In this series, we share sections from various Granths which inspire us in our study of Santhia and Sikhi Jeevan. This passage from Adhyatam Parkash (written by Pandit Sukhdev/Sukha Singh Ji in 1698 C.E., who was a Darbari Kavi of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji) explores the question, what are the characteristics of a spiritual seeker?
ਮਮੁਖਯੂ ਲਛਨ।। ਦੋਹਰਾ।। ਅਧਿਕਾਰੀ ਜਗਯਾਸੁ ਅਰੁ; ਸਿਖ ਕਹਾਵੈ ਸੋਇ।।
Padh Arth (word by word meaning): ਮਮੁਖਯੂ (spiritual seeker) ਲਛਨ (characteristics) ਅਧਿਕਾਰੀ (deserving) ਜਗਯਾਸੁ (spiritual seeker, in whom the desire - ਆਸਾ to meet Vaheguru has arisen - ਜਗਿਆ) ਅਰੁ (and) ਸਿਖ (student) ਕਹਾਵੈ (proclaim) ਸੋਇ (only they)
Arth (meaning): Only that person can call themselves deserving (of spiritual knowledge), a spiritual seeker and a student.
ਤਪ ਸਾਬਨ ਕਰ ਦੇਹ ਕੇ; ਪਾਤਕ ਡਾਰੈ ਧੋਇ।।
Padh Arth (word by word meaning): ਤਪ (penance/spiritual practice) ਸਾਬਨ (soap) ਦੇਹ (body i.e. subtle body - anatahkarah/mind) ਪਾਤਕ (sins) ਡਾਰੈ (throw) ਧੋਇ (clean)
Arth (meaning): Who using the soap of spiritual practice (i.e. seva, simran, bhagti) removes the dirt of sin on the antahkaran (part of the subtle body made up of mind, intellect, memory and ego). Alternative Arth: If ਤਪ ਸਾਬਨ is split as ਤਪਸਾ ਬਨ, the arth would be: with the ਬਨ (water) of ਤਪਸਾ (spiritual practice), wash the dirt of sin on the antahkaran.
Pandit Sukhdev Ji describes the true spiritual seeker as one who not only reads/studies spirituality, but practically follows it and becomes a living embodiment of that knowledge. In order to progress in our Adhiyatmik (spiritual) life, we must destroy the dirt of sins we have accumulated over countless lifetimes:
ਜਨਮ ਜਨਮ ਕੀ ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਮਲੁ ਲਾਗੀ ਕਾਲਾ ਹੋਆ ਸਿਆਹੁ ॥
The filth of countless incarnations sticks to this mind; it has become pitch black. (Ang 651)
Using the soap/water of spiritual practice (recitation of Gurmantar, Gurbani, performing simran) we can remove this filth:
ਭਰੀਐ ਮਤਿ ਪਾਪਾ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ॥
But when the mind/intellect is stained and polluted by sin,
ਓਹੁ ਧੋਪੈ ਨਾਵੈ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ ॥
It can only be cleansed by the colour of the Naam. - Ang 4
As students studying Gurbani Vidhya, we must aspire to progress on the spiritual path to enlightenment, with the Prasad (grace) of the Satguru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj.