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Jugat - The Know-How of Living:
The Talking Stick Colloquium # 60

Convenor: RAVINDER SINGH

 

 

Our discussion on Yoga - or its Punjabi equivalent, Jog, if you will - that we initiated last week, continues unabated, giving me reason to believe that we should extend the conversation.

And so my recommendation is that we extend the discussion, not so much by dwelling on yoga but in trying to understand the right way or jugaṯ to achieve true yoga or Jog.

Sikhi rejects many aspects of what is described as, or included under the umbrella of Hinduism, and yoga - as it is popularly promoted today - is an unmistakable component of the Hindu universe and worldview. Not surprisingly, many on this forum had a similar emotional reaction, dismissing the term out of hand as Hindu hocus-pocus, without digging deeper into its different connotations within Sikhi.

But there were others who pointed out, quite rightly, that we should not be so dismissive of the original concept. The purpose that jog strives for - mystical union - is broadly endorsed by the Sikh Gurus, although their idea of salvation extends beyond mere individual salvation.

What is important to recognize is that the Gurus rejected the methodology and practice that has come to define the two principal systems of Hindu yoga - flowing from Patanjali and Gorakhnath.

Notice that Guru Nanak’s composition in Raag Sūhī that we discussed repeatedly questions the life style of the Nath Yogis, not necessarily the goal. There are quite a few passages that dismiss the practices of the yogi/jogī.

There were hints - or intimations - about the correct way or jugaṯ and I think it would be worthwhile to examine this concept.

REFLECTION:

The closest English words for jugaṯ are know-how, skill, art, method (methodology) and technique (technology).

In gurbani, the word jugaṯ is used in conjunction with particular life styles (jog jugaṯ, bhagat jugaṯ, and jee jugaṯ. It is also used for the cosmic principle of creation and diversity: Ŧis vicẖ jī▫a jugaṯ ke rang - "in it were placed a myriad ways of life." [Japji:7]

Clearly, the implication is that there is an appropriate and suitable method for achieving various ends, but also an underlying caution that there are also inappropriate ways whicxh are to be avoided.

Take for instance, the matter of living our lives. There is the way of the world (dhaturbazzi in gurmat parlance) where we are in a rat race, frantically looking for the next best thing, the silver bullet, the magical formula to grow rich, to stay young, to be
famous, to be successful – to satiate an essentially insatiable wellspring of desire and attachment.

On the futility of these methods, Guru Arjan says in the Sukhmani, I▫āhū jugaṯ bihāne a▫ī janam  - "so many lives are wasted in these ways.” [GGS:268]

As opposed to ḏẖāṯ, the recommended orientation for a Sikh is liv, which calls for a particular way of life that will lead to the Truth or true jog. The Gurus make this point quite emphatically:

sacẖ ṯā par jāṇī▫ai jā jugaṯ jāṇai jī▫o

"Truth is revealed (known) only if one knows the right way.” [GGS:468]

The jogi has been dismissed as groping in the dark:

joji jugat na janeh andh

"The jogi, knowing not the way to union, gropes in the dark" [GGS,662].

LET'S CONSIDER

What method or life style should we adopt?

kavan so jugaṯ jiṯ kar bẖījai

"How do I please my Beloved?” [GGS:181]

Let's look at a few passages that give us clues and cues as to what that life style might be:

ki▫ā jap ki▫ā ṯap sanjamo ki▫ā baraṯ ki▫ā isnān

To what avail chanting, penance, fasting and ritual bathing?

jab lag jugaṯ na jānī▫ai bẖā▫o bẖagaṯ bẖagvān
If you don’t know the art of cultivating loving devotion? [GGS:337]

A direct hint is available to us in this passage:

hukam bujẖai so jogī kahī▫ai ekas si▫o cẖiṯ lā▫e
Solving the riddle of Hukam a yogi is absorbed in the One [GGS:908]

And, finally, here is Guru Nanak instructing us on the proper way:

nānak saṯgur bẖeti▫ai pūrī hovai jugaṯ
Nanak, meeting the true Guru, I found the Way

hasanḏi▫ā kẖelanḏi▫ā painanḏi▫ā kẖāvanḏi▫ā vicẖe hovai mukaṯ
Immersed in the world - laughing, playing, adorning, feasting - therein freedom is to be found. [GGS: 522]

 

September 12, 2011

Conversation about this article

1: Balbir Singh (Germany), September 12, 2011, 1:52 PM.

Nanak says: meeting the true Guru, I found the Way. Who is the Guru mentioned here?

2: Prakash Singh Bagga (India), September 12, 2011, 8:25 PM.

I read the last quote to mean: Meeting Sat(i)GuR(u), the know-how of life becomes complete or perfect.

3: Balbir Singh (Germany), September 13, 2011, 1:44 AM.

Prakash ji: the word here used is Sat(i)Gur(i).

4: Prakash Singh Bagga (India), September 13, 2011, 4:40 AM.

Balbir Singh ji: You are correct.So what should be the meaning of this word Sat(i)Gur(i)?

5: Prakash Singh Bagga (India), September 13, 2011, 5:02 AM.

This word refers to the singular Sat(i)Gur(u) and is connected to the word bheti-ae. So, 'Ssat(i)Gur(i) bheti-ae' means: "If Sat(i) Gur(u) is met ..."

6: Yuktanand Singh (MI, U.S.A.), September 13, 2011, 8:43 AM.

Most people harp only on the part that says that Guru's Sikhs are liberated without having to renounce the world. This reminds me of the commercial singers who, instead of repeating an entire verse, "Let forgiveness and patience be your milch cow (ga-oo laveri) [GGS:1329], dwell on the "ga-oo laveri" part in farms where cattle is gold. Similarly, people reverse the meaning of this slok when it should mean something like, "One's endeavor is perfected upon meeting with the perfect Guru. One is then liberated without having to renounce the delights of the world." [GGS:522].

7: Yuktanand Singh (MI, U.S.A.), September 13, 2011, 8:46 AM.

We need to first digest the fact that the way to truth (parmaarth) is a totally different inner state, and only a very miniscule part is in our own hands. We will therefore have difficulty comprehending the way as long as we try to incorporate the inner conduct of those who are on this path into our ordinary state of mind. Seeing the true Guru in spirit forever changes our inner state, depending on how well we can see the Guru. This slok indicates two things: a) Our efforts are inherently flawed until we have met the true Guru, and b) when our method is correct, then we do not have to leave the world, but enjoy it without any fear of harm because we no longer seek pleasure from the world.

8: Yuktanand Singh (MI, U.S.A.), September 13, 2011, 8:51 AM.

I do not want to take over each topic but this leads to the question: how do we meet the true Guru? Guru is shabad, of course. The question, "Who is the Guru?" indicates that for starters, we need to see gurbani in spirit, beyond its paper, ink and its words, beyond the musical instruments and the melodies, beyond the beautiful ornaments, the parshaad, the langar and the gurdwara. Opening our spiritual eyes requires earnest desire and some inner craziness (under Guru's guidance, of course). Sant Naranjan Singh ji used to say that if we simply repeated "dhunn Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji" (meaning: 'Guru Granth Sahib is glorious') five times each morning for about 40 days when we first open our eyes, we will start to see the spirit of gurbani. Sorry if this sounds crazy!

9: Ravinder Singh  (Westerville, Ohio, U.S.A.), September 13, 2011, 12:42 PM.

To Balbir Singh ji's question (#1), I will offer some of my thoughts, not necessarily as THE ANSWER but to propel the discussion. One of the central doctrines of Sikhi is the notion of "jyot uha(n) jugat sai seh kaiya(n) pher paltiyeh" [GGS:966]. This refers to the transfer of Guruship from Guru Nanak to Guru Angad and so on. The two key elements transferred are jyot (light or knowledge) and jugat (way/method). The physical body is not identified as Guru. Also, it would be useful to consider the pauuri that follows this slok: "Hail to the Guru who freed me from the fort of doubt," and ends with, "The Guru is transcendent, ineffable and beyond description." [GGS:522] The word 'satgur' has multiple usages in my opinion - as the divine, as synonymous with Guru as Bani. In some instances, it also points to Guru Nanak. In this slok, the use of sihari and aunkar (vowels) suggest singular or specific which leads me to believe that the Satguru here that Guru Arjan is pointing to is none other than Baba Paatshah. All Gurus looked to Guru Nanak as SatGuru (as we do). Bhai Gurdas also refers to him as Satguru Nanak Pargat-yaa. More later.

10: R.S. Minhas (Millburn, New Jersey, U.S.A.), September 13, 2011, 2:22 PM.

I am not an expert in these matters, and therefore more likely to be wrong. My understanding is that Guru Nanak presented a united spirituality. One can say it comes from monotheism - One Source, the Ik Onkar concept. If God is One, then all faiths need to start merging closer to God. The radical interpretation inside faiths that their own methods are exclusive and the only ways to achieve spiritual enlightenment is rejected as haumai/ego. Dissolving the ego is a precondition to merging with the Infinite. Ego comes from a sense of personal accomplishments, worldly entitlements, through birth, being born into a caste, group or a particular religion. Incredible humility is shown in Guru Granth Sahib by accepting the Bhagats of other faiths. Humility is again a gift of the Gurus.

11: Mohan Singh (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 13, 2011, 6:17 PM.

Guru Granth Sahib is the mirror of Sikhi; it is a reflection of 'jeevan jaach' (knowhow of living). The Gurus and Bhagats have done their best to pass on the Divine message through gurbani. However, 'jeevan jugat' is acquired by the divine grace of Akal Purakh, as explained by Guru Arjan: "Liberation, pleasures and the true way of life are obtained from the Lord, the Giver of all peace" [GGS:611]. By and large gurbani is addressed to our subtle body, mind and soul, while yoga is the subject of the physical body and has nothing to do with spiritual aspiration or attainment.

12: Prakash Singh Bagga (India), September 14, 2011, 12:20 AM.

The correct word is Jot(i) and is used in reference for GurJot(i). As in: 'ramdas(i) guR(oo) jag taran kau gur jot(i) arjan mah(i) dhar-ee' [GGS:1409]. The word Jot(i) is plural, its singular being jot-ee. In gurbani, the two terms are often used together, as in 'jot-ee jot(i)'. In the present context, I think the words 'gur jot(i)' refer to the configuration of light or knowledge which is naam(u).

13: Yuktanand Singh (MI, U.S.A.), September 15, 2011, 6:19 PM.

It appears that we are diverting from the topic. In my opinion the two words - 'jot' or 'jote' meaning light (pronounced as 'joath') - jyote in Hindi - and satgur or true Guru - both are always singular in gurbani, never plural. See 'sabh meh jot jot hai soi' [GGS:13], meaning: 'The jote in everyone is always the same.' The word 'jote' was repeated for emphasis, meaning always. Some people cite such verses to argue that there is no difference between the light in the Guru and the light in us. The jote in us is like a spark buried deep inside, but in satguru it is an open blazing flame unimpeded by any degree of haumai. There can be no comparison.

14: Yuktanand Singh (MI, U.S.A.), September 15, 2011, 6:20 PM.

Additionally, gurbani does not regard the jote as separate from the Guru and therefore, the Guru also (being the jote) is always the same. See 'gur gur aeko ves anaek' [GGS:12], meaning: 'Seen in various garbs, the Guru is always the same.' Thus, 'jote ohaa jugat sai' does not mean transmission of Guru Nanak's soul. It means that the light was the same and the method was also the same as Guru Nanak's. Only the body was changed.

15: Yuktanand Singh (MI, U.S.A.), September 15, 2011, 6:24 PM.

The vowels at the end of these special words (jote and guru) do not indicate plurality or gender, but relationship. The vowel 'u' changes the word 'guru' into a proper noun. For example, read 'sabh te vaddaa satgur Nanak' [GGS:750]. In this case, the 'u' in the word satgur(u) stands for a particular person, Guru Nanak, here.

