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Gur Panth Parkash

Gur Panth Parkash
by Rattan Singh Bhangoo
Translated by
Prof Kulwant Singh

 

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Gurmat Perspectives on Epistemology-Knowledge-Gian

Pritam Singh Kohli

Abstract
Sikhism evolves its own system of knowledge in which perceptual, rational, scriptural, and intuitive forms of knowledge are graded in a hierarchical structure. It holds the view that knowledge is a unity which does not minimize the significance of perceptual and rational forms of knowledge.

 The highest form of metaphysical knowledge (tat gian) gained through intuition is distinct from the means because it is one with the Real. It is knowledge of the Real as unity which is a sort of unitive experience. It may be said that Guru Nanak’s concept of the Real is a realized one. It seems as if the Sikh Gurus first realized (bujhia) the unity of the Real and thereafter they conceptualized their mystic experiences

The Sikh epistemology and ontology are interrelated and interdependent. Sikh epistemology is dependent upon the nature of reality which is to be realized. The Gurus realized the supreme reality through the faculty of feelings and so God for them is wholesome love. A kind, sweet and loving picture of God is depicted in their Bani, a projection of their emotional attachment with Him. The whole context of Gianis changed and is brought under the authenticity of Bhakti. Gian, which is attained or unveiled only through the grace of God is fine, otherwise whole of it is ego. This attitude of Sikh Gurus towards Giandoes not permit it to be an independent method and hence it is subjected to Bhakti.

Introduction
The problem of the nature, means, and criterion of valid knowledge is vital in almost all religious philosophies. In this Part we shall primarily be concerned with the Sikh epistemology (gian )and its relationship with Sikh Ontology, Intuition, Revelation,Reason and Faith as a final Part of Khoji and Badi in the Gurmat Perspective.

Gian is a dynamic phenomenon and is a process of realization in the ascending order of more and more coherent and harmonious knowledge. Human knowledge starts with the perceptual recognition of objects of cognition and it may, if properly pursued, culminate in the all-comprehensive metaphysical knowledge.

Sources of Knowledge (Gian)
Perceptual Knowledge (Partakh Gian) : It refers to sense perception as a means of direct or immediate knowledge of an object. Partakh gian denotes a source of direct valid knowledge. Perceptual knowledge may be either external or internal. Knowledge obtained through cognitive organs (e.g., hearing, sight, touch, taste, and smell) is external. And knowledge obtained through mental perception e.g., pleasure, pain, love and so forth) is internal. Partakh gian is the primary base of all modes of knowledge. In Sikhism perceptual knowledge is considered as partial knowledge and is not a mere illusion (mithya). It implies that perceptual knowledge is of lower category as compared to the metaphysical knowledge (tat gian) of self-realization (atam prabodh). After realization of the essence , the very nature of the sense cognition is transformed. It is with guru’s sabad one develops from within divine vision (dib drist ijagai) and all delusions are transformed (bharamu cukae) into transcendental experience of the Real. Then one realizes the highest state of spiritual development (param padu) with guru’s grace (para-sadi).

Perceptual knowledge is gained through cognitive organs (gian indris) and consists of a hierarchy corresponding to the gross and the subtle characteristics of the sense organs. The five sense organs (nose, tongue, eye, skin, and ear) have corressponding senses of smell (gandli), taste (ras), colour (rang), touch (sparsh), and sound (nad). And, sound (bani) has its further subtler forms in a hierarchical structure

Rational Knowledge (Bibek Gian) : Reason (bichar) has its own status in Sikhism. It is a necessary means in the process of realizing unitive experience of the Real. The spiri­tual seeker who carries on his search discriminatively for truth stabilizes his consciousness and realizes truth. Thus, reason is a useful tool for truth-realization. It has been suggested that discriminative argumentation should lead to self-realization (atam sujh). First, reason should enable a person to realize that this visible world (jagat) is only a manifest unit of the Real. Then with the help of sabad-guru one is to realize one’s integrated dynamic self. After realization of the Real, reason is reaffirmed to justify intuitive experience of the Real.

