Dukh daroo sukh rog bhaeya

All of us have suffered some time or other from some rog. Rog is suffering caused by pain. This pain or suffering can be physical as caused by sickness or mental as caused by thoughts in the mind.

What can reduce physical pain? Yes, medical treatment with pills, ointments, bandages and injections for the patient as well as surgery, exercise, massage and spa come to mind. But what about the mind itself? Can there be illnesses that are not physical in nature? And what lies behind such ailments?

One can also be hurt from being being criticised, scolded or rebuked. Similarly being robbed or victimised at school or place of work can be painful. There can also be mental pain in being poor and homeless just as the lack of education can be felt as a handicap to good employment.

A physically handicapped individual may feel pain on being dependant. And surely you may have heard about those who are ostracised daily for their birth in a scheduled caste? Being literally treated as dust!

Any sort of fear can result in mental suffering. The fear of material loss and fear of seperation from loved ones can be a source of mental pain. The parting of a dear one brings sorrow in our lives and this grief is really very difficult to overcome.

Can an illness or disease be avoided? Not really. Can mental pain be reduced? How? By controlling our vices like anger and greed and increasing virtues such as patience and humility! Some situations arise from our own actions while some are created by others eg dishonesty by one can result in demotion for the other wheras honesty can lead to promotion; anger can lead to violence while righteousness can result in equality.

We should not be jealous, revengeful, or envious and put blame on others for our position in life or our own inability to achieve anything. Don’t be consumed by our own ego or anger. When we attain success in anything, our happiness should not make us proud or arrogant and insensitive to the shortcomings of others. Any conflicts that do arise should not affect our basic virtues and emotions.

Dukh means sorrow and Sukh is happiness. Both these emotions are felt in opposite situations eg birth of child vs death of parent, promotion vs demotion, meeting lover vs seperation from spouse, victimising vs assisting.

Extreme happiness is bliss or Anand, described in Gurbani as meeting the Guru or to be in pious company. Anand – song of bliss, complete happiness – is a collection of hymns written in the Ramkali Raag by Guru Amar Das, the third Guru of the Sikhs. It appears on pages 917 to 922 in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.

SGGS Page 149 (M:1)

ਸੁਖੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਦੁਇ ਦਰਿ ਕਪੜੇ ਪਹਿਰਹਿ ਜਾਇ ਮਨੁਖ ॥

Sukh Dhukh Dhue Dhar Kaparrae Pehirehi Jaae Manukh ||

Pleasure and pain are the two garments given, to be worn in the Court of the Lord.

Let us reflect on Guru Arjun Sahib ji, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib ji and thousands of other Sikh martyrs who had to undergo extreme physical torture but did not succumb to the pain. What was their secret? How did they take the excruciating pain? Mind control and concentration on the Creator? Or accepting it as the Hukam of the Creator?

In Japji, Guru Nanak Sahib ji says everything happens under His Will and nobody has the power to change that. Desire to remember Him with love and devotion is the greatest treasure and can be obtained only by His blessing.

SGGS page 5 (Japji Pauri 25)

ਕੇਤਿਆ ਦੂਖ ਭੂਖ ਸਦ ਮਾਰ ॥ ਏਹਿ ਭਿ ਦਾਤਿ ਤੇਰੀ ਦਾਤਾਰ ॥

Kaethiaa Dhookh Bhookh Sadh Maar || Eaehi Bhi Dhaath Thaeree Dhaathaar ||

So many endure distress, deprivation and constant abuse. Even these are Your Gifts, O Great Giver!

Some think Dukh is the punishment for bad karma from rebirths and attempt a pilgrimage, a penance, or a visit to the nearest bomoh or ‘baba’ for an answer to their suffering. Chanting of mantras or specific paths may be recommended as cures. But if we use some shabads to get “rid” of Dukh and other shabads to “bring”Sukh, we are going against its intended use. It is wrong to regard Gurbani as a means to an end, as a tool for our desires, as a way to deny His Hukam or as a mantra to escape the consequences of our bad choices. 

Gurbani says to consider SUKH and DUKH as two sides of the coin.

Despite being in Dukh or Sukh state of mind, one must always be in contact with our inner God by trusting in his decision and having faith that all will work out. The acceptance of whatever is in hand together with the hope that the situation will change with the remembrance of the Almighty in all situations is essential. Be honest and righteous, realise equality and brotherhood of man and that the Creator is in his creation.

SGGS page 460 (Salok M :1)

ਦੁਖੁ ਦਾਰੂ ਸੁਖੁ ਰੋਗੁ ਭਇਆ ਜਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਤਾਮਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥

ਤੂੰ ਕਰਤਾ ਕਰਣਾ ਮੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਜਾ ਹਉ ਕਰੀ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੧॥

Dhukh Dhaaroo Sukh Rog Bhaeiaa Jaa Sukh Thaam N Hoee ||

Thoon Karathaa Karanaa Mai Naahee Jaa Ho Karee N Hoee ||1||

Suffering is the medicine, and pleasure the disease, because where there is pleasure, there is no desire for God. You are the Creator Lord; I can do nothing. Even if I try, nothing happens. ||1||

Is Dukh and Sukh a test meant to evaluate if one is getting attached to the ‘media’ or root cause that is giving rise to this feeling of pain or pleasure?

Or maybe a test if one can go through this phase with faith ie to accept both pain or pleasure as temporary gifts and fully come to terms with the realisation that life is transient and everything that comes has to go?

SGGS page 813 (Bilaval M : 5)

ਦੂਖੁ ਤਦੇ ਜਦਿ ਵੀਸਰੈ ਸੁਖੁ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਚਿਤਿ ਆਏ ॥

Dhookh Thadhae Jadh Veesarai Sukh Prabh Chith Aaeae ||

Pain comes, when one forgets Him. Peace comes when one remembers God.

The Guru anchors you to the Creator and glues you to have trust and faith.

Have positive thoughts and accept all in good faith. Gurbani is always positive and constantly affirms the presence of the Eternal Spirit in all our lives, come joy or sorrow. 

SGGS page 757 (Suhee M : 4)

ਜੇ ਸੁਖੁ ਦੇਹਿ ਤ ਤੁਝਹਿ ਅਰਾਧੀ ਦੁਖਿ ਭੀ ਤੁਝੈ ਧਿਆਈ ॥੨॥

Jae Sukh Dhaehi Th Thujhehi Araadhhee Dhukh Bhee Thujhai Dhhiaaee ||2||

If You will bless me with happiness, then I will worship and adore You. Even in pain, I will meditate on You. ||2||