which were primarily confined to rituals/offerings/recital of holy verses/mantras/prayers/idol or deity worship etc. What did we do with this revolution in practicing the true religion. Unfortunately we went back to square one and tried to cover/control/bury/distort the divine wisdom with same traditional stuff of rituals/clothes/recitals We miserably failed to spread the latest divine message.
One can not expect much from organized religion because it is usually run by people/organizations who are themselves under the influence of materialistic things. They will build fancy buildings, introduce traditions, recitals/hymns, prayers & rituals by creating a physical routine to attract people, will tell & preach their way of living usually physical or materialistic in nature & hide the truth. The principle purpose being limited to gathering crowds, make more members & collect donations and build more. In such places the true religion is talked about/preached but not put into practice. Instead of spreading the message of love & equality they spread/seed hatred What do you expect to reap then?
A Saint Guru comes to this world for ferrying the people(his family) across, to bring salvation and that is why every prominent religious entity of the past fought against their own religion/community/preachers.
So my friend go and keep going, to seek out the one who can give you Naam (Name of the Lord), do not forget you have to ask for it, because without it their is no worship & no salvation from the cycles of life. Do not worry about his religion/caste/place he belongs to, because you do not know where you are going to click. There is a whole assortment of them out there; some may meet you to be just paid back, some may ask for years of service, some may give to you without asking anything i.e. for nothing (simply for your salvation for you are who you are). However your determination, belief & commitment are essential, otherwise you can not retain it.
Do not forget if you love the Giver, you will love His creation no matter how they look, what they wear, what religion/sect/place they belong to or what language they speak. You will appreciate the diversity, not condemn it for one and all it’s You & You, only You.