It follows that reason and faith (bisvas) assist each other for realization of the absolute unity. All the elements of the self are harmonized into the intuitive experience. In the process of spiritual development reason develops faith in the Real. The Real being dynamic in nature implies one regulative principle (hukam) which is the basis of uniformity of the phenomenal world. The hukam is the cosmic principle of dynamism. In the dynamic process we are to transform our egocentric intelligence (aham budhi) and to be in tune with the hukam. The objective ‘reason’ is developed after annihilation of the finite intellect (aham budhi) dominated by egoity (haumai). The self in the process of spiritual ascent reaches beyond itself and egocentric reasoning is transformed into a discriminative reason (bibek bicaru) which seeks after metaphysical reality. Thus, in Sikhism reason is implied in gian. However, reason with satiguru’s guidance can guide one to the threshold of mystic unity (sahaj samadhl) but a step further towards truth-realization depends on God.

Scriptural Knowledge (Shastri Gian): The scriptural knowledge as a valid source is accepted by the orthodox schools of Hinduism. But we do not realize truth only by reading or hearing about them. Guru Granth Sahib castigated the so-called pandits and mulas who were themselves devoid of knowledge. It is only the satiguru who himself realizes the true Person (sati purakhu) and is in a position to impart knowledge Hence the primal aim of gian is sati which is the fount of all revelatory verbal judgments.

SGGS As Source of Sikh Epistemology
Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the first and the final authority and contains the only measure whereby all other truth is tested. It was delivered by the Gurus who were divinely communicated to and inspired. SGGS is sufficient unto itself and is the foundation of Sikh religion and its epistemology. Without reason we cannot understand the essential truths of the Scripture. Reason, however, is not a mere human instrument. It must be assisted by the Guru’s grace if we are to understand the mysteries of God.

SGGS provides, guidance to give direction and initiate the person to self-realization It is a perennial source of guidance to mankind because it is an embodiment of the revealed sabad (dhur ki bani).

The underlying idea of Gurbani is that scriptural study should not entrap intellect in mere theoretical hair-splitting and argumentation (bad vikhdnhi), rather with logical arguments it should motivate and guide the spiritual aspirant seekerto probe into the metaphysical essence (tat bilovai) of the Real.
     
ਬੇਦ ਪੜਹਿ ਪੜਿ ਬਾਦੁ ਵਖਾਣਹਿ ॥ ਘਟ ਮਹਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਤਿਸੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ॥  – Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1058
ਬੇਦ ਕਤੇਬ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਹਭਾ ਹੂੰ ਬਾਹਰਾ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੁ ਦਿਸੈ ਜਾਹਰਾ ॥ – Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 397
He is beyond the world of the Vedas, the Koran and the Bible.
The Supreme King of Nanak is immanent and manifest.

Intuition as Source of Knowledge
Intuitive Knowledge (Anubhav Gian) : Perceptual and rational modes of knowledge have certain limitations. Perception does not go beyond knowledge of the sensory organs. For reason to be reason must always be something less than the Real which it tries to realize. The Real never becomes the actual content of rational constructs. Sikhism, however, does not portray a gloomy picture of reason which is to end either in agnosticism or scepticism. Logical reasoning is a comple­mentary tool of intuition. Sher Singh, too, confirms that “the Guru [Nanak] does not exclude reason, but he lays great emphasis on insight or intuition. It is through logical reasoning the self articulates degrees of consistency and systematic unity. But the all-comprehensive realization of the Real is gained through intuition (anubhav).

The highest form of metaphysical knowledge (tat gian) gained through intuition is distinct from the means because it is one with the Real. The means of knowledge are the instruments of acquiring valid knowledge. Human knowledge starts with the perceptual recognition of objects of cognition and it may, if properly pursued, culminate in the all-comprehensive metaphysical knowledge.

The higher knowledge is the outcome of rigorous spiritual discipline of self-control (sanjami) and mental concentration (dhian). According to Guru Amar Das, the true gian makes one understand the truth (sacu driraia) that one should always remain within self-control (sanjami).

      ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਸਚੁ ਦਿੜਾਇਆ ਸਦਾ ਸਚਿ ਸੰਜਮਿ ਰਹਣਾ ॥
       The True Guru has implanted the Truth within me; I dwell steadfastly in Truth and self-restraint.
– Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 70

It is knowledge of the Real as unity which is a sort of unitive experience. It may be said that Guru Nanak’s concept of the Real is a realized one. It seems as if the Sikh Gurus first realized (bujhia) the unity of the Real and thereafter they conceptualized their mystic experiences.

In Sikhism the word gian is often used along with dhian. The latter stands for practical spiritual discipline for inward development. Guru Angad , the second Sikh Guru, makes this point explicit when he pronounces that the ambrosial utterance (amrit bani) reveals the metaphysical essence (tat vakhanl) which is the offshoot of cognitive con­centration (gian dhian).SGGS-P.

      ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਬਾਣੀ ਤਤੁ ਵਖਾਣੀ ਗਿਆਨ ਧਿਆਨ ਵਿਚਿ ਆਈ ॥ 
 ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਖੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਾਤੀ ਸੁਰਤਂØੀ ਕਰਮਿ ਧਿਆਈ ॥
       The Ambrosial Word of Gurbani proclaims the essence of reality. Spiritual wisdom and meditation are contained within it.
        The Gurmukhs chant it, and the Gurmukhs realize it. Intuitively aware, they meditate on it.
– Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1243

Inter-Relationship amongst Perceptual, Rational and Intuitive Knowledge
Sikhism does not accept a qualitative difference among perceptual, rational, and intuitive forms of knowledge. It rather delineates the hierarchy in the unity of gian. In the different forms of gian there are differences of degrees and not of kinds. Sikhism, however, presents different kinds of knowledge as a continuous process which starts with perception and culminates in intuitively realizing mystic unity in the Ik. The metaphysical knowledge (tat gian) has no degrees At the apex the means of knowledge are themselves transformed into Reality itself. The spiritual seeker would “become one with the Truth and one with the object of knowledge. The object known is seen not an object outside the self, but as a part of the self. And gian in Guru Granth Sahib is often described with a metaphor of a gem (ratan). The gem is a self-luminous precious stone which illumines other objects. Similarly with the help of gian there is an inner illumination (ghati cananu) and ignorance (agianu) disappears.

There is a need to make a distinction between intuition (anubhav) and insight. In the Western thought the underlying concept of insight is distinct from the Indian concept of intuition. Insight means that the intermediary instruments are set aside and vision of the Absolute is had face-to-face. Insight, however, does not imply complete identity between the knower and the Absolute. The 'otherness’ of the created objects is not removed. However, with the insight proximity to the Absolute is narrowed down. Whereas, intuition in Indian traditions, and Sikhism in particular, means perfect oneness with the Real.

The agnostics believe that reality is unknowable. The sceptics and agnostics mainly rely upon empirical knowledge and rational inferences, but they generally ignore the intuitive aspect. According to Guru Nanak the spiritual seeker is expected to think over the real nature of knowledge (gianu bicara) under the guidance of the spiritual teacher (gurmukh). The seeker of knowledge advances spiritually (khoji upajai) and the theoretical thinker (badi) who indulges in hair-splitting gets himself entangled in opposing his adversaries and dies (binsai) without achieving real knowledge.
      ਸੇਵਾ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਰਹਸਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵਾ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥ 
 ਖੋਜੀ ਉਪਜੈ ਬਾਦੀ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਹਉ ਬਲਿ ਬਲਿ ਗੁਰ ਕਰਤਾਰਾ ॥
       Focusing my awareness on selfless service, I joyfully sing His Praises. As Gurmukh, I contemplate spiritual wisdom.   
       The seeker comes forth, and the debater dies down; I am a sacrifice, a sacrifice to the Guru, the Creator Lord.
– Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1255

