What is Haume?
The question of Haume is a very intricate one. It is quite hard to understand. This Daas will present his understanding of haume based on Gurbani and books of accomplished Gursikhs that he has read. This Daas does not claim that waht he is going to write is correct. Just this Daas' meagre understanding. That's all.
Vaheguru created this trai-gunni Sansaar i.e. this world that is entangled in the three qualities of maya namely ignorance, passion and goodness referred to as Rajo Sato and Tamo. Everyone knows that this world is a temporary place and the roohs or the aatmas or the souls come to this world as per hukam of Vaheguru, which in turn is based on one’s karma.
The surprising thing is that despite knowing that this world is temporary and that their stay here is temporary, all beings are living in this world as if they are going to live forever. They work towards future and save for their future as if they are going to live here permanently. They wail and cry over the ones who leave this world as if they are going to stay here forever. The connection that we have with this world or the thing or the force that convinces us that we are part of this world is actually Haume . The idea of considering oneself as this body (of five elements) and making all decision based on this false notion is Haume.
Haume is our connection to this world and the moment this connection to this world falls, we immediately attain Vaheguru’s consciousness. How do we disconnect from this world and connect to our default or real consciousness? This is the whole purpose of Gurbani and Gurbani says that through the Shabad of Guru, we can connect to Vaheguru and breakoff from Haume. We have to realise the hukam of Vaheguru and this hukam of Vaheguru is none other than Naam - ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਹੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਦੀਆ ਬੁਝਾਇ ਜੀਉ ॥੫॥ i.e. Japping one Naam is the hukam and Guru Sahib using their stamp Nanak say that Satgur has made us realise this truth now.
Vichaar on Different Forms of Haume
Haume or the connection to this world is attained through the 5 forces of Haume namely Kaam, Krodh, Lobh, Moh and Ahankaar and out of these, I think Moh and Ahankaar are the hardest to beat and kaam and Krodh the easiest to subdue. With basic rehit, Paath and Naam abhyaas the first three come under control. Moh or the attachment to this body, and to the relatives of this body is a hard thing not to do and finally to not have pride in our works is extremely hard thing to let go.
If we really think of it what is Kaam? Kaam is the attraction that our mann (mind) feels looking at the body, the physical body of the opposite sex. What is this attraction? It is really weird if you think of it. This is one of the purest and rawest form of haume. Pure Haume it is because this emotion triggers in for the physical body of the opposite sex. Higher the feeling of Kaam, heavier the Haume is in oneself.
The jeev is jyot (illuminated being) but under the spell of Haume it thinks that it is the physical body and that by possessing the body of the opposite sex, it will get pleasure. Under the illusion of maya, the jeev thinks that by coming in touch with the body of the opposite sex, it will find pleasure. How can jyot saroopi jeev, get anand if it’s body touches or comes in contact with the physical body of the opposite sex? This is a very bizarre sensation that is felt because of haume.
To get a more clear understanding, imagine that this body that we have, somehow starts thinking that it is not the human body but is the clothes it wears. Now imagine how stupid it would be to think that when the clothes of this body touch the clothes of body of opposite sex, the clothes feel pleasure. It’s like feeling anand if the clothes of our body touch with the clothes of the body of opposite sex. How can our body derive anand if it’s clothes touch clothes of the body of the opposite sex? Same way, how can the jeev that is Atma roop derive pleasure if it’s body touches the body of opposite sex? It is the illusion of haume that causes this pleasure.
Here is what Siri Guru jee states about Kaam in Gurbani:
ਹੇ ਕਾਮੰ ਨਰਕ ਬਿਸ੍ਰਾਮੰ ਬਹੁ ਜੋਨੀ ਭ੍ਰਮਾਵਣਹ ॥
ਚਿਤ ਹਰਣੰ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਲੋਕ ਗੰਮ੍ਯ੍ਯੰ ਜਪ ਤਪ ਸੀਲ ਬਿਦਾਰਣਹ ॥
ਅਲਪ ਸੁਖ ਅਵਿਤ ਚੰਚਲ ਊਚ ਨੀਚ ਸਮਾਵਣਹ ॥
ਤਵ ਭੈ ਬਿਮੁੰਚਿਤ ਸਾਧ ਸੰਗਮ ਓਟ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਰਾਇਣਹ ॥੪੬॥
Addressing Kaam, Siri Guru Panchmesh Pita jee say, O Kaam, you control the jeev and make it reside in hell (Narak Bishraamang) and then make it wander in various life forms. You control the jeevs and your reach is in the three worlds of creation. You destroy the Jap-Tap (Bhagti) and Sheel (good character) of jeevs. You give very little pleasure to the jeevs but in return of that little pleasure you give, the jeevs lose their wealth, you make them chanchal i.e. unstable. Whether the creatures are great or small, you reach all of them. In the last pankiti, Siri Guru jee address Kaam, O Kaam, the jeevs get liberated from you only when they reach Sadh-Sangat i.e. the sangat of Guru; therefore O Nanak, take refuge of Vaheguru Narayana.
