Sri Guru Amar Daas Ji Says:

H¥ö¯ Û¤|ö öU|ö ¤¥ ¥ö| v
Above all is Your Glance of Grace, O God.

|NH ¥¥| |NH J WFö| v
Upon some it is bestowed less, and upon others it is bestowed more. (Ang 119)

As humans, we constantly question the reasoning behind some individuals
receiving more grace than others, when all humans are, in-fact, equal in God’s blessed
vision. Upon further investigation, answers to these questions can easily be found within
Holy Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Foremost, we must realize that we are responsible for
many of the hardships that we endure in our lifetime because of one simple negative trait:
Guru Sahibaan have repeatedly instructed us to value humility over all else in our
lifetimes. Humility, being the polar opposite of ego, is a quality that allows the
individual to realize his/her own defects. Only through these realizations can one become
fit to receive Guru’s true grace.
Ego is one of the main things that separates us from God. Many of us realize the
egotistical sayings and actions we perform on a daily basis, but for every one we actually
do realize, there are hundreds of others that go unnoticed. An egotistical person is self-
centered and selfish, and he believes himself to be better than others. Oftentimes, this
individual will blame others for his/her shortcomings, including blaming God for various
absurd reasons.

Sheikh Farid explains this concept beautifully (Ang 1383):

¥ö|U¯ Nö8 |Hö¯ ¥|Km¯U|m¯ ¤|ö H8|ö m¯N¯J v
Fareed, those who are very proud of their greatness, wealth and youth,

¤¯M| 8M ¤F| |HÛ |J8 |HÛ H|J¯J v
shall return empty-handed from their Lord, like sand hills after the rain.

Bhagat Farid Ji describes that though rainfall distributes water equally throughout the
land, the sand hills cannot hold the water. This is along the same lines of Guru’s Grace
always being showered down upon us, but egotistical people cannot retain His blessings,
just like the sand hills.

Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji asks us to be humble and burn away the ego to get His Grace (Ang

8|¤ Nö|8| ¤ö8 MJ JÛH |8¤ H¯öJ v
Take wisdom and humility as your supplies, and burn away the poison of pride.

Guru Sahibaan have given countless examples in order to explain the quality of humility.
For example, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that a humble person is destined to get the
Graceful Nectar, while an egotistical person is like an upside-down vessel that is unable
to retain anything:

Û¤ ¥lK N¥ ö HH¯¥ H|¤ m|H¥ ¤ö |öJ¯ö v
Nothing can be contained in a vessel turned upside-down; Ambrosial Nectar pours into
the upright one. ||5||

Sri Guru Amar Daas Ji again stresses this point (Ang 158):

ö¯|H HH¯¥ H ¥¯K¯ J|U v
The Naam, the Name of the Lord, is collected in the vessel of the mind.
Û¤ ¥lK |JN ö N|U v
Nothing is collected if the vessel is upside-down.

To further clarify this point, Bhagat Kabeer Ji gives an amazing example of an ant and an
elephant (Ang 1377):

J|ö J ¤¯K ö¥ H|J |8¤ö| J¯¥| 8ö| ö H¯|U v
Just like sugar, scattered in the sand; the elephant cannot pick it up.
N|J N8|ö N|ö ¥M| 8¥¯U| N|J| J|U N ¤¯|U v
Says Kabeer, the Guru has given me this sublime understanding: become an ant, and feed
on it.

Furthermore, Guru Sahibaan have mentioned the stages of Gurmukhs and
Manmukhs in the Gurbani. The differentiation between the two clarifies the
misunderstanding as to why some individuals receive “more” blessings from God than
others. These two individuals live side-by-side on this Earth, yet are worlds apart.

The Manmukh is concerned only with materialistic items and is extremely self-
willed. This individual often denies the Truth and denies a truthful living altogether. His
lifestyle is void of humility, contentment, compassion, and spiritual wisdom. The
Manmukh is attached to worldly desires, material wealth, worldly allurements, and
sensual enjoyments. His desires and needs are unlimited!