The Sikh epistemology evolves its own method of metaphysical inquiry. It formulates the hierarchical and coherent criterion of determining the nature of the reality. It provides criterion of determining valid knowledge. The Sikh epistemological logic consists of both contents and forms. The contents are supplied by the cognitive organs (gian indri) and the formal rules of logic are tests for determining validity and invalidity of knowledge.

The primal source of knowledge is largely sensory. We may say that cognition of objects is ultimately based on cognitive organs (gian indris). The blurred sensory experiences are regulated by the mind which gives meanings to them. But the mind itself is to be regulated by the Guru’s sabad. In Sikhism the main emphasis is laid on the Surati-sabad-yog

In Sikhism with a view to acquiring perfect knowledge the perceptual element is not negated, but it is harmonized within the hierarchical structure of knowledge. Hence knowledge at perceptual level is not an illusion because perceived entities are partial manifestations of the Real. However, knowledge of perception is relatively real because it deals only with the manifest world.

While perceptual and rational modes of partial knowledge are concerned with the manifest aspect of the Real, the intuitive knowledge consummates in the mystic unity. Hence perceptual, rational and intuitive ways of knowing constitute the hierarchical modes which are complimentary to one another. Guru Granth Sahib is a rational justification of the revealed gianand it motivates and guides us to realize unity of the Real.

After realization of the Real, argumentation is to be used either to logically justify the truthfulness of the manifest and the unmanifest or to repudiate the adversaries’ arguments. This is how reason is supplementary to intuitive experience. If intuitive experience is not supported by reason, it will be perverted into dogmatism and fanaticism, Sher Singh, too, confirms that “in moving from intellect to intuition, we are not moving in the direction of unreason, but are getting into the deepest rationality of which human nature is capable.”23. Intellect carries out its process of argumentation (deductive and inductive) through the words (sabads). And sabad as ultrasonic sound (anhad nad) represents sabad-brahman. It is possible to attain self-realization with the help of sabad-guru
Sikh Epistemology and Ontology Relationship:
The Sikh epistemology and ontology are interrelated and interdependent. The former is to be considered as the basis of the latter. The nature of the non-dual systematic unity of the Ik is determined by the epistemology as the knowledge of the object depends upon the means of knowledge and epistemology as a systematic inquiry of gian is also determined by the ontology. It means that the Sikh epistemology is dependent upon the nature of reality which is to be realized.

A close examination of the traditional methods will show that Bhakti, Jnan and Karma are the exertion of different faculties of the same human composition. Jnan is the exertion of mind, Bhakti of the feeling and Karma, of the will. These three faculties enjoy a distinctive realisation of the ultimate reality in power (Karma), wisdom (Jnan) and love (Bhakti

The Gurus realized the supreme reality by exerting the faculty of feelings and so God for them is wholesome love. A kind, sweet and loving picture of God is depicted in their Bani, a projection of their emotional attachment with Him. The Fifth Guru says, “He does not evaluate us qualitatively and quantitatively. He only cognises His own greatness, takes only that into account and therefore, protects us, changes us for good. He is ever gracious (Sad Meharwan)
Reason and Revelation:
The Sikh Gurus’ notion of reason has brought it in close relationship with revelation. They have regarded reason to be set up in the direction of the spiritual. They have not regarded reason to be limited to one aspect of the individual life only. They have held that the reason may help the individuals to apprehend the greater coherence and may move them to seek the truth of revelation which encompasses the absolute coherence. Reason and revelation are therefore mutually complementry on the path through the world and towards the Supreme. In a significant sense both are the integrated essays in spiritual participation.