What is Krodh? Krodh is a force that takes over us when something happens contrary to our opinion. This emotion is very strongly related to the fifth evil Ahankaar or Abhimaan. If something hurts or pierces through to Abhimaam, then one reacts with Krodh to protect one’s Abhimaan. It has been noticed and studied that with increase in Kaam, Krodh too goes upwards. Here I have not been able to deduce a connection between Kaam and Krodh but there is a connection. A Kaami person is also a Krodhi person.
Krodh is such a strong feeling that when it overwhelms our mind it takes over Lobh and even Moh. Lobh is the want for worldly substances whereas Moh is the attachment towards worldly substances. When one is in Krodh, one is prepared to sacrifice Kaam, Moh and Lobh to satisfy Krodh but Abhimaan stays intact and actually goes up in this situation. In Krodh, one can hurt one’s loved ones and even kill them. We read stories of brother killing brother and son killing father. Later one, when one’s Krodh subsides, one regrets one’s actions towards loved ones. This proves that Krodh can overtake Moh when it’s in full force. Same way it overtakes Kaam and Lobh also when it is in full force. A person in Krodh forgets about Kaam and even about Lobh. He cares not if he loses all his possessions. This proves that Krodh beats Lobh, when in action.
Krodh does not have a long life and like Kaam stays dominant only for a short period of time but in this short time the consequences of the deeds done under the influence of these two forces can have very long lasting effects. One's whole life can be destroyed because of that one act done under the influence of Kaam or Krodh.
Siri Guru jee have written the following pauri about Krodh in Gurbani:
ਹੇ ਕਲਿ ਮੂਲ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੰ ਕਦੰਚ ਕਰੁਣਾ ਨ ਉਪਰਜਤੇ ॥
ਬਿਖਯੰਤ ਜੀਵੰ ਵਸ੍ਯ੍ਯੰ ਕਰੋਤਿ ਨਿਰਤ੍ਯ੍ਯੰ ਕਰੋਤਿ ਜਥਾ ਮਰਕਟਹ ॥
ਅਨਿਕ ਸਾਸਨ ਤਾੜੰਤਿ ਜਮਦੂਤਹ ਤਵ ਸੰਗੇ ਅਧਮੰ ਨਰਹ ॥
ਦੀਨ ਦੁਖ ਭੰਜਨ ਦਯਾਲ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਰਬ ਜੀਅ ਰਖ੍ਯ੍ਯਾ ਕਰੋਤਿ ॥੪੭॥
O Root of all disharmony (fights), O Krodha, you never feel mercy and compassion. You bring Vikaari (evil) persons under your control and then you make them dance like monkey is danced around by the monkey show-maker. The jeevs under your control become extremely lowly and therefore under the orders of Jammdoots, get punished in different ways. In the end using their Mohar, Siri Guru jee state the truth that only way to get protected from Krodh is to take the refuge of Vaheguru who is the destroyer of sorrows of humble ones.
Lobh, Moh and Kaam are attractions to different forms of matter. While Kaam is the attraction to the body of opposite sex under the impression that the body will somehow yield pleasure, Lobh is the attraction to non-living entities of the matter world. It’s the force that makes a jeev want to possess a non-living entity e.g. money, car, house, land etc. Under the spell of Lobh, one gets so blinded that one can even deceive one’s most loved ones. One can even deceive one’s Guru under the spell of Lobh and this is evident when we hear stories of people in religious centres stealing and embezzling funds from there. A brother under the spell of Lobh would even kill his brother to take over his brother’s share of wealth. Jahangir the Mughal emperor had his own son Khusrau blinded because Khusrao had revolted against his father and wanted to be the king. A person without Lobh would have given his kingdom to his son instead of having him killed or blinded. Duryodhana the Kuru prince wanted to be the king and for this reason fought the Mahabharata battle in which millions of people were killed. All this was done under the spell of Lobh and Ahankaar. Here is what Guru Sahib state about Lobha:
ਹੇ ਲੋਭਾ ਲੰਪਟ ਸੰਗ ਸਿਰਮੋਰਹ ਅਨਿਕ ਲਹਰੀ ਕਲੋਲਤੇ ॥
ਧਾਵੰਤ ਜੀਆ ਬਹੁ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਰੰ ਅਨਿਕ ਭਾਂਤਿ ਬਹੁ ਡੋਲਤੇ ॥
ਨਚ ਮਿਤ੍ਰੰ ਨਚ ਇਸਟੰ ਨਚ ਬਾਧਵ ਨਚ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਤਵ ਲਜਯਾ ॥
ਅਕਰਣੰ ਕਰੋਤਿ ਅਖਾਦ੍ਯ੍ਯਿ ਖਾਦ੍ਯ੍ਯੰ ਅਸਾਜ੍ਯ੍ਯੰ ਸਾਜਿ ਸਮਜਯਾ ॥
ਤ੍ਰਾਹਿ ਤ੍ਰਾਹਿ ਸਰਣਿ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਬਿਗ੍ਯ੍ਯਾਪ੍ਤਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਨਰਹਰਹ ॥੪੮॥
O Lobha, even the most learned ones in your company commit sins of various kinds. Jeevs under your influence O Lobha, wander in different places and falter in different ways (committing sins by faltering to temptations). Jeevs under your influence have no shame (sharam, Lajjya) of friends, nor Guru, nor relatives and not even of parents i.e. one would deceive even them. Jeevs that are under your spell O Lobha, do such things that they should not be doing in the society, they eat such loathsome things that they should not be eating and utter such dirty words that they should not be uttering in society. Such is your influence. In order to get protected from Lobh, the jeev should beseech and plead before Vaheguru as - Crying out he should say Help! help! Save me from Lobha, O Hari Narhari Vaheguru.
Lobh is the attraction of this mind towards non-living physical things; and Kaam and Moh are attractions towards bodies of living things. Both Kaam and Moh are attractions towards living beings. Kaam is a specialized kind of attraction feeling towards opposite sex but Moh is an attraction or attachment to the physical body of other jeevs and this attachment is Kaam-less. In other words, Moh is the attraction towards living bodies without the sense of Kaam.
Most of the times Moh is stronger than Kaam but sometimes it loses to Kaam in which case we see despicable cases of incest. When Moh loses to Kaam then the jeev gets Kaamic attraction to the ones whom he has moh with i.e. father may get attracted kaam-wise to his daughter and so on. As Kalyug gets stronger and darker, Kaam is going to win increasingly against Moh and more and more such cases will surface. This prediction is written in Dasam Granth and in some Hindu Shasters as well.
Moh is the force that makes the jeev think that it owns or possesses others jeevs. Under the spell of Moh, the mother takes care of her baby more than she would care for herself. She cleans him, feeds him and what not. She stays awake so that her baby may sleep and will lie on a wet surface so that her baby may sleep on dry surface. She shows so much restrain and patience when the baby cries and she gets love on even unsavoury actions of the baby or a child. If the child pees on her, she feels pleasure in even that. She talks to the child for hours without getting any response in return. Think about it. Would a jeev who is selfish to the greatest extent do so much for another jeev, if Moh was not there? Never. The world is driven by moh. The world would collapse if Moh were to disappear.
Here is what Guru Sahib has to say about Moh:
ਹੇ ਅਜਿਤ ਸੂਰ ਸੰਗ੍ਰਾਮੰ ਅਤਿ ਬਲਨਾ ਬਹੁ ਮਰਦਨਹ ॥
ਗਣ ਗੰਧਰਬ ਦੇਵ ਮਾਨੁਖ੍ਯ੍ਯੰ ਪਸੁ ਪੰਖੀ ਬਿਮੋਹਨਹ ॥
ਹਰਿ ਕਰਣਹਾਰੰ ਨਮਸਕਾਰੰ ਸਰਣਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਗਦੀਸ੍ਵਰਹ ॥੪੫॥
O unbeatable warrior Moha, you are the great warrior of battle in which you crush the most strong warriors. You have bewitched the Ganas (residents of Shivpuri), the Gandharwas (the musicians and singers of Indrapuri), humans, devtas of heaven, animals and birds of this world. The only way to get protected from Moh is to take refuge of doer Vaheguru and by bowing before him.
Ahankaar is to feel pride over our actions. Ahankar makes us feel special and the centre of the world. There is only one doer in this world i.e. Vaheguru but the jeev under the spell of Ahankaar thinks that he is the doer and for this reason it has to suffer the consequences of Karma i.e. actions done. If one were not to think oneself of doing any action, then Karma would not affect the jeev. This is what Guru Sahib has to say about Ahankaar:
ਹੇ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਣ ਮੂਲੰ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੰ ਪਾਪਾਤਮਾ ॥
ਮਿਤ੍ਰੰ ਤਜੰਤਿ ਸਤ੍ਰੰ ਦ੍ਰਿੜੰਤਿ ਅਨਿਕ ਮਾਯਾ ਬਿਸ੍ਤੀਰਨਹ ॥
ਆਵੰਤ ਜਾਵੰਤ ਥਕੰਤ ਜੀਆ ਦੁਖ ਸੁਖ ਬਹੁ ਭੋਗਣਹ ॥
ਭ੍ਰਮ ਭਯਾਨ ਉਦਿਆਨ ਰਮਣੰ ਮਹਾ ਬਿਕਟ ਅਸਾਧ ਰੋਗਣਹ ॥
ਬੈਦ੍ਯ੍ਯੰ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਪਰਮੇਸ੍ਵਰ ਆਰਾਧਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰੇ ॥੪੯॥
Very clearly, Siri Guru jee has called Ahankaar an evil force and the root cause of taking birth and death. O root cause of birth and death (of Jeevs in this world), O evil force Ahankaara, through your many works of maya, the jeevs entangled in your web, throw their friendships with other jeevs and take up enmity. The jeevs take many births and deaths and suffer many sorrows and supposedly enjoy many kinds happiness. The jeevs wander in many scary jungles and suffer many diseases. The doctor of all these problems of Ahankaar is Vaheguru alone. Worship him by uttering his Naam again and again.
Comparing the 5 Evils
Lobh and Moh along with Hankaar are such evils that have long life and last for long time. Moh does not quickly come or leave immediately after effect. Moh is a perpetual and constant feeling towards the physical bodies (including our own body) we are related to e.g. father, mother, children, spouse etc. With time Moh increases constantly.
If we really look at these 5 evils we come to the conclusion that these five evils are really different forms of Haume. Haume is basically that feeling that makes us feel that we are this body as opposed to someone living in this body. We don’t realise that our body is to us what clothes are to our body. Just like our clothes are not our body, our body is not us. Different forms of haume falsely make the impression on us that we are this body.
When we feel attraction to the opposite sex, it is the Kaam form of Haume that connects us to this world. When we feel non-Kaam attraction to other bodies it is the Moh that has kicked in. When we feel attraction to non-living substances of this world it is Lobh form of Haume kicking in. When we feel pride over the works done by our body it is Hankaar or Abhimaan form of haume kicking in.
How to Get out of this Quagmire?
So now the question is how do we get out of this quagmire of Haume that is keeping us in this world? We should realise that it is this haume that brings us back into this world again and again because so long as we or our Mann continues to think that it is this human body or these physical seen substances and objects belong to it, we continue to come here again and again.
The only way to get out is to connect to something that is beyond this world or something that is not from this world. That thing is Naam / Gurbani and nothing else but Naam / Gurbani. The word of Guru, that we get from Punj Pyaaray during amrit sinchaar is empowered by the great spiritual power of Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee and by allowing our mann to indulge in listening to the sound vibrations of this Naam we connect to our real self i.e. our Aatma. Only through Naam we realise what Haume is and how to get out of Haume. Just ponder upon the following Salok from the 7th pauri of Siri Asa kee Vaar:
ਮਹਲਾ ੨ ॥
ਹਉਮੈ ਏਹਾ ਜਾਤਿ ਹੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਹਿ ॥
ਹਉਮੈ ਏਈ ਬੰਧਨਾ ਫਿਰਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਜੋਨੀ ਪਾਹਿ ॥
ਹਉਮੈ ਕਿਥਹੁ ਊਪਜੈ ਕਿਤੁ ਸੰਜਮਿ ਇਹ ਜਾਇ ॥
ਹਉਮੈ ਏਹੋ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਹੈ ਪਇਐ ਕਿਰਤਿ ਫਿਰਾਹਿ ॥
ਹਉਮੈ ਦੀਰਘ ਰੋਗੁ ਹੈ ਦਾਰੂ ਭੀ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਹਿ ॥
ਕਿਰਪਾ ਕਰੇ ਜੇ ਆਪਣੀ ਤਾ ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਕਮਾਹਿ ॥
ਨਾਨਕੁ ਕਹੈ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਜਨਹੁ ਇਤੁ ਸੰਜਮਿ ਦੁਖ ਜਾਹਿ ॥੨॥
The first pankitis explain what Haume is. Siri Guru jee states that to associate with family is Haume and all our Karma are done under the influence of Haume. All the bonds we have are due to Haume and because of Haume we reincarnate into many life forms.
The third pankiti asks a beautiful and very relevant question - From where does Haume get created and how can it be relieved? The answer is equally beautiful - Haume is created as part of His Hukam and due to our own Karma done under the influence of Haume, we wander around. Next Siri Guru jee makes a great statement that althought Haume is a very long-term and deeply inveterate disease, still the cure too lies in it. How do we get rid of Haume?
The second-last pankiti tells us how - If Vaheguru does kirpa, then one does collects the earnings of Guru's Shabad i.e. engages in Guru's Shabad.
The last pankiti declares that listen O Saints, this is the way (earning Guru's Shabad i.e. chanting it) this sorrow of Haume goes away.
Haume - A way to run the world
The bottomline is that haume is our connection to this world and this connection is only broken if our consciousness gets to its default position i.e. to Vaheguru.
If Vaheguru had not given Mamta (Moh, motherly love) to this world, no mother would have taken care of their children. Why would a woman clean dirt of her child for so many years and feed it, it she did not have Moh?
If Vaheguru had not given this world Kaam, no one would have done any reproduction. Why would someone indulge in reproduction process if there was no incentive in this? Take out the pleasure from reproduction process and imagine what a silly process it is. Why would anyone love their children if there was no Moh.
If Vaheguru had not created Lobh, no one would engage in collecting goods, working hard to build a house etc. If Vaheguru had not created Hankaar, then no one would work hard to exceed. It is to feed our Hankaar that we work hard, and deep inside cherist getting Shabaash (pat on the back) from others.
While Haume is bad but Haume is the one that causes us to do Bhagti. If there was no haume, we would never indulge in Bhagti. Siri Guru jee very beautifully writes that Haume is a very deep rooted inveterate disease (deeragh Rog) but the medicine or cure to this disease lies in Haume itself:
ਹਉਮੈ ਦੀਰਘ ਰੋਗੁ ਹੈ ਦਾਰੂ ਭੀ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਹਿ ॥
(Haume is a deep rooted inveterate disease but cure for this also lies in it).
How does the cure lie in Haume? It is our Haume that first prompts us to do bhagti to get delivered from this world. It is our selfish thinking that prompts us to do udhaar or deliverance of this jeev-aatma (our soul). It is our curiosity to know the secrets of this world that prompts us to do bhagti and find out the secrets of this world. All these are forms of Haume.
The only way to get around Haume is to engage in the divine Shabad of Guru. Gurbani clearly says that one should burn Haume through the Shabda:
ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਭੇਟੇ ਸੋ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਏ ॥
ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਮੰਨਿ ਵਸਾਏ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰੇ ਸੋ ਪਾਏ ॥
ਆਸ ਅੰਦੇਸੇ ਤੇ ਨਿਹਕੇਵਲੁ ਹਉਮੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਲਾਏ ॥੨॥
(Meet the Satguru and reside the Naam within your mind; this way get divine happiness. But only on whom he does grace, can achieve this. Free yourself of all worries and through the Shabad burn Haume.)
May Guru Sahib do kirpa on us and may we realise our haume and free ourselves from Haume.