“If there is no God but the One God, and there is nothing but God, then who is that in this body, who feels pleasure and pain,” the devotees asked Guru Amar Das.
And the Guru said this this was a good question to ask of oneself, and we begin by addressing our body:
O my body, why have you come into this world?
And what actions have you committed, O my body, since you came into this world?
We look at our ears, and tell them:
O my ears, you were created only to hear the Truth.
To hear the Truth, you were created and attached to the body.
We can continue to address our ears, our hands, our legs, our mind—down to the last cell of our body. Who is that then is addressing these parts of the body? The human experience is akin to the sleeping person, lost in deep slumber, experiencing the joys and sorrows of a dream.
The body may move, and there may be sobs of pain as the dream carries on, but on waking up, nothing remains. As the devotee walks the Guru’s teaching, there is this realisation:
O my eyes, the Lord has infused His Light into you;
Do not look upon anything as other than the Lord.
All the world which you see, is the image of the Lord.
Pleasure and pain are felt by the sleepers, who have not woken up from the dream. Selfless service to community and love for all are tools that assist in the process of waking up. The devotees then ask the Guru how do we recognise the ones who are now awake? Sri Guru Granth Sahib tells us to watch for these signs:
One who is beyond praise and slander, who looks upon gold and iron alike—
One who is not touched by pleasure or pain, greed, or ego—
says Nanak : know that such a person is liberated.