16: Yuktanand Singh (MI, U.S.A.), September 15, 2011, 6:26 PM.

We keep coming across two very legitimate concerns. One is that naam simran makes us self-centered. The other, that seeing our Guru as supreme makes us exclusive, when in fact our Gurus were humble and they welcomed everyone. Both these concerns arise from limited understanding. We misinterpret Guru's humility. There should be no doubt that satguru is supreme, just as the sun is the supreme source of light. It shines the same on everyone. Other spiritual teachers also represent the same light, in varying degrees. Naam simran includes seeing God in everyone. If simran makes us self-centered, then our jugat is wrong. Guru ji says, 'I have no enemy and no one is a stranger to me (any longer). Everyone is now my companion' [GGS:1299].

17: Yuktanand Singh (MI, U.S.A.), September 15, 2011, 6:28 PM.

Coming back to the topic, it may be easier to understand 'jugat' if we made sure that we interpret 'jugat' as 'the way' or as 'being on the way' instead of a technique or 'walking on the way' because, as we discussed earlier (if we all agreed), that perfect jugat is not a self-directed activity. Perfect jugat is guided only by divine grace. This is why say that the Guru's acts are always perfect.

18: Yuktanand Singh (MI, U.S.A.), September 15, 2011, 6:30 PM.

In contrast, these discussions require some degree of haumai. Those who really know do not say anything. 'oae veparvaah na bolnee' [GGS:41], meaning: 'They are carefree and they do not speak.' But, at our level of discussion, we have little option but to prod until we understand how to obtain the divine grace that we all talk about. If we do not ponder the steps, then references to hukam, grace, etc., represent only a window dressing, a glorious termination to these discussions.

19: Ravinder Singh  (Westerville, Ohio, U.S.A.), September 16, 2011, 3:00 AM.

My sense is that we are getting caught up in semantics. Jugat as "way," "method" "know-how", all broadly mean the same thing and can include specific techniques or skills. Here, it refers to a way of life and a way of knowing. Simply put, for us the question here is: what is a Sikh way of life and how does one know it. The answer, equally simple, is that the SatGur shows us the way. The real question becomes, "who/what is the SatGur and how do I connect/ communicate?"

20: Ravinder Singh  (Westerville, Ohio, U.S.A.), September 16, 2011, 3:23 AM.

To #14 above: that is what is being hinted at in # 9 above. Light is being equated to knowledge here. The knowledge (or wisdom) of the Guru is what is being transferred and is synonymous with the gift of naam. "The knowledge of the Guru is Naam which the Guru enshrines in the Sikh." [GGS:759].

21: Mohan Singh (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 16, 2011, 7:24 AM.

Gurbani is the subject of sincere contemplation with research and insight as each line is as good as a Hukam. Perhaps this is why we take a Hukamnama from Guru Granth Sahib at least once every day. There is no point in juggling from yoge-joge to jugat-jote like a circus ring-master. Jote is divine light, and the human mind is divine light, a composition of surt-mut-munn-budh, it's not an organ. Guru Amardas: "O my mind, you are the embodiment of the Divine Light - recognize your origin" [GGS:441]. Each human being is gifted with divine light by Akal Purakh, without it no one can function. Guru Nanak had recognized the mind (divine light) of Bhai Lehna ji before decorating him (Angad) with Guruship. Transferring Guruship is transferring responsibility of Sikhi to lead it further. The subject is very well explained by Giani Sant Singh Maskeen in one of his lectures on the meaning of jote. Again, Guru Amardas said: "O Nanak, the One Light has two forms; through the Shabad, union is attained. By personally experiencing the personality of the Guru, one's own personality is uplifted, and one's light merges into the Light, an infusion of divine light-knowledge-Gyan." [GGS:30]

22: Yuktanand Singh (MI, U.S.A.), September 16, 2011, 10:37 AM.

