Resolving Our Problems - the Gurbani Way
We all do experience difficult problems in our life the nature of them is a mess in the life circumstances or the body disease. The approach we have to these problems are in line with our thoughts about the nature of the world . We see variety and diversity all around. We see events happening at different times. So we then view the problems of our life as separate events . Seldom do we connect these to the fact that "we our self may have initiated the cause and are continuing to do so".
The mankind has made tremendous progress in technology. our life comforts have improved tremendously but we still lack in living a steady " truly positive lifestyle". Gurbani explains that the reason for this is our disconnection with our Mool, the true nature. Furbani further tells that this is because of our "ignorance". As along as we remain ignorant of the truth about the functioning of the world around us we would continue to experience misfortunes. If we keep on continuing to ignore the truth of our "self" , the stress of life would remain.
The reason for our ill health lies in our own mind's approach to life. The way out is to align with the Sach, the truth. This truth is true for all of us . The truth goes across all our boundries of beliefs, regions, color or status in life. This alignment with truth opens up process that keeps us protected from harms and having anxiety in life.
The Gurbani too has explained the basic concepts to let us know the change that happens. Karma- The Karma, the Gurbani explains is " what you sow is what you receive." It is made up of a cause which results in the effect. The two are connected. Where cause is there the effect too is there. In our world these two become two time events. This is because cause has an idea, desire, reason, aim, expectation, image etc which then results in the effect in the form manifestation of life circumstance, situation , worldly objects , attitudes, viewpoints, direction.
The Karma process includes everything connected to living in the world including that of the mind. The karma is the basis of our experience. Our personality has a basis in karma. The Karma is also a conditioning that shapes a person's nature. Being multifaceted, the Karma includes the associated intentions and reasons. Karma process is neutral, only the result we experience is either perceived good, bad or normal by us.
Some points about karma are relevant to its understanding.
First, what Gurbani specifically indicates that Karma is a seed . With Karmic action begins in the Mind. The Karma is something that is initiated.
Second, the problems and situations in our life are due to our own karma. And nothing outside of us is to be blamed .
ਦੋਸੁ ਨ ਦੇਊ ਕਿਸੈ ਦੋਸੁ ਕਰੰਮਾ ਆਪਣਿਆ ॥ ਜੋ ਮੈ ਕੀਆ ਸੋ ਮੈ ਪਾਇਆ ਦੋਸੁ ਨ ਦੀਜੈ ਅਵਰ ਜਨਾ ॥
Dadda: Do not blame the other; the cause blamed lies in your own karma. Whatever I did, that I received; do not put blame on others. - Guru Granth Sahib: ang -433
ਦੁਖੁ ਸੁਖੁ ਦੀਆ ਜੇਹਾ ਕੀਆ ਸੋ ਨਿਬਹੈ ਜੀਅ ਨਾਲੇ ॥ The pain and pleasure, are bestowed according to the deeds done; the actions stays giving result. - Guru Granth Sahib: ang -581
Third, the Sach is not under Karma . The Sach within us is out of Karma.
ਅਲਖ ਅਪਾਰ ਅਗੰਮ ਅਗੋਚਰ ਨਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਕਾਲੁ ਨ ਕਰਮਾ ॥ The unknowable, infinite, unapproachable and imperceptible is not subject to death or karma. - Guru Granth Sahib: ang -597
Fourth, the Sach, makes us free of the Karma . The Karma function in our world. Within us is "karma free" place. The Sach takes us out of Karmic cycle. The Guru says:
ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਕਾਟੈ ਕੋਟਿ ਕਰਮ ॥
The Guru's Shabad eradicates the effect of millions of karma .
- Guru Granth Sahib: ang -1195
ਧਰਮ ਰਾਇ ਅਬ ਕਹਾ ਕਰੈਗੋ ਜਉ ਫਾਟਿਓ ਸਗਲੋ ਲੇਖਾ ॥੩॥
What can the Dharam Rai (Righteous Judge of Dharma) do now? All my accounts have been torn up. - Guru Granth Sahib: ang -614
The Karmic System in the religious texts mention that the Karma is recorded by Chitra Gupta - although presented as a Devta but in reality is the perfect recording of the Karma in all aspects of cause , effect and completion. There is a next part to the deeds which is the accounting. This accounting is mythically said to be done by DharamRai, the Righteous Judge of Dharma .
The accounting is made to look as a punishment. This is a misrepresentation. The Gurbani explains that the result of this accounting process is whether one goes nearer to Sach or further. The "more near person" is moved up in spiritual status where as the "further person" would have a harder time in the next birth to come out as is strong attraction towards misdeeds which result in a disturbed life . This is known as working out the Karma.
The way out of this Karmic cycle is to move nearer to Sach. The move towards Sach again is Karmic in nature.
Fifth, The beginning of the Karmic cause is in the mind. We have a choice there at that stage. The thoughts . If we let the bad inclination get hold it moves the mind towards action. The choice is to be done at that time. Science says the decision is taken based on " risk versus reward ". The distractions are kept in check by cognitive control.
The Gurbani says that pain is a medicine while comfort is a disease. This is because pain induces us to shift to come out or to change whereas comfort has no motivation. A decision to change brings change situations. aneed for guide brings guide. A need to know the way out brings in knowledge. With now have to take Karmic action to go with as Guided by Guru.
To be in sactuary of our home regulates Karmic action in the world, removes karmic problems and takes one out of reincarnation cycle. The beginner may feel that this is a daunting task. If you have choosen to live aligned in the world , to be free of the fear then trust the Guru, the only true guide. As Gurbani Says :ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਕੋ ਇਹੁ ਮਹਲੁ ਪਾਵੈ ॥ By Guru's Grace, is found this mansion (SGGS-889).
In the life Journey the Gurbani asks us to do Ardas (prayer) for our lifes problems or prevention of a problem or to be free of body ailment. Ardas, the Prayer A few aspects about prayer explained in Gurbani are as below-
ਤੂੰ ਕਰਤਾ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਆਪੇ ਜਾਣਹਿ ਕਿਆ ਤੁਧੁ ਪਹਿ ਆਖਿ ਸੁਣਾਈਐ ॥ ਬੁਰਾ ਭਲਾ ਤੁਧੁ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਸੂਝੈ ਜੇਹਾ ਕੋ ਕਰੇ ਤੇਹਾ ਕੋ ਪਾਈਐ ॥੧॥
You Yourself, the Karta, know everything; what can I possibly tell You? You know all the bad and the good; as we act, so are we rewarded.
- Guru Granth Sahib: ang -775
When we are in a Karmic situation, then what is the purpose of the prayer. The Guru further explains that-
ਸਭੁ ਮੋਹੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਹਰਿ ਕੀਆ ਵਿਚਿ ਦੇਹੀ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਰਾਈ ॥ ਇਕਨਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਲਿ ਸੁਖੁ ਦੇਵਹਿ ਇਕਿ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਧੰਧੁ ਪਿਟਾਈ ॥ ਇਕਨਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਲਿ ਸੁਖੁ ਦੇਵਹਿ ਇਕਿ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਧੰਧੁ ਪਿਟਾਈ ॥੨॥
The Har (God) has imade succeptible the body to the Maya and attachment; and through this human body, arranges the bhagti (worship) . You unite some with the True Guru, and bless them with peace; while others, the self-willed manmukhs, remain engrossed in worldly affairs.
- Guru Granth Sahib: ang -775
The Gurbani defines the Prayer and the purpose:
First, the prayer done before the One the Mool . We may address as Akal Purakh, Satguru, Parbrahm, Karta Purakh or Waheguru .
Second, the prayer is done with all humility with a relationship of a like You are my Rakha, the protector; Denhar Datar, the giver; Swami, the master; the Guru.
Third, the prayer is a request and not a demand.
Fourth, the decision to accept the prayer is left to the Karta, as the request may not be in our long term benific.
Fifth, the Gurbani assures that - ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੋ ਭਗਤਿ ਵਛਲੁ ਬਿਰਦਾਇਓ ॥ It is the very nature of Prabh (God) to love His devotees. (SGGS-498). So this is the reason that -
ਅਚਿੰਤ ਕੰਮ ਕਰਹਿ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਤਿਨ ਕੇ ਜਿਨ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਿਆਰਾ ॥
Without being in our knowledge the Prabh resolves the work of those who love thy name .
- Guru Granth Sahib: ang -638
The Akal Purakh makes the life of devotees smooth by protecting and supporting them. Even prosperity comes to them as long as they have an attitude of attachment; the mind and body too get better as distance is kept from the negative inclinations.
The Gurbani advises that when ever there is a problem then do pray. Methods of Ardas The personal prayers are done with recitation of hymns from Gurbani. The hymns focus the mind , buils a relationship and make for the proper attitude. Ardas is a way that protects you from the ills of the world, arranges conducive situations and prevents your time being wasted in struggles. The hymns be read as a Jap is the way to come out of fear and anxiety. These build strong resolute personality. These develop peaceful state of mind.
And the Gurbani hymns heal the body- whether through medical means underway or just regression of disease in the body. he Gurbani says that the Naam heals both Mind and Body . The calls this as Naamaukhad- Naam is the medicine for all the ills