Tao-Te-Ching 运夷 (Fullness and Complacency Contrary to the Dao, s. 9)

Tao-Te-Ching 运夷 (Fullness and Complacency Contrary to the Dao, s. 9)

Please see the previous sections before reading this one: https://sikh-translations.ghost.io/tag/tao-te-ching/

Lao Tse Ji speak about how remaining empty of desires is better than constantly trying to be filled in this material world. A continuation of this vichaar of humility and contentment.

ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ

To sustain and to [keep] filling; not as if it is already filled/reached it’s limit
To estimate sharply, [one] cannot forever protect
[In] managing [the body/life]... to keep filling even after it’s limit is reached,
[then] to calculate carefully/[plan life], [it is] not [possible] to protect this forever.

Lao Tse Ji is referring to this mistake of trying to sustain a luxurious life. Luxury differs from necessity. To go beyond necessity and chase endless desires is a chase of luxury. It is impossible to sustain a luxurious life because it’s a chase for more. Even if you try to calculate and control the direction of your life, it will still not go your way. Only the way of Vaheguru’s Hukam.

Leave your life to Vaheguru. Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Arjan Dev Sahib Ji bless us with this shabad in Rehras Sahib:

ਕਾਹੇ ਰੇ ਮਨ ਚਿਤਵਹਿ ਉਦਮੁ ਜਾ ਆਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਪਰਿਆ॥
Kaahae Rae Man Chithvah[i] Oudham[u] Jaa Aahar[i] Har[i] Jeeo[u] Pariaa
Oh mind, why do you worry and stress? your sustenance [food, shelter, etc] is fulfilled by Vaheguru
ਸੈਲਪਥਰਮਹਿਜੰਤਉਪਾਏਤਾਕਾਰਿਜਕੁਆਗੈਕਰਿ ਧਰਿਆ॥੧॥
Sail Pathhar Mah[i] Ja[n]th Oupaa-ae Thaa Kaa Rijak[u] Aagai Kar[i] Dhhariaa
Beings are born within stones and rocks [yet] they are given their daily sustenance

Why fill the vase [of the ego] when You have access to the Ocean [of Vaheguru]?
The saint remains empty of ego. Filling the ego is like filling up a fuel tank. The tank continually needs to be refilled. It is not sustainable.

Gold, Jade fill/full hall/large room, do not/there is none who can guard/defend it
If Gold, Jade, and jewels fill a large hall then there will be no one to guard it
Rich/Abundant Expensive/Noble/precious and arrogant/proud;
self loses its fault/misfortune
To be rich, noble, proud/arrogant; will bring misfortune to one’s self

Wealth and abundance of materials are not the way to peace. The person who mentally invests in the material world is only bound to get stressed by not being able to meet your own set expectations. Those who mentally invest in that which is within -- ie the spiritual world – will never lose anything. Your material wealth can be taken from you but spiritual knowledge will never leave you. This is not to say that a wealthy person cannot live in peace but they must be able to live being detached. If all their wealth is gone, they must continue to remain unwavering. The only way this can be done is to avoid being attached to the material world.

Dhan Bhagat Ravidaas Ji:
ਊਚੇ ਮੰਦਰ ਸੁੰਦਰ ਨਾਰੀ॥ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨੁ ਬਾਜੀ ਹਾਰੀ॥੪॥
Uchhae Mandhar Sundar Naaree Raam Naam Bin[u] Baajee Haaree
Even if you have tall mansions and beautiful wives (alternatively, handsome husbands, etc.), without the Name of Vaheguru, you have lost this Game [of life].

The nature of all these luxuries is that they are not going to stay constant. We may be comfortable one day and uncomfortable on another but Vaheguru remains in both of these conditions. So, why not remember Maharaj regardless of happy or sad?

Road/Path to satisfy/succeed body/life/personality/ to retreat/to decline/withdraw,
It’s the Road/Path to Heaven/Sky
The Path to succeed in life/[fulfill the body’s purpose] is to lower/retreat [oneself[
This is the Path to the Heavens/Spiritually High State.

Transcending this material world (including the body) is the way to Eternal happiness. The Gursikh detaches from the world and attaches to the Feet of Guru Sahib. The Way of the Guru makes it easy to detach from the world. However, it will be difficult if we keep chasing our desires. There will be a lot of resistance because we are so attuned to living based off the perception of our senses.

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਦਰਵੇਸੀ ਗਾਖੜੀ ਚੋਪੜੀ ਪਰੀਤਿ॥
Phareedhaa Dharvaesee Gaakharree Choprree Pareeth[i]
Bhagat Fareed Ji says: Living Saintly is quite difficult for those who have a love for buttered bread (being accustomed to pleasures)
ਇਕਨਿ ਕਿਨੈ ਚਾਲੀਐ ਦਰਵੇਸਾਵੀ ਰੀਤਿ॥੧੧੮॥
Eikan[i] Kinai Chaaleeai Dharvaesaavee Reeth[i]
Only a few can handle the ways of the Saints.
(Ang 1384)

Let us not get intimidated by this.
Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Ramdas Ji Maharaj tells us the state of the mind in Raag Kaanrraa:

ਮਨ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਚਾਲ ਚਲਾਵੈਗੋ॥
Man Gurmath[i] Chaal Chalaavaigo
Oh mind, walk the way of Gurmat thinking
ਜਿਉ ਮੈਗਲੁ ਮਸਤੁ ਦੀਜੈ ਤਲਿ ਕੁੰਡੇ ਗੁਰ ਅੰਕਸੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਵੈਗੋ॥੧॥ਰਹਾਉ॥
Jio[u] Maigal[u] Masth[u] Thal[i] Ku[n]dae Gur A[n]kas[u] Sabadh[u] Dhrirraavaigo
Just like the elephant runs around wildly but gets caught, [in the same way, the mind runs but is subdued through the process of engraining Gurbani].
(Ang 1310)

At least Maharaj makes it clear that the default state of the mind is unstable but Gurbani will help it gain stability. Let us lean on Gurbani as our support and a way to dive deeper while detaching from the world.

Please forgive any mistakes in commentary/translations. Please let daas know about any clarifications or suggestions.
Guru Panth Ka daas

Our Parent Group