Limitations of Reason:
In Sikhism we cannot accept reason (bicar, soc, manan, ...) as an independent means of valid knowledge. It has been used in different contexts. Reason is used in the Guru Granth Sahib as a means of justification of perceptual knowledge and cultivating higher metaphysical experiences. The enlightened person develops a faculty of discriminative rational knowledge (bibek bicaru).
     
ਸੋ ਜਨੁ ਰਲਾਇਆ ਨਾ ਰਲੈ ਜਿਸੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥– Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 28

It enables him to distinguish between truth and falsehood. And other terms, like reflection (manan), thinking (soc, bicaru), and argumentation (dalil) are also not strictly used in the sense of deductive reasoning.

The limitations of perception and reason have been accepted in Guru Granth Sahib. Sher Singh argues on the same line saying “in apprehending God the sense organs and intellect are helpless. Knowledge about God is not Partakh—derived from senses—nor it is Parman—based on argument or ana­logy—but it is Aprokh—non-sensuous immediate knowledge. This intuitive knowledge arises from an intimate fusion of mind with reality.”

The Gurus seem to hold the view that rational analysis ought to be carried out with a positive desire to develop discriminative knowledge (vivek gian). The need for reflective and contemplative knowledge under the guidance of a true preceptor (satiguru) has been advocated. The Guru regulates consciousness (surati) and develops it into the faculty of discriminative knowledg. The Gurus have extolled the virtue of the surati-marg. It is a means of developing consciousness which leads to more and more inner harmony, and it culminates in the mystic unity. The Divine-oriented person (gurmukh) develops from within the faculty to attune himself with the cosmic vibrations of the dynamic process of the Real.

Reason and Intuition
God has been described as humanly known. He still remains incomprehensible, and we may not wholly comprehend Him ; we can at least partially apprehend Him. Thus theism reconciles agnosticism and gnosticism and takes a middle position. But even this partial knowledge of God the Guru denies to man’s intellect and logical reasoning.  First of all he makes this knowledge dependent on the grace of God.  ‘If you enable them to know, then all can know’.3 The Guru is found repeatedly praying to God to bestow on him some knowledge of Himself-But when knowledge comes, it does not come through the senses or the intellect.  The medium for it is intuition or insight. God is described as Anbhau Prakash—intuitively known. It is the heart which receives God. Intuitive knowledge arises from an intimate fusion of mind with reality. It is knowledge by being and not by senses or by symbols. It is the awareness of the truth of things by identity. We become one with the Truth and one with the object of knowledge. The object known is seen not an object outside the self, but as a part of the self. What intuition reveals is not so much a doctrine as it is consciousness- It is a state of mind and not a definition of the object. Logic and language are a lower form, a diminution of this kind of knowledge. That is why the experience of reality gained by our intuition is Akath—unspeakable; but it is, the Guru says, even more than Partakh—Zahara, more real than the sense knowledge. Again, that is why he says that such a knowledge of God is neither in the Vedas or other holy books, nor in the Shastras or other books of philosophy.

Of course faith or Sardha is an essential element of a disciple’s state of mind proceeding on the path of spiritul progress, but it should be grounded in rational discrimination—Bibek or right knowledge. The Guru prays for rational intelligence—Bibek Budhi.

      ਹਾਰਿ ਪਰਿਓ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਕੈ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਦੀਜੈ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਬੇਕਾ ॥
        “O Master bestow on your servant the discriminating intelligence.”
– Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 641
 It is with the help of reason, he says, that we can make ourselves worthy of His grace and mercy.
      ਅੰਧੇ ਅਕਲੀ ਬਾਹਰੇ ਕਿਆ ਤਿਨ ਸਿਉ ਕਹੀਐ ॥
– Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 229

 He believes in rational faith. The disciple who carries on an intelligent search for truth, progresses and one who is merely dogmatic and who sticks unreasonably to his views perishes:

