Why Do We Struggle To Awaken?

January 17, 2023

Vahiguru ji ka Khalsa, Vahiguru ji ki Fatih!

Communicating life learnings is challenging at best. They are hard to listen to, yet the learnings help us navigate life's journey.

Guru Teghbahadar Sahib shares these learnings through the Ramakali rag(musical mode). This rag evokes feelings of triumph regardless of circumstances. In the larger Indic musical tradition, this rag conveys two moods — madhur (sweet) and chakat (startled). There is a level of sweetness as well as a level of startling. Many traditions explain that a disciplined and wise teacher usually uses Ramkali to explain something to a disciplined and wise student. The teacher and the student are aware that there is pain, but they know this is best. The struggle makes the triumph that much sweeter.

Guru Teghbahadar Sahib, in the third composition of Ramkali rag, speaks to us: O being! Take awareness in the Steady One, IkOankar. Moment by moment, life is passing away, and the body is wasting away in vain. You have lost your youth in sensual pleasures and childhood in ignorance.

This is hard for us to hear.
Why is the Guru doing this?

The Guru is alerting us, waking us up to the reality that time is running out, using almost an imperative tone to gently shake us out of our sleep, like a friend asking us to get a hold of ourselves. The Guru asks why we have forgotten IkOankar, the one who gave us this life.

What do we say?
What can we say?
Why are we in forgetfulness?

We know this human life is a gift, a gift meant for connection; instead, we are using it to walk through the world unaware. We have not spent a single moment singing of That One; we have not brought the virtues within us. So how can we come free?

The Guru does not leave us despondent. The Guru gives us hope. Even after all of our sleeping and our forgetfulness, there is still time to turn things around—practice Remembrance. Through Remembrance, the unsteady and worried mind will be steadied by the Steady One.

Will we awaken from our slumber and use our time wisely?
Will we triumph through our human struggles and connect with IkOankar?
Will we find steadiness in the Steady One?

May we long to awaken through Remembrance.
May the Wisdom-Guru guide us!

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