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The World is But a Dream - Guru Hargobind Sahib


The famous lines of Guru Tegh Bahadur, "The World is But a Dream" [Salok Mahala 9], are explained here by their father, Guru Hargobind, as recorded in the Gurpratap Suraj Prakash [1843] by the Great Poet Santokh Singh. A Sadhu [holy man] asked the Guru to remove his doubt related to his understanding of the world being Eternal/True [Sach] or Transient/False [Jhoot]. The Sadhu says, how can you call the world Eternal if I will die and not view it? How do you say it is transient if without dealing with it one is not sustained? If you say both are false then how can that be? Darkness and illumination cannot exist together in one spot! ⁣ ⁣ ਸੁਨਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਤਬਿ ਉੱਤਰ ਦੀਨਿ । ਜਬਿ ਨਰ ਸੁਪਤਨਿ ਨਿੰਦ੍ਰਾ ਲੀਨਿ । ਸੁਪਨ ਅਵਸਥਾ ਜਬਿਹੂੰ ਪਾਇ । ਸਗਲ ਜਗਤ ਜਾਨਹੁ ਤਿਸ ਭਾਇ।੩੨।⁣ Listening to the question Guru Hargobind replied, "When someone falls asleep, entering into a dream state, one can understand the entire world as such a dream ⁣ ਜਬਿ ਲੌ ਸੁਪਨਾ ਨਰ ਕੋ ਰਹੈ । ਤਬਿ ਲੌ ਸਾਚੋ ਹੀ ਤਿਸ ਲਹੈ । ਭੈ ਪਾਵਤਿ ਅਰੁ ਭਾਜ੍ਯੋ ਜਾਤਿ । ਕੈ ਪ੍ਰਿਯ ਦੇਖਤਿ ਉਰ ਹਰਖਾਤਿ ।੩੩। ⁣ As long as someone is in their dream they understand that dream as eternal and real. Within the dream they experience fear and are frightened, some experience love and happiness.⁣ ⁣ ਜੇ ਸੁਪਨੇ ਕੋ ਝੂਠੇ ਜਾਨਹਿ । ਤ੍ਰਾਸ ਬਿਖਾਦ ਹਰਖ ਕ੍ਯੋ ਠਾਨਹਿ। ਤਬਿ ਸਾਚੋ ਲਖਿ ਕੈ ਸਭਿ ਕਰੈ । ਬੀਰਜ ਬਿਨ ਸਾਚੇ ਕ੍ਯੋ ਗਿਰੈ ।੩੪।⁣ If one considers the dream as false, then why do you experience fear, pain or happiness? In that time you think of this as true, if not then why would you ejaculate in your dream?⁣ ⁣ ਜਾਗ੍ਰਤ ਜਬਹਿ ਅਵਸਥਾ ਪਾਇ । ਕੇ ਸਾਚੋ ਤਬਿ ਕ੍ਯੋ ਨ ਦਿਸਾਇ । ਯਾਂ ਤੇ ਅਨਰ ਵਚਨਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਮਾਯਾ । ਜਾਨੀ ਪਰਹਿ ਨ ਬਿਨ ਗੁਰੁ ਦਾਯਾ ।੩੫।⁣ But when you awake, if you thought at that time it was real then why do you not see it then? For this reason, Prabhu's Maya [Illusion] is called Anarvachni - Neither True or False. Without the Guru's compassion this is beyond comprehension." . Gurpratap Suraj Prakash (1843), Raas 4, Chapter 53 Author: the Great Poet Santokh Singh Photo: iconographic representation of multiple conscious states (awake/dream/deep sleep).