The other day I had a Eureka moment. It came as I was listening to a recording of Asa Ki Var while driving around town. I had a bunch of errands to run that day, however, this one phrase from Asa Ki Var kept tugging at me and was on repeat in my head even as I went about my errands–“lammi nadar.” I tried to understand each of the two words individually and got the general gist of it–lammi (long) and nadar (vision). When I had a moment to look up the full Gurbani line on my phone and read the English and Gurmukhi translations, it was as if weeks, if not years, of mental cloudiness just washed away: lammi nadar, duh!
ਮੰਦਾ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਕੀਚਈ ਦੇ ਲੰਮੀ ਨਦਰਿ ਨਿਹਾਲੀਐ ॥
Yes, lammi nadar, foresight! “That’s what it’s all about,” I thought out loud, as I was crossing off To-Dos on my list–a list that included mundane things like “get Lysol” and some more life-altering To-Dos, like “change mailing address.” For me, the beauty of Gurbani is that it’s equally as relatable and applicable to seemingly mundane things (getting Lysol) as it is to other things in life that seem more pressing (change mailing address). What does foresight have to do with it?! It has everything to do with it!
Too often I find myself going about life without really thinking about the consequences of my actions and my inactions. Everything is processual, you see. In the Gurbani line above, Guru Angad Sahib begins with one of two pieces of advice: ਮੰਦਾ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਕੀਚਈ :: Do not even allow evilmindedness (for the lack of a better term) to enter your psyche at the essential (as in, of the essence–essential) level, mool. Then comes part two of the advice: ਦੇ ਲੰਮੀ ਨਦਰਿ ਨਿਹਾਲੀਐ ॥ By training the mind to avoid “evilmindedness” at the thought level obviously keeps one from doing something “evil,”, thereby allowing that space to be filled with looking ahead, going forward, lammi nadar. We hinted at this perspective in our last newsletter.
But, what does all of that have to do with getting Lysol? Not to make a Butterfly Effect scenario, of sorts, out of my very mundane task of getting Lysol, but the foresight piece in it comes as such: I was wiping the kitchen counter top, realized I was low on Lysol, put “get Lysol” on the grocery store list, went to the grocery store later, got some Lysol, and that was that. What would have happened if I didn’t get more Lysol? Rather, what would happen if I didn’t realize I needed more Lysol? What would happen if I didn’t realize I’m moving and need to change my address? More importantly, what happens when I don’t realize my actions and inactions are keeping me from being forward-looking in thought, words, and actions (the three faculties of realization and its related effect of ego-loss, as discussed in Gurbani and by Bhai Gurdas Ji)? That’s when I lose foresight, and along with it, I lose perspective, outlook, and clarity.
Getting Lysol and changing my mailing address was easy; now I have less ਮੈਲ and lots of mail (hope you appreciate the pun!). Making sure that living actively and with foresight is the challenging part. Next up: getting rid of internal ਮੈਲ!
Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh!