In this shabad Guru Ji tells us what happens when a person indulges in self-conceit in his mind, and what kinds of sufferings he or she endures. He also paints a contrasting picture, and explains what kinds of blessings one receives when one sheds all self-conceit, becomes humble, and recognizes God in the heart.
He says: “When one feels proud in the mind, one wanders like a mad person, and appears strange to others. But when one considers him or her less meritorious than others, then it sees God in each and every heart.” (1)
Thanking his true Guru for imparting such wisdom to him, Guru Ji says: “(O’ my friends), my true Guru (Ram Das Ji) has blessed me with the gift of humility. As a result I enjoy a spiritual equipoise and peace.”(1-pause)
Guru Ji explains further and says: “As long as the mortal thinks anyone is evil, it appears that all are laying a trap. When one forsakes all ideas of discrimination then it is easy to believe that no one is an enemy.”(2)
Elaborating on the mortal’s tendency to think in terms of “me and mine,” Guru Ji comments: “As long as a person cares for only his or her selfish interests, he or she faces certain trouble. When one recognizes the real Doer (of everything), one feels no jealousy with another.” (3)
Commenting on undue worldly attachment, he says: “When a person is bound in worldly love, he or she remains subject to rounds of birth and death, and the demon of Death always remain hovering over. When doubts of worldly love and illusions are removed, no difference remains between a person and God.”(4)
Next commenting on the fate of those who consider themselves as different or superior than others, Guru Ji says: “When a person thinks that he or she is different (or superior) than others, that person suffers pain, punishment and repentance. But when a person realizes that one God alone abides in all hearts, then he or she understands everything (about the right way of living one’s life).”(5)
Now specifically referring to the pursuit of worldly riches and power, Guru Ji says: “When the mortal runs after accumulation of wealth, he or she is never satisfied. The thirst for more riches is not quenched, but when one becomes carefree about money, the goddess of wealth starts chasing (that person).”(6)
Summarizing his own experience, Guru Ji says: “When showing his mercy the true Guru (God) met me, I gained great knowledge, as if a lamp of divine wisdom was lit in the temple of my heart. I understood what (true) victory is and what is (true) defeat. (I realized that victory does not lie in winning a jackpot, or defeating our mortal enemy in some battle; it lies in winning over our lustful mind and guiding it to meditate on God). Then I also realized the worth of this body (which is so essential for remembering God).” (7)
But lest we enter into any kind of arrogance after obtaining true divine wisdom, Guru Ji concludes this shabad with the comment: “(O’ my friends), it is God who is the doer and cause of everything. He Himself bestows upon us the right wisdom, reflection and divine knowledge. That God is not far, He is so near that He is accompanying us all. O’ Nanak, we should all praise Him with love (and devotion).”(8-1)
The message of the shabad is that we should never consider ourselves superior or holier than others. Instead, following the Guru’s advice we should think that God pervades in all hearts, and all deserve our love, compassion, and respect. Then we will find that all people love us, and no one is our enemy. We will enjoy a unique state of peace and bliss all around us, and will achieve the purpose of life, which is to reunite with God.