      ਖੋਜੀ ਉਪਜੈ ਬਾਦੀ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਹਉ ਬਲਿ ਬਲਿ ਗੁਰ ਕਰਤਾਰਾ ॥– Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1254

 Knowledge arrived at through intelligent search and rational conviction and realised practically by intuitive experience greatly benefits a devotee and such a knowledge is true — Sacha Bichar and, therefore, eternal. The possessor of such a knowledge is a real Pandit. A Pandit is not he who knows the Vedas and the Shastras by heart, but he in whose heart the ground of the knowledge of these books resides; he who is one with the subtle reality of the gross universe.

Bibek Budhi and Anubhav as means for Higher Knowledge
The intellect and intuition are made use of in knowing God metaphysically and religiously. “There is no break”, writes Sir Radhakrishnan, “between intuition and intellect. In moving from intellect to intuition we are not moving in the direction of unreason, but are getting into the deepest rationality of which human nature is capable. In it we think more profoundly, feel more deeply and see more truly. We see, feel and become in obedience to our whole nature, and not simply measure things by the fragmentary standards of intellect. We think with a certain totality or wholeness. Both intellect and intuition belong to the self. While the former involves a specialised part, the latter employs the whole self. The two are synthesised in the self and their activities are interdependent.” Anbhau—intuition and Bibek Budhi—discriminating intelligence are the two instruments of knowledge, recognised in the system of the Guru. The former guides and the latter assists. That is how the co-operation of the two is maintained.

Virtue of Wisdom and Practice
Dr. Avtar Singh asserts that it may also be appropriate to point out that in Sikhism the virtue of wisdom synthesizes both the knowledge of the world as well as the spiritual knowledge and thus attains a fusion or synthesis with realism in the context of suniye, maniey and ek dhyan.(Ethics of the Sikhs - p. 94)

We may also allude to the great importance accorded in Sikhism to practice as a necessary constituent of wisdom. Guru Nanak says, “Rare in the world is the man of wisdom who reflects on wisdom and rare is the wise man in this world who practises this wisdom.

ਜਗਿ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਆਚਾਰੀ ॥ ਜਗਿ ਪੰਡਿਤੁ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਵੀਚਾਰੀ ॥
How rare in the world is that wise person, who practises this.
How rare in this world is that scholar who reflects upon this.– Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 413

Similarly, Kabir says “If you have wisdom, destroy your evil and discipline your body. He then uses the analogy of the battle ground and remarks that a hero is one who actually displays his powers and skill in the combat.

ਰਣਿ ਰੂਤਉ ਭਾਜੈ ਨਹੀ ਸੂਰਉ ਥਾਰਉ ਨਾਉ ॥
When you are engaged in the battle, don’t run away; then, you shall be known as a spiritual hero.
– Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 342

This clearly establishes that wisdom in Sikhism is considered to be inextricably linked with practice.

Concept of “Sword of Wisdom-Kharag Karara”
This concept is a unique feature of Sikh Epistemology. The practical objective involved is the eradication of duality, superstitions and evil demons. This unique concept synthesizes the achievement of Gian with a way of praxis and the manner of living.

ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਅਤਿ ਖੜਗੁ ਕਰਾਰਾ ॥ 
 ਦੂਜਾ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਗੜੁ ਕਟਿਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਾ ॥
From the Guru, I have obtained the supremely powerful sword of spiritual wisdom.      
I have cut down the fortress of duality and doubt, attachment, greed and egotism 
– Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1087

ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗੁ ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਦੀਨਾ ਦੂਤ ਮਾਰੇ ਕਰਿ ਧਾਈ ਹੇ ॥
In His Mercy, God has blessed me with the sword of spiritual wisdom; I have attacked and killed the demons. ||9||
– Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1072

Conclusion
The Crux of Sikh Epistemology may be summarized now. It has been asserted that realization of the ultimate reality consists in mystic intuitive experience which is higher than perceptual and rational ways of knowing. It is an integrated experience which coheres in all the cognitive, affective and conative aspects of the self. The realization of the unity of the Real is a living experience. In the words of Sher Singh “the realization of the Real is not an intellectual understanding of the universe; but it is an experience, a living experience of unity of the one within, with the one without. Hence self as a centre of consciousness (surati) does not isolate itself from the Nature (qudrat). It, rather, harmonizes and becomes one with it. It is a realized state (sahaj avastha) of the self where all multiplicities and dualities are encompassed in the absolute Unity.

Hence nothing is excluded from the self. Guru Granth Sahib maintains that sahaj is a state of mystic unity. It is an intuitive state of self-realization and self-luminosity. In this state the self loses its individuality. For example, when the river falls into the sea, it loses its individuality. Likewise separative consciousness loses its individuality and becomes one with the cosmic consciousness (surati surati sanjogu).

      ਜੋਤੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਮਿਲਾਈਐ ਸੁਰਤੀ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸੰਜੋਗੁ ॥
 ਹਿੰਸਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਗਤੁ ਗਏ ਨਾਹੀ ਸਹਸਾ ਸੋਗੁ ॥ 
 ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਿਸੁ ਹਰਿ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਮੇਲੇ ਗੁਰੁ ਸੰਜੋਗੁ ॥
       When one’s light merges into the Light, and one’s intuitive consciousness is joined with the Intuitive Consciousness,
       Then one’s cruel and violent instincts and egotism depart, and skepticism and sorrow are taken away.
       The Lord abides within the mind of the Gurmukh, who merges in the Lord’s Union, through the Guru. - Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 21

We may now close this essay by emphasizing the need to always remember and internalize the Gurmat teachings on Khoji and Badi, particularly the following;
      ਸੇਵਾ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਰਹਸਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵਾ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥ 
 ਖੋਜੀ ਉਪਜੈ ਬਾਦੀ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਹਉ ਬਲਿ ਬਲਿ ਗੁਰ ਕਰਤਾਰਾ ॥
       Focusing my awareness on selfless service, I joyfully sing His Praises. As Gurmukh, I contemplate spiritual wisdom.
       The seeker comes forth, and the debater dies down; I am a sacrifice, a sacrifice to the Guru, the Creator Lord.
– Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1255

ਖੋਜੀ ਖੋਜਿ ਲਧਾ ਹਰਿ ਸੰਤਨ ਪਾਹਾ ਰਾਮ ॥
Searching, the seeker has found the Lord with the Saints.
– Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 845
~~~

REFERENCES

  1.   Prof. Dr. Nirbhai Singh, Philosophy of Sikhism, Atlantic publishers & distributors, 4215/1, Ansari Road, Darya Ganj New Delhi-110002

  2.   Prof Dr Nirbhai Singh, Sikh Dynamic Vision, Harman Pub. House, Delhi, 2003

  3.   Dr. Sher Singh, Philosophy of Sikhism, SGPC, Amritsar; 1993.

  4.   Dr. Avtar Singh: Ethics of the Sikhs;Publisher: Patiala, Punjabi University; 2nd Edition edition (1991

  5.   Satnaam Kaur, Three Basics of Sikh Religious Thought :: Faith, Grace, Prayer

  6.   Gurnaam Kaur: Reason and Revelation in Sikhism; Cosmo Publications; 1990

  7.   Guy De Broglie, Revelation and Reason, Hawthorn Books, New York; 1965

  8.   Roger Haight, Dynamics of Theology, Paulist Press, New york; 1990

  9.   Dulles, Avery: Models of Revelation,Orbis Books; 1992.
    
10. Brunner,  Revelation and Reason, 1946, The Westminister Press, 1946.

  Note:    I express my gratitude to the authors as given in references for using their thoughts and vocabulary rather liberally.

 

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