Guru Teghbahadar Sahib states that only Nam (Identification with IkOankar) is eternal. The seeker is advised to accept that the entire world is transient while the Nam is infinite. Only the reflection on Nam removes the web of vices and brings this realization.
jaitsarī   mahalā  9.  
man  re   sācā  gaho  bicārā.  
rām  nām  binu  mithiā  māno     sagro  ihu  sansārā.1.  rahāu.  
 kaü  jogī  khojat  hāre     pāio  nāhi  tih  pārā.  
so  suāmī  tum  nikaṭi  pachāno     rūp  rekh  te  niārā.1.  
pāvan  nāmu  jagat  mai  hari  ko     kabhū  nāhi  sambhārā.  
nānak  sarani  pario  jagbandan     rākhahu    biradu  tuhārā.2.3.  
-Guru  Granth  Sahib  703
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
In the third composition, Guru Teghbahadar speaks again to the mind and says, O mind! Grasp the eternal thought. The Guru offers eternal thought and asks us to put it in our hearts and in our bodies, to learn it and live it. What is that eternal thought? Without Identification with the Beautiful Charming One, everything is perishable. All of this is imaginary without Identification. All of this is illusionary without Nam, or Identification with the Beautiful One. Beauty takes us away from illusion. We are so quick to run after the things that are false and temporary -- we do this on a whim. But when it comes time to grasp this eternal thought, and adopt it in our behaviors, we think about it a hundred times. We do this every day! Whether it is about purchasing things on a whim or doing what feels good in a moment, or about doing the things that take more work but pay off in the end. This is how we live. We know what is good for us, but we are stubborn about pursuing the things we know to be positive and helpful. If this world is false and temporary it is because of how we live within it. Our ignorant minds think that all of this is eternal and true and so we develop love for the world and attachment to the world. And because of this we go after the false and the temporary and the greed all around us. How do we get out of this? This is where we struggle, and the Guru is acknowledging that struggle. Maya has so many manifestations that are real to us, and material to us, and it all exists in concrete forms. Of course it is easier to attach ourselves to the things we can see and touch.

Without the Identification of the Beautiful, this world is illusory. But what about the One who is formless and colorless? How can we pay attention to and be in remembrance of That which is so abstract? We are somewhat sure of this non-evident One, but we cannot go after it. Even the best and most saintly people have wandered the world looking for the end of the Formless, to no avail. The Companion is beyond form and matter, but the Companion is so near to us. Those who looked for the Companion did not understand this. The relationship with the One was only abstract and philosophical, not intimate and emotive.

Without the Identification of the Beautiful, this world is illusory. In the second composition, the Guru used the word fallen to describe us. The opposite comes now, in the word sacred, or pure, or immaculate. In the earlier composition, IkOankar was the one beyond blemish, beyond the influence of Maya. In this composition, the pure and sacred thing is Nam, or Identification. We know that Identification with the 1-Light is sacred in this illusionary world, but we are unable to take care of it or remember it. So what are we to do? This is why the sanctuary becomes important. Because by taking the sanctuary of the One and continuously saluting or eulogizing the One who is worth saluting in this world, we are able to fall in love, rather develop love and devotion for the Great. We can fall into the sanctuary and acknowledge that we are unable to maintain our intrinsic behavior, which is to be in praise of the One, to be in companionship with the One. We can acknowledge that the world’s distractions have led us away from our nature. And we can ask IkOankar to at least fulfill IkOankar’s nature and help us. Even when we are unable to return to our inherent nature, even when we cannot feel the companionship of the One who is always near us, we can fall into the sanctuary and know that IkOankar will fulfill IkOankar’s inherent nature. IkOankar will maintain that nature even if we have not been able to maintain ours.

It is not that the world is false and so we should throw it away. It is not that we are inherently greedy and driven by Maya. It is that we have acted in a way that has strayed from our nature. We have done it for so long that this is what we have become, and it is what we have made the world become. The world has become false in the absence of Identification with the Beautiful. The world is real, but not like this. This is not about dualism. This is not about removing ourselves from the world in an effort to return to IkOankar’s companionship. This is about Identification with the 1-Light being the most sacred thing in the world. It is about Identification with the Beautiful actually changing the way that we see the world and also changing the way that the world is. This is about Identification with the Beautiful changing the game, changing what we consider the world to be. Nature and the Beautiful are intertwined. This world and the Beautiful are intertwined. But can we get out of our tendency to create duality and see that? Can we feel it?