Ravinder ji: I agree that we must not be caught up in semantics. I am cognizant of the limitation during these discussions. We cannot always express everything we are thinking. But I worry about the readers and the net result of understanding something properly versus understanding it improperly. In #9 you said that Guru in the verse on GGS:522 was Guru Nanak. In #20 you have gone to the other extreme, and say that it is knowledge. Both approaches are partially correct, but my view is rather orthodox. 'Guru' here is a person (indicated by 'u' at the end). If the writer is Guru Arjan, then the Guru in the verse on page 522 would be Guru Ramdas, not Guru Nanak. Why is this important? It is true that gurbani does not see jote, knowledge, Guru, and Waheguru as separate beings. But, a Sikh's relationship with the Guru is extremely personal, where the main course of naam is love, not knowledge. I want to be sure that calling the jote as knowledge does not detract from this essential ingredient of Sikhi.

23: Balbir Singh (Germany), September 16, 2011, 2:05 PM.

Contemplation on naam is possible only after receiving it. Words like 'gur' and 'jugat' merely raise our thirst.

24: Prakash Singh Bagga (India), September 16, 2011, 11:21 PM.

In gurbani, Nanak as a person and SatiGur(u) are different references. Nanak as a person is related to GurJot(i) and SatiGur(u)/Satigur is related to Naamu/Naam.

25: Taranjit Singh (Chandigarh, Punjab), September 17, 2011, 4:38 AM.

Sat(i)guru means Akal Purakh: "sat(i)Guru mera sada sada na avai na jaye". The Guru of Guru Nanak was the Shabad which came from Akal Purakh. Guru Nanak says in Sidd hGosht: "shabad guru surat dhun chela!"

26: T. Sher Singh (Mount Forest, Ontario, Canada), September 17, 2011, 5:29 AM.

Here's something I would like each one of you commentators to do, please. Have a young person in your family - a son, a daughter, a nephew, a niece, a grandchild, someone in their teens - to read the comments above and ask them if, a) they understand any of it; b) they find it interesting; c) they find it useful; d) they'll rush back tomorrow to this very page hungrily to see what else has been said by you. If the answer to each of these questions is "yes", we have achieved the goal of having this colloquium - keep on truckin'. If the answer to each of these questions is a "no", then I suggest all we are doing is gazing at our navels and picking at the lint. The goal, I want to clarify, is not that this should be a dialogue for teenagers. But it should be at a level at which an average teenager today (who is very intelligent and articulate) understands and finds it meaningful and useful. If all we are doing is putting forth our personal positions, without connecting or engaging, then ... Before you react or over-react to these words, please do the test first. Thanks.

27: Ravinder Singh  (Westerville, Ohio, U.S.A.), September 17, 2011, 6:19 AM.

Yuktanand ji: thanks for the clarifications. Like you, I remain acutely aware of the limitations of these discussions. At times I (like others, I am sure) hit the send button prematurely only to realize later on (or be reminded by a vigilant reader) that wasn't quite what I meant. But, as you suggest, there are inherent limitations and we just have to live with them. Coming to my comments: the term Guru, with its variations, like Satguru, Gurdev, etc., seems to suggest a spectrum/ shades of meanings, from a specific person (as in this case) to God (as in #25). So the context of the shabad under consideration becomes important. In this shabad, since the reference is specific (historical, in time), I should have pointed to Guru Ramdas, not the historical Nanak. As for knowledge, the Guru is also the conduit/ transmitter of "gyan." Indeed, the guru is "gyan" as well - so I had no better word in mind when I was hitting the keyboard than knowledge. Wisdom, perhaps?

28: Mohan Singh (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 17, 2011, 6:55 AM.

Guru Arjan: "sat purakh jin jaani-aa satgur tis kaa naa-o tis kai sang sikh udhrai naanak har gun gaa-o" - 'One who knows the True Lord God is called the True Guru. In his company, the Sikh is saved, O Nanak, singing the glorious praises of the Lord.' [GGS:286]

29: Yuktanand Singh (MI, U.S.A.), September 17, 2011, 8:51 AM.

T. Sher Singh ji jolts us to return to the basics, but oversimplification is another evil. Gurmat is a subject of the heart and 'surat'. Mohan Singh ji has already simplified it several times above. We could conclude at that, knowing that jugat is learned in sangat by 'spiritual osmosis', without any words. This is why we have so much gurbani, to sing and to contemplate. But sangat and inner contemplation on gurbani are missing in most cases. This is the difficulty. Jugat is neither simple nor static because it grows as we grow. Children learn best through stories but even an adult, in the beginning, is far from someone who is always in the presence of the Guru. When we forget this chasm, great truths turn into mere cliches. In a discussion, we try to bridge this gap and patch the potholes with attempts to correct the semantics, often resulting in diversions. This is unavoidable, unless we post only aphorisms.

30: Yuktanand Singh (MI, U.S.A.), September 17, 2011, 8:55 AM.

We will see that parmaarth (road to truth) consists of a spectrum of perceptions and acts that converge into oneness at the end. We could repeat what has been discussed before, e.g., simran, sangat, meditation, amrit-vela, ishnaan, seeing God in everyone, the rehat, etc. But I would rather conclude with an attempt to say something wise! The basis of our jugat is simran with each breath which is supposed to grow from a mere physical act to mental to spiritual. Simran is true only when it is complemented by naam (a ras or taste) that is sprinkled by the Guru, not complemented by haumai. This cannot occur unless we are gurmukh in our heart. The process of becoming gurmukh starts with complete submission to the Guru which results in inner transformation until the Sikh is like the Guru. Talk is easy but this cannot occur unless we meet our Guru. Guru is spirit. Guru manifests in various ways. Gurbani is embodiment of the Guru. We cannot meet the Guru unless we can see our Guru in spirit (see #8). This is why we go to the gurdwara and sing gurbani in sangat. Sant Naranjan Singh ji used to say that "the secret is revealed only when our mind is present" and this is best started by being mentally present in sangat. In short, the Guru is embodiment of jugat and jugat is where our heart is. Please also see: http://www.sikhitothemax.com/page.asp?ShabadID=355

31: Ravinder Singh  (Westerville, Ohio, U.S.A.), September 17, 2011, 9:22 AM.

#26 above: the point is well taken but as Yuktanand ji very aptly states, there are pitfalls at either end. This forum was aimed at a true "melding of the minds" through dialogue, and all are welcome. This week's topic has focused around the subject of Guru - the answer for a 17 year old will be quite different from a more mature adult, especially one who is immersed in bani. Then again, this is a never-ending process. In any discussion on gurbani, we always run the risk of slipping into esoteric mumbo jumbo or get bogged down by "siharis" and "aunkars." In either case, we just have to get back to the center where the discussion is meaningful.

32: Nirmal Singh Nilvi (Texas, U.S.A.), September 17, 2011, 6:41 PM.

If Jugat is know-how of living, it is interesting to note certain common and obvious human actions/approaches missing in this discussion. Scheming, short cuts, pretending, fudging the truth, politicking, misleading, etc., all constitute jugat in the human realm. There is more stress on the futility of these negative aspects of jugat in Sikh thought. In Sikhi, our Gurus have written extensively on how to become a good human being. Keeping him in mind, being truthful, self awareness, kirat kamaai, love, compassion, sharing, etc., mean only one thing: how to become a good human; good enough as He meant us to be. This is also part of jugat. Adopting positive traits, shedding negatives, is jugat towards a purposeful and better life. Gurbani is a rich source of practical and spiritual knowledge, offering a bag full of jugats in becoming whatever kind of person one wants. Jugat in essence is know-how; a sum of thoughts, approaches and actions we learn to adopt; with knowledge acquired from multiple sources/ways and experience. I have enjoyed reading and learning from many good views shared by so many of you.

33: Nirmal Singh Nilvi (Texas, U.S.A.), September 17, 2011, 7:17 PM.