On the contrary, those who have become the Gurmukhs are spiritual beings and
they are followers of the Truth and truthful living. These individuals reap their spiritual
profits of Naam and get unlimited blessings from the True Guru.

Sri Guru Amar Daas Ji explains the difference between a Manmukh and a Gurmukh (Ang

m|H¥ H8¯ ¥öHU¯ NöH¤¯ H|¤ ¤¯|U v
The True Ambrosial Nectar rains down, and trickles into the mouths of the Gurmukhs.
Hö HU¯ Jö|m¯¥M¯ HJH J|ö NF N¯|U v
Their minds are forever rejuvenated, and they naturally, intuitively, sing the Glorious
Praises of the Lord.
HöH|¤ HU¯ UJ¯NF| U|ö ¤¥|m¯ |8MM¯|J v
The self-willed manmukhs are forever forsaken brides; they cry out and bewail at the
Lord's Gate.
|Hö¯ |¤ö N¯ Hm¯U ö m¯|UU H ¤|ö |M|¤m¯ H NH¯|J v
Those who do not enjoy the sublime taste of their Husband Lord, act according to their
pre-ordained destiny. ||2||

Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji further explains (Ang 867):

ö¯öN NÛ Û¤H| ¤ö¥||¥ v
This is the faith which inspires Nanak:
HöH¤ J¯ö NöH¤ HU H||¥ v
the self-willed manmukhs will fail, while the Gurmukhs will always win.

Another important lesson taught by our Guru Sahibaan is that we reap what we
sow. If we plant seeds (sow) and then later gather the resulting harvest (reap), we can
enjoy the fruits of our labor. However, the rewarding nature of our seeds all depend on
what types of seeds we actually sow. If we plant corn (greed, worldly allurements, and
sensual enjoyments), we should not expect to reap olives (bliss, love of God, tranquility).
Guru Sahib’s word is actually an instructional manual on how to plant the right types of
seeds in life. We must abide by these teachings in order to reap the blessed benefits and
not have to face the harsh consequences that plague much of our society.

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji says (Ang 433):

UU UH ö UÛ |NH UH NöH¯ m¯¤|Fm¯ v
Dadda: Do not blame anyone else; blame instead your own actions.
H H N|m¯ H H ¤¯|Um¯ UH ö U|H m¥ö Hö¯ v
Whatever I did, for that I have suffered; I do not blame anyone else. ||21||

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji (Ang 8):

8|Nm¯U|m¯ 8|öm¯U|m¯ ¥¯8 ¤öH JU|ö v
Good deeds and bad deeds-the record is read out in the Presence of the Lord of Dharma.
NöH| m¯¤ m¯¤F| N ö¥ N U|ö v
According to their own actions, some are drawn closer, and some are driven farther

Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji (Ang 134):

HJ¯ 8|H H MF NöH¯ HU¥¯ ¤¥ v
As he has planted, so does he harvest; such is the field of karma.

Bhagat Farid Ji says (Ang 1379):

¥ö|U¯ M¥ U¯¤ |8HÛö|ml |NN|ö 8|H HJ v
Fareed, the farmer plants acacia trees, and wishes for grapes.

Such troubling things are seen on daily basis that are very hard to understand by
us humans. An example: the individual who does not commit any bad deed, but is
constantly suffering throughout his life. On the contrary, a person may constantly defy
our Guru’s teachings throughout his life, but ends up living a very healthy and happy
lifestyle. Such examples can be quite puzzling to the average person. In order to help
clarify this, we must revert back to the example of the crops being sowed.

We harvest many crops after a short time, may be after six months or a year. But
when planting the seed of a tree into the ground, one cannot expect the tree to sprout
overnight. The tree must be watered and cared after for many years. Similarly just like
the tree, our good and bad deeds add up for many years, and not just within this one
lifetime. The tally marks have been running for centuries and will continue to add up for
centuries to come.

We must realize that our soul is a continuation from one life to the next. Our
actions will carry on into lifetimes to come. Therefore, the deeds that we carry with us
may be rewarded or punished within this lifetime, the next, or even many lifetimes from
now. It is through this understanding that we can finally realize the answer to the original
puzzle that was before us.

