Astpadi 4: Maya

Before we begin to discuss this Astpadi, there are some very important spiritual points to understand. We do Bandgi to:- 

·         get out of the cycle of birth and death,

·         clean us up from inside,

·         cure us of all of the mental sicknesses,

·         win over Panj Doots and all desires,

·         win over Maya completely,

·         win over our mind,

·         clean our soul up so that we can meet the Almighty and obtain salvation,

·         be able to see, speak, hear, deliver and serve the Eternal Truth,

·         be one with Akal Purakh, and

·         become a Sant Hirda.

In the first three Astpadis of Sukhmani Guru Pancham Patshah Ji has very kindly given us the divine wisdom which explains the Mahima of Naam and of Naam Ki Kamai.  Now, in the next three Astpadis Guru Patshah Ji has very kindly given us the divine wisdom about Maya.  This is the most important thing to understand on the Puran Bandgi Marg (divine slavery path leading to Perfection).  Puran Bandgi is nothing but waging and winning a war against Maya. 

Those who get the GurParsaad of Naam, Bandgi and Seva and commit themselves to Puran Bandgi.  They do so with complete surrender to the Gur and Guru and move forward with full and complete commitment, belief, faith, trust, devotion and love.  They realize the Ultimate and merge in Akal Purakh.  Here are some insights into the relationship between Maya and Puran Bandgi which this Dass has experienced and learned with GurParsaad and GurKirpa and wants to share with the respected Gur Sangat (Sangat of God-Guru). 

Why do we do Bandgi?  Why do we need to do Bandgi?  And what exactly is doing Bandgi like?  We do it to bring in all of the qualities of Akal Purakh into us.  Once we become Jivan Mukt then we serve others (Parupkaar) and help others to obtain salvation too (Maha Parupkaar).  There are some other by-products of doing Bandgi, such as:

·         makes our daily life cleaner and smoother,
·         brings us inner peace all through our daily living,
·         keeps our mind balanced,
·         we don’t get excited, or depressed,
·         we get the mental strength to deal with the ups and downs in our daily life,
·         being able to deal with the sorrows we face in our normal life,
·         it keeps us aware to not speak or do untruthful acts or deeds,
·         it makes our conscience clear and clean,
·         we don’t hurt anybody,
·         our efforts are directed to do everything truthfully,
·         the obstacles in our daily life are minimized,
·         everything starts to fall in the right place for us,
·         we don’t get angry at others,
·         our heart becomes kind,
·         we become humble and earn humility,
·         our character becomes cleaner,
·         we earn respect from our family, friends and society,
·         our wisdom gets better and better,
·         we start to understand the divine wisdom and put it into practice in our daily life, and
·         slowly, but surely, we keep on marching closer to the Almighty. 

We are very fortunate to be born as human beings in this life of ours.  This human life is very precious as it is very difficult to get.  Only in a human life can we do Bandgi and get the advantages of all of the above narrated benefits.  The basic purpose of human life as described in GurBani is to achieve salvation, to meet the Almighty, to be one with Him and to merge with Him. 

All of the human deeds, actions and reactions are performed under the control of and due to the five human senses of seeing, speaking, hearing, touching and smelling.  These five senses operate under the direct control of the human mind.  The human mind gets all of its directions from human wisdom.  The human wisdom is the worldly wisdom, the wisdom that operates under the influence of the three aspects of Maya.  They are:-
1. TAMO :- 

·         Kaam (lust),
·         Krodh (anger),
·         Lobh (greed),
·         Moh (family attachment),
·         Ahankaar / Haumai (ego).

These five enemies of our soul reside inside our body.  They are also called the Panj Doots or Chors (thieves).  In addition to these attributes which are called mental sicknesses there are a few others:–  

·         Nindya, Chugli and Bakhili (slandering, gossiping and back-biting),
·         Raj (kingdom i.e. ego of worldly positions and power), 
·         Joban (youthful beauty that promotes the feeling of lust ), 
·         Dhann (money that causes greed and corruption),  
·         Maal (material things that cause greed and corruption), 
·         Roop (beauty of others that causes attraction of mind and bringing in the feeling of lust), 
·         Ras (tastes of the tongue), 
·         Gandh (smells that distracts our mind with a feeling of lust e.g. perfumes),
·         Dubidha (duality) and
·         Hatred.

2. RAJO:–
·         Asa (hopes),
·         Trishna (the desire to amass wealth and worldly comforts and material goods) and
·         Mansha (desires);
3. SATO:-
·         Daya (kindness and forgiveness),
·         Dharam (religious Acts),
·         Daan (charity donations- Dasvandh donations),
·         Santokh (contentment),
·         Sanjam (patience; humbleness; humility),
·         Jat  (control over lust).

Some people take Maya to mean just money, which is incorrect.  The divine meaning of Maya is described as being the sum of these three aspects – Rajo, Tamo and Sato.   In GurBani, Maya has been called the darkness, it has also been called the scum, the mud we are living in.  It has also been called the Nagni, the cobra sitting on our head at all of the times ready to bite.  At any time we can do a self evaluation of any deed we perform and find that it falls under one of the above aspects of Maya.  Only a Sant, a Sadh, a Braham Gyani, a Puran Khalsa is beyond these aspects of Maya.  That one:-

·         has merged in Akal Purakh,
·         has a Puran Jyot Parkash inside,
·         has reached the Param Padvi,
·         has completed inside pilgrimage,
·         has won over the mind and Maya,
·         is living in Puran Sachyari Rehat (perfect truthful inner compliance to God’s word),
·         is living in Sach Khand,
·         sees, speaks, hears, delivers and serves the Eternal Truth.

