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How important is intuition? || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Granth Sahib (2019)

Author Acharya Prashant

Acharya Prashant

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प्रभ कै सिमरनि सहजि समानी ॥ Parabẖ kai simran sahj samānī. Remembering God, one is absorbed into the state of intuitive ease.

~Sukhmani Sahib

(Guru Granth Sahib, Page: 263)

Question: Pranaam Acharya Ji! What does ‘intuitive ease’ mean? Is it in some way related to the intuitions that we have? What is the place of ‘intuitions’ is one’s life?

When I act spontaneously in certain situations I feel that my intuitions take care of those situations. I feel more at ease when my actions are spontaneous and driven by intuitions rather than conscious though-based responses.

Please help me understand this verse.

Acharya Prashant Ji: The word ‘intuitive’ here in this verse is just figurative, Abhilash (the questioner) . It does not really mean that God has something to do with your intuition.

What is ‘intuition’?

Intuition is the knowledge contained in the subconscious mind, even a child has intuition. The child has no knowledge, knowledge resides in the conscious mind. Intuition is knowledge bestowed upon you by long journey that you have had in prakriti (nature).

In general when you have experiences as a living, conscious being, those experiences turn into some kind of knowledge. Don’t they? But even before you are born from a human womb you have had a trillion experiences, your DNA contains those experiences. You are not suddenly born, you are not stardust. You are coming from an evolutionary process that stretches over millions and billions of years. Consciousness has been making that journey.

So all those experiences are contained in your body, they are not specific experiences. They are experiences of entire consciousness, they are experiences of sentience in general. You could say that they are experiences of all mankind. They are not even experiences of all mankind, they are experiences of every sentient being, even a blade of grass.

So you know all those things and they are contained in your body, but you do not consciously know of those things. You just know of those things.

The baby rabbit may have had no experience of a dog in it’s lifetime of six months, but the moment it sees a dog, it runs away. Who told it that the dog is dangerous? It’s intuition. It’s sub-conscious knowledge. Even as it is born it knows that the dog is dangerous. Nobody has to teach it that the dog is dangerous.

It just knows. It just knows.

The human baby is born, and even as it is just ten minutes old, or thirty minutes old, it immediately reaches out for the mother’s breath. Who told it that it’s food supply is going to arise from a particular part of the mother’s body? It just knows. This knowledge is contained in it’s DNA. All this is intuitive knowledge, it remains for the entire duration of our life.

What is the purpose of this intuitive knowledge? Why is this intuitive knowledge there in the sub-conscious? Because it helps you survive.

The baby cannot survive without an intuitive knowledge of the supply of it’s feed. The baby rabbit cannot survive if it does not intuitively stay away from snakes and dogs. So all intuition that you have is just there to help in your physical survival.

When it comes to physical survival, when it comes to things that relate to prakriti, intuition will help you. But when it comes to the Spiritual journey, intuition is of no help at all. Unfortunately even in the spiritual space, just too much emphasis has been placed on the word ‘intuition’.

‘Intuition’ has zero value in the spiritual process. But intuition is of great value when it comes to the world, specially when it comes to the prakritik (natural) occurrences.

Are you getting it?

‘Intuition’ has told you a lot about somebody’s face, somebody’s voice, looks, behaviour – these things. So when it comes to these matters use intuition, you can even rely on intuition to some extent. But when it comes to Truth, intuition has no place. Do not trust it.

In saying that, I in no way mean to de-value the faculty of intuition. Infact the knowledge contained in your subconscious mind is far bigger than the knowledge you consciously have, so it is good and useful to use the subconscious knowledge. But it’s utility lies purely in the domain of physical survival.

It will help you, not beyond that.

Now you are asking, “What does ‘intuitive ease’ mean here in the verse?”

First of all the Gurus didn’t say ‘intuitive ease’. The Gurus said, “Sahj samānī.” ‘Intuition’ is not the word that Sukhmani Sahib uses, ‘intuition’ is the word that the translator is using. So do not put too much value upon the word ‘intuition’ here.

What is it that the Gurus are saying? What is the Holy word?

*प्रभ कै सिमरनि सहजि समानी ॥* Parabẖ kai simran sahj samānī.

When you are in simran (Remembrance) of prabhu (the Lord), then you are absorbed in Truth in a very sahaj way. For ‘*sahaj*‘ there is no corresponding word in the English language. So the translator has said, “intuitive ease.”

But ‘sahajtaa’ is not intuitive ease.

What is ‘sahajtaa’? That which occurs from the Right Center is sahaj. That which occurs from the True Self is sahaj. That which takes place from the false center, the center of the egoistic mind, that is asahaj.

Is that clear?

That which will happen from the Right Center will happen smoothly and unnoticeably. That is ‘ sahajtaa’ . One great characteristic of ‘ sahajtaa’ is that it no characteristics.

It is unnoticeable.

Whatever the mind does is very noticeable because there is a lot of friction and a lot of noise contained in it. When the mind does something, it is always with a lot of noise, and fanfare, and show, and demonstration. When it happens from the True Self, it happens with a great felicity, with a great ease. It is smooth. You cannot notice it. It is almost a non-happening. That is ‘sahajtaa’.

So Sukhmani Sahib is telling you, “When you remember God you slip into the Truth smoothly.”

Effortlessly, the remembrance of Truth cuts through the bondage of the false, and without your conscious realisation you just reach a state of dissolution of ego. You just become absent. You do not even know that it is happening, or at least you do not consciously know that it is happening. The start of the process might be conscious, consciously you may start the remembrance of the name. But after that, it proceeds in a space beyond your consciousness.

That’s the meaning of the verse.

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