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Image is a Thumbnail, may be distort and may be subject to copyright. original image is on the page: https://sites.google.com/site/mhnsitenews/_/rsrc/1486946473015/mhn-pure-self-effort/kirtan.jpg
(Important Note: This is a fragment of the article published by  T. Singh at www.gurbani.org ) 
The Pure self-effort is essential for Self-development, Self-improvement, Self-integration, and Self-unfoldment; which, in turn, leads one to reach God’s Temple (Supreme Truth) within and the acme of Self-perfection. Therefore, the scriptures tell us we must make self-effort to selflessly love and serve the creation with compassion, choose righteous actions, perform regular introspection, recharge our life with proper understanding of the scriptures, purify ourselves with enthusiasm for noble acts, identify with the real Self, create firm convictions, learn to lift our mind to a Divine attitude, make use of the present to become Truthful, become humble, attain competency and efficiency, stop living in the futility of hypocrisy, keep life God-centered, become true devotee, be contented in all situations, weed out the evil instincts from within, cultivate Divine qualities, learn the art of Spiritual living, listen and contemplate, end false ego, rid of selfishness, develop integrity, forgive and forget, become virtuous in thought and pure in word, discard enviousness, detect own faults, strive for inner Bliss, stop worrying, become peaceful, realize True Nature, and so on.

We constantly accumulate material filth or Mall (mental rubbish) in us. As our hearts are full of such Mall, there is no room for Divine Substance. Therefore, we must keep clearing the mental rubbish that keep accumulating daily in us. This inner "disposing of the garbage" is achieved by the pure self-effort.

    * ਸੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਰਿ ਜਿਤੁ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਲਾਗੈ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਮਹਿ ਏਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਗੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: So kish kar jit mail na laagai. Har kirtan mahi eh manu jaagai ||Rahaaou||: Make only those efforts by which the "filth" (fith of Bikaars: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and their countless variations) may not stick to your mind; and your mind remains awake (alert or aware of the pull of Bikaars) through the Lord’s Kirtan (ਪਰਮਾਤਮਾ ਦੀ ਸਿਫ਼ਤਿ-ਸਾਲਾਹ) (sggs 199).
    * ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰੇਦਿਆ ਜੀਉ ਤੂੰ ਕਮਾਵਦਿਆ ਸੁਖ ਭੁੰਚੁ ॥ ਧਿਆਇਦਿਆ ਤੂੰ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਮਿਲੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਉਤਰੀ ਚਿੰਤ ॥੧॥: Uddam krediyaa jeeyu toon kamaavadiyaa sukh bhunch ..: Make the effort, and you will live; practicing it, you will enjoy peace. Meditating, you will meet God, O Nanak, and your anxiety will vanish ||1|| (sggs 522).

The very essence of all scriptures can be summed up in these words: Divert the impure mind to pure endeavor by persistent self-effort. The self-effort which diverts the impure mind to Purity is based on the Knowledge and Teaching of the true scriptures, and one’s own Uddam in accordance with these two. Such self-effort brings an inner awakening in the intelligence, which leads mind to make Pure decisions, resulting in righteous physical action.

    * ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰਉ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਪੇਖਨ ਕੌ ਕਰਮਿ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥੧॥: Uddam karo darsan pekhan ko karam prapat hoe ||1||: (I) Make effort to see Darshan (Vision of the Lord’s devotee); it is obtained only by good Karma ||1|| (sggs 1223).

Self-effort consists of mental, verbal or physical action. However, the Pure self-effort is that which is in accordance with God’s Teaching (Gurmat or Shabad-Gian). So called God’s grace is proportional to the intensity of such pure exertion. Moreover, actions performed in conjunction with scriptures instead of the deluded mind become non-actions, thereby non-binding. As such actions are performed for pleasing the Spiritual Factor only, they become His actions; thus setting the Jeeva (individual beings) free from their reactions. That’s the state of true Bhagti (devotion) and Bhagta (devotee), also known as complete inner surrender. By the cessation of foolishness (spiritual ignorance), the self-binding actions also cease to be.

    * ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਕਾਰਜੁ ਤਿਨ ਹੀ ਕੀਆ ਮਾਣਸੁ ਕਿਆ ਵੇਚਾਰਾ ਰਾਮ ॥ ਭਗਤ ਸੋਹਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵਹਿ ਸਦਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਜੈਕਾਰਾ ਰਾਮ ॥: Jis kaa kaaraj tin he keeaa manas kiyaa vechaaraa Raam. Bhagat sohan Hari ke gun gaavahi sadaa karahi jai kaaraa Raam: It was His (God’s) job and He has done it (to attach His devotee to Him); the mere mortal has no power (to do it). (With God’s Grace) the devotees are adorned, they sing God’s Glorious Praises; they proclaim His Eternal Victory (they become that of a spiritual Life - ਸੋਹਣੇ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਵਾਲੇ ਬਣਦੇ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਹਨ) (sggs 784).
    * ਸੰਤਾ ਕੇ ਕਾਰਜਿ ਆਪਿ ਖਲੋਇਆ ਹਰਿ ਕੰਮੁ ਕਰਾਵਣਿ ਆਇਆ ਰਾਮ ॥: Santaa ke kaaraj aap khloiaa har kamm kraavan aaiaa Raam: God Himself stands up to resolve the affairs of the Saints; He comes to complete their tasks (sggs 783).
    * ਬਿਨਸਿਓ ਮਨ ਕਾ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਢੀਠਾ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕਾ ਭਾਣਾ ਲਾਗਾ ਮੀਠਾ ॥੨॥: Binsio man kaa moorakh dheethaa. Prabh kaa bhaanaa laagaa meethaa ||2||: The stubborn foolishness of my mind is gone; God’s Will has become sweet to me ||2|| (sggs 387).

Any other self-effort that is not in accordance with the scriptures is motivated by delusion, hence impure and self-binding. Accordingly, the scriptures urge us that right from the childhood one should make Uddam to promote one’s true good by duly reflecting over the Truth, meditation (Jap or Naam-Simran), keeping the Spiritual Company, retaining self-discipline, selfless service, love, scriptural study, and so on.

    * ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਾਪਣਾ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਧਨੁ ਖਾਟਿ ॥: Uddam kar Hari jaapnaa badbhaagee dhan khaat: Make the effort, and chant God’s Name. O very fortunate ones, earn this wealth (sggs 48).
    * ਸਾਧੂ ਸੰਗਿ ਭਇਆ ਮਨਿ ਉਦਮੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਰਤਨੁ ਜਸੁ ਗਾਈ ॥: Saadhu sang bhayiaa man uddam naam ratan jas gaayee: In the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, self-effort welled up in the mind, and it sings the Praises of the jewel (ਸ੍ਰੇਸ਼ਟ, precious, etc. ) of the Naam, the Lord’s Name (sggs 619).
    * ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰਤ ਆਨਦੁ ਭਇਆ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਸੁਖ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਜਪਿ ਜਪਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਕਾ ਪੂਰਨ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥੧॥: Uddam karat anand bhaiaa simrat sukh saar. Jap jap naam govind kaa pooran beechaar ||1||: By making effort to meditate (on the Lord’s Name), Bliss comes; contemplating (the Name), Peace comes. Chanting, and meditating on God’s Name, perfect understanding is achieved ||1|| (sggs 815).
    * ਸਗਲ ਉਦਮ ਮਹਿ ਉਦਮੁ ਭਲਾ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਜੀਅ ਸਦਾ ॥: Sagal uddam mahi uddam bhalaa. Hari ka naam japhu jeeyaa sadaa: Of all efforts, the best effort is to persistently chant God’s Name in the heart forever (sggs 266).

Man’s true self-effort and God’s Grace are interdependent. Without one, the other is impossible. The Divine is unattainable by ceremonies, rituals, pilgrimage, education, scholarships or material wealth. He is attained only by the self-control or conquest of the mind. Fate or divine dispensation does not enter here. Self-effort alone is another name for Divine Will. Accordingly, the scriptures urge us to renounce fatalism. Instead, they ask us to cultivate Divine Wisdom and apply truthful and righteous self-effort. By persistently treading this path, one can attain the Eternal Factor.

    * ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰਤ ਸੀਤਲ ਮਨ ਭਏ ॥ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਚਲਤ ਸਗਲ ਦੁਖ ਗਏ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਤ ਮਨਿ ਭਏ ਅਨੰਦ ॥ ਰਸਿ ਗਾਏ ਗੁਨ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦ ॥੧॥: Uddam karat seetal man bhaye ...: Through the sincere efforts (of joining the Saadh Sangat), the mind becomes Peaceful. Walking on the Path (of the Saadh Sangat), all pains are taken away (i.e., pains do not affect). The mind becomes Blissful by chanting the Naam, the Lord’s Name. Lovingly singing the Lord’s Praises, Supreme Bliss is obtained (i.e., ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦਾ ਨਾਮ ਜਪਿਆਂ ਮਨ ਵਿਚ ਆਨੰਦ ਹੀ ਆਨੰਦ ਪੈਦਾ ਹੋ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਹਨ) ||1|| (sggs 201).

Read the Complete Article:
http://www.gurbani.org/articles/webart50.htm

Pure Self-Effort


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