Only such a divine soul is beyond these three Rajo, Tamo and Sato aspects of Maya.  The rest of the world operates under the directions of Maya.  As long as you keep on following your own wisdom you are under the dire influence of Maya.  As long as you are operating under the Tamo and Rajo aspects of Maya you will never be able to achieve your objective of human life, which is Jivan Mukti – salvation.  Salvation is beyond these three aspects of Maya.
Salvation is to win over Maya and go beyond its three aspects.  Salvation is to liberate our soul from the shackles of Maya – it is the Mukti from Maya.  Salvation can happen only by eliminating our own and worldly wisdom.  By eliminating our own mind and bringing the five human senses under the direct control of Divinity and to follow the divine wisdom. 

Whereas two qualities of Maya, Rajo and Tamo, are anti-Divinity, the third quality of Sato is pro-Divinity.  This Sato quality of Maya helps us move towards salvation.  This Sato quality of Maya helps us defeat the other two and reach a level where we can receive the GurParsaad – the Eternal Blessings.  Then we can move on to the path to Sach Khand, do our Bandgi and be one with Almighty. 

For moving towards salvation and to gain all of the benefits in our life as explained earlier, we  need to wage a war.  A war against the Rajo and Tamo qualities of Maya with the third quality Sato on our side.  As we practice and perform under the influence of the Sato quality of Maya we keep on winning and winning and winning.  When we reach a high stage of goodness we receive the GurParsaad.  Then our progress in winning the war against Maya becomes much faster.  Then if a concerted effort is made on a constant and consistent basis, success comes.  We win this war against the Rajo and Tamo qualities of Maya and reach salvation stage, the liberation stage.  We liberate our soul from the shackles of Maya. 

The important thing to understand is which weapons we should be using in this war.  Which weapons will help us the most?  Which weapons are the most effective in fighting against the Rajo and Tamo enemies?  Which weapons will help us to win in the most efficient manner?  The most important thing in the commencement of Bandgi is to develop a complete and full belief in the Gur, Guru and GurBani with commitment, trust and faith.  The higher the degree of trust, belief, faith and commitment the easier and faster it will be to win this war against Maya. 

The first and foremost weapon is Naam.  Concerted, consistent and constant efforts on Naam Simran bring the best rewards.  This is the highest service of Almighty, “Prabh ka simran sabh tey oochaa.”    Naam is the highest Hukam of Akal Purakh.  GurBani says that  everything else except Naam is Kood (false).  This means all other deeds are untrue.  Even good deeds are not spiritually rewarding unless we do Naam Simran.  If we do Naam Simran then Naam Amrit takes us through the internal pilgrimage which is the highest spiritual and divine pilgrimage.  When Naam Amrit comes inside our Surat and Hirda then and only then do we complete our inner pilgrimage. 

Naam Simran opens the Bajjar Kapaats including the Dassam Duaar.  Naam Simran activates the seven centers of spiritual energy inside our body which are called the Sat Sarovar in GurBani.  This brings Naam Amrit inside our soul and mind.  Naam Amrit helps us through the inner pilgrimage, the real and the divine pilgrimage.  This takes us closer to the Almighty. 

Naam Amrit is the Dori, the inner rope, which when held and used for climbing up leads us to the Ultimate.  Naam Amrit is the ladder that takes us into Sach Khand.  Naam Amrit makes us completely truthful from inside and out.  It makes us Ik Drisht,  fearless, kind, humble, self-sacrificing, loving, helpful.  Naam Amrit brings in us all of the divine qualities.  When this starts to happen then all of the mental sicknesses of Maya start to leave our body, mind and soul.  Eventually our soul and mind is liberated from the shackles of Maya. 

Wherever there is Naam there is no effect of Maya.  That soul and mind which is drenched in Naam Amrit becomes so stable that it cannot be distracted by Maya at all.  Naam Amrit is a GurParsaad, an Eternal blessing and is defined in the very first line of GurBani which is called the Mool Manter and begins “Ik Oankaar Sat Naam.” 

All of the other religious actions and deeds, the true deeds, which form a part of the Sato quality of Maya brings us closer to the achievement of GurParsaad.  When we have accumulated enough of these truthful deeds and by virtue of our religious actions and deeds, we are blessed with the GurParsaad of Naam.  The real Bandgi starts after receiving the first weapon against Maya, the GurParsaad of Naam from a Puran Sant Puran Braham Gyani (Guru). 

How do we please God so that He bestows the GurParsaad of Naam on us through His Puran Sant Puran Braham Gyani?  Well, we have to acknowledge that we are responsible for building our own destiny.  Whatever we sow today we will reap at some point later in this life or in future lives.  Whatever we have sown in our previous lives we are reaping today.  If we sow only good deeds, truthful deeds, Sato deeds and sow Naam by doing Naam Simran, we are bound to finish our account of all of the bad deeds of the past and become eligible for receiving GurParsaad.  Therefore, until the time we receive the GurParsaad, we should:

·         keep on accumulating the Sato Karams,
·         keep on praying for the GurParsaad,
·         focus on performing our daily activities as truthfully as we can,
·         watch all of our actions and deeds and make sure that they are not prompted by any of the Rajo and Tamo aspects of Maya,
·         engage ourselves in continuous repeated prayers during the day and night asking for forgiveness of the untrue deeds performed under the Rajo and Tamo qualities of Maya during our day.

In this way, slowly, but surely our behavior begins to improve.  Our actions and deeds become more and more truthful.  God looks kindly upon us and says it is time to bless us with GurParsaad so that eventually we too may become completely truthful. 

Once we receive the GurParsaad of Naam we need to commit ourselves completely to the Gur and Guru who gave us this priceless diamond.  This is the second weapon to fight against Maya.  We need to surrender ourselves completely to the Gur and Guru.  Then we will keep on going up and up the spiritual ladder.  We will be able to beat Maya and win over its Rajo and Tamo qualities. 

The remaining weapons to fight Maya are:
·         Practising GurBani in our daily life is very important.  It brings in us humbleness and  that humility will kill our ego.  Just reading or listening to GurBani and thinking that in itself is a good deed is not right.  Read, sing or listen to GurBani and put it into practice. 
·         Developing a sense of forgiveness will diminish our Krodh.  
·         Loving our family as if they are Gur Sangat will relieve us from Moh.  Loving and respecting everybody as Sangat will eliminate Moh from our inside and convert it to pure and pious love for the entire creation and will bring a single vision within us. 
·         Bringing in kindness will relieve us from greed and selfishness. 
·         Giving Dasvandh to the Guru will also relieve us from the greed for money and attachment to worldly possessions. 
·         Bringing in contentment and conquering craving for worldly things, will bring our desires under control. 
·         Prohibiting ourselves from slandering others will remove hatred from in us.  It will also develop a sense of  respect for everyone in the society. 
·         Focusing on our own bad qualities and not pointing the finger at others’ faults, will make us realize how bad we are and what do we need to do to improve ourselves. 
·         Earning inner poverty, Gareebi Ves Hirda, will make us Nimana and will bring humility inside our soul and mind. 
·         Considering ourselves lower than everybody else will bring humbleness in our mind and soul. 
·         Helping the poor and giving charity donations will bring kindness in side us, as long as we do it as Nishkaam (desire free) Seva(service), without any desire for reward or recognition.  Desires can only die by doing Naam Simran.  So do Naam Simran whilst doing Seva, then it becomes Nishkaam Seva.
·         Placing Gur, Guru and Gur Sangat above everything else and developing unconditional devotion and love for them brings tremendous spirituality inside us.
By using these divine weapons and golden rules we win the war against Maya without much difficulty.

Nirgunee-aar i-aani-aa so prabh sada samaal.
Jin kee-aa tis cheet rakh nanak nibhee naal.  1.
Almost all of the world, with the exception of those who are really into the Puran Bandgi Marg, is dependent upon their own wisdom.  They rely on their worldly wisdom for conducting themselves in daily responsibilities and activities.  But, Guru Patshah Ji has ruled it as a divine Hukam and divine law that the self wisdom and worldly wisdom do not work on the path of Puran Bandgi. 

For doing Puran Bandgi we have to leave our own MunnMat, worldly wisdom.  Only then can we realize our spiritual dreams and fulfill our objective of achieving salvation in this human life.   We have to replace MunnMat with GurMat – the Guru’s wisdom.  By taking on board the Guru’s wisdom and putting the Guru’s wisdom into practice in our daily life we are surrendering our mind to the Guru. 

Whatever we have learned and achieved through our education and experiences and whatever we have learned and experienced by way of interacting with people around us in the family, society and work environment, will not qualify us for Puran Bandgi.  The only way is to call our self a “nirgunee-aar i-aani-aa”,  meaning a worthless and ignorant fool, and pray to the Almighty for the GurParsaad of Naam, Puran Bandgi and Seva. 

The Shabad Puran here is of paramount importance, because without doing Puran Bandgi we are unable to reach the Ultimate and may end up having to go through another cycle of birth and death.  So the only way is to call our self a worthless, ignorant fool and to keep on dwelling on Naam and keep on collecting Naam Ki Kamai – the earnings of Naam. 

The Creator has been very kind upon us, that is why He has given us this human life.  God can be realized only in a human life and no other form of life.  Bringing God inside our Hirda is possible only in this human life.  So let us all pray for the GurParsaad of Naam, Puran Bandgi and Seva.  Once we are blessed with these priceless diamonds and jewels then we have to dedicate ourselves to Naam Ki Kamai.  Eventually Naam will saturate our Hirda and we reach salvation stage. 

Only Naam Ki Kamai will go with us when we leave this world, nothing else goes with us.  Everything else is Maya.  Maya’s place is the world and Naam’s place is the Dargah of Akal Purakh.
Rama-ee-aa kay gun chayt paraanee.
Kavan mool tay kavan daristaanee.
Jintoon saaj savaar seegaari-aa.
Garabh agan meh jineh ubaari-aa.
Baar bivasthaa tujheh pi-aarai doodh.
Bhar joban bhojan sukh soodh.
Biradh bha-i-aa oopar saak sain. 
Mukh api-aa-o baith ka-o dain.
Ih nirgun gun kachhoo na boojhai.
Bakhas layho ta-o nanak seejhai.  1.
Akal Purakh is an unlimited sea, Mansarovar, of divine qualities and divine powers, “Sarabh Klaa Bharpoor.”  This means that whatever we need to become a Sant Hirda is contained within the Mansarovar.  All divine qualities and divine powers are contained within the Mansarovar.  This Mansarovar is the Origin from where our soul has been created.  By virtue of this Akal Purakh becomes the owner of our soul or we can say that our soul is a part of Akal Purakh.  This Mansarovar is also called the Gur Sagar or the Nirgun Saroop of Paar Braham Parmeshwar.  Every creation has emanated from this Nirgun Saroop of Akal Purakh. 