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji explains this concept beautifully within Jap Ji Sahib:

¤ö| ¤¯¤| m¯¤F ö¯|J v
Virtue and vice do not come by mere words;
N|ö N|ö NöF¯ |M|¤ M H¯J v
Actions repeated, over and over again, are engraved on the soul.
m¯¤ 8||H m¯¤ J| ¤¯J v
You shall harvest what you plant.
ö¯öN JNH| m¯¥J H¯J v
O Nanak, by the Hukam of God's Command, we come and go in reincarnation. ||20||

In other words, the fruits in the form of debits (unrighteous acts) and credits (righteous
acts) that are created by oneself in the past life, are reaped in the present life.

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji says (Ang 75):

HHN| m¯|Um¯ |Nö¥ NH¯|Um¯ NöF| N¯ö Nö¯U| v
By the good fortune of good deeds done in the past, you have come, and now you perform
actions to determine your future.

Furthermore, there are some individuals who are turned off by sunlight and they
do not want to be seen outdoors during the day. They even keep their blinds down during
the daytime and keep their homes as dark as possible. They feel more relaxed and more
comfortable when it is darker. And contrary to much of society, they feel more depressed
when they go out in the sun. These individuals tend to get headaches during the daylight
times and oftentimes feel nauseous, while standing in the sunlight. These people tend to
pray for storms and various acts of nature in order to keep the sun away for as long as
Then there are other individuals who crave light but are physically blinded and
cannot achieve their desire of viewing the sun’s radiance. They are not to be blamed.

However, there are different types of blind seen within this world. Comparing
the individuals just described, we can clearly see the desire to grasp the light (blessings)
shined down upon us by God himself, but some individuals refuse to embrace it. Just like
the introverted man who does not come outside during the daytime, there are many
individuals, who will not open their arms to the true blessings being given to us.

Bhagar Kabeer Ji gives a beautiful example of pearls being scattered on a road and
individuals who continue to pass by them with no use for them (Ang 1370):

H¯ö|N H¥| 8|¥ö m¤¯ |öN|HU m¯|U v
The pearls are scattered on the road; the blind man comes along.
H|¥ |8ö¯ HNU|H N| HN¥ ÛMW H¯|U v
Without the Light of the Lord of the Universe, the world just passes these by. ||114||

Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji says ( Ang 258 ):

8¯|¤U m¯¤ö JÛ JÛ 8¤¯ v
Man is bound by the chains of his own egotism, selfishness and conceit.
UH U¥ m¯NJ NÛ m¤¯ v
The spiritually blind place the blame on others.

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji says (Ang 143):

m¤¯ 8¯ö|F ö¤|m U|¥ 8M|J ¤8¯H v
You may place a light before a blind man and burn fifty lamps, but how will he see?
8ÛF H|Uö¯ ¤¯U|m 8|F 8|F ¤¯¥ W¯H v
You may place gold before a herd of cattle, but they will pick out grass to eat.
MJ¯ H¯ö|F ¤¯U|m ¥J ö J|U N¤¯H v
You may add flux to iron and melt it, but it will not become soft like cotton.
ö¯öN Hö¤ U|J NF 8M HU¯ |¥F¯H v
O Nanak, this is the nature of a fool. Everything he speaks is useless and wasted. ||1||

Bhai Gurdas Ji explains:

HöH 8|¥m MN H¯|ö ÛM m¤ N¤ HN H¯J| v
On sun-rise, the owls blind like wall hide themselves in the world.

Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji further explains that The Lord is always kind towards all.
All he asks is for us to spread out our hands and accept the Amrit that he is always
showering upon us. However, if we fail and spread our fingers as well, all will pour
directly to the ground, in which case we are at fault. This makes the individual incapable
of receiving the Lord’s Grace (Ang 389):

Nö H|J m|H¥ m¯|F |öH¯|öU v
He came and poured His Ambrosial Nectar into your hands,
|¤H|ö N|UU ¥H ¤|ö K¯|öU v
but it slipped through your fingers, and fell onto the ground. ||2||

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that sometimes a person reaches the spiritual heights,
but another time he climbs down; just like a greedy person, who is looking all sides to
gather money. So Guru Sahib asks to remain stable to get His Grace (Ang 876):

N8J H|m¥¯ Û|¥ 8¥¥ J N8J H¯|U ¤|Um¯M v
Sometimes, the soul soars high in the heavens, and sometimes it falls to the depths of the
nether regions.
M¥| H|m¥¯ |¥ö ö öJ¥ J 8¯ö NK¯ ¥¯M v
The greedy soul does not remain stable; it searches in the four directions. ||2||

Sheikh Fareed Ji also stresses this point and asks us to remove bad thoughts and to shed
ego to get His Grace (Ang 1381):

¥ö|U¯ Hö HU¯ö N|ö JU |J8 M¯|J v
Fareed, flatten out your mind; remove bad thoughts and shed ego.
mN H|M ö m¯¥H| UHN HU| ¥¯|J v
then the fires of hell shall not even approach you. ||74||

Let us take an example of a snake: When a snake moves, it moves in a wave-like
pattern. However, when it enters its hole in the ground, it will forget about all the
different directions it contorted its body, and enter in a straight line. Similarly, Guru
Sahib asks us to forget about all the slithering that we do in our minds, and focus solely
on receiving God’s Grace. If we even waver a tiny bit in our belief, like the snake’s
motion, we forfeit all the benefits that God wants to impart on us. Therefore, we must
not be like the wavering snake, nor like the split fingers, and we must embrace all the
Amrit that is bestowed upon us.

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji beautifully explains the condition of such a person (Ang 470):

H||H |ö¥¯|Um |Nm¯ ¥|m H¯ |öU NH¤ H¯|J v
But what can be achieved by bowing the head, when the heart is impure? ||1||

When a Sikh goes against Guru’s teachings, he is committing a great sin. The
parents love their children equally, but they disinherit the child, who does not behave
properly and always acts against the commands or wishes of his parents. For the Sikh,
the acceptance of His Hukam is a concept that needs to be learnt and understood. By
submission to Guru’s Hukam (Will), a sense of humility and self-negation is achieved.
Bhatt Sattaa & Balvant say that Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s sons did not obey Guru Sahib’s
commands. So Guru Sahib installed Bhai Lehna Ji as his successor instead of His sons
(Ang 966):

¤¥| NÛM ö ¤¯|MU N|ö ¤|öJ Nö HöJ|m v
His sons did not obey His Word; they turned their backs on Him as Guru.
|U|M ¤J m¯N| |¥ö|ö 8|ö ¥¯ö Û8¯|U|ö ¥J|m v
These evil-hearted ones became rebellious; they carry loads of sin on their backs.
|H|ö m¯¤| HU| Nö |H|ö N|¥| |¥ö ¥J|m v
Whatever the Guru said, Lehna did, and so he was installed on the throne.
NÛF J¯ö |N|ö Û¥J|m v
Who has lost, and who has won?

Disobedience to Guru Sahib or those in authority over you can block the joy, blessings
and inner peace, which Guru Sahib desires for you. Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji says that we
get hundreds and thousands, even millions of princely pleasures if we surrender ourselves
before Guru Sahib with a pure heart (Ang 101):

M¯¤ NJ ¤H|m¯ öN ö¯¥ H Nö M¯N¯ ¤¯U| H|Û v
Hundreds of thousands, even millions of pleasures and delights are enjoyed by one who
falls at the Guru's Feet.

In conclusion, through the various verses of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, we can
clearly see, who is to be blamed for such misfortunes: Us. It is not God who wants us to
suffer and who treats us unequally, it is through our own actions and accumulated deeds
that we deserve exactly what we do.
( Inserted by: Balbir Singh M.A. humble servant of Dhan Dhan Baba Isher Singh
Ji Maharaj of Nanaksar )

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