ਕੂੜ ਮੰਡਪ ਕੂੜ ਮਾੜੀ ਕੂੜ ਬੈਸਣਹਾਰ/ Unreal and illusory the palaces,unreal its inhabitant,
ਕੂੜ ਸੋਇਨਾ ਕੂੜ ਰੂਪਾ ਕੂੜ ਪਹਨਨਹਾਰ / Misleading is the reality of gold, ornamanet, and unreal its wearer
ਕੂੜ ਕਾਇਆ ਕੂੜ ਕਪੜ ਕੂੜ ਰੂਪ ਅਪਾਰ / Uneal the seemingly solid world of of matter, unreal its appearance of garment, and the enchantinng beauty of the seemingly real;
ਕੂੜ ਮੀਆਂ ਕੂੜ ਬੀਬੀ ਖਪ ਹੋਇ ਖਾਰ / False and illusory are the husband and wife and their relationship in which they both fritter away life;
ਕੂੜ ਕੂੜੇ ਨੇਹੋ ਲਗਾ ਵਿਸਰਿਆ ਕਰਤਾਰ / Irony of relationships: falsehood and unreal in love with falsehood and unreal
ਕਿਸ ਨਾਲ ਕੀਚੈ ਦੋਸਤੀ ਸਭ ਜਗ ਚਲਣਹਾਰ / Whom shall one befriend when all that one sees is ever slipping and passing away
ਕੂੜ ਮਿਠਾ ਕੂੜ ਮਾਖਿਓ ਕੂੜ ਡੋਬੇ ਪੂਰ / The sweeetness and the honeyed - unreal and sinking
ਨਾਨਕ ਵਖਾਣੇ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਤੁਧ ਬਾਝ ਕੂੜੋ ਕੂੜ : Nanak humbly observes and prays: all except the abidiing truth of this cosmos ( some call it God and others call it the cosmic physical and metaphysical reality) - false, O, false!!
The vision of Nanak is not merely ritualistic submission to the idea of a physically real God; the vision is more in tune with the findings of modenrn science including the uncertainty principle and the findings of the quantum theory in which the location and the velocity of objects are impossible to determine. The use fhte word "false and unreal" by Guru Nanak does not mean that the world is a myth and reality lies somewhere else standing out in the shape of a figurehead God. God himself is another name for enerrgy and laws. Nanak was too subtle to fall into the fallacy of God as an idol. Time and again, he subtly refers to God as the " truth as it exists in the form of shifting patterns in a kaliedscope in which no one pattern is permanenent" ; so how can one fall in love with any one pattern or form when one knows its soon going to shift? Nanak's definition of religion is the recognition of the reality of these shiftng patttern as the "will of the universe" -- and not just recognitin but acceptance of this reality of impermanence of patterns and forms. . Elsewhere, Gurbani urges us to accept the shifting nature of seemingly permamennt images in life as "the sweet law" (Tera bhaana meetha laage) Ancient Hindu wisdom as also the crux of Chiinese philosophy, with both of which Nanak was familiar, had underlinesd the same thouht: "The multiplicity of things is a mirage produced by the distrubance of Mind; when the Mind is quieted -- or settles into peace -- the multiplicity of things disappears." Says physicist Frtjof Capra:" Our tendency to divide the perceieved world into individual and separate things and to experience ourselves as sepaparated egos comes from our categorising mentality."
We know today that of hundreds of particles are being created artificially in collision processes and living only for an extremely short time, far less than a millionth of a second ( Sabh jag chalan haar) In Budhism also, things do not have any meaning except as intercoonection of their mutual relations :" Things derive their being and nature as a set of relations; they are nothing in themselves."
Says the Gita: " At the end of the Night of Time, all things return to my nature; and when the new day of time begins, I bring them into light and shape again." ( Shades of multiples big bangs or the theory of the universe as expanding -contracting of the palpitating heart) It is quite another thing that that the ritualists and fanatics among the Hindus have reduced even Krishan to a mere idol whereas in the Gita, the voice of Krishan is like Cosmos speaking about itself to itelf by splitting itself into two illusory patterns: Krishan and Arjun.
Nanak's thought rhymes with the findings of science, especially the quantum theory in which " particles ( or say human beings or other forms of life) are no more than 'probabibility pattterns, interconnections in an inseparable cosmic web
. .. a continuous dance of energy in which no one posture can be treated as a permanent or frozen image.
In sub-atomic physics, various forms of matter are nothing but unstable and inconcrete processes which keep changing. Any one form in its definite and frozen state is thus not real but illusory. The only reality is the permanence of Law -- which various religions describe as "His Will" , Raza, Hukam (Order in the sense of a system of Laws -- Hukami hovan akaaar -- all that comes into being does so under the force of an Order or Supreme Law." That Law itself pronounces the supremacy of constant change, impermanence of any given stage, dynamism and shifting of patterns, life-and-death interplay also being only a reflection of this dynamism of reality.Gurbani says: "Na koi mare, na aave jaave." (No one dies, neither is there any comin and going from life.") It is in this context that Gurbani and other scriptures urge us to calmly and wisely accept death as something as natural as life itself, one no more a cause for grief than the other is a cause for exultation.)
I think the problem here is one of language and its misunderstanding at some places and deliberate minsinteretation by fanatical ritualists at others. And matter is nothing but energy taking different shapes; the same energy permeates every particle. Says Gurbani: Ghat ghat main har jeo basse, Santan kahio pukaar" The saints have been crying aloud that only one and the same energy inhabits each and every particle."
To my mother, the word 'saint' meant a mind that can comprehend reality and therefore be at peace with it. (The note is based on the discussions I used to have with my mother on religion; she did not know anything about science or its principles but her interpretations were always in tune with them. To her, Gurbani and eligions in general were an attempt of the human mind to make sense of this universe and its laws in order to be able to accept them with mental calm and poise. ( THIS NOTE IS WRITTEN IN A HURRY UNDER PRESSURE OF TIME, ME HAVING TO RUSH TO MEET AN APPOINTMENT. ERRORS, WHICH MUST BE MANY, MAY PLEASE BE FORGIVEN. I WILL COME BACK AND TRY TO CORRECT THEM)
(The views expressed here naturally represent only one way of looking at the universe and I make no claims that this is correct or the only way )