When our soul was created it contained all of the divine qualities and supernatural powers.  It was like a clean piece of white cloth and was instructed by the Almighty to remain as white and as clean a piece of cloth as it could without gathering any stains whatsoever.  Then Akal Purakh sent our soul into this world and for doing so it had to enter a human body.  But, within a few years after birth, slowly but surely Maya took over and the white piece of cloth started to bear some stains.

In a new born infant there are no Doots.  The infant’s Dassam Duaar is open and is connected with Akal Purakh.  But, as the child grows and starts to comes under the influence of Maya,  then the connection with Akal Purakh is slowly lost.  The white piece of cloth becomes stained.  With the passage of time and under the influence of Maya, the cloth keeps on collecting more and more stains.  Until finally Maya takes over completely. 

Ideally, we should not let ourselves get stained, but that only happens in very rare cases.  Perhaps one soul in tens of millions is born with the blessed destiny of keeping this piece of white cloth stainless.  They remain spotless and fully absorbed in all of the divine qualities and supernatural powers.  They retain a direct and deep connection with Mansarovar.  However, most people lose the ability to keep this piece of white cloth stainless. 

The hard influence of Maya has been called a poison in GurBani, as well as mud or scum.  It is a sweet poison which we take willingly.  But, it poisons the soul with its Tamo and Rajo Birti.  It stains the purity of the soul with its mud and scum.  Operating under the influence of Maya has buried almost the entire population of the world under forty feet of Maya’s scum.  Please believe us when we say this.  After we receive the GurParsaad of Naam, then we will go into Samadhi – deep meditation, then we will see this scum in its physical form clinging to our body.  This happens in the realm of Karam Khand.  We only see our own filth by God’s grace, in the realm of grace.   Then Akal Purakh will come to us in the form of a Sant soul which will clean it up for us. 

When we are blessed with GurParsaad of Samadhi and Sunn Samadhi and we completely surrender our self to the Gur and Guru then it becomes the responsibility of the Guru to take care of us.  He will remove all of the stains from the whiteness of this cloth and purify the soul to its original level.  As we keep on collecting Naam Ki Kamai and eventually restore this white piece of cloth to perfect purity, then we are accepted as a Sada Suhaagan of Akal Purakh in the Dargah. 

It is believed that the human being is the highest creation of Akal Purakh.  Just look at the history of mankind.  Look at the progress made in the fields of education, science, technology and medicine.  There has been surprising progress made in every sphere of life.  This shows us that the human being is the best creation of Akal Purakh.  That is what Guru Patshah Ji is telling us here, that Akal Purakh has crowned the human with all of the powers that have lead us upto the modern day living standards we currently enjoy.  He takes care of the human in the womb of the mother, after the birth, in childhood, during youth and through old age too.  He meets all of our physical and mental needs.  He is the only Doer, Karta Purakh and does everything for us to keep us going through all of these stages of life.  However, He can only give us according to our Karni from the previous lives and so on. 

Most people get deluded here.  Due to their Haumai they think they are doing everything for themselves.  They forget the One who has created them and fulfills all of their physical and mental needs according to their Karni.  They think they survive due to their own wisdom and worldly wisdom.  Without giving any thinking to the existence of the Almighty and His divine wisdom they exit the world having wasted their life.  However, the awareness to understand the existence and powers of the Creator comes only with GurParsaad and GurKirpa and only those who are blessed with the GurParsaad of Naam, Puran Bandgi and Seva. 

We should all be always praying for getting blessed with the GurParsaad of Naam, Puran Bandgi and Seva in order to reach the Ultimate and break the shackles of Maya. 
Jih parsaad dhar oopar sukh baseh.
Sut bharaat meet banitaa sang haseh.
Jih parsaad peeveh seetal jalaa.
Sukh-daa-ee pavan paavak amulaa.
Jih parsaad bhogeh sabh rasaa.
Sagal samagree sang saath basaa.
Deenay hasat paav karan naytar rasnaa.
Tiseh ti-aag avar sang rachnaa.
Aisay dokh moorh andh bi-aapay.
Nanak kaadh layho prabh aapay.  2.
Guru Pancham Patshah Ji  is continuing to give us divine wisdom about the unlimited grace of the Almighty on us for our survival in this world.  Look at the GurKirpa and GurParsaad we already have:-

·         The first and the foremost Kirpa is that we have been given the human life to realize our spiritual goals.
·         Next, He has created all of the basic elements necessary for our survival.  These are priceless natural resources – air, water and fire.  He has  given them to us in abundance and free of cost.  The air is available to us all of the time and everywhere we go in abundance.  It is the essential for keeping life going on.  The supply of water is free from all natural resources.  However, man has now started putting a price tag on it in the big cities.  Water is necessary for the Earth to grow the food needed for our survival.  We need water for our survival and the survival of the entire universe. 
·         God is now giving us this divine wisdom through Shri Guru Sahibs via Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.  He has been very kind upon us and given us all of the divine rules and laws which if followed will make our life worthy and useful to everybody else.  It will bring us salvation and unite us with the Almighty when our time to exit comes. 
·         He has given us all of the amenities for leading and enjoying a comfortable life according to our Karni in the past lives.
·         He has given us a wonderful family to live with.
·         He has given us various kinds of foods to sustain us. 
·         When He created us He gave us a beautiful body consisting of hands, legs and feet, ears, eyes and tongue to really enjoy our life to the fullest extent and as well make use of this life to its fullest extent.  It is worth noting here that without all of these things our life would have been a curse.  Look at a person who is handicapped.  Imagine a blind person, a lame person, a deaf and dumb person and compare our life with this kind of a person.  Then think how fortunate we are to be having all of these elements of our body intact.  In fact, the ones people who are handicapped in this life are because of their Karni in the previous lives.  Similarly poverty comes because of our Karni in previous lives.  One of the great Saints said that all of the beggars we see around were kings or very rich people in their previous lives, but they didn’t do any Punn Daan, so they became beggars in this life.  That is what GurBani says – “Jeyha bijey so luney karma sandra kheyt.” 

That is why it is necessary for all of us to concentrate ourselves on Sat Karni which will bring a comfortable and prosperous life to us in future. 

In summary, there is an unlimited amount of happiness, comfort and all kinds of amenities that are available to us.  But, it all depends on our Karni as to what we get.  If our Karni is good then we get more and more.  If it is bad then we can become handicapped, a beggar and so on.  However, we are so selfish and idiotic that we have forgotten the one who is giving us all of these things.  Forgotten the One who has been very kind on us and given us this human life to enjoy all of these things and still be able to reach salvation.  He has given us a golden opportunity to live a happy and prosperous life and meet the Almighty, but unfortunately we have forgotten Him.  However, it is not too late.  Even now if we wake up and realize the superpower behind all of this and start praying to Him for the GurParsaad of Naam, Puran Bandgi and Seva, then He is very kind.  He will give us His grace and we will be able to realize our spiritual dreams as well as enjoy the human life to its full extent.  Only the GurParsaad of Naam, Puran Bandgi and Seva can make us win over Maya and reach salvation stage.
Aad ant jo raakhanhaar.
Tis si-o pareet na karai gavaar.
Jaa kee sayvaa nav nidh paavai.
Taa si-o moorhaa man nahee laavai.
Jo thaakur sad sada hajooray.
Taa ka-o andhaa jaanat dooray.
Jaa kee tahal paavai dargeh maan.
Tiseh bisaarai mugadh ajaan.
Sada sada ih bhoolanhaar.
Nanak raakhanhaar apaar.  3.
Guru Sahib Ji continues to tell us about our unscrupulous nature, our ignorant nature, our idiotic behavior and our selfishness.  Guru Sahib Ji reminds us how we are being unfaithful and ungrateful to the Almighty, the One who has given us so much and continues giving us everything we need for running our human life. 

The basic reason behind this human nature is the influence of Maya – which is a sweet poison as explained earlier.  Whilst living in this world most people are absorbed in Maya so muchso that they have altogether forgotten about His unlimited super powers.  They have forgotten that He has been showering His eternal grace since their creation and will continue to do so forever and till the end of the universe.  They have also forgotten that He has a lot more to give them if they remember Him.  By His unlimited grace He has been taking care of us all for many ages.  If we develop devotion and love for Him, if we commit ourselves to His service, if we believe in Him, if we have trust and faith in Him, if we surrender ourselves completely to Him and dedicate ourselves to His service and ask for Naam, Puran Bandgi and Seva, then He can give us all of the eternal treasures.  We will also receive a lot more from Him than we can even ask for.  He can basically save us from the shackles of Maya, bring salvation to us and give us a place in His Dargah. 

It is believed that until a child is born he remembers his previous lives history and knows that he has to work towards gaining the GurParsaad.  He knows he has to work for achieving salvation and promises the Almighty that in this lifetime he is going to live only for Him.  But, once the child is born then the effect of Maya comes into the picture and the child forgets his promise to God.  He comes under the strong influence of Maya and turns his back, becomes blindfolded and loses all of his loyalty to God.  The One who has very kindly given him the human life along with everything he needs for achieving salvation.  The child forgets the grace of the Almighty and becomes trapped in the web of Maya. 

Fortunately, God doesn’t forget the child.  God keeps on giving him chance after chance to work towards getting the GurParsaad and then to achieve the highest eternal treasures.  The Almighty is Beant meaning He is beyond any limits and boundaries.  We should always and forever be thankful to the Almighty for giving us everything we have and keep on thanking him forever.  Keep on praying Him and asking Him for the GurParsaad of Naam, Puran Bandgi and Seva.  He is very kind and will for sure give His GurParsaad and take you out of the web of Maya.

Ratan ti-aag ka-udee sang rachai.
Saach chhod jhooth sang machai.
Jo chhadnaa so asthir kar maanai.
Jo hovan so door paraanai.
Chhod jaa-ay tis ka saram karai.
Sang sahaa-ee tis parharai.
Chandan layp utaarai dho-ay.
Gardhab pareet bhasam sang ho-ay.
Andh koop meh patit bikraal.
Nanak kaadh layho prabh da-i-aal.  4.
Worldly possessions have no value in the spiritual world.  Whatever we might have or are struggling to collect has no value at all in the real eternal sense.  All of the properties, money, bank balances, jewellery, gold and diamonds collected by us have no value in reality.  In truth, when we leave the world everything remains here.  Nothing goes with us at all except our Karni.  If our Karni is good then our future birth and life will be good.  If our Karni is bad then our future will be formed accordingly.  If our Karni is mixed then so will our future be.  It all depends upon our Karni.

Sat Karni and Sat Rehat is the best way to make our future bright and happy, otherwise the outcome is obvious.  Worldly possessions, properties, money, family, in fact whatever is visible to the naked eye, whatever is perceived through the senses, is Maya.  The Eternal Truth is beyond the reach of the naked eye, beyond the senses, it is beyond Maya.  Maya will not accompany us when our soul leaves the body.  Despite knowing this, we are still attached madly to all of these worldly possessions.  We are very deeply attached to this world of Maya, even though we know that all of these things have no real eternal value.  We have to win over Maya to go beyond Maya and merge in the Almighty. 

The human life has been called a diamond, “Hirey Jaisa Janam.”  Naam has also been called a Rattan.  This means Naam is a priceless diamond, but people have discarded it for the scum of Maya.  We were given a human life to dedicate ourselves to Naam and Naam Ki Kamai, Puran Bandgi and Seva.  But, people have completely ignored their spiritual life and instead drenched themselves in the quicksand of Maya.  They are living under the illusion that these worldly possessions are theirs and that they should not leave them ever.  But, they will leave them.  When the soul leaves this body at the time of death, they will not go with them.  So these people need to ask themself, “Why am I so in love with things that are not mine in the real sense?” 

We need to understand that everything belongs to the Almighty and He has given us these things to use for living.  And when our life is over then He will take all of these things back and give them to somebody else.  When we realize that nothing belongs to us then there is an internal detachment.  Then we are able to concentrate more on that which will actually be going with us – our Karni, Naam Dhann, Naam Ki Kamai, Bandgi, Seva, Parupkaar and Maha Parupkaar.  These are the things that go with us and ensure a good future for us. 

God has been very kind upon us by giving us the human life and all of the amenities of life, but people have forgotten His kindness and His grace, His Naam, Bandgi and Seva.  Instead they have  absorbed themself in Maya like a donkey who loves to rolls around in the mud.  They are no better than a donkey.  They have left the sandalwood paste.  Sandalwood is a special wood whose fragrance is very charming.  Any other trees which grow in the vicinity of a sandalwood tree also become fragrant like sandalwood.  Sandalwood paste is very fragrant and was used by ancient Saints who applied it to their forehead.  But people have left the sandalwood paste and become like a donkey who loves to roll around in the mud.  They are buried in the scum of Maya and have left the priceless diamond of Naam, “Naam Rattan Anmolak Hira.” 

They have not done Naam Ki Kamai, Puran Bandgi and Seva.  So have fallen into the deep dark pit filled with the mud of Maya.  Only God can take them out of this dark, deep pit filled with the mud of Maya.  Only His GurParsaad of Naam, Puran Bandgi and Seva can take them out.  But, even now it is not too late.  Better late then never.  Just pray to the Almighty for His grace, GurParsaad, Naam, Bandgi and Seva.  He is very kind and showers His eternal grace to take people out of this scum web of Maya.
Kartoot pasoo kee maanas jaat.
Lok pachaaraa karai din raat.
Baahar bhaykh antar mal maa-i-aa.
Chhapas naahi kachh karai chhapaa-i-aa.
Baahar gi-aan dhi-aan isnaan.
Antar bi-aapai lobh su-aan.
Antar agan baahar tunn su-aah.
Gal paathar kaisay tarai athaah.
Jaa kai antar basai prabh aap.
Nanak tay junn sehaj samaat.  5.
Guru Pancham Patshah Ji has very kindly continued to give us the divine wisdom that will enable us to look inside to see what we truly are compared to what we think we are.  Most people’s outer appearance and conduct is very different from their inner behavior and thinking.  Understanding the difference between them is of paramount importance.  The difference is the duality of our personality and has a profound effect on our Karni.  Wherever there is duality, there is discrimination and hatred, which takes us away from the Almighty.  Duality is hypocrisy, duality is Pakhand.  Only by becoming Ik Drisht, single vision, can we go beyond duality, animosity and hypocrisy – Pakhand. 
As long as we are in duality, Pakhand, we cannot be in Sach Khand.  Only by having a single vision, Ik Drisht, can we become Nirvair.   The Guru is telling us that God has been very kind upon us and given us this human life to live it truthfully with a single vision without any duality.  This human life is for us to be with the Creator, to remain united with the Creator.  Just take a moment to look at your own Karni, is it full of duality and untruthful, hypocritical behavior? 

The behavior under the Rajo and Tamo Birti is considered worse than animal behavior.  But, that is what people are engaged in their daily life.  They have become more materialistic and full of hatred, abuse, discrimination and selfishness.  They make money by unfair means, by cheating, stealing, extortion, bribery and dishonesty.  They indulge in wrong sexual behavior which then makes their daughters, sisters and mothers lives very difficult.  This is the reason why in GurBani Guru Nanak Patshah Ji has very kindly explained that wherever He looks He finds only ghosts.  All human beings look to him like ghosts – “Kali ander nanaka jinna daa avatar.” 

If we are engaged in wrong activities then can we be called human beings?  Human behavior should be filled with all divine qualities such as, love, compassion, sacrifice, selflessness, helping others, donating to serve the poor, serving and respecting our elders, utmost humbleness, kindness, humility, fearlessness, no animosity and single vision.  All of these qualities should be reflected in our behavior. 

We should be pointing the finger of criticism at our own self and not towards anybody else.  But, people do the opposite.  They enjoy pointing out other people’s faults, but defend or cover up their own ones.  By doing so they think that they are protecting their image and status in society, but actually they are becoming further drenched in the scum of Maya. 

Physical cleanliness and looking good on the outside doesn’t make us clean from the inside.  Although that is the image people are trying to present to others.  Unless the Panj Doots leave our body, we will remain wrapped in the scum of Maya.  Just by wearing religious robes we do not become clean from the inside.  Just by complying to the outer Rehats, rules and regulations, of religion, we will never attain Jivan Mukti.  Unless we meet the mandatory divine requirements of the inside cleansing of Panj Doots and desires, and then win over our own mind, we will not be able to meet the inner Rehat, internal compliance required by God. 

No matter what we do to keep our self clean on the outside, for example by wearing all kinds of religious robes, the dirt sticking to us tells our real inside story to the rest of the world.  From the outside we may be able to show others that we are very knowledgeable and engage ourselves in meditation.  We may be able to show others that we are able to torture our physical body by performing religious rituals.  But, still inside we may be burning in the fire of desires and the greed of a dog. 

Maya is like a great big stone attached to our neck.  It will not allow us to swim across the terrible ocean of the mind.  It keeps us drowning under forty feet of scum that we have accumulated by our bad Karni.  In order to get out of this web of Maya only the Creator can help us.  Only GurParsaad of His Naam can help us.  Only His eternal blessings can help us.  We should all pray for His GurKirpa and the GurParsaad of Naam, Naam Ki Kamai, Puran Bandgi and Seva.  When we get all of these divine blessings and move on this path to complete realization then we are able to clean up our inside.  Then we are able to adhere to the inner Rehat, inner compliance required by God.  Then we free our inside from the Panj Doots and desires, win over our mind and Maya and make our Hirda a Puran Sachyara Hirda.  Only then does Paar Braham Parmeshwar come and live in our Hirda.  Only then do we merge into Him and remain forever in Sehaj Awastha.
Sun andhaa kaisay maarag paavai.
Kar geh layho orh nibhaavai.
Kahaa bujhaarat boojhai doraa.
Nis kahee-ai ta-o samjhai bhoraa.
Kahaa bisanpad gaavai gung.
Jatan karai ta-o bhee sur bhang.
Kah pingul parbat par bhavan.
Nahee hot oohaa us gavan.
Kartaar karunaa mai deen bayntee karai.
Nanak tumree kirpa tarai.  6.
Guru Patshah Ji has been very kind on us by giving us the divine wisdom about the status of our human life under the dangerous influence of Maya.  Maya has been called a snake, “Nagni jin bin danta yug khaayeaa.”  Maya is such a cobra that it is eating the entire world whilst having no teeth. 

The poison of Maya has crippled people completely.  Under the influence of Maya they have been blindfolded.  Their eyes don’t see the Eternal Truth.  Look at a blind person, unless somebody holds his hand he cannot easily go from one place to another, so it is with most people.  They are blind to the Eternal Truths.  They are blind to the purpose of human life and hence cannot reach their destination – salvation.  We all need somebody to hold our hand and guide us through this dark age of Kal Yug. 

If you are drenched in the world of Maya, then you have become deaf and dumb.  You cant hear the Eternal Truth due to the disinformation being provided by religions.  Or if you are fortunate enough to meet someone who tells you the Eternal Truth, you still cannot hear it because you cannot tolerate what they are saying.  It maybe going against your man-made religious beliefs.  Drenched in the world of Maya, you cant speak the Eternal Truth, because you don’t understand the difference between the darkness of Kal Yug and the Divine Light, “Param Jyot Puran Parkash.”  

When you are drenched in the world of Maya, you cannot understand the difference between MunnMat, the worldly wisdom and GurMat, the divine wisdom.  You cannot understand the difference between DurMat, the bad wisdom and GurMat, the divine wisdom.  You are just  following your own wisdom, MunnMat, combined with worldly wisdom, Sansarik Mat, and DurMat, bad wisdom.  You have lost all ability to move in the right direction to realize your goal of achieving salvation.  This is due to the crippling effect of Maya on your life.  Your spiritual condition is like a blind person, whose limbs have been crippled and who is deaf and dumb.  You don’t have any divine wisdom to distinguish between good and bad, truth and non-truth, Divine Light and the darkness of Kal Yug, Divine Light and the dark scum of Maya.  You are totally lost in this world of Maya and have forgotten your Creator altogether.  You have forgotten the objective of your human life, which is to unite with the Almighty.   

The question that then arises is, “what should I be doing to get out of this situation?”   The answer is very simple and straightforward.  God, the Doer, is very kind and listens if we call Him with full and complete belief, trust, faith, devotion and love.  He does listen if we pray to Him and ask Him to help us to take us out of this forty foot deep well of scum that we have been sinking in for such a long time.  God is full of kindness and gives us the GurParsaad of His Naam, Puran Bandgi and Seva.  With this we bring Maya under our control, win over our own mind, clean up our Hirda completely, fill it with Naam and all of the divine qualities and make it a Sant Hirda.
Sang sahaa-ee so aavai na cheet.
Jo bairaa-ee taa si-o pareet.
Baloo-aa kay garih bheetar basai.
Anad kayl maa-i-aa rang rasai.
Darirh kar maanai maneh parteet.
Kaal na aavai moorhay cheet.
Bair birodh kaam krodh moh.
Jhooth bikaar mahaa lobh dharoh.
I-aahoo jugat bihaanay ka-ee janam.
Nanak raakh layho aapan kar karam.  7.
Guru Patshah Ji is continuing to tell us the status of a crippled mind and soul that is under the influence of Maya.  The influence of Maya upon the mind is a deep mental sickness.  Kaam, Krodh, Lobh, Moh, Ahankaar and desires are all deep mental sicknesses that are the weapons of Maya.  All of these Doots form the scum and the mud of Maya in which people are buried and mentally crippled.  Due to constant attacks from the Doots they have forgotten the One who is always with them and is ever ready to take them out of this quicksand of Maya.  Maya has been called an enemy of our soul, mind and body.  Maya is a sweet poison which people are willingly absorbed in.  Because of Maya they are not paying any attention to the Jyot that is present within them. 

The life element in our body is the Illahi Jyot (Divine Light) of Akal Purakh, but people have totally forgotten about it and have absorbed thmself in the scum of Maya.  This world of Maya is a castle of sand, but they think it is permanent.  They are dancing whilst attached to the puppet strings of Maya.  Whatever Maya wants them to do they are doing without understanding the Divine Truth behind the whole game of Maya.  People have become accustomed to life being this way.  They have taken their life for granted and think this is the truth.  But, they have forgotten death.  Forgotten that death is the reality. 

Under Maya’s influence, people have forgotten that they have been taking birth and dying for a long time in space and time.  And will continue to do so whilst under the influence of Maya.  Maya uses people throughout their life then throws them into the hands of the Jam Doots (couriers of death).  When the soul is reborn, Maya does the same thing again and this cycle continues.   People have been living for so many ages under the illusion that Maya is the reality that they have totally forgotten the Truth that death is the reality.  Naam, Bandgi and Seva is the real eternal Truth that takes us back to the Almighty.  Maya is just an illusion and is totally false. 

People have absorbed themselves in so much animosity, hate, conflict, sexual desire, anger, emotional attachment, falsehood, corruption, immense greed and deceit that these things have become their way of life.  Hence, they are being forced to go through the cycle of birth and death for a long, long time.  Now the question to ask yourself is, “how can I be free from the poisonous shackles of Maya?”  The answer is tht you can be freed by the GurKirpa and the GurParsaad of Naam Bandgi and Seva.  Only Akal Purakh can give us all this through the Guru.  That will happen only if we pray to Him with full and complete commitment, belief, faith, trust, devotion and love.  Then completely surrender our self to the Gur and Guru.  In the next Pauri (verse) Guru Patshah Ji is telling us how to pray for GurParsaad.
Too thaakur tum peh ardas.
Jee-o pind sabh tayree raas.
Tum maat pitaa ham baarik tayray.
Tumree kirpa meh sookh ghanayray.
Ko-ay na jaanai tumraa ant.
Oochay tay oochaa bhagvant.
Sagal samagree tumrai sutir dhaaree.
Tum tay ho-ay so aagi-aakaaree.
Tumree Gat mit tum hee jaanee.
Nanak daas sada kurbaanee.  8.4.
Guru Pancham Patshah Ji is very kindly giving us the divine wisdom on how to pray to the Almighty for the GurParsaad of Naam, Naam Ki Kamai, Puran Bandgi and Seva and how to unite with Him.  Utmost humbleness, Puran Nimrata, is the key to success in making a successful prayer.  If our prayer is not made with utmost humbleness then it will not be accepted.  If our prayer is not made with full and complete belief and commitment, faith and trust in Gur, Guru and GurBani and if it is not made with devotion and love, then the chances of acceptance are very remote.  But, if we do so with full surrender to the Gur and Guru, then even a one-off prayer will bring unbelievable rewards.  So what should the prayer contain?

First of all, with pressed palms and with full humility do Kottan Kot (countless many) Dandauth Bandana and Shukrana (thanks) to the Almighty and the Guru.  Remember and believe that these highest divine entities are omnipresent.  Then do the same thing to the Guru Sahibs (Masters), Sants and Bhagats, Braham Gyanis of all ages and present time.  Then do the same thing to Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.  Then do the same thing to the entire creation.  Unless we become the Charan Dhool of the entire creation we cannot achieve the utmost humbleness. 

Next, start our Ardas (prayer) as follows, “Agam, Agochar, Anant, Beant, Alikh, Adikh (Invisible) Dhan Dhan Paar Braham Parmeshwar Ji, please accept our prayer.  Everything belongs to You.  Nothing belong to us.  This body mind and soul is all of ours.  You are the Creator.  You are the Doer.  You are our father and mother and we are just Your humble children.  We are just Your humble servants.  Only Your eternal grace can bring us the real eternal and unending happiness.  Nobody has been able to find out Your unlimited super powers and nobody has the power to do so.  You are the Highest of the High.  You are the Supreme.  You take care of all of us.  You are the Giver of Everything.  You give us everything to live this life.  You have given us this life with our great kindness.  The entire universe is our creation and belongs to You only.  You are the only owner of everything that exists in this universe.  Everything happens under Your command – Hukam.  Only You can know Your own super powers.  Only You can know Your capacity and limits.  We are a sacrifice to Your kindness and for everything You have given us.  Only Your kindness can bring us GurParsaad of Your Naam, Puran Bandgi and Seva.  Only Your grace can only take us out of this deep well full of the scum and mud of Maya.  Please help us achieve the objective of this human life and attain salvation.  Please give us the GurParsaad of Naam, Puran Bandgi and Seva and unite us with Yourself.”