A valid and wise concern on potential pitfalls of an approach or a thought has come up. Pitfalls are life's integral part. However, innovating what we know, and adding positive jugats to our dossier should be viewed as opportunities, not pitfalls, in my humble view. Certain apparent opportunities may not turn out as good as anticipated. That does not mean becoming gun-shy. That is the approach in Sikh thought.

34: Prakash Singh Bagga (India), September 17, 2011, 10:41 PM.

In gurbani, Gur(u) is gyan(u), as well as the source of that gyan(u). So, we have to bear in mind the context in which the word is being used.

35: Prakash Singh Bagga (India), September 18, 2011, 2:48 AM.

Gurbani is also referred to as "sabad tarang" - waves of the divine Word.

36: Balbir Singh (Germany), September 18, 2011, 5:57 AM.

"joge jugati suni aai-o gur te mo ka-o satigur sabadi bujhaai-o" [GGS:208-1]

37: Mohan Singh (Toronto, Ontario, Canada.), September 18, 2011, 7:52 AM.

Sikhi is jeevan jaach: the basic start is presented in Japji, paurri 38.

38: Yuktanand Singh (MI, U.S.A.), September 18, 2011, 7:57 AM.

Nilvi ji's beautiful message (#32) compels me to post again. This level of content is likely to attract and it is also appropriate for the beginners. We can eat only according to our appetite and we cannot comprehend more than we can digest. All else appears to only block our own clear view of truth. Such messages provide the balance and they fill the deficiency re concerns in #16. There is no question that naam cannot enter a dirty vessel or unethical life. See 'bhaanda dho-ae' [GGS:728]. But in this topic, this is like walking into a busy trauma room and asking why no one mentioned nutrition. The bulk of gurbani nags us to maintain the (spiritual) airway and circulation. Gurbani goes further and stresses only one item. "Obtaining one thing, all other things are obtained" [GGS:44.4]. This topic restricts us to this one item. Otherwise, we could write books.

39: Yuktanand Singh (MI, U.S.A.), September 18, 2011, 8:15 AM.

It is true that the fruits of naam are realized in our interaction with others. A virtuous life is essential but just like feeding a dead body, virtues are worthless without one thing - mystical union with our life-source. This is why all the religions fail to eradicate the evil and suffering. The trouble is we forget that in Sikhi, the mystical union is supposed to accompany all activity, not replace it. All the other necessary disciplines are good, but only if they help strengthen it, not if they distract from it. When this inner contact with Waheguru is continuous and unbroken, it is called 'liv', as opposed to our present unbroken contact with the world called 'dhaat'. Comments #34, #35 and #36 above also hint at the mystical nature of jugat. Jugat is perfect when it accompanies everything else we do. Only then we can attain perfection in everything else we do.

40: Nirmal Singh Nilvi (Texas, U.S.A.), September 18, 2011, 3:16 PM.

Our universe has its codes; fortunately beyond human reach. Truth, duality and opposites attract; there are a few with relevance to this discussion. Truth demands realization of the ugly to recognize the purpose of goodness. In Sikhi, there is this perception in certain minds that goodness should be kept aside from bad. There is nothing wrong with individual choices, but does this self-perceived adulteration have any proven negative consequences on the truth? Scriptural relevance of truth is to recognize and stress upon the prevalence of lies/deception in humans. In Sthe ikh approach to Akal Purakh, we forget the relevance arising out of devilish human tendencies. Duality has its own significance in human customs and scriptural relevance. Some of these jugats have evolved out of human misuse or over-indulgence of the five human emotions which are critical to our existence/survival. Let us touch upon another intriguing jugat in a discussion like this. We enjoy teaching jugats (religious) to others, instead of inculcating its practice within self perceived truthful limits. We even fail our Gurus on this count, after reading 1430 pages of many jugats, by not refraining from this tendency. We not only advise, but use quotations to justify practice. A sense of perfection is a well meant approach to jugat without any definition, but varied relevance. Let me conclude by wishing every body the blessings of jugats that help improve the self and help understand/assimilate our own purpose.

41: R.S..Minhas (Mullburn, New Jersey, U.S.A. ), September 18, 2011, 4:11 PM.

Trying to figure the infinite through limited intellect seems futile. There are black holes in the Universe and places without day or night where the divine truth exists - in forms beyond our comprehension. There are places where even time looses its meaning, according to modern physics. If there is one jugat through which we can grasp Him, then that jugat would be more powerful than God for it was able to scope Him out. Unfortunately or fortunately, we are limited and at His mercy. The shabad from M1: "tu sultan kahan hau mian teri kavan kavan vadai/ tera ant na jaana mere sahiba mei andhle kya chaturai/ kya hau kathi kathey kath dekha mei akathna na kathna jai/ jo tu aakhe soi aakhan til teri vadyai." I found the audio at http://ww.smashits.com/audio/player/free-music.cfm?SongIds=204473 Can someone please interpret this in reference to this topic?. P.S.: Thank you all for sharing your insights. I am sure there are a lot of people in my situation, and discussion/ clarifications help a lot. Being illiterate in Punjabi, my knowledge is assimilated only through mediums like this and hearsay.

42: Yuktanand Singh (MI, U.S.A.), September 18, 2011, 7:38 PM.

I believe that we do not need to get so complicated. Jugat is not against any learning. Nor is it against being a productive member of society. But, whatever we do, just as if we were in a jungle, we need to learn not to let go of our Father's finger. Nilvi ji's description of deceptions and limitations (#40) fits me perfectly and I am glad it does; I can have some free time. Better qualified individuals should continue. But my heart goes out to R.S.Minhas' plea (#40) for an explanation and I am afraid that no one will reply before this topic closes. So: I may be wrong, but we must always remember that the goal of jugat (purpose of life) is not to decipher the nature of reality. That is for the scientists to research and for the philosophers to speculate. They can never finish. But this does not mean that they should stop. A Sikh can be a scientist also. But as Sikhs our goal is to connect with it, not to understand it, because the Guru reminds us that it is impossible to grasp the divine reality.

43: Yuktanand Singh (MI, U.S.A.), September 18, 2011, 7:42 PM.

According to gurbani, the core of existence is not an object and therefore it needs no analysis. It needs devotion and appreciation so that we can return to, and be absorbed in it. When we connect with it, then we see what it is but then, we cannot describe it. Those who know, are mute. What a divine comedy! (This is why we say 'Waheguru', meaning wow-Guru). This appears to be also the message of the shabad you have quoted, "jaise sach meh rahao rajaaee" [GGS:795.5], which means: "May I dwell within truth, under your Will." Complete translation can be found at this link: http://www.sikhitothemax.com/page.asp?ShabadID=2990 - except that the last line should mean something like: "Egotistic dogs cannot belong (to their master) so I bark at my body for, without bhagti, my master cannot be found." Dwelling in truth is an extremely emotional state, a state of bhagti. See also, "mai neer vahay veh challai jee-o" [GGS:94.7] meaning: "My tears keep flowing." Finally - I have never tried smash-hits. I suggest YouTube for a treasure of kirtan lectures, etc.

44: Balbir Singh (Germany), September 19, 2011, 3:28 AM.

Better to long for, seek and receive true naam simran. Each vaak of the Guru Granth is experienced and explained with that. Receiving naam includes its gur and jugat.

45: Ravinder Singh (Westerville, Ohio, U.S.A.), September 20, 2011, 11:12 AM.

Lively conversation although we have, on ocasion, missed the mark by the proverbial country mile. But that is part of such a discussion. We will continue next week. Thanks to everyone for your participation. Stay connected.

46: Gurpreet Singh (New Delhi, India), October 19, 2013, 2:13 AM.

To apply the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib in our daily lives is the true concept of Sikhi. Shabad Guru helps one overcome one's shortcomings. Living by the high standards set by our Gurus is the only way to be jivan jugat ... by which we can be mukt. "mukt jiundey jee jivan mukt".

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The Talking Stick Colloquium # 60"









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