n this article of the 'Reminders from Guru Sahib' series, we will discuss Gurbani Pangtis (lines) that can help us navigate experiences of betrayal in our lives. 

This series draws lessons from Gurbani to help overcome various emotional and practical challenges that Sikhs may face in their day-to-day lives.

What Really is Yours

ਨਿਜ ਕਰਿ ਦੇਖਿਓ ਜਗਤੁ ਮੈ ਕੋ ਕਾਹੂ ਕੋ ਨਾਹਿ ॥
I had looked upon the world as my own, but no one belongs to anyone else.

ਨਾਨਕ ਥਿਰੁ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਹੈ ਤਿਹ ਰਾਖੋ ਮਨ ਮਾਹਿ ॥੪੮॥
The only stable thing is devotion to Vaheguru, so keep it enshrined within your heart.

We often perceive objects and people as our own in this world. From this perception arises the expectation that they will always remain true to us and act according to our desires. However, Guru Sahib Ji reminds us that nothing truly belongs to us in the first place. There is nothing or no one that we can claim ownership over. Everything in this world, including the people we love, is subject to constant change. Therefore, there is a significant risk involved in placing all our hopes in them. The only thing that remains constant is our devotion to Vaheguru and Vaheguru’s love for us. Guru Sahib Ji reminds us to always enshrine this love in our hearts.

Who can You Rely on?

ਮਾਨੁਖ ਕੀ ਟੇਕ ਬ੍ਰਿਥੀ ਸਭ ਜਾਨੁ ॥
Reliance on mortals is in vain - know this well.

ਦੇਵਨ ਕਉ ਏਕੈ ਭਗਵਾਨੁ ॥
The Great Giver is the One Lord God.

Gurbani tells us that relying on mortals is of no use at all. There is only one support of which we can always be guaranteed, and that is the support of Vaheguru, the sole giver. We are beggars, seeking from other beggars, while forgetting the ultimate giver! We seek love and validation from the world, forgetting that there is only one giver who can bestow upon us the gift of Naam (the experience of connecting to Vaheguru), which will fulfil all our desires and leave us completely satisfied! Asking for anything apart from this Naam is akin to asking for our own pain, because ultimately, everything else will change.

ਵਿਣੁ ਤੁਧੁ ਹੋਰੁ ਜਿ ਮੰਗਣਾ ਸਿਰਿ ਦੁਖਾ ਕੈ ਦੁਖ ॥
To ask for any other than You, Lord, is the most miserable of miseries.

ਦੇਹਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੀਆ ਉਤਰੈ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਭੁਖ ॥
Please bless me with Your Name, and make me content; may the hunger of my mind be satisfied.

Should We Fear?

ਜਨਨਿ ਪਿਤਾ ਲੋਕ ਸੁਤ ਬਨਿਤਾ ਕੋਇ ਨ ਕਿਸ ਕੀ ਧਰਿਆ ॥
Mothers, fathers, friends, children and spouses-no one is the support of anyone else.

ਸਿਰਿ ਸਿਰਿ ਰਿਜਕੁ ਸੰਬਾਹੇ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਕਾਹੇ ਮਨ ਭਉ ਕਰਿਆ ॥੨॥
For each and every person, our Lord and Master provides sustenance. Why are you so afraid, O mind? ||2||

It is true that ultimately, there is no guarantee that even our loved ones will be able to support us in times of need. But should we be afraid? Should we fear how we will navigate through this ocean of challenges and suffering in the world? Not really! Guru Sahib Ji teaches us that Vaheguru is always there for us and grants us the strength to persevere through every situation when we connect with them.

The Solution

ਏਕ ਆਸ ਹਰਿ ਮਨਿ ਰਖਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੂਖੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਭਉ ਜਾਇ ॥੧॥
Enshrine in your heart, your hopes in the One Lord. O Nanak, your pain, doubt and fear shall depart. ||1||

The answer to this vicious loop of expectations and betrayal from the world is to change the place where you keep your hopes. When you shift your expectations from the world and place them at the feet of your Guru, you will never face disappointment again because the Guru is ever-complete and forever giving, bestowing upon us even beyond what we deserve. If we seek to dispel our doubts and fears, we must harbour our hopes in the sanctuary of the perfect Guru.

You can help spread the message of Sikhi to people around you by using the leaflet created by the Basics of Sikhi team.
You can also check out our other leaflets on the